The Reset Manifesto
CopyrightÂ© 2016 by Lazlo Zalezac
Dr. Bowlings said, “It’s obvious that you knew nothing about Peter. He’s probably one of the greatest men in history.”
Incredulous, Charles stared at the man.
Patricia argued, “He was our brother. I think we knew his character better than you.”
“You never understood him. I’ve never figured that out. How could you grow up with him and not understand him? I understood him after our second date.”
Charles replied, “I think you give him too much credit. Peter was brilliant, but he was also lazy and lacked ambition.”
“Actually, Peter was the most ambitious person I’ve ever met. I’ll never forget that day in my office when he told me that the constitution was going to allow us to save the country. When he took down a very evil professor, I knew that he was going to change the country.”
Ann Randal agreed. “He was the person who made the Reset Manifesto a reality.”
Charles was confused. “Peter’s name wasn’t anywhere on the Reset Manifesto!”
Rebecca said, “Peter never worked in the open. He liked to be the power behind the throne. I knew he had a lot to do with the Reset Manifesto, although he did try to shelter me from what he was doing. I read a copy of it six months before it was published.”
“Mom? Are you telling me that Dad was a revolutionary?”
“No. Your father was just protecting himself.”
Martin Phillips answered, “From living a life as a slave. He freed us all.”
“Amen,” someone shouted.
Peter read the message that had been posted on the bulletin board for a third time. It was a simple message, “The reaping has begun. KamilGiray.” The handle belonged to Bora Polat and reflected his Turkish heritage. Kamil was the pen name of the Crimean Khan Sofu Mehmed IV Giray. Peter interpreted the new name as a statement that Bora Polat was turning his attention back to Turkey rather than the rest of the world.
The message was letting Peter know that his family was busy removing the powerful bankers who had been controlling the world’s economy. Peter wondered how much of the power structure the Polat family was going to eliminate. There was nothing worse than a power struggle within a group of rulers.
He knew for a fact that the Polat family was a member of the power structure they were helping to dismantle. The family had become an economic power during the rise of the Ottoman Empire. The fall of the Empire had not ruined the family only made it less visible. They had retained far flung investments around Europe and the Middle East.
He connected to his search engine and wrote a simple query. It took five minutes for the search engine to respond with a result. There had been a number of deaths of influential bankers over the past twenty-four hours. To his great surprise, two members of the board of the Federal Reserve had died as well. What made it such a surprise was that those two members were academicians involved in economics rather than bankers.
Most of the results were exactly who he had expected the Polat family to remove. The list included bankers and members of royal families of various parts of the world. Several countries in the Far and Middle East were going to experience some political instability over the next few years.
Wondering if he had missed something, he submitted another query. The answer came back that the two academics were cadet members of influential families. He wondered how he had missed that connection before. It was a timely reminder that one seldom found what one wasn’t looking for. He was going to have to be more diligent in the future.
New power structures were going to emerge out of the ashes of the old power structures. A younger generation, untried and untested would be taking over financial empires. It would be interesting to watch who emerged as major players. There was one name that Peter knew would be at the top of the list: Bora Polat.
The transition period of the President was not going smoothly. The delay in identifying who was the President-elect had put all of the normal transition activities behind schedule. The transition team moved in when it was almost Christmas, having lost more than a month’s time. There were lots of details that had to be conveyed and not much time to hand them off.
Now the press was all atwitter with speculations about who would be members of the cabinet. It was a relief, albeit minor, that they could return to the normal news cycle. All of the appropriate so-called experts were trotted out in front of the cameras to opine about who was going to do what. Peter thought it was amusing to watch since it was all happening at what was effectively fast forward.
This transition period also demonstrated how much of politics was show. The press, the pundits, and the politicians were trying to execute a script that normally lasted two and a half months, in one month. There were missteps when steps were skipped, but the press reported it as having happened. The transition period and first one hundred days were all part and parcel of letting the American people have an idea of what the next four years were going to be like. The players were trying to set the stage for what was to happen, but this time they had started off balance. The drama looked like an amateur play rather than natural unfolding of politics.
This rushed pace was providing Peter with ever greater insight into who really controlled things. Very wealthy individuals were frantically scurrying about, trying to regain control over events. The frantic scramble produced a sloppiness which allowed Peter the opportunity to introduce additional problems that kept them further off balance. The alternative media were having a field day showcasing misdeeds, immorality, and greed.
The government of the United States of America was in a state of chaos. The political structures were weakened. The financial world had suddenly discovered that it was leaderless. The People of the United States were truly united in their disgust at what was happening in the world.
The time for the next phase of his campaign had arrived.
Ann Randal’s latest book in the Revolution in the Tranton System series was titled, A Manifesto for Change. For those people who had become convinced that Ann Randal was a modern day prophet, the title alone informed them about what was to happen next. The speculation about what would be in a coming manifesto occupied every spare minute of bloggers, students, and normal people around the country. Conversations in breakrooms focused more on what surprise was to come than about the transition of power in the country.
People devoured her latest book, analyzing it from cover to cover in search of answers. What they found within the pages was surprising. The kinds of reforms that were identified promised a complete revolution of life in the country. The details were interesting; but it was the areas where details were hinted at but not provided, where people spent all of their time speculating about what she could have meant.
Industrious individuals took the ideas within her book and started trying to come up with a manifesto of change of their own. There were arguments about what should be in it and what shouldn’t. Ann’s book had only given them the broadest of hints about all of the subject areas of change which the manifesto would contain.
People would occasionally post some poorly thought-out treatise on how they thought the world should behave and proclaim that it was the Manifesto that was predicted in Ann’s book. They lacked quality and cohesion. People went after them like sharks after a baby seal. It was like everyone knew that something special was about to be released and that they’d recognize it when it was.
“I just received an email that you were changing your address effective immediately.”
“I know. I just sent that out to everyone in my email contact list.”
“Couldn’t you have let us know that you were planning on moving?”
There was a long silence before he answered, “Why would I do that?”
“So that we would could share some of the excitement.”
“The whole house-hunting experience.”
“There was no excitement. We decided to buy a house and found one the next morning.”
“How about getting a loan and all of the other hurdles in purchasing a house?”
“I had the loan arranged within an hour of us deciding that we were going to move into a house.”
“Peter, I know for a fact that it takes more than an hour to arrange a home loan.”
“There are shortcuts.”
“What kind of shortcuts?”
“That’s kind of complicated to answer.”
It was difficult to explain how he went into the computer system of an online home loan company to process and approve the whole loan application by himself. The record trail was detailed enough that none of the automated fraud detection software would recognize it. He knew because he had a copy of the source code and could test it out.
“Are you that wealthy?”
There was a long moment of silence. His mother wasn’t quite sure of what to say. She was pretty sure that he had done something illegal. Of course, he would deny it.
“Why did you decide to move?”
“We thought it would be best for George.”
“Who is George?”
“Did Rebecca have a baby?” There was an edge to her voice in asking the question.
A sigh of relief. “When is she due?”
“In two and a half months.”
There was a throttled cry of frustration. “I’m coming for a visit.”
“To see Rebecca.”
“Oh. I’ll let her know that you’re coming.”
“What should I tell her is the reason?”
“She’s having a baby.”
“She knows that.”
“I swear that if I hadn’t given birth to you myself, I’d believe you were an alien.”
Martin’s chin scraped the concrete of the sidewalk. His knee hit the curb, creating an explosion of pain. He was sure that his knee was broken. He would have cried out, but Franklin landing atop him drove his breath out of his lungs. He was left gasping for breath, in pain, and sprawled out on the ground.
He would have complained except he could hear the bullets hitting the car. Someone was shooting at him. Martin looked up and knew that he was about to die.
The skinhead popped up from beside the building. He fired off a half dozen shots. A second later there was the sound of a car crash. The skinhead came charging out while firing his pistol at the occupants of the car. He leaped over Martin and onto the trunk of a sedan parked next to where Martin had hit the ground. He jumped off the car while firing more shots.
Franklin muttered, “Shit, that was close.”
“It’s not over,” Martin muttered back.
There were a couple of shots from the street and then quiet. Martin and Franklin looked at each other wondering who won the shootout.
“That’ll teach those sons of a bitches not to come here shooting up my f•©king neighborhood.”
The skinhead sounded angry as hell. Franklin rolled off from Martin and looked up at the skinhead. Two more skinheads had shown up and were standing behind the one who had leaped over them.
“I’m David Ware. Are you Martin Phillips?”
They were there to meet with David Ware. Maybe they’d get out of this alive.
Franklin pointed at Martin. “He’s Martin.”
“Nice to meet you,” Martin said with a grimace and holding his knee.
“Are you two okay?”
“I think so.”
Martin rolled over and sat up. His knee was killing him. He rubbed his face. There was some gravel embedded in his chin. His hand came away bloody.
“You really did a face plant in the side walk. That’s going to burn like hell later.”
“It’s burning now.”
“Sorry, Martin. I didn’t mean to push you so hard.”
“That’s okay. What happened?”
“Some asshole tried to kill you guys.”
“Thanks for coming to my rescue.”
“Think nothing of it. You came here under a flag of truce. No one shoots one of my guests.”
“I’m glad I called first.”
“Let’s get in the house.”
“Franklin, could you help me stand up? I hurt my knee.”
Franklin and the skinhead helped Martin off the ground. He could support himself on his knee, but it really hurt. He limped along using Franklin as a crutch.
“You’ll need to put some ice on that knee. I’ll have one of the guys fix an ice pack for you.”
Inside the house, David and Martin took seats at a table facing each other. Franklin and one of the other skinheads stood off to the side. The third skinhead was digging around in the freezer for ice. He came out with a bag of frozen peas.
“Will this do?”
The skinhead tossed the bag of frozen peas over to Martin who managed to catch it. He placed the bag of peas on his knee.
“Get him a washcloth to clean up his face.”
“Thanks,” Martin said.
Tossing an envelope on the table, David said, “You were right. Just after I talked to you on the phone, some asshole came by offering me a thousand bucks to beat up some niggers.”
“I’m assuming by the envelope that you took the money.”
“Yeah. Consider yourselves beaten up.”
“Right,” Martin said. He accepted the wet washcloth and wiped his chin. It burned like blazes.
“I did some digging around after talking to you. Everything you said was true. I guess someone heard that we were meeting and didn’t want us talking to each other.”
“You’re probably right.”
“Those were Mexicans in the car that tried to kill you.”
“I figured someone got to them before I had a chance to meet with them. They didn’t want to talk to me.”
“Do you want a beer?”
David gestured to the refrigerator. One of the guys opened it and took out a beer. He tossed the can. David caught it, popped the top, and took a sip.
“I’ll tell you honestly, we’ve busted up our fair share of niggers.”
Martin grimaced at the language, but didn’t respond to it. This was one of the most hardcore racist groups in the country. The fact that he was in the guy’s house talking to him was miracle enough.
“I know about that.”
“Now having someone offer me money to bust up niggers... , “ David shook his head in disgust. “There’s something wrong with that. Why would anyone think they need to pay me to do something that I’ve been doing for years? It doesn’t make sense unless ... they want us to be at war with each other.”
“That’s what they want.”
“What do you think would motivate them to want that?”
“They want to distract you from what’s really making your life miserable,” Martin replied.
“That’s the conclusion I came to.” David snorted. “For years, I figured that all of that quota shit meant that folks like me were getting screwed over for jobs. After talking to you on the phone, I did what you suggested. I drove around looking at places where folks like me were working. You nailed it. There aren’t many places that hire people like us, regardless of race. Fast food places seemed to be the only jobs around. They’ve got 40-year-old women cooking fries. There aren’t manufacturing jobs or places needing mechanics. There aren’t even any construction jobs around.
“I found six companies in the area who had positions where I had the right skills to work. It wasn’t niggers or spics taking jobs away from me. The jobs just aren’t there!”
“I’ve been to cities all over the country. It’s the same everywhere.”
“So I agree with you. Someone is trying to create a race war. What now?”
“We don’t give them one.”
“So what do you want from me?” David asked.
“You’re going to laugh.”
“Tell me anyway.”
“I want you to represent White people.”
Every skinhead in the room turned to stare at Martin. Franklin smiled having heard this pitch several times before.
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m talking about returning a voice in civil rights to Whites.”
“You’ve got to be shitting me. You’re a nigger. Why would you want that?”
“First of all. I’m not a nigger. I’m not a boy. I’m not a nappy headed bastard. I’m a person. If you want to mention my race, call me Black. If you want to get my attention, my name is Martin.”
“How about Negro?”
“I’d prefer Black.”
David shrugged his shoulders. “That’s fine with me.”
“Second, having everyone except whites able to voice concerns about civil rights isn’t equality. I’ll admit that when I look around and see all of the Whites in politics that I feel like I’m a second class citizen. I feel under-represented.
“Someone pointed something out to me that I had never realized. I can get up in a meeting and talk about getting more rights for Blacks and people will think that I’m an activist. There’s nothing wrong with being an activist. However, no one can stand up and talk about keeping things fair for Whites without coming off as a racist asshole. There is something wrong with being a racist. Yet, an activist for White rights shouldn’t automatically be labeled a racist.”
“Amen to that.”
“If we’re going to get rid of racism, we’ve got to discuss it. I might hate everything you represent, but you’re at least willing to stand up for being White. I’m asking you to be true to yourself. Of course, if you choose to represent the White race in the political arena, you’re going to have to stop busting up Blacks.”
“That’s the only way you’ll get sufficient support from Whites to represent them.”
“So what the f•©k am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to sit around singing ‘Kumbaya, My Lord’ all day long?”
Martin leaned forward. “No. In four years, there’s going to be another Presidential election. By that time, the people in this state will be directly voting for electors who will select the next President. You need to build a political base to be able to run as an elector. You’ve already got a number of people looking to you as a leader of a White Supremacist group. You’re going to having to transform that image to being a White Civil Rights Activist.”
“You’re serious, aren’t you?”
“You bet. I want Black, White, Hispanic, Muslim, Christian, Women, and whatever other group is out there to represent the people of this state when they go to elect the next President. If anyone of those groups gets locked out of the election, then the President won’t represent the people of this state.”
“Why not some White businessman?”
“Will that White businessman be representing you or Businessmen?”
David frowned while thinking that question over. It actually struck at the heart of his anger. There were lots of Whites in politics, but none of them were representing the unemployed, poor, and untrained Whites. They were all concerned about business, civil rights for everyone else, and getting rich.
“Mr. Phillips, you have a deal.”
“May I make one suggestion?”
“Turn that swastika tattoo into a square divided into four parts. Color each part of it a different color. You won’t get any support wearing that tattoo.”
“You know ... I figure there’s a very good reason people want you dead.”
“You’re really going to upset the applecart. You’re going to get some people elected who actually represent us.”
“Yeah, us. You and me.” David frowned at Martin and sat back in his chair. “That’s all I ever wanted. I wanted someone to represent me, not business, not gays, and not minorities. I don’t give a shit about pro-war, anti-war, pro-choice, or anti-abortion folks. Me. That’s who I care about. I just want someone who will stand up and say that there are some people who’ve been ignored in this country, namely poor white folks in lower class neighborhoods. A lot of people think of us as poor white trash. We’re not trash to be kicked to the curb and forgotten. There are a lot of us and we want a voice.
“Here’s the crazy thing. In the long run, it isn’t even about race. It’s about opportunity.”
“You’re probably right.”
“I’ll have my guys escort you out to your car.”
As Franklin drove away from the meeting place, he said, “What a bunch of assholes.”
“Why do you say that?” Martin asked while looking out the window at the small white frame houses that lined the street. Most of the houses needed a lot of work done on them. Every one of them needed a paint job.
“He actually believes all of that bullshit about whites not having representation.”
“I’m not sure that it is bullshit. If you listen to what politicians say, you’ll discover that none of them are talking about people like David. The White politicians talk about the middle class. David isn’t middle class and he knows it. He’s poor. When White politicians talk about the poor, they are talking about minorities. David isn’t a minority. The White politicians talk about programs for helping people get a hand up, but when you look at the posters there’s not a white person on any of them.
“A politician wouldn’t last a day if he were to say that he represents Whites.”
“All of the politicians are White. He’s automatically represented.”
“I bet it’s been thirty years since a politician has been in this neighborhood. They don’t even care enough to stop by and say, ‘Vote for me.’ So is he really represented? Even in our neighborhood, we have politicians stopping by every election year promising to do great things for us.”
“They never did anything for us despite their promises.”
“How would you feel if they stopped showing up altogether?”
“That’s how he feels. He’s jealous of us because we get more attention than he does.”
“There are some serious problems in this country if he’s jealous of us.”
“Speaking of serious problems ... Can we stop by the hospital? My knee is killing me.”
The President and Congress were busy trying to come up with a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would change the election procedure so that the debacle of the previous election would not be repeated. This was a real bipartisan effort; one of the few political efforts of that kind in recent history. Neither party wanted a repeat of the uncertainty of the most recent election.
It was then that they ran into their first major issue in exercising their political muscle. Any Amendment to the Constitution had to be approved by three fourths of the states. The two parties didn’t control three fourths of the states. The money people didn’t have influence over three fourths of the states.
There was a sinking realization among the power brokers that the powerful central government that had been crafted since the Civil War was being dismantled. Small loopholes which had been overlooked were being used to overturn control by the two major parties.