Has It Been Years Since You Read A Novel You Cherish?

Remember the first time you read a favorite novel? Taking it to bed for a chapter…and staying up all night! Wishing it would never end…but knowing before it did that you’d read it again and again. It became yours, a part of you. Wouldn’t you love to find another novel like that?

A great novel journeys to new lands, distant times, and unforgettable characters. The story grabs you on page one and never lets go, ever

An Age of Giants

Almost every good, service, and technology you enjoy today had its roots in the Industrial Revolution. Long-haul railroads, telephones, electric lights, automobiles, airplanes, oil refining and mass production: a trove of exciting innovations…abundance and wealth the likes of which the world had never seen!

The era produced spellbinding stories, giant epics of larger-than-life men and women. You’ll have a front row seat! The Golden Pinnacle‘s Daniel Durand fights impossible odds and dangerous enemies on his journey from orphaned rags to Wall Street riches.

Endless Battles

Fresh from Civil War battles, Daniel must battle to win beautiful Eleanor’s hand. Her powerful father opposes both his marriage and business. In New York, the city that put the Gilded in the Gilded Age, Daniel builds a Wall Street empire. He finances industrial titans J.D. Rockefeller and J.J. Hill, and clashes with Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan.

A fascinating and engaging tale that weaves historical figures and events seamlessly into the life of Daniel Durand, an orphan and self-made man who throughout his life shows the strength of character and initiative to meet challenges head on with honesty and integrity.
bassplayer, Amazon reviewer

The Durand Family

Love compelling family sagas? Settle in with The Golden Pinnacle. One of Daniel’s most dangerous enemies is his own son! A ruthless dynasty uses him to uncover a secret that could send Daniel to the gallows. Eleanor’s steadfast belief in her son is his only chance of redemption…if it doesn’t destroy her marriage.

It will make you cheer, cringe and cry for characters you won’t soon forget.
Marshall Ellis, Amazon reviewer

Are You Tired of…

The same plots over and over again?
Stories that glorify human failings and depravity?
Authors who write by formula?
Boring, people-next-door characters?
Novels of no substance: intellectual bubblegum?

What Readers Say

Take it from regular readers, who thought so highly of The Golden Pinnacle they enthusiastically posted on Amazon.

I just finished the final chapter, and found myself moved to tears. This is a MUST READ for all who wonder what happened to the unflinching American spirit….
Let it inspire you as it did me.

I could hardly put this book down much like when I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. It draws you in, making you believe it was real and it may have been real. Completely enjoyed!
Ed Weaver

I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical novels. Not many are written for this time period, which made it doubly enjoyable.
Joanne M. Robbins

I have recommended this to many friends and all have thanked me.
Edmund Hasenjager

If I could give this book a 1000 star rating, I would. This is one of those books that clearly gets inside your mind and your soul…I found myself reading this book as slowly as I could just so it would last a bit longer. Can’t say I have ever done that before. My advice: when you decide to read this masterful piece of historical fiction, clear your schedule because you will not want to put this book down.
Curtis Dunne

Absolutely incredible.

Get Your Copy of this Great Novel Now!

You’ve been looking for something special. A novel you enjoy every page. One where you never forget the characters and their stories. You’ll cherish The Golden Pinnacle…forever.

The amazon paperback

The kindle Ebook

The nook ebook


He Said That? 3/16/18

From Victor Hugo (1802–1885), French poet, novelist, and dramatist of the Romantic movement:

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.

The Soundtrack Of This Age, by The Zman

Popular music usually reflects the mood of the era. By that barometer, our age is colorless and dreary. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

When I was a boy, my grandfather would tool around in his car listening to big band music or classical. The former was the music of his youth, while the latter was what he thought sophisticated people liked. He was not wrong about that. In his youth, the kind of music you could dance to was for proles, while the sophisticated people appreciated classical and opera. It was not as clear cut as that, but the early 20th century was a time when people still looked up for guidance and inspiration. That included entertainments.

The thing I always hated hearing from my grandfather was how modern music was terrible and not fit for civilized people. He was a man of his age and class, so he used colorful euphemisms to describe popular music. Even as a kid, I understood that every generation has their soundtrack. Maybe never having known anything but a world where pop culture dominated, this came naturally to me, while my grandfather still recalled an age before everyone had a radio and television. Maybe he knew things I couldn’t know.

Either way, I’ve always just assumed that once I passed my mid-20’s, pop music was no longer for me. Some stuff would be appealing, but most would be aimed at kids and strike me as simplistic and repetitive. There were some good bands in the 90’s that I liked, but most of it was not my thing. By the 2000’s, I was unable to name popular groups or the songs at the top of the charts. Today, I have not heard a single note from any song on the current top-40. On the other hand, I’m sure I’ve heard some version of all of it.

That may be why music sales have collapsed. A 15-year old can go on YouTube or Spotify and find fifty versions of the current pop hits, gong back before their parents were born. They can also find stuff from previous eras that was remarkably well done and performed by people with real talent. Justin Timberlake may be very talented as a singer, but no one is confusing him with Frank Sinatra. It’s simply a lot easier for young people to see that pop music is just manufactured pap from Acme Global Corp.

To continue reading: The Soundtrack Of This Age

The Oil Crisis That Can’t Be Stopped, by Nick Cunningham

As they always do, the socialists are usaying that the latest socialist disaster, Venezuela, is not “real” socialism. According to them, the world is still waiting for “real” socialism, which will be milk and honey for all. Meanwhile, Venezuela suffers from “unreal” socialism, and unreal inflation, unreal currency depreciation, unreal output reduction, and an unreal decline in the standard of living for the average Venezuelan. From Nick Cunningham at oilprice.com, via wolfstreet.com:

Venezuela is “suffering the worst economic depression ever recorded in Latin America.”

Venezuela’s oil production fell by another 52,000 bpd in February from a month earlier, according to OPEC’s secondary sources data.

That put Venezuela’s oil output at 1.548 mb/d for February, down 100,000 bpd since December, down 600,000 bpd from 2016, and down 1 mbd from 2004. Output will almost certainly continue to head south for the foreseeable future. The uncertainty, then, is only over how bad things might get.

“Production is collapsing in a way rarely seen in the absence of a war,” Francisco Monaldi, fellow in Latin American Energy at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, wrote in a new report published by the Atlantic Council. “The country is also suffering the worst economic depression ever recorded in Latin America.” GDP shrank by 16.5 percent in 2016 and 12 percent in 2017. The IMF predicts the economy will contract by another 15 percent this year.

The Atlantic Council report points out the roots of the country’s oil production problems. Former President Hugo Chavez sacked thousands of workers after a strike in 2003, decimating much of the company’s technical expertise. He partially nationalized some oil projects a few years later, leading to the exodus of ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips from the country. Meanwhile, revenues from state-owned PDVSA were diverted for social policies, which, while they helped reduce poverty, left little for the oil company to reinvest in its operations. Output eroded steadily over time.

‘Our Boys’: 50 Years After the My Lai Massacre, by Christian Appy

Eventually there was too much evidence for people to pretend that My Lai was anything but a slaughter of innocents. So those inclined to pretend just tried to forget. Fifty years later, it’s worthwhile to remember, question, and analyze. From Christian Appy at antiwar.com:

Excerpted from American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity

Americans, including GIs, were losing their once reflexive faith that the U.S. military, with all its skill and firepower, would prevail in Vietnam as it had so often throughout history. Also shattered was the faith that America’s fighting forces were inherently more virtuous than their enemies. The unraveling of that conviction began in earnest in 1969 with the revelation that American soldiers had murdered hundreds of unarmed and unresisting women, children, babies, and old men in the village of My Lai.

For many people, the shocking news came first in the form of several horrifying photographs. One shows almost two dozen dead Vietnamese bodies on a dirt road. Many have fallen in a twisted pile; some are partially naked. Another photograph shows a woman lying in a field with her legs drawn up under her body. Her conical straw hat has flipped off her head. If you look closely you can notice that a large portion of her brain lies exposed beneath the hat.

A third photograph shows a group of six Vietnamese women and children huddled together. At the center an old woman stands, stooped over, with a look of unspeakable terror on her face. Behind her a young woman clutches her around the waist with her head buried in the older woman’s shoulder. A young girl stands wide-eyed and openmouthed, with disheveled bangs. She is pressing into a balding woman, barely visible, who is lifting an arm over the head of the young girl, perhaps to embrace her. On the other side of the photograph, a young woman holding a small boy in one arm uses her free hand to button the bottom of her blouse. In some magazines and newspapers a caption tells readers that American soldiers are about to kill the people in the photograph. We are looking at the final seconds of their lives.

Some of the My Lai photographs were published first in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A few weeks later a larger selection was published in Life (December 5, 1969). Then they appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the world. They were taken by Ronald Haeberle, an army draftee who was sent to Vietnam as a military combat photographer. He had taken the pictures some twenty months earlier on March 16, 1968, while accompanying an infantry company from the Americal Division.

To continue reading: ‘Our Boys’: 50 Years After the My Lai Massacre

America’s Phony War Blitzkrieg Overseas, Sitzkrieg in the Homeland, by William J. Astore

The government and MIC don’t allow anyone on the home front to be inconvenienced by their wars. From William J. Astore at tomdispatch.com:

Overseas, the United States is engaged in real wars in which bombs are dropped, missiles are launched, and people (generally not Americans) are killed, wounded, uprooted, and displaced. Yet here at home, there’s nothing real about those wars.  Here, it’s phony war all the way. In the last 17 years of “forever war,” this nation hasn’t for one second been mobilized. Taxes are being cut instead of raised.  Wartime rationing is a faint memory from the World War II era.  No one is being required to sacrifice a thing.

Now, ask yourself a simple question: What sort of war requires no sacrifice?  What sort of war requires that almost no one in the country waging it take the slightest notice of it?

America’s conflicts in distant lands rumble on, even as individual attacks flash like lightning in our news feeds.  “Shock and awe” campaigns in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, initially celebrated as decisive and game changing, ultimately led nowhere.  Various “surges” produced much sound and fury, but missions were left decidedly unaccomplished.  More recent strikes by the Trump administration against a Syrian air base or the first use of the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal, the MOAB super-bomb, in Afghanistan flared brightly, only to fizzle even more quickly.  These versions of the German blitzkrieg-style attacks of World War II have been lightning assaults that promised much but in the end delivered little.  As these flashes of violence send America’s enemies of the moment (and nearby civilians) to early graves, the homeland (that’s us) slumbers.  Sounds of war, if heard at all, come from TV or video screens or Hollywood films in local multiplexes.

We are, in fact, kept isolated from Washington’s wars, even as America’s warriors traverse a remarkable expanse of the globe, from the Philippines through the Greater Middle East deep into Africa.  As conflicts flare and sputter, ramp up and down and up again, Americans have been placed in a form of behavioral lockdown.  Little more is expected of us than to be taxpaying spectators or, when it comes to the U.S. military, starry-eyed cheerleaders.  Most of the time, those conflicts are not just out of sight, but meant to be out of mind as well.  Rare exceptions are moments when our government asks us to mourn U.S. service members like Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, killed in an abortive raid President Trump ordered in Yemen in early 2017 in which children also died (though that was something just about no one here even noticed).  While the military has been deploying and striking on a global scale, we’ve been told from the very first moments of Washington’s self-proclaimed war on terror to go shopping or to Disney World and let the experts handle it.

To continue reading: America’s Phony War Blitzkrieg Overseas, Sitzkrieg in the Homeland


Acceptable Bigotry and Scapegoating of Russia, by Natylie Baldwin

Some groups cannot be disparaged in any way, shape, or form. For other groups, like white males and Russians, it’s open season. From Natylie Baldwin at consortiumnews.com:

Exclusive: The scapegoating of Russia has taken on an air of bigotry and ugliness, based largely on Cold War-era stereotypes. In this article, Natylie Baldwin counters this intolerance with some of her positive impressions having traveled the country extensively.

Over the last year and a half, Americans have been bombarded with the Gish Gallop claims of Russiagate. In that time, the most reckless comments have been made against the Russians in service of using that country as a scapegoat for problems in the United States that were coming to a head, which were the real reasons for Donald Trump’s upset victory in 2016.  It has even gotten to the point where irrational hatred against Russia is becoming normalized, with the usual organizations that like to warn of the pernicious consequences of bigotry silent.

The first time I realized how low things would likely get was when Ruth Marcus, deputy editor of the Washington Post, sent out the following tweet in March of 2017, squealing with delight at the thought of a new Cold War with the world’s other nuclear superpower: “So excited to be watching The Americans, throwback to a simpler time when everyone considered Russia the enemy. Even the president.”

Not only did Marcus’s comment imply that it was great for the U.S. to have an enemy, but it specifically implied that there was something particularly great about that enemy being Russia.

Since then, the public discourse has only gotten nastier. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – who notoriously perjured himself before Congress about warrantless spying on Americans – stated on Meet the Press last May that Russians were uniquely and “genetically” predisposed toward manipulative political activities.  If Clapper or anyone else in the public eye had made such a statement about Muslims, Arabs, Iranians, Jews, Israelis, Chinese or just about any other group, there would have been some push-back about the prejudice that it reflected and how it didn’t correspond with enlightened liberal values. But Clapper’s comment passed with hardly a peep of protest.

To continue reading: Acceptable Bigotry and Scapegoating of Russia