The United States of Paranoia – Review

The nice folks at the Reason Foundation sent me a free review copy of Jesse Walker’s The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory all the way back in September of last year. At the time I was churning through my close reading of Radley Balko’s Warrior Cop, so it took me a month or […]

The Forensic Geology Series – Review

When I don’t have any new novels from my favorite major authors, I like to browse the cheap e-books at Amazon to try to find new authors. Many of them turn out to be unappealing — not so much because they are badly written but because, like most indie art, they have a somewhat narrow […]

10 Books, More Or Less

There’s a meme of sorts going around, the rules to which are: “List 10 books that have stayed with you. Don’t take more than a few minutes; don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be great works, just the ones that have touched you.” The rules don’t specify fiction, but that’s how most people […]

Rise of the Warrior Cop – Review Part 5 of 5: Reform

Bad cops are the product of bad policy. And policy is ultimately made by politicians. A bad system loaded with bad incentives will unfailingly produce bad cops. The good ones will never enter the field in the first place, or they will become frustrated and leave police work, or they’ll simply turn bad. At best, […]

Rise of the Warrior Cop – Review Part 4 of 5: Violence

It’s a no-knock raid, Don’t be afraid We’ll shoot your dogs, In front of your kids Cuz we’re the SWAT We’re here for your pot, And all the cash that you got, We are adrenalin junkies taking orders from the top, — Lindy, “No Knock Raid” 2011 (The song is depressing enough, but I should […]

Radley Poses With My Kindle

Rise of the Warrior Cop – Book Tour

Yesterday evening I drove downtown to visit Roosevelt University to catch the Chicago stop of Radley Balko’s tour for his book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. Radley’s presentation is pretty interesting, although not of course as in-depth as the book itself. He starts with a clip from the Columbia […]

Rise of the Warrior Cop – Interlude

I’ve been writing a series of posts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) that outline some of the themes that Radley Balko explores in Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. The book itself is far more detailed, with discussions of the political forces that created some of these policies, and […]

Rise of the Warrior Cop – Review Part 3 of 5: Perverse Incentives

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked 1935. I’ve been doing a close reading of Radley Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces, and I’m trying […]

Rise of the Warrior Cop – Review Part 2 of 5: Justification and Permission

The public in the past have naively avoided consideration of the fact that the principle difference between a democracy and an totalitarian form of government is not so much in the laws under which they operate as it is in the manner by which the laws are applied. — Don L. Kooken, Ethics in Police […]

Rise of the Warrior Cop – Review Part 1 of 5: History

Since its inception, the police establishment has conducted itself more as the agent of the power structure than the servant of a pluralistic society. — Former FBI Special Agent William W. Turner. The Police Establishment. 1968. I’ve been waiting a long time for Radley Balko to write a book, and now he finally has. Rise […]

In Search of Legal Thrillers

I’m trying to find some good legal thrillers to read, and it’s not as easy as I’d hoped. I’ve mined out most of my favorites: Scott Turow hasn’t published anything lately, Sheldon Siegel ran out of steam with Mike Daley, John LesCroart’s stories have drifted away from the courtroom, and William Lashner seems to have […]

Why Don't Authors' Websites List Their Books in the Right Order?

Why Don’t Authors’ Websites List Their Books in the Right Order?

Monday night I finished reading Linda Nagata’s far-future epic series The Bohr Maker, Deception Well and Vast back-to-back-to-back, and I wanted to take a break from amazing stories of super-science and find something a little more down to earth, so I looked at my Kindle’s recommendations and something about Mark Gimenez’s Accused caught my eye. […]

Fragment by Warren Fahy – Review

I like to browse through Amazon’s catalog of cheap e-books to see if I can find anything interesting. As you’d expect, many of them aren’t very good and probably wouldn’t have been published in the days before on-demand printing and digital distribution. However, I thought it might be fun to blog about some of the better […]

Shifted by Colin D. Jones – Review

Whenever I get tired of checking the bestseller lists on my Kindle book reader for new novels to read — the top of the list has been owned by Hunger Games and Lisbeth Salander ever since I got the thing — I like to try out a few of the cheap e-books. It’s a bit […]

Declaration of Independents – Part 3

Over at Nobody’s Business, I’ve finally posted the third and final part of my review of Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch’s Declaration of Independents.