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Author Joan Francis - Off the Printed Page

A writer's blog comments and responds on Diana Hunter thrillers, political thrillers, history, real life PI work, global warming, subprime mortgages and any thoughtful subject of the day.
Jun 21

Serving Kirk Kerkorian

Posted by Joan Francis in Kirk Kerkorian

The two subpoenas came by special messenger from a large law firm out of state. My instructions were to serve one to Kirk Kerkorian’s legal staff at Tracinda and one to Kirk Kerkorian personally. Kerkorian’s reputation made me feel that this could be a rather daunting assignment for a little woman PI. That day, two of his employees confirmed my apprehension. They had each asked in an ominous tone of voice,  “Lady, do you know who you’re dealing with here?” 

My first attempt was a direct assault on the Tracinda office building. In any office the first desk you encounter is the most difficult. A lowly receptionist has no authority to do anything but say no.  I presented my business card from Francis Pacific Investigations and told the receptionist that I had some important information for Mr. Kerkorian. Of course she asked what this was concerning. That gave me the opportunity to use my magic door opener.  I answered hesitantly. “This is about something of a confidential nature, I would have to have Mr. Kerkorian’s personal authorization to discuss it with anyone else in the company.”

Most of the people I serve have so many skeletons in their closet that this line gets me into their private office, Tout de Suite, but in this case she just told me that Mr Kerkorian was not in.  I asked that she please give my card and message to Mr. Kerkorian’s Attorney. She said the legal staff was in a meeting and not to be disturbed. 

Back outside, I was searching for a side door or an employees entrance to find my way around the front desk when I heard a man’s voice ask, “Are you Joan Francis?” I turned and saw three large men in business suits walking my way rapidly. My card and message had made it to the legal staff after all, and they were interested enough to go outside and find me. The magic still worked. I presented one subpoena to the attorney and ask to see Mr. Kerkorian to give him his. They assured me that he was not at the office but they would see that he got it. I explained that my instructions were serve Mr. Kerkorian in person. They tried to insist that I give the subpoena to them. When I refused, one of them said in a quiet but threatening tone, “Lady, do you know who you’re dealing with here?”

I left the office building in search of needed information. If he was not in his office, I had to try his home. Where did he live? At the county recorders office I looked up all property owned by Kerkorian and Tracinda. Out of the dozen or so properties I found, one was a large home in Beverly Hills. However a few minutes research in litigation documents told me that an ex-wife lived in that home, with her boyfriend. None of the other properties looked like residences belonging to a Billionaire.

Going over the list again, I discovered one little discrepancy. A large piece of property in the hills was supposed to be undeveloped, but it had an address. Undeveloped lots do not get assigned addresses. That could be it. He had somehow managed to keep it listed as undeveloped. Kerkorian’s penchant for privacy was legendary.

This was before GPS, Google Maps, and iPads, so I hauled out my AAA map of the area and steered  my trusty grey Taurus up the mountain looking for the address. As I drove, doubt crept in. This did not look like billionaire country. It was a narrow road winding its way up a canyon.  Middle class homes were wedged in every possible site, some dug into the up-hill side of the mountain and some dangled off the downhill side, supported on long posts.

I was about to give up when I reached the top of the mountain and found an iron gate and tall fence that looked like it came right out of a Sam Spade movie.  I drove up to the speaker box and pushed the button.  When a male voice answered, I said I had a delivery for Mr. Kerkorian. The giant gates opened and I drove just inside the property, but could see no home. The gate guard appeared at my car window and said I could leave the delivery with him. I said I needed to give it to Kerkorian personally and ask if I could wait for him to come home. The young man looked startled.  “Lady, do you know who your dealing with here? If I let you wait for him, I’d lose my job and besides that, he’s at the Cannes film festival and won’t  be back until tomorrow.” I smiled, thanked him, and backed out. As I watched the gates shut I thought it wasn’t a complete loss. I now knew where he lived, where he was, and when he’d be back.

I had read that he had his own plane. If he flew it to Cannes, that would mean he would fly back into a private terminal, but the question was where and when. I was down the hill researching the best place to intercept him when I got a call from the investigator at the law firm who had sent me the assignment. He was almost yelling. “What the F#&K are you doing?” I told him I’d served the Attorney and would soon serve Kerkorian. He told me that my noising around had Kerkorian’s attorneys so upset they were calling his attorneys saying they would accept the Subpoena, just call me off. In my defense I quoted my assignment letter saying Kerkorian must be served in person. He told me to forget that and gave me the name and home address of one of the Attorneys. I was to deliver the subpoena there.

It was dark by the time I found the Attorney’s house. I had started my day at seven in the morning and was tired. When he opened the door, the look on the young attorney’s face held such anger, I realized he must have had a much worse day than I had. When I offered him the subpoena he snatched it from my hand and shut the door in my face. Amazed at the degree of his anger, I stood there a moment wondering if this man still had his job with Kerkorian. Whether he did or didn’t, his reaction told me that he probably had a much deeper and more personal understanding than I did I of  “who I had been dealing with here.”

Nov 19

NASA + Cal Tec life imitates my art

Posted by Joan Francis in Ozone , Old Poison , NPR , Neil deGrasse Tyson , Nasa , Mars atmosphere , Hydrogen , Gasoline , Earth's atmosphere , Cal Tec


So, Nasa is finally asking the most important question: What happened to the Mars atmosphere. See story:,0,4861651.story#axzz2l4xY26zw

On the cover of my book Old Poison is this quote from astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson: "Long ago Mars was an oasis of running water. Today, the Martian surface is a sterile, barren desert. Here on earth, who knows what climactic knobs we unwittingly turn, which might one day render the Earth as dry and lifeless as Mars."

Mr. deGrasse Tyson allowed the use of his quote because Old Poison speculates of what we might be doing that would render the Earth as dry and lifeless as Mars. That, however, is not the best part of the story.

Old Poison was published in May 2003. In June of 2003 a story was reported from Cal Tec Labs that announced fact that imitated my fiction.

In my fiction a petro-chemical company is creating an alternative fuel to replace gasoline. Unfortunately the fuel has a nasty side effect. Being lighter than air, the fuel rises swiftly to the stratosphere, makes chemical changes which cause all of the elements of the atmosphere to dissipate into space, including water vapor. This would eventually destroy the atmosphere and all life on earth.

In Cal Tec’s study they looked at the fact that billions of dollars are being spent on research that would make Hydrogen a replacement fuel for Gasoline. Scientist in the study built a computer model to see if large scale use of Hydrogen fuel would crate any environmental concerns. To their astonishment, the study revealed that Hydrogen, being lighter than air, rose swiftly to the Stratosphere made chemical changes that made the Ozone whole bigger. Loss of the Ozone layer would be deadly to earth's flora and fauna.

I was listening to NPR on my car radio when I first heard the report. I had to pull to the side of road and calm down before driving on. I was certain this information would cause a halt in the research on Hydrogen fuel. HA! There is money and power to be made and kept by those who control our fuel. The study was dismissed and buried, never carried in the nightly news. Damn the tree-huggers for their silly concerns. Full speed ahead.


Oct 12


Posted by Joan Francis in Petroleum corporations , Old Poison , Neil deGrasse Tyson , Martian Diary , joanfrancis , Fossil fuel , Extinction , Diana Hunter , Costa Rican rain forest , climate change

Old Poison is an eco thriller with a woman PI, Diana Hunter, who searches for a murderer and finds a mystery touching on the Costa Rican rain forest, climate change, corporate culpability, and a mysterious book titled the Martian Diary. At the end of the story she is given the final chapter of the book. You can read this below in the Martian Diary Epilogue.

On the cover of Old Poison is this quote from astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson:

"Long ago Mars was an oasis of running water. Today, the Martian surface is a sterile, barren desert. Here on earth, who knows what climactic knobs we unwittingly turn, which might one day render the Earth as dry and lifeless as Mars."



For a moment the sound that drew me from slumber had made my heart leap for joy, but once fully awake I knew it to be just the wind. Then the stabbing sadness of loneliness overwhelmed me. I wished I could sleep or could die. Perhaps today I would have the courage to do it, to bring a final end.

Then I heard it again, sounding so like a human voice. She often fools me like that, the wind. Sometimes she whistles from the sky and makes me believe that by some miracle a great Taner still lives and flies the skies. Sometimes I even look up, not because I really believe any of the great birds escaped extinction, but because, for a brief moment, I can pretend I will see one.

Sometimes she scuttles along the ground sounding like a Mitmox following at my heels, waiting to be fed. On those occasions I do talk to her like she was a small pet. Of course, I am going mad. I actually did see a live Mitmox once when I was a child. One of the geneticists bred it, quite against the rules of course, but he was lonely for some companion critter. He made me promise never to tell.

Then I heard the sound again, and this time I also heard footsteps in the outer cave. I began to hope that there really could be another human being alive and here at Paus Tak.
Its been two and a half years since I heard the last human voice. I preserved Klal Mataks remains in the old science way, placing his stem cells, tissue, and all organs cells in the frozen zoology calesets along with the rest of the extinct flora and fauna of our sad, dead planet. This I had promised him, though for what purpose I cannot foresee, for I, Klal Tslak, am the last of the preservers at Paus Tak. When I die, there will be no one to perform this task for me; in fact, there will be no one at all, for I am the only living creature here. I could, of course, clone a new companion, but even if it were not forbidden by my vows, I would never be so cruel as to create another to sit in our solar-powered island and await the last morsel of food and final silence of our world.

But the voice. Somehow there was a voice. At last I knew it was real. I tried to answer but it had been so long since I had spoken aloud my voice failed me. I ran toward the caller trying to yell out. When I met him I threw my arms about him and cried until the poor man passed out in my arms, for he had arrived more dead than alive.

He is a Nomad called Choam who now eats and rests in my solar chamber after a harrowing journey from burrocity Zed. His mission was to bring news of the final rebellions and to request a written history and detailed scientific data regarding the purpose and product of the Preservers. He says the Hidden Ones wish to take this information with them on the last ship across the skies to Atland.

I do not believe there is any purpose to this because to my knowledge there is no one capable of biological preservation, much less capable of the biological restoration of all the species we have preserved at the cellular level. It took only two generations of withholding biology from the burro curriculum to turn science into superstition. The only remnant left is some sort of religious ceremony in which the organs are removed from the body and the whole saved in impure mummification. Deprived of true knowledge, they believe this ritual will bring life after death somewhere out in the heavens. Men descend to barbarity far faster than they ascend to science.

As to the rebellions, it is no more than I expected. The tunnels of the burrocities ran ankle deep in human blood, and all cities are by now airless, frigid, and lifeless. That leaves myself, Choam, perhaps a few isolated Nomads, and a small handful of scientists at the tiny outpost burrocity of Zed. We are the only living organisms on this planet that was once a lush garden of life.

The only news that surprised me was the cause of the outbreak. It wasnt the tragic, inhuman condition of life in the burrocities. It wasnt even the knowledge that only a privileged few would secure transportation to the new planet. It was the dissemination of an old environmental visual recording of the once living planet, its lush flora and fauna, its oceans and free-running rivers of water. It was the knowledge of what had been lost.

The extinction records Choam needs are ready; in fact, a list of extinct species was begun ages ago, even before the genetic preservation program was begun. The scientific methods of preservation are also well documented and detailed and have only awaited the call to be carried to the new world. It is the final thing he requested that I am helpless to supply. The Hidden Ones want a brief history of extinction. A brief history. How does one briefly recite the history of the destruction of an entire planetary ecosystem? If I could find the words, they would break my heart.

Choam returns in the morning to Zed, where the final ship waits to carry the Hidden Ones, the Caretakers of our peoples history. He takes this note from me, Klal Tslak, the last of the Preservers, who lived a life of hope for a hopeless cause. I pray someone comes back to the ice caves of Paus Tak and restores these bits of genetic patterns of the living flora and fauna that once graced this land.

If Choam can survive another round trip to Zed and back, he will join me here to await the final silence of all save the wind.

Sep 11

Five Minute Friend

Posted by Joan Francis in Twitter , travel , Joan Francis , Five Minute Friends , Facebook

"Five Minute Friend" I will borrow a phrase from friend, True Nomads. "Five Minute Friend" was a term he used for folks he met on his travels, had a short conversation, and would probably not see again. I thought it was also a good phrase for folks you meet on the Internet and have a short conversation.

I started on Twitter and Facebook as a way to introduce more people to my books, but I have discovered something quite unexpected and great fun. I have found I can make acquaintances from all over the world, instantly. I love it when a new follower or friend greets me with a by-line from "from far away places with strange sounding names." For you youngsters out there, that last quote is from a beautiful old song of a few decades ago, BRR (Before Rock & Roll) Some of these folks are so interesting that I want to pass along their contact info so others may enjoy meeting them.

One of the most interesting "5 minute friends" I have met is a foot-pad traveler by the handle of True Nomads. You can find him on both Twitter and Facebook. He is doing what most of us can only dream of and writes interesting travel notes. Originally from Colorado, he has been seeing the world for over three years now, by walking, hitching, and couch-surfing. He posts beautiful and fascinating photos, both his own, and ones he re-posts from others. Check him out.

I will add other Five Minute Friends as I meet them. I will post on Twitter, Facebook, and my website blog at

Aug 21


Posted by Joan Francis in Silent Coup , Quiz , Joan Francis , Hitler , Freedom , Democracy , Contitution , Civil rights

We all know more than we want to know about what Hitler did AFTER he was in power, but how much do you know about HOW Hitler seized power.


When Adolf Hitler seized power, Germany had a constitutional democracy with all the guarantees of freedom, including elected legislature and state governments, legal and uncorrupted police and court systems, and a constitutionally guarantee of personal and civil rights. Despite these guarantees of freedom and democracy, Hitler was able to destroy the democratic government and establish an absolute dictatorship in three months. How did he do that?

Question 1

Between the years 1923 and 1929 what percentage of the popular vote did Hitler’s party receive?

1 None, it didn’t exist yet.

2 40 to 50 %

3 2 to 6 %

4 72 %

Answer: 3 During these years, most Germans considered Hitler some kind of nut and thought that his party was an unimportant fringe party. They neither admired nor feared him.

Question 2

How did Hitler first achieve an office of power in the German Government?

1 He was elected

2 He was swept into power by his overwhelming popularity with the people.

3 He seized power in a military coup.

4 He was appointed to office.

Answer: 4 He was appointed to the office of chancellor by President Paul von Hindenburg.

Question 3

President Paul von Hindenburg detested Adolf Hitler, called him a demigod, and vowed never to appoint him chancellor. Yet on January 30, 1933, he did just that. Why?

1 He feared a civil war if the Communist took power.

2 He was in early dementia and under the influence of the right wing politicians and his son.

3 He was being blackmailed by a scandal regarding his estate.

4 There is some evidence for all of the above.

Answer: 4

Question 4

what was the name of Hitler’s political party"

1 The Nazi Party

2 The White German Supremacists Party

3 The National Socialist German Worker’s Party (NSDAP)

4 The German Fascist League

Answer: 3 Others gave it the nickname of Nazis, a nickname not loved by the NSDAP.

Question 5

Hitler’s party was socialist.

1 True

2 False

Answer: False. Though they were socialist when Hitler first joined them as an Army spy, they changed their philosophy under Hitler’s leadership.

Question 6

Hitler’s seizure of power was a result of extreme run-away inflation of the German Mark.

1 True

2 False

Answer: False. The run-away inflation so often cited as a cause of Hitler’s seizure of power, existed only nine and a half months, from January 31, 1923 until November 15, 1923, ten years before Hitler seized power. It did, however encourage his abortive Beer-Hall Putsch of 1923 which was a failure and resulted in Hitler’s imprisonment.

Question 7

Hitler’s most effective talking point during the 1920s and early 1930s was anti-Semitism.

1 True

2 False.

Answer: False. Though Hitler himself was always and unquestionably anti-Semitic, it was not his rants against the Jews that brought him to power. In fact, before he achieved power, he was careful where and to whom he ranted against the Jews. Anti-Semitism was not strong in Germany before Hitler took power. The truth is that Hitler, like Joseph McCarthy, had a far softer target: Communism. And like McCarthy, Hitler played the anti-communist card very well, using it to attack not just Communist, but everyone left of center, including the Social Democrats who were the strongest supporters of the Democracy.

Question 8

The following events are often cited as contributing to Hitler’s seizure of power. Which one was the catapult that put him in the seat of power.

1 The Treaty of Versailles

2 The Great Depression

3 Fear of Communism

4 Anti-Semitism

Answer: 2 Though it is often the least considered, it was the great depression that changed Hitler’s vote percentage from 2 to 6 % to 33 to 37 % and made the right wing politicians see him as a foil they could use against the left. After his appointment, It took him only a matter of hours to disabuse them of the notion that they would control him.

Question 9

After the failed Beer-Hall Putsch of 1923, Hitler spent a year in prison where he was allowed to have his secretary in to take dictation. What happened during this imprisonment that changed the course of German History.

1 He dictated and published Mein Kampf

2 He selected a new direction for his political party

3 The publicity from his trial brought him more attention world-wide that he had ever had before.

4 All of the above.

Answer: 4

Question 10

In prison, Hitler came to understand the failure of his coup and concluded that no group could seize power unless they first made alliances with the national institutions of power. It was not the people who needed to be won over, but the powerful. He realized no socialist party could win those alliances and pushed his party toward Fascism.

1 True

2 False

Answer true. This was the most important decision in his struggle to gain support. Here is an excerpt from Silent Coup. Bennett Hunter ask’s his German friend why the Social Democrats did not stop Hitler. This is his friend’s answer:

"Hitler convinced the church that all SPD [Social Democratic Party] were really godless Communists and would destroy the church as they have in Russia. Now the church pushes the Nazi cause. Alliance with power.

Hitler told the Right Wing that he would destroy all the Communist, socialists, taxes and social welfare laws. So Papen and his ilk invited Hitler in, believing they could use him and control him. Alliance with power.

Hitler promised the rich industrialist that he would restore the industrial Rhineland, end reparations, and destroy the unions and socialism. The industrialists gave him money and helped him by firing any employee who refused to join the NSDAP.[Hitler’s Party] Alliance with power.

The military was humiliated and largely disarmed at the end of the war. Hitler promised to restore and rearm. They do not attack him when he attacks democracy. Alliance with power.

You get it? No election mattered. No law mattered. Our vote didn’t count for a damn. By the time Hitler struck his blow that wiped out our democracy, he had already seized the real power of Germany. It was a silent coup that took place before he was ever named Chancellor. If we 66 percent of the people who voted against him were to rise up and fight his dictatorship, we would also have to fight the church, the wealthy, the aristocrats, the military, and the industrialists."

Question 11

Once Hitler had been appointed as chancellor what was his primary tool in the destruction of the Germany Democracy?

1) The Storm Troopers

2) The Police

3) The prisons and torture

4) The Democracy itself

Answer: 4 Democracy     As Goebels wrote: "We come to the Reichstag not as friends, not as neutrals, but as enemies. The National Socialists plan to use this arsenal of democracy to bring it down . . . we are committed to the legality of means, not of ends."  Paul Joseph Goebels

Question 12

The first step in the destruction of democracy was:

1) To call for new parliamentary elections.

2) Declare a police state

3) To outlaw apposing parties

Answer: 1   Within five hours of taking office, Hitler maneuvered his cabinet into approving new parliamentary elections and on the following day he got Hindenburg to dissolve the Reichstag and call for a new election on March 5.

Question 13

The second step in the destruction of the democracy was to make sure Hitler controlled a 2/3 vote in the Reichstag.

1 True

2 False

Answer: True.

Question 14

The month of February was filled with:

1) Violence against the communist.

2) Violence against the Social Democrats.

3) Control of Radio and Press for the pro Nazi propaganda.

4) All of the above.

Answer: 4

Question 15

Hitler easily won the necessary 2/3 majority for his party.

1 True

2 False

Answer:  False Even with control of the government, the police, the radio, the press; even though the German Parliament had as low an approval rating as the current U.S. congress, even though there was the most active and expensive campaign of pro Nazi propaganda ever unleashed, Hitler would still could not win a 2/3 majority. Something else was needed.

Question 16

On the evening of February 17, 1933 the Reichstag building (the Parliament) was set on fire. The fire was set by:

1) The Communist

2) The Socialist

3) The Nazis

4) A cold case in need of further investigation.

Answer: 4  Upon arriving at the scene of the fire, Hitler, Gobbels, and Goering declared it the beginning of the Communist revolution. The foreign news corespondents working in Berlin at the time, including William Shirer, did not believe it was the communist, but rather the Nazis that set the fire. The trial of the arsonists that followed was so full of holes that all but one of the accused was acquitted and the one convicted was a Dutch emigrant who was both mentally and physically handicapped, and could not have set all the fires found in all the locations throughout the building.

Questions 17

The third step in the destruction of the democracy was the Emergency Decree. This provided for:

1) Extra fire protection

2) Martial Law

3) Budget to rebuild the Reichstag

4) Suspension of all civil rights

Answer: 4 On February 28 Hitler had President Hindenburg sign a decree "for the Protection of the People and the State" which suspended seven sections of the constitution, ones which guaranteed individual and civil liberties. In addition it allowed the Reich government to take over power in the German states, and imposed the death penalty for a number of crimes including "Serious disturbances of the peace." Now, since there was no law to prevent it, Storm Troopers engaged in unlimited tactics of violence, intimidation, arrest, beating, torture, and imprisonment of the opposition parties and opposition press.

Question 18    Despite all this, Hitler still did not gain his 2/3 majority.


2 False

Answer: True.    One more little trick was needed. After the March 5 election, when the new parliament was elected, the communist were forbidden to take their seats and enough Social Democrats were arrested to alter the control of the Reichstag. Hitler finally got his 2/3 majority.

Question 19 When the new Reichstag was seated in a temporary building they were asks to pass one piece of legislation, the Enabling Act. With this act the parliament:

1) Gave all legislative powers to Hitler for four years, and went home.

Answer: 1 That’s all folks. He used the alliance with power to gain office and the "arsenal of democracy" to destroy the democratic government and establish himself as a dictator.

Question 20

Kinda makes you think twice about some of the laws our county has passed, "for the protection of the People and the State." Laws like the Patriot Act, the NDAA, and the laws which allow domestic spying. These laws do not protect us. They steal our constitutional protections against abuse of power and injustice. Will we too sink into Fascism?

Answer: I have no answer. We the People of the United States of America must answer this question.

Aug 04


Posted by Joan Francis in warrants , Silent Coup , Reichstag Fire , personal privacy , Patriot Act , Nazi seizure of power , Joan Francis , Hitler's Emergency Decree , Goebbels , Freedom , constitution , Civil rights

"…We come to the Reichstag not as friends, not as neutrals, but as enemies. The National Socialists plan to use this arsenal of democracy to bring it down . . . we are committed to the legality of means, not of ends."—Paul Joseph Goebels

Yesterday in excerpts from Silent Coup, we saw the results when Diana Hunter ran afoul the Patriot Act. Today, also form Silent Coup, we will see what happened when her great uncle, Bennett Hunter encountered Hitler’s Emergency Decree of 1933. See any parallels?

"He pulled out the airmail letter and newspaper, laid the folded paper aside, and began writing to his Dad. He knew he had witnessed a secret so momentous, so monstrous, it could, and appeared it would, change history. And who could he tell? There was no way he could tell the police in Germany. The only newspaper now allowed was the Nazi paper, so there was no way he could go to the press. Neither his company nor his embassy seemed to give a damn. He had to tell someone. His letter to his Dad would have to suffice."

(Bennett is joined by his friend Otto, at Otto’s Aunt Anna’s Café.)

"As they began to eat, Bennett said, Your friend was right about the Reichstag Fire. It wasn’t the Communist, it was the Nazis who set the fire. I know it. I even know who did it, how they did it, and who commanded them to do it."

Otto stopped eating, and looked around to be sure no one could have heard what Bennett said.

"There doesn’t seem to be a damn thing I can do about it,"…The only thing I could do to take out my frustration was write my dad a letter." Bennett patted the letter, which lay on the table with the newspaper. "At least that way I’ll know that one person in this world will know the truth."
The boy grabbed the letter and shoved it into Bennett’s pocket. With his eyes, he indicated the other diners who had now entered the cafe. They seemed like a harmless old couple, but these day, one never knew. Under his breath, Otto said, "I wouldn’t mail that letter if I were you. Haven’t you heard about Hitler’s emergency decree? The post is no longer safe."

Otto picked up Bennett’s newspaper, which was still laying folded on the table, and opened it up. Bennett looked at the huge headlines for the first time. He’d known it would be full of the Reichstag fire and the phony Communist uprising, but he was unprepared for the real story of the day. Hitler and von Papen had gone to President Hindenburg and gotten the old man to sign an emergency decree "for the Protection of the People and the State." With a sinking feeling, Bennett read that this decree suspended seven sections of the democratic constitution, wiping out all civil rights in Germany. There could now be no freedom of opinion or speech; no freedom of assembly and association; no right to privacy of postal, telegraphic, or telephonic communications; no need for legal warrants for the search of persons or their homes or businesses; no need for legal authority to confiscate property. In addition the decree authorized the Reich government to take over all the state governments when deemed necessary. It imposed the death sentence for a number of crimes, including "serious disturbances of the peace."

In one stroke, Hitler had wiped out constitutional freedoms, given himself dictatorial powers, and had done it all on the pretext of protecting the people from terrorism. How long had he been in power? Twenty-nine days. What weapons had he used to establish a dictatorship? Not a military coup. He used an alleged act of terrorism and a constitutionally legal emergency decree.
With a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, Bennett realized that the Nazis had done just what they’d said they would do. Goebbels had always claimed they would use the instruments of democracy itself to bring down the republic.

When Bennett had first read Goebbels’ words, he couldn’t imagine that the Germans would allow this to happen. Certainly the leaders in the Reichstag or a judge or court, someone would do something. People would demonstrate in the streets or bring a complaint or suit. Raised in the United States, where his people cherished their democracy and civil rights, where generations had fought and died for freedom, he couldn’t imagine that a free, democratic people could so easily surrender their freedom in the name of security from terrorism.

Aug 03

Cassandra's Curse

Posted by Joan Francis in U.S. Bill of Rights , The Patriot Act , Silent Coup , Joan Francis , Edward Snowden , discount coupon , Cassandra's Curse

In mythology, Cassandra was blessed with the gift of prophesyand cursed by the fact that no one believed her. She told her father not to bring that horse into the city of Troy and had to watch helplessly when no one believed her and troy was sacked. I know how she felt.

In the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations and the great shock and surprise of our nation, I must once again point out that this information has been available to all with a brain since the Patriot Act was passed. To validate this statement, I offer quotes from my book, Silent Coup, published in 2007. What Diana Hunter learned in her run in with the Patriot Act:

" . . .Your usual expectation of privacy and civil rights are gone. Federal agents can enter with no warning and no warrant, search your home or business without specifying what they are looking for or why. They can seize anything they want without even telling you and without due process of law. . .The Patriot Act has overthrown laws against domestic spying. Everyone you have ever known can be under surveillance and investigation without probable cause and without a specific court order. Every phone number you call, every email you send can be intercepted, and the person receiving it can be added to the investigation without ever knowing it. . . .They can set up a trap on AOL or Earthlink and the ISP must simply trust the agent to take only information on bad guys. In case you decide to avoid using your own computer or phone, they can issue a roving warrant and can put traps on any place you use for communication, or any place they even think you might use, an Internet cafe, a library, or a university campus. People receiving such an assistance demand not only cant object, they are forbidden to even disclose that it has been issued. . . .Your mail was taken with a National Security Letter demanding obedience and silence. They can also demand your health records, your financial records, your school records, your library borrowing records; and again, no one can even tell that such a demand has been presented."

EXCERPT FROM Silent Coup by Joan Francis. This material is protected by copyright.

Silent Coup

may be a work of fiction, but the well researched information is fact. Want to know how this could happen in the land of the Free? Want to know why it sounds like Germany, 1933. Stay tuned. I’ll tell you, again. Or, read Silent Coup. I will even offer you a coupon for a super discount. Get the ebook from smashwords for any ebook reader for only $1.95. Go to

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