- Mike Palecek spent time behind bars for protesting against
nuclear weapons in the 1980's. Released in 1989, he's now writing novels
using his religious beliefs as guideposts in searching for the truth in
a country corrupted from top top bottom. His latest book, Looking for Bigfoot,
is well worth reading.
- By Greg Szymanski
- Mike Palecek knows what it's like to be harassed, convicted
and thrown in the slammer for doing what's right. He knows the pain of
having to look at life from behind bars, thinking night after night how
he was wrongfully accused.
- Palecek, a country boy from a small town in Iowa who
writes for a living now, has had Big Brother breathing down your neck since
the 1980's when all he did was openly protest nuclear proliferation at
a military base, a First Amendment right protected by the Constitution.
- But a small thing like freedom of speech never has stopped
the state before when it decides to shut somebody up, especially when it
involves trying to take away its biggest toys nuclear weapons.
- "Bad boy, Mike," said Big Brother, finding
Palecek guilty of trespassing several times, meriting in the state's eyes
two separate six month terms and a couple other shorter stints.
- Time after time the state kept finding legal technicalities
and trespassing violations, using heavy-handed legal tactics and tons of
taxpayer money to teach Palacek and others like him a sad lesson in life
that "it doesn't pay to fight city hall even if you're right."
- Although Palecek learned the hard way, his spirit never
was broken and he is still alive, kicking and fighting corruption in any
way he can.
- But instead of protesting on the picket line, he's channeled
his outspoken contempt for Big Brother through his writing, first as a
journalist and now as a novelist with the completion of his sixth book
called "Looking for Bigfoot."
- "It's a novel about an alternative radio broadcaster
who travels the country looking for the truth," said Palecek this
week on Greg Szymanski's radio show, "The Investigative Journal on
the Republic Broadcasting Network as www.rbnlive.com.
- Even though the title is a bit deceiving, "Looking
for Bigfoot," as described by some book critics is about fighting
back and making important life choices, hinging on good or evil and right
- The book, written in a free-flowing style with each of
its many small chapters beginning with an important quote from either well-known
or obscure figures, delves into current events, attempting to bring out
in the open the massive corruption and rampant lying within the policies
of the U.S. government.
- Weaving a tale of a man traveling the heartland searching
for truth, Palecek asks the important question: "How can we make a
difference in the face of incredible corrupt power?"
- "There are those in America who know that this is
not "the home of the free and the brave" long before Abu Ghraib,"
said Palecek. "Those people are the poor, the prisoner, the activist,
the immigrant, anyone who has found himself face to face with the real,
ugly face of America: the judge, the prison guard, the soldier, the policeman.
And Mike Palecek, Federal Prisoner No. 11936-047.
- "After that I went 'insane' in jail - "or maybe
it was just a very, very deep depression or post traumatic stress disorder
from previous prison experiences forcing me to retire from civil disobedience,
so to speak, deciding then to go into journalism and then to novel writing."
- And it's been a long, long and winding road for Palecek
ever since growing up Norfolk, Nebraska, the town where the famous talk
show host Johnny Carson was born.
- Before settling into writing novels, Palecek's varied
experiences also depict a man searching for truth in his own special way
as he has tried it all, as they say, from high school football star, going
into the seminary as well as taking a shot at politics, running for Congress
as an Iowa Democratic Party nominee.
- He also ran as a write-in candidate in 1998, and announced
his candidacy by walking from the Air National Guard Base in Sioux City
to the base in Fort Dodge to protest the bombing of Yugoslavia by then-President
- "Right now I am trying to balance raising a family
with what is going on in the corrupt government and it's not easy,"
said Palecek, who has also began working on his next novel from his Iowa
- From the beginning, Palecek who was a former Catholic
seminarian in St. Paul Minnesota, bases his dissident actions on his strong
religious beliefs, saying that money used for the mighty U.S. war machine
should instead be channeled to the poor, health care and education.
- "Because I have been there, walked down small-town
Nebraska and Iowa and Minnesota main streets and huddled in the dungeon
intake cave of Leavenworth Penitentiary, I have survived to tell the unfortunate
tale that the birds on our lawn are chirping out of tune," said Palecek.
- "The world is not as we think it is. Our Presidents
and congressional yes-men are not heroes. The real heroes in our military
are those who refuse to kill, who go to Canada. The poor are not poor because
they are lazy. Our prisons do not protect us.
- "Voting for the Democratic Party is not nearly enough,
as their succession of candidates lay down and play dead under the thumb
of a terrorist political machines. We are keeping ourselves free by killing
people around the world. Remember, evil men will do anything to gain power,
riches, glory and fame."
- "There is good news. Now we know. Freedom is not
slavery and daily deception does not make us free. We can truly be free
only when we have the truth. These freedom fries they have been selling
us have only made us sick.
- "But we can get well now and live as God truly intended
us to live, not under the whip of the American rich and powerful, but with
the enlightened wonder of this great creation called earth."
- Looking at Palecek's latest book with an eye on the crooked
federal justice system, another federal political prisoner, David Van Thournout
of Dubuque, Iowa, has d this to say after reading "Looking for Bigfoot:"
- "Mike's most recent work is nothing short of a worldview
shattering slice of reality. It will enrage and embolden you to come forth
and play your part in the unfolding of the future in America.
- "Mike succeeds in showing us small town America
in an objective light revealing justice inverted as it often is. People
who should be in prison are not and those fighting in the name of justice
become the recipients of this inverted justice.
- "A more accurate picture of the for profit nature
of the criminal justice system is not often found in today's literature.
Being a former federal prisoner for my own political view I find this book
a particularly refreshing light into the dark direction this country is
- currently moving."
- To get a copy of Palecek's book go to www.iowapeace.com
- For more informative articles, go to www.arcticbeacon.com.