Archives for September 2012

Always a Next One is free on Tuesday, September 18th

 Get a free download of my collection of short stories about animal rescue titled Always a Next One on Amazon tomorrow–that’s Tuesday, September 18th.

Here’s a link to the book.

But you’ve got to wait past midnight, when the price drops to zero. Zip. Nada cent.

Spoiler alert: you have no excuses. No animals die in my short stories. I prefer to get people to laugh rather than to make them cry.

Even the tear jerkers are guaranteed to have happy endings!

Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell friends of your family.

Tell anyone you know who owns a Kindle.

Actually, tell everybody you think would enjoy short stories about fostering animals for our local Humane Society–free downloads of Kindle readers are available for Windows and Mac.

Anybody who loves animals and knows how to read ought to get a free copy of my book, while they are available.

I mean, it is FREE.

Hate crimes

There have been bizarre yet serious efforts made to categorize certain criminal activities as being worse than others, depending on the suspect’s motive.

Yet “crimes of passion” are certainly not motivated by love. Usually they are fueled by uncontrolled anger, or jealous fits of rage.

Nowadays in our politically-correct world we worry about the motives of the murderer, not the impact of the crime on his victim. We tend to worry as much or more about the color of the victim’s skin than the actual nature of the crime.

According to some, like U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Savannah Police Chief Willie Lovett, only certain crimes involving perpetrator and victim of different races or religions rise to the level that can be classified as hate crimes.

Apparently, only certain suspects, or members of specific religions, can be accused of actually “hating” their victims. Other criminals are presumably more dispassionate about their evil deeds. For them, criminal activity must be nothing more a business opportunity.

Eric Holder testified before Congress that all criminals are not created equal, saying that he doesn’t believe members of “protected groups” who have suffered from historic racism are even capable of committing hate crimes. How can this be possible?

Obviously, Holder believes that only minorities can be victims.

So…when exactly is a crime not a “hate” crime?

Tom Barton of the Savannah Morning News wrote an opinion piece in which he discussed the recent savage assault on a young white man at Ellis Square by several black men, in an attack  documented by security cameras.

Barton speculated the perpetrators were simply motivated by rage and stupidity, as opposed to racial hatred. He seemed to fault the victim as much as his attackers.

His editorial put the Ellis Square attack in context of a City Council summit on tolerance, ironic in light of said council’s recent public relations disasters involving city manager Rochelle Small-Toney and poorly documented travel expenses, including one particularly egregious 150 ft. cab ride that cost taxpayers an outrageous dollar per foot.

Obviously, the mayor and council hope and pray that voters continue to “tolerate” their abuse of their tax dollars.

Barton described the young man who apparently lost an eye in the violent assault in rather harsh and disparaging terms, saying “pea-brains of who (sic) provoke arguments and pick fights and often get the snot knocked out of them” don’t qualify as victims of hate crimes, but of stupidity.

Here’s a news flash, Tom. Most criminals are stupid. Victims are mostly…well, victims.

Granted, in this particular case, the young white victim demonstrated highly questionable judgment by confronting a group of people in what was apparently a racially-charged situation.

But nobody deserves to get beaten to a pulp by a small gang over an angry exchange of words.

To his credit, Barton concedes that fact–but only after he finished lambasting the victim for exercising poor judgment.

Geez, Tom–hadn’t the poor guy suffered enough, having been hospitalized and blinded in one eye from the incident? Way to kick the guy while he’s down.

I don’t think Mr. Barton wanted to deliberately add insult to injury. I believe that his point was to disqualify the incident as a hate crime, but he did so in very politically-correct fashion.

I happen to agree with Mr. Barton the incident did not qualify as a hate crime, but only because I simply believe that “hate” crimes do not exist. They are nothing but a figment of the imagination, turned into legislation.

Judging identical behavior by different ethnic groups according to unequal standards based on skin color, is flat-out wrong and a horribly racist thing to do.

And for the record…when does a crime qualify as a hate crime?

Remember the case of James Byrd, the black man in Texas dragged to death by some racist rednecks in a pickup truck?

Al Gore tried to score political points during a presidential debate off George W. Bush‘s refusal to sign a specific piece of legislation inspired by the crime into law.

The former governor of Texas and future president famously replied, “The three men who murdered James Byrd, they’re going to be put to death. A jury found them guilty. It’s going to be hard to punish them any worse after they get put to death.”

Bush was absolutely right. Unless we want to torture the condemned before their execution, there isn’t much we can do after we kill them.

No one in their right mind could oppose the death penalty for three idiots who dragged a man to death, his body ripped to pieces while the poor man suffered horribly, for no reason but meanness…on second thought, maybe we should have tortured those three before their execution.

Drag them around the prison parking lot once, only about ten miles-per-hour or so, to give them a little road-rash taste of their own medicine, right before giving them the needle to put them out of their misery. Maybe accelerate over the speed bumps, just to let them know for a few horrible seconds what their callous disregard for human life felt like to James Byrd. It would still have been better treatment than these men deserved, considering the nature of the crime.

For the record, I’d feel the exact same way if perpetrators had been black and the victim white.

I’d feel the same way if all of them had the same skin color…no matter how you rearrange the facts, the punishment should fit the crime. We all bleed red.

Race nor religion should ever be a factor when judging and punishing the guilty.



Secondhand Sight is officially on sale!

My new novel, Secondhand Sight, officially became available for purchase yesterday.

Here’s what Fiona I. from Reader’s Favorite had to say in her review of the book:

What a riveting read! This book grabbed me from the first page. Author John “Rocky” Leonard creates a thrilling and chilling murder mystery, with an intriguing touch of the paranormal. The title is apt, describing Dan’s ‘second hand’ flashes, which come from the object he touches. The threads pull together via various characters’ points of view, to a harrowing climax. I also liked the way the characters’ relationships develop and strengthen; and in the midst of all the mayhem, people find themselves and each other. The plot is deceptively simple because it is so ingenious. Dan’s descent into a manic paranoia is skillfully documented, and one feels for him in the mental confusion that accompanies his visions. The author also includes some interesting thoughts on the nature of dreams, hallucinations, psychometry (psychic revelations via touching objects), and the power of the mind. Murder mystery and paranormal fans will love this book.