No Person is Above the Law

Really? Are we sure about this?  In 2018 police in the United States shot and killed 998 people.

photos from Luther Bottrill on Unsplash.comHow is it that policemen and policewomen in the U.S are allowed to shoot and kill people, even unarmed people, whenever “police think their own lives are in danger?”

Just think about this for a minute.

Think about the young black boy, Tamar Rice, age 12, playing in a park who was shot and killed seconds after a Cleveland cop arrived. Tamar was murdered because the young man waved a toy gun at the officer. A precious life lost in seconds!

When I was that boy’s age many of us played on the street or in back yards with cap guns, squirt guns, and even air pellet guns that looked like real guns. None of us died back then. What’s different now?

Certainly not just racism! I heard racist language and saw far more racist acts when I was young than nowadays. Nor is the reason that real guns back in my day wouldn’t have killed a policeman. In big cities like Philadelphia in the 1960s, those guns did kill policemen.

Here’s what I think. Continue reading →

Two Mystery Writers Who Tackle Dark Money

With the tragic outcome of the murders at the Pittsburgh synagogue this year, the mail bombs sent to prominent Democrats, and the upcoming midterm elections, it’s hard to focus on anything but our own country these days.

Nevertheless, there is another story of dark money flowing not just in America but in much of the world that, like Sean McFate’s political thriller series, is being portrayed by nonfiction authors and mystery book writers rather than our news media.

That story is about opioid addiction. Estimates in the United States alone are that 80,000 Americans died of overdoses last year. Opioid deaths are fast outstripping heart attacks as the number one cause of death here.

Today I’ll be writing about two of my favorite mystery series writers’ latest books about the political corruption and ethical dilemnmas raised by opioid epidemics happening in other countries.

These authors are Louise Penny and Donna Leon. Louise Penny’s series are set in Canada. Donna Leon’s series are set in Italy. Continue reading →

Dark Money and the Adventures of Tom Locke

In my last post, I used the word “global” in the title because dark money is not just an American phenomena—it’s now a world-wide phenomenon.

Dark money is not only used by billionaire scions in the U.S. but also by some oligarchs, sheiks, businessmen, political players, and government leaders around the world. These super-rich people are not libertarians or even ideologues. They make deals via private banks and back channels merely to enrich themselves further and gain power.

With money and mercenaries at their beck and call, these shadow figures are pulling strings to get what they want.

So, if you want to know more about how deep states and dark money work, I highly recommend Sean McFate’s fiction series featuring his American mercenary hero, Tom Locke. Continue reading →