Saturday, 18 July 2015

Kevin Lippert, "War Plan Red" (2015)

Subtitle: "The United States' Secret Plan to Invade Canada and Canada's Secret Plan to Invade the United States."

More notes to follow soon.

Lippert's book is disappointingly brief for such a provocative concern. Essentially, he provides a fairly basic outline of Canadian-American relations since the early 1800s, highlighting armed conflicts ranging from all-out wars (War of 1812), to silly skirmishes over concerns such as ownership of a pig.

Much of Lippert's focus is on a rather fanciful Canadian plan for how it might invade the United States if circumstances ever compelled it. This feint - which hardly lives up to the promise of the book's title - was primarily intended as a delaying tactic by which Canada might dampen US enthusiasm for invasion, and destabilize US plans to assault Canada if Canada was ever able to safely and reasonably conclude it was about to be invaded by the United States. That Canada would attempt a pre-emptive invasion of the United States is a stretch of imagination, which is likely one of the reasons Lippert's book takes a rather light-hearted approach to the idea of war between the two countries.

His assessment of US plans to invade Canada are unnecessarily similarly light. Given the traditional dynamics between the two countries, that the US had plans to occupy Canada - from Manifest Destiny onwards - and that it had the capacity to do so (as if physical invasion was even really necessary after NAFTA) would seem reason to approach the idea with more circumspection.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Debra Weyermann, "Answer Them Nothing" (2011)

Subtitle: "Bringing Down the Polygamous Empire of Warren Jeffs."

Comments to come soon.

If you are interested in this book, you might also be interested in reading my comments on:
Alex Beam, American Crucifixion: The Murder of Joseph Smith (2014),
Matthew Bowman, The Mormon People: The Making of an American Religion (2012).


Prologue: The Raid
"...the worst fallout came from the ocean of depressing photographs epitomized by Life magazine’s September 14, 1953, pictorial essay of the raid and its aftermath. In the article entitled “The Lonely Men of Short Creek,” Life photographers flexed their renowned artistry with photo after photo of Short Creek’s remaining damaged yet stoic men, determined to do their level best to keep life normal for their motherless children."

"With a few notable exceptions, American media continue to fail the public comprehension of what, exactly, FLDS is by modeling its coverage of the sect on a half-century-old Life article."

2: Section 132
"The energy LDS has spent on polygamy seems almost tragic given the fact that the practice was not even part of the movement’s original theology. Even when the charming and dynamic prophet Joseph Smith wedged polygamy into his doctrine years after starting the church, most of his followers were aghast and repulsed."

"Only about 15 percent of Americans were card-carrying members in any denomination at the time…"

"As a young man, Smith, along with his father and other male family members, made a sideline of 'money digging.' A digger utilized magical “peep stones” to inform his client of the location of buried treasures."

"LDS goes apoplectic when Smith’s money-digging career is broached, even blindly denying Smith’s 1826 misdemeanor conviction as 'a disorderly person' after his only unsatisfied customer complained."

"Smith realized he could translate the reformed Egyptian with his money-digging peep stones. To accomplish the translation, Smith sometimes placed the stones in the bottom of a tall hat placed on a table upon which also rested the gold tablets, which were covered by a sheet. Burying his face in the hat, Smith’s peep stones would transform the reformed Egyptian into a form of English that sounded suspiciously like the King James version of the Bible. A 'scribe' physically separated from Smith by a sheet hung from the ceiling would then write down what Smith saw in the stones for what would become The Book of Mormon."

- Yale professor Harold Bloom - his book The American Religion

"Mormon polygamy came to widespread public attention in the 1840s…"

"Smith allowed publication of a polygamy-advocating pamphlet called The Peace Maker in 1842."

"Some historians speculate that Smith may have started 'marrying' outside women as early as 1831, telling a few intensely close associates at the time, but he told his mostly utterly horrified inner circle about God’s mandate for 'plural marriage' around 1841."

"In March 1832, when the Saints were headquartered in Ohio, Smith was dragged from his bed to be tarred, feathered, and beaten senseless by a mob led by the brother of a teenage girl Smith was suspected of seducing. Smith was not permanently injured, but only because the surgeon enlisted to castrate him lost his enthusiasm for the job."

"After Smith’s death, Emma and her sons eventually joined the Reformed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which denied the church had ever sanctioned plural marriage."

- "groundbreaking biography of Joseph Smith, the late excommunicated-Mormon historian Fawn Brodie" (No Man Knows My History)

"Having made the historical case for polygamy, Smith was able to fuse it onto his original premise. There couldn’t be monogamy, he argued, because the kingdoms men would rule as Gods after their deaths were to be populated by that man’s children. The more children, the greater the riches of the world. Obviously, one woman could not produce enough children for a respectable kingdom. Anyone demanding monogamy was trying to trick you out of a decent afterlife."

"Joseph Smith had already concluded the Saints would have to set up their own country after Smith’s 1844 bid to become president of the United States failed in a big way."

"Young’s plans for an independent country hit another snag when the United States acquired all of the prophet’s target territories in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the Mexican American War."

"In 1856, a catastrophic drought and a series of crop-devastating grasshopper scourges pushed the Saints to the brink of starvation, and Young decided they all needed to recommit to the religion. The Mormon Reformation of 1856–58 was an unbridled festival of fire and brimstone, stoked by fanatical Smith devotees."

"Young also used the Reformation to push polygamy hard. Declaring that 'any man who denied plural marriage was damned'...”

"Young’s demonization of new settlers, combined with his zealous revivalism, culminated in the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857, the execution-style murders of 120 men, women, and children on their way from Arkansas to California, traveling in the richest wagon train to ever pass through economically disadvantaged Salt Lake City…"

"Before the [U.S. Civil] war became a total distraction, the antipolygamy Morrill Act passed in 1862. After the war, the Edmonds Act again outlawing polygamy passed in 1882, followed by the merciless 1887 Edmonds-Tucker Act, a furious wrecking ball aimed directly at Brigham Young’s Mormons. Edmonds-Tucker allowed for the seizure of church property valued at more than $50,000 and disincorporated the LDS Church and its Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company critical for bringing thousands of European converts to Utah on the grounds that both entities promoted illegal polygamy."

"President James Buchanan had already removed Brigham Young as territorial governor in 1857…"

"In a landmark 1878 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religion did not trump U.S. law, period."

"...president James Buchanan dispatched 2,500 troops to bring the Mormons to heel as early as 1857. That effort fizzled, becoming something of a joke."

"Brigham Young might never have acknowledged it, but his death in 1877 left Mormon leaders free to realistically contemplate their chances…"

"May 1890 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Late Corporation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. United States, upholding the Edmonds-Tucker provision allowing the government to seize LDS property."

"Just three months later, in August 1890, a besieged Wilford Woodruff delivered the Manifesto ending plural marriage."

"Smith, and certainly Young, had inexorably established polygamy as a requirement—not an option—for admittance to the celestial kingdom, which was the whole point of being Mormon. From the instant the Manifesto left Woodruff’s lips, Mormon polygamists argued the explanation was an insultingly transparent political capitulation to a secular entity with no authority to override God’s laws."

"LDS officials are squeamishly evasive about the multistory, fifteen-barrel silo outside Salt Lake City stuffed with four hundred thousand pounds of grain, the food is there to sustain Mormons during the worldwide chaos that will precede the Second Coming…"

"Despite two manifestos from separate prophets who were also talking to God, LDS has not removed the plural marriage revelation. To the contrary, LDS has not restored Smith’s 1835 revelation condemning polygamy — a revelation LDS deleted from the Doctrines and Covenants in 1876 because it conflicted with the revelation ordering polygamy."

"The visit was singed with controversy when it came to light that LDS had baptized Obama’s late mother into the church with its dubious practice of using proxies to stand in for the dead at the ceremony without alerting the deceased’s living family members. Mormon leaders were obliged to walk back the Obama baptism quietly, but outraged Jewish leaders forced a public retraction of LDS postmortem baptisms of Jews murdered in the Holocaust."

"LDS published a training manual in 1998 that portrayed Brigham Young as a monogamous husband. Polygamy is mentioned nowhere in the manual. Among the work’s significant omissions is Mormon doctrine holding that God is himself a polygamist, as is Jesus Christ, whose wives included Mary Magdalene. When questioned by reporters, LDS officials Ronald L. Knighton and Craig Manscill staunchly defended the omissions, saying the manual was not intended as a historical document, only a broad introduction to the Mormon faith. The officials insisted the failure to mention polygamy was legitimate because the practice had been stopped in 1890."

"American Indians, called Lamanites, also carry the blood of ancient Israel but, like many Gentiles who have not yet been converted, don’t realize it. The Book of Mormon teaches that ancient Hebrews traveled to the New World around 600 B.C. in a submarine-like boat, creating an advanced civilization with a number of nineteenth-century amenities. This population eventually split into the “good” tribe of Nephites and the “bad” tribe of Lamanites, who became embroiled in a centuries-long war. After Christ’s crucifixion, he visited the New World and was able to remind the Lamanites of their roots, but they soon forgot and eventually wiped out the Nephites. God cursed the Lamanites with dark skin for their wickedness, but Mormon prophets taught they would again become a 'white and delightsome' people when their memories were restored after the apocalypse."

"Smith’s career as a money digger is fairly well known, but in his book Early Mormonism and the Magic World View, excommunicated Mormon historian D. Michael Quinn discusses at good length the Smith family’s dabbling in other areas of magic and the occult, including necromancy, in which spirits of the dead are conjured up to reveal the future."

"Only the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod equivocates its position on whether Mormonism is a Christian faith. All other major Christian denominations, including Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and so on, have position statements advising that, among other things, the Mormon belief that there are many gods, that God was a man, that men may become gods, that God and Jesus Christ were polygamists (a detail Smith added after he’d introduced polygamy years later), and that God and Jesus Christ are separate entities, not part of the holy trinity, are inconsistent with Christianity."

"Until 1978, only white males could attain the end goal of deification."

"Explaining that the 1835 revelation was inconsistent with church dogma, LDS leaders removed it from the Doctrines and Covenants in 1876. Despite the fact that it would now appear to be consistent with church dogma, it has not been reinstated..."

3: Bill Walker and the First Case
"...a dogma true for both LDS and FLDS to this day. Only men have the power to elevate their wives into heaven."

"...children are literally considered FLDS priesthood property. Once born, mothers are understood to have no further claim on their babies, and indeed, Warren Jeffs would soon take up the habit of reassigning children willy-nilly to families of his selection, informing the biological mothers that they would never see their kids again."

4: Judge Shumate
"Certain that LDS was now irredeemably apostated, disgusted polygamists began filtering into what is called the Arizona strip some fifty miles east of St. George, founding a community called The Work. It would evolve into FLDS."

5: The New Sheriff
"Mankind are here because they are the offspring of parents who were first brought here from another planet…"

"In both LDS and FLDS, worldly events must be recorded in this life in order to be acknowledged in the next. Joseph Smith urged all his converts to keep punctilious personal journals…"

"...another of Mormonism’s founding tenets: the condemnation of African Americans as actively evil, unsaveable souls whose black skin was the mark of Cain, a curse of God. Black men could not be admitted to the Mormon priesthood."

"Mormon universities and colleges were excluded from national competitions, including sporting competitions. LDS resisted the pressures until 1978, when the prohibition of blacks from holding the priesthood was reversed…"

"...fundamentalist Mormon groups practicing polygamy do not accept the 1978 change. Groups like FLDS still actively portray dark-skinned people as evil and call African Americans 'niggers'…"

6: Dan Fischer and the Lost Boys
"...the land of refuge, where the ten thousand or so FLDS people would soon be tasked with killing every human being on earth."

9: Warren Jeffs
"Fundamentalists marry for 'time' or for 'time and eternity.' Marrying for 'time' is strictly temporal and not such a big deal. Marrying for “time and eternity” means the woman belongs to her husband in perpetuity by God’s iron will…"

"On October 7, 2002, just a month after Rulon [Jeff]’s death, Warren secretly married his first batch of seven of Rulon’s widows. After taking them all upstairs for a little dancing and nuptials, the women were promptly sequestered in rooms lacking the compound’s intercoms to prevent their blabbing about the marriages to anyone else. Warren knew that marrying his father’s women was going to be a community shocker…"

"The number of wives held by Warren Jeffs remains a matter of speculation, but the estimates of ninety-one are certainly low. Myriad ex-FLDS bloggers put the number between two and three hundred. In his dictations, Warren indicates he had almost eighty wives by the end of 2002, and he was just getting started."

"When a young girl was mauled by a stray dog, Warren ordered all the dogs in Short Creek, a community of nearly ten thousand dog owners, to be killed. No selling them or giving them away."

"The spectacularly scenic Canadian lands, with an estimated value of $300 million, were part of the FLDS United Effort Plan trust."

"...the FLDS community in Bountiful, British Columbia, Canada, was in full revolt under the leadership of Winston Blackmore. Warren had excommunicated Blackmore after he forgave a young girl fleeing Short Creek with the boy she wanted to marry, allowing the couple to settle in Canada as husband and wife."

"Warren’s breathless Canadian spy, Jim Oler, told an infuriated Warren many of the thousand FLDS members in the Canadian branch didn’t accept his prophet claims."

"in 2003, Warren Jeffs declared himself prophet."

10: Texas at Bat
"March 25, 2004, with the headline “Corporate Retreat or Prophet’s Refuge?” Mankin published the first of hundreds of scrupulously researched stories about FLDS…"

"In mid-April, FLDS resurrected the elusive David Allred to make the rounds in Schleicher County [Texas], insisting to incredulous town leaders that no matter what it looked like, the property was indeed a corporate retreat hunting lodge."

"It still took a week after this little PR disaster for FLDS attorney Rod Parker to confirm that the property recorded as owned by YFZ Land LLC, was not, in fact, a hunting lodge but “clearly connected” to FLDS."

"Educated about the 'lying for the Lord' and 'bleeding the beast' FLDS mantras, Mankin learned that when Allred said two hundred folks would be coming, he meant two hundred men. Because these were Warren Jeffs’s favored men, all would have at least three, and some more than twenty, wives kept continuously pregnant. Depending on the number of men Warren Jeffs eventually intended to favor, the actual number of FLDS members Texas could expect to receive over time might number well into the thousands."

11: Arizona at Bat, Again
"March 2003, New Times declared war on the sect and the current Secretary of Homeland Security with a seventeen-thousand-word opus, the result of a five-month investigation into FLDS in Colorado City headlined: 'Bound by Fear: Polygamy in Arizona. For Decades the State Has Let a Feudal Colony of Fundamentalist Mormons Force Underage Girls into Illegal Polygamous Marriages.'

"The tiny Colorado City Fire Department received the third largest Homeland Security grant in the state to stave off terrorists—$350,000. Before the Salt Lake Tribune began defending FLDS, it printed an exposé titled “Polygamy on the Dole,” revealing that Colorado City raked in $1.8 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to pave streets (Hildale got $94,000) and $2.8 million to build an airport used only by the Jeffs, ostensibly to promote tourism in a community that believes outsiders are trying to kill them…"

"More than 80 percent of FLDS members were on some kind of welfare."

"Short Creek raked in approximately $33 million tax dollars a year for around seven thousand residents, including an estimated $15 million to run the combined Short Creek city governments."

"Republican Arizona state representative Sylvia Allen, arguing in favor of “getting the money” by allowing radioactive uranium mining in the state in 2009, enlightened her apprehensive colleagues with the observation that 'the earth has been here for six thousand years, long before anyone had environmental laws, and somehow it hasn’t been done away with.'"

"In 1877, Young dispatched Daniel Webster Jones from St. George to Arizona’s center, founding the town of Mesa, which today boasts more LDS members than Salt Lake City, some 470,000 Saints, all of them reliable voters."

"Napolitano admitted that, in varying degrees, FLDS met or exceeded all standardized law enforcement criteria to categorize it as a potentially violent cult along the lines of the Branch Davidians at Waco or the militia types at Ruby Ridge."

"Napolitano said she didn’t send investigators into Short Creek to look into child abuse and underage sex charges because she feared for their safety. She added that she didn’t send uniformed police because she feared for their safety, too, and she also feared their presence might ignite unsightly, casualty-producing gun battles."

"Mormonism addresses this kind of dating and matters like the fossil record by saying that God mashed and rolled the earth together from pieces of other, much older planets, meaning the fossil record is the remains of extraterrestrials."

14: The End Begins
Brigham Young, Deseret News, 6 Aug. 1862: "this MONOGAMIC ORDER OF MARRIAGE so esteemed by modern Christians as a HOLY SACRAMENT and DIVINE INSTITUTION is nothing but a system established by a SET OF ROBBERS."

15: Fun on the Run
Warren Jeffs, 29 July, 2005: "The Lord directed that I go to the sun tanning salon and get sun tanned more evenly on their sun tanning beds that have lights, so Naomie and I went and did that in the afternoon."

"Jeffs explained that the Lord had “commanded” the couple “to go mingle with the rich where there was a live band.” The Lord also commanded that the evening be topped off with “some dancing bars, lounges, and the saloons.”

16: Cops and Taxes
"...1992, when the Arizona Law Enforcement Officer Advisory Council (ALEOAC) moved to decertify Colorado City deputy marshal Sam Barlow, who’d already been denied peace officer status in Utah because the FLDS member had three wives. Incredibly, Barlow had been an Arizona cop for twenty years before ALEOAC noticed the little illegal polygamy problem…"

"Barlow pursued his religious persecution case for five years before Arizona, in an astonishing display of gutlessness, dismissed its complaint against him…"

17: Satan’s Accountant
"...the Bountiful Elementary-Secondary School Society (BESS) received $650,000 a year from the Canadian government…"
NOTE: Given that education is a provincial jurisdiction in Canada, perhaps Weyermann means the British Columbia government.

18: Nailed
Record of President Warren Jeffs, 22 Apr. 2005: "This afternoon, I wrote Paula Jeffs, my wife, a note of correction, teaching her that she needs to be more fervent in seeking the Lord’s will, and not just judging what she thinks will beautify the Lord’s house, as the Lord has rejected the materials for the upstairs sheers and drapes. I told her the Lord will accept the drapes out of the present materials temporarily, but after the dedication of the temple, we will replace the drapes made out of materials that do not have a grain in it or a pattern in the material…"

21: The Courts
"...the FLDS lawsuits had a few audacious themes in common…"

" embraced a number of troubling themes that would be standard in all the FLDS suits to follow…"

"As FLDS leaders spit and clawed to regain their kingdom, nobody had seen nothin’ yet."

26: The Lives of Others
In 1859, U.S. Army troops erected a monument to the the more than 120 Arkansas men, women, and children killed in the September 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, a battle between incoming settlers and Utah Mormons. About 1860, Brigham Young's associates dismantled the monument. "...the U.S. Calvary rebuilt the destroyed monument and kept stubbornly rebuilding it over the next seventy years of continued vandalism. In 1932, a monument was left standing."

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Butler Schaffer, "A Libertarian Critique of Intellectual Property" (2014)

This is an extended essay published by the libertarian-slanted (Ludwig von) Mises Institute, located in Alabama. Schaffer is an Associate Professor at the Southwestern University School of Law. In 2013, the Institute awarded Schaffer $10,000 for his "lifetime defence of liberty."

Schaffer's argument is not as radical as it might sound. He is not an anarchist. His criticism of intellectual property laws is that they provide incorporated bodies ('artificial' persons recognized by law) with the power to limit, control, and profit from ideas that would better benefit society as part of the creative, communicative commons. He does not suggest that property should be abolished, but that ownership of property should be limited to 'natural' persons, for information that they choose not to send forth into the community. He does raise the prospect, though, that in reality no ideas are built truly independently of the knowledge of others, thus implying that intellectual property laws should be rendered null and void.

QUOTATIONS, AND NOTES by Gregory Klages:
"...only human beings—“persons”—should be respected as property owners; that treating corporations, political institutions, and other abstractions as artificial “persons” represents a source of conflict we ought to reject."

"...the state becomes seen for what it is: an organizational tool of violence that is able to accomplish its purposes only through the willingness of its victims to accord it legitimacy. Such a practice allows lifeless fictions to transcend — and thus demean — the importance of individual human beings."

"...the essence of ownership is found in the capacity to control some resource in furtherance of one’s purposes, such a claim is lost once a product has been released to the public. The situation is similar to that of a person owning oxygen that is contained in a tank, but loses a claim to any quantity that might be released — by a leaky valve — into the air."

"True to their coercive and looting nature, governments have gone so far as to take from the 'public domain' words that belong to no one, and conferred a monopoly copyright upon various institutional interests. The word 'Olympics,' for instance, has been in common usage since at least the eighth century B.C. By political fiat, the International Olympic Committee now enjoys ownership of that word as a state-protected trademark."

"Is the creative process encouraged or hindered by this system of state-conferred monopolies? Creativity—like learning in general — is fostered by cross-fertilization and synthesis."

"The proposition that knowledge and ideas can be made the exclusive property of one who discovers or expresses what was previously unknown, is contrary to the nature of the intelligent mind, whose content is assembled from a mixture of the experiences of others and oneself. Even the language with which one formulates and communicates his or her understanding to others, has been provided by predecessors."

"If we truly believe that the creative process requires the state to grant to inventors and discoverers an immunity from having their works adopted by others, will we insist that modern producers either compensate the descendants of earlier creators for their preliminary work or, in the alternative, abandon their claims to rewards for their “originality”?"

"...the patenting process, as with government regulation generally, is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking that tends to increase industrial concentration."

"The current political mantra, “too big to fail,” is a product of the dysfunctional nature of size when an organization faces energized competition to which it must adapt if it is to survive."

"The state’s creation of patent and copyright interests doesn’t, by itself, prevent innovation by others, but it does erect hurdles that often discourage research…"

Friday, 3 July 2015

Timothy Appleby, "A New Kind of Monster" (2011)

Subtitle: "The Secret Life and Chilling Crimes of Colonel Russell Williams."

This 'true crime' book documents the many crimes committed by a well-respected, high-ranking member of Canada's military. It is a relatively easy, although certainly disturbing, read. Appleby refrains from wading into 'pop psychology' to explain Williams' behaviour, concentrating instead on narration.

Here's a link to the publisher's webpages for the book.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Stephen Williams, "Karla: A Pact with the Devil" (2003)

It's hard to offer any new insights on the sordid and tragic tale of sexual assaults and murders conducted by Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka. In 2003, when this book was written, Williams was able to provide some new insights into the case, as well as Karla's state of mind in prison. Although he is evasive in the book, Williams apparently opened a mail conversation with her, while also seeking out interviews with a multitude of other people involved in the case.

The book plots out the legal prosecution of Karla Homolka, and explains the development of the plea bargain that would result in her serving much shorter jail time than she might otherwise face in exchange for testifying against her husband. Williams seems to want to tell the valid, but hard to integrate story of bureaucratic bungling in prosecuting Homolka (and Bernardo), along with a sympathetic telling of Homolka's suffering at the hands of a penal and justice system that approached her in a harsher fashion than other inmates guilty of similar crimes. In short, Williams seems to want to tell us that Karla is a criminal that deserved a worse sentence, but having reached a plea bargain, deserved to relish the terms she had been given by the state.

Williams lives in the region from which I grew up, and I wanted to enjoy this book, despite the story it tells. The tale he tells has all the hallmarks of a great work: internationally noteworthy crime, nationally much-discussed and controversial plea bargain, and suggestions of investigative and prosecutorial shortcomings. I found myself distracted by Williams rather awkward story-telling, and the poor editing of the book. Williams seems to fancy himself a cross between Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thomson. He blends comments on his own adventures, the food he's dining on and the company he keeps, with specious psychological analysis of the people he writes about. He makes an unfortunately showy love of vocabulary that I suspect serves to distance most readers, rather than impress them. I can only explain his strategy as a product of fearing his topic pandered to the stereotypical 'true crime' reader, and so sought to elevate his authorial persona with language he felt might better reflect his elevated intelligence. I found it more pompous and off-putting than appealing.

Quotations, and Gregory Klages' notes:

Chapter 7 - Cancer

" stress disorder and its symptoms were fully extrapolated in a book by Arthur Kardiner, first published in 1941, called The Neuroses of War."

Chapter 9 - The Wedding Planner
"…[Karla] had seen a television program about how Italian men frequently live with their mothers until they are in their fifties. That might have explained it — Paul Bernardo was of Italian descent — but in the television program all the men really loved their mothers and Paul hated his and he wasn’t just saying it either and Karla could understand why."
NOTE: This sort of run-on sentence helps to establish a certain 'voice' for Karla. If it reflects her actual voice in the letters, wouldn't it have been more useful to actually use her words? I suppose this is part of the challenge of writing a textual conversation: if the author doesn't intervene, they become irrelevant. With too much intervention, the text becomes more about them than it does about the topic.

Chapter 22 - Deciphering Code
"Not to mention the anti-psychiatry, such as the idea that Karla was a malingering, histrionic hybristophiliac, developed for Bernardo’s defense team by Dr. Graham Clancy."
NOTE: If the average reader needs to check a dictionary more than once in a sentence, particularly when reading a pulp 'true crime' story, it should be a sign for concern.

Chapter 23 - The Man with Whom the Buck Stops
"And as Murray Segal said in this February 1995 letter to George Walker, they would continue to do exactly."
NOTE: End of sentence?… where are you?

Chapter 26 - A Propensity to Lie
"He was arraigned the next day, and held without bail for months even though Inspector Bevan’s charges on the murder charges had been thrown out."
NOTE: Editor? Did you disappear with the end of the sentence above?

Chapter 27 - The Fine Art of Adjudication
"What is now abundantly clear is that Michael Code’s ultimate decision not to charge Karla with respect to the repeated heinous attacks on Jane Doe, and the subsequent grant of blanket immunity, whereby, theoretically, he reinforced her “credibility” as an “accomplice witness,” has done nothing to maintain the public confidence in the administration of Justice — quite the opposite — but that consideration was clearly not the most important on Michael Code’s list. Although there are many facts and arguments to the contrary, which I tried to press on him time and again, he stubbornly asseverated that any prosecution of Karla Homolka would have put the successful prosecution of Paul Bernardo for first-degree murder at great risk. To him, Karla was by far the lesser of two evils, and was not then and is not now a danger to society."
NOTE: The quotation above is a fine example of all of the primary problems with this book.

"We did, however, agree on two other things. Karla should have been released on her statutory date, and that the prison officials far exceeded their mandate and their role when they detained her."

Chapter 30 - Macabre Cynicism
"On the surface, it seems lucid and logical but its observations and remarks are repetitive and pleonastic, as though they were uncomfortable with their subject matter, their decision and the basis on which it was made."

Chapter 31 - Back to the Future
"...doing time does something to one’s sense of time. You pass through it as though it is a vast mucilaginous bubble, emerging three months later none the wiser, feeling as though only three or four days have gone by."
NOTE: Hmmmm… is this Williams speculating, speaking from experience, or sharing Homolka's confidences? We'll never know.

"Understandably, this pecuniary redemption would ameliorate behavior and provide relief from stress and deliver some good old-fashioned middle-class stability."