Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Penn State Abuse Cases Handled Well Compared to Nebraska’s Infamous Sex Scandal
A few years ago what became known as the “Franklin Cover-up” consumed the state of Nebraska.  It was a story of financial misdeeds and organized child sexual abuse.  But it became even better known as an example of how insider power structure can go out of control and violate all of the American institutions we take for granted. 
The local Franklin Credit Union had grown from obscurity to become a national money-making phenomenon.  When the financial facade came crashing down, the fall out revealed accusations of a pedophile ring that encircled leading citizens in Nebraska, prominent politicians in Washington D.C., and beyond.
Pennsylvania’s handling of the recent sex scandal has led to many victims coming forward for a public cleansing.  That is in great contrast to the Nebraska case.  Spearheaded by the state’s only daily newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald, a news block out set the tone.  And when the newspaper was forced to finally acknowledge that something was going on, the reporting was a protective cocoon wrapped around prominent citizens.  The message to victims became clear:  come forward and you will be ridiculed, jailed, institutionalized, and if that fails, killed.
Early on as the case seemed about to break open, a private investigator, Gary Caradori, took his son to a ball game in Chicago where he was following up on some leads.  Before getting on their private plane to return to Omaha, Caradori called a State Senator to inform him that he had "found the smoking gun."  Later, thirty minutes into flight, the plane exploded and both died instantly.  An investigation concluded that the cause was pilot fatigue.
Caradori was the first of many mysterious deaths where eighteen teenagers connected to the case died in a twenty-four month period. 
The victims had made statements that they had been abused by the Chief of Police, the credit union manager, and some of Omaha's and Nebraska's leading businessmen.  Many claimed that they had been residents of the famous Boys Town home for boys when they had been recruited for sexual encounters with businessmen and prominent politicians while being transported to cities around the United States.
Some information suggests that the sex ring was decades-old, tying back to a CIA psychological brainwashing program called "Operation Monarch".
In Nebraska, with no journalistic coverage, no police protection, no local, county or state protection services, the cases finally ground to an exhausted close.  Most Nebraskans feel that a lot of wealthy people got away with committing awful deeds, including murder.  Unlike in Pennsylvania, the message to victims was clear:  keep your mouth shut.

New Cover Design for "Operation Monarch"

Many thanks to Renee Barratt for redesigning the cover to Operation Monarch for the e-book editions. 

When the book was first published, not many had heard of Operation Monarch (the covert operations code name).  A great deal of information has surfaced now, but most will still be surprised how the top secret enterprise still impacts current events.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Illegal Immigration - The Musical

We are a pretty straight-forward bunch out here and most people's attitude toward illegal immigration is, "What part of illegal do you not understand?"  In small towns across the state there is a movement going on to vote for "Arizona-type" illegal immigration laws even though they are two thousand miles from the border.  In Fremont, Nebraska, although they have been warned that passing the laws will result in multi-million dollar litigation that will likely bankrupt their town, the citizens have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the law that prohibits anyone from providing jobs or housing to illegals within the city limits.

The irony is that most of the illegals work in packing plants located outside the city limits, and live in trailer parks also located outside the city limits.

Each time I hear about the anit-immigration lawyers trying to come in and stir the pot, I can't help comparing the Fremont situation to "The Music Man".   The outside agitator marching around town, "Oh, we got trouble!  Right here in River City.  It starts with a "T" and that rhymes with, uh, "I" and that stands for Immigrant, my friends!"  Trouble-Trouble-Trouble-Trouble "Now let me tell you about the words they use in them there barrios.  They say words like, 'Jalapeno' and 'Gringo' and 'Feliz Na-vi-da'!"

In this musical, which I will never write, the illegals decide they need to invite the neighbors to a show so they can better get to know them.  They decide to put on a circus, called, "Circus Ole!"

Here's a quote for the day

Most people believe that others share values similar to their own -- and this leads to no end of suspicions and other mischievous behavior.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I've been an indie writer all my life

I keep reading about the revolution that is coming into full swing: authors going or staying independent to spite the Big Publisher system.   The same electronic forces that toppled the dictator in Eygpt and threaten  totalitarian governments globally can lead to a similar destruction of the publishing world, starting with the large bookstores before it gets to the agent/editor/publisher circle.

I completely bought into the system.  After I wrote Morning Ran Red, my dreams were of being anoited by a publishing house.  I knew it was a great book.  But it didn't matter.  Not until it was blessed.  Finally I worked with a small local publisher to get the book in print.  It sold 5,000 hardcover copies the first day.  5,000 the first day of the second run.  5,000 the first day of the third run.  Then 150,000 copies in paperback.  The paperback publisher filed bankruptcy and I didn't see a dime.  But, wow, almost 200,000 people were out there carrying around my book.  I loved the idea of it.  A review house said it was an infectious read he couldn't put down.  A newspaper said it was better than In Cold Blood.  And Clive Cussler added a blurb that I was one of the top mystery writers. 

Still, after all this, I had an aching that my work was never blessed by the Gods of publishing.  Then one day a little old lady recognized me on the street and said, "I just want you to know that I stopped reading books forty years ago.  But I picked yours up and I loved it.  You convinced me to start reading again!"

I realised that I had forgotten why I started writing in the first place.

Now the e-book versions of my books are enjoying a resurgence and it is so exciting to think that a whole new audience is enjoying my work.