Category Archives: Science

UPDATED (9/23/022): The Genius Of Erik Larson

Art, English, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, History, Literature, Science

Thanks are owed to the good friend who introduced me to the genius of author Erik Larson.

I’m finishing up Thunderstruck, so am learning more about Marconi than my old man, a PhD RF (wireless) engineer, knows. I do appreciate now the magic and mystique of the rather rarefied field of wireless. In fact, I’m quite captivated by it.

Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History is riveting—it taught me about the Galveston Hurricane, the most lethal natural disaster in US history, instantiating the arrogance of US climate scientists even in 1900. The state’s scientists dissed and cancelled (as in banned) the Cubans–who understood the science of hurricanes well before us–sacrificing about ten thousand souls.

I learned so much about the intrigue—and role of the British Empire, the Admiralty, in particular—in leading Lusitania, a luxury British passenger ship, right to the German, U-Boat assassins. The book is Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania.

And who knew Chicago had such uniquely problematic soil? Larson does! Just as he conveys a solid grip of wireless technology in Thunderstruck, or the science of hurricanes in Issac’s Storm, Larson goes into the geology of the city and the great architecture and architects of fin de siècle America, all in The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America. (George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. wanted to best Gustave Eiffel, so he gave us the American version of  the Eiffel Tower, the Ferris wheel, which, during the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, carried up to … 2000 people. All new and wondrous to me.)

There are always parallel murder plots, where you learn about the mass murderer du jour or wife killer on the cross-Atlantic lam. These are made all the more suspenseful if you DO NOT GOOGLE them.

Larson weaves gorgeously written, multi-layered, primary-source based yarns about epic historic events. And he never visits the Internet for his research, but, rather, works in libraries and wherever rare artifacts and documents are stowed.

On LinkedIn, a variety of people keep propagating on my page with fluffy effusions about their writing careers. Having sampled a paragraph or two of these people’s “prose”—and then promptly unfollowed the particular umbrella association that represents them (us “writers”) and advances the careers of these scribblers—I would advise these producers of piss-poor prose, first to quit assaulting the eye. But if they wish to improve, study Larson: structure of plot and sentences, syntax, how he starts a sentence; his use of adjectives, how he builds tension.

Still, there should be a guild that pays most “budding” writers not to write.

UPDATED (9/23/022): One of our readers is a descendant of brave survivors of the 1900s Galveston Hurricane. What tough, admirable people American were. Many still are: MAGA.

Mental Maladies: Tucker And Mainstream Discover What Thomas Szasz Explained In 1960

Argument, Logic, Propaganda, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry, Psychology & Pop-Psychology, Science, The Therapuetic State

About the lack of empirical evidence for so-called organic nature of “mental disease,” Tucker Carlson said TODAY, , (well, almost) what this column wrote first in 2002 and countless times since, in titles archived under Psychiatry and The Therapeutic State category:

Cruise And The Psychiatric Shamans,” (2005) “EVIL, NOT ILL” (4/2007), “Conservatives For Abolishing The Fact Of Evil (2015),” “School Shootings: A Moral-Health, Not Mental-Health, Problem” (2018).

Tucker discovers what we wrote in “Broken Brains?” (January 16, 2002):

“… Consider also that there is no credible, scientific, peer-reviewed evidence for the organic basis of aberrant behavior, and you grasp the chicanery that surrounds the claim that strange or bad conduct is caused by ‘chemical imbalances’ in the brain. …”

The more rigorous and honest clinicians will concede that drawing causal relationships between “mental illness” and “chemical imbalances” is impossible. That prescription medication often helps misbehaved or unhappy individuals is no proof that strange behavior is an organic disease. One can chemically castrate a pedophile. But does this demonstrate that molesting kids is an organic disease? Never. It proves only that chemical castration can at times reduce recidivism in people who have chosen to victimize children.

Clear analytical thinking is at the root of solid science, it precedes empiricism.

Roughly 75 percent of the value of “antidepressant” drugs is due to the placebo effect. And talk therapies—cognitive-behavioral therapy in particular—can have equal or better results. Veracity permits only that we limit our causal conclusions to saying that assorted treatment modalities sometimes help people with behavioral problems, nothing more.


My mentor, the great Dr. Thomas Szasz, wrote and proved all this analytically in the Myth of Mental illness, 1961. His books I studied at university, back when thought was taught. Both Tom Szasz and I lauded Tom Cruise when the actor attacked psychiatry so very cogently.

See “Cruise And The Psychiatric Shamans” (2005):

The psychiatric peanut gallery has blasted actor Tom Cruise for insisting correctly that there’s more voodoo to the profession than veracity. Cruise’s instincts are good: “Psychiatrists don’t have a test that can prove that a so-called mental illness is actually organic in origin, I wrote. Rigorous clinician —members of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology come to mind —concede that drawing causal connections between “mental illness” and “chemical imbalances” is impossible. That prescription medication often helps misbehaved or unhappy individuals is no proof that strange behavior is an organic disease —placebos or cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, are as effective.

Tucker Carlson had summoned some limey, a quick-fix popularizer, to speak to these issues.

FRED REED: She’s Gonna blow: It’s Weimar, But Where Is Our Adolf?

Constitution, Crime, English, FRED REED, Intelligence, Labor, Military, Multiculturalism, Nationhood, Outsourcing, Race, Racism, Science, Technology, War

“Consider America today. By comparison with Japan, China, Korea, it is a barbarity, a dumpster, an asylum, an abattoir, an astonishment”


As the sentient have presumably noticed, the United States is in crisis, the country’s problems are profound, intrinsic, without solution, and worsening. When a population reaches the point of despair, even desperation, when it sees a darkening future for itself and its children, people yearn for a strong man who will forcibly put things right. Yet it is unlikely that helicopters of Marines from Quantico will descend on the White House and announce the dictatorship of some general. Military officers are too well paid and comfortable to worry about the country. It is hard to imagine an American Mussolini. Trump is a caricature and no one else comes to mind. Yet “unrest” –less euphemistically, “chaos” on the order of Mr. Floyd’s massive riots, is possible. We have seen it. We can see it again.

Consider America today. By comparison with Japan, China, Korea, it is a barbarity, a dumpster, an asylum, an abattoir, an astonishment. San Francisco loses conventions because of needles and excrement on the sidewalks. Almost weekly we see multiple shootings in stores, high schools and, now, grade schools. Murders of whites by blacks run at thirty a month, the news being suppressed. In cities across the country crime is out of control, the tax bases moving out, bail abolished so criminals are freed in hours. Stores leave to escape undiscouraged shoplifting and robbery. Seven hundred homicides a year in Chicago, 300 in Baltimore, and at least twice as many shot but survive, similar numbers in a dozen cities. For practical purposes, law does not exist in these ungovernable enclaves. Sexual curiosities, once called perversions, flourish with American embassies hoisting flags in support of transsexualism. Mobs topple historical statues. Many tens of thousands live on sidewalks and a hundred thousand a year die of opioid overdoses. The country drops math requirements and English grammar in schools, AP courses, and SATs as racist. The economy declines, jobs have left for other climes, medical care is beyond most people’s means, government is corrupt and incompetent, and wars are unending. There is actual hatred between racial, political, and regional groups. Ominously, gun sales are up.

How is this going to end well? How did we get here?

America has never been a nation in the correct sense of the word, a people sharing values, language, a culture. Rather it has been, and is, a collection of peoples having little and common and, often disliking each other. West Virginia has nothing in common with Massachusetts which has nothing in common with the Deep South which has nothing in common with coastal California which has nothing in common with Cavalier Virginia which has nothing in common with Latinos who have nothing in common with blacks.

Until perhaps the early Sixties, the regions got along with each other reasonably well because there was little communication between them. Roads were poor, the internet was not even on the horizon. Radio stations and newspapers were local, reflecting the surrounding culture and taste. The central government was remote and had little influence locally. Each region lived as it wished.

Providing a degree of commonalty was that the country was overwhelmingly white, European, Anglophone and, at least nominally, Christian. It was socially conservative, largely consisting of small towns.

The resulting culture was unsophisticated but civilized. In the suburbs of Washington (I was there) you really could leave your bike anywhere and it would be there when you came back. In summer children really could play great sprawling multiblock games of hide-and-seek after dark and no one worried. In high school in rural Virginia (I was there too) the boys had guns for hunting deer and shooting varmints in the bean fields and you could leave your .410 in the back seat of your jalopy in the school’s parking lot. Nobody thought of shooting anyone. It wasn’t in the culture. If a thing isn’t in the culture, it doesn’t happen. You don’t need policemen. The boys didn’t use bad language around the girls or vice versal and nobody even thought of disrespect to teachers. There were class clowns (I may know somewhat of this), but no real misbehavior. It wasn’t in white, technically Christian, semi-rural culture.

Then many things happened. In no particular order:

The reach of the federal government grew and grew. Washington, which had been a distant city concerning itself with foreign policy and the economy, could now impose its values on remote society. It did.

Washington discovered the “separation of church and state,” which had lain unnoticed in the Constitution since 1789. In regions of deep religiousness, it became illegal to recite the Lord’s prayer, to have creches on the town square at Christmas, or two sing carols on the public streets. It had nothing to do with meticulous adherence to the Constitution, but everything to do with the discovery by angry minorities that they could impose on majorities. In short, like many movements to come, it was a revenge operation. It has become a de facto program of de-Cristinization, weakening a source of social cohesion and leading to anger.

The federal government began to dictate what could be taught in local schools. Teachers were forbidden to mention Creationism because a judge in Philadelphia, who appeared to have the scientific grasp of a potato chip, said this transgressed the doctrine of separation. The decision had little practical relevance as there was no likelihood that hearing of Genesis would turn students away from the study of biochemistry. It was, however, an early manifestation of class snobbery against what was seen as primitive Christianity that would later coalesce into hostility toward the Deplorables.

Remote anonymous committees in New York wrote highly ideological textbooks imposed on distant states which did not share those ideologies. The effectiveness of this relied on the principle that outraged parents in Arkansas would have no idea how to oppose distant bureaucracies of whose existence they were unaware and whose phone numbers they could not find. American government is democratic while not allowing the people to exercise power. It is a brilliant system, until it explodes.

Compulsory racial integration, as distinct from desegregation, was an untarnished disaster. Few wanted it, and few want it. The people who imposed it did not, and do not, send their children to black schools. The races transparently do not want to live together. If blacks move into white neighborhoods, “white flight” occurs and if whites move into black neighborhoods, blacks furiously complain of gentrification.

When two cultures have utterly different views of acceptable language, dress, behavior, study, and curricula, mixing them does not work. In the schools, academic standards fell. Discipline became a problem. Across America, cities burned because of conflict between black populations and white police. Eurowhite culture, it turned out, was incompatible with Negro culture. The potential for yet greater disaster seems great, and no one has a solution. There probably isn’t a solution.

The Constitution, which once brought political stability, withered, being ignored or interpreted into unrecognizability by judges or made irrelevant by changes in technology and society. Freedom of speech, which meant that I could say that the President was a fool and should be removed from office, became freedom of expression, meaning that porn sites, accessible to children of nine years, could upload videos of a German Shepherd copulating with a beautiful blonde tied down to a bed. Some doubted that the writers of the Constitution had this in mind when providing the Bill of Rights, but none could gainsay the Supreme Court or the federal power.

The behemoths of the electronic media imposed political censorship. Being private enterprises, they could not be disciplined. They became more and more an arm of the central government, which became more and more the property of the Northeastern coastal elites. Entities with names like Google, Twitter, and Facebook cleansed themselves of content thought inappropriate, websites delisted, credit card accounts closed. People disappeared by the electronic media were almost as disappeared as those disappeared in Latin America, though less bloodily. The intention and effect are the same.

An unexpected effect of censorship was that those doing the censoring also censored themselves. The media, talking to each other, reading each other, having no contact with or interest in the silenced and deplorable, had no idea of the anger out there. This brought us Floyd and Trump as deep wells of undetected anger exploded. The media are doing it again.

The current regime in Washington appears deliberately and intensely divisive. Biden has attacked the South, supporting renaming of military bases in deliberate affront. A thorough racist, he frequently denounces whites. He denounces Trump and his supporters, nearly half of America. He has ostentatiously chosen black women as justice of the Supreme Court, member of Federal Reserve, Vice President, and White House spokeswoman. While these may or may not be competent, he announced them as diversity hires. He is poised to assault owners of guns, sure to provoke fury, has involved America in another war, and wants a federal Ministry of Truth to prohibit ideas he doesn’t like. Profoundly partisan, he makes no attempt to calm things or promote tranquility.

The universality of the internet made difficult or impossible the maintenance of distinct values or mores. It became impossible for the cultivated to inculcate in their children manners, good English, and appreciation of learning when the electronics bathed them in not only the traditionally low culture of America but also the anticivilization of the ghetto. America undergoes both enforced peasantrification and homogenization. Anger grows.

Congress and the Constitution largely ceased to function, leaving Presidents to rule by executive order, this not being entirely distinguishable from dictatorship. This included the making of war, which became both common and beyond public influence. The legislature no longer governed but was the storefront for special interests of immense power. There remained no body interested in the wellbeing of the country. This led to offshoring of jobs, poverty in Appalachia, the Rust Belt and rural Deep South, the impoverishing influx of cheap Mexican labor, Donald Trump, and intense regional hatred. Here we are.

This can’t last. The hatreds are intense, the guns everywhere, anger growing at crime, something akin to economic desperation appearing. Washington will leave nowhere alone, will not address national problems, will always give priority to its military, its wars and its empire over domestic needs. The hostility that fueled the Floyd riots, the burning cities, the looting and vengeful vandalism, are still there. She’s going to blow. Watch.

Read Fred’s Books! Or else. We know where you sleep.


FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”



Killer Kink

Hardboiled is back! (The exclamation point is to arouse wild enthusiasm int the reader, a boiling literary lust.) Gritty crime fiction by longtime police reporter for the Washington Times, who knows the police from nine years of riding with them. Guaranteed free of white wine and cheese, sensitivity, or social justice.

FRED REED: Toward a Theory of Impossibility: Column Upends Science

Argument, FRED REED, Logic, Pseudoscience, Reason, Science

FRED’S in the house. You heard the Man. If seen, do not approach. Call your local taberna instead


In today’s column, we will revolutionize science, and establish that much of what we believe, at least regarding living things, is at best improbable and likely impossible. Science won’t notice, so no harm will be done.

As we explicate the Theory of Impossibility, we must begin with particle physics. This will give the column a touch of class. Specifically, the Fundamental Theorem of Quantum Mechanics states, “If a thing makes no sense at all, wait until you get used to it, and then it will.” For example, the idea that a particle can simultaneously be a wave is absurd, but is now everywhere accepted, like potatoes. The EPR effect, holding that if one of a pair of entangled photons, in Scarsdale, changes polarity, its entangled partner, in Alpha Centauri, will simultaneously change polarity, is ridiculous. How would it know?  Neither of these things can happen. But they do, so we regard them as reasonable. Here we enunciate and underlying principle: A thing is not necessarily possible merely because it happens.

Unless something is going on that we do not know about.

Scientists see the universe as if it were a gigantic crossword puzzle. Crosswords are inherently solvable. While the great puzzle of life and existence has not been entirely elucidated, we assume that it can be, given time and effort. We may not know a five-letter word ending in Q that means “seventh-century Persian coin,” but we assume that it exists and can one day be found. But…is this so?

This reminds me that when I was in college, before the invention of fire, sophomores quoted Gödel’s Theorem as saying that in a logical system of sufficient complexity, there were questions that could not be answered within the system. Whether the theorem actually says this, I forget, but we said it said it, and felt very wise.

Here we come to one of my favorite clichés, by the British biologist J.B.S. Haldane, “The world is not only queerer than we think, but queerer than we can think.” Just so. Perhaps there are questions that can’t be answered, and therefore won’t be. This cannot be a comforting thought to a new-minted chemist as he rushes forth from CalTech, which may be why anything suggesting inherent unanswerability is rejected. But it may be that we just aren’t smart enough to understand everything, or maybe even much of it. Here we come to another cliché by my favorite philosopher (me): The smartest of a large number of hamsters is still a hamster.

Now, impossibility. Suppose I showed you a pair of tiny gears and said, “See? When I turn this one, it meshes with the other and makes it turn too.” You would respond with a lack of surprise. Suppose I then showed you fifty such little gears in an old-fashioned Swiss watch in which they all turned to make the hands move. You might say, “Isn’t that ingenious.” Suppose that I then told you that someone had assembled, literally, a cubic mile of such tiny gears and that they meshed perfectly for fifty years to do many complex things. You would ask me what I was smoking.

Even though each step in a cubic-mile process could be shown to be possible—gear A turns gear B, which turns gears C and D—you would sense that the entire complex wouldn’t work, however plausible each sub-process might be. You would be unconsciously applying the law that the improbability of the whole is greater than the sum of the improbabilities of the parts. The improbability is not a linear function of the number of parts but increases without limit as the number of parts goes above, say, one thousand.

Does that sound dreadfully portentous, or what? One day it will be the foundation of ponderous overpriced textbooks to extract money from sophomores. At least I hope so. I could use the money.

To a neophyte of biochemistry, the textbook description of a cell seems the mapping of a robotic Japanese factory onto a swamp. For example, in what sounds like a computer-controlled assembly line, enzymes uncoil the DNA, others unzip it, complementary nucleotides snap into place, a zipper-upper enzyme glues them together, click, click, click, whereupon the mRNA rushes purposefully off to a ribosome where, click, click, click. This is probably AP biology in decent high schools, if any, and has been verified thousands of times by biochemists. But…it sounds like mechanical engineering, not mindless undirected glop in solution.

You say, “But Fred, you don’t know anything about biochemistry.” True, but so what? You don’t have to know anything about it to know that it is impossible. Too many little wheels. You’ve got mRNA and microRNA and rRNA all rushing about, or sometimes holding still, and doing complex and purposeful things, and tRNA codons and anticodons coupling like drunken teenagers, and busybody enzymes editing this or that on the fly in the manner of bioschoolmarms or splicing this and some other thing and ribosomes and lysosomes and spliceosomes and palindromes and maybe aerodromes and really twisty long molecules with names like 2,4-diethyl-polywannacrackerene—and all of this is said to run with the efficiency of a Mexican drug cartel. All of this in a tiny space where everything ought to bang into everything else and just lie there in smoking rubble.

To us barbarians on the outside, the cell looks like a microscopic globule of goop with sticky stuff diffusing mindlessly about. I do not doubt that biochemists, whom I respect, have shown all of this to happen by careful experiments. I just don’t believe it. It’s the cubic mile of gears again. You have hundreds of reactive species in close proximity doing extraordinarily complicated things for sometimes a hundred years with what sounds like precisely coordinated purposefulness–instead of congealing immediately into a droplet of disagreeable mush. I do not doubt that lab folk have proved that it happens. I just don’t think it is possible. Unless something is going on that we don’t understand.

The foregoing is not orthodox biochemistry and may encounter initial resistance in the trade.

A problem of biology for years has been the inability of evolutionists to explain how life or many of its manifestations can have evolved, irreducible complexity and all that, the usual response being ok, we aren’t sure, but any day now we will have the answer. The check is in the mail. But in fact the inexplicability grows ever greater year on year as more and more complexity is discovered, such as epigenetics, and the more complexity, the less likelihood of coming about by chance. But we advocates of Impossibility Theory assert that not only can living things not have evolved, but also that they can’t function. Too many little gear wheels. Therefore life doesn’t exist.

Consider the retina, a very thin membrane consisting of ten distinct sublayers engaging in appallingly complex biochemistry, somehow maintaining position and function for, occasionally, a hundred years. These layers consist of millions of cells doing the impossibly tricky chemical dance mentioned above, more or less perfectly. In the rest of the eye you have the three layers of the eyeball, sclera, choroid, retina, and the five layers of the cornea, epithelium, Bowman’s membrane, stroma, Descemet’s membrane, and posterior lamina. And a lens consisting of a proteinaceous goop contained in a capsule, attached to the muscular ciliary body by suspensory ligaments, and an iris of radial and circumferential fibers innervated competitively by the sympathetic and parasympathetic subsystems of the autonomic nervous system. No way exists of explaining how this purportedly evolved—or how it works for many years without the layers of intricacy, biochemical through mechanical, collapsing. (I know this stuff because I have eye problems connected with Washington’s foreign policy.)

The intricacy of life is layered. We start with a zygote which, being a cell, is bogglingly complex. This little time bomb develops into a baby, which is impossible. If you don’t think so, try reading a textbook of embryology. The migration of cells, this control gradient, that control gradient, DGRNs, perfect inerrant specialization to form implausibly precise and complex things like incus, malleus, stapes, tympanum in the ear and (very) numerous other examples, all impossible individually and more so in aggregate.

Impossible, at least, unless we can come up with an auxiliary explanation.  Magic seems a good candidate.

All of the organs of the baby are in varying degrees impossibly complicated and, even more impossible, almost always all of them are perfect at once. Everyone knows Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, it will. A baby should bring joy to Murphy because the opportunities of disaster are nearly infinite—yet things almost never go wrong. It is like a federal program that actually works.

The functioning of said baby is as mysterious as its formation. Babies grow. Children grow. How does this happen? For example, the baby has various small, hollow bones which grow year after year into large hollow bones. For this to work, cells (osteoclasts) eat away the bone from the inside, making the hollow larger, while other cells (osteoblasts) lay down new bone on the outside. Complex and wildly implausible communication between blast and clast purportedly makes this work. Medical researchers, honest people, no fools, assure me that this happens, and I believe them. Sort of. The idea that this evolved by random mutation is, if I may use a technical term, nuts. So, according to Impossibility Theory, is its precise, inerrant functioning. We come back to magic.

The whole baby does this sort of thing. The skull grows. Kidneys grow. The heart grows. All, with few exceptions, perfectly. Meanwhile, kidneys excrete, endocrine glands secrete, neurons weirdly but correctly link up, skin grows in perfect layers, nervous system deploys—perfectly. Do you believe this? It isn’t possible.

Unless there is something we haven’t figured out, and perhaps can’t.

I don’t know much about anything (readers delight in assuring me of this). However, I don’t know less about computers than I don’t know about biology. I want an engineering information-flow analysis of cells and a baby. Probably there are courses and books about this, and I just haven’t heard of them.

Consider a drill, perhaps in a factory, controlled by a computer. The total information involved in this transaction presumably consists of information flowing from sensors on the drill to the computer, and from the computer to the drill. Digital bits are easy to understand if you have at least two fingers. Cells are dauntingly analog.

A whole lot of things have to happen in a cell at the right time and produce the right amounts of all sorts of stuff. But to my naïve gaze, not only do processes have to produce things in correct amounts, but the systems that tell them how much to produce have to know how much that is, and these interrelationships all have to interrelate with each other. How much is that in gigabytes? Again, I am a barbarian of such things, but I wish a software engineer would reduce the whole shebang to data-flow diagrams, including how it knows when things are wearing out and the information paths needed to repair them. And why everything doesn’t just stick to everything else.

There you have the elements of a theory of impossibility. Doubtless it will rank with general relativity and Watson and Crick. You saw it here first.

Read Fred’s Books! Or else. We know where you sleep.


FRED REED describes himself as [previously] a “Washington police reporter, former Washington editor for Harper’s and staff writer for Soldier of Fortune magazine, Marine combat vet from Viet Nam, and former long-haul hitchhiker, part-time sociopath, who once lived in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from the Yankee Capital.”
His essays “on the collapse of America” Mr. Reed calls “wildly funny, sometimes wacky, always provocative.”
“Fred is the Hunter Thompson of the right,” seconds Thomas E. Ricks in Foreign Policy magazine. His  commentary is “well-written, pungent political incorrectness mixed with smart military commentary and libertarian impulses, topped off with a splash of Third World sunshine and tequila.”



Killer Kink

Hardboiled is back! (The exclamation point is to arouse wild enthusiasm int the reader, a boiling literary lust.) Gritty crime fiction by longtime police reporter for the Washington Times, who knows the police from nine years of riding with them. Guaranteed free of white wine and cheese, sensitivity, or social justice.