ABOUT CAINE'S PESTILENCE


When John Caine, an obscure midlevel banker from Detroit, accepts the opportunity of a lifetime to manage the backroom business functions of an important National Institutes of Health research lab in Bethesda, he believes his ship has finally come in. But his quirky penchant for illicit tinkering results in the creation and accidental release of a powerful new virus with effects no one could have imagined. Only he holds the answer to how it can be stopped, and he's not telling. Caine finds himself confronted with a desperate White House and an onslaught of rage from all quarters of the world's bureaucracies.

Fast paced, provocative, and offbeat, this cautionary story is thick with political satire and intrigue. It occurs in a world of government turned upside down, where Nancy Pelosi is president of a dysfunctional United States under her ultraliberal regime, while George Bush is a convicted felon and Rush Limbaugh a fugitive. Caine's Pestilence brings together present and former U.S. presidents, would-be assassins, two Supreme Court chief justices, familiar national media political commentators, and the infamous prison at Guantanamo Bay, all in a story readers will find engaging and controversial.

Monday, November 10, 2014

WHAT NOW? Republican Midterm Sweep on Political Realities

by John Bascom as seen on Political Realities

WHAT NOW?

A very smart person once told me, when faced with a set of complex decisions, don't focus on the alternatives.  That is too limiting.  Envision instead the desired outcome, and the correct course of action for achieving it will present itself.

So we are confronted with the results of the sweeping Republican victory in the recent midterm.  It presents fresh opportunities to influence presidential appointments, chair key committees, and control the legislative agenda in congress.  Yet still neither party has the Senate majority necessary to pass bills without the support of the other, nor to override a presidential veto.  Republicans run the risk of being branded "do-nothing", and the party of "no" if they cannot pass meaningful changes into law.  With twenty-two Republican Senate seats up in 2016 as well as the White House, they face the real possibility of having all of their gains reversed.

For me this election was not about who has power and political success, nor discrediting any
individual or their party, but rather about the chance to restore in America important policies, values and programs necessary to advance our nation's prosperity, world influence, and the real opportunity for success—the American Dream—for the average citizens.  I believe this transcends partisan politics and offers appeal for Republicans, The Tea Party, Libertarians, conservative "Blue-Dog" Democrats, and independents.  In short, those who cherish proven traditional values and eschew collectivism. 

So here are a few of my own desired outcomes for Republicans over the next two years:

·         Reform the tax code with a flatter tax, reduced tax rates and tax bills, fewer and tighter brackets, less deductions, and an end to fifty percent of filers who pay nothing at all, or receive a refund without having actually paid anything.  A typical personal tax return should be a one-page form.

·         Pay for the tax reform with phased government spending cuts aimed at duplicate programs, entitlement subsidies such as welfare or food stamps, wasteful programs, reducing self-perpetuating government bureaucracies such as the IRS, Departments of Education, Agriculture and a host of others.  Freeze or reduce most federal budgets, and limit others to inflation-adjusted growth (excluding military and space, below) of two percent annually.

·         Restore those things fundamental to our national security, pride, technological advancement and economic strength such as the military and space program.

·         Encourage business and job growth by making the corporate tax code competitive with other developed countries, lowering "do-good" regulation, promoting energy development by removing barriers, and making all of America into a Free Enterprise Zone (used for instance in Hong Kong and advanced by the Cato Institute)

·         Reduce and eventually eliminate the annual federal spending deficit through tax reform and spending cuts.

·         Rationalize immigration by securing the borders and enforcing laws while reforming the system to encourage substantially more immigration (especially Latinos) by those who follow the process, have no criminal record, and possess educational and job qualifications in demand here.  Allow selective amnesty and path to citizenship for long term undocumented aliens who have been otherwise law abiding, employed, taxpaying, and not recipients of direct government subsidies such as welfare or food stamps.

·         Address the wasteful and divisive gap represented by some minority populations (a subculture among some urban populations of blacks, Hispanics, Asian gangs, white gang members, poor rural whites and others) all too often characterized by illegal drugs, lack of education, criminal activity, unemployment, government dependency and chronic poverty.  Target PROVEN educational and training programs including those used in magnet or charter schools and successful private schools, to include emphasis on language, math, values, role models and proven paths to success for at-risk minorities.  Simultaneously phase out direct public assistance that subsidizes unemployment, poverty and dependency.

So the overarching outcomes are an economically stronger, fiscally solvent America creating jobs through a vibrant business sector—a secure and respected world leader with a bright future.

Enabling legislation for these outcomes should be as bipartisan as possible, including offering Democrats the chance to co-sponsor.  If the White House or congressional opposition derails these by all accounts popular, nonpartisan and arguably helpful initiatives, they would have much to answer for in 2016.  In that event, the prospect of winning the presidency and controlling majorities in congress for conservatives would cement the outcomes.
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John Bascom is the author of the political satire novel, Caine's Pestilence, and is a contributor on the conservative blog Political Realities.  His new book of short fiction for men, Beneath a Hunter's Sky, will be released in 2015.

Friday, November 7, 2014

John Bascom Biography


Friday, September 12, 2014

KUIU ISLAND ALASKA BEAR HUNT

Kuiu Island, Inside Passage, Alaska

Kuiu Island, Alaska has the largest 
population, and the largest size, black bears in the world.


"Emydon" at sunset


The 50' diesel powered vessel
Emydon (right) was our floating base in the waters of Kuiu Island




Humpies


Guides Kyle (lft), Eli (rt) and client Curt (ctr)
Sea life such as these breaching humpback whales were abundant in the surrounding waters, in addition to otters, sea lions, seals, bald eagles
Curt's big bear
John & Curt hike to trout stream
John with big Coho caught from stream



 ___________________________________________

John Bascom in Petersburg AK
Look for the Kuiu Island adventure story, "Curt's World Record Kuiu Island Bear Hunting Trophy" in Bascom's upcoming book of outdoor stories Beneath a Hunter's Sky in late 2014


Saturday, May 24, 2014

FEAR & DEATH--Part 2

AFRICA SAFARI JOURNAL
by John Bascom (Copyright 2014)

Eight(Part 2) Fear and Death Above the M'Kunga

________________________________________
(From Part 1)…I picked up the center of the buffalo's chest in the crosshairs.  Still, Wil had said the third one from the front and this one was only slightly farther back in the shifting herd.  I wasn't sure.
"The one I'm looking at is directly in front.  Between the two trees," I said.
"Yes, the bull between the trees," Wil said urgently.
"The one closest to us.  He's looking straight at us."
"No," Wil said.  "He's looking forward, and his head is partially behind that…no, wait.  Yes, I see, he's looking at us now."
"Closest, the bull looking at us, standing between two trees.  I can see his bosses and penis."
"Yes," Wil said impatiently.  "It's the only bull in the herd.  Between the trees, looking at us."
"I'm sure it's a bull," I said.  "Should I shoot?"
All the other animals had stopped and were now staring in our direction.  I was certain they were about to bolt."
"Yes.  That's it. Shoot!"
With the bull's quartering stance, I realized a center-chest hold, if pulled accidentally only slightly to my right, would risk angling between the brisket and away-shoulder, mostly missing the heart and lungs and risking a dangerously wounded Cape buffalo.  I moved the crosshairs slightly, between the brisket and shoulder positioned closest to my left, steadied the rifle, exhaled, drew a half-breath and held it, then smoothly squeezed off a shot.
Everyone was oddly quiet for several moments.
"It didn't look hit," Wil said.
"I had a pretty solid hold on his chest," I said.
"I didn't hear the bullet impact.  Are you sure you hit it?"
"Pretty sure." 
We all moved down to the area where the herd had been.  The trackers—everyone—searched the ground methodically.  No blood or hair.  No sign of a hit of any kind.
Levi and Gift led us along the track the buffalos had taken.  Their compressed hoof prints and the trampled ground were obvious.  We worked along their trail for about twenty minutes, about three-hundred-fifty yards or roughly a quarter mile by my estimate.  The trackers would cast to the left or right occasionally to see if an animal had straggled or stumbled on the edge of the herd.  The bush had thinned but there was thicker jesse just ahead as we paused to consider our next move.
"You're sure you hit something," Wil said, more as a statement seeking a reassuring response than a question.  "We can't find anything."
I was beginning to doubt myself.
Everyone was just standing around, waiting.  Wil lit a cigarette.  No one made eye contact with me.
It was Gilbert, the despised game ranger, who moved forward toward the leading edge of the thick jesse stand that stretched as far as one could see.  Gilbert, the optimist, thinking outside the box, with his positive attitude and friendly disposition.  Gilbert, who liked and generally wished to help people.  Who liked and helped me.
He moved up about thirty yards and a few yards to our left, then stooped to better see beneath the overhanging jesse bows.  He stretched his neck and head forward, paused, and pointed with his finger.
We all rushed over.  I squatted and looked beneath the jesse in the direction he was pointing.  There, some eighty odd yards ahead, lay the unmistakable black carcass of a Cape buffalo.
_____________________________________

Part 2

We quickly moved up through the jesse stand, stopping about thirty feet from the big
animal laying lifeless on his side.  Wil approached the downed buffalo carefully and nudged his head with the barrel of his rifle.
"He's a bull all right, but not the one I wanted you to shoot.  He's a younger one."
I surprised myself with the overwhelming feelings of joy and accomplishment that swept through me.  I was ecstatic, beaming I'm sure from ear to ear.  I walked up near the animal to admire him.  He was as magnificent in death as he had been staring sullenly at me a up near the crest of the hill a few minutes before.  He had gone perhaps four hundred yards before collapsing in the thick brush.  I knew an average human track runner could cover a hundred yards in just over ten seconds.  With the speed at which that herd took off at my shot, it couldn't have been over forty-five seconds, well under a minute, for my buffalo to run down here and die in this jesse stand.  I was glad it had been quick.
"Nickie's going to go crazy."  I meant to say it to myself but realized I had said it aloud.
I moved closer to the bull and inspected him carefully.  My shot had hit very near my precise point of aim, slightly above by only a few inches and perhaps an inch left.  The bloody wound on his front chest between the brisket and the animal's right shoulder displayed the track of the bullet on his hide as it had entered from the front, angling in such a way that it would travel through its body back and across to the organs behind on the other side.  It was clear the right lung had been raked from front to back, the crossing bullet probably hitting the rearward portion of the left lung as well, and going back into the body through its liver and deeper organs.  There was no exit wound.  I doubt the bull ever really knew what hit him.
My spirits were soaring, the adrenalin doing its work now more so than during the stalk or the shot.  I had thought upon our arrival in Africa that taking a buffalo was secondary to experiencing the bush and its animals.  But I understood now I had been wrong.  This was the thrilling and fulfilling culmination that had turned our safari into an unforgettable experience.
"We try not to shoot the younger ones," Wil said in his scolding tone.
"Look, Wil," I said, grinning.  I was not about to allow his condescension to dampen my moment.  "Shit happens.  I know shooting old animals is important to you.  And it's good with me, too.  But I described what I was looking at in detail three times so you'd understand.  And asked for your permission to shoot."
"I was talking about the older one between the tree and the bush."
This was the first he had mentioned bush.  It had been "between the two trees."
"You said it was the only bull in the herd.  I saw the bosses and penis sheath on this one right away."
"The older bull was farther forward, behind the brush.  He's the one I wanted you to take."
"You might have said as much, Wil.  I'd have been glad to do it.  But I didn't see any animal in that herd larger than this one.  And this one was clearly a bull."
"The older ones aren't necessarily always bigger."
"For my money, I shot the bull I wanted.  The one I described in detail and you cleared me to shoot.  If there was a miscommunication…well…you need to be more careful next time.  But I'm here to tell you I couldn't be happier.  This is what I came for."  I think I was close to laughing, not at Wil but purely from joy and excitement.  "I'm sorry if you're upset, but I'm the happiest man in Africa."
At that moment a visible change came over Wil.  A smile spread across his face, something that had not previously occurred while we took game together.  He spontaneously clasped my shoulder, another first.
"You came here to take your buffalo and you did it," he blurted, not measuring his words now.  "You kept up during our climb up here and while we maneuvered in on that herd.  It wasn't an easy thing, especially for a man who has reached seventy and has had health issues.  And your shot was spot on.  It was quite the achievement." 
He was grinning the whole time, his demeanor all at once joyful and spontaneous, like mine.  It was as if the death of that Nyati in the thick jesse in the hills above the M'Kunga had caused something in Wil and me to die along with it.  For Wil it seemed to be the awful weight of command, the fear of failure, purged by my joy at taking my buffalo bull.  A perfect completion of our safari.  It was as if the anger and discontent that seemed to simmer beneath Wil's surface had died along with that animal. 
And for me the thing that died on the hillside was the fear that I, battling cancer and reaching seventy, had passed a tipping point.  That I no longer could do the things I loved or achieve the things I once had.  I felt redeemed and resurrected by the sacrifice of my beautiful Cape buffalo bull.  And I somehow knew my strange dreams had become a thing of the past.
"It was an exciting kill," Wil grinned, "with its twists and turns."
"Fear and death in the hills above the M'Kunga," I laughed.  Perhaps I should have phrased it …the death of fear…

Wil lifted his radio to call in Mafios with Nickie and the truck.  I couldn't wait for her to arrive.


____________________________
Look for "AFRICA SAFARI JOURNAL" and other stories in Bascom's upcoming book, "Follow Him Up the Mountain" to be published late in 2014

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CAINE'S PESTILENCE REVIEWS

Praise for Caine's Pestilence
from readers and reviewers 

Wyblog US

I could summarize my review in three words: Read. This. Book… Caine's Pestilence is a masterstroke of satirical genius…I couldn't put it down. (Chris Wysocki August 21, 2011 www.wyblog.us) 

 

PoliticalRealities

One of the most compelling and unusual books I have ever had the pleasure of reading...totally original and both comedic and horrifying at the same time.  From the time I opened the first page, it made me want to read it straight through…if you decide to read only one book this year, it should be Caine’s Pestilence.  (LD Jackson Oct. 2, 2011 www.ldjackson.net 

 

Free Republic

(H)ighly recommend, but …more scary than Stephen King's "IT" which, to this day, still causes goosebumples when I think of the clown-monster.  I will not even try to offer up a glimpse of the terror and horrible events that are part of the plot, and I do mean PLOT!!  Get it and set aside an evening to read it. Make sure the doors and windows are locked and unplug the phone! (GRRR…Free Republic, Sept. 7, 2011, http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-chat/2775067/posts)

 

Goodreads
By Melinda Le Baron—October 30—Goodreads...very tightly plotted... dialogue is priceless...pacing lickety-split quick...ending so surprising you could have knocked me over...perfect for people who like finishing novels with a smile...by far this book is singular in its execution.

 

BGabby--January 20--Goodreads...I loved this book! Nancy Pelosi as president? G W Bush imprisoned for war crimes? The hopelessly politically correct doublespeak? I haven't laughed this hard at a political novel since Tricky Dicky and Good As Gold...All I know is that I'm keeping this one to enjoy again.

 

Amazon.com Reader Reviews 

NEW  5.0 out of 5 stars By  Joyce Metzger--July 4--Savage Satire Coupled With Dark Intrigue...excellent...A thought-provoking story...(author) writes from dedicated research and true life experience


By Psychonate--Sept 1--awesome book! Amazingly entertaining...down right scary! Should be a requirement for students.  Finished in two days and that's only because I had to sleep and work.


By Dannette—March 26… rides the fence of politics beautifully, with a spot-on sense of timing and humor.  I found myself laughing countless times at the irony 

 

By "cobweb"—October 9…Spellbinding with an edgy awareness that the ridiculous situation inching Caine to his death is uncannily possible… Caine's observations, inappropriate humor and irreverent satire bind this twisted plot into an intriguing read and a wakeful night… Totally great reading and we want more. 

 

By Daune Robinson—April 14…can't remember the last time I enjoyed finding a new author this much - well, yes, I can - it was when I read Watchers and fell in love with Dean Koontz! This book was a pleasure to read. I laughed, cried, screamed and could not put it down. Read it! 


Saturday, November 12, 2011

CNBC Comments on Caine's Pestilence

  AS SEEN ON PRNEWSWIRE, CNBC...


Political Satire Novel Lampoons Nancy Pelosi, Liberals

"One of the most compelling and unusual books ...ever"  Political Realities

 

GLADWIN, Mich., -- Caine's Pestilence, a novel melding biotech mystery and political satire, has been released by Canniche Cove Publishing. Written by new author John Bascom, the fictional work unfolds in a surreal 2015  where Nancy Pelosi is president and the ultra-liberal wing of the Democratic Party firmly controls America.

 
The novel is distinctive in that it defies standard classifications of literary genre, containing elements of action-adventure, biotech science fiction, humor, and political parody. Bascom uses actual public figures as characters. In addition to Pelosi, Minnesota Senator Al Franken is the chief justice of the Supreme Court, while Rush Limbaugh is a fugitive beaming bootleg broadcasts into the US from Canada.

John Bascom, author
"I wanted to write something absolutely unique," Bascom says, "something that would give voice to my concerns about the destructiveness of the liberal agenda taking hold in our country, but in a way that avoids rants or preaching and is delivered in an entertaining, engaging way." Bascom's story unfolds from the pen of the simple, hapless central character, John Caine, writing his memoirs from his death-row cell. An obscure administrator at the National Institutes of Health, Caine fortuitously creates a biological agent that, accidentally released into the population, changes the perceptions of ordinary people about the liberal agenda. The Pelosi administration then goes crazy and Caine is persecuted mercilessly in their efforts to stop it.


The author's mission of entertaining and engaging has met with success according to the conservative Wyblog.us, who calls Caine's Pestilence "...a masterstroke of satirical genius" and tells the blog's fans to Read. This. Book. Today! And the blog Political Realities says it's "...one of the most compelling and unusual books I have ever had the pleasure of reading." Individual Amazon reader-reviewers awarded the maximum 5 stars on average overall.


Caine's Pestilence is available in softcover or Kindle at Amazon.com and as a Nook eBook from Barnes & Noble.