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Global Anger receives 5-star review

I’m excited to share my first and a fantastic review from ForeWord Clarion Reviewer Jill Allen.  Please read.

ForeWord Reviews

Clarion Review

THRILLER

Global Anger

Kent Politsch

Xlibris

978-1-4797-0123-0

Five Stars (out of Five)

 

In this compelling thriller by debut author Kent Politsch, college buddies Rodney Armstrong, a Baltimore cop, and federal employee Jack Fitzgerald reunite after many years to stop a wealthy Korean drug dealer’s product from infiltrating the United States economy. When it turns out that the sale of illegal substances is a facade behind which a more sinister plot lurks, the two men must race against time to stop the murder of the Secretary of Agriculture while also preventing America’s economy from grinding to a halt.

As a veteran journalist and employee of the USDA, Politsch uses his reporting experience along with his knowledge of the inner workings of the federal government to pull readers into his captivating settings and fast-paced story. The novel mushrooms into a far- reaching conspiracy spanning multiple locales. Politsch plunges readers into places as different as North Korea and Washington DC, using deft description to create milieus that make the audience more than willing to go globe trotting.

In these intriguing settings there exist equally interesting characters. Armstrong and Fitzgerald represent nuanced individuals with complex backgrounds and multi-faceted personalities. Even the villain possesses a fascinating motivation for his dastardly actions. By writing his book from multiple viewpoints, including that of the antagonist, Politsch allows readers to garner empathy for all characters, despite their flaws.

Even with his many characters and locales, Politsch never loses readers; in fact, the variety of players and theaters of action help to ramp up the suspense considerably. One wants to keep turning the pages in order to discover the surprising ways in which the pieces of the narrative fall into place. The dialogue is powerful and realistic, providing an added sense of urgency to the plot. Politsch demonstrates familiarity with the way federal workers and law enforcement personnel act and speak. Many characters talk in clipped, efficient tones and issue commands commensurate with their rank and status.

                 Global Anger’s timely themes of globalization, terrorism, and the power of a few individuals to invoke fear are writ large in these pages yet examined with subtlety. Politsch delivers his important messages at the human level through the actions of Armstrong and Fitzgerald. Even as the author shows the deleterious effects of great power, he also demonstrates how the concerted actions of a few can stem the tide. In this day and age, when many people feel powerless in the face of their governments or other large entities and institutions, the battle between Armstrong, Fitzgerald, and their enemy is something that will resonate with many readers.

Jill Allen

Watch the Debate; Focus on Congress

It is the eve of the final presidential debate before the 2012 election.  I believe this series of debates has been helpful to those of us who must now decide who will be our next president.  I expect Obama and Romney’s deliberations about foreign policy October 22nd to be just as informative.

Here, though, is an observation that I hope you will consider.

While the two men differ in their philosophical approach to governing, will our choice November 6 have that much of an impact on our lives between now and 2016?

Perhaps my question suggests that I have a strong opinion.  It is not that strong, but my opinion is that we are taking part in an interesting and entertaining popularity contest, but the outcome will not alter the state of our nation by much.

While that statement can be inferred as cynical, it is not meant to be.  Certainly, whoever wins the election will have a tough few years ahead of him.  Whoever wins the election will be a believable communicator and he will rely on that skill more than he and the rest of us would like, because there will be conflicts to avoid and internal pain to justify.  But, we will have a person that we can send into the fray with knowledge and confidence that he will do well because of the preparation and counseling he has done.

Here is what the next president and the people he serves will face as a frustrating challenge – a divided and uncompromising Congress.

We spend too much time and too many dollars focused on an election of the president and too little time learning about the lawmakers we elect to the legislative body.  The people who make our laws, for pity sakes.  The president is just the enforcer.

We began this fiscal year – the third in a row – without an approved national budget.  We began it with laws expired and regulations in limbo.  We began it with finger pointing and childlike ranting.

Congress owes the American people who elected them an apology.  They took up space; spent tax dollars and behaved like school children more interested in the Friday-night football game than doing their homework.  Nothing got done except the nasty and insulting shouts across the field.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney are solid leaders.  I can tell by the way they debate, aggressively, passionately, toe-to-toe when necessary, but when the exchange ended, they looked each other in the eye with respect.

It is time for our lawmakers to behave in the same way.  It is time that they create a different atmosphere in the Capitol.  It is time they put more soul into pulling this nation out of its funk.  The world will follow.  But it will not happen in two or even six years, so they need to act more like statesmen and less like politicians.  Let the chips fall where they may.

For us, the voters, we need to pay closer attention to the voting records and less to the commercials.  We have homework to do, too.

After tomorrow’s debate, choose the guy you like best to be president and pencil him in.  Then spend the next two weeks deciding whom to send to Washington to help him.  If we don’t elect a Congress that can get something done, Obama or Romney – it just won’t matter.

 

Anger

Anger is a common reaction to an emotional situation.  And we’ve all experienced them.  Some of us control our anger well.  Some do not.

Here is something to consider about anger.  Like laughter, it is infectious.  Like a disease, it can do great harm.  It can cause our bodies and minds to ache.  It invites pain.  Anger makes us vulnerable to all sorts of unwanted consequences.

In a not-so-subtle way, I create situations in Global Anger that are familiar causes – violent assaults, foul tempers, situations over which we have no control like people who betray us and government actions that produce unintended and insufferable results.  There are dozens of circumstances that spark anger.

This past week we saw how anger causes vengeful behaviors.  It’s unlikely that all the protestors in the Middle East saw the 13-minute anti-Muslim film trailer and even less likely the full 2-hour movie that allegedly started the uprisings and the eventual killings of innocent American diplomats.  I was curious to see what the furor was over, so I watched the trailer of Innocence of Muslims on YouTube.

The production was amateurish at best and could not be taken seriously.  Was it offensive?  Certainly it was distasteful.  The acting was awful.  The costumes and scenery were low-budget and appeared to have been pulled from a 1950s film-set wardrobe or off the rack at Party City.  I couldn’t watch all 13 minutes consecutively it was so poorly done.  Only after I began investigating did I learn that the film had been out for several months.  It had very few viewings and only bashings for critical reviews.

The real question is whether the trailer seen recently on YouTube was enough to provoke the rage we’ve witnessed on television and the subsequent grief we saw when four flag-draped caskets arrived at Andrews Air Force Base?  In my opinion, absolutely not.

No wonder suspicions were raised this week that the Sept. 11 attack on our Libyan Embassy was premeditated and only contrived as outrage over the film.  The trailer, offensive indeed, could not have been taken seriously and it couldn’t have angered a murderous crowd who found their way into secured quarters.

American-made films are watched all over the world.  People know the type of quality that is accepted as a standard.  A skit put on by a junior high school pep club would have been more believable than Innocence of Muslims, which is nothing more than a laughable attempt at filmmaking by someone with no taste and no ability.  It just couldn’t be the cause of this level of violence.

Anger is clearly the motivator in the death of Ambassador Stevens and the others, but that ridiculous film was an unfortunate catalyst that someone or some organization used to distract us from the truth.  Steven’s diplomacy was obviously working.  Someone who doesn’t want our influence to take hold in Libya and the rest of the Middle East caused the riot, not a lousy filmmaker.

The so-called investigative media needs to do a better job for citizens of the United States and stop being suckered by angry killers.  We know there are people who don’t want us in their countries.  They’ll lie to disguise their reasons.  There are plenty in this country who’d so the same thing.  They aren’t the truly religious Muslims, Christians and Jews.  People of faith don’t hate, don’t kill, don’t throw rocks, and don’t burn flags.  Angry people do.  But why are they angry?

Perhaps the media should be asking that question and begin to calm the waters rather than stirring them up.  Oh, but that wouldn’t make very interesting television pictures, would it?

 

Dam (sic) It!

Dam (sic) It!

My 20-something daughter loves many of today’s stand-up comedians.  They can be funny, but I find many of their vulgarities a less than appealing and lazy route to humor.

It has been that way for a long time – cursing as a quick and easy way to get a laugh.  I remember more than 50 years ago when high school students used a well-timed swear to disrupt class.  A sudden outburst at just the right moment was always good for a loud and sustained laughter from boys and girls alike.  It also usually meant a trip to the principal’s office.  I don’t know if a similar disruption today would get the same result, because it seems that vulgarities and rude interruptions are more frequent now.

I know I’m sounding prudish, but I’m eager for my children and their friends to move past the cursing stage of their young adult lives.  My daughter, for instance, still loves the shock effect that an F-bomb elicits when emitted from a pretty face.  I tell her repeatedly that it adds no real communication value even when it gets everybody’s head to turn and a nervous chuckle.

I think the thing that is most disturbing about curse words spoken in normal conversation is that they imply a feeling of anger.  That’s the only time those words almost come out of my mouth, when I’m angry.  So I want to know when I hear a string of off-colored words, why is this person angry just carrying on a casual conversation?  Doesn’t he or she read the self-help psychology books that suggest that when you act and sound angry, even when you’re not, you begin to feel those emotions?  That’s why the psychologists encourage us to speak in happy tones, to share compliments, especially with young, impressionable people.  Those techniques dam the flow of hostility and work to generate a more peaceful atmosphere.

The irony with my daughter is that she is a peace-loving liberal.  Many of the comedians she admires fit that mold as well.  So why do they all want to shout obscenities at us and create a feeling of loathing?  Are they mad or do they want love and peace?  The behaviors and the claims sometimes just don’t fit together.