As those of you who read/listen to my stories might have guessed, I’m a very political animal, but I do not hew comfortably near the current position of either major party and I’m not close to any of the minor parties either. On one level, the current situation is a bit of theater, a routine part of American governance during contentious times, and I’m not terribly worried about it. At least, not in the long term.

On another, having watched the staggering incompetence that laid the groundwork for the current situation, I’m very disinclined to sling mud at any of the several major sets of actors currently trying to upstage each other. Some of them deserve a little more mud right now than others, but the fact is that we’ve been watching this game of chicken unfold for longer than some wars we’ve been in.

Let’s face it: this current shutdown has been coming for a while. As one of my co-conspirators works at a government facility, my household has faced the looming cloud of shutdowns and furloughs for the past five years (the last time the Federal Government had a budget), and every 60-90 days, we hold our breath when the Continuing Resolutions (euphemism for “Emergency Funding”) get voted on.

This time, we got lucky. The particular source of the government cash that props up our household budget is currently deemed “essential.” If this had happened last year, we would not have been. If it happens again next year, we probably won’t be.

In my opinion, the bureaucracy that administers our infrastructure is more essential than the elected bozos who create and tinker with it–and while there are bits of that bureaucracy I’d happily see end-of-life’d or devolved back to more local control, the fact is that the people who do those bureaucratic jobs keep one of our three essential institutions (Government–the other two being Markets and Courts) running along, allowing us all to access invisible capital and opportunity every day, whether we recognize it or not.

This is why, when Matt Wallace announced his furlough ebook bundle, I sent a note offering to toss a few titles of my own into the mix. If you’re currently sitting around needing something to cheer you up due to an unexpected unpaid vacation, you can get some giggles reading the first four Lantham mysteries for free. If you need some sardonic dark humor, the Antithesis books are also in there. And there are a whole bunch of other authors, like Mur Lafferty, Paul Elard Cooley, Scott Sigler, Chuck Wendig, Jaye Wells, Maria Alexander, Brand Gamblin, and (of course) Matt Wallace in there too. It’s operating on the honor system, so please be honest.

To get the bundle, email Matt Wallace at matt AT



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