The Reset Manifesto
CopyrightÂ© 2016 by Lazlo Zalezac
George said, “I was born the day the Reset Manifesto was released.”
“It would be more accurate to say that the Reset Manifesto was released the day you were born.”
“I had always wondered about the timing on the release. We had been waiting for it to be released for almost two months. Of course, I was wandering around Europe at the time so I wasn’t all that concerned about the timing.”
“I was in Greece at the time. I went out to eat dinner and the place was quiet as a church. Everyone was huddled over their cell phones reading it.”
“You should have heard the reaction in France to the Manifesto. It was absolute shock.”
“It was one of the greatest cyber feats of all time. Nearly every email account in the country received a copy of it.”
Charles reminisced, “I remember discussing it in my law class right after it was released. We all knew that the legal world was about to undergo a drastic change.”
“When, in the course of human events, a Government of a Nation has forgotten that it is founded and predicated upon the singular sentiment, We the People, it becomes necessary for Men and Women of good conscience to stand tall and remind those who govern on behalf, by forbearance, and at the will, of We the People; that the law of the land is specified in the Constitution of these United States.”
“Those were the best words I’ve ever written,” Dr. Bowlings said proudly.
“I think it’s time.”
Peter turned from the computer to look at Rebecca. She looked like she was suffering from a minor case of indigestion.
“It’s time for what?”
Mary, the nanny, was seated in the living room watching a small television. She had been shocked to discover that they didn’t have a television and had purchased one to watch. Then she discovered they didn’t have cable. If that wasn’t bad enough, she discovered that they didn’t have Internet all of the time. Until she had moved in with them, she didn’t know there was a household like that anywhere outside of some backwoods cabin occupied by some kind of hillbilly.
“To head for the hospital.”
“Oh. Are you in pain?”
Although neither Rebecca or Peter looked overly excited, Mary said, “Keep calm. I’ll call the hospital so they will be ready for you when you arrive. You should grab her go-bag and go.”
Still seated at his chair, Peter asked, “Has your water broken?”
“No, but I’m having contractions.” She grimaced. “That was another one.”
Peter grabbed the bag that was by the front door. Together they went out to the car as if they were engaged in a perfectly normal trip. Neither was the kind to show the world their actual level of excitement. Unlike his normal procedure, he didn’t check for explosives this time. It wasn’t long before they were driving to the hospital.
“I hope this won’t hurt.”
“We can ask the doctor for epidural block. There’s no reason for you to be in pain.”
They had already discussed this topic for hours, including several discussions with her obstetrician. Her obstetrician was of the general opinion that childbirth should be all natural. A few discussions with Rebecca had more or less cemented that there was going to be an epidural. The look in Peter’s eye, when he vowed that anything Rebecca wanted Rebecca got, was a major contributing factor.
“That’s a good idea.”
Peter said, “We need a hospital that is closer to home.”
“Oh my. I’m having another one.”
“It’s still ten minutes between contractions.”
“They seem to be getting a little more energetic.”
“That’s a good thing, if I recall correctly.”
“Do you want me in the room with you?”
“Are you sure?”
“Is everything ready?”
“Your special surprise for the country.”
“Oh that. Yes. A text message will trigger delivery.”
Rebecca laughed. “That’s a good one. Maybe you should send me a text message to trigger delivery once I get to the hospital.”
Peter chuckled as he said, “You’re the only person who can make me laugh.”
“Do you think we’ll be good parents?”
“We’re going to try. I think that is all anyone can do.”
“That’s what the stories say. It seems like being a parent is really hard from what I’ve read.”
“I think my parents did a good job.”
“Yes. My dad was a difficult man and many people were afraid of him. They still are afraid of him. I guess the important thing is that he treated me well.”
“Your father was a bitter man. Now he’s not.”
“Oh, hey! Look at that.”
“What?” Peter asked unwilling to look away from the road.
“There’s a roadside stand with fresh peaches.”
“Pull over. I want to get some peaches.”
“Are you sure?”
Peter’s mother, father, and Chuck were standing in the emergency room looking around for Peter. They didn’t expect to see Rebecca since she would probably be in the maternity room, but Peter should have been someplace where they could see him.
“Where are they?”
“I don’t know. The nurse at the station over there doesn’t know anything about them getting here.”
Looking exceptionally concerned, Mary walked over to where the parents were waiting. She had been dubious about taking this job. Now her doubts were turning into real regrets. When they had told her that they had no idea how to act like parents, she had figured they were expressing the normal concerns of new parents. She hadn’t realized that they were being brutally honest. They were completely clueless about how to deal with people on a personal level.
“I talked to some of the staff here. Peter and Rebecca haven’t shown up here.”
“Where could they be?”
“I don’t know.”
Mary said, “They should have been here ten minutes ago. They left for here ten minutes before we did.”
“Did they seem overly excited or panicked?”
His father said, “You know Peter. He doesn’t get excited.”
“My Rebecca is the same way. The most excited I’ve ever seen her is the day that Peter told her that she had received a scholarship for college. All she did then was cry.”
“I know. I hope they didn’t have accident.”
“We drove the same route they should have taken. If they had an accident, we’d have seen them,” Mary said.
Chuck pulled out his cell phone and dialed Rebecca’s cell phone. He waited for several rings before she answered.
“Where are you?”
“You’re supposed to be at the hospital. We’re waiting for you here.”
“Pay the nice man and get your ass over here.”
Chuck closed his cell phone. “They stopped at a roadside stand to buy some peaches.”
Peter’s mother growled, “Is it still illegal to kill your children?”
“Yes,” Mary said understanding the sentiment.
“I can’t believe they stopped to buy peaches on the way to the hospital.”
“I’m worried about the baby.”
“She didn’t say that she was in heavy labor.”
Peter’s mother said, “I don’t mean now. I mean after the baby is born. What kind of parents are they going to be?”
Peter’s father replied, “I think they’re going to be good parents.”
“Why do you say that?” Mary wondered if they were talking about a different couple than the one she had been watching for the past week.
“They’re smart. Peter always finds an expert when there’s something he doesn’t know how to do. That’s why they hired you, isn’t it?”
“Little George is going to have more attention than any of our kids ever had.”
“What kind of parents stop at a roadside stand to buy peaches on the way to the hospital?”
“Parents that are pretty sure the baby isn’t going to be born in fifteen minutes.”
Chuck exclaimed, “There they are!”
Peter and Rebecca walked into the reception area of the emergency room. She paused to deal with a spasm. Peter supported her. She smiled up at him.
“I better get in the maternity ward now. We’re down to a couple of hours.”
“Are you sure you don’t want me in there?”
“This isn’t a spectator sport despite what everyone seems to think.”
Stepping up, Peter’s mother said, “I’ll go with you to the maternity ward.”
Peter held up a hand like a traffic cop. “No you won’t.”
“She doesn’t want anyone there except for medical personnel.”
“Honey, don’t argue,” Peter’s father said holding his wife back.
She snorted. “At least Peter should be there.”
“I don’t want anyone other than the doctors and nurses there. I would feel very uncomfortable with an audience.”
Peter escorted her to the reception desk where she was checked in. She was quickly whisked away in a wheelchair to the maternity ward leaving Peter to deal with the paperwork of the hospital. Since this activity dealt with data, he had no difficulties with getting the paperwork filled out. In fact, he brought copies of all forms that had to be filled out with the information already typed into them.
He returned to where his parents and Chuck were waiting for him. After they went up to a waiting area, he held up the small paper bag. “Does anyone want a peach? They’re really good and we washed them at the fruit stand.”
His mother stormed off. Chuck shook his head. His father answered, “Sure. I’ll take one.”
After seeing the peach Peter handed to his father, Chuck said, “What the hell. I’ll have one, too.”
“Yeah. According to the farmer, it was picked right off the tree this morning.”
“It’s definitely ripe.”
While the men ate peaches, Peter’s mother sat off to the side fuming at not being allowed to be with Rebecca during the birthing. This was odd since she had been in the delivery room without any family present for exactly the same reasons Rebecca didn’t want her there. Still, this was her first grandchild and she wanted to be more involved.
“It’s a shame that none of the local farmers can make much money on growing fruit. About all they can do is sell it at farmer’s markets and roadside stands.”
“That’s a shame.”
“I’m invested in a farm that raises a variety of mints for tea and ginseng. It’s probably the most profitable farm in the county on an acre by acre basis.”
Chuck looked at him with a surprised expression on his face. “I didn’t know you were invested in Chuck’s farm.”
“Yes, I am. These peaches are so good; I might suggest that he plant a tree or two just for personal use.”
Rebecca was in labor for six hours. It was four o’clock in the afternoon when George made his appearance to the world. It was 4:10 when the Reset Manifesto was released in a massive campaign to make sure that everyone in the country received a copy.
Over forty individuals, all of them analysts of one subject or another, were seated around a large conference table. Each was holding a printed version of the Reset Manifesto. No one looked very happy.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I can tell from the first sentence that this is a disaster.”
A general muted agreement sounded around the room. “Yes, it is.”
“The new President wants a briefing on it. I told him that we just got it and it’s going to take more than five minutes to read it. Still, we need to get back to him with a plan on dealing with this.”
Everyone sat there reading the Reset Manifesto.
“Well, Article I spells out the end of the two party system. We’re going to be like f•©king Italy with a dozen different political parties.”
“I basically thought that the two-party system was practically dictated by the Constitution.”
“You always hear about this country being a two-party system, but it’s not.”
“I hate to say this, but there’s nothing that DC can do to prevent the states from implementing Article I without having to change the Constitution.”
“I know. We saw that during this past election.”
“I’ll put a team on it to see what we can do at the state level to change the rules.”
“There’s nothing you can do. The parties lost control of the states.”
“We can do things. We can put some very persuasive individuals on it.”
“That would work if there weren’t so many damned politicians at the state level. You can’t go in and try to persuade hundreds of politicians with ... stern ... ahh, words.”
“See what you can do. Let’s move on to the next one.”
“Article II is going to kill the economy.”
“Check Section 4. It is proposing a major restructuring of our economic system.”
“We’re going to have to call in the SEC to refute this one. We’re going to have to get the think tanks churning out papers.”
“This guy who is the author, Dave Morton ... have you ever heard of him?”
“He was a real mover and shaker in the world of economics until someone hacked his computer account and destroyed his work.”
“Does he know what he’s talking about?”
“As far as I know, he had a good reputation. Someone picked that guy for a reason.”
“Can we discredit him?”
“With the Federal Reserve Bank melting down like it is? Not likely. We could discredit him, but we’d really have to discredit what’s here.”
“Sir, I’m an economist. This is solid. Dave Morton must have been working on this for years. To tell the truth, I’m not sure we should fight this particular battle.”
“We’ll all end up taking home more of our paycheck and our money will go further. This isn’t Voodoo Trickle Down Crap. This is a solid proposal.”
“Write up a detailed analysis of it. We’re not going to be able to fight it all, so we’ll have to pick our battles.”
They flipped to the next page. “Oh Jesus! Article III is about ending the war on drugs.”
“They call it the war on the American People. They identify the users as poor, unhappy, and troubled citizens who use drugs to self-medicate in order to escape a harsh reality of poverty and abuse, which is only made worse when they are then persecuted for their weakness.”
“The way it is written makes it sound like we’re raping grandma.”
“We’ve got a vested interest in the War on Drugs. We’re going to have to ramp up a major campaign to kill this one.”
“Half of our budget is to cover the costs of going after the drug trade. Our budget will get cut. We’ll have to lay off people if we make that shit legal. We’ll lose influence in the capital because we’re going to be back dealing with more mundane crimes.”
“I’m not admitting anything, but a major part of our operating capital for our black ops is coming out of the drug trade. We can’t afford to have the war on drugs ended. It’s a matter of national security.”
“It’s the easiest way to manipulate a foreign government. We’re going to have to fight this one.”
“It’s doable, but the argument here is pretty persuasive. Section 2 is proposing the legalization of a number of drugs with clinical use of some of the more incapacitating drugs. Section 3 lays out a taxation policy and quality assurance. It puts the FDA in charge of drug quality and drug administration standards. Section 4 is proposing fully funded public treatment programs to get people off drugs.”