Today I rode out into the countryside to a Tree of Life to photograph it before the buds grew into too many leaves, too thick to see the branches giving it shape. I’ll put the photographs aside to use as inspiration for a painting I’ll make in the winter.

You may ask why I don’t paint it on the spot. Simple. That field, on which the grass and small flowers look so smooth, is in fact incredibly rough under the grass, so there’s nowhere level to put up an easel, and that is if you don’t first turn or break an ankle just walking the half-mile or so up the length of the field. But that isn’t the worst. The tree stands on the edge of a valley, and the wind howls over that field; it’s uncomfortable and cold. And it is most definitely not an alla prima painting, so a studio job it is.

So many amazing vistas in Ireland, so little time to paint them.

Andre Jute is a novelist and painter — and a cyclist — who lives in West Cork.

The Dystopian Novel by Three Bestselling Authors You Don’t Have to Buy — Because It’s FREE!

The Novel by Three Bestselling Authors
You Don’t Have to Buy
— Because It’s FREE

HENTY’S FIST 1: GAUNTLET RUN: Birth of a Superhero
by Andre Jute, Dakota Franklin, Andrew McCoy

The Gauntlet Run is the toughest race ever run by man: across America with every man’s hand turned against you from the statue of Liberty to the old US Mint in San Francisco. There the prize awaits you: $10 million and a full and free Presidential Pardon.

The Runner is marked for all to see by an indestructible Fist, keyed to his metabolism. If the Fist is removed without the key from the Mint in San Francisco, he dies. Between the Runner and the key stand the ruthless bounty hunters, the Syndicate’s lethal odds fixers, the sinister Organ Bank chasers, the Humble & Poor Hunt, the US Air Force, and mobs of good citizens, all turned into bloodthirsty savages by the magnificent prize for tearing the Fist from the Runner — and the Presidential license that nothing done to the Runner shall be illegal.

Henty needs two million dollars to send her son Petey to the Artie stericlinic for treatment that will save his life. The care of The Caring Society is exhausted, her chicken farm already carries a second mortgage. Hopeless. But beautiful young Texas widows don’t just give up. There is still the Gauntlet Run. To qualify, you have to be a criminal — so Henty robs a bank…

No woman has ever Run the Gauntlet. No Runner has ever survived the Gauntlet.

FREE on Amazon and Google Play
Kindle and all other formats FREE on Smashwords.
Also FREE on Apple & Kobo & B&N

Report Card: Predicting the 2017 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, by Andre Jute

March 15, 2017 14:02:45

The Top 13 teams in the 2017 Iditarod Sled Dog Race have now passed under the burled arch in Front St in Nome, after 979 miles of racing in very cold temperatures that, however, made for a good trail.

1. Mitch Seavey  in 8d 3h 40m 13s RECORD
2. Dallas Seavey
3. Nicolas Petit
4. Joar Leifseth Ulsom
5. Jessie Royer
6. Wade Marrs
7. Ray Redington Jr
8. Aliy Zirkle
9. Peter Kaiser
10. Paul Gebhardt
11. Jeff King
12. Ramey Smyth
13. Michelle Phillips

Besides shattering his son Dallas Seavey’s speed record from last year, Mitch Seavey, who was already the oldest man at 53 to win the Iditarod the last time he won, is again the oldest man at 57 to win. And no doubt he’ll be back next year to try for a fourth victory to match Dallas’s four…The first 9 mushers all brought their teams home under the magic 9 days, and the tenth, Paul Gebhart, was only 6 seconds over the 9 day mark.
The last Iditarod champion whose name isn’t Seavey was John Baker in 2011, and his time was 8d 18h 46m 39s. Until the start of this Iditarod, the club of sub-9 day mushers added up to 13, and it isn’t much larger today because the usual over-achievers are also the front runners this year.
[right] The beautiful and
talented Jessie Royer
Most years I make up the list of teams we (readers of my novel IDITAROD, Facebook friends) will follow by choosing a few extremely popular mushers, a few fast mushers, a beautiful musher or two (only checking to see if you are awake!), and someone worthwhile from the rear of the field. Before you ask, I don’t consciously include women (or Norwegians for that matter), though the Iditarod is notable for women running on equal terms with men, and for the large number of women who do enter, and sometimes win. By the time I’ve included popular and fast mushers, I usually have selected several women anyway — and a Norwegians or two as well!Aliy Zirkle mushing in characteristically exuberant style.
Who can resist adding her to a shortlist?
For 2017 before the race started I chose the mushers I thought would be in the top ten. That turned out to be the two Seaveys, Mitch and Dallas; three young guns, Petit, Marrs and Kaiser; two women, Royer and Zirkle; two Norwegians, Ulsom and Johannessen; and the perennial top-ten runner and multiple champion Jeff King.Of those King was 11th and Johannessen 16th. Maybe next year.So, out of my choices, eight of “my” ten were in the actual top ten. I should have put on some money.

[L to R, T to B] Here are my eight out of ten winners, in order of finishing: Mitch Seavey, Dallas Seavey, Nicolas Petit, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Jessie Royer, Wade Marrs, [Ray Redington Jr, not shown, was 7th], Aliy Zirkle, Peter Kaiser, [Paul Gebhardt, not shown, was 10th]
I also forecast the winner: “…I’d advise [some notional bookmaker] to shorten the odds on a Seavey win, putting the chances of another Seavey win at near enough even-steven, maybe 45-55.” You can read my logic here.Thank you for joining me for an exciting ride.
Extraordinary detail from the now-famous watercolor cover painting by Gino D’Achille commissioned by Grafton for the original paperback edition of Iditarod a Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth. When there was talk of changing the cover illustration for the CoolMain 20th Anniversary Edition, the D’Achille painting was retained to avoid a revolt of readers who believe it encapsulates the story.
Articles about the 2017 Iditarod from most recent to earliest:

How to discover who really leads the Iditarod.
Who can deny Dallas Seavey another Iditarod victory?
Can one of the Seaveys win the Iditarod, again?
Surviving the Iditarod by intelligent information flow.

If you’re on a nostalgia kick, here’s a list of Iditarod articles from earlier years (in this decade). Also, in another place, nostalgia from the first years of the Iditarod, here are a few Reminiscences from the great Joe May, champion in 1980.

IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute
IDITAROD a novel of
The Greatest Race on Earth
by Andre Jute

Andre Jute is the author of Iditarod a Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth, available in paperback and ebook. Get it at:

eBOOKS
iTunes Smashwords Kobo B&N
PAPERBACKS
Createspace Amazon USA UK
GAUNTLET RUN by Andre Jute, Dakota Franklin & Andrew McCoy
There’s currently also a free full-length novel by André and friends on Amazon Google iTunes Smashwords Kobo B&N:
Henty’s Fist•1 GAUNTLET RUNandre_jute_singapore
André operates a special page for live Iditarod race reports where you’re welcome to join him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IDITAROD ANALYSIS BEFORE WHITE MOUNTAIN. Andre Jute thinks Mitch Seavey’s raw speed will be decisive.

The youngsters don’t have Mitch Seavey’s raw speed.
 
All Mitch needs at White Mountain is half an hour of clean air behind him, then he can put the win in his pocket with well-rested dogs sprinting the 77 miles to Nome.
 
Only the weather or tired dogs refusing to run can now stop Mitch.
Dallas Seavey just isn’t fast enough and Nicolas Petit is 2h10m behind Mitch out of Koyuk, too much to make up in less than a 100 miles.
Unless Dallas picks it up, Petit will be second into White Mountain. And second out of it. And faster across the trail. It’s a killer combination.
 
Space behind a musher into White Mountain is the same space behind him leaving White Mountain for the sprint to Nome.
IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute
IDITAROD a novel of
The Greatest Race on Earth
by Andre Jute

Andre Jute is the author of Iditarod a Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth, available in paperback and ebook. Get it at:

eBOOKS
iTunes Smashwords Kobo B&N
PAPERBACKS
Createspace Amazon USA UK



GAUNTLET RUN by Andre Jute, Dakota Franklin & Andrew McCoy

There’s currently also a free full-length novel by André and friends on AmazonGoogle and all the vendors above:
Henty’s Fist•1 GAUNTLET RUN

andre_jute_singaporeAndré operates a special page for live Iditarod race reports where you’re welcome to join him.

Adverse weather and smart dogs can still stop a Seavey winning the Iditarod again. Andre Jute investigates.

A reader of IDITAROD a novel of the Greatest Race on Earth and follower of the page on which many people follow the race, quotes this post I made:
>> IDITAROD STANDINGS
>> March 12, 2017 15:21:38
>> All out of Kaltag.
>> 1. Mitch Seavey 0440
>> 2. Dallas Seavey 0445
— and then asks
> Is this why Dallas Seavey hit the trail out of Kaltag
> checkpoint only five minutes after Mitch?

Exactly. Mitch Seavey is the only other musher besides Dallas to win an Iditarod since 2011, and he has two second places too in these last years. Besides the fact that anyone can see that Mitch is running up front, this history makes Mitch his son Dallas’ main competitor.

Also, on the coast, as they close in on White Mountain, the race reaches a critical stage.

Coming off the Yukon, for the first time, fans and competing mushers too can compare the mushers at the front of the race directly, even-steven, without having to make complicated mathematical calculations, fraught with assumptions, to adjust for starting differentials between teams and whether the team had taken the mandatory 24 hour and first 8 hour stops. Now we can directly consider the order on the trail to be the race order, and to be the result of strategy and tactics of when to run and when to rest, and dog-feeding breaks.

The first musher to check into White Mountain with a bit of clear space behind him has an advantage because after the mandatory break of 8 hours at White Mountain to rest the dogs, the end of the race under the arch in Front Street, Nome, is only 77 miles away (55 miles to Safety, then 22 miles to the winner’s laurels — maps here), less than an easy day’s mushing for the hardened Iditarod competitors.

If the weather doesn’t interfere. In 2015 Jeff King and his dogs were blown off the trail. After Jeff’s mishap, Aliy Zirkle sheltered in the checkpoint to protect her team for a few minutes too long and it cost her the championship she so nearly inherited from front-runner Jeff King. Dallas Seavey, visibly worn out, won by a few minutes after nearly a thousand miles — because he judged the end of the storm slightly more accurately and kept going.

And if your dog team doesn’t lie down and refuse to run. Something else that even many fans of the Iditarod don’t know is that dogs are probably the only animal you can’t work to death. If dogs decide you’re working them too hard, or the conditions are to dangerous to run, they will lie down in the traces and refuse to proceed. It has happened out there on the ice of the Norton Sound to top mushers (1), it could happen again, it will happen again.

(1) I don’t give examples by naming the mushers it happened to because there no suspicion whatsoever that their dogs went on strike because they were maltreating them. Their dogs just turned out to be smarter than they were, which is a common condition in a sport where there are reins, no whips, nothing but the musher’s voice to control the sled dogs. Dogs work for the joy of running, for the love of their owner, not because of any other reason.

IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute
IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute

Andre Jute is the author of Iditarod a Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth, available in paperback and ebook. Get it at:

eBOOKS
iTunes Smashwords Kobo B&N
PAPERBACKS
Createspace Amazon USA UK

GAUNTLET RUN by Andre Jute, Dakota Franklin & Andrew McCoy

There’s currently also a free full-length novel by André and friends on Amazon Google iTunes Smashwords Kobo B&N
Henty’s Fist•1 GAUNTLET RUN

andre_jute_singaporeAndré operates a special page for live Iditarod race reports where you’re welcome to join him.

How to discover who really leads the Iditarod. Andre Jute does the math.

  • The Iditarod Trail Committee publishes race standings, but until the mushers check in at White Mountain, those are just the order on the trail. The only true comparison is between mushers who have taken the 24 hour mandatory break and have both either taken or not taken the mandatory 8 hour break.

  • The real leader can be, and usually is, someone else.

  • Aliy Zirkle. Photo by Mike Criss.
  • If you want to know who truly leads the Iditarod, you must allow for three factors:

Relative position on the trail. One musher is ahead of another musher by so many minutes at a checkpoint, and that’s official, or unofficially on the trail a distance that can be measured by GPS responder positions and converted to a time differential by reference to known average speed.

Mandatory stops. There are three mandatory long stops to rest the dogs, in addition to rest and feeding stops the musher makes at his/her discretion. The 24 hour stop can be taken anywhere except White Mountain and Nome, because none of the mandatory stops can be combined and at Nome the race ends. Practically, almost everyone takes the 24 hour stop before descending the Kaltag Portage to the Bering Sea coast. The first of the mandatory 8 hour stops must be taken on the Yukon (including Shageluk). The second mandatory 8 hour stop must be taken at White Mountain, from where it is a sprint to Nome.

Relative order at the start. Mushers start the race at two minute intervals. These differentials are adjusted at the 24 hour mandatory stop. So a musher who starts ten places ahead of another musher and is now three places and five minutes ahead leaving a checkpoint is in fact 20-5 = 15 minutes behind. After both have taken the Yukon 8 hours and the 24 hours, they will be even-steven, and on-the trail differentials will be true differentials. The checking-in order at White Mountain is also a true differential.

Example. Even a little way into the race, getting an answer isn’t that simple. Take this incident of mushers leaving a checkpoint, Musher A one hour before Musher B. Musher A carries bib number 32 and has served his Yukon 8 hours but not his 24 hours mandatory break to rest the dogs. Musher B carries bib number 2 (there is no No 1 which is reserved for the shade of Leonhard Seppala) has served her 24 hours but not her 8 hours on the Yukon.

Question: How far is Musher B, 1 hour behind on the trail, actually in front of Musher A in real standings?

Answer: Musher B is clearly ahead by the difference between their mandatory breaks still to be taken, 24 – 8 = 16 hours, less the hour Musher A is ahead out of the checkpoint, so 15 hours, with the starting differential still to be calculated. (Here’s where most people give up. Don’t. It gets easier.) Note that her time has been adjusted for starting differential to every musher in the race, including his, all the way to the back because, while we speak loosely of “24 hours”, in fact her break was 26h20m. When he takes his 24 hour break, two minutes for his advantage to each of the 40 mushers behind him will be added on, 1h20m altogether, so the total Musher B will be ahead after she finishes her 8 hour Yukon break and Musher A finishes his 24 hour break  is 24 – 8 -1 + 1h20m  = 16h20.

  • From the IDITAROD RULES:

  • “Rule 13 — Mandatory Stops: A musher must personally sign in and out to start and complete all mandatory stops.

“Twenty Four-Hour Stop: A musher must take one mandatory twenty-four (24) hour stop during the race. The twenty-four (24) hour stop may be taken at the musher’s option at a time most beneficial to the dogs. The starting differential will be adjusted during each team’s twenty-four (24) hour stop. It is the musher’s responsibility to remain for the entire twenty-four (24) hour period plus starting differential. The ITC will give each musher the required time information prior to leaving the starting line.

“Eight Hour Mandatory Stops: In addition to the mandatory twenty-four (24) hour stop, a musher must take one eight (8) hour stop on the Yukon River, including Shageluk in odd numbered years, and one eight (8) hour stop at White Mountain.

“None of the mandatory stops may be combined.”

IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute
IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute

Andre Jute is the author of Iditarod a Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth, available in paperback and ebook. Get it at:

eBOOKS
iTunes Smashwords Kobo B&N
PAPERBACKS
Createspace Amazon USA UK



GAUNTLET RUN by Andre Jute, Dakota Franklin & Andrew McCoy

There’s currently also a free full-length novel by André and friends on Amazon, Google and all the vendors above:
Henty’s Fist•1 GAUNTLET RUN

andre_jute_singapore André operates a special page for live Iditarod race reports where you’re welcome to join him.

Can one of the Seaveys win the Iditarod, again? Andre Jute investigates.

[Part 1 of 2. Tomorrow: Who can upset the Seavey applecart?]

The Seaveys have won the last five Iditarod Sled Dog Races, father Mitch once in 2013, son Dallas four times, including a hat-trick in the last three years.

Dallas (left) was the youngest ever winner in 2012, and holds the record for the fastest time, 8d11h20m16s.

Mitch (right), who has a second win in 2004, was also second to Dallas in both 2015 and 2016, and third in 2014.

On this record, Mitch is his son’s strongest competitor.

Reflect on this: The last winner who isn’t a Seavey was John Baker in 2011, a lifetime past in a race this difficult, dangerous and uncertain.

Now, if this were a race in civilization, say a sprint or even an endurance race in a stadium before a crowd, a bet with any bookie in his right mind on a victory for either Dallas or Mitch would be odds-on (you have to bet more than the maximum you can win).

But the Iditarod is  a thousand miles of running behind a dogsled across icy Alaska, within spitting distance of the Arctic Circle.

Anyway, besides these statistical odds in favor of one  of the Seaveys, there are statistical odds against them.

Those who fancy Dallas Seavey for another victory this year, may want to consider that despite killer competitors like Susan Butcher, Martin Buser, Lance Mackey, Doug Swingley and Jeff King trying hard and consistently, a fifth victory has eluded all but one man, the legendary Rick Swenson.

The statistical odds against Mitch is that he is already the oldest man to win. On the other hand, he is tough and experienced, and his team is experienced and known to be tough, not afraid of cold and violent weather.

The biggest consideration, given couple of dozen equally hard men and women who’d dearly love to stop the Seavey train of victories, is again, as it is every year, the weather.  In 2015 Dallas came from behind to grab a victory from Aliy Zirkle in violent weather that stopped her, and she had inherited the lead when the wind blew Jeff King and his team right off the trail.We can say Dallas is a gritty competitor who never stops racing until the finish line, as we saw in 2015. We can say Dallas got lucky. We can say the weather is the same for everyone. We can say two strong competitors, Jeff King and Aliy Zirkle, were put off their stroke when last year they and their dogs were assaulted by a drunk snowmobiler. We can say all of these things.

It’s all on the one hand, and the other hand: over such a distance, under such conditions, with athletes so equally honed and determined, certainty is hard come by. So, having given you all the information to decide for yourself that, realistically, the chances of a Seavey are one in five, what would I advise a bookie to do?

Actually, I’d advise him to shorten the odds on a Seavey win, putting the chances of another Seavey win at near enough even-steven, maybe 45-55. Why?

Dogs and man mushing in perfect athletic harmony:
Dallas Seavey and his team racing across the Alaskan tundra.
Photo courtesy of Loren Holmes/Alaska Dispatch News

Well, there’s such a thing as being on a roll, and riding your luck, and the Seaveys are on a roll and have plenty of experience of riding their luck in atrociously adverse weather, of which there is a better than average chance on the Iditarod trail this year.

Also, Dallas is the most thoughtful Iditarod champion ever, as witness his carbon shed with space for carrying four dogs, and arrangements for cooking their food on the run, so that Dallas can get more time to rest at stops. Dallas isn’t an incidental racer, he lives and breathes the Iditarod year-round.

Put me down for ten bucks on Dallas making it four victories in a row, five in all.

[Part 1 of 2. Tomorrow: Who can upset the Seavey applecart?]

IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute
IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute

Andre Jute is the author of Iditarod a Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth, available in paperback and ebook. Get it at:

eBOOKS
iTunes Smashwords Kobo B&N
PAPERBACKS
Createspace Amazon USA UK

GAUNTLET RUN by Andre Jute, Dakota Franklin & Andrew McCoy

There’s currently also a free full-length novel by André and friends on Amazon, Google and all the vendors above:
Henty’s Fist•1 GAUNTLET RUN

andre_jute_singapore André operates a special page for live Iditarod race reports where you’re welcome to join him.

 

POISONED WELLS Book 7 of the 75-Year Saga Cold War, Hot Passions by André Jute

“Recalls Russian literature at its finest. A real pleasure to read, the writing is rock solid and flawless – every word is the right word, in the right place.” 
abrwrite/LibraryThing

http://coolmainpress.com/CWHPPoisonedWells.html

POISONED WELLS
Book 7 of the 75-Year Saga
Cold War, Hot Passions
by André Jute

Get a sample or buy from
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After Kim Philby’s betrayals, Central Intelligence is so paralyzed by fear of Soviet penetration that only risk-free operations are sanctioned by Counterespionage Staff under Joshua Adams, Philby’s great friend from the wartime OSS.

Into this morass of inaction and suspicion, Hubbell Adams, a Navy pilot, returns from Vietnam too scarred to take up his intended career in the law. Hubbell, inducted into CIA because of his family connection, despite his pitiful inexperience is made point man on the only operation going simply because Joshua will not approve it with anyone else in charge. The operation, conducted in association with the Israelis for whom Aron Hirsch is in charge, is to recruit the key KGB man in Egypt, Alexander “Babe” Bibikov, for defection to the US. Aron is the estranged husband of Belinda, with whom Hubbell had an affair. That’s just the start of the tension and danger that will end in the humiliation and expulsion of the Russians from Egypt, and the famous rapprochement between Egypt and Israel in the Camp David Accords.

Cold War, Hot Passions is true history through the eyes of those who risked their lives to make it.

“A masterly story that has pace, humor, tension and excitement with the bonus of truth.”
The Australian

http://www.coolmainpress.com/CWHPseries.htmlMore at the POISONED WELLS page.

Visit the series COLD WAR, HOT PASSIONS.

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SINKHOLE a tragedy of the machine age the classic disaster thriller by André Jute

SINKHOLE 
a tragedy of the machine age

the classic disaster thriller
by André Jute
“Jute has clearly conducted a great deal of research into everything he describes, investing the novel with an air of prophecy. His moral and ecological concerns are important.”
The Times Literary Supplement

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Jute has concocted an elaborate, cinematic, vivid mayhem-epic. The merry-go-round action keeps shifting from the doings above (panic, horror, crass media, rescue attempts) to the doings below, where a colorful assortment of survivors creep around in a sci-fi landscape of blood, mud, oil, and rubble. Fare for techno-disaster buffs, with grisly, imaginative touches.”
Kirkus Reviews 

It’s nearly lunchtime in a medium-sized mid-West city: a party of school-children are shepherded into a department store: the state senator’s wife sips a pre-lunch drink: the local drugs kingpin cuts a deal: two alert cops make an arrest. A normal day, until the entire downtown of the city vanishes into a massive hole in the ground.

With chillingly accurate detail, André Jute describes how greed, ignorance and mismanagement accelerate remorseless geological processes to erode the very foundations of the earth on which we stand, and build. With incandescent imagination, and a rigorous knowledge of the specialist techniques involved, Sinkhole describes the desperate efforts to retrieve a handful of survivors from the maelstrom underfoot.

Individual acts of courage, honed reflexes and an iron command of esoteric skills could snatch the living from the jaws of the earth. But the few men with the nerve and the vision to challenge the abyss discover that fear, panic, obsession, guilt, the grindingly sluggish mechanisms of bureaucracy, all conspire to hinder the rescue.

The tension is electric: the finale explosive.

“Wild but exciting. A grand job with plenty of irony.”
New York Times

“So bizarre, it’s probably all true.”
London Evening News

“This is an important book.”
Sydney Morning Herald

“Keeps up such a pace and such interest that it really satisfies.”
Good Housekeeping

“A masterly story that has pace, humor, tension and excitement with the bonus of truth.”
The Australian

SINKHOLE
a tragedy of the machine age

the classic disaster thriller
by André Jute

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Sir Basil Zaharoff’s Commission to Germany in WW1: true espionage

CoolMain Press proudly announces publication of
THE ZAHAROFF COMMISSION
the classic true espionage thriller
by Andre Jute
“Wild but exciting. A grand job with plenty of irony.”
New York Times

http://coolmainpress.com/THEZAHAROFFCOMMISSION.htmlTHE ZAHAROFF COMMISSION
the classic true espionage thriller
by Andre Jute

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“The information which Zaharoff secured in Germany for Lloyd George was the most important piece of intelligence of the whole war.”
 Georges Clemenceau, Premier of France in World War One.

“They say that the information I brought ended the war.” 
Sir Basil Zaharoff to the journalist Rosita Forbes in 1933 
in a statement not for publication until after his death

So crucial was this mission that David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of Britain, persuaded his King to knight the sometime Constantinople brothel tout Zaharoff for the information he brought out of the chaos of Germany.

THE ZAHAROFF COMMISSION is the true story of how Basil Zaharoff, the greatest armaments manufacturer the world has ever seen, the notorious Pedlar of Death himself, the hated enemy of the Left, in June 1918 risked death to enter Germany like a common spy to determine whether the Germans should be offered an honorable peace by the reluctant Allies before the triumphant Bolsheviks took over Germany and brought chaos to all Europe.

Peopled by the heroes and villains of history — including a cameo by the young Hermann Goering — THE ZAHAROFF COMMISSION is a literally true thriller. Historically, it shatters the century-old myth that Germany was defeated in World War One by military force.

“Jute’s work of fiction is, once again, bang on target.” 
Donald McCormick, author of
PEDLAR OF DEATH: THE LIFE OF SIR BASIL ZAHAROFF

“Wild but exciting. A grand job with plenty of irony.”
New York Times

“So bizarre, it’s probably all true.”
London Evening News

“This is an important book.”
Sydney Morning Herald

“Keeps up such a pace and such interest that it really satisfies.”
Good Housekeeping

“A masterly story that has pace, humor, tension and excitement with the bonus of truth.”
The Australian

“Jute has clearly conducted a great deal of research into everything he describes, investing the novel with an air of prophecy. His moral and ecological concerns are important.”
Times Literary Supplement

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How Myron Ebell can save a million lives in the first year of the Trump Presidency

Myron Ebell
Donald Trump has chosen Myron Ebell (above) to lead the Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Ebell is well-known for not swallowing the “global warming” Coolaid. 
Excellent start, Mr Trump.
So, Mr Ebell, which will be your most urgent step? Permit me to offer a passionate priority that will save at least a million lives in your first year on the job. And that million is a minimum, just direct deaths from malaria; do this particular job right, and it could be millions, plural.
Your first step should be to remove the ban on DDT, the banning of which has caused a genocide of more than 220 million defenseless people in Africa from malaria and starvation, for which American environmentalists are responsible. And, it should be remembered, they did it in the full knowledge that DDT is not carcinogenic, that their excuse for this crime was a lie. Not a single human being ever contracted cancer from ingesting DDT; in fact, it is safe to eat with a spoon. The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists DDT as “possibly carcinogenic” – right up there with coffee and pickles.
They did it to grab power for themselves: “If the environmentalists win on DDT,” Charles Wurster of the Environmental Defense Fund told the Seattle Times, “they will achieve a level of authority they have never had before.” 
The Nixon government committed this great crime for political convenience. EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus convened a scientific panel, which held six months of hearings, compiled 9,312 pages of studies and testimony, and concluded that DDT was safe and effective and should not be banned. Nevertheless, without attending a single hour of hearings or reading a page of the report, Ruckelshaus banned US production and use of DDT in 1972 – at a time when over 80% of the chemical was being exported for disease control. He later said his decision had nothing to do with cancer. He had a political problem, he said, and he fixed it.
American environmentalists knowingly committed a genocide by banning DDT, and Donald Trump and Myron Ebell can stop the rest of the annual, ongoing genocide by restoring the production and export of DDT.
Andre Jute is the author of AN ELECTION OF PATRIOTS, a novel
andre_jute_singaporewhich explains who sold out highminded media discussion of policy to television soundbitery, smears,  and bias, and IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID, a Rhodes Scholar Education in One Hour, among many other books.

The cultural impact of the Trump election starts here

 The longterm impact of any election is cultural.  iuThink of JFK, who legislatively was a useless president who couldn’t get any legislation passed (Johnson did it for him after Kennedy was assassinated) but who looms large in the universal consciousness because of his inspiring speechwriters.
President Obama, regardless of what happens to his now doomed health program that he sees as his legacy, will live on as the first black President, a glass-ceiling smasher.
It is because of an intuitive understanding of the cultural impact of the presidency that parents who despise President-elect Trump are now agonising about what to tell their children about his election.
 
Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal, told the National Press Club how the gay magazine The Advocate, which earlier praised him as a “gay innovator,” declared he was “not a gay man” because of his libertarian politics. “The lie behind the buzzword of diversity could not be made more clear,” Thiel said. “If you don’t conform, then you don’t count as diverse, no matter what your personal background.”
Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal, told the National Press Club how the gay magazine The Advocate, which earlier praised him as a “gay innovator,” declared he was “not a gay man” because of his libertarian politics. “The lie behind the buzzword of diversity could not be made more clear,” Thiel said. “If you don’t conform, then you don’t count as diverse, no matter what your personal background.”

Trump too will have his cultural impacts. Time will decide which of those will be the most important, but Michelle Malkin has already identified one important Trump cultural effect, which is responsible for his election.

This is absolutely right:

“…one of the most important cultural accomplishments of Donald Trump’s bid will be the platform he created for Americans of all colors, ethnicities, political affiliations, and socioeconomic backgrounds to defy soul-draining identity politics.”

Michelle Malkin
Michelle Malkin

Read Ms Malkin’s entire article.

Every time I read something by this Michelle Malkin, I like her more.

Andre Jute is the author of AN ELECTION OF PATRIOTS, a novel andre_jute_singaporewhich explains who sold out highminded media discussion of policy to television soundbitery, smears,  and bias, and IT’S THE ECONOMY STUPID, a Rhodes Scholar Education in One Hour, among many other books.

Andre Jute kissing the Blarney Stone

Andre Jute kissing the Blarney Stone
Andre Jute kissing the Blarney Stone

The Farewell Burn, Alaska, an Iditarod Trail painting by Andre Jute

In the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at this point the musher runs along rolling low wooded hills and ridges, really quite pleasant, then the dog team crests one last forested ridge and enters the alien hell of the Farewell Burn. This is the grim remnant of Alaska’s largest forest fire, a million and a half acres burning in 1978, through which the race runs for 40 miles. Without trees, the sightlines are forever, and at night one can see the single light of the radar tower on the peak of Tatalina Mountain, near McGrath, a couple of days away by dogsled, seeming to stay eternally unreachable even at racing sled dog speed. While in it, the Farewell Burn seems to continue forever, without hope, like Purgatory. It is the all-too-real proof that after three days among the trees the Spirit of the Forest, Wendigo, drives men mad.

Andre Jute: The Farewell Burn, Alaska, an Iditarod Trail painting, acrylic on card, 320x230mm, 2016Andre Jute: The Farewell Burn, Alaska,
an Iditarod Trail painting, acrylic on card, 320x230mm, 2016

I made two of these paintings, mirror images, because I intend to use them as endplates for a sketchbook that I’m binding. The sketchbook is 300gr cotton watercolor paper, which is why I made the painting in acrylic. For further waterproofing I’ll also varnish both the front and the back of the cardstock before glueing it in.

IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute
IDITAROD a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth by Andre Jute

Andre Jute is the author of Iditarod a Novel of the Greatest Race on Earth, available in paperback and ebook. Get it at:
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andre_jute_singapore
Every year at racetime Andre operates a special page for live Iditarod race reports where you’re welcome to join him. Bookmark that page for next year.

andre_jute_statue_of_jeff_king_s_nash_emerges_iditarod_2016_watercolor_octavo_800pxwAndre’s other Iditarod Trail painting for 2016 is at Is this what a memorial to Nash could look like, a doggie Mount Rushmore?

The quality of #light in #Ireland

andre_jute_drying_rack_23feb16_800pxhOf course it is dull and overcast in Ireland most of the time, which is how come it remains the “green and beloved island”; maintaining greenery requires a lot of rain. But the light always has an eerie quality even when it is overcast, and when the sun shines can be as intense as the (colder) light on the Sahara.

Just outside my bedroom is a large landing under a skylight, where an overflow drying rack from my studio stands. I woke at dawn to see the sun shining through the skylight giving a monotone oil standing on the drying rack a definitely otherwordly quality.

Yves Klein noticed something similar about the light on the Mediterranean coast of France, and he too was into blue paintings. Perhaps I’ll teat myself and my fans to a blue period, though I’ll give jumping off buildings, which is how Klein actually became famous, or at least notorious, a miss as in my reckless youth I already jumped off the Town Hall in Stellenbosch holding an umbrella. Once was definitely enough!

Andre Jute is a writer and painter.

Sleeping Swan Mourning, River Bandon, Co Cork, Ireland. Photo by Andre Jute.

Andre Jute: Sleeping Swan Mourning, River Bandon, Co Cork, Ireland

This swan normally lives in the deep pool above the weir, opposite the police station in Bandon. But this afternoon, presumably after a lunch of too many fat frogs, I found it catching a nap lower down the river. Despite appearances, it is safe enough, the little pebble island being entirely surrounded by water. The ducks and gulls which normally crowd this part of the river are far too experienced to come near such a large and dangerous — and, it must be said, bad-tempered — animal as this swan, which is alone, and very unpredictable, after its mate was killed by an escaped mink which some careless idiot imported.

Swans mate for life and if a mate is killed, don’t mate again. Since we had only one pair of swans, this is a tragedy for our river as well as for the surviving swan mourning its mate.

Andre Jute is a writer and painter.

 

High noon in Bandon. At least no snow in Ireland.

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High noon in Bandon.
At least there is no snow.
Cycled around the town just to get out.
Andre Jute is a writer and painter.

Merry Christmas

andre_jute_man_and_dog_in_the_mud_across_the_river_after_the_recent_storm_wc_8x6in_2015_800pxwandre_jute_man_and_dog_in_the_mud_across_the_river_after_the_recent_storm_wc_8x6in_2015_800pxw.jpg

BREAKING NEWS FOR #ARTISTS — #CADMIUM PAINTS #SAVED!

This arrived from my arts materials pushers, Jackson’s in London. Frightening what the bureaucrats in Brussels can get up to, especially when pushed by a bunch of dumb Swedes trying to drain the glee from everyone’s life.

pro-cadmium

BREAKING NEWS – CADMIUM PAINTS SAVED!

Dear Andre,

Yesterday afternoon, the European Commission issued its communication confirming that it will not adopt a REACH restriction on cadmium in artists’ paints, which would have seen cadmium colours effectively banned in Europe.

Background

In 2013/14 the EU’s Chemical Agency responded to a Scandinavian request that attempted to reduce the quantity of cadmium batteries sent to land-fill waste across Europe. Alarmingly the proposed legislation made no allowance for the entirely safe cadmium compounds used in artists’ paints and if successfully adopted would have seen cadmium banned from use by European paint makers. Without concerted and urgent effort, artists would have been deprived of the vibrant cadmium yellows, reds and oranges that have formed an essential part of the professional palette since the 1840’s!

How we did it

Co-ordinating the campaign were Spectrum Paints, a comparatively small UK paint maker. Their size meant they were unrestricted by legal departments and press officers, so Michael Craine, Rachel Volpé and Angela Brown set about raising awareness and speaking with the EU through the paint maker’s trade organisation CEPE. Artists & Illustrators Magazine was an early supporter and joined the campaign to spread the word and encourage individual artists to contact the ECHA with their views. Michael Craine recalls, “It was a fascinating time through which we had a growing sense that perhaps the strength of our argument might win through. As a result of the Artists & Illustrators publicity and further excellent blogging by Jackson’s Art and other enthusiasts and supporters, the story went global! We were contacted by British broad-sheet newspapers, the story was taken up by Emma-Jane Kirby of the BBC who interviewed me for broadcast on Radio 4’s PM program. We made it onto the BBC news. We appeared in the media in the USA, South Africa, Australia and the French and German press”.

What happened?

The European Chemical Agency ECHA were impressed with the art world’s reasonable, informed and strongly-held view that pigments such as Cadmium Sulphate are indispensible to artists – perfectly safe, perfectly strong, wonderfully lightfast and producing unique shades. There are imitations but no replacements! Rachel Volpé of Spectrum Paints comments that, “whilst we discussed the technical case for cadmium pigments, many artists were passionately able to stress the economic and artistic importance of cadmiums as they uniquely bring a warmth, light, strength and colour to paintings that stands the test of time”.

Have we won just a temporary reprieve?

Michael from Spectrum writes, “this is more than a reprieve. The ECHA recognise our case and acknowledge the substance of our arguments. This astonishing collaboration has taken up a great deal of time for me over the last two years and innumerable emails, meetings and conversations, but it was worth it!” Not only is the change of heart over cadmium a joyous occasion in its own right, the fact that the artist fraternity is recognised as a community in its own right is an exciting development and one that should help us protect our mutual interests in the future. So congratulations and sincere thanks all round!

Bombing down the hill at Kilbrogan

I love autumn in Ireland. It is generally the warmest season of the year here in West Cork, the sun might even shine, and often it doesn’t rain.

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The sun at dawn is low on the Eastern horizon behind me, as you can see from my elongated shadow near the middle left of the photo.

You can’t see the bottom of the valley, but on the far side is the steepest hill in West Cork. From the bottom of the valley, to leave in any direction you must face the first, second or third steepest hill in West Cork.

Of course there is a network of small roads, very pleasant riding. But if I were descending across the fields at speed, while a fall might not hurt too much on these hassocks, I would want my doctor in attendance. Reluctantly I turned away to…

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Speeding downhill at 51kph. Oh, the thrill of it! This is more than halfway down already, with the steepest, fastest bit behind me, more’s the pity.

And here I just caught a thrill at 50+kph on a much safer surface, where the only danger is a tractor coming around the corner at the bottom of another steep hill, this one a couple or three kilometers away from the first photograph.

Andre Jute is a novelist, painter and cyclist. He has some other dangerous passions as well, including kilovolt thermionic tube hifi with horn loudspeakers.