Revised PushBack

Posted on 04/26/2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

A revised version of the book PushBack: Deficit Triggers Hyperinflation, Terrorism has been released and should be showing up in websites and book catalogs during the next few weeks. A kindle version of the book will also become available during the next week. The revision is extensive and makes the book more focused and readable. Check the PushBack page in this blog to see book description information.

Front  Cover 2-28-14


Information about other Alfred Wellnitz Books can be found on blog pages, Finding the Way and For the Cause. Also at Amazon see Alfred Wellnitz Books

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Predicting The Future

Posted on 12/25/2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

As I looked through old files for a short story I had written a number of years ago I came upon a letter-to-the-editor I had submitted to the Minneapolis Tribune in April of 2002.  The letter hadn’t been accepted for publication and I forgot about it until I came upon it today. When I read the letter I thought, how preconceptive was that?

A short review of the Iraq situation in April of 2002 will be helpful.  The United States had established and maintained  a no fly zone in southern Iraq for an extended period and had more recently established a no fly zone and in the north Kurd areas. The UN had inspection teams in Iraq searching for weapons of mass destruction.

The letter read as follows:

Justifying War with Iraq

There are powerful people in the Bush administration that make no secret of the desire to make war on Iraq, more specifically on Saddam Hussein.  The justification for such action would be that Saddam is producing,  or wants to produce weapons of mass destruction that could be used against the United States.  It would be more convenient to have proof that Iraq had been a major player in the 9/11 terrorism, but apparently, that is not the case.

A problem with the weapons of mass destruction scenario is that there probably is not a worse place on earth at this time to attempt to covertly produce weapons of mass destruction than Iraq. Our spy satellites and planes have the country under a microscope, and the United States has or should have if they don’t, an army of agents in the country. It is likely that a vehicle can’t move, a building constructed, a message sent,  without our knowledge. Our warplanes control and patrol the airspace over the country, and can, as they have in the past, with the help of cruise missiles, destroy anything deemed suspicious going on in the country.

There would be little doubt about the outcome of any war that the United States super power  would conduct against Iraq, a crippled third world country.  A lot of Iraq’s people  would be killed,  much of what remains of the Iraq infrastructure would be destroyed, and Saddam would be deposed.  Then what?

We would be  in control of a country that has three strong factions, the Kurds, the Shi’is,  the Sunnis,  vying for power.  We would be morally obligated to repair the infrastructure, feed the hungry, house the homeless, get the country running, maintain order for an unpredictable period of time,  set up a government.   What government?  Remember, Saddam was one of our boys in the 80’s.

What would be a better solution?  How about maintaining our current tight control over what happens in  Iraq, and let time help us solve the problem?  Saddam is mortal,  he will eventually become history, either due to natures inexorable toll, the actions of his own people, some other incipient incident, none of which would  require any overt action on our part.

In the mean time,  the Mideast and its seemingly intractable  problems will continue on into the foreseeable future.  War sometimes may be necessary, but it cannot solve all of the problems in that region,  and excessive use of military power could make more enemies than friends,  generate more terrorists than it eliminates. If we have a choice, wouldn’t it be preferable for us to use our super power in constructive, not destructive ways, mediate when needed,  assist when necessary, and strive to  provide a positive influence in the world and in the Mideast?


One error I did make in my assumptions had been to give our intelligence community more capability than they later demonstrated. I hope that is the case and the data had not been intentionally skewed.

In any case the letter demonstrates that I have clairvoyant powers and therefore attention should be given to my vision of the state of the union in 2033 as described in the PushBack book!  Actually, it didn’t take much vision to see what would be the result of our country taking military action in Iraq in 2002.

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War on Terrorism

Posted on 08/30/2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I have always been troubled by the War on Terrorism and it is one of the main reasons I published the book PushBack in 2010.  Recently I read a post in the qqduckus blog that is one of the best summaries of the inconsistencies and policy errors generated by The War on Terrorism that I have seen. Check out;

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PushBack Awards

Posted on 04/12/2011. Filed under: Awards | Tags: , , |

PushBack Awards

PushBack has recently been awarded 2nd place in the  Royal Dragonfly Book Awards fiction category. The Royal Dragonfly Book Awards are part of the family of Five Star Dragonfly Book Contest sponsored by Five Star Publications, a company with close to twenty years of publishing expertise. Five Star publications contests attempt to identify outstanding books from the avalanche of books released each year.

PushBack had previously been  designated as an Editors Choice by publisher iUniverse and is a finalist in the ForeWard Reviews’ Book of the Year Awards.

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More About Computers

Posted on 04/05/2011. Filed under: Discussion/Comments, PushBack Blog | Tags: , , , |

The previous post mentioned computers and some of the frustrations that result from using and owning this kind of a device. I’m not a stranger to these insidious devices. I graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1958 and joined a company called Univac located in St Paul Minnesota.  I had heard of computers before joining Univac, but had never really seen one. Univac had developed one of the first commercially available computers and it filled a large air conditioned room and used vacuum tubes to perform the binary on-off functions.

When I arrived at Univac, all of the designs on the drawing boards were using a new-fangled component called the transistor. When I graduated from South Dakota State University, the electrical engineering department offered one course in solid state transistor technology. It was an introductory course and I had room in my final quarter schedule and took the course. Like the vacuum tubes used in early computers, the first transistors were a single switch, packaged inside of a small metal can; a large improvement over the vacuum tube in size and power consumption. That millions of such switches would be put into single packages on a single silicon chip within the next twenty years had been incomprehensible at the time.

Related technologies were going the same way at the same time. A precursor to the hard drive, the magnetic drum, had a rotating element a foot in diameter and four feet long that shook the floor when it rotated.  The drum had a single head that moved along the length of the drum to pick up tracks for reading and writing.  I worked on a state of the art hard drive in the early 1980’s, a device packaged in a cabinet the size of a small washing machine and with a platter about a foot in diameter and with a capacity of an amazing hundred megabytes.

Despite this background, partly because technology continues to move at breakneck speed,  I am no more adept at working with current computers than the average teen-ager. However, I do believe that the industry could make computers and related technologies more user friendly if they adhered to what we used to refer to as the KISS principle.  KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID.  I suspect that many of the bells and whistles’ added to hardware and software are seldom used and add to the devices complexity. It seems that some changes are made for sake of making a change. It is like moving women’s skirt length; it doesn’t improve the product but does attract attention.  Then of course there is the suspicion of planned obsolescence, the intent being to drive sales more than technology.

In the end, rapid technology changes and the resulting obsolescence is driven by you and me. We all like to have the latest toys and the technology industry is more than happy to supply them.

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Do Deficits Matter?

Posted on 11/20/2010. Filed under: Discussion/Comments | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

What could be the result of the United States not getting its fiscal house in order? PushBack provides a possible scenario.

One of the surprises in the book reviews and media interviews has been the concentration on the story setup where the United States Union dissolves as a result of an economic crisis. Only a few paragraphs in the first chapter deal with the collapse and the reasons for the collapse of the United States government, yet  reader and media attention is focused on that aspect of the book.

One interview question has been how a nation as powerful and rich as the United States could collapse so suddenly? I had looked at historical precedence when writing the story to convince myself that such a scenario would be possible. World history is replete with the rise and fall of dominating empires. Some fade slowly, some suddenly. The German and Japanese empires faded rapidly due to being on the losing end of a war, while the English empire, a war winner, also collapsed over a short period of time. The mighty USSR collapsed suddenly over the period of a few months. Power and wealth are one way equivalents. Nations cannot have power without wealth. When the United States has to borrow money from foreigners to finance its government and maintain its standard of living, it exchanges its strength for the use of foreigner’s wealth. It is a prescription for the loss of power and potential collapse.

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