OR Tex Graves

My experience in writing these books has been cathartic and interesting.

Chapter 19 -- Letting Go


Another free excerpt from my novel: "Letting Go"

Chapter 19
Vasquez’s Interrogation
The plane trip from Albuquerque, took just a little more than an hour. By then Rachael had received replies back from the teams in Chicago. 

The intel group that Wilkens described all panned out. 

“I think we have everything we need to cook Vasquez," Rachael said. 
Jack chuckled, “Yeah, I can’t wait to see his face when you play that for him.” 

As the plane landed at a little private strip in Sonora, Texas, Rachael looked over at Jack, “How are you holding up on clothes?”

“I’m good for another day, after that I might start to get a little ripe,” Jack said.

“I know what you mean. If this lasts another day I may need to get to a local store just for a little underwear.” 

“We have Vasquez under wraps, right?” Jack asked.

“Yeah. He’s tight as a snare drum. He thinks there’s a contract out on his life so he’s assuming the people around his house are there to protect him from an assassin,” Rachael replied.

“So is he moving around, making phone calls and such?” 

“I’m not so sure of that. We’ll need to ask the agent in charge when we get there,” Rachael replied. 

“It would be great if he had been making phone calls to some key people and we were able to get them on record.” 

“Well, if he’s making any phone calls, we have them recorded. In fact, we're recording his wife and anyone else who makes a phone call. If he peeps a word to anyone, we’ll have it, and we’ll use it to fry his ass.”
There wasn’t even a hangar at the air strip. When they landed, the jet taxied to the end of the runway, turned into an apron area and stopped.

 Rachael and Jack transferred to the waiting FBI car and headed for the Vasquez ranch. While in route, Rachael got the driver’s attention. 

“Has he been making any kind of phone calls?”

“Just routine stuff, his staff at his district headquarters and in DC. Wife and kids just talked to family and friends.”

The ranch was just under a thousand acres, very secluded, in a lot of hills. The hacienda style house was built in an area with hills on the back and both sides. A dry creek bed crossed about 300 yards in front of it. Scrub mesquite and the odd scrub oak tree filled the area around the sides and back of the house. There was just enough of a clearing in front to land the two helicopters that were used to deliver the security detail.

When Jack saw the two helicopters and all the support trucks, he said, “He had to be thinking he was being invaded or something.”

The car pulled up to the front door of the house. Jack and Rachael got out and walked toward the door. Rachael had the scene all worked out in her head and she was ready. As they approached, the guard at the front opened the door and they walked in. Immediately, Vasquez’s wife strode toward Jack. “Are you the agent in charge of all this? I demand to know what’s going on! Nobody’s told us anything and—”

“Stop right there!" Rachael said. "I’m Senior Agent Rachael Lancaster of the FBI. I’m the one who will be asking questions and demanding answers. This man is Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Chicago, Jack Anderson. We're working this case together.”

“Chicago?" Mrs. Vasquez looked from Rachael to Jack, then back. "I don’t understand. What’s going on?” 

“All in due time, Mrs. Vasquez,” Rachael said, as she looked around. 
Hector Vasquez was coming out of the living room to see who had arrived. 

"Now see here, agent, I am—"

“Wait, Senator! Don’t say a word!” She looked at Mrs. Vasquez. “Those children over there... please have someone take them out of the room. What I have to say will not be for their ears."

Then she looked at Hector, “I just want you and Mrs. Vasquez present. We have a lot to talk about.”

Mrs. Vasquez was indignant. “Who are you, to be ordering us around in our own house?” 

“As I said before, Mrs. Vasquez, I’m the agent in charge. Now get the children out of here!” 

Mrs. Vasquez signaled to her maid, and the woman removed the children.

Rachael forced a smile. “Now, let’s go sit in the living room, shall we?” 
Hector and Mrs. Vasquez followed and situated themselves on the couch. Hector said, "Now, I need to know—" 

“Wait.” Again, Rachael held up her hand. She pulled a recorder out of her purse, turned it on, and set it near Hector. Then she pulled a card from her purse. “Hector Vasquez, you are under arrest for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and drug trafficking for starters." She began reading his Miranda rights from the card as his eyes grew wide. When he stood up, she raised one hand and continued reading. She finished with, "Do you understand your rights as I've read them to you?”

He glared at her. “Who do you think you’re talking to? I'm a sitting senator!” 

Mrs. Vasquez looked at Rachael. “What are you doing? My husband is no criminal!”

Rachael gave Mrs. Vasquez a stern look then returned her gaze to Hector. “All this falls under the auspices of the Patriot Act. Those rules will apply to the conduct of these proceedings and your rights from here on out. Do you understand that?” Rachael asked.
Vasquez was still in shock. He couldn’t respond.

Rachael pulled a folded letter from her purse. “This is a search warrant for your entire house and all its contents; everyone in the house; everyone’s computer; and everyone’s cell phone... in short, everything!”

Mrs. Vasquez was livid. She stood up. "We don’t have to take this! We have rights in this nation! You can't just—"

"Please stop," Rachael said calmly. “Okay, Mrs. Vasquez, this is why we're here. You're aware of the assassination of John Maynard, right?” 

“Yes, of course,” Mrs. Vasquez replied.

“Okay.” Rachael reached into her pocket and pulled out a second recorder. She turned it on, set it on the table, and sat back and watched the faces of Hector and Mrs. Vasquez turn from indignant rage to pale disbelief.

Mrs. Vasquez knew immediately the voice on the recorder was her husband’s. She listened intently. About halfway through the recording when Viscado confirmed that Maynard would be shot, Mrs. Vasquez turned to Hector and slapped him so hard that even Jack winced. “You are not the man I married!”

After the recording finished, Rachael turned it off and looked at Vasquez. “Before you say a word, you need to know I was the agent who knelt in Maynard’s blood in an effort to console Mrs. Maynard. It was a horrible scene. Mrs. Maynard had blood on both her hands, her knees and all over her chest where she cradled his shattered head. She’s been sedated ever since and is still under a doctor's care. Now, do you understand that you have the right to remain silent?”

Hector was in shock. He just sat there, head hanging low, trying to figure out how this all came about. He was unable to reply.
Incensed, Rachael slapped the coffee table. “Damn you, bastard! Answer the question!”

Hector snapped his head up. “Yes... yes, I understand. That’s all I can say.” 

Then Rachael continued, “I am being civil to you only out of courtesy for your family and respect for your title, which you do not deserve and will soon no longer have. You are isolated now, alone. No one will stand with you except your wife, maybe, and your lawyer.

“What you did demands the death penalty. I will push the prosecution to make sure that the death penalty stays on the table. If you want to avoid that fate, and if you have an ounce of decency left, you will tell us everything, especially who you are working for and who else is involved.”

Rachael didn’t wait for Hector’s reply. She looked up at the lead agent who was standing behind Hector. “Start the search. First clear the house of any weapons. Then gather up all the cell phones and computers in the house, even the ones that belong to the kids. I want it all processed for possible communications to his fellow conspirators. If you find anything, I want it transcribed immediately.”

Then Rachael looked over at Mrs. Vasquez, who was a quivering mess. “Mrs. Vasquez, you need to pull yourself together for your children. They're going to need you more than ever right now. Please go with this agent and assist him by pointing out any weapons and then help him gather all the cell phones and computers. It will be easier if you get all those items rather than the agent having to confiscate them.”

Mrs. Vasquez nodded. She got up and left the room with the agent.
When she left, Rachael turned her attention back to Hector. “I'm going to ask you a lot of questions. Do you want your lawyer here?”

Hector lifted his head as if he wanted to say something, but his voice seemed frozen.

Jack glared at him. “Senator, I'm trying very hard to be civil. Now the agent asked you a question. Are you going to respond or are you going to die by lethal injection?”

With a look of resignation, he whimpered, “I’ll talk.” 
“Louder, for the recorder,” Rachael yelled.

“I’ll talk!”

Rachel said, “Do you need to go to the bathroom or anything?”

“No,” Hector replied.

“Okay, then let's begin,” Rachael said. “Hector Vasquez, how long have you been taking bribes from Jessie Viscado?” 

Hector looked up, surprised at how direct the questions were. He hesitated. 

Rachael said, “Don’t test me on this, Vasquez! One lie, one incomplete answer, anything misleading, and I'll be pushing the prosecutor to put you in the death chamber!”

Hector looked at the floor. “Five years.” 

“What were the arrangements for your bribes?” 

“I got a base of $100,000 per year. For each vote, I got another $20,000.”

“Vote for what?” 

“All Viscado was interested in was the border fence. Every time a vote for the border fence came up, in committee or on the floor, I was supposed to vote no.” 

“How many times did a vote come up?” Rachael asked.
Hector shrugged. “About 20 or 25 times... I can’t be sure.” 

“So over the course of the five years that you were taking bribes you got about $1 million. Is that right?”

“About,” Hector replied.

“Where’s that money now?”

“A lot of it is here. You're looking at it." He gestured with his arms. 

“This ranch, this house.” 

“And what’s not here? Where’s that money?”

“Viscado gave me the name of a very secure offshore bank. I opened an account there.” 

“How much is there?” Rachael asked.

“About a million two.”

“What?” Rachael shot back. “You said that there was a total of about one million and that a lot of it was in the property. Where did the other money come from?” Rachael demanded.

“There were other bribes,” Hector said matter-of-factly. 

“Give me the name of the bank, the routing numbers, the bank account number and anything else I need to get into the account,” Rachael said as she slapped a note pad and pen on to the table.

“Only I can get into the account. Part of the security is a voice recognition system.” 

“Well, we have your voice, don’t we Hector?” Rachael shot back sarcastically.

He scribbled the bank information on the pad.

When he was finished, Rachael picked up the pad and gave it to one of the agents standing behind Vasquez. “Have this checked out. If you can get in, transfer the money to a secure U.S. bank. If he's lying, come back and tell me.” Rachael looked at Hector. “The longer you talk, the longer you live. Do not doubt me! Now, who else is giving you bribes?”

“Blue Skies Forever,” Hector replied.


“It’s a lobbying group in Washington. They front as being tree huggers and doing everything environmental, but they wanted me to vote no on every environmental vote that came up.” 

Jack asked, “How much did you take from them?” 

“About $ 700,000 in all,” Hector replied.

“And is that money in the same account that you gave us before?” Rachael asked.


Jack asked, “And who leads that group?” 

“Jackson Price. He’s a real scum bag. Actually, he’s the one who blackmailed me into doing this with Viscado. Since I was taking bribes from him, he threatened to expose me if I refused to cooperate.”

“And who does Price work for?” Rachael asked.

“I don’t know. That was always kept secret,” Hector replied.

“Back to Viscado,” Jack said. “Whose idea was it to get Blanchard?”

“Who’s Blanchard?” Hector replied.

“He’s the guy who shot Maynard.”

“Must have been Viscado. I have no knowledge of Blanchard. I don't have those types of contacts. I wouldn’t have been able to execute that type of thing. I just put pressure on Viscado to have it done,” Hector replied.

Rachael asked, “So Viscado had no axe to grind with Maynard either? 

He was just forced to do this job?” 


Jack asked, “So it was Price who told you to get Viscado to execute 



“As best as I can tell, Maynard represented some kind of threat to someone up the line. I couldn’t tell what the threat was though,” Hector replied.

“Do you have a business card for Jackson Price?” Rachael asked.

“Yes. It’s in my briefcase in the study,” Hector replied.
Rachael glanced at one of the agents and in an instant he was gone. A moment later, he returned with the briefcase and handed it to Rachael. She opened Hector’s brief case and found a portable Rolodex. She opened it and found Price’s business card. 

“Okay. I need to make a phone call. When I get back, we’ll pick up where we left off.” Rachael said. She looked at one of the agents. “I want him in cuffs all the time.”

By this time, Mrs. Vasquez had returned with the agent who was executing the search warrant. Rachael turned to her. “You can’t have any further contact with your husband for now, and I would advise that you keep your children away also. It’s not my intent to traumatize them. We’ll be keeping your husband in the study while we're here. There will be two guards in the room and a guard at the door leading to the room. No one will be allowed to enter except those involved in the investigation."

Mrs. Vasquez nodded then said, “I have family nearby. Can I take my children and go to them?”

“I wish I could let you do that, but I can’t afford any leaks. You and your children will remain in protective custody for right now. If everything goes well, I'll be finished in two or three days. Then you can go wherever you want. Until then you'll have to make do with being in or around the house.” 

Mrs. Vasquez nodded again then left to be with her children.
Jack asked, “Can Bill have Price picked up in DC?” 

“That’s just who I’m calling right now,” Rachael said as she pushed a number on her speed dial.

“Bill Weston here.”
“Boss, Hector gave up an accomplice in DC.” 

“Who is he?” 

“Jackson Price. He runs a PAC in DC called Blue Skies Forever,” Rachael said. “I’d like the full package on this guy. He's the one who ordered Hector to get Viscado to hit Maynard.” 

“Okay. Do you have a recording that you can send me, something I can show the judge for probable cause?”

“Sure. It’ll be there as soon as I hang up.” Weston said, “I have to wonder who's funding Blue Skies and what kind of clout they have to want to pull off something like this.” 

“I’ll bet you’re just the guy to find all that out,” Rachael said. “I scanned his business card and will include it in the package I send to you.”

“Thanks, Rachael, and good work,” Weston said.

“Thanks, Boss. You’ll keep me posted, right?” Rachael asked.

“Hey, it's your case. I have to go now. Talk to you later.” Weston hung up the phone.

“There are two more people involved that we need to get,” Jack said.
“Who’s that?”

“The guy who's fronting Price the money for Blue Skies, and Blanchard,” Jack replied. "And I sure would like to hear from Homeland Security.” 

Fusion energy



 My Passion in life is FUSION ENERGY. It has the ability to transform society (In a good way) and the world. Yet hardly anything ever gets mentioned about it. 

Ever since the U.S. created the first thermo nuclear bomb (FUSION or Hydrogen Bomb), we knew that if we could come up with a way to sustain the reaction we would have an inexhaustible source of clean, abundant, cheap energy.

Let’s take a moment for a brief history lesson. In the late 1890’s and early 1900’s, mankind started down the path of trying to understand the atom. The ‘Madam Curies’ of the world did all the basic research and theorizing. They made simple cyclotrons and discovered the awesome power contained in the atom.  Left to their own devices, the scientists would have eventually discovered how to make a bomb.

However, World War II came a long and things changed dramatically.
There were a handful of countries that had small programs, US, Germany, U.S.S.R., and even Japan had an interest. Most notably though, if Germany had decided earlier to focus on atomic energy we would have all been speaking German today. 

The U.S. did decide to focus on atomic power. With our own intellectuals and the brain drain from Germany, we did engineer a ‘bomb’. 

The U.S. did it by putting an army of scientists and engineers in a secluded place (mostly Los Alamos, N.M.) and did not let them out until they got it right. (Fission bomb--Hiroshima and Nagasaki) 

The next step was the fusion or thermo-nuclear or hydrogen bomb. This took place in the second half of the 1940’s. We can now even build neutron bombs that only kill people and save the buildings.
Again, ever since the mid to late 1940’s the U.S. has been doing theoretical science and engineering studies trying to figure out how to build a functional Fusion energy device that can sustain the fusion process. 

Today we are at the same place that Madam Curie was in the late 30’s. Most of the basic engineering has been accomplished.

There are several scientific projects out there that are working on fusion. These projects are at the top of the list:

1) Lawrence Livermore National Labs/National Ignition Facility: Located in Livermore California, near Sacramento. The NIF is located within LLNL.

Go to Lawrence Livermore National Labs here: www.llnl.gov 
Go directly to the National Ignition Facility here:https://lasers.llnl.gov 

2) J.E.T. (Joint European Torus) Located in Culham, Oxfordshire, England.

Here is the latest, most comprehensive article about this project and fusion in general. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-27138087 

3) Igniter: Russian-Italian project located near Moscow. Here is an early article on this project:


There is a very interesting comment in the last paragraph of this article:  “…As a result, Igniter can only sustain ignition for bursts of four seconds…” This means that back in 2010 it was working. It was just getting too hot, a cooling problem.

4) I.T.E.R.: International Thermal Energy Research. Located in Cadarache, France. ITER is probably ‘The buzz word’ of fusion energy in the world today. Not necessarily the best project and not without debate.

You can visit ITER here: http://www.iter.org/ 

There are others to be sure. As you can see, there is a lot going on in the world of fusion energy. Why haven’t you ever heard about it? We should all start asking that and similar questions, and demanding straight answers.

The U.S. is such great country. We are capable of doing so much. However, we are distracted and bogged down by so many things. One of those things is big oil, and its related corruption. 

Only in America could we put an army of engineers together to build the first nuclear bomb. Only in America could we put an army of engineers together to send a man to the Moon and return him safely.

Isn’t it time that we put an army of engineers together to break down that last barriers to fusion energy, and build the first Fusion electric generation plants of the world? America could do it. The Basic engineering has been done. 

Imagine the following:
1) Cheap electrical energy, nationwide means robust industrial growth. 
2) Robust industrial growth means more jobs.
3) National energy independence. No more oil imports.
4) Lower oil demand means reduced or in some case eliminated war/terrorist activities world wide.
5) No drilling in A.N.W.R.
6) No more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
7) No more fossil fuel or fission type electric generation plants, and associated green house gases, and storage problems.
8) No more brownouts and outages.
9) High tech jobs.
10) Spin off jobs and technology.
11) The list goes on.

Fusion energy is a quintessentially good thing for America. It is good for everyone, everything, and all groups. There is no down side. You can’t even use it for evil. The H-bomb, from which it was derived, has already been developed.

I can imagine that, as I am telling you this, there is an army of choirs singing ‘nay’, ‘no’ ‘never!’

That is not surprising. Do a Google search on the following: “Groups against…..” Insert whatever environmental nasty you want, you will find a group against it.

Note: The Senate Appropriations committee just voted to have the US with draw from the ITER project. Why?

What is surprising is that all the environmentalists, environmental groups, and good thinking people in general, are not picking up on fusion energy as a solution to many of our environmental woes.

Every environmentalist, environmental group, every citizen should be taking the names of every politician saying ‘no’. Hold the politicians accountable for saying ‘no’, and expose their hidden agenda for saying ‘no’. Don’t let it go.
Show less
"Ask the right questions...Demand the full answer!


The senate wants to block ITER



Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Been on vacation with the grand kids. Lots of fun. 
Here's an article though that I just came across. Makes you want to ask a lot of questions!!!


Kevin CliftDiscussion  -  Jun 28, 2014 #Senate   ITER Funding


The US house and senate squabble over www.iter.org funding.


Senate appropriators approved a bill last week that would order the US to withdraw from ITER, the international effort to build a fusion test reactor in France. The move sets up a confrontation with House counterparts, who added $75 million to the Obama administration’s $150 million request for the project in fiscal year 2015. The Senate measure, approved on 17 June by the subcommittee on energy and water development, would allow just $75 million to pay for contracts that have already been signed with US industry to build and ship ITER components.


I want to take the time to thank Mr. Clift for this very enlightening article. It comes from a community on G+.


This is a shining example of what I’ve been talking about for the last few months, Big Oil, Political Corruption, and a solution to our energy problems…World Wide!


The Senate appropriations committee wants the US to with draw from ITER! To some it may seem that ITER is a big waste of time. However, unless you are going to start a program to unilaterally develop fusion energy and fast track the project here in the US, then ITER is one of our best hopes to get fusion energy in this century. There are others to be sure, but none have the backing that ITER has.


So why does the Senate want the US to withdraw from the project? To save money for the budget? I promise you, Big Oil contributions to those politicians are mixed in there somewhere. 


What contributions are being made by Big Oil to the politicians that sit on the appropriations committee?


What big oil companies are making the contributions? Are they foreign Big oil companies? Probably.


Who stands to lose if FUSION energy becomes common place? Big oil and other fossil fuels.


Keep in mind that one Fusion energy plant has the potential to output the energy of several nuclear plants and be 99.999% clean. 


Now, if you’re a climate fanatic, why aren’t you taking this and screaming at your politicians to get fusion energy going?

Darryn Red Horse


The story behind Darryn Red Horse
I have a small story to tell about my ancestry and my link to the Native American community.

It’s not about my family tree, although I am told that I am about ¼ Blackfoot. I can’t prove it. The circumstances of that linage are less than honorable if you know what I mean. I tried looking it up, but alas, there are no records.

I do have a small story that I am absolutely sure about though.
Several years ago I was visiting the Four Corners region of the United States with my wife. This is the place where so many westerns were made into movies, John Wayne of note.

If you go to the main entrance you will find that it is owned and operated by Native Americans, Navajo I think. One of the many entertainment offerings is personalized site seeing tours of the many sand stone monoliths conducted by a local Native American.

We signed up, took the tour, the guide was great. His last name was Red Horse.

These men work for tips. When the tour was over I reached into my wallet to give the man his tip…Yikes! I had not cash. I was so embarrassed.
I tried to explain. The man was nice about it, but I could see the righteous disappointment in his face.

We made a point to come back the next day. Still embarrassed, I sought out Red Horse and paid the man his due. He was gracious, gave a small smile and thanked me. I could see that he was still bothered.

There are other small details, but the gist of the story is that because I wasn’t prepared I caused a lot of embarrassment and anguish. Even though I did pay the man it still wasn’t the same. The man had been slighted and that wasn’t right.

It was right after that trip that I sat down and started writing my first novel, Letting Go. One of the characters in that novel is Darryn Red Horse. (Fictional Character) Darryn plays a pivotal role in the story. It was a conscious effort on my part to give the Native American community credit for the role that they have played in my life.

A couple little side notes here. The Navajo were instrumental in WWII as communications men. I think the movie was “Wind Talkers.” 

Also, just outside of Brackettville, Tx. is a place called Seminole Cemetery. It only has about two hundred graves marker. It dates back to the mid 1800’s, to the time when the Seminole Indians fled Florida for racial persecution. They ended up in this area of the country and worked as scouts for the US Calvary. There are four particular grave markers there that are of interest. It seems that, even though they were persecuted in Florida, four of these Native American Seminole Indians distinguished themselves. They still had the strength of character to do the right things when called upon. These four men earned the Congressional Medal of Honor (CMH) on the field of battle, courageously protecting their fellow troops. 

Just wanted to give some credit where it was due.


Jack Anderson


From my novel: Letting Go

Jack Anderson is a food officianotto!

...Rachael said, “Oh, thank God I don’t have any cholesterol issues! I take it the mashed potatoes are somewhere under all the gravy?” 
Jack grinned. “Go ahead... see if you like it.”

Rachael plunged the fork and knife into the lake of white gravy that covered the steak and found what she thought would be an appropriate spot to cut off a small sliver. When she touched the steak with her fork it fell apart. “No need for a knife, I see.” 

She took a tenuous bite then said, “I thought you couldn’t get chicken fried steak this good anywhere but the south. It’s really good. The gravy actually has some flavor to it. And they got the tea right, too.”

“Another success story,” Jack said.

When they'd been eating for a few minutes, Jack asked, “So you’ve traveled a lot with the feebie?”

“Yeah. More than I expected, but I’ve been okay with it so far. There haven't been too many times when I’ve had to make arrangements for Miss Kitty. When I do travel, I’ve made a hobby of trying to find the best off-the-map eateries. Gets my mind off the case for a while and helps me think.”

“I know what you mean. I probably do a lot less business traveling than you—maybe a convention once a year—so unless they’re serving something very special at the banquet, I try to find someplace special, too. When I go on vacation, though, that’s another story. I go out of my way to avoid eating at any of the chains.”

“So what’s been one of your best out-of-the-way places?” Rachael asked. 

Jack thought for a minute. “I took a vacation to southern Utah one year to see the parks out there. I ended up in a dot on the map called Mexican Hat. I pulled up in front of the place and the sign read ‘Home of the Swinging Meat.’ I had to give it a try.”

Rachael choked out a little laugh as she was eating. 

Jack continued. “When I got inside, the place was dripping with ambiance. The bar, which served only longnecks, and half the eating area were covered with a rusted red tin roof. The rest of the place was open to the sky. At night, before the moon came up, the Milky Way was blinding it was so bright. The tables were old wood with carvings in them from all the visitors. The place was lit up at night with strings of colored light bulbs criss-crossing overhead. The name-sake was the main attraction. Keep in mind, all this place served was rib-eye steaks and chicken. They were served on a sizzling hot metal plate with pinto beans and a salad. The only real choice you got was the size of the steak.”

"Anyway, the cook looked like he came out of an old black and white Roy Rogers movie. He was about six-foot-three with a white beard, denim jeans, cowboy boots, and an old crinkled up cowboy hat just to keep the food inspector happy. He was positioned right out in front of the tables for all to see. It was quite a show. There was a rectangular firebox on the bottom and a matching grill that hung from a tripod by a chain. The cook would slap the steak on the grill and then give it a shove to start it swinging. He wouldn’t let it stop swinging until the steak was done. Hence, swinging meat. ”

Rachael smiled. “You really enjoyed that, didn’t you?”

“It was fun. The place was awesome. The only thing wrong was the flies. Southern Utah has more flies than I've ever seen anywhere. You’d think black-light, commercial grade, bug zappers had never been invented.” He took a bite of his lunch just as Rachael’s phone went off. ...

The Environment


Continuing on with environmentalism, consider this. I submit a challenge to all readers. Do this Google search:“Groups against ________.”


Fill in the blank with whatever environmental nasty you consider relevant.


There are groups against everything. My focus in life is energy, specifically electrical energy. I found that there are groups against the following:


1. Coal fired generating plants.

2. Natural gas fired generating plants.

3. Fission type nuclear plants.

4. Hydro-electric generating plants. (Dams)

5. Wind turbines.

6. Solar generating plants.

7. Geothermal generating plants.


If I missed one, my apologies. I promise you, there is group against it.


The common thread for all these groups is this, I have yet to see them offer an alternative. That is, if there is a need for a 1000mw generating plant somewhere, there is an environmental group against it. They protest vehemently against the construction of the plant. However, there is no suggestion of where to get that 1000mw of electrical energy needed for the region.


If you take all these groups as a whole, there is only one conclusion that can be drawn, they are absolutely committed to the down fall and destruction of the United States. My paranoia allows me to believe that there is a large measure of members of these very same groups that hop into their gas powered automobiles, go home after a protest, are happy that the light comes on when they flip the switch, that the beer in the electric refrigerator is cold, and complain the loudest when the power is out.


Without energy, the US will fall into third world status along with the likes of Somalia and Ethiopia.


If you want to protest a generating plant, fine. However, it is irresponsible NOT to point out or offer an alternative to supply the energy that the plant in question could provide.


By the way. Conserving energy is good. We all need to do it. But conservation alone won’t allow this country to grow, create jobs, improve or even maintain our standard of living. 


We need clean energy growth.


Fusion Energy gives it to you!


I know. There is a group against that too!


However, we could build Fusion Energy plants on abandoned military bases, (Which are usually environmentally messed up anyway. So there would be minimal environmental impact.)So why don’t we have Fusion Energy on the fast track?
More on conspiracies later.


Thanks in advance for re-posting and sharing.



Tel Afar ISIS



ISIS and Tal Afar


I read a brief article on Facebook this morning from www.SOFREP.com . The SHOCK point is a gruesome photo of slaughtered human beings in a closed room. Ostensibly in Tel Afar. Compelling to be sure.


To begin with, SOFREP is a military type acronym meaning Special Operations Forces Report. Nothing wrong with that. I just want to be clear about where the report came from and give proper credit where it is due. Look through the site. You will be moved.


As you read the many articles on the site you will see at least one reference to the fact that ISIS is being funded by pirated, or stolen oil. I have seen the same comment in main stream news over the last week. In fact, it is my belief that most, if not all, terrorism has been and, is funded by oil and oil revenues. (Bin Laden was an oil sheik. I’ve seen reports that he was getting as much as 300 million per year in oil revenue at one point. That’s a lot of RPG’s and IED’s)


It is also my belief that oil is at the heart of the funding for all these terrorist activities and wars. Take OIL out of the equation and terrorist activities go way down or are eliminated all together. Without oil terrorist can’t fund a good fireworks show, much less a sustained assault of terror on the world.


The US, does not need to be supporting these people, ISIS. We need to take steps to eliminate them.


How do we eliminate them?


Do we send troops over there and re-take IRAQ? NO!!! ABSOLUTELY NOT!!


Do we nuke them? Probably would not happen. I’ve been wrong enough times in my life that I would not promote that, but I would understand if it actually did happen. Absolute, soul wrenching HORROR, has a tendency to get people’s attention. I’m pretty sure that the leaders of RADICAL ISLAM would take pause.


NOTE: Main stream Islam and radical Islam are two different things. Main stream Islam I have no problem with. Radical Islam is causing all the terror in the world today.


Probably the most humane thing that could happen, and it could be done without firing a shot, is MAKE OIL IRRELEVANT to the terrorists.


There are a couple of ways to accomplish this:


1) The world needs to take a stand and refuse to buy oil that is in anyway associated with terrorists and their activities. Boycott them in the strongest terms possible. Close their ports, shut down the pipe lines. Oil does not flow.


2) Zero out their bank accounts. In my past blogs I have discussed QUANTUM COMPUTING. Quatum computers exist. (Google it, you’ll see.) They are more powerful than the hottest conventional machines to date. It has been reported that what would take a conventional machine several hours to solve, a quantum computer can solve with just one tick of the computer clock.

If you really pause to consider how powerful a Quantum computer is, you should be scared.


We know that some very important organizations have at least one Quantum computer, NSA, GOOGLE, and there is a financial/banking institution that has one. The CIA probably has at least one, probably more.


To operate these machines we have armies of software PhD’s.


The point is, we have the ability to find these bank accounts. Zero out the accounts! Give the money to well deserving third world countries.


Let me finish by asking, “Do you really think that RADICAL ISLAM is going to stop just by negotiating with them?” The answer is “NO.” The only way to stop the terrorism being perpetrated by RADICAL ISLAM is to remove their ability to conduct terrorist activities, i.e. money. Or you visit upon them such horrors that they dare not consider the consequences of going forward.






From my novel: Letting Go


Chapter 2


Rachael Lancaster


On the outskirts of Chicago, Rachael Lancaster arrived home. “At last!” she gasped. The last few days had been nerve-wracking. Wrapping up the case against a local drug lord for moving large amounts of cocaine into the U.S. from Columbia had taken more than two years of hard work. The testimony she gave in court was detailed, and cross-examination was tough. Like any good defense attorney, the bully tried to cross her up, to get her to make mistakes. It was mentally exhausting. She had to think about every word she said before she said it, and it had sapped her of all energy.


Finally, the trial was over, and the verdict was in¬¬¬. “And the bastard is going away for life!” Rachel muttered. She kicked off her shoes and slammed the door. Miss Kitty came running and circled around her legs. “Poor Miss Kitty, no one here to play with you?” 
Rachael walked to the kitchen with Miss Kitty in tow, yowling to be fed. A half-full bottle of white zinfandel was in the refrigerator. She grabbed it and poured half a glass, then took a sip and savored it like an alcoholic savors a shot of whiskey. “Work your magic,” she said quietly.


To appease Miss Kitty’s relentless cries, Rachael opened a can of cat food and scooped it into the cat’s food bowl. An unopened package of Oreo cookies was still on the counter from her last grocery store trip. She grabbed the bottle of wine, her glass, and the cookies and headed for the couch.


Rachael’s apartment was nice, but simple. She didn't have a lot of time for dusting excess décor. What she did have were photos—and lots of them—that captured the happy memories and most exciting times of her life. Her most prized photo was encased in a simple silver frame on the end table next to her favorite side of the brown leather sofa. 


Rachael had met Gary while both were stationed in Iraq. They began dating and became friends and soul mates. They had made plans for after they got out of the Army. Near the end of their tours, Rachael and Gary were in a convoy transporting a prisoner to the airfield when Rachael witnessed Gary’s Hummer being destroyed by an IED. Gary was killed instantly. Sometimes, when she felt especially lonely, she would embrace that photo while she watched TV. Tonight was one of those nights. She picked up the photo and sighed. “Sure do miss you, Babe.”


She gently set the photo back in its familiar spot then zapped the TV with the remote. The Republican National Convention was on. “Oh yawn! Maynard’s acceptance speech. Double yawn! This should put me right to sleep.”


She didn’t really follow politics that much. She rubbed elbows with enough politicians in her job, but that didn’t mean she had to like them. She wasn’t paying much attention to the TV. 


Maynard said, "The United States is such a great country. We are capable of doing so much. However, we burden ourselves with too many outside influences. One such influence is oil imp—”


Rachael noticed the break in the speech and looked up, thinking there was some sort of technical difficulty. The scene was one of utter chaos. The TV crews were scrambling. “What the—” Rachael froze, amazed. The package of Oreos slid off her lap and knocked over her wine. “Shit!” 


Finally, the woman on the screen announced, “John Maynard’s been shot! It’s not yet known how serious his condition is. Stay with us, folks! We’ll get you further information as soon as we know something." She spoke to another on-air personality. "John, can you get us a replay of Maynard’s last words? Okay, folks, we’re trying to get that for you as soon as possible. Meantime, there's utter chaos on the convention floor. The panicked crowd is scattering toward the exits. Can we get a shot of Maynard? 
Security has surrounded him, and it’s hard to see exactly where he was shot or what condition he's in.” She tilted her head and put her hand up to cover her ear so she could hear clearly. “Okay, John. Thanks. We now have that replay. It looks... it looks like—.Oh my God! We’ve just received word, John Maynard is dead! He’s been assassinated!” 


Rachael watched intently as Maynard repeated his last words. As he was speaking, in a horrifying instant, a red, misty cloud appeared behind his head. He slumped to the floor and security scrambled to him. The entire place erupted in a unified gasp of fear.


The reporter was talking again. “He’s been shot in the head! Campaign staff and Mrs. Maynard are there on the stage with him. Security is not allowing Mrs. Maynard access to her husband.”


Rachael was snapped out of her shock by a digital rendition of "The Mexican Hat Dance." She reached for her cell phone. “No rest for the weary,” she muttered.
Looking at the caller ID, she saw that it was her boss, Bill Weston. She answered, her attention refocused on the television. 


“Lancaster here.” 


“Trouble at the convention. I need you down there, fast.” 


“I know. I just saw it on TV.” ....




Thank you in advance for re-posting and sharing.

Angra, Brazil


From my novel Freedom's Banshee:


Chapter 6




The curtains that covered the entry to Bob’s private deck flapped gently in the morning breeze, causing the sun to flicker in his eyes. 


Bob was waking up from a hard sleep. Before he could realize where he was, he thought, Who’s playing silly games–. He lifted his head. Oh! It’s just the sun. He let his head flop back down on the pillow. 
He focused his attention on the body laying next to him. Her long brunette hair covered her face. 


She gave a long, mournful groan when he reached over and gently moved it out of her eyes. “Good morning. You’re up early,” Barb said.


“The sun was flickering through the curtains and woke me. I thought I would take a minute and admire you.”


That put a big smile on Barbara’s face. “What? You got lucky last night. You’re ready for more?”


“The morning sun does you justice.”


“What are you buttering me up for?”


“It’s not like that. I have these moments from time to time, and now, I just wanted you to know how I feel about you.”


“In all the time that I’ve known you, I’ve never seen this side of you. Better be careful, I could get used to this.”


“I’ll take my payment tonight.”


Barbara gave him a sharp jab in the ribs with her fist, rolled over on top of him and pinned his hands to the bed, then gave him a soft kiss. “Come on. Let’s go make some breakfast, you ‘Don Juan.’”


Then, in a serious tone, Bob said, “Wait. There’s something else.”Barbara’s long hair cascaded down almost to Bob’s face. She leaned over so that it framed Bob’s face and hers. “Something else? Wow! You’re on a roll. I’m telling you, don’t screw up what you’ve already accomplished, or it’ll be a cold night.”


“Seriously, though. I love you, and I love what we have, but Frank and I are on mission, a quest, if you will. It’s going to be exciting and fun most of the time. Sometimes it will be downright scary. Mostly, though, a lot of it is going to be against the law. I wanted you to know this going in. You can leave now and no hard feelings, or you can stay. If you stay, and we get caught down the line, I want your promise that the first two comments out of your mouth are, ‘I want a lawyer’ and ‘I want a deal.’ Use whatever you’ve learned to get you a new identity and the best deal possible.”


“Are you through?”


“That’s it.”


“Let’s go get breakfast then.”


Barbara rolled off of Bob and went toward the bathroom door to grab a robe. Bob lingered in bed, lying on his side, head propped up with his left hand, watching Barbara’s slender body.She got to the door and grabbed the robe, then noticed. “Are you just going to lay there? I’m hungry. Come on. We’ll resume these other activities tonight.”


Bob sat up and smiled. “So I didn’t screw it up?”
Barbara tied the robe walking toward the bedroom door. “Not yet. But if I don’t get some breakfast, that could all change.”


Bob shot out of bed, threw on some sweats, and followed Barbara to the kitchen. Frank and Janice were already there eating and having coffee. “Hey, guys. Good morning.”
“What’s on the menu, Janice?” Bob asked.


“Bacon, homemade biscuits, tomato gravy, and coffee.”


Bob gave a little chuckle. “You’re from the South, aren’t you?”


“Tylertown, Mississippi.”


“Ha! I went there once. It was closed!” 


Janice was quick on her feet. “Too bad. You missed the best cooking north of the Amazon.”


Bob gave a chuckle. “It’s got to be good then. I’m sure glad Frank brought you down. We might actually put on a few pounds.”


“Yeah! Sure beats the powdered eggs and turkey bacon back in Iraq, doesn’t it?” Frank added.


Barbara fixed her plate and sat down. “So what’s on the agenda today?”


Bob took a sip of his coffee and looked at Frank. “Well, it’s about time we got down to some brass tacks. We’ve been playing around here for two weeks, learning how to make mojitos and catching up on life, and now it’s time to get to work. Frank and I have some business to attend to here at the house. I think it would be a real good idea if you girls went shopping. I’ll have the yard man, Pedro, chauffeur you two around town for a few hours. How’s that sound?”


Frank looked at Janice and gave a gentle suggestive nod that told her, “You need to do this.” 


Barbara glanced at Janice with a little smile then turned back to Bob. “And, of course, you let me have the debit card. Right?”


“Yeah, yeah! Be sure to bring back some beer, though. Frank has a terminal case of thirst or something. There’s never any beer in this house.”


Frank shrugged his shoulders and groused, “Hey. I missed out on a whole year of beer drinking. I’m just catching up.”Bob finished his breakfast and grabbed another cup of coffee, then returned to Frank. “Let’s go sit on the deck. You girls come let us know before you leave.”


As Bob stepped out onto the deck, he took a deep breath. “Man, I can’t believe how pleasant it is. No air conditioning, brilliant, sweet-smelling flowers everywhere, and cool, gentle breezes.”


“It’s the Garden of Eden compared to where we were just a few weeks ago.”


“So, tell me about Janice,” Bob said.


“Okay. What do you want to know?”


“Does she know our plan, what we’re about to do?”


“Yeah. She doesn’t understand why, though. She thinks that being here in Angra, Brazil, with housekeepers attending to her every need is pretty good and ‘Why screw with it.’”


“What did you tell her?”


“I said that just laying around like some sort of Roman royalty would become old after a while and we’d start looking for something to do, and if we didn’t find something to do, we’d start arguing with each other, and eventually we’d self destruct. It’s a hazard of the idle rich.”


“So you’re sure she’s on board? I told Barb that we’re going to be doing a lot of interesting, exciting things, and that some of them would be against the law. I also told her that if we ever got caught, she was to demand a lawyer and make a deal with what she knew. Hopefully, it never comes to that. She’s committed to stay with us.”
“I’m pretty sure that Janice is with us, too.”


“Frank. There can’t be any doubt or ambiguity in this. I don’t want to get shut down before we even get started.”


Before Frank could respond, Janice walked out onto the deck to say good-bye to Frank and overheard the last part of the conversation. “Bob! Look at me!”


Bob turned, flushed with surprise and embarrassment.


“I’m absolutely on board, Bob. Don’t worry. I won’t screw you over.”
Bob was speechless. He looked over to the door and saw Barbara standing there.


“You’re trying so hard to ruin this for all of us!” she said. “Lighten up, just a little. Don’t worry, honey, I got your back. I talked to her also. It’s okay.”


Bob paused for a moment, then said, “Well, then. Let’s go forward. You girls going to stay for the business or go shopping?”


“Oh! We’re going shopping! No telling when we’ll get the opportunity to do that again. You guys stay here and solve all the problems of the world. See you this afternoon.”....







Did you know that my novels, Freedom's Banshee & Letting Go are a series? Where Freedom's Banshee ends, Letting Go picks up. Very entertaining!





This is what Rachael is up to: From my novel Letting Go.


When they arrived on the scene, Rachael took a deep breath. Blood was everywhere and gray matter was sprayed across the curtain backdrop. Mrs. Maynard was kneeling beside her husband. Her eyes were glassy, her face swollen and tear stained. She appeared to be in another world.


The bullet went in just over the left eye and took much of the back of his head with it when it exited. 


Rachael swallowed hard at the sight of Mrs. Maynard kneeling by her husband. “Damn Jack, shouldn’t your people have pulled her away? That’s no last vision to have of your husband.”


“Believe me, we tried. Three men tried to coerce her and hold her back. She wouldn't be denied, and we didn’t want to get into a brawl with her on national TV.”


Rachael approached Mrs. Maynard and placed her hand gently on her shoulder. After a moment, Mrs. Maynard looked up. Rachael’s gentle touch seemed to have brought her back to her grim reality. Then she began to cry again.


Rachael whispered, “Mrs. Maynard, I'm so very sorry for your loss.”

The woman barely managed a nod.


“Mrs. Maynard, it’s time to get your husband into some privacy so we can start figuring out who did this. We need to remove him from here now. Will you let us do that?”


After a long pause, Mrs. Maynard nodded, still sobbing.

Standing just behind Rachael, Jack was impressed with her gentle touch. It seemed as if she had done this before, maybe too many times. 


When Mrs. Maynard had relatively composed herself, Rachael said, “Mrs. Maynard, I'm Rachael Lancaster. I'm with the FBI. I'm here with my crew to work with the Chicago Police Department to find the person that did this. I'd like to talk with you tomorrow or the next day if that's okay.”


Mrs. Maynard nodded.


“In the meantime, please let one of these officers escort you home, all right? The EMTs will take care of John for you. Do you have family in town, someone who can be with you?”


Mrs. Maynard wiped her face. “I... I don’t live here, you know... but I have a sister and daughter here.” 


She spoke as if she had to force every word out of her mouth, and still each word crackled with emotion.


Rachael gestured toward a young uniformed Chicago police officer. “This officer is going to take you to your sister’s home. Please give him your sister’s and daughter’s phone numbers. The officer will arrange to have your daughter meet you at your sister’s house. They'll help you settle in for the night.”


Mrs. Maynard nodded and murmured, "Thank you."




What would fusion energy do for us?

#ortexgraves There are five main elements to the plots of my books, political corruption, big oil, fusion energy, conspiracy, and high tech computer gadgetry. Given the amount of energy that a fusion reactor can generate, (converted to electrical energy.) it is easy to see how developing the fusion process could be a pivotal moment in human history. Imagine the affect of building four fusion generating facilities, one in each quadrant of the U.S. (remember, one fusion power plant could, theoretically, produce 18 times as much power as one conventional fission type nuclear plant) Rolling blackouts are eliminated. Brownouts are eliminated. Electricity becomes very cheap. (If the politicians allow it.) Instead of four, build ten. What happens to the world oil demands? What are the consequences? I, for one, would love to tell the other oil producing countries of the world to keep their oil. Go drown in it. The need for oil will never vanish. Not unless someone figures out another way to lubricate our machines and create the plastic that we need. Again, what would be the consequences of an energy policy based on fusion energy? Tomorrow I will go into conspiracies. ortexgraves.com

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COSMOS episode



So who else watched last nights episode on COSMOS with Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson?

I had one or two issues with the way the facts were being presented, but mostly it was saying: "We are the dirtiest creatures on the planet and it's killing or going to kill us." (That's my personal translation.)


The episode demonstrated how there are efforts to use both wind and solar to capture, generate, and distribute energy. While both technologies work to a point, neither can produce the amount of energy needed to support a vibrant, growing, highly industrialized, nation or society. At best they are band-aides. Go to California and look around at all the wind turbine farms and solar projects. California still has brown outs and outages on an annual basis.


We are filling the atmosphere with CO2. We've been doing it for hundreds of years. It has to stop. Stopping it is going to take a huge amount of energy, the amount of energy needed to replace the fossil fuel energy that we are using today, plus the energy needed to grow, plus the energy needed to remove any CO2 necessary to bring the atmosphere back into some balance. Wind and solar can not do that.


Where the episode failed, in my opinion, is there was no discussion of FUSION ENERGY production. Fusion energy is the only thing capable of producing the amount of energy needed to clean up the environment, and it will do it without making our mountains look like porcupines or cacti full of wind turbines. Why would an environmentalist be happy with that?


It would have been so much better, more complete, if there would have been at least a brief discussion of the development of fusion energy, where it is at now, it's capabilities, and the pressures holding back the development of fusion energy.





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From Freedom's Banshee



From my novel Freedom's Banshee:


...Bob needed a break. One of his many intelligence duties required him to sit at a row of computer monitors and track bank accounts for terrorist cells in the area. After a couple of hours of blinking lights and colored numbers, his head was swimming. He leaned back in his chair, took off his headphones, and gave his scalp a brisk rub with the tips of his fingers. He shoved his chair back and went to the entrance of the canvas hut. As soon as he opened the door flap, the 115-degree heat and brilliant sun hit him in the face like a champion boxer. Even with polarized aviator sunglasses, he had to squint. He held his hand over his eyes until they had a chance to adjust. After a couple of minutes, Bob went out into the clearing in front of the intelligence tent and trudged up the sandy berm that helped protect them from bomb blasts and looked around.


Every time Bob took this little stroll, he was always struck by the curious placement of the intelligence tent, right next to a sprawling refinery. A simple barbed wire fence and a sign printed in three languages that read, “Keep out. Lethal force will be used. Operated and managed by Global Energy Resources, Inc. (G.E.R.I.)” was all that protected the refinery from insurgents and terrorists. Hmph! If I were CEO, there would be armed Army outposts every hundred yards. This is crazy!


Bob looked up past the refinery to the little cluster of mud huts just on the other side. Damn! The sand was rising high over the roof tops to the northwest. Another shamal. I hate this place!...




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