Showing posts with label Police. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Police. Show all posts

Monday, May 29, 2017

Perfect Pawn - Free (Memorial Day Week)

Just in time to kick off your Summer Reading, I am re-releasing an updated version of my debut novel, Perfect Pawn.

From May 30th through June 3rd, 2017, you can add the e-Book version to your summer 2017 reading list for free.

Perfect Pawn tells the story of James Maguire a former Navy SEAL and a retired NYPD Detective who is faced with investigating the disappearance of an ex-girlfriend who went missing from a one-car accident.

The one thing you find as an author is that with each passing year and each new novel, you become a better writer. With this in mind, we went back and did a re-edit / update. While the story line is not affected, there are some additional 'conversations' between characters that enhance the book, as well as removing some of the inter-chapter 'head' hopping that took place. All in all I think this new edition will greatly appeal to the reader.

For this edition I also updated the cover artwork to make it readily identifiable.

If hope that you enjoy the book and I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to leave feedback when you are done.

You can check out all my books by clicking here: Other Books by Andrew G. Nelson

Thank you so much and happy reading !!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Uncommon Valor II - Challenge Coins of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit

Back in the summer of 2015, just as I was getting ready to publish: Uncommon Valor - Insignia of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit, the collecting world erupted with a new area: Challenge Coins. At the time I questioned whether I should be the book on hold and include this field, but the more I researched, the more I realized that I would need a lot more time.

I had already invested five years into the cloth insignia history, so I decided to publish that book and then devote the necessary time to properly investigating the coin phenomena. To give you an idea of just how quickly coin fever has gripped the hobby, consider that my first book documented nearly a century of ESU insignia history and comprised roughly 130 pages. This follow-up is nearly the same page count, but only goes back to the late 1990's, when the first ESU coin came out.

Like the first book, this has been a labor of love. At times it felt like I was investigating some deep, dark mystery and at other times banging my head against the desk seemed like a completely acceptable option. In the end it didn't take five years, but it did take almost two.

As much as I love writing these books on ESU, I realize that I much rather write fiction. It is much simpler to create stories in your head, as opposed to conducting research. In the field of non-fiction you only get one chance at being right.

Fortunately, the hard work has paid off and now I add another new book to the catalog. If you are interested in the NYPD ESU or challenge coins, I believe you will thoroughly enjoy this book. It contains over 100 photographs and offers collectors a glimpse at some of the rarest challenge coins produced by the various Trucks and Specialty Units, many of which have never been seen before.

I want to extend my sincere thanks to those members of ESU who afforded me the opportunity to ask innumerable questions and who provided photos of their coins. You are truly the Finest of the Finest.

It is amazing to me, as I submit the file for printing, that this will be my ninth book. It seems like only yesterday that I was holding Perfect Pawn in my hands for the first time. Now it is time to put my non-fiction endeavors to bed for awhile, as I take back up the further adventures of James and Alex.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fifteen Years Later – Remembering the Attacks of September 11th

I got up, just like I do every September 11th, and looked outside.

I like rainy days, over cast days, hot days, cloudy days, hazy days, every day other than the one I that is forever seared into my brain.

I got up this morning early, before the sun had come up, and stepped outside. Fifteen years ago I did the same thing, heading out of the house before the sun had come up to do my tour of duty as a city-election supervisor for the NYPD. That morning the air was cool and crisp, a nice respite from the dog days of summer we had just gone through.

As the sun came up over Brooklyn, the darkness was chased away by shades of gold, and red and orange. The rising sun turned the once black sky into a majestic blue, unmarred by any clouds. It was a rich shade of blue that I will never forget, a color that looked as if it had been pulled directly from God’s pallet.

Had I seen it before? Probably, but before September 11th it meant nothing. Now, I will take the image to my grave.

So it was with trepidation that I stepped outside, feeling the coolness of the air. As I grudgingly watched, sipping my coffee, the sky once again began its transformation, chasing away the blackness. As the sun took hold, the dew on the blades of grass were transformed in to a field of sparking diamonds. Off in the distance the fog rolled across the tops of the corn fields. It was a scene that, on 364 other days, would be breathtaking in its scope and beauty. But this was day 365.

As I watched the sun rise, the sky once again has turned blue and, try as I might, I can’t find a single cloud in the sky.

As I write this, I watch the clock, ticking off in my head mentally where I was on that fateful morning. My travels will take my partner and I through the streets of Brooklyn to the hell that was Manhattan on the morning of September 11th. Our conversation will go from typical morning banter, laughs as we search for the elusive ‘Vote Here – Aqui’ signs, which signaled our latest election poll target, to hearing the first calls over our portable radio, and, after realizing we had been attacked, heading in to Ground Zero, unaware of what we would face when we arrived and saying goodbye to one another, just in case.

In just under a half hour from now the 1st plane will have struck the North Tower….. and so the memories will all come flooding back.

My partner and I were lucky that day. We were spared the fate that so many others faced, due in no small part to an elusive pack of cigarettes.

Today I mourn for my friends, co-workers, and all those lost, not just at the World Trade Center, but at the Pentagon and in the skies above Pennsylvania as well. I remember the bravery that came through in the days and months after the attack; my heart beaming with pride just because I was lucky enough that God choose me to be a member of the greatest police department in the world, the NYPD.  And I will forever carry in my heart and mind the Department motto: Fidelis Ad Mortem (Faithful Unto Death)

But I also mourn for those who died on the other September 11th Attack.  And just as I will not forget the names of Moira Smith, John Coughlin, Joe Vigiano, Rodney Gillis and all the other members of the NYPD who died that day, I will also not forget the names: Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Ty Woods and Glen Doherty. Nor will I forget those who, laying aside everything else, rushed in to save them, accepting that it might be their last day as well.



Those of us who survive such things are torch bearers for the real heroes, the men and women who selflessly gave their lives for their fellow man. We must never forget them and we must never let their deaths be in vein.

So, today I will mourn, as I do every September 11th. I will thank God for saving me and my partner that day, thank him for having given me the opportunity to be a part of something so much greater than myself and to be able to share my story, so that the true heroes are never forgotten. On November 8th, 2016, I will honor those lost in Benghazi, making sure that they are Never Forgotten.

Someone recently asked me if I thought we had learned anything from the attack. Sadly, the answer to that question is a resounding no. Just like the warnings, the lessons are all there, we have just ignorantly closed the book. Blithely choosing to bury our heads in the sands of political correctness; believing that the old Beatles song ‘Love Is All You Need’ is the answer to all our ills. It isn’t. You don’t have to agree with me, but my opinions are based on cold hard fact, not fiction or personal desires.

God bless you all and may God bless America.


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Monday, July 11, 2016

The Aftermath of the Dallas Police Shootings - Violence Based on a Lie

As I sat in my hotel room up in Chicago, watching FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before congress Thursday morning, I could not imagine how my Monday morning blog could not be about Hillary Clinton. Sadly, the shooting of the police officers in Dallas, including five who died, during a Black Lives Matter protest later that evening would cause me to re-evaluate that idea.

I will save my response to Director Comey’s finding for a more appropriate time.  For now I want to focus on the social issues that are tearing apart the very fabric of this country. I am asking you to please consider everything that I am about to tell in light of the false narrative that you are being spoon fed by the politicians, pundits and so called community activists.

First and foremost is the chilling fact that: #BlackLivesMatter (aka: BLM), like its predecessor: #HandsUpDontShoot, is a lie.

Why do I say that?

Because, just like the real reasons behind gun violence, the people pushing this agenda are completely disingenuous and have no answers as to how to take action to save any lives, let alone black ones.

You know who does? The police.

Yes, those very same blood-thirsty, racist cops are the only ones who are proactively doing something to save lives, especially black ones.

You must be thinking to yourself that I have completely lost it and I can honestly understand why. It’s hard not to believe this stuff when you are being bombarded with it at every turn. Every day the media is reporting about the latest ‘murder’ of a black man by ‘racist’ cops. Hell, even Congress and the NFL got in on the act. But just because you are repeatedly being told something doesn’t make it factual. Consider this quote before you go any further:


A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right and evil doesn’t become good, just because it is accepted by the majority.” – Rick Warren

We have to move beyond the narrative and look at the facts. Now some people in politics and the media don’t want to do this because it is going to cast a spotlight on the fallacy of their claims. By creating this fictitious boogieman it serves four purposes:
  • Makes someone else responsible for the problems
  • Creates a sensational storyline that sucks in under-informed viewers / readers
  • Provides a financial cottage industry to those willing to exploit it
  • Unjustly demonizes a group of people they already do not like
  • Sadly, this is a classic case of a ‘Lather, Rinse & Repeat’ problem.

So what is the truth, you ask?

Well, much different than what they want you to believe.

The recent attack and assassination of the police officers in Dallas underscores the reality. Those officers were there to protect the BLM protestors. None of the officers in Dallas had been involved in any way with the recent shootings, yet they were being vilified as if they had pulled the triggers themselves. The fact is that the only one that went there with a hate-filled agenda was the shooter and when that shooter opened fired what happened? The police officers, the same ones being demonized by the crowd, rushed in to put themselves between the shooter and protesters.

Yep, sounds just like the blood-thirsty, racist cops we are being warned about.

So how did social media, that bell-weather for the state of decay that has become America, respond?  Not surprisingly, in typical BLM fashion:
  • “Y’all pigs got what was coming for y’all.”
  • “Yeah it's lit in Dallas fuck the pigs !!”
  • “Next time a group wants to organize a police shoot, do like Dallas tonight, but have extra men/women to flank the Pigs!”
  • “These fucking pigs deserve Dallas, and every incident after Dallas until reform. Fucking disgusting animals.”
  • “Dude hell yeah someone is shooting pigs in dallas. Solidarity.”
  • “DALLAS keep smoking dem pigs keep up the work.”

Unfortunately, this vile, hate-filled rhetoric is nothing new. It wasn’t too long ago that we heard chants of: “What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want it? Now!” and “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!”

But surely if the problem is truly as bad as we are being told, then surely there is some emotional justification for all this, right?

The simple answer is no.

To be sure there was a time when racism was a very real problem in this country, but the same can be said with just about every other country in the world. The truth is that there will always be some form of racism and or discrimination. Do you think those comments above are any less racist just because they are directed at the nameless / faceless police?

If those in the BLM community have that much of a problem with the police, then why do they still pick-up the phone and call 911 when they need help? Not sure how to reconcile exactly how you can be so vehemently anti-police one moment, and then hide behind them the next.

Now I know there are those who will contend that the police killings of innocent black are of such epidemic proportions that it justifies some of this anger.

Once again, the truth is no.

To be fair, there are bad cops, just as there are bad politicians, reporters, community activists, doctors, lawyers, firemen, etc. and we should do our best to root them out, because they do a grave disservice to the vast majority who do their jobs with professionalism. But the lie of the epidemic of racist cops killing unarmed / innocent blacks is just that, a lie and just because a lie is told enough times doesn’t make it the truth. I don’t care who is telling you this, whether it is a politician, celebrity, pundit, or the person on the street corner, it will never be the truth and here is why:

The population of the United States is roughly 318 million people. Of that number, approximately 40 million are black. There are less than eight hundred thousand sworn members of law enforcement.

Let that sink in for a minute.

Law enforcement makes up just a quarter of a percent, 0.25%, of the population of the United States!
In terms of the black population it is a ratio of 50:1

So how many blacks have been killed by police so far in 2016? 123.

If you like math that is equal to 0.000307499% of the black population.

Just for comparison, there have been almost 250 blacks killed in the city of Chicago during the same time period.

Do you need me to do the numbers?

The reality is that, if you are black, you are twice as likely to be killed on the streets of Chicago then you are in the entire United States. Yet, I can’t recall ever seeing a single BLM march through the Chicago neighborhoods of Austin or Englewood. Guess they don’t like protesting in war-zones.

The truth is that while more whites are killed by the police (238 vs 123 YTD), blacks are killed by cops more often than whites, proportional to population, but the contrast in numbers is still ridiculously low: 0.0003% vs 0.0001%

This is what we are all up in arms about? 0.0002%

All lives matter, but we must consider what is really going on here.

I’m sorry, but I would really like to know how this adds up to systemic racism of epidemic proportions?

Where is the moral outrage at the murders occurring in Chicago? 

Where are the President, Attorney General, and all the other indignant politicians demanding a full Justice Department investigation into the atrocities being committed daily on the streets of that city?

Because the reality is that politicians have no response for the rise of inner-city crime, like Chicago. Murders there are truly at epidemic proportions. They know the problem, but it is the 800 lb political gorilla in the room that no one wants to talk about. They would rather talk about incarceration rates, yet make no mention of recidivism rates, or point out how blacks are stopped at disproportionately higher numbers than whites.  Call me crazy, but how many white people do you see walking down the streets of places like: Brownsville (New York City), Englewood (Chicago), Compton (Los Angeles), Sandtown (Baltimore), or Highland Park (Detroit). 

So who exactly should the police be stopping? Think about that for a moment. Should we have quotas based on ethnicity? A cop in Brownsville can only stop a racially diverse number of people per day? If you get robbed should the cops be prevented from stopping someone, who fits the description, because they have already stopped a person of that color earlier in the day?

We truly need to #WakeUpAmerica

The police are not the enemy. They are the ones you call when you need help, the ones who run toward the danger while the rest of society runs toward safety. Ask those innocent people trapped within those dangerous inner-city neighborhoods who they want to make things safer. It certainly isn’t the drug dealers or the gang members.

The thin blue line is just that, thin.

We are nothing more than a veil which separates the sheep from the wolves, but more and more it seems that there are many who want to tear that veil away. Through incendiary rhetoric and baseless accusations they castigate the very small fraternity sworn to protect them. They goad the masses into violent action and then feign surprise when act. Each act dismissed as ‘lashing out in frustration’ only serves to further embolden the criminal element.

As a society, we are quickly approaching the edge of our own demise.

The calls for violence, the tacit approval of urban destruction, all in the name of a proven lie, is quickly undermining our very foundation. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy turning our society into an US vs THEM state, all because our elected representatives are more inclined to blame others instead of taking responsibility for the decades long practice of turning a blind eye toward the real problem.

The problem is that one day they will get their wish, and anarchy will become the rule. Then who will they blame for the continual carnage in the black community?

Baseless cries of racism mask the true problem. The true racism is the political one that contends that the system, not a lack of personal responsibility, is the problem; that the police, not the criminals, pose the greatest threat. Ask yourself why those who represent these inner-cities are always looking to blame someone else, instead of re-evaluating their decade’s long failures in government.

Where are the inner-city success stories? Where are the places that four to five decades of democratic control have: reduced poverty, lowered crime, raised education levels, and reduced the need for public assistance?

Anyone?

In 2014, Eric Garner died in New York City. Everyone seemed to jump on the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ bandwagon, yet everyone seems to miss the very point that Garner’s ability to utter the words ‘I Can’t Breathe’ negated that statement. If you can’t breathe, you can’t talk. Some have broken out their medical textbooks and tried to spin this, saying that even if you can’t breathe you can still utter some words, but Garner said ‘I Can’t Breathe’ at least eleven times while still continuing to resist arrest which occurred under the direct supervision of a female, black sergeant.

Eric Garner was not an innocent. He had a record of more than 30 arrests, dating back to 1980, on charges including assault and grand larceny. At the time of his death, he was out on bail after being charged with illegally selling cigarettes, driving without a license, marijuana possession and false impersonation.   Garner also did not die at the scene of the confrontation. He suffered cardiac arrest in the ambulance taking him to the hospital and was pronounced dead about an hour later. The 6-foot-3, 350 pound, man suffered from a number of health problems, including heart disease, severe asthma, diabetes, obesity, and sleep apnea.

Maybe, just maybe, he contributed to his own demise by engaging in criminal behavior and then resisting arrest? When the officer went to take him into custody Garner physical swatted the officer’s hands away from him, escalating the situation. He made that choice. If he had not resisted I imagine the outcome would have been completely different.

The question is what would you like the police to do? The cops are being blamed for enforcing laws that they didn’t create. How would citizens feel if they called 911 to report a crime only to be told ‘that’s been determined to be a minor crime and we no longer enforce them’?

In 2015, Freddie Gray died in Baltimore.

Baltimore is a city comprised of a 63% black population.  It has a black mayor, black police chief (at the time of Gray’s death), black state’s attorney, and a predominantly black city council presided over by a black council president.  The last four out of five mayors have been black and the last four out of six police chiefs have been black. The police department is a majority-minority department. It is a city that has been controlled by democrats for eighty-four of the last one hundred years and yet Gray’s death was somehow made out to be racist, even though three of the six officers involved were black.

Really?

To be sure, all lives matter. The officers involved didn’t set out that day to kill someone. If you believe that then I truly feel very sorry for you. Of the six officers involved, only one officer had a disciplinary record, stemming from a domestic incident.

Not exactly the picture of the racist cops everyone tried to portray.

Understand that Freddie Gray was also not an innocent person. He had a criminal record that included drug charges, parole violation and other crimes. At the time of his death he had five active criminal court cases pending. He had also served four years in prison. At the time of his arrest he was in possession of an illegal knife. The state’s attorney, Marilyn Mosby, tried to muddy the waters by saying the knife was legal in Maryland, but ignored the fact that it was actually illegal in Baltimore.

What the state’s attorney also didn’t want you to know was that three weeks prior to the incident, she had requested enhanced drug enforcement efforts at the corner of North and Mount, the area where Gray was arrested.

The truth is a much different picture than is routinely portrayed.

In the case of the recent shooting of Alton Sterling, the police were called after someone said Sterling had threatened them with a gun. Upon arrival of the police a struggled ensued and Sterling was subsequently shot. He was in fact armed with a gun.

An examination of his criminal history shows thirteen arrests including: Assault, Juvenile Sexual Offender, Burglary, Weapons Possession, Narcotics, Resisting Arrest, Domestic Abuse….. Not exactly the poster child for: ‘I was minding my own business and the cops attacked me for no reason.’

Once again we have a criminal, engaging in criminal behavior and armed with a weapon, yet it is the fault of the racist police.

As I previously wrote about, the New York Times did a story that documented seventy-three fatal police shootings over the course of a 1 year period, from August 2014 to August 2015, throughout the United States. In all but three cases, the shootings where the end result of what started off as some type of criminal activity. Perhaps it isn’t about racist cops, but about the criminals and their behavior?

So why do these false narratives continue to persist? For the reasons I outlined at the beginning:
  • Politicians, who bear a substantial responsibility for the decay of our inner-cities, blame someone else. They elevate themselves as the people’s champion, in order to get re-elected, to continue fighting to correct some fictitious problem.
  • Pundits sensationalize erroneous storylines because, truth be told, bad news sells. They look at the same impartial data, but then cherry pick it to support their pre-determined conclusion. Add to the fact that violent protestors and property destruction draw viewers who stay glued to their TV sets and increase ratings.
  • The activists realize that there is fame to attain and money to be made.
  • And finally, there is a certain segment of society that is anarchistic in nature and is exploiting the situation to justify their desire to simply destroy things. They want to speed up the confrontation.

This country will never be able to move forward until we begin to embrace the truth and not the stories we are being told. The problem is that this will require us to educate ourselves and not believe the lies. It will require us to expect more from the politicians we elect to represent us.

Until then, the police will continue to do their job; putting their lives on the line to keep the citizens of this great nation safe, even when those same citizens are protesting and shouting ‘Fuck the Police.’

Violence multiplies violence. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” - Dr. Martin Luther King

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

2016 United States House of Representatives Gun Control Sit-In

The Democrats staged a congressional sit-in over failure to pass new gun legislation.


Seriously? This is what allegedly passes as 'adult' leadership in this country, a sit-in? What the hell are you, children? This is the idiotic thing we see kids do in high school?

Is there any wonder why the overall approval rating for Congress is abysmally low? 

See this for what it is folks, a political publicity stunt, and I am begging you not to fall for it. The fact is that they could not care less about you. It's like Charlie Rangel saying to a reporter how he (and his fellow lawmakers) deserves protection, but apparently you and your family; not so much. Have you ever stopped to wonder why places like the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and Federal Court House’s, are all gun-free zones, yet they surround them with armed protection, but our schools, which hold our most precious assets, are labeled as gun free zones and give no protection? How does that make any sense?

First, let's be clear that the measures put forth didn't pass because they were ill-conceived, knee-jerk reactions. It has gotten to the point in this country that our representatives don’t look to actually fix anything, they just want to slap a Band-Aid on it and ignore the real problems. Seriously, have you heard anyone call for actually fixing the highly problematic terrorist no-fly list?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

No, right from the beginning all you hear about are calls for re-instituting the ‘assault weapons ban’ and how these horrific weapons of war don’t belong in civilian hands, unless they are in the hands of those protecting the politicians.

In terms of the latest gun fix we have this pesky little thing called due process, which for some strange reason doesn’t seem to matter to certain elected officials who are charged with: (repeat after me) ‘Upholding the Constitution.’ I can only assume that they believe the laws only apply to us lowly rabble.

Now I know a lot of folks think our Constitution can be a tad bit difficult to deal with, or even understand, sometimes. Especially when it comes to that damned 2nd Amendment, but consider that the Constitution states only one command twice. The Fifth Amendment says to the federal government that no one shall be ‘deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.’ The Fourteenth Amendment, uses the same eleven words, called the Due Process Clause, to describe a legal obligation of all states. Yet our vaunted representatives want to be able to toss you onto a list, without any evidence or due process, and let you fight with the government after-the-fact to get off said list. 

Did you know that the Orlando terrorist, Omar Mateen, was on not one, but two terror watch lists? He was subsequently removed from them in 2014, after twice being interviewed by the FBI, in 2013 and 2014, for potential terror ties.  In theory, for an individual to be included on the no-fly list or selectee list, additional evidence of his threat to aviation security and clear identifying information is needed above and beyond the standard of reasonable suspicion. I say in theory, because the list has included such notables as the late Senator Ted Kennedy, Congressmen John Lewis and Don Young, Journalist Stephen Hayes, not to mention a number of Federal Air Marshals. You know the guys who are supposed to keep us safe in the skies! Even poor David Nelson, or Ozzie & Harriet fame, was on the list and don’t even get me started on the young children who found themselves listed. One Canadian businessman went so far as to legally change his name, in order to avoid being delayed every time he flew.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have the Constitution in this country for a very good reason. It arose out of a need to protect us from things that were actually happening to us when we were under British rule. Yet now, we are seeing our very own government begin to act in the same way.

Trust me people, we are heading down a very slippery slope here and we really need to proceed with extreme caution. There is a lot going on that doesn’t make the news, but should give you pause. It is also one of the topics which I am currently writing about in my latest book. I’m sure no one reading this would be okay if the feds just seized the property from your home, without any explanation or court order, and told you that it was up to you to prove your innocence.  Yet the minute it becomes about evil guns, a large swath of society seem okay with that very premise. Perhaps many of the younger generation need an overall refresher course on American History.

Despite what they will say, the problem is not a gun control issue. As someone who spent over two decades in law enforcement I can speak on this subject from actual real-world experience. The truth is that we have tons of gun laws, already on the books, that either not being prosecuted or are simply plea bargained down for a quick conviction. 

This is an 'individual' problem and they refuse to acknowledge or address it. It is the reason why murders in Chicago, a city with some of the most stringent gun laws in the nation, has had 313 killed so far this year, yet NO ONE will address this problem because they have no answer for it. Likewise, they have no answer for why other U.S. cities, with a comparable population, have relatively low crime numbers.

At every turn they have coddled, praised, and emboldened criminals and so-called activists, while calling the police brutal, racist and stupid. Guess what, I imagine things will get a lot worse in the country, but don't worry, your petulant elected leaders will all be fine, surrounded by armed officers to protect them while they 'sit-in'..... You? Well, I guess you're pretty much on your own.

Oh, and as for the ‘sit-in’ that the Democrats engaged in, you’ll be happy to note that there bold statement was used as a fundraising solicitation. That’s right; the Orlando terror attack was hijacked to raise funds for the party!

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent out an email, signed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, which read: "This is an historically important moment! John Lewis has been leading a sit-in on the House floor for 11 long hours now. We’re fighting to prevent gun violence. The Republicans refuse to lift a finger. It’s shameful. I need your help to defeat them once and for all." The email asks for 6,000 donations and provided several options to donate amounts between $1 and $250. It was at least the sixth such email from the DCCC, which also included several that were signed by sit-in leader, John Lewis.  

But hey, it really is about those evil guns……. So will that be MasterCard or Visa?

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Little Boy Lost - Print Update


The cover graphic and formatted print version of the new Alex Taylor novel, Little Boy Lost, has just gone in and I hope to have the prototype book for review shortly.

I don't foresee any issues at this time which means that the print edition should be available for sale by Christmas. I am doing everything I can to expedite it and will let everyone know as soon as it is up on Amazon.

Once again, thank you for your continued support.


UPDATE: NOVEMBER 18TH, 2015

Well, the proof copy of Little Boy Lost has been received from the printer and so far it looks awesome. Had to make some changes to the cover to ensure that nothing was lost in the edge bleed.

We hope to get it fully reviewed this weekend and will then approve it for release. If you have been waiting for the print version, it is almost over.

Once again I am so proud of my co-author, Nancy A. Nelson, and I hope to collaborate with her again soon !!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pre-Order: Little Boy Lost (An Alex Taylor Novel) on Amazon.

You can now pre-order the latest Alex Taylor novel: Little Boy Lost at Amazon beginning today. The book will download to your kindle on November 25th, just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Little Boy Lost is the follow-up to Small Town Secrets. It is the 2nd book in the Alex Taylor series. If you are interested in which order to read them, check out my Books page for the listing.

Little Boy Lost marks the first time my wife, Nancy, and I have worked on the actual story line together. If it were not for her I do not think the story would have evolved in the way it did. She brought an element that dovetailed nicely with the characters.

In honor of that wonderful collaboration, you will see her name listed as my co-author on this book. I look forward to working with her again on upcoming novels.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cover Reveal - Little Boy Lost (An Alex Taylor Novel)

I know that a lot of you have been asking when my next book would be coming out and I am happy to announce that your wait is nearly over.

This is the sequel to Small Town Secrets, which was the first book in the Alex Taylor series. If you are going chronologically, it is book number five in the overall series.

As most of you already know, while the story-line is a stand-alone, characters and events will cross over into the James Maguire series as well.

This novel, which takes place after the events in Bishop's Gate, involve Alex's investigation into the disappearance of a young boy during the Penobscot Founder's Day celebration.

We just finished the final editing on the book and it will be released on November 25th, just in time for Thanksgiving. There will be a pre-order available for this book, which should be in place sometime tomorrow.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Interview by Elizabeth Simmons @ DigitalReadership

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by Elizabeth Simmons over at Digital Readership.

I enjoy doing these interviews because they not only allow me to reach a broader audience, but sometimes they pose really good questions that allow me to connect better with my readers. This was the case with Elizabeth’s interview. She went outside the routine questions and I think you’ll enjoy reading it. Check it out here.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the newest releases, then please like my Facebook page and feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Enjoy the interview!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Reflections on my Technology Break

As some of you may recall my trusty computer developed a hard drive meltdown that caused me to be off-line for several weeks. It was quite cathartic.

Over those few weeks I found myself actually involved in ‘doing’ things, tangible things, like cutting down tree limbs, physical labor, and engaging with my family. It was an interesting experiment. I don’t even think I watched all that much TV, because, at the end of the day, I was too damn tired from working. Then I went and did something dumb.

I fixed my hard drive.

Suddenly I was immersed back into the world of social media. There were emails to answer, authors to tweet, mind-numbing posts to ‘like’, and a 24/7 news cycle that seems  to be bi-polar on a good day, especially when discussing  political candidates….. Suddenly I felt my soul being sucked away again.

Honestly, it has been infuriating.

Not that I don’t enjoy hearing about what is going on in everyone’s life……….and who went out for a spiced frappuccino venti macchiato vanilla latte…… really, doesn’t anyone drink real coffee anymore? But I don’t.

I hate to be brutally honest, but these damn computers and smart phones have replaced TV as the 21st century’s version of the idiot box. We sit here refreshing the page wondering if we missed anything critical in the last 32 seconds.  Here’s a news flash: You Did !!

32 Seconds of your life just went by, that you can never get back.

Heck, I’m getting posts from people I honestly don’t even know…….. Seriously, do I really have the capacity to take on someone else’s issues when I have my own to contend with?

Bottom line is that I’m a writer who isn’t writing, and that’s not good.

So here’s the thing, I’m going back to pretending that my hard drive is crashed again. I have a book to edit and publish this month as well as another I am working on. Then there is Thanksgiving and Christmas to get ready for, as well as a new year quickly approaching.

I’ll continue to write updates and post them on my blog, for those who are so inclined to read them. The way I look at it this qualifies as writing as well as giving me my computer fix.

Will I lose some friends / followers? Probably, that will fall under the category of C’est la vie.
To those who stay and actually check out the blog, I’ll try and keep it fun and entertaining.

Follow me on twitter: @Andrew_G_Nelson


I won’t be there, but when I am, you won’t miss anything new and exciting !!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Murder in East Harlem - Police Officer Randolph Holder, NYPD

On Tuesday evening, the NYPD lost another hero, Police Officer Randolph Holder. He is the 4th NYPD Officer who has been killed in the line of duty in the last 11 months.

Officer Holder and other officers were responding to a reports of shots fired. At some point they encountered a suspect, who was fleeing the scene, and engaged in a gun fight during which Officer Holder was mortally wounded.

Officer Holder had emigrated from Guyana and was a 3rd generation police officer. His father and grandfather were both officers back in Guyana. Tragically, as news emerged that he had died from his wounds, some took to social media to applaud his death. As I read the commentary on some news sites I was sickened to see the vile remarks that some were quick to spew. However, the truth is that these insignificant wretches, and their opinions, mean nothing. They are nothing more than a minor blight on society, clawing and scratching for their fifteen minutes of fame.

I would not denigrate the memory of this hero, by giving their remarks another venue. Instead, I choose to remember the sacrifices of those lost. A legacy of honor and sacrifice that embodies the NYPD motto: Fidelis Ad Mortem

It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, but how they lived.

Unlike those who mock the sacrifices made by the men and women of this nation's law enforcement community; who hide behind free speech in order  to denigrate their service, the real heroes, like Officer Holder, willingly go into harms way to protect these cowards. We, as the majority, must never forget them and we must use our collective voice to drown out the rabble who seek only to divide and conquer this great nation.

God bless the sheepdog who protect us.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13





Thursday, October 15, 2015

Want to see Perfect Pawn made into a movie ?

There is a website called the IF List, which stands for the ImagineFilm list. The IF List is a platform for movie and casting ideas. Whether you are a fan, author, aspiring actor, or industry professional, The IF List lets you discover potential films and TV shows, make proposals, and gain popular support for the ideas you want to become reality.

The NYC based company was founded by life-long friends and business partners with a shared passion for movie ideas. Inspired by the concept of a universal database for casting, the founders spent over a year rigorously planning and developing the product that would become the Imagine Film List. The core team is made up of dedicated artists and thinkers who bring together experience from multiple disciplines, including product design, web development, filmmaking, storytelling, marketing, and brand strategy. The company is committed to building a valuable creative platform and resource for the arts and entertainment industry. In this role, they are backed up by a number of partners including Backstage and Studio 4.

My book, Perfect Pawn, is listed on the site and I am asking for your help. By visiting this link: Support Perfect Pawn, you are able to do three things:

  1. Support Perfect Pawn’s efforts to become a movie development.
  2. Select actors who you feel would best be suited for the main roles.
  3. Write an endorsement for the project.


We have all read books that were so good, we wanted them to be turned into a movie. Here is your chance to do just that.

I would really appreciate it if you would take just one moment to support my book.

Sincerely,
Andrew G. Nelson

Follow me on Twitter: @Andrew_G_Nelson

Monday, July 6, 2015

San Francisco – The Dark Side of Sanctuary Cities

By now you have all heard of the terrible tragedy in San Francisco, where Kathryn Steinle was killed by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Her death brought to the forefront the tragic policy of sanctuary cities.

For those of you that don’t know what a sanctuary city is, it is a term given to a city in the United States that follow certain local practices designed to protect illegal immigration. There are many who feel this is a good policy and I am sure their hearts are truly in the right place; however this policy belies a problem that many of these cities face, which is a growing threat from violent criminals.

We must understand that these sanctuary cities have taken the step to intentionally violate a 1996 federal law (the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act) which requires local governments to cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security's, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. These ‘sanctuary’ policies instruct city employees not to notify the federal government of the presence of illegal aliens living in their communities. The policies also end the distinction between legal resident aliens and illegal aliens, so those here illegally often benefit from taxpayer funded government services and programs too.

Consider the ramifications to a police department, sworn to uphold the law, who are told not to co-operate with a federal agency. It tells them, in no uncertain terms, that the rule of man, and not law, is the order of the day. What is even scarier is the fact that the law becomes volatile, subject to political winds that may change to suit the whims of those in office at the time.

One of the justifications, for creating a sanctuary city, is the alleged concern for protecting immigrant rights, but that belies the fact that illegal aliens are not immigrants. Immigrants come to the United States legally, often as a result of a long and arduous process, and take the necessary steps to maintain their legal status. A person who is illegally smuggled into the U.S., or violates their visa restrictions, is not an immigrant, but an unauthorized alien subject to deportation under existing federal law.

I have heard all of the excuses, such as “Illegal aliens, who are victims of crimes, or who may be a witness to a crime, won't report them to police for fear of arrest and deportation.” Okay, sure……..

I spent twenty-two years in law enforcement. Let’s admit that this is a very convenient excuse which ignores one fundamental fact:  if illegal aliens were properly deported from the U.S., then they would not be here to become victims, nor would the predators that pray on them be here either. Try as I might, I could not find a spike in crimes committed by people legal immigrants from Denmark, Netherlands or Germany.

The truth of the matter is that these sanctuary policies do little to protect, but actually create a thriving environment for the criminal element, who fundamentally understands that they are unlikely to face any serious risk of being deported.

While I probably understand better than most, the need to protect the weak, I don’t believe that turning a blind eye to the law is the best choice. We have a problem in this Country in terms of illegal entry through our southern border. Simply renaming someone from ‘illegal immigrant’ to ‘undocumented worker’ is a ruse, which should be insulting to anyone capable of cogent thinking.  How would you feel if society decided to rename ‘burglars’ to ‘unannounced houseguests’, ‘drug dealers’ to ‘unlicensed pharmacists’, or, better yet, a ‘rapist’ to an ‘unrequited lover’?

Seems pretty absurd, doesn’t it?

Yet that is exactly what is occurring, under the false guise of protection. The truth is, anyone coming over the border illegally is a criminal. Simply changing their name does not negate that. If you don’t believe me, I suggest trying that you illegally enter the country of Mexico and see how well you are treated there when you claim that you are simply an ‘undocumented worker’.

And it is not just ‘protection’ that is being offered in these sanctuary cities. Consider for a moment that NYC recently implemented a program which allows illegal immigrants to obtain an official NYC identification card and they won't be asked about their immigration status. The card can be used for, among other things, to open a bank or credit union account, and obtain residential benefits from City Hall. NYPD officials have said the card will be used to issue summonses or desk appearance tickets instead of arrest. Think about that for a moment. Someone, who has come illegally, with no verification of ‘who’ they are, will be given a card that can be used to obtain benefits and as ID in the case of an arrest……… How do you know it’s them? Remember that the next time you are jumping through hoops to prove who you are at a governmental agency.

Just for the record, this nonsense is also being promoted by the same folks who tell you that getting an ‘ID’ to vote is somehow racist, because it somehow disproportionately affects minorities, the poor, and Democratic voters. Huh? What?........ Wait, we’re giving ID’s away to ‘poor, minority’ people, who we don’t even know, yet asking for ID to vote is somehow bad? I’ll leave that discussion for another day, as I digress.

For, once again, we are seeing the folly of the sanctuary city play out in stark reality.

Kathryn Steinle, 32, died in her father’s arms after being shot at random by Francisco Sanchez. Her last words were “help me, Dad.” As a father, I cannot begin to imagine the pain that her father is going through, but my heart breaks for him. It was a tragedy that did not have to happen.

Sanchez, a career criminal with a lengthy arrest history, should not have been on the streets of San Francisco, or any other U.S. city for that matter. He had been in the custody of the San Francisco Sheriff's Department last March 26, on a decade-old drug charge, but he was released on April 15, after local prosecutors declined to pursue charges against him. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said that at the time they had turned over Sanchez to local law enforcement, they’d requested to be kept apprised of any changes in his status, a common request that is routinely conducted in other jurisdictions, but they weren't. Instead, Sanchez was released from custody.

According to ICE records, Sanchez had been previously deported five times, most recently in 2009, and his record included seven prior felony convictions. ICE briefly had him in their custody after he completed a prison sentence in California, but turned him over to San Francisco, in March, on an outstanding warrant for a felony drug charge. 

Now Sanchez sits in the same jail he had been previously released from, but this time he won’t be leaving anytime soon. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to be of little solace to the grieving family of Kathryn Steinle.

How long before another family in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., Detroit, or any of the other two dozen more ‘sanctuary cities’ have to bury a relative because of the tragic and misguided policies that give safe haven to criminals.

Oh, and not to let a good tragedy go to waste, the White House has just announced that the death of Steinle, is actually the fault of congressional Republicans. They are also apparently at fault for the continuing gun violence in the President’s hometown of Chicago.

Maybe both the federal and state governments need a refresher course in the rule of law, instead of trying to play politics with the lives of American citizens.



Saturday, June 27, 2015

Uncommon Valor – Insignia of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit

As you know, since retiring from the NYPD I have written four mystery / suspense books and a fifth one currently in the editing process. What you might not know is that, since 1985, I have also been an avid collector of NYPD items. In addition to actively collecting, I also enjoy the history of the Department, especially as it pertains to the cloth insignia.
                          
In 2011, I was provided with a photograph that showed the nine original applicants for the NYPD’s Aviation Bureau. As I examined the photograph I was astounded at what I saw. In that black and white photo, appeared to be the hood cowling from an ESU truck, nearly a year before the Emergency Service Division was created. What ensued was an exhaustive research project that would cover the entire spectrum of the insignia of ESU, including the pre-merger NYC Housing and Transit Emergency Units.

This 147 page book provides well over two hundred color photos that chronicle a behind the scenes look at not only the history, but the patches worn by this elite unit. It is a must have for any insignia collector or anyone just interested in the NYPD or ESU.

I spent years uncovering the stories behind the patches. From the very first patch, depicted in that original Aviation photo, to the most current issued one. In many instances I had the privilege of speaking to the officers and original graphic designers about their work. I even obtained some first run artwork, to show the progression from graphic proof, to finished product. It was a process filled with both frustration and exhilaration, often at the same time, as each new discovery unearthed even more questions.

When the decision finally came to publish this book, I was faced with a difficult dilemma. I could choose to go the route of most other research books, producing it in black and white or go for full color. After toying with the concept, and doing several pages in black and white, the choice was clear. After all the hard work that went into creating it, it needed to be done in color. This has affected the cost, but I truly believe that, in the end, it was the only way to do justice to this important subject. It is the book that I would want for my collection and I hope that you will agree.

While the E-Book is currently available through Kindle, the print version should be released within the next few weeks.


After all this time, I am proud to present to you the culmination of my work: Uncommon Valor – Insignia of the NYPD Emergency Service Unit.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Prescient Author vs. Lying / Incompetent Politicians

So, I'm sitting here and I get a breaking news alert: US was running guns through Benghazi to Syria.

Wow, didn't see that one coming....... Oh wait, I did.

Then, I got another article that stated: Defense Intelligence Agency warned of rise of ISIS seventeen months before President Obama dismissed them as "JV Team."

You mean the President was wrong?

That's funny, because when I wrote the plot outline for my book, Bishop's Gate, back in January 2014, I had no idea that some of the key fictional elements would come to fruition.

Things like urban racial tensions, gun running to Syria and the rise of the threat of ISIS.

So how is it exactly that a retired NYPD sergeant was able to piece together a fictional story line that everyone in the real world was saying wasn't happening?

Am I that prescient? Perhaps.

More likely it is because I tend to be a news and intelligence junkie. I follow these things like a lot of folks follow sports. Call it an occupational hazard of having lived it. I dealt with the race hustlers up close and personal, read the global intel briefings, which shed light on just how truly screwed up this world actually is, etc.

So when I see these reports it makes me wonder: Am I all that, or are we only getting part of the story?

I'd love it if you read my books, so I will say a bit of both.

For being the most powerful man in the world, doesn't it appear a bit odd to you that he seems to find out the news the same way most of us do? Don't believe it for a moment. The President has at his disposal the most powerful intelligence apparatus in the world. If he doesn't know about an issue it is because they are intentionally creating what they call 'plausible deniability'. Simply put, POTUS doesn't want to get caught in a lie. So, someone close to him is told and then they mention it in passing, but he is never 'officially' told.

You think POTUS really believed that ISIS was the JV? If I knew what was brewing in Syria, you can bet that they sure as hell knew. He made that little story up because it didn't fit the narrative he was trying to sell.

Remember, he was a community organizer. They sell stories, not facts.

Facts are annoying. It reminds me of the 'activists' who want you to believe there is an epidemic of cops killing innocent black men, even though no actual facts back this up. In fact, the real epidemic is the that the odds are much greater that you will be killed by another black then by the police.  Unfortunately for black America, those facts are ignored. There is no money to be made marching for victims of black on black crime.

The problem is, we don't have real leadership anymore.

We are not governed by principals, but by political talking points. What is trending? How can we hashtag this? Who can we  blame?

POTUS tells us that the threat of terrorism is on the decline, because it fits the narrative he is pitching during the election. It's not true. He knew it, and you should have known as well. It was a tale that was propped up by the media and now we know it was lie. Just a bit too late.

POTUS, the Secretary of State and the Ambassador to the UN, tell the world the attack in Benghazi was about a video tape mocking Islam. It wasn't and they knew it. In fact, the warnings were there before the attack. No one in the media will ask the tough questions, and even when those in Congress do, they are mocked.

Four dead Americans is nothing to be mocked.

Foggy memories, 'I don't know answers,' conveniently deleted emails.

At the end of the day, it's all still a lie, just wrapped up in a neat little package, because they know the average American just doesn't care.

Like I have said: Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.

Check out Bishop's Gate and ask yourself what else are you being lied to about.

If you’d like to stay up to date on the newest releases, then please like my Facebook page and feel free to follow me on Twitter.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Who is James Maguire ?

"Who is James Maguire?"

It is a question that I get asked on a fairly regular basis by readers of my books. Sometimes I answer with a wink and a nod, just to keep some semblance of the mystery alive. The truth is, Maguire is much more complex. He is one of those composite characters, drawn from a  multitude of  different people.

When my wife first challenged me to write the story, creating the character was quite easy. I just had to do some simple descriptive work. When the challenge went from 'short story' to an actual novel, that's when the reality hit and the hard work began.

It was Mark Twain who famously said: "Write what you know."

So I took that advice and first began to craft the character based on what I knew. If you think about it, it makes sense. I like a wide variety of fiction authors, but some are just that, authors. They bring no real world experiences to their books, just what they have been told or researched.

You can kill a great story, just by using the wrong terminology. However, you can create an even better story by immersing your reader inside a world that they will never experience, by having them live it through your eyes. Spending twenty years with the NYPD afforded me the opportunity to share with my readers some of what I lived through.

So I first structured the character based on myself and my career, and, once I had that foundation, then I started to add characteristics of people I knew or had worked with. I'd been very fortunate to have had the pleasure of knowing an extremely eclectic group of people during the course of my law enforcement career, from highly decorated military veterans to tough as nails cops.  I drew on some of their tales to craft certain aspects of the character. Even some of the verbal exchanges between Maguire and some of the secondary characters are based directly on my relationship with others. It's a comedic, sometimes dark, gallows humor, type of conversation that you find between people who have shared similar experiences.

I tried to make James Maguire someone who I felt most readers would be drawn to. He is a combination of hero and every-day man. Someone who has spent time in the valley's of life, as well as the mountain tops.

So who is James Maguire ? He's the kid from rural, upstate New York who wanted to excel in the arts and become a professional photographer. Then, in a cruel twist, his life was irrevocably changed in a moment. A romantic dreamer who saw one life crushed and another began. A young man who ended up at a fork in life's road, and who traded in the love of art for the art of war. A decorated military veteran who transitions from one uniform for another, becoming a member of the NYPD.

Perfect Pawn is a 'phoenix rising from the ashes' story, where love and redemption are found, in one of those curve-ball moments that life seems to throw at us, when we least expect it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Face of Evil: Taking up the fight against Terrorism

In my book, Queen’s Gambit, one of the central themes is the threat that we face from terrorism. It is a topic that I dealt extensively with during my time with the NYPD. 

Back in the 90’s I was part of a unit that provided dignitary protection and conducted threat assessments, both for individual security as well as commercial and residential sites. It was a difficult task, one that was made ever harder when we encountered resistance from the people we were trying to protect.

A case in point was in 1997, after the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, Georgia. I was sent to a major sporting venue and asked to evaluate their security and make recommendations. I spent several days going through their facility assessing the risks and taking notes. On the last day, I sat down with the senior members of the organization, and made my recommendations.

I instructed them on tightening perimeter security, establishing designated areas where spectators and packages could be searched, etc. It was nothing that I would consider overly egregious. It took about five minutes before I realized that I was just wasting my breath. I vividly recall one of the execs commentating that they couldn’t search attendees because their event didn’t draw that type of person.

I closed up my folder and wished them luck.

Not long after that, an individual was apprehended inside the venue by officers assigned to the event. This person had a large carving knife in their possession, something which would have been picked up long before the individual had entered the facility. A tragedy was avoided only by sheer luck.

It is the way I feel about the times that we are living.

As we have seen in the recent terror attacks in Paris, France, coupled with those in Ottawa, Canada, and Sydney, Australia, terrorism is alive and well. The real problem is not that terrorism exists, but our unwillingness to properly address it.

To be certain, the outcome in Paris was a failure, not a success. The minute the terrorists began their killing spree inside Charlie Hebdo we lost. In essence, we became reactive to the situation, attempting to put an end to it, when in reality; we should have been proactive and kept it from happening in the first place.

My aim here is not to play Monday morning quarterback, but to instruct.

Think of terrorism as a tool, like a hammer. It is used to bring about a particular response; it is the reason why you hear it referred to by different names: political terrorism, narco-terrorism, biological terrorism, and even eco-terrorism. The real threat however is the person wielding that tool. In order to properly address the threat, you need to know the mindset of the person.

The immediate threat that we face today is one driven by a religious zealotry to the nth degree. That is a statement of fact which simply cannot be ignored. If you want to be politically correct, and bury your head in the sand, then you better pray that you are just as lucky as those sporting executives were and pray that law enforcement, or the intelligence communities, catch them before they do whatever it is they are planning.

Those who subscribe to the religious tenants of radical Islam have no desire to sit down and discuss their animus toward you. They believe in only two things: conversion or death.

Amazingly, there is a certain segment of society which believes that ‘we cannot be like them’. As if by simply doing nothing, we will somehow convince them to lay down their swords to join us in some utopian global citizen fairytale.

It sounds quite naïve to decry the use of non-lethal interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation, when your enemy is only interested in killing you. If you don’t understand this fundamental difference, you are part of the problem.

For starters, when it comes to the basics of Islam, most are woefully uneducated. The majority of folks couldn’t tell you what the difference was between Sunni or Shia, or the many other denominations of Islam. Not that I can blame them, as many struggle with defining their own religious beliefs let alone a complex religion like Islam. The issue I have is that, if you are uneducated, you shouldn’t be interjecting yourself into the conversation.

George Bush, and enhanced interrogation techniques, did not create the problem of Jihad, it has been around for over a thousand years. We are not in a traditional war, but a religious one. Our enemy cannot be appeased with money or land; they seek only to spread their brand of religion, opposition to which means death.

The French are going to have to come to terms with a monster that they helped create. In an attempt to be politically correct, they allowed their core principles to be modified. The first time they surrendered, they set in motion a practice that has brought them to the brink.

There are now an estimated 750 Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or No-Go Zones, across the nation of France. These are areas where the government has simply raised the white flag, allowing the local community to take over. As a result, these areas are not governed by the laws of France, but by Islamic Sharia law. In many instances the police or other public safety, such as fire and ambulance services, will not even go in to these areas.

This is not isolated to France; this is also seen in growing areas of the United Kingdom and Sweden. Even in the United States, there are burgeoning Muslim communities in places like Dearborn, Michigan, where locals are calling for the equivalent of No-Go Zones and the institution of Sharia courts.

What the French failed to realize is that terrorism is not a criminal problem. Islamic terrorists, like the Kouachi brothers and Amedy Coulibaly, are at war. Treating them as if they are a common criminal, who can be rehabilitate and returned back to society, is ludicrous. In fact, lax prison rules have allowed them to become a prime recruiting location.

Amedy Coulibaly converted to radical Islam while in prison in 2005. It was during that prison stint when he met Cherif Kouachi.  The two men became devoted followers of Djamel Beghal, a French-Algerian man with ties to al-Qaeda, who was convicted of plotting in 2001 to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Coulibaly tried to break another militant Islamist, Smain Ait Ali Belkacem, out of prison in 2013. Although he was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, he served only several months before he was released early.

This is the mindset that believes that a terrorist is a criminal and a prison sentence administers the proper amount of justice. It is a mindset that we are seeing here in the United States as well. Western civilization seems loath to accept the fact that this is a war we are fighting; choosing to believe it is a criminal justice issue.

Imprisoning people like this serves only to keep them isolated for a finite amount of time until they are once again released to the battlefield, a fact we have seen replayed when Gitmo prisoners have been released. In their minds, they are prisoners of war and their duty does not end till they die or the war is won.

Whether you like it or not, this is the reality we now face.

Yesterday, over forty world leaders participated in a march in Paris denouncing terrorism. It was the largest assemblage since the Americans liberated that city during WWII. Unfortunately, absent from the scene were representatives of this administration. Yes, the American Ambassador was there, somewhere, but when you have the representative heads of France, Israel, England, Germany, and so many other nations, the least the administration could have done was send the vice-president.

However, this administration does not want to address the real threat posed by radical Islam. It wants to paint a narrative that terrorism is on the decline, not the upswing that we are witnessing with our own eyes.  They want to view it as a simple criminal justice problem and mete out sentences in civilian court. What could go wrong with that?

After all, we saw how well it worked out for France.

The photo at the top of this article is the enemy that we now face. It speaks to the contempt with which they view us. The glint of orange fabric at the bottom was just the latest victim, but, to be sure, they envision each and every one of us in that position. 

It's our choice to decide whether we try to reason with the devil or fight back.