Just as life goes on after disaster, so too does life go on after exultation. Barry Bonds: Baseball’s Superman was a critical and financial success. I became overconfident. My contract with Lloyd Robinson and Suite A Management expired in 2002. We remained friends. He agreed to represent me on a free lance basis. His world was Hollywood movies. If he came across anything right for me, he would bring it to me on a case-by-case basis.
I did not have a real literary agent, in New York or otherwise. I pulled off my Bonds biography on my own. Basil Kane told me he was retiring from the business. He was not cut out for the aggravation. Mel Berger appeared briefly, just as quickly crawling back where he came from.
I figured agents would come to me. I figured publishing houses would come to me. I figured I made my name and all the really hard word work was behind me. I figured wrong.
After completing the Bonds biography, I started thinking about my next book. It came to me as in a “flash of genius.” A novelized version of my personal experiences with Barry himself. I decided to fashion the story around Barry’s record-breaking season; a writer who enters his inner circle, gets the great man to agree to do a huge autobiography with him, then betrays the writer, costing the scribe millions.
It was in the long tradition of screwed-over writers, not unlike Robert Altman’s The Player, with a touch of deviance reminiscent of Budd Schulberg’s 1941 classic What Makes Sammy Run? This was territory I knew well. It was my personal story, embellished by the world of professional sports, the struggle of the writer-journalist, and the human ego. It seemed a natural to me. I imagined the publishing world gobbling up this true-to-life tale told by a writer having survived a year with Barry Bonds, of all people. Now I would tell tall tales out of school in fictionalized form all about the experience. It would be dramatic, lending itself to a movie deal. I could not possibly imagine it not finding a publisher.
I had to spice up the story beyond the mere facts of my experience with Barry Bonds. I imagined in this scenario I grew up with him, and was his rival in baseball all through high school and college. My career went no where, the Bonds character became a superstar.
I wanted race to be a major factor in the story, but in the end run it would be a Trojan Horse of sorts, leading the reader to assumptions to dispelled in the end. It would include graphic sexuality, using the women and situations I knew and experienced throughout my life as composites or in some cases direct characters. Out of this would emerge the main character’s lifelong moral struggle to be a decent Christian in a corrupt world of temptation. I read John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, finding inspiration in this and other great works of parable and caution.
I began writing it shortly after turning in my Bonds manuscript. I made no attempt to find an agent or publisher until it was finished. I assumed it would sell. I actually expected the phone to ring, some hot shot agent or editor in New York inquiring what I was up to. I wrote it during and after my book tour of the spring and summer of 2002. I was so consumed in the story, the fact these phone calls did not come in did not concern me. Yet. Readers at my book signings asked me what I was working on next. I gave them plot points. Feedback was very positive. I went to Lake Tahoe, where I occupied the Northstar condominium amid solitude in the resort’s off-season. I completed it during the baseball play-offs in October of 2002.
By this point,. I would describe my approach to writing as a “holistic.” By that I mean I did not separate my life from my writing. Working at home added to this concept. Everything was inter-twined. Working out in the gym, my diet, my relations with Elizabeth, my recreational activities, were all tied in with my writing. Running errands and doing non-writing things were viewed as essential tasks that needed to be accomplished in order to clear time to write. Going to the gym every day at four was not merely exercise, but the re-charging of my batteries before an evening session. Going to a movie was simply leisure activity, but a chance to study film techniques. Reading a book was an extension of my literary education. Reading the newspaper and watching news broadcasts did not simply broaden my knowledge. I often made notes to be used in some capacity in my writing later.
The novel, Angry White Male follows the life of Stan Taylor, the white scion of a prominent California family, and his baseball rival since childhood, the African-American superstar Billy Boswell. The book is drenched with pornographic sex, racial tensions, obsession, jealousy, and bitter business dealings rife with surprising twists of fate. Disparate elements of lust and modern worldly wants constantly interject with Stan's self-taught religious values and the need to live a life of moderation while making moral choices. In other words, all the things that makes life worth living!
Stan struggles to live up to the standards of success set by the Taylor's who preceded him since the Revolutionary War and the Gold Rush. In particular, he must deal with being an only child in an affluent, dysfunctional family. He grows up amongst rich white kids with questionable racial attitudes in Palos Verdes Estates. His alcoholic, attorney father, tormented by his own failure to succeed as a professional athlete or attain his ambitions in Republican politics, bitterly finds blame in all but himself: minorities, liberals and a host of "others" who are obstacles to his vision of success. As Stan grows up, showing great promise in baseball, his father lives vicariously through his son. He leaves little breathing room for Stan to be his own man. Stan's mother, dominated by her heavy-drinking husband, loses focus of her own self. She becomes an unwitting accomplice over years of verbal abuse becoming so common place Stan's parents are unable to see their own faults.
Beginning in little league, Stan excels at every level of baseball. Boswell, the son of a Major League star, frustratingly overshadows him at each turn. Boswell also has a white friend named Matt Hobli. Matt becomes his best lifelong pal; his sycophant, assistant, caddy, chauffeur, "beard" when he needs to hide women, in all ways Boswell's sidekick and shadow. Matt cannot stand Stan. Stan's father coaches his son's teams, but alienates the community with his loud, overbearing ways. The result is Stan, naive, socially awkward, and sexually repressed anyway, becomes the object of adolescent derision making his youth years barely tolerable. Baseball and his own search for meaning, which results in Stan grasping for a beach head of Christianity, keeps sanity and hope alive. Not having grown up in a religious atmosphere, Stan's search for spirituality is one he takes on by himself. Stan and Boswell star for rival high schools. For three more years Boswell leads UCLA, while Stan pitches for USC. No matter how good Stan is, Boswell is always better, leading Stan to become obsessed with the arrogant Boswell. He seemingly glides through life, enjoying spectacular success in sports and with women.
During his college years, the blond-haired, blue-eyed, handsome Stan, who has never had a girlfriend or experienced carnal knowledge, befriends wild party animals on the fringes of the early 1980s L.A. bar scene. He sows his wild oats in a series of outrageous sexual hi-jinks that takes him to the edge. He meets Rebecca, a promiscuous Linda Carter look-alike who fulfills his lustful needs. Stan sees in her a vulnerable potential he is determined to help bring out. She mysteriously moves in and out of his life. Stan's friend Brad, returned from Europe and suddenly worldly, well-read and political, impresses Stan's father, who embarrasses Stan in front of Brad by calling his son a "stupidkid who doesn't know anything about the world." Determined to show his father, Stan embarks on a quest for knowledge, applying himself for the first time in college. He reads everything he can get his hands on; newspapers, magazines, books, classics, poetry, plays. In school, Stan meets Karen, a USC cheerleader who is practical and seemingly a good match for him. Karen becomes pregnant. Stan by this time has begun to formulate cogent conservative political and religious views. Convinced he is mature enough to have a family, he talks Karen out of an abortion. They get married, despite her warnings that she "is a bitch who’s made the lives of everybody involved with me miserable."
Stan, now 6-6, 235 pounds, embarks on a promising professional baseball career. Like his father before him, bad breaks beyond his control shatter his dreams of big league success. Stan's father seems to take his premature "retirement" harder than Stan does. A daughter, Kaitlyn is born. Karen fails to take care of herself, becoming overweight, sickly and moody. Stan, who has never cared for children, and has always been selfish, changes dramatically after the birth of Kaitlyn. He becomes more aware of his Christianity, develops a social conscience, and for the first time feels pure, unconditional, over-the-top love for this beautiful child. Stan also begins to come to grips with his feelings about his parents. He no longer blames himself for the way they acted towards him all his life. As he matures, he is able to exceed his father intellectually. This causes some frustration for his father, no longer able to dominate his son. It gives Stan some piece of mind and the ability to understand their relationship better.
Stan, who has graduated from USC, enters law school as a Marine Corps officer, but his wife hates military life, leaving him. Stan gives up a promising career as a Marine JAG attorney to save the marriage, but to no avail. He drifts through coaching stints at USC and in Europe, then the inevitable divorce. He takes a job as a paralegal with his father's law firm in Los Angeles. A politically connected attorney has big plans for him in the Republican Part. He mentors him. To the embarrassment of Stan and the lawyer, Stan discovers the lawyer's secret bi-sexuality. The lawyer no longer mentors him.
Stan's soul is tortured by the fact his beloved Kaitlyn has been "taken" from him when his ex-wife moves to another city. He prowls lonely places of the heart, crying out to God, who he is convinced is the only one who can understand the pain he feels. He struggles with himself, his mind expanded by an unquenchable desire to read books and attain intellectual credibility. He is unable to make good money and achieve professional success. He re-enforces his Christian faith, but finds himself constantly battling the demons of sexual desire and alcoholic consumption.
Stan becomes a denizen of strip clubs. Using his intelligence and a learned sense of timing, Stan observes the girls of the sex industry. He learns their tricks, their habits, and their vulnerabilities. He comes to the conclusion the most attractive girls are the ones who can be picked up most easily, which goes against the common thinking of most men. Stan is able to tell, by observing habits, eye contact, and telltale signs, which girls are promiscuous, and which girls are in it just for money. He slyly moves from strip club to strip club, seeing which girls leave by themselves, which ones have boyfriends, and which ones swing by bars near the clubs. Slyly, he is able to talk his way into having sex with a variety of strippers and porn stars. These adventures lead him into some dangerous liaisons. He manages to scrape out of them, sometimes cleanly, sometimes with a cost. One porn star invites him to the Adult Film Convention in Las Vegas. Stan finds himself engaged in wild swing parties with numerous beautiful women. For the young man who could not get a date in high school, he has come full circle. Stan realizes his view of women has been stilted. Perhaps because they seemed unattainable to him when he was younger, he has now reached out for a certain kind of fantasy girl, not a real person, but rather an object for his gratification. The conflict between good and evil rages in his mind. Stan, the thinking man, rationalizes, blames and asks questions about why he is the way he is.
Rebecca re-appears. Her life has taken a downturn in a sea of drugs and promiscuity, leaving her on the fringes. Stan re-doubles his efforts to "save" her, but must question his own motives. Is he trying to help another person in a Christian manner, or is he motivated mainly by the fact she has Vogue cover model looks and fulfills his most lustful sexual needs?
Things look to be on the upswing for Stan when he and a childhood friend form a company representing professional baseball players in New York. His partner steals money from the company, though, creating chaos. Their one promising client leaves. It is “Jerry Maguire without the happy ending.” However, a fringe client, an ex-baseball player who led a colorful life, tells Stan Hollywood wants to make a movie of his life. Stan, who studied film at USC but never pursued those dreams because baseball, marriage and practical necessities stood in the way, now writes the screenplay. It wins an award and gathers interest in Hollywood. Stan moves back to Los Angeles, writing plays and movie scripts with little success. He learns valuable lessons about the craft and business of writing. He runs into Rebecca. She has become a full-blown alcoholic and drug addict. She is dying of liver cancer. A few weeks later, he learns of her death. He asks himself if somehow he is to blame. Could he have "saved" her?
Some years earlier, Stan watched a porn movie starring a gorgeous, stacked blond who gets gang banged by an army of studs. Vaulted into X-rated superstardom, the girl appears as the "headline feature" at a strip club in L.A. Stan goes to see her. She does not notice him. Stan follows her home, making his move when she goes into a bar. He finds her to be down to Earth and easy to talk to. She talks about growing up and her great love for her father. She does not tell Stan she is a porn star. Stan does not reveal that he knows. Many of the pre-conceptions of such a girl are dispelled, though. Stan opens up to her about his own life, how his wife moved away with Kaitlyn, and how, while he is struggling to succeed as a writer, he has faith his dreams will be fulfilled. A connection between the two is formed. They fall in love.
Her real name is Michelle. She lives in Hermosa Beach, California. Stan moves in with Michelle. She is smart and loving. She is crazy about animals and children. He introduces her to his daughter. They fall for each other. Stan's parents love her. Stan meets her dad, who thinks his daughter is a swimsuit model (which she has been), not porn star. They get along famously. Michelle no longer makes gang bang porn videos, but she works for an exclusive Beverly Hills madam. She arranges for her to have sex with actors, celebrities and high-powered executives for enormous sums of money. The secret is maintained. Michelle does not tell Stan. Stan does not tell Michelle he knows what she does. Stan's career becomes the focal point of interest in the household. Michelle gives him the kind of ego-gratifying support for his work inspiring Stan to strive forward. Kaitlyn moves back with them. All seems right with the world.
Over all these years, Billy Boswell has become the greatest athlete on the planet. After achieving astounding success with the New York Yankees, Boswell signed with his hometown team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is on a pace to break the all-time career home run record. He is a millionaire many times over, considered the most high-profile baseball player the game has seen in years. He has also earned a reputation as a swinger with the women, a pain with the media, and a problem with his teammates. He, like Stan, has developed a taste for a certain kind of woman. Years earlier in New York, he married a porn star of his own, thinking his greatness and celebrity would outshine the notorious occupation of the girl. The tabloids trashed him and the marriage. Now divorced with no children, he is the most eligible bachelor in Los Angeles. Stan tried on occasion to contact his old rival. Phone calls to his agent, the club, the team hotel, and to Boswell's parent's house, have gone unreturned. Stan placed himself before Boswell next to the dugout at stadiums, even outside the clubhouse after games. Boswell has never shown the slightest acknowledgement of a guy he grew up with him, battling against him in baseball from the age of eight to 21. Stan deals with racial angst and professional jealousy of Boswell all his life. He becomes increasingly obsessed with him.
Stan's screenwriting career, while not a failure, is by no means wildly successful. He gets some TV work, some "script doctor" work, and has projects optioned, but he has not moved forward the way he hoped. He and Michelle decide they want to get married. Stan begins to look for more regular employment. He covers high school football for the Los Angeles Times, catching the eye of the editor. Stan's background as a college star and professional pitcher separates him from the average sportswriter. Stan parlays his way into a column with the Times, which comes with some jealousy on the part of other writers who think he has not paid his dues. In particular, the Times' Dodgers' black beat writer, who wanted the column Stan has, feels Stan got something he should have gotten.
Just when things seem to be going his way, Stan runs into trouble. Michelle has numerous friends, many of whom have worked as porn stars, escorts and strippers. Needless to say, they are beautiful. She has brought some of them to the house, trying to engage Stan in a fantasy menage a trois. Stan turns down the offer because he wants to maintain the "secret" and fiction their relationship is wholesome. However, one of the girls stays at the house while Michelle has to travel. Stan has sex with her. Michelle finds out and leaves. The marriage date is canceled.
On top of that, Stan gets fired by the L.A. Times after the jealous black beat writer (based on Gary Washburn of the Contra Costa Times) sets him up. He creates a situation where it looks like Stan falsified an expense report. The beat writer also fooled Stan into missing a plane he had to make in order to do a story on deadline, which he fails to do. He changed the time on a wake-up call, causing Stan to miss another assignment.
Suddenly, things look bleak again for Stan. He moves back into his parent's house. All the old feelings of resentment; the yelling, the screaming, and the blaming, play themselves out as if in some weird Twi-Light Zone. Stan's father's attitude is still sour. He is filled with resentment of all the usual suspects. Stan is unable to comprehend why his old man is so bitter. The father has had a smooth life, with few bumps in the road. He has had a long marriage, was able to raise his child with no interruptions, while Stan experienced professional and personal disappointments, the gut-wrenching tragedy of not being an everyday presence in Kaitlyn's life. Somebody tipped Stan's ex-wife what Michelle did for a living. She insists Kaitlyn move back with her, even though Stan has broken up with Michelle. Stan has thoughts of suicide.
But something else is happening. Billy Boswell is going to break the career home run record this baseball season. A light goes on in Stan's head. He approaches Matt Hobli, Boswell's longtime friend who has always despised Stan since childhood. Stan tells him he wants to help Boswell write his autobiography. It should come with a big advance from a publisher. It will be a huge book. Boswell agrees. Weeks pass. Negotiations with publishers ensue. The elusive contract with Boswell is not yet signed while his lawyers go over details.
Boswell breaks the record. Later, he holds a press conference. At the press conference, Boswell announces he is writing his autobiography, and that his co-writer is the Dodgers' black beat writer, who stole the project out from under Stan. He told Billy he needs to write his book with “a brother, not the white boy.” In the media hullabaloo surrounding Boswell's breaking of the record and his announcement he will be writing a "tell all" book, Boswell's ex-porn star wife is contacted. She begins to reveal things about Boswell. Her comments are nasty and controversial, tremendous tabloid fodder. Stan contacts her about doing a "tell-all" book of her own, to get back at Billy. They have an affair. Then she turns up dead.
At first, much evidence points to Boswell as the killer in an O.J. Simpson-style murder. But as the police look further and further in Boswell's business dealings, they find the evidence points not to Boswell, but to Stan Taylor. Taylor is arrested. The police paint a picture of an obsessed rival with a hatred of blacks, a failure in his own life who tries to ride Boswell's coat tails via a book deal. They point to articles Stan has written over the years, berating affirmative action and expressing elements of disgust at the failure of some African-Americans to rise above their circumstances and attain the American Dream. In some of these articles, Stan has demonstrated outside of sports and entertainment, many blacks have not succeeded. The police say this indicates he feels Boswell was not deserving of his high ranking in society because if he were not an athlete, he probably would not have been wildly successful. Stan is depicted as an ultra-conservative "Jesus freak" who killed Boswell's white ex-wife because he thought it was "unnatural" for races to mix. When the book deal fell apart, he became enraged, determined to destroy Boswell's life, they say. Rather than kill Boswell, the police say, Stan kills the woman who is trying to make Boswell's life miserable, making it look like Boswell did it to silence her. He wants Boswell to be destroyed and disgraced publicly, rather than made out to be a martyred black sports icon, but has not covered all his tracks. The evidence has come back to Stan. The police, trashing Stan beyond imagination, put out all of this.
Stan is sent to jail pending trial. Finally, the novel reveals what the public, the police and Boswell never know. The real killer of Boswell's ex-wife is Matt Hobli. Matt is a closet homosexual who has always been in "love" with the heterosexual Billy. He has hidden his feelings for years, watching the object of his sexual infatuation ride his way through a mountain of sexy women, driving Matt to distraction. Furthermore, Matt is not only a closet homosexual, but also a closet racist. His loyalty to Boswell has been the veneer hiding his confusing hatred of him all this time. He could not have Billy sexually. He had been no athlete while Billy was a star. He was himself obsessed with his own inadequacies while Boswell shone. He hated the fact a black man could be catered to, seemingly given a pass through life. He has thought and planned often of killing Boswell, but never could pull it off. Matt, not Stan, is the Angry White Male! Finally, he decided not to kill Boswell, but his ex-wife, so as to frame Boswell. Only he has not counted on Stan, who had plans of his own. After the autobiography deal fell through, Stan contacted Boswell's ex-wife himself, to see if she would write a tell-all of her own to embarrass Boswell, who Stan now felt double-crossed him (along with the beat writer). Stan, with his natural affinity for "fallen women," bonded with Boswell's ex. They begin an affair of their own. When she turns up dead, he becomes a natural suspect.
In jail, violent black criminals who heard Stan hated Boswell because he is black confront Stan. Stan is killed. Matt gets away with it. Boswell is able to go on with his life, making millions and being a baseball idol. His book becomes a Best Seller. The black beat writer makes millions. He signs a deal to write the screenplay, worth more millions.
At Stan's funeral, sweet Kaitlyn cries in the arms of Stan's grieving, confused mother and father.
"I love you, Daddy," she says to Stan's casket.
From Heaven, Stan says, "I love you, too, baby. I love all of you."
Many of the characters were based on real people. Every time I re-read the synopsis, I am stunned nobody picked it up. Nobody did. Angry White Male remains unpublished as a novel and unproduced as a movie. I sent it to many agents and publishers. For the most part it was panned and ignored. It was a huge slap in my face. After the success of Barry Bonds: Baseball’s Superman, it was a tremendous set-back.
But things were happening in my life and in my country diverted my attention. 9/11 had a tremendous effect on me. I became extremely patriotic, even more than before. My reaction to the liberal news media, Hollywood and the Democrats was fierce. I developed an unhealthy, visceral dislike of them. I came to despise them all. Bill Maher, Michael Moore, Tim Robbins, Ted Kennedy; my attitude toward the lot of them was no longer partisan. I began to see America in cosmic turns, as a nation destined by God to protect the world from evil. I literally began to see conservatism and American patriotism as being on the side of good; liberalism and its minions in the media, elected office, and fellow travelers, to be on the side of evil.
In the winter of 2002-03, President George W. Bush was preparing America for a second front in the War on Terrorism. He successfully eradicated Afghanistan of the Taliban. Even the Left could not argue with the need to do this. This was where the planners of 9/11 formed their core. But Iraq was a different story. It seemed obvious to me we needed to go in. There was in my view an ascending list of seven to 10 excellent reasons for doing so. I was feverish for war. It is hard to believe looking back I wanted it so bad, but I did.
I saw almost every cultural aspect of society divided by politics. I disdained Hollywood movies. I fell totally in love with country ‘n western music, particularly Toby Keith. I saw enemies everywhere. I saw a world, as Bush himself said, in which sides were chosen. People were either “with us or against us.”
In so doing, I examined Europe; old, decadent, corrupt. I saw in Europe a history few Europeans seemed to embrace. The “baggage” of empires, religious persecution, racism, wars, rivalries and a million fault lines made it seemingly beyond repair. But America seemed to have learned from the mistakes of history. We seemed to have benefited from our youth, using the lessons of history to overcome slavery, to create a “more perfect Union.” We rose to a position of power eclipsing the Roman Empire. How did this happen?
I often bought tapes from The Learning Company. One was called Power Over People: Classical and Modern Political Theory. Taught by a Columbia University history-philosophy professor named Dennis Dalton, it explored political thought – good and bad – throughout history. Plato vs. Machiavelli. Hitler vs. Gandhi. It delved into the psychology of mass movements, the destruction and evolution of ideas. It came to me the War on Terrorism was a new era in American history. The 21st Century was now upon us. I decided a history book “explaining” the miracle of America, our purpose in this world. This became my next project.
I wrote it in 2003. I just up and did it. I never tried to find a publisher or agent. I called it God's Country: A Three Volume Conservative, Christian Worldview of How History Formed the United States Empire and America's Manifest Destiny For the 21st Century.
I saw in America a “new kind of empire,” not one of colonies and subjects, but of ideas, technology, and freedom. I felt we were tasked by God with making the world safe so the largest number of people possible could hear the Word of scripture, and therefore could be saved in what I theorized seemed the final days before the Apocalypse. To the extent it was a “three volume” effort, it was well over 1,000 pages long. It could easily be divided into three separate books.
Book one covered the period beginning from the earliest recorded civilizations to the beginning of World War I. Book two covered the years between 1919 and 1989, the end of the Cold War. Book Three attempted to consolidate what all of this meant, “explaining” our role in the modern, 21st Century world. The table of contents were:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
HISTORY LESSONS FOR A YOUNG AMERICA
A MODERN THEORY OF GOOD AND EVIL
THE FORMATION OF DEMOCRACY
The Hindu Vision of Life
Plato's "Republic" applied to modern politics
MACHIAVELLI AND REALPOLITIK
THE ORIGINS OF COMMUNISM
Henry David Thoreau: Anarchist?
Fyodor Dostoevsky and the Grand Inquisitor
Anarchism and liberalism
HITLER, GANDHI AND THE LIE OF MORAL RELATIVISM
CIVILIZATIONS AND CHRISTIANITY
The rise and fall of the Roman Empire
Homer and the Trojan Wars
The life of Christ
Christianity spreads, the Church is formed, and religion takes different shapes
THE MIDDLE AGES
The mysterious East
After Rome: Is war the true nature of man?
The Crusades and the political militarization of Catholicism
The Hundred Years' War and Joan of Arc
THE FORMATION OF WESTERN EUROPE
The transformation of Elizabethan England into a modern power
France struggles under the Catholic monarchy
The failure of the French Revolution, the "reign of terror," and the
Dress rehearsal for Communism: 19th Century social revolutions
A DIFFERENT KIND OF REVOLUTION: AMERICA FORMS "A
MORE PERFECT UNION"
The ride of Paul Revere
Lafayette and the American-French alliance
No taxation without representation
Our Founding Fathers: George Washington
Our Founding Fathers: Thomas Jefferson
Our Founding Fathers: John Adams
Our Founding Fathers: Alexander Hamilton
Our Founding Fathers: Benjamin Franklin
AMERICA: WHERE SLAVERY CAME TO DIE
THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
Civil War time-line
Battle of Gettysburg
General Robert E. Lee
Ulysses S. Grant
President Abraham Lincoln
A MODERN WORLD POWER
"The man in the arena"
The Old West
The Industrial Revolution
William Jennings Bryan
President Theodore Roosevelt
THE AMERICAN CENTURY: A NEW KIND OF EMPIRE
World War I
Lawrence of Arabia
The fall of the Ottoman Empire: Lessons of the Middle East
The Russian Revolution
The "lost generation"
The Roaring '20s
The Great Depression
MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR CHRISTENDOM
Did FDR allow the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on purpose?
Adolf Hitler and the rise of Nazi Germany
The Zionist movement
The "four freedoms"
The gathering storm
The Battle of Britain
The Russian Front
The "rape of China"
Awakening the "sleeping giant"
Dealing with the devil
The eagle against the Sun
History is written by the winners
General George S. Patton, Jr.
General Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell
General Sir Bernard Law Montgomery
The "desert fox"
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
ASIA AND THE COMMUNIST MENACE
Berlin airlift and the Marshall Plan
George C. Marshall
Korean War time-line
The "forgotten war"
Harry S. Truman
The "soldier of Democracy"
Kennedy and Vietnam
The Kennedy's: American royalty
Lyndon Baines Johnson and Vietnam
LBJ: The conundrum
Vietnam and triangulated global diplomacy
John Lennon sang "Give peace a chance," and Southeast Asia
"imagined" Pol Pot
The age of Nixon
Henry Kissinger: "Dr. Strangelove", Republican Svengali, war criminal or diplomatic hero?
THE REAGAN THEORY
Time-line of the Cold War and Red Scare
Glossary of Cold War terminology
The gulags: Communism's holocaust
The Venona Papers
Eastern Europe under Stalinism
Democrat Communists sell out Eastern Europe
An interview with Alger Hiss
East German uprising of 1953
Hungarian revolt of 1956
Fall-out of the East German uprising in Poland and beyond
The "church of America": The CIA's covert action in Guatemala, 1954
Voices of the Left and not-so-Left
Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution
Bay of Pigs
Cuban Missile Crisis
Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971)
"The Right Stuff"
The nuclear "arms race"
The Cultural Revolution, 1966-76
Prague Spring: 1968
The after effects of Watergate: Détente; the appeasement of Jimmy Carter; the Cold War is "passé" on the Left; the Battle of the Third World; apartheid; the "eve of destruction"
The "church of America": Central Intelligence Agency and the Church Committee
Time-line of CIA covert ops, 1946-1984
South African Apartheid
Russia's "Vietnam": Afghanistan
Lech Walesa and Polish Solidarity
Glasnost, perestroika and Mikhail Gorbachev
Margaret Thatcher: Britain's "iron lady"
Ronald "Dutch" Reagan
Caspar W. Weinberger
President George Herbert Walker Bush
THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
American Gandhi: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
J. Edgar Hoover
THE MIDDLE EAST
Time-line of major events in Israel's modern history
1967 Six-Day War
1973 Yom Kippur War
Menachem Begin, sixth Prime Minister of Israel
Black September: Yasser Arafat's murderers kill Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics
The Iranian hostage crisis
1987 Palestinian Intifada and beyond
Persian Gulf War
WHY THE RIGHT GOES AFTER THE CLINTONS
Vince Foster's murder
The Clinton body count
Time-line of the Clinton Presidency
Clinton raises taxes; "don't ask, don't tell"; Waco, "Black Hawk
War in the post-Communist breakaway Republics
North Korean nuclear build-up
Newt Gingrich's Contract with America and the Republican
Revolution of 1994
1996 Clinton-Dole campaign
The Monica Lewinsky scandal
The Clinton legacy in the Middle East
The Internet boom, Elian, Clinton's pardons and Democrat
"The bitch is back": Is Hillary Clinton worse than Bill?
THE NEW WORLD ORDER
2000 Presidential election
America's Mayor: Rudy Giuliani
War on Terrorism: Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda
War on Terrorism: The Taliban and Al Qaeda
War on Terrorism: Afghanistan
War on Terrorism: Iraq
President George W. Bush
After terrorism, the next crusade: Africa
THE DOMINANT MEDIA CULTURE, AND THE EFFECT OF SPORTS ON AMERICAN SOCIETY
Hollywood and the McCarthy "backlash"
"Useful idiots" and liberal media bias
Are liberals less patriotic than conservatives?
Our National Pastimes
Apocalypse now? Drawing U.S. into world conflagration is
Arabs and distortions of history
Letter to George W. Bush
AIDS and the devil
The Kissinger doctrine: Self-interest and history are keys to
Middle East diplomacy
One man's take on a new kind of war
The American instinct
The truth about politicians
George W. Bush, the 2004 Presidential election, and G.O.P
The next war
G.O.P. policy: Taxes, small government, and other issues
America's Manifest Destiny: A new kind of empire
I boldly posed questions like, "Is it biased to say the New York Yankees are the greatest sports team of all time, or is that simply stating a fact?" My answer was the statement was not opinion, but fact backed by empirical evidence. I offered that same logic to my dissection of history. America is not hated, it is respected. It is the best country on Earth, just like the Yankees are the best sports team ever. But being the best does not generate love. Time after time, conservatism, Christianity and America have triumphed. This is not an accident or a trend. Rather, to state that this trinity represents the best hopes and aspirations of Mankind is not merely a biased opinion. Rather it is a simple, accurate description of events repeating themselves time after time.
If not for the U.S., I asserted, "the world would be one big concentration camp, with German, Soviet, Japanese and Chinese nuclear missiles exploding in the skies above us."
I completed this monumental work after laboring until midnight most nights through 2003. I was so caught up in it, I lost focus on whether I could ever hope to publish it. I was not able to. As with Angry White Male, it went no where. The fact it was a work of history few people on Earth were capable of compiling impressed nobody. It would have to be my own private monument to myself, to my own vanity. I was told without a PhD from a top university, I was not taken seriously. I was not.
In late February or early March of 2004, my phone rang. A man identified himself as a literary agent in New York City. If memory serves me correctly, his name was Scheinblum, or close to that. He was with Literary Artists, or some agency with a name like that.
In late 2003, the lid was blown off of the steroid abuse in baseball. Barry Bonds was immediately at its vortex. The FBI stung BALCO. Nothing would ever be the same. As Bonds’s biographer, I did some interviews. Did I know? I told them Skip Bayless told me to investigate the issue. I was under deadline, had a limited budget, and did not have the investigative power of the FBI.
This agent told me the issue was the hottest thing happening in the New York publishing world. Jose Canseco was working on a book about steroids. The biggest ticket going was a Bonds tell-all that got to the bottom of his steroid use.
“I read your Bonds biography,” this agent told me. “It seems that you’re a natural to write it.”
It sure seemed that way to me. He seemed to be a very competent fellow. He helped me craft a very good book proposal called Strike Three! It was focused heavily on Bonds, but promised to get to the bottom of steroid abuse by Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, other baseball players, and the history of steroid use in sports going back to the Soviet Union, the Olympics, amateur sports, football, and its spread to high schools.
We were in regular communication. Then suddenly he stopped returning my phone calls. My emails were not answered. My calls went straight to voicemail. I received zero communication. It was totally bizarre, so out of the blue I figured he must be sick or worse.
Then I read some place Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, investigative reporters of the San Francisco Chronicle, signed a lucrative deal with Gotham Books, a division of Penguin, to write a book about Barry Bonds and steroids. The BALCO case was being heard in a Federal courthouse in San Francisco. Fainaru-Wada and Williams were assigned as reporters. They were on top of the daily revelations coming out on Bonds, Greg Anderson, Victor Conte, BALCO, and a host of shady characters.
When my “agent,” Scheinblum or whatever the heck his name was, found out about Fainaru-Wada and Williams getting the big contract from Gotham/Penguin, he dropped the whole thing like a bad habit. His way of informing me of this was to pretend I lacked existence upon the crust of the Earth. I sent him an email stating, “You’re fired as my agent.” He actually emailed back, “I understand.” One other “agent,” if you could call him that, tried to get me a steroid book deal. He was a guy from L.A. who contacted me. He got me an offer of $2,000 from some tiny publisher I never heard of. A book like that required a tremendous amount of leg work. It would have cost me more than two grand in expense, probably in phone bills alone. I would have lost money. I told them no. That was the end of that. It was one of the low points of my life. At that point, I felt all the goodwill and momentum from Barry Bonds: Baseball’s Superman was lost and, worse, wasted by me in a series of bad choices. I had nobody to blame but myself. I was out of money from Bonds royalties. I seriously considered whether to keep writing.
In 2005 Juiced by Jose Canseco was a Best Seller. A year after that, Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, who landed the deal I did not, published one of the biggest sports books of all time.
In 2003 a shocking development occurred. If I ever felt down, I realized I still had it pretty good. My friends Kevin McCormack and Alex Jacobs told me Mickey Meister was homeless. This was nothing less than modern Shakespeare, a story so rife in irony as to be almost beyond credulity, yet somehow inevitable given Mick’s appetites for alcohol, drugs, sex and decadence.
He simply never grew up. He never matured. He never, as Paul’s letter to the Corinthians so aptly pointed, put away “childish things.” This development played itself out with bizarre twists over the next three years, some of which involved me. I ended up being inextricably linked with Mickey Meister in death just as was when we were the dynamic pitching combination leading the legendary 1977 Redwood Giants to ultimate high school glory, a national championship.
I decided to write about it. Why? “It’s what I do,” James Earl Jones said to Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. I wrote Mick was the greatest high school baseball pitcher in America in the late 1970s. Outside of Charles Scott, he must be ranked the best in Marin County Athletic League history. I wrote that in all of Marin’s high school graduating classes of 1979, the “most likely to succeed’ was Mick. Aside from athletic glory, he was a 6-5, 220-pound stud. Girls drooled over him while guys wanted to “bask in his sunshine.” He was an excellent student (without trying), gifted with the mind of a math genius (even though he used his skills mostly to count cards playing blackjack). He lived in a Ross mansion (even though it was rented and his parents were splitting up). Beyond all the glory was underlying trouble, but his future seemed so bright it did not appear to matter much.
From Redwood he went on to USC. He was “larger than life” on campus, a fact I saw with my own eyes. He was the Trojans’ ace as a sophomore, but faltered after that. He signed with the Seattle Mariners, but never made it to the big leagues. His drinking and lack of dedication brought him down.
Nevertheless, his life was seemingly “easy street” for the next two decades. He lived in San Jose. He was married several times. His wives and girlfriends were always beautiful. He cheated on all of them, moving from one hot girl to another.
We occasionally saw each other out. He looked great in 1995 or 1996, the last I saw of him, but I got regular reports on him from Mac until the 2000s. We all had email by then, so we were more plugged in. Mick was pleased to be mentioned in my Barry Bonds book. He was a contemporary of Barry’s who pitched against his Arizona State teams. This was mentioned in Bonds’s chapter on his college career.
He landed a job with Silicon Valley College as a counselor. He worked with technical people looking for placement. All I ever knew about this was he called McCormack constantly bragging how he pulled down $70,000 in salary but never did anything except play golf, go to bars, and carry on affairs with women.
“Some day he’s gonna get fired,” I said.
That day came in 2002 or 2003. My friend Don Rasmussen saw him at a Rolling Stones concert. He was shocked at his bedraggled appearance. Mac some him in 2003, saying he was unrecognizable. He had liver disease. Things fell apart in quick order. He ran out of money. He had no spiritual mooring. His father abandoned him. He had no back-up. His friends put him up. He wore out his welcome, spitting Copenhagen juice on the carpet, stealing money, and getting drunk. He was certainly not suitable to be around kids, which most of his friends had.
In November of 2003, his friends put him on a bus headed to Tyler, Texas. Some car dealer was willing to hire him there. I was not there, but from his ill health it seemed his friends put him on a bus so he could ride off into the sunset and die. I wrote a long essay I called “An American Tragedy.” It was published in American-Reporter.com under the name “The Kid Who Had It All.”
Mick read it, agreeing with his friend Raj Kohli, “I have to admit Travers is right. I guess I am ‘an American tragedy.’ Who would’ve guessed I’d end up like this?”
But Mick was still combative. He said I was “obsessed” with him because I wrote about him in Barry Bonds: Baseball’s Superman and now in this article. This failed to account for the fact I had by then written 15 scripts, one published book, two unpublished books, and hundreds of articles. I was not obsessed with him, but that was his view of himself. He believed everybody was in awe of him; that he was always the center of attention, that he “dominated.” He always had. He told Raj I was jealous of him because “I was a better pitcher and got all the women.”
He was a better pitcher in high school. By the time I was 21 or 22 I was better. He got all the girls in high school and continued to get them all his life. I had my share of experience with the opposite sex, however. I was by no means jealous of Mickey’s prowess.
The essay made its way like wildfire through Marin County and Redwood circles. I took a fair amount of heat for it. I was called “judgmental” for “not letting Mick live as he chose to live.” Many others felt it brilliantly captured a poignant story of Shakespearean tragedy. Whether anybody truly wishes to believe this or not, the fact is I wrote the essay as a Christian act. Knowing Mick lacked faith, I pointing out his lack of spiritual grounding at the heart of his troubles. It might jolt him into finding the Good Lord. In my heart I know this was my main motivation. I did not get rich off the piece. If I had I would have used some of it to help Mick.
The next three years were more bizarre. I kept getting strange emails. The crux of the emails was they came from people in Tyler, Texas. They were from “concerned friends” of different women all described as “unattractive . . . fat . . . not likely to find a man in her own.” In each case, the women in question hung out with a “man who calls himself Mickey.” Mick was a regular at TGIFridays in Tyler. He met these women every day during happy hour. They all had jobs and money. They paid for everything; food, alcohol. They agreed to a credit account whereby Mick ate and drank at TGIFridays even if they were not there. They came in, settling the account; $50, $100. Mick’s “job” selling cars ended almost immediately.
The friends of these “lonely heart’s club women” started Googling Mickey Meister. He claimed to have a Ph.D. from USC, to have been a Major League pitcher with the Seattle Mariners. Their Google searches invariably resulted in “The Kid Who Had It All,” datelined San Francisco, in American-Reporter.com by Steven Travers. My email address was at the bottom of the story.
I emailed back. The story was true. I advised these people to tell their women friends to stop giving Mick money because he was not a sincere character. I referred them to Alex Jacobs, Raj Kohli, Kevin McCormack and others who usually advised the same thing.
This went on for three years. In 2006 Mick’s cirrhosis of the liver became inoperable. He returned to the Bay Area to die. Incredibly, one of the Tyler women, who had to weigh 250 pounds, married him at the end. She convinced herself it was love. She accompanied him to California. It was a very sad spectacle. When he passed, I wrote a second essay on him for American-Reporter.com called “Mickey Meister Was My Friend.”
I re-hashed is life as in the first essay, adding the stories of women in Tyler, his apparent flim-flaming of them. This was not taken well by his “wife.’ She did not like the reference to her 250 pounds or the fact she was taken for a financial ride. She handled all the bills at the end. I heard Mick dipped deep into her money reserves. On the other hand, she was a grown woman. She chose to be with Mick, to spend her money on him. He made her feel good. She had memories she otherwise might not have.
But a further, very bizarre twist emerged. I was contacted by Mick’s ex-wife, Ida. She was a devout Christian. This made little sense to me. She quoted Bible passages to me, saying I “judged’ Mick. Therefore , too would be judged. She left Mick years earlier but obviously never got over him. He let his last “wife” stay with her at the end in Fremont. She also felt my reference to her weighing 250 pounds, concluding that was taken for a ride, was egregious. I took it in stride.
Then we had a memorial service for Mick. A few of his close friends gathered at the old Redwood High field. Al Endriss was there, along with Kevin McCormack, Raj Kohli, Alex Jacobs, Mark Moquin, Steve Hoffmire, and others. His “wife” was there. Yes, she weighed 250 pounds. I knew Mickey Meister very well. I felt badly for her. Mick was the most chauvinistic man I ever knew. The things he said about unattractive and overweight women were hideous. She would not believe this kind of thing about the man she loved. So be it. Ida was not there.
Each of us gathered on the pitcher’s mound telling Mickey Meister stories. I wore a “JESUS SAVES” t-shirt. It was actually a coincidence. I was planning to lift at the gym and it was in the “rotation” to be worn that day. I did want to convey the hope that Mick’s soul could be saved, though.
I thought about the poor girl from Texas who was there. I quoted Alfred Lord Tennyson for her: “ ’Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” I suppose a year or so of “excitement” with Mick, as charismatic a character as anybody ever knew, was better than what no doubt would have been boredom and tedium. I acknowledged that yes, Mick was a better pitcher than I was in high school. Yes, he got the girls. I said I admired him. I said he was a good teammate who was linked to me by position and size on a legendary team on the very field we stood on. I said he became a close friend at USC, where I knew many of his teammates and, therefore, a part of his life most of his pals were not as familiar with. I said I believed Jesus was Lord, and asked the others to pray that He have mercy on Mickey Meister’s soul so he might attain salvation.
I arranged for USC to have a “moment of silence” at a game at Dedeaux Field. I told Tim Tessalone to give out my name and contact info to field inquiries. A number of old teammates contacted me.
A day or so later Ida emailed me. She said she received a wonderful report on me. My “JESUS SAVES” t-shirt apparently was a big hit with the girl from Texas. I “redeemed” myself. Then the bizarre stuff began. Over the next year and a half at least, I had a number of books published. Ida began showing up at my book signings. She lived in Fremont. She traveled to San Jose, to the east bay, and to Marin. Ida was an attractive, quite wonderful woman. I could tell in her youth she was quite good looking, maybe even beautiful. Mick only went for great-looking girls. She was now older, but still attractive.
There is really no way to state this without coming out and stating it. The woman was obsessed with me. She sent me constant emails, telling Mick stories. She said at one point she thought he was “the devil.” She sent me photos. She constantly referred to how “handsome” I was, inviting me to dinner, to this event or that event.
Honestly, she might have been a great catch for me. She was very Christian and sweet, but something told me to move on. I responded to all her inquiries of a religious or other nature. She expressed great admiration for my intellect, calling me a “man of the mind,” but went overboard complimenting me. It became embarrassing. I politely declined her entreaties. I felt like she saw in me another tall right-handed pitcher from Redwood and USC, a “replica” of sorts of Mickey Meister. I just said a prayer for everybody until “this to shall pass.”
My Meister story also generated media interest. Fred Wallin had me on his show along with his partner, Chuck Hayes.
“Oh man, Mickey Meister,” Chuck said. “I was at USC with him. He had it goin’ on, brother. Women just loved that guy. I’ve been around pro sports my whole life. I think life is better being a USC baseball player than even playing in some big league towns. If you saw Mickey trolling with women at the old ‘Three-two,’ who could argue?”
When Rob Scoal lived in Los Angeles near me in 1997, he received no offers to work. “Here I am, back in my hometown after a long body of work in Europe, and nobody wants to know about it,” he said.
“Well, I bet you’re glad this year’s over,” I said to him on New Year’s Eve, 1998.
“No way,” he said. “This was a great year.” He said even though he did not get work in Hollywood, suffering financially, nevertheless it was a great opportunity to learn his craft in acting class, work on his music, make contacts, and grow.
I always learned a lot from Rob. This was no exception. So it was between 2002 and 2004, while I did not get any book deals, faced disappointment and financial hardship, this period presented one of great growth as a man and a writer.
I did a lot of freelance writing. The pay was not great but it kept me going. I wrote an article for Written By, the Writers Guild of America magazine, called “Make It Clear, and If There’s a Question . . . Ask.” Based on my problems with Dale Crase and Dennis Jarvis, it was helpful advice to writers avoid rights issues and other problems.
I approached Terry Jeffrey, the editor of Human Events magazine, one of the leading conservative publications in America. Jeffrey was a graduate of Marin Catholic High School and Princeton University. He managed Pat Buchanan’s 1996 Presidential campaign. I wrote an article for Human Events called “The Fall of a Great Newspaper.” It was all about how the once-revered L.A. Times allowed itself to become a liberal voice. In particular, they showed outlandish bias against Arnold Schwarzenegger in his Gubernatorial campaign of 2003. I was hoping this would lead to regular work with Human Events. It did not.
I wrote several articles for the Ross Valley Reporter. One was about the local Drake kids still coaching at UCLA. I wrote an article about Randy Johnson for Millionaire magazine. Those “millionaires” took about a million years to pay me a lousy $500. I became a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Two Cents” section. I appeared in a movie called The Californians. Directed by Marin resident Jonathan Parker, it starred Noah Wyle and Illeana Douglas. Set and filmed in Marin, it was about the clash between environmentalists and land developers, with a love story between Wyle (a developer) and Kate Mara (a liberal).
I write because . . . writer’s write. I wrote because I have to. I write for money, but sometimes when the money is not there, I write for passion. I am not one of those people who dresses up in black, hangs out at Starbucks or some cyber café, talking about writing. I rarely go to “writer’s conferences” or seminars. I get up every day and put my nose to the grindstone. I come up with a plan, a reason, a way to improve myself and my career from one day to the next. I do it every single day. I never get “writer’s block.” I never find an excuse not to write. It is just in me.
When 9/11 hit, and then the Iraq War, I wrote extensively of politics, history, and warfare. I have a good formal education, but a better self-taught one. By the 2000s, I was so well read, had obtained so much knowledge, I could tackle any subject within this genre. I consolidated my religious and political views, honing them to a fine point. I became extremely Christian, and in term very conservative and very patriotic. I saw myself as fulfilling a destiny set before me my God; to use the knowledge from a lifetime of experience, learning and books, promoting points I felt in my heart He wanted me to promote.
I freelanced for magazines, newspapers and web sites. In particular I wrote for American-Reporter.com and ModernConservative.com. Right after 9/11 I wrote an essay called “Apocalypse Now: Drawing U.S. Into World Conflagration May Be Terrorist’s Goal.” In this piece, I put forth the notion Islamic Jihadist’s knew they cannot defeat the West militarily, but felt that it was their duty to actually draw us into delivering nuclear weapons, thus leading to an Islamic Armageddon.
I wrote “Arabs and Distortions of History.” This was an essay going back to the Wahhabi movement within Islam, describing the militancy of the religion and its hi-jacking by those who felt it was not the “religion of peace,” but rather a racially superior ideology. Only Muslims were viewed as being worthy of living; all others were infidels who could be killed, or used for their purposes. This explained why rich Islamic oil sheiks employed blond prostitutes for their sexual needs. These women were not seen as fully human, and therefore could be de-filed. Muslim women needed to be revered. If they broke from Sharia law, however, they too were not fully human and could be killed. Finally, I outlined the 20th Century history of Muslims aligning themselves with Germany. First, the Turks tried to take over the world with Kaiser’s Germany in World War II. Second, the Arabs aligned themselves with Adolf Hitler because they viewed the Holocaust as “God’s work.”
“Truth, Lies and the American Divide” detailed the history of the Left and how they were always on the wrong side of it. The Left aligned themselves with Joseph Stalin and Communism, Margaret Sanger and the eugenics movement leading to the abortion genocide. They were always on the bad side of the moral equation, using lies and propaganda to hide their immoralities. The piece used the Alger Hiss-Whittaker Chambers affair as the point when the cultural divide became impossible to bridge.
“The Kissinger Doctrine” was my attempt to view the Middle East from a pragmatic, strategic point of view, as Henry Kissinger did, using the lessons of Klemens von Metternich, who helped create modern Europe after the fall of Napoleon.
“America’s Destiny and It’s Doctrine” was my view of how we needed to use the conflict in the Middle East to our advantage. “Terrorism Will Be Replaced by Democracy in the Middle East” proved to be semi-prophetic, in that we now see some form of Democratic politics in Afghanistan and Iraq. “One Man’s Take on a New Kind of War” was a more personal view of this new world we were engaged in after 9/11. “Left Needs to Get Their Story Straight” detailed a litany of lies by Democrats, a list too long to contemplate. “Bin Laden: the Gift That Keeps On Giving,” was about how Bin Laden’s drawing America into the conflagration proved to be a tremendous strategic mistake by terrorism. “Osama’s Mind” was my attempt to understand what Bin Laden tried to accomplish. I theorized Bin Laden thought all American Presidents were weak because of Bill Clinton, but had no idea George W. Bush would confront him as he did.
“Bush Should Win Nobel Prize” was my satirical take on terrorists and immoralists winning the stupid Swedish award. Bush created two Democratic nations out of societal debris. Barry Zito loved it. My “Proposed Speech for President George W. Bush” were all the things I really wanted him to say in response to the lies spewed about him. He was too classy to ever utter such remarks, but it sure felt good. “The American Instinct” was about the basic goodness of our character. “American Centuries: the 20th and the 21st” was an overview of our role as modern empire with a look to the future. “Democrats On Wrong Side of History Again” was a cutting essay detailing with pin-point accuracy why the Democrats were almost always wrong going back to the Civil War. “Conservatism Is the Winning Ideology of History” went back to Christ’s birth, describing how Christianity and conservatism slowly but surely were the cornerstones of Western global success. “The New Media” told how the liberals no longer were believable; conservative talk radio was now the dominant ethos pushing the body politic. “Liberal Media Bias Creates New Paradigm” endorsed similar themes.
“Why Is This Still News?” was my reaction to constant articles confirming George W. Bush won the 2000 Presidential election fair and square. After a consortium of newspapers ranging from the New York Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Miami Herald and others all concluded this, additional articles “confirmed” it. I thought it redundant, like running “news articles’ saying, “Investigation Concludes California Is State in Union,” or “It’s Official, American Won WWII.”
“Why the Right Goes After the Clintons” theorized conservatives knew the Monica Lewinsky scandal to be relatively minor, but felt the Clintons got away with murder in Arkansas and needed to be held accountable for something. Further essays called “Clinton Machiavellianism,” “The Clinton Agenda” and “What the Clintons Always Were” were variations on the same theme, all written while Hillary planned her run for the 2008 Presidential elections.
“Hell No, I’m Not Gonna Take It Anymore” was my reaction to a phone bill I received. I made a call from a pay phone using a calling card number. The phone company charged me $40 for a two-minute local call. I went to a cell phone after that. “Aids and the devil’ was my view of how evil works in our lives. “Cruz Bustamante and the Double Standard” was my reaction to a California Democrat in the legislature making a racist remark. He was given a pass. Had a Republican said it he would have been raked over the coals.
“Where Slavery Came to Die” was one of my most brilliant observations. I concluded slavery was a thriving institution existing for thousands of years. It was brought to our shores, preceding America. It could not survive America. Laws written by Americans, on American soil, ended the practice in America. When America killed slavery once and for all, it never returned anywhere. It did not end because we lost a war and had this “righteousness” imposed on us by a conqueror. It died because Americans of their own free will chose to end it at great cost.
“The Reagan Theory” was equally brilliant. Frankly I believe these two essays were too forward-thinking for most people to grasp. My concept was written after Reagan’s passing in 2004. It was based on the theory the U.S. fought World War III with the U.S.S.R. between 1983 and 1989 and won the war. In this imaginary war, the casualty figures of 60 million were the same as World War II, yet the results were exactly what actually happened between 1989 and 1991. The world would conclude it was “worth it.” Reagan accomplished it, as Margaret Thatcher so eloquently said, “Without firing a shot!”
“North vs. South: the Homogenization of California” was my observation of Golden State culture: sports, politics, society. After the 1992 Feinstein-Boxer elections, I felt the great “divide” between Northern California and Southern California was bridged in many way.
Further frustrated by the way he was portrayed, I wrote another speech called “President George W. Bush’s Speech on the Last Year and a Half of His Presidency.” He never took my advice. “McCain and the ‘Gang of 14’ ” concerned a deal U.S. Senator John McCain (R.-Arizona) made with the Democrats to pave the way for judicial nominees. “Memo to the Republican Party” warned the GOP they lost their way and would lose the 2006 Congressional mid-terms and the Presidency. I was right.
I tried to help McCain get elected, but the guy was hopeless. I wrote and delivered a speech for him to the Marin County Republican Party in 2008. Then I wrote a “Proposed John McCain Speech” for him in the fall of 2008, trying to get it to him through his friend, movie producer Lionel Chetwynd. It was an exercise in futility. During the campaign I wrote “America Is Not a Socialist County,” “The Better Angels of Our Nature,” and “The Obama Candidacy Could Be Referendum on Black America.” All tried to warn the United States from voting for Obama. I was John the Baptist, a lonely crier in the wilderness.
“The Truth Shall Make Us Free” was my first response to President Barack Obama’s election. “For the very first time in my life I have become pessimistic about America,” I wrote. “All my life I looked at the radical Left, the biased media, the unpatriotic Democrats, the Hollywood unimpressives; and I said, ‘That's okay, they're only hurting themselves.’ All my life I've been Right.” “The Enemy Within” was my alarming view Obama might be The Manchurian Candidate. “The Truth About Health Care” put the issue in historical perspective. I wrote throughout history, “health care” meant one got sick, it got worse, and they died. It was only when America came along, through capitalism and the pursuit of greater medical technology through the profit motive, that people really receieved “health care.”
I attended an event for California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. I knew him from the 1988 Christopher Cox for Congress campaign in Orange County. Chuck ran for the U.S. Senate. I wrote a piece called “Thine Eyes Have Seen the Future of Conservatism; Meet Chuck DeVore.”
I wrote an article called “Where Famous People Come From,” mainly how Los Angeles produces so many well known people in a wide variety of fields, listing certain schools –Taft High in Woodland Hills in particular – as graduating the most. I wrote an obituary to my uncle, “Col. Charles T. Travers: 1911-2005” and a “Tribute to Aunt Emmy” upon her passing.
Naturally, I tackled the sports genre in a big way. “The Wonder Teams” was about Cal’s 50-game unbeaten juggernaut of the early 1920s. “The Play” was about the 1982 Cal-Stanford game. “The Axe” was about the Cal-Stanford rivalry. “Ever Heard of Steve Dalkowski” was my take of the “world’s hardest-throwing pitcher” who succumbed to alcoholism. “Peeping Didn’t Start With Eagles Cheerleaders” followed on news of people spying on girls dressing in Philadelphia. It recalled how Dalkowski and Steve Barber drilled holes in Bo Belinsky’s wall to look at Miss Universe in a Miami Beach hotel.
“Johnny Grant Played For the Angels’ was about the infamous “Johnny Grant parties” where Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford partied when visiting L.A. in the 1960s. “All-Time California Prep Teams” was an off-shoot of the piece I wrote for Bill Dwyre and the L.A. Times at the end of 1999. It was printed in the Antelope Valley newspaper. “Bill King Has Just Been Elected King of the Otherworldly Broadcaster’s Wing of the Heavenly Hall of Fame” was my tribute to the A’s announcer after his passing. “Harm to the Game” Bonds or Rose’ appeared in the Alameda Newspaper Group’s papers, including the Oakland Tribune. It compared whether Pete Rose’s gambling or Barry Bonds’s steroid use hurt baseball worse. “Baseball and Politics Are Inter-Married” delved into the role of the game in public policy. “The Kid” was about Ted Williams.
“Prince Richard Could Snap the Curve Ball” was about my friend, soap opera star Rob Scoal, a former Pepperdine pitcher. “South Bay Product, Pepperdine Ballplayer Now A Soap Opera Star” followed up on that a couple years later. For some reason the Marin I.J. never wrote about the Scoals’ success, even though they were all Redwood kids who made good.
“A Man of Character, A Leader of Young Men, A Force of Nature” was the story of my own father, Don Travers, and his great influence as a high school track coach. That ran in American-Reporter.com. “The Poet of Venice” was the story of a peripatetic 1950s UCLA football star named Ronnie Knox.
“ ‘Hello, This is Darrell Royal’ ” was about University of Texas baseball coach Cliff Gustafson. It’s title came from the surprise phone call he received from the Longhorn legend and athletic director informing him he was hired for the job. “Coach of the 90s” was about LSU baseball coach Skip Bertman, who captured four College World series titles in the decade.
“Just Like Any Other Seven-Foot Black Millionaire Who Lives Next Door” was an obituary of Wilt Chamberlain based on the title of a book about him. “Playback: Buster Douglas Beats Mike Tyson” was a retrospective of the insane 1990 heavyweight boxing upset. “The Sports Movie Channel” was a piece I wrote and submitted to Leigh Steinberg; an idea for a cable TV channel. “The Golden Age of Sports” was about how the era in which I grew up as a fan in California had the best teams ever. “Lakers-Celtics Battle Is For History, Not Just One Season” preceded the 2008 NBA Finals.
I wrote a lot about USC, of course. “Coach of the Century” was about Rod Dedeaux. “USC, Notre Dame Dominate College Football, Sports History” made the case that the Trojans surpassed Notre Dame as the greatest collegiate football tradition ever by the mid-2000s. “Dynasty! Carroll Years” was about Pete Carroll. I wrote “Making the Case For USC’s National Championship,” advocating the Trojans, not LSU, should have been chosen for the BCS title game at the end of the 2007 campaign.
I wrote a lot of book and film reviews for ModernConservative.com, American-Reporter.com, and Amazon.com. Through my friend Steve Finefrock I became associated with the Hollywood Congress of Republicans, a group of conservative screenwriters and people in the movie industry. Through this connection I got to know Lionel Chetwynd, a top producer.
I was highly influenced by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. I had a connection with her. Even though she was an atheist of Jewish ethnicity, I identified with her conservative-libertarian views. I also saw parallels in our respective writing careers. She like myself started as a screenwriter. I believe this lent a certain amount of flair and drama to our writing, often absent among journalists who start out writing it straight. I believed this was why Jim Murray was so good, too. I called my review of Atlas Shrugged “A Powerful Book That Defined a Political Philosophy and Influenced Influential Minds.”
Her rival was equally influential to me. “From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: ‘To a gas chamber — go! . . .” wrote Whittaker Chambers in 1957. My review of Chambers’s Witness was called, “The Pure Dispensation of Truth.” I reviewed Jim Murray’s The Last of the Best. I called Treason author Ann Coulter the “H.L. Mencken of our time.” My reviews included God and Man At Yale by William F. Buckley, writing it “teaches us that campus radicalism did not begin during the Vietnam War.” I said of George W. Bush’s A Charge to Keep “Bush is an underrated ‘top gun” fighter jock.” Of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea I wrote, “The shark is a metaphor for life.”
Of Animal Farm I wrote, “George Orwell was a Socialist who came to see, in the years after Joe Stalin's crimes were known, that Communism was the new evil replacing Nazism in this world of ours. His story of animals, re-creating the Russian Revolution, sounds ridiculous until you read it. Read it! Then read it again. There are lessons in this book that are divinely inspired.”
Of Ronald Reagan’s Don't Let the Turkeys Get You Down I wrote, “Ronald Reagan was the greatest President of the 20th Century, on par with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.”
Harper’s Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird was “Courageous and Beautiful.” Allen Drury’s Advise and Consent was “Politics As Theatre.” “There is no denying John Steinbeck's brilliance . . .” I wrote. “I feel that his best work is East of Eden, but The Grapes of Wrath is a monumental work, probably the one that captures his political sensibilities.” I had no clue what Ulysses by James Joyce was all about. I called The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky “Politically Influential.” Don Quixote was “Like Being In a Time Capsule.”
I reviewed Bill’s Lee’s The Wrong Stuff, para-phrasing Lloyd Bentsen: “I knew Bill Lee. Bill Lee is a friend of mine . . .” Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 “may be the best political book ever written.” “George Hits A Homer” was my review of George Will’s Men At Work. Roger Angell’s Five Seasons was “just as good as The Summer Game.” Of Pat Jordan’s books (The Suitors of Spring, A False Spring) I wrote, “He Played the Game.” I wrote of William Safire’s Freedom, “History Does Not Repeat Itself, It Rhymes.” I enjoyed Colleen McCullough’s novel Caesar. I reviewed The Catcher Was A Spy about Moe Berg, writing, “A Real-life John Le Carre Character.”
Hillary Clinton’s It Takes a Village was “socialism.” Her alleged “vast right wing conspiracy” consisted, I wrote, “Of millions of patriotic American citizens who register and vote. They might also be called the Christian Coalition, the Silent Majority, or the people not invited to cocktail parties hosted by Pauline Kael.” Al Gores’s book elicited the title, “Seems Shaky.” Al Franken’s book Rush Limbaugh Is a big Fat Idiot received my review, “Is This Title Necessary?” I noted in Bob Woodward’s Iraq War book (Plan of Attack), "In 20 years, George W. Bush may be considered one of our greatest Presidents," as the author told a book-signing audience in Thousand Oaks, California.
Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer was a biographical novel of his years as an ex-pat in Paris. It led me to write, “Get This Man to a Church.” G. Gordon Liddy (Will) “drives the liberals as batty as Rush.” Chuck Yeager is “The Real Deal.” My review of The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe was called “Whose the Best Writer I Read? I’m reviewin’ Him, Baby.”
Of Left Behind I wrote, “I’m not gonna argue against this book.” I loved Michael Lewis’s Moneyball (“Baseball In the 21st Century”). I reviewed Mona Charen’s Useful Idiots. I felt John Reed’s Ten Days That Shook the World to be a pack of lies. I made a major point in reviewing Venona. “In 1943, the U.S. Navy intercepted word that Joseph Stalin was going to sue for a separate peace with Adolf Hitler,” I wrote. “They also discovered that Alger Hiss, a leading New Deal Democrat and top advisor to President Roosevelt, was a Soviet spy. In addition, numerous high-level Democrats in FDR's Administration were Soviet spies and ‘fellow travelers.’ They approached FDR, whose response was ‘(Deleted) off.’ The Navy, during this time of greatest national security threat, reached the conclusion that the Democrats could not be trusted! In response to this, they began the Venona Project, designed to read all the Soviet cable dispatches. Venona continued to confirm that the American government and society was rife with Soviet espionage from within.” I concluded that an American soldier defected to North Korea to live as a Communist in the early 1950s. He returned to the U.S. in 1996. Why? The title of my book review said it all: “To Vote For Bill Clinton.”
I reviewed Machiavelli’s The Prince, comparing him to both Clintons. I loved Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls (“The Lost Generation: There Is There There”), and Sun Tsu’s The Art of War. Of Bob Evans's The Kid Stays In the Picture, the film Swimming With Sharks, Bob Altman's The Player, and Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, all of which I reviewed together, I wrote, “Show Biz Is Not Business.” My favorite lines: “If the price is right, Grif . . .”, and “You can’t sleep your way to the top.”
“You Can’t Go Home again” reviewed Southern writers Thomas Wolfe and Erskine Caldwell. Danny Sugarman’s Wonderland Avenue was, “Rock’s Cautionary Tale.” The Doors was similar. The War of Algiers was, “A Very Powerful Cautionary Tale.” I quoted the Commie apparatchik in Dr. Zhivago (“It Is More . . . Just”). I reviewed Lawrence of Arabia (“There Is Gold In Aquaba”) and Vince Vaughn’s Made (“If I Was Gay I Could Get Laid On the Subway,” c’mon, cap’n) and Old School (“I’m Here For the Gang Bang”). The Sweet Smell of Success quoted Burt Lancaster; “An Apple Made of Arsenic.” John Milius’s Dirty Harry was “God’s Lonely man.” Lionel Chetwynd’s Hanoi Hilton review said Communism is “evil, evil, evil.”
The Missiles of October was “A barnburner.” I compared the good treatment JFK received in Thirteen Days with the way the press covered the Iran-Contra scandal. Three Kings was a “Back Hand Swipe At Bush 41”. Sinclair Lewis’s Elmer Gantry (one of Mickey Meister’s favorite flicks) was “A Parable For Corruption.” I called Wag the Dog a “Clinton Parody.” Murder at 1600 had me thinking about “Bill Clinton’s Crimes,” and whether somebody stole my idea from A Murderous Campaign. The Contender “tries to put down the Clinton investigation.” American History X had “A Powerful Message.” Band of Brothers was the “Greatest TV Show of All Time.” I liked Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking, but thought Tim Robbins was ridiculous in Arlington Road (“Those Right Wing Wackos”).
“After Tim McVeigh blew up the Oklahoma Federal Building, the Left went berserk, although their own Ted Kazcysnski (the Unabomber) beat them back,” I wrote. “What has emerged in the years since is that if a real bad guy looks like McVeigh, he does the ‘perp walk’ and is displayed for the cameras. If he is black, a black Muslim, or some such thing, he gets the hidden suspect treatment.” Robbins was a Right-wing wacko who plans to blow up the government. The message was that “the Right in this country is dominated by white racists who think nothing of killing many, because they are Fascists. It is heavy-handed and compared with truth fails miserably.”
Bob Roberts? “Pullease.” “Naturally Bad Congressman Was Republican” was about all I could say for Strip Tease. I thought Training Day was astonishing and “groundbreaking.” Saving Private Ryan was “gold.” So was Apollo 13 (“I’m Rootin’ For America”). John Milius’s Geronimo was “As Fair As Hollywood Gets.” Dances With Wolves was “Mythology.” Dave was written as a conservative movie. Hollywood changed it to a liberal one. Forrest Gump by USC alum Robert Zemeckis and my friend Winston Groom had a “Conservative Theme.” The Insider was “Way Overrated Hypocrisy” as far as I was concerned. Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ was “Stylized With Flaws and a Lot of Blasphemy.” Of his re-make of Cape Fear I warned the public has “Gotta Watch Out For All Those Christian Murderers.” In 1976, Scorsese directed Taxi Driver, starring Robert DeNiro. Calling this a "conservative" movie is a stretch, but it was a prescient one and “Scorsese’s Genius Is Obvious.”
Oliver Stone's work Any Given Sunday was the “Most Realistic Sports Movie Ever.” I said Nixon was “A Pleasant Surprise.” I also reviewed JKF, Born On the Fourth of July, Wall Street and asked, “Did John Kerry Advise Stone on Platoon?” I enjoyed Top Gun, and noted that the pornographer Larry Flynt (The People vs. Larry Flynt) was of course a Democrat. I thought The Killing Fields failed to recognize that it was the Communists who did the killing. Coming Home was “Horse Manure,” but The Deer Hunter was one of the best movies ever made.
I thought All the President’s Men to be irresistible to Robert Redford and the Democrats, then posited the myth, “Then Redford Made the Kennedy-Stole-1960-Election Movie.” Not. Three Days of the Condor was a “Great Film, Unimpressive Political Views.” The Way We Were was a clunker. The Candidate was “A Great Political Movie.” I was “Not Sure What Beatty Was Shooting For” in The Parallax View.
Marathon Man I wrote was one of the “greatest conspiracy movies ever made.” The Wind and the Lion was “a fabulous film that still holds up.” Red Dawn was “An Underrated Classic.” Chinatown “may be the best screenplay ever written, and The Godfather the “Greatest Movie Ever.”
All In the Family was “groundbreaking, and of the movie M*A"S*H" you “Gotta Hand It to Altman, Grudgingly.” Patton was the “Greatest War Film Ever.” “The Duke Has the Left Tied in Knots” with The Green Berets. “Steiger and Poitier at Their Heights of Power” In the Heat of the Night. To Sir With Love was “A Beautiful Film.” Fail Safe was “Liberalism in Hollywood and a Terrible Ending.” Marlon Brando starred in The Ugly American (“Great Political Thriller”). The Manchurian Candidate and Seven Days in May were John Frankenheimer classics. Paths to Glory, Spartacus “ended the Blacklist.” Dr. Strangelove was “Classic Kubrick.” Was Mr. Smith Goes to Washington “The Last Conservative Movie?”
Of Michael Moore – “the Leni Riefenstahl of the Left” - I asked, “Does one percent of truth make something 100 percent true?” I called The West Wing "The Left Wing.” All I could say about The Passion of the Christ is that affirmed for me the essential truth that “Jesus Is Lord.” I liked Charlie Wilson’s War, but in “You Can’t Fool Me,” I noted Hollywood only made it because he was a Democrat. “I Have Seen the Future of Hollywood. Their Names Are Logan and Noah Miller” was my review of Touching Home.
After I was let go by the San Francisco Examiner in 2001, I put together something called Steven Travers’ Journal. I sent out articles and essays I wrote over the years to a growing list of email addresses I cultivated and built. It reached some 13,000 or 14,000. I made Steven Travers’ Journal a regular effort until I became too busy with books in 2004-05. I credit it as one of the best things I ever did promoting my work, my writings and my career. The Washington Post even featured me in a piece about this new form of mass communications. When I published books, I was able to send out notices to this group with links to buy it at Amazon.com. I also used my Efax.com computerized fax system to send PR releases of my books to some 200 newspapers, magazines and media with one click.
I continued to write essays and blogs beyond the 2004 elections. As I wrote more books, I still “kept my hand in” when I had time. In 2004 I changed my email address from STWRITES@aol.com to USCSTEVE1@aol.com. In 2009 I acquired a brand new, cutting edge Apple/Mac computer. I was able to do things I never could do before. I briefly went on Facebook.com, but I did not much like that. I started my own web site at Redroom.com, linked to http://redroom.com/author/steven-robert-travers/. I started a Twitter account. I began to blog daily. I was able to post my interviews, links, reviews and every possible advertisement of my writing. My web page allowed me to become something of a brand in and of itself. It was the “new media.” I was on top of.
I gathered all the essays, articles, speeches, songs, and excerpts of books, screenplays, book proposals, and all other manner of my writing, into a single document called The Writer’s Life. Every single time I wrote something new I added to it. It is about 1,500 pages, serving the purpose of being a single repository of all my work categorized by chapters, making it easy to find, instead of searching my computer files. Its contents include:
Prologue: A Slice of the Writer's Life
1 Distant Replay
2 San Francisco Bay Area Sports
3 Prep Sports
4 Our National Pastime
5 Politics and History
6 Porn Stars
8 L.A. Sports
10 Fight On!
11 Barry Bonds: Baseball's Superman
12 Book and Film Reviews
13 College Baseball
14 It's All About Me
16 Ice Hockey
22 Track and Field
24 The Screenplays of Steven Travers
25 General Sports
26 Novel by Steven Travers
27 Books by Steven Travers
28 Songs of Steve Travers
29 A Woman's Point of View
30 All In the Family
31 Stage play by Steve Travers
32 Steven Travers On Sports Columns
35 Speeches by Steven Travers
36 Steven Travers' Resume/Biography
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism