“Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another edition of Book Review 4 U. Today we will be reviewing a book by Kyle Mills called Smoke Screen. Mills, you may recall startled many readers with his initial novel, Rising Phoenix, with the novel idea of poisoning the nation’s illegal drug supply in order to curtail it’s use. Smoke Screen is Mill’s sixth book and whereas his previous books were all mystery thrillers, this one shoots off in a new direction.”

“With us this fine Saturday morning our usual panel members ET and Pamela Anderson. Et of course is our resident Science Fiction expert and Pamela doesn’t know that much about books but she sure is nice to look at, right ET. Gimme three! That a boy! The gentleman in the middle is of course ET’s long time interpreter Hailey Comet and last but not least is our two guest panel members, Film Maker, Michael Moore and Comedian Jerry Seinfield and Mike, please don’t worry about that chair. I of course I am your host, If you don’t recognize me, my name is William Jefferson Clinton. I used to work for the government but now I’ve got a real job and I’m loving it.”

“As usual I’ll read the fly leaf of the book, giving everybody a feeling for the book and then we’ll have our usual comment from our resident Epinionator Dee Dawning and then we’ll open things up for discussion by our panel. Sorry ET but this one isn’t your favorite, Science Fiction but it is a good book, isn’t it? You haven‘t read it yet but you‘ll read it on the commercial break.”

“Gee Bill, I wish I could read that fast. It took me a week of solid reading to get ready for this one”

“Well baby you know you don‘t have to contribute. You just have to sit there like you do, doing your thing.”

“I know Billy boy but I want to contribute for a change.”

“Okay, let’s move on. Here’s what the dust jacket, fly leaf has to say.”

“Through an inexplicable series of unwanted promotions, Trevor Barnett has become the lead spokesman for the tobacco industry just as it’s on the verge of extinction. Plaintiffs’ attorneys have finally found the weakness they’ve been searching for and filed a $200 billion lawsuit that the industry will be unable to appeal.”

“America’s tobacco companies react by doing the unthinkable – they close their plants and recall their products from retailers’ shelves. Trevor is charged with the task of going on national television and making the announcement: Not another cigarette will be manufactured of sold until the industry is given ironclad protection from the courts.”

As the economy falters and chaos takes hold, Trevor becomes the target of enraged smokers, gun totting cigarette smugglers and a government that has been off from one of it’s largest sources of revenue. Soon it becomes clear that this has always been his function – to take the brunt of the backlash and shield the men in power from the maelstrom they’ve created.”

“There’s more but I think the audience gets the idea. We now have Mr. Daumco on the phone to get his analysis. Good morning Mr. D. I hope it‘s not too early for you back in Arizona, after all it is six o’clock there isn‘t it?”

“No Problem, I’m up with the quail and cottontails”

“Good, if I may get right to the point, what did you think of Smoke Screen?”

“Well Bill, I really loved it. Up until this book, Kyle Mills has been a serious novelist but on his latest novel, Smoke Screen he has displayed a latent jocularity and borrowed from the masters of tongue in cheek humor to put out a subtlety droll and amusingly clever book. He succinctly tells an excellent, witty story, doesn‘t get too detail oriented doesn‘t try to foist his superior vocabulary on the reader, so you don‘t need a dictionary next to you”

“What I like about Kyle Mill‘s books, which I like to varying degrees, is that he comes up with some seriously different and interesting plots. He‘s not the only one that can do that, of course but it seems like some major authors rehash the same plots only on a more massive scale.”

“I read a bio on this guy and he doesn’t even have a background in writing, he just tried it, managed with difficulty to get his first book published and now he’s off and running. I’m impressed and I‘m impressed with his writing as well. He doesn‘t waste words. His writing is direct, he doesn‘t meander off in other directions and he‘s smooth. This book is less than 350 pages, when 500 plus is the apparent norm.”

“Great, thanks again Mr D for your insights. How’s that book of yours coming along?”

“We’re getting there. Thanks for asking, Bill”

“You’re welcome, good luck. So what do you rate this book?”

“Sorry Bill, I thought that was obvious – Five big ones!”

“Wonderful. We‘ll take a break now and when we come back we‘ll hear what our panel has to say”


“Ok Panel, let’s talk about Smoke Screen.”

“Yes Pamela.”

“I loved it, it was humorous and droll and clever and ah…………..oh yeah succinct and I give it five stars.”

“Hmmmm, ok ET how did you see it”

“Mr ET thought it was very good but he would like to have seen some sex scenes and for it to take place in space but he still gave it five stars”

“I see, sex scenes huh, I thought you guys were unisex, oh well Mike what did you think? Mike, hello Mike!”

“Sorry Bill, I was just noticing a spot of dirt on Pamela‘s ……..never mind. What did you ask me Bill?”

“What we‘re here for, your evaluation of Smoke Screen.”

“Oh sure, I thought it would make a great movie, though I wouldn‘t let the bad guys, I mean tobacco guys off the hook. You know there are so many bad guys. Everywhere you look bad guys. Look what happened to you, scandalous,”


“No no, not you, the way you were treated. You‘d think you started a war or something.A”


“Yes, yes, sorry I digressed. I thought the book was super. I really liked the union guy. I laughed so hard at what he said about Trevor‘s father that I lost my cigarette and burned the couch. Five Stars, definitely five stars.”

“Thank you Michael. How about you Jerry?”

“Good book Bill, but I don’t think we’ve said enough about the characters and the excellent character development. Michael mentioned the pragmatic Union leader, Larry Mann but we also had Trevor’s anti tobacco activist, love interest Anne, the calculating corporate guru, Paul Trainer, Trevor’s always partying, fair weather friend Darius and of course Trevor’s suppressive, conniving father Edwin Barnett.”

“The whole time I was reading Smoke Screen, I couldn’t help but remember another humorous book about the tobacco industry by William Buckley’s son, Christopher Buckley, titled Thank You for Not Smoking and the writing style also reminded me of Carl Hiassen’s work.

“All in all I thought it was a clever, slightly sarcastic story with some real funny lines. I may have to borrow some for my act. Just kidding. I‘ll make it unanimous, Five Stars.”

“Thanks Jerry. So there you have it, Smoke Screen by Kyle Mills. Buy it!”

February 28, 2008. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . addictive, addicts, author, Bill Clinton, Books, celebrities, dealers, Humor, legal drugs, Novel, politics, review, satire. Leave a comment.

The War That We Can’t Win

The Bottom Line; Before totally rejecting the merits of my editorial, I ask only that you keep an open mind and ask yourself, has anything we’ve done so far, worked?

The War That We Can’t Win

No not that one. There’s another war going on beside that one and it’s been going on a very long time, longer than I can remember and it’s unwinable. It is a war that we tend to forget about but from time to time we are reminded that we still are at war. When there is a huge drug bust or when a promising high school or college student dies from an overdose or several are killed in a drive by shooting or another drug lord is arrested in Columbia or another patch of marijuana is found in a National Forest or another meth lab in a neighbor’s basement is destroyed, then we are reminded that we are engaged in a daunting, frustrating, war that‘s impossible to win. The War on Drugs. But fight on we must. It’s the right thing to do, right?


Who says we have to keep beating our heads against the wall? I know this is unpopular but the hand writing is on the wall, we can’t win, so I’m advocating the extreme solution. Let’s put up the white flag and say ok drug pushers you win! Let’s surrender. Let’s legislate the thugs out of business. Let’s legalize drugs. Can it be any worse than it already is?

Ok the cat’s out of the bag. I’m a nut, a loon but let me explain my rational. It has been reported that some seven million Americans are already addicts with another ten million as users of varying degree. Folks, that’s almost six percent of us. Add another twenty million casual (occasional) users for anther seven percent for a total of thirteen percent, that for me is mind boggling. True legalizing drugs isn’t going to reduce the addicts and it may even increase them a little but the benefits are overwhelming.

Government figures state that something like eighty percent of violent and one on one crime is drug related. Why is that? I suppose we could assume that five or six million of the hard core addicts do not have jobs that are capable of supporting the cost of their addiction, so they are forced to mug, rob, steal, burgle or whore toward this purpose.

Make no mistake this is a growth business like any other business, the workers (pushers) are encouraged to bring in new addicts who are also encouraged to turn on friends, addicting them and so forth. The profit potential for sellers on up is enormous. It is said that the cost of the product sold on the streets is about one hundred times the production cost and that is the reason that despite the intrinsic dangers, the astounding profit potential keeps enlarging the pool of participants.


But what about the Downside?

What downside? If you’re talking about the availability of hardcore drugs to your kids, think about it. Right now it’s easier for a twelve year old to get crack than beer. Why? Because beer isn’t sold on the streets. You have to go into a store or a bar and buy it. If drugs were sold in stores, wouldn’t your kids have to go into a store to buy them as well. Can you see a teenager going into a store and buying a lid of weed or a vial of cocaine? Especially if you had to have a permit to buy there and a video camera would record every transaction. No way, Jose!

True, we would be encouraging existing and future addicts to make a direction of life decision. Do I want to lead a normal life or do I want to be a speed freak for the rest of my life? Probably fewer than you think would choose the latter and for those that did, they would no longer have to rob and steal to feed their habit and that’s the big bonus to legalizing drugs. Crime would fall up to eighty percent and the country would save billions and billions a year on law enforcement, courts, prosecutors, public defenders and prisons.

And here’s the best part. Legalizing drugs would put the drug cartels out of business. The drug scumbags from the drug lords on down to the street pushers will have to find another and most likely less harmful scam, for no one in their right mind would buy illegally on the street when they could buy legally from a licensed store.


Can it be that easy?

I know it’s not that simple, that there are a lot of nuances and intangibles but I’m not talking about a plan. This is an idea. Let the legislators work out the nuts and bolts. As far as I can see legalizing drugs would be a ridiculously easy solution to the rampant crime that exists today and remember, it wasn’t that long ago (approx. a hundred years) that illegal drugs were legal and since narcotics were made illegal their use, on a per capita basis, has increased and crime has gone through the roof.

August 10, 2007. Books, burglaries, Cocaine, crime, dealers, dishonest, Drug Lords, drugs, ethics, Heroin, junkie, lies, marijuana, meth, politics, relationship, robberies. 2 comments.