"The Creative Process of Writing is a Liberating and Therapeutic Experience"
In This Issue:
2. Publisher's Note
3. Book Review: Outrage by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
4. Helpful Hints
The Writer's Connection explores the creative process of writing and the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and actions.
We are an interactive community of authors and readers who share ideas to enhance our knowledge, skills, and experiences in
writing fiction in any genre, but our emphasis remains mystery and suspense thrillers.
Published monthly, the Newsletter offers writing tips for authors, coaching suggestions, editing, and marketing information.
Topics are presented from the perspective of Keith Barton and represent only his ideas on producing your first manuscript,
and are provided to the general public. Because we are an interactive community of writers, other viewpoints are welcomed and may be
printed in future monthly newsletters with permission from Keith Barton.
2. Publisher's Note
Dear Writer's Connection Subscriber,
This month's newsletter features some important information onDick Morris' and Eileen McGann's book, Outrage.
3. Book Review: Outrage
This is an interesting book given the fact that Dick Morris was a Clinton campaign strategist for twenty years. Now
with a change of color from blue to red, he is a regular Fox News contributor, especially on Bill OíReillyís "No
Spin" zone. With this as a backdrop, the book is not a diatribe against the executive branch but purports to castigate
the U.S. Congress for its pork barrel politics and polemic rhetoric. Topics include: illegal immigration, the U.N.,
Congressional rip-offs, student loan overcharges, tobacco companies, trade protection, and drug companies.
Their proposals (from the inside cover jacket) include:
- Ban immigration from terrorist countries.
- Ban Congress putting spouses on their payrolls (especially PACs).
- Ban lobbyists who are related to senators or congressmen.
- Ban nicotine additives to cigarettes.
- Ban trade quotas that drive up prices and save few jobs.
- Ban drug company bribes to doctors.
- Ban teacher union work rules that stop education reform.
- Ban insurance companies from backing out on Katrina coverage.
The book is written with over 200 notes from secondary and primary sources giving it a scholarly treatise,
but with Dick and Eileenís personal biases and rhetoric (read hyperbolic). His actuarial tax bite to the U.S.
taxpayers is over 369 billion dollars. He denigrates both Democrats and Republicans for living above their means
using their PACs (political action committees) as war chests for creating jobs for family, taking trips at taxpayer
and lobbyist expenses, working less than 20 hours a week and seven months annually, despite their reported 162,000
annual salaries. In a "tongue in cheek" section he proposes paying members of congress "minimum wage for their
minimum work." More than half of our elected Congressmen and Senators are millionaires, with most of their wealth
acquired while in congress.
The authors' solution to higher drug prices is to reduce the patent time (typically 14 years) on brand-name drugs
and allow more competitors to introduce generic drugs that constitute over half of our prescriptions today but only
12 percent of the cost of brand name drugs, especially due to mark-ups for advertising directly to the consumer,
thereby bypassing doctors. One cannot watch 30 minutes of T.V. today without some "butterfly" flying around telling
all insomniacs that they can't sleep without taking Lunesta. (Benadryl does the same thing at a tenth of the cost
and can be purchased OTC). One would think that Americans canít ingest, drink, think, have sex, emote, or eliminate
without some miraculous pill.
Chapter Ten on the "Great Student Loan Robbery" attacks Sallie Mae, the major financial institution that oversees and
makes student loans available to college students and their parents. Interesting data (from page 255) attest that today's
college students are struggling with some 62% of college graduates ages 21-35 still paying off loans, with 39% ten years
away from being debt-free of college expenses. Also loan rates have increased from 4.7% to 6.5% for students and to 8.5%
for parents while tuition increases 5.3% annually with no capitation or accountability. Plus students are staying in school
longer to work part-time which increases college expenses. The average undergraduate spends five years obtaining his degree
(up from four years twenty years ago).
Fannie Mae is also called on the carpet for being the Government's "Enron" debacle with the CEO of Fannie Mae earning $90
million over six years in salary and bonuses. The former Clinton OMB director is referred to as "The New Daddy Warbucks."
Morris and McGann save their most spectacular bomb for the Patriot Act including NSA wiretapping to attack Liberals who yell
privacy rights when NSA data supports that al Qaeda attempts were thwarted in the following: blowing up the Brooklyn Bridge,
attacking NYC subway system, destroying Chicagoís Sears Tower, bombing the U.S. embassy in Paris, blowing up an Ohio shopping mall,
destroying the Toronto stock exchange, leveling Londonís building in Operation Crevice, blowing up NYCís tunnels, and attacking
cargo ships taking oil from the Straits of Hormuz through which 40% of U.S. oil is imported. This is scary stuff, indeed!
Read Morris and McGannís book and form your own opinion as to fact versus fiction. Donít sit on the sidelines
and get your news from the major news networks that would have you believe all is safe in Kansas.
Before you vote next time for your U.S. Congressmen and state Senators, take a look at their political action
committees and largest supporters. Much of this information is available on the web.
Be proactive in local government; join a land use committee, non-profit advisory group, or regulatory body
to voice your opinion. Be an "optimistic activist" rather than an "alienated pessimist".
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About Keith Barton, Ph.D.
Dr. Barton received his Ph.D. in 1972 from the University of Texas at Austin and has been a practicing therapist
for over thirty years. He is currently enrolled in MentorCoach and is accepting new clients.
He has been an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina, consultant to Fortune 500 companies in executive
development, founded and managed Texas Community Living Ventures, Inc., in 1986 for providing group home services to
persons with mental retardation, and has been running a clinical practice in Northwest Houston since 1990.
He writes part-time with the goal of completing one novel a year. His desire to coach others derives from his passionate
interest in helping others become attuned to their creative powers of storytelling.
Dr. Barton has training in coaching, cognitive and family therapy and health psychology. He has published articles, made
presentations and conducted workshops about:
Anxiety and achievement
The relationship between psychology and spirituality