Monthly Archives: September 2017

ROBERT LUDLUM’S TOP SEVEN NOVELS: NUMBER FOUR

FOR BALLADEER’S BLOG’S SEVENTH PLACE LUDLUM NOVEL CLICK HERE 

Chancellor Manuscript4. THE CHANCELLOR MANUSCRIPT (1977)

TIME PERIOD: From shortly before J Edgar Hoover’s death in 1972 up to early 1973. The novel’s “what if” premise depicts the 77 year old FBI Director’s death as a planned assassination to prevent the Nixon White House from getting ahold of Hoover’s legendary files. (That’s NOT a spoiler – all that is made clear in the novel’s opening pages.)

Those files contain so much “raw meat” on powerful U.S. figures that we readers are told that whoever takes hold of said files will be able to rule the U.S. from behind the scenes by blackmailing the rich and the powerful.

The novel’s naïvete shows in that premise. I despise Hoover but I’ve always considered his abuses to be the EPITOME of the behavior of “the intelligence community” (LMAO), not an aberration from it. The accumulation of private information about people carries with it the implicit intent to USE that information against them. Of course, these days Zuckerberg and his fellow Corporate Fascists cheerfully help “the intelligence community” (LMFAO) spy on all of us. 

At any rate this is an escapist novel so the tale gets told in a simplistic “good guys vs bad guys” way, despite Ludlum’s attempts at a more nuanced approach.   

HERO: Peter Chancellor, an up and coming novelist who is part muckraker and part conspiracy hound. His successful espionage novels have not only made him rich but have caused minor public uproars over the kind of governmental abuses we take for granted these days but which were considered shocking in this novel’s time period.  

chancellor manuscript 3Chancellor’s notoriety also means he gets a lot of conspiracy kooks feeding him “tips” about supposedly real intrigues of varying degrees of believability. Hey, there was no Internet yet, so what do you expect?

Peter’s high public profile attracts a mysterious man who tries to convince him the recently deceased FBI Director J Edgar Hoover did not die of natural causes but was instead assassinated. Chancellor doesn’t believe it but considers the idea the perfect springboard for his next novel. 

Before long Peter’s background research makes him a target of so many threats and acts of violence that he wonders if the notion of Hoover being assassinated is as far-fetched as he at first thought.

VILLAINS: Typical of Ludlum’s later novels there are multiple groups of antagonists. The main villains remain a mystery until the end of the story so I won’t spoil the identity of the people who really are behind the successful theft of Hoover’s files.

chancellor manuscript 2Instead, I’ll deal with the secondary but more active villains: a group of high-level conspirators who go by the code name …

INVER BRASS – Though they fancy themselves a benevolent group, they’ve become more like oligarchs, begging the question: how are they any better than Hoover himself? This group seems roughly based on the high-placed members of President Franklin Roosevelt’s unofficial “Kitchen Cabinet for Intelligence Affairs” (aka The Room).  

All presidents have had such unofficial advisors who operate out of the spotlight and out of the headlines but Inver Brass and some of its members are modeled very specifically on known FDR associates who belonged to The Room. As you would expect, that makes them VERY old by the time the events in The Chancellor Manuscript take place. 

The members: Continue reading

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NICK LOWE: HALF A BOY AND HALF A MAN

Balladeer’s Blog strikes again with a segment of Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead! If you liked the sheer oddball appeal of The Prosthetic Forehead Song from awhile back then you’ll LOVE Nick Lowe’s combination of Buckwheat Zydecko and Buddy Holly. It’s Half a Boy and Half a Man!

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TRUMP: STILL UPSETTING THE CRIMINALS CALLED DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS

women for trump 2Here at Balladeer’s Blog I am STILL fascinated with the way that America’s de facto Third Party President Donald Trump has so infuriated the white-collar criminals of our country’s Third-World cesspool of corruption that pretends to be a government.

EVERY DAY THAT NEITHER JEB BUSH NOR HILLARY CLINTON ARE PRESIDENT IS A GREAT DAY!   

TRUMP’S MOVE TO ALLOW PEOPLE TO GO BACK TO BUYING THEIR INSURANCE IN STATES OTHER THAN THE ONE IN WHICH THEY RESIDE HAS BEEN A TREMENDOUS RELIEF TO WORKING-CLASS FAMILIES. (So naturally, BOTH the Democrats and Republicans IN OFFICE are outraged by it.)

women trump campaignWITH THAT DAMAGING BIT OF THE OBAMACARE DISASTER ADDRESSED, PRESIDENT TRUMP ONCE AGAIN MANEUVERED AROUND REPUBLICAN GARBAGE LIKE PAUL RYAN

ROY MOORE’S TRIUMPH ON TUESDAY SHOWS THAT TRUMP SUPPORTERS WILL EVEN DEFY THE DONALD HIMSELF IF HE STRAYS FROM HIS PROMISES (That is TERRIFIC since it proves that the Populist surge in the U.S. is deeper than just one man) 

WHILE DEMOCRATS (AKA LEFT-WING ARCHIE BUNKERS) CONTINUE WARRING ON AMERICA OF THE 1950s AND EARLIER THE REST OF THE COUNTRY CONTINUES MOVING INTO THE FUTURE

women-for-trumpTHE RECENT POLL THAT SHOWED MORE VOTERS CONSIDER THEMSELVES TRUMP SUPPORTERS THAN CONSIDER THEMSELVES REPUBLICANS – AND THAT INDEPENDENT VOTERS ARE INCREASING WHILE DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ARE DECREASING (I’m skeptical about polls especially after last year but the Royal Houses of DemCorp and RepubCorp fear them.) Continue reading

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IROQUOIS DEITIES: SIX MORE

2 Iroquois confederacyHere’s a look at six more deities of the various tribes in the Iroquois Confederation.

6. SHAGODIAQDANE – The Iroquois goddess of the summer. She was depicted as an old woman sitting cross-legged in the forest and she sang a song that only birds could hear and their own chirping and singing was considered to be their response to the goddess’ song.

As summer started to turn into autumn the entourage of the evil winter god Tawiskaron began to return. First the winter god’s nephews would race through the forests shooting trees with their ethereal arrows with flint heads, causing the leaves to die and fall from the trees. Continue reading

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CCCAA COLLEGE FOOTBALL RESULTS

San Mateo BulldogsNUMBER TWO TAKES A HARD FALL – The 6th ranked COLLEGE OF SAN MATEO BULLDOGS welcomed the number 2 team in the rankings – the BUTTE COLLEGE ROADRUNNERS. The Bulldogs were unimpressed, grabbing a 17-0 lead in the 1st Quarter and never looking back from there. In the end the College of San Mateo devastated the Roadrunners by a count of FIFTY-ONE to TWELVE! 

Saddleback_CAWHEN RANKED TEAMS CLASH – The number 5 SADDLEBACK COLLEGE GAUCHOS took the field against the 7th ranked EL CAMINO COLLEGE WARRIORS and defeated them in a 48-45 Instant Classic   ###    The (1) FULLERTON COLLEGE HORNETS beat perennial powers the (4) MOUNT SAN ANTONIO COLLEGE MOUNTIES 49-23   ###    And the (3) RIVERSIDE CITY COLLEGE TIGERS survived a 42-34 visit from the (12) VENTURA COLLEGE PIRATES.   

Bakersfield College RenegadesROAD RENEGADES – The (15) BAKERSFIELD COLLEGE RENEGADES traveled to face the LOS ANGELES HARBOR COLLEGE SEAHAWKS in this game. The Renegades led 14-6 to end the 1st Quarter but that expanded to a massive 34-6 advantage by Halftime. Bakersfield College coasted from there, crushing the Seahawks by a final score of 47-6. Continue reading

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BOB SEGER: ROCK ‘N’ ROLL NEVER FORGETS

Balladeer’s Blog’s segment Give Them A Shoutout Before They’re Dead has proven incredibly popular so here’s another round. This shoutout is for what I consider to be the most overlooked hit song from Bob Seger: Rock ‘N’ Roll Never Forgets.

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ASK BALLADEER: WHY THIS PARTICULAR WORD CHANGE?

Mascot FOUR original pics

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Here at Balladeer’s Blog I make no secret about the contempt I feel toward both of America’s major political parties. I also make no secret about the fact that I feel labels like “Liberal” and “Conservative” are becoming meaningless. 

Many of you readers have asked me why I’ve recently begun using the word “Democrat” in contexts where I used to use the words “American Liberal.” I started using Democrat instead because plenty of readers had made the point that many, many disillusioned American Liberals have – like myself and so many others – become disgusted and left the Democratic Party.

I’ve even linked to countless articles over the years by people who came to feel the same way about how the Left has become a collection of cowardly hypocrites, pompous snobs and hilariously pretentious asses – especially the increasingly irrational Left-Wing Archie Bunkers who pretend to be “educators” (LMAO) but are really just Voter Recruiters for the Democrats.  

Anyway, I felt that those readers were right and so I switched to using “Democrats” instead of “American Liberals.” Feel free to weigh in if you feel I should switch back to using the word “Liberals” instead of “Democrats”. I’m always interested in the opinions of readers here.

 

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