Archive July 2011
Murders happen everywhere
people live. No country is spared. For those left behind, a murder is a tragedy
and one that remains in their memories for a lifetime. The reality is most
murders are domestic affairs. They often occur in the country where the killer
and victim were born, educated, worked, and played. The killer and victim often
shared in a common culture and language. They likely watched the same TV shows
and movies. They recognized the same celebrities who outside that culture moved
anonymously among others who did not recognize them. In other words, they
consider themselves as belonging to the same ‘tribe.’
When the murder victim
dies violently in a foreign place and the killer or killers are natives to that
foreign land, the killing ignites the interest of the media. Ever since Thomas
Mann’s Death in Venice we have the suspicion that someone murdered in a
foreign country is something we ought to pay special attention to the tribal
affiliations of the victim and killer. Though, in Death in Venice the
killer was cholera, and not someone with a knife or gun. The point is death on
holiday attracts attention.
First, we all take or
dream of taking holidays to foreign lands. The attraction of such a holiday is
to sit on a pristine white sand beach with tall drink with one of those little
umbrellas. This is a time to sit back and relax, enjoy the breeze off the sea.
If someone just like you—a respectable, hardworking middle-class person—opens a
newspaper and reads about someone who resembles the details of your own life who
was found with a knife in his back, you take that death more personally. That
could have been you on the beach in France, Italy, Greece, Thailand or India.
The kind of places you may have been to or intend to visit.
Second, like Mann’s
Death in Venice foretells, the police and government officials in
countries, which promote the ‘tourist dream holiday’ may be less than
forthcoming when a foreigner is violently assaulted or killed. Such governments
have a conflict of interest. They wish to be seen as a country that administers
a system of criminal justice that is worthy of respect internationally. No
country’s police force or judicial system is happy to suddenly have an
international spotlight placed on an investigation into the death or severe
beating of a foreigner. The relevant embassy makes phone calls to important
officials, the victim’s relatives and local MPs to make certain that the embassy
follows up on request for information and evidence. Journalists from the
victim’s country show up and ask questions. Internet social sites buzz with fear
In May, tourists arrivals
were up 66% compared with a year ago, and Thailand has the greatest gain in
tourists of any country in Southeast Asia. John Koldowski, PATA’s managing
director of strategic intelligence said,
“In May, more than 1.3 million foreign tourists visited the kingdom, compared
with 826,000 a year ago.”
It all threatens to go
slightly out of control. Not to mention that the government of the place where
the murder takes place has other worries. Their officials (like in Death in
Venice) worry about a dip in the tourist numbers and the impact that would
have on jobs, hotel vacancies, along with the general knock on effect as less
revenue circulates in the holiday centers. Tourist centers are full of voters.
The heat from abroad is hot but never so hot as the blast of heat that comes
from disgruntled voters.
I raise the issue as
resort centers such as Pattaya and Phuket have recently been in the news for
locales where foreigners have been mugged, raped, assaulted or murdered. The
foreign press doesn’t always distinguish between the case of the tourists and
expats. Perhaps they shouldn’t. Though a case can be made that an expat
who lives in another country (as opposed to someone visiting on a short holiday)
ought to have better information and more experience with local people, customs,
and culture and are able to steer clear of trouble with greater ease. Anyone who
has known a cross-section of expats will find a number who go out of their way
to expose themselves to risk of assault or murder because of their own
involvement in criminal activity. In such a case, the heat dies down as the
murder victim tumbles from the innocent mirror image of you going on that
holiday to Thailand to someone likely involved in criminal activity. Of course
tourists get themselves into trouble, too.
newspaper in Phuket reported the death of a Russian with Swedish
nationality whose throat had been cut in front of his luxury condo, provides a
roundup of recent murders of foreigners:
“On March 15, Phuket and
Phi Phi resident Italian Luciano Butti was allegedly murdered by Thais at the
behest of his partner, Denis Cavatassi, who is now in Phuket Prison awaiting
”On August 14 last year,
Englishman Lee Aldhouse allegedly knifed to death American Dashawn Longfellow in
southern Phuket. Aldhouse is currently being held in Britain, awaiting the
outcome of an extradition hearing.
”A Thai man who killed
German expat resident Wolf-Dieter Kesselheim outside a 7-Eleven store on January
27 last year was caught and tried and sentenced to 13 years and four months jail
on December 16.
”The previous year, a
Canadian property developer was shot dead outside his Phuket house and a
Scotsman was battered to death in his Phuket City apartment in the same
The pressure of bad
publicity is deflected when the suspected killers are themselves
foreigners. There’s evidence that Swedish man killed in Phuket on Monday
was murdered by two Swedish nationals who have been arrested by the authorities
in connection with the killing, according to news
In other words, if someone
is killed in an exotic land by someone from their own country, it has a
different emotional impact on potential tourists considering their holiday plans
It seems that the real fear isn’t just being murdered by being killed by a
foreigner in a distant land. Being killed by your own citizen seems business as
usual. Being killed by someone else’s nationals, well, that is bad for business.
Especially if they are locals as these are the happy people in the travel
brochure who convinced you that this holiday location was an ideal place to
relax (as opposed to getting yourself killed). Why we mentally categories the
killings on whether they are within the tribe or by someone outside the tribe is
one of those evolutionary questions scientist may figure out one day. Until
then, tourists continue to have a greater reaction and feel more fear when the
killing of a foreigner, especially a tourist, in a foreign land by a
The tragedies that
governments are more likely to avoid calling attention to often involve issues
of lack of training, inattentiveness, shoddy maintenance, lax health standards,
lack of control on how food or domestic animals are brought to market, and
generally reckless behavior. These categories cover the ferryboats that sink,
the planes that crash, the trains that derail, car crashes, epidemics, virus
infections, extreme weather and pollution related diseases.
Unlike a murder, death
from these non-murder type causes also make the headlines around the world and,
if the scale is sufficient, will also disturb the tourism business. When the
tsunami struck Thailand in 2005 thousands of people were killed. Thousands of
foreign tourists were killed by that tsunami but the tourism business did not
spend years in decline as a consequence.
The reason the tsunami,
far more powerful and damaging, than an isolated murder, is less disruptive is
simple. Foreigners don’t blame the locals for the death of their loved ones,
especially if as a result of natural disasters. If anything, the foreigners felt
admiration for the efforts launched by the Thai government to recover bodies,
inform loved ones, and provide information and comfort to the survivors. But one
murder is enough to cause a potential tourist to sit back and have that moment
Should I change that trip
to Thailand or Mexico or Sri Lanka because I read a tourist was shot and the
police and government don’t seem all that keen on doing anything about it? What
hardly matters is whether the police or local officials are working around the
clock on the case, it is the perception that someone from their country has been
murdered and the police haven’t arrested anyone.
pressure on local police in exotic location can also backfire. They pick out a
scapegoat and pin the murder on him or her. The suspect is videoed re-enacting
the crime. It all looks so real. But real or not, it will have the desired
effect—it reassures the foreigners about the efficiency and diligence of the
authorities to deal with such cases. That gives a feeling of deterrence, and
that is enough to erase that tiny bit of doubt about your holiday plans. What is
good for your psyche isn’t necessarily good for the poor cut out who is frog
marched off to prison.
Next time you read about a
tourist murdered in a remote, exotic place, ask yourself not whether I should
cancel my holiday to that place but whether, on balance, I am genuinely at any
greater risk of being murdered on holiday than I am in being killed in a car
crash on the way to the airport. If you do the math, in most places the most
dangerous part of your holiday will be on the road to and from your airport.
Also, if you run the math on the relationship between murder victim and killer,
in the majority of cases they know each other. They are members of the same
tribe. On that next holiday, it would be wise to watch the road to the airport
carefully, and when you check into that hotel in an exotic land, keep an eye on
members of your fellow tribe. Because statistically that’s where your greatest
danger of being murdered lies.
According to the BBC, a bottle of 1811 Chateau
d’Yquem was bought for 75,000 pounds sterling by French collector Christian
Vanneque. Depending on your point of view that kind of expenditure is either
highly disturbing or makes you secretly envious, wishing you had that kind of
A few years ago, the
a story about the average worldwide income which was pegged at $7,000 a year. It
would take the average worker 17.6 years if he or she saved every last cent to
buy that bottle.
This isn’t a rant against
the rich and how they spend their money. It is an essay about how deep desire
for status, recognition and approval. And how these desires are partly
responsible for the economic reality of our time—1% of Americans own 40% of the
wealth and 20% of the income. It also an essay about the efforts people go about
in using money to gain status and recognition in the global community. Pay that
kind of money for a bottle of wine and people around the world will read about
you, they will know your name, the name of your restaurant. As a marketing ploy,
it is quite brilliant. That bottle of wine also highlights how all that wealth
which is supposed to go into creating new jobs, is just as likely to find new
and novel ways to display status.
Criminals are a diverse
lot with manifest motives and intentions. The criminal class includes the eleven
year old who steals a loaf of bread because he’s hungry. Hunger doesn’t exclude
him from being a criminal. In the 18th century, he might be
transported to Australia. We tend to have sympathy for criminals driven by
The man driving his mother
whose has had a stroke at high speed to a hospital, runs red lights, hits a
couple of parked cars, but manages to get her to the hospital before she dies is
also a law-breaker but we have a different feeling about the ‘culpability’ issue
than say a teenager who gets drunk and does all the same things as the man going
to the hospital. Yet we have no problem thinking the teenager should be punished
and taught a lesson.
Necessity drives certain
impulses that lead to criminal behavior. In an emotional rage, someone gets out
of their car and stabs another motorist to death. Or someone kills their spouse,
neighbor, friend over a remark, insult, or slight. That is, someone has
questioned their ‘status’ and that activity is always dangerous. In a face
culture like Thailand, where status is of paramount importance, slights to
status invite retaliation.
We want status. Perhaps it
is a need like food, water, shelter and sex. Status motives people. Give them a
ribbon, decoration, trophy, or gold star and they will fight and die for you.
Competition for status makes short cuts tempting. And short cuts are the
slippery slope to criminal activity. When thinking what drives someone to commit
a crime, examine the underlying impulse that was the motive for crime. Was the
conduct done because the criminal is starving or his mother is dying, or will
the result of the crime evaluate his or her status?
I steal a loaf of bread
because I am hungry isn’t the same as I steal a Rolex not because I want to tell
the time but because I want to impress my friends. Or I invite a government
official to dinner and pop open a bottle of wine that cost 75,000 pounds
sterling before asking them to grant me a telecom, mining, or shipping
Criminal law fences off
status acquiring activity as well as actions to acquire goods owned by others
without paying for them. Prisons are filled with criminals who failed in their
quest to gain status through illegal means. And they bunk with those whose
illegally acquired goods, also mainly to achieve status, failed.
The large crimes needed to
pull off big time; international status takes us into the realm of banking,
finance and journalism. If you can elevate your status sufficiently high, you
can influence the police, courts and government that your activity is socially
useful and not criminal. You can support changes to laws and regulations that
would block your ambitions to increase your status even more. Hedge fund
managers, CEOs, bankers have leveraged their status by organizing politically
and reducing any attempts to control their behavior or to tax their
Of course, these status
seekers know that others are unhappy with the lopsided way that status is
assigned to them. They also know that by cooking the books, they can stay
‘legal’ while the vast majority of the population struggle for the scraps of
status and may find their activity ‘criminalized’. The protected class, which
has most of the status horde, is quite happy to imprison the status seekers
below. It teaches them a lesson about life. Status seeking as a goal is limited
to a tiny number of winners. Once they enter the winner’s circle, they are
content to lock the door.
Criminal law is what we
use to control the losers in the status race. The winners pay governments to
write that laws to constrain the activities of the also-rans. The fundamental
problem, as the current budget crisis in the United States suggests, is that
unless governments control status seekers in the top 1% of the population, that
class will own them, control them, and ensure that the prisons are filled by
those who fail to play by the rules as defined by them.
We want our star football
players, singers, actors and Nobel Prize winners. The problem are these winners
are used as a beard by those with predator business talents that enrich without
corresponding benefits to the larger community. Hedge fund managers, finance
moguls and CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies (who make up the bulk of the .01%)
of top income earners aren’t rock stars nor are they coming up with a cure for
cancer. But they have the skill to skate close to the boundaries of the laws,
rules and regulations that govern their activities, sometimes skating over the
line; and if they can, fund a politician to extend the line.
This group redefines what
is a crime in order to better pursue their personal interest.
outside of government achieve status above those elected to government, and
those in government owe their position to the wealthiest citizens, the laws no
longer reflect the majority of citizens. And the majority of citizens no longer
understand that their view and opinions have been shaped and distributed by
those who wish to use them for their own ends.
Redistribution of wealth
is one way to combat status hoarding. But redistribution is a loaded, nasty
taboo word. So let’s think of this concentration of wealth like the pollution
that poisons the atmosphere and contributes to climate change; let’s not
redistribute wealth or income. Let’s talk about “cap”. This is something we are
familiar with. There’s a cap on the speed limit. You can’t go as fast as you
want. There’s a cap on the chemical and toxics you can dump into rivers, lakes,
canals and the ocean. There are caps on carbon emissions. The one common feature
that caps have: is they don’t redistribute speed, chemicals or carbon, but they
do place a limit on making a profit from driving at high speeds (truck drivers)
or from polluting the air, rivers, forests and oceans. We have no problem saying
the community-interest overrides the self-interest. Society already agrees to
criminalize certain selfish behavior committed by individuals even though it may
deprive them of more income or wealth.
Why not put a ‘cap’ on
income and wealth? And for the same basic reason, that a concentration of a
large percentage of the wealth in the upper one percent is detrimental to the
rest of the community and damages them. Anyone who doesn’t believe that such
damage doesn’t spread across a large range of other people’s interest haven’t
been watching the James and Rupert Murdock show on the BBC. Or have already
forgot about the financial crash of 2008. Say cap income at the current rates
the rich pay on the first $12 million dollars a year. Most people could scrap
past on a million a month. Then start progressive taxing the additional income
until it hits $24 million a year and then let the tax be 90%. On wealth, the
first $250 million, old rules apply, after that it goes back to the community.
Even if the community doesn’t need it; the money should go back. There is a good
policy reason: income and wealth concentrations at the current levels in the
United States threat the fabric of representative democracy, and the policing
and judicial system.
If we are honest, the
arguments for unlimited wealth and income concentration are about keeping people
moving ahead with incentives. The reality is what moves people to continue to
excel and push the boundaries is they want recognition. More than want it; they
crave recognition and to show a higher status. Our problem is “globalization is
big money” has become universal status measuring stick. The consensus we once
had that allowed for share meaning and structure has fractured into cult-like
enclaves where debate, reason and dialogue no longer are welcome.
The Forbes list of the
richest people is translated, read, studied and talked about in every language
on the planet. If we could find new status measuring sticks then money would
matter less. Those who hunger for our community (and more importantly their
peer’s) recognition can have airports, squares, and parks named after them; give
them awards, medals, citations, knighthoods, and gold bars to wear on their
lapels. Revise the Forbes annual list to include the number of gold stars, red
ribbons, or public declarations by MPs as to their worthy
We are at a crossroads
politically, socially and economically in finding the political will to win this
battle. Unless we dismantle the unregulated status consolidation at the top, the
democratic system will collapse into warring cults and when that happens the
scramble to maintain order will overwhelm even the best of legal systems. Let
people strive for status. But let it be known that there are limits as to how
much status any society can reasonably allow to fall into a few
And let’s recognize that
without caps on pollution and income the whole ecosystem is threatened. The
rebalancing of community interest with self-interest has never been easy; and it
is a kind of work that never is finished. All we can say looking around us is
that self-interested income generation and wealth is no longer remotely in
equilibrium with the larger community interest.
As for those who open that
bottle 1811 Chateau d’Yquem and pass it around, they might want to think about
how far we’ve come in the last 200 years. And ask themselves who will be buying
a bottle of 2011 Chateau d’Yquem in 2211. And at what price and what will their
world look like?
Give some thought to that
nice gold star. Say one star for every $15 million in tax paid. Wouldn’t that
invite envy from friends and colleagues, the attention of beautiful women, the
admiration of civil society? I know what you are thinking. I can get one of
those gold stars for a 100 baht on Khao San Road. Maybe. But it will still be
difficult to pull off the counterfeit billionaire trick at the
|Where International Criminals Go to Hide
It is hard to defend a
number of law enforcement practices in Thailand. I write a crime series. In the
process of writing, I’ve researched the Thai police realm from investigation to
laying charges. The feature of Thai policing largely—for better and worse—in
each of the 12 Vincent Calvino novels. I also was a law professor for ten
My background gives me a
perspective on Thomas Fuller’s NYT article titled Thailand’s
Irresistible Attraction to Fugitives that leads with deadline
Bangkok: Give me your drug dealers,
your money launderers, your felons on the lam yearning to breathe free.
Thailand has never advertised
itself as a beacon for fugitives, but the world’s wretched refuse—to tweak the
noble words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty—seem to show up here in
Foreign fugitives “in
droves?” It makes Bangkok sound like there’s a foreign gangster on every corner.
If that’s the case, they are well hidden. As far as I know there is no Index
that ranks countries according to bolt-hole attractiveness for those on the lam.
Fuller’s speculation is that Thailand would top that list. I doubt it. I
seriously doubt that Thailand would make the top twenty in such an Index.
And I’d wager that the USA would have a higher ranking (more about that later).
What’s the evidence for this influx of foreign fugitives? A WikiLeaks
cable that came out of the US embassy in Bangkok. And some news reports of
foreign murderers and child molesters arrested over the past couple of
A popular fall back
rationale for all of these fugitives in Thailand is that the police and
immigration officials are corrupt. No one could say with a straight face that
that corruption doesn’t exist in the police force in Thailand. That’s separate
issue. The question is whether corruption is a credible explanation for all of
these fugitive criminals hiding out in Thailand? Even as a fiction crime writer,
I would find it hard work to show how the cops would find where these criminals
were hiding. Of course they could stop every dodgy looking farang on the street
and run them through a series of questions about crimes they might have
committed. Obviously that might be fun to contemplate, in reality it is a
You might ask, why not
catch these criminals as they try to sneak into the airport in Bangkok? The
tourist presents her/his passport as an immigration officer examines the
passport, then the tourist, before asking:
IM: Mr. Tourist, do you have any
outstanding conviction against you?
IM: Do you have any suspicion of
anyone about to lay charges against you?
Tourist: Well, come to think of it
there was that murder in Chicago.
There’s a perfectly good
reason this line of questioning—and with that ending—just won’t happen. First
criminals would lie through their teeth. Second, about 20 million tourists are
expected to visit Thailand this year. It would take a countless hours, and the
additional recruitment of thousands of personnel, not to mention new software to
process a due diligence investigation on each person. After six months of
queuing at the airport, the annual holiday would be over for most people only to
be told when it was their turn, they’d already overstayed their visa and were
subject to deportation.
Let’s say that we profile
people who look shady. Twenty million Tourists is still a pretty large
number. What is the pay off for looking for people who have broken a law outside
Some facts. That Wikileak
US Embassy cable indicated that over the period of 30 years, 135 people were
extradited from Thailand to the States. That works out to 4.5 criminals a year
who were returned to the States. This isn’t my definition of ‘droves’ foreign
criminals or any other species. Try finding 4.5 of something in a vat of 20
million something and see how easy that is. When I lived in New York City in the
mid-80s, 4.5 criminal acts per hour would have been closer to the mark.
And most of them looked pretty foreigner, and I suspect they were all wanted
back in their home countries for some felony or other. So now 4.5 American
fugitives hiding in Thailand per year is new threshold for news from Thailand to
get reported in The New York Times.
And talking about the
American system, of course a foreigner getting a visa can be a problem, but the
daily traffic of people sneaking in from Mexico and Canada into the States no
doubt includes people running from the law. And I suspect those numbers are
substantially in excess of 135 people over a 30-year period—people who have
committed crimes, who have been convicted of crimes, and who are on the run. Of
course we have no way of knowing for sure.
Mexico isn’t likely firing
up a room of lawyers to request return of their bad guys. They’re probably glad
to get rid of them. Let the Americans deal with them. That wouldn’t be a bad
policy. Saves the cost of prison, courts, and prosecutors. There are laws
against dumping of goods, but as far as I know there’s no law to prevent one
country dumping their criminals into another one. Over 30 years, I suspect more
than 135 Thai nationals have elected to hide out in the USA rather than return
Stories like the NYT
article circulate for a while and die. A couple of years ago according to the
BBC, Brazil was the
international haven for criminals on the lam. Some websites feature top ten
lists of criminal hiding places. Anyone can play the game. Some seem to have a
better grasp of how the world is organized than others. Here’s one with
Canada in the number one slot and
Wisconsin at number 10. Someone at the website must think that Canada is a state
like Wisconsin is a state. And suspicious countries like Thailand, the
Philippines, Cuba find their places somewhere on the list.
No doubt about it. The
world is a shrinking place for international fugitives. Modern technology will
wipe out the usual hiding places. Fugitives will have to disappear deep in to
whatever jungle remains and live in caves. Where we can reach consensus (at
least among our friends) are the people we’d personally like to put on a
fugitive wanted list and who is hiding out and scratching mosquito bites and
Make your list. Sleep on
it. Then tomorrow send it to The New York Times. I am certain they’d be happy to
|Self-deception and Crime Bosses
We had a power shortage at Eel Swamp. When that happens everything seems to shut down from computers to water pumps. People tumble out of their houses with a vaguely confused look, standing in the street, looking around as if the Power Gods might roll up in a van and reconnect them to their lives.
While the power was out, crime continued. A local man was shot in the field, on his motorbike, as he was on his way to tend to his horses. His sister reported hearing seven shots. In another news, a Pattaya police sting operation went sideways and two people were killed in the ensuing gunfight.
Daily life has this riptide of uncertainty and evil that pulls you out of your depth, disturbing you life and threatening to harm you. Sometimes these forces blow out your lights. Other times they extinguish, like blowing out a candle, a couple of human lives. Crime is one of those things that even a power shortage can’t stop. But the crimes that happened this Friday will never be reported outside of Thailand, and likely won’t receive much coverage here. The rough and tumble of life isn’t all that newsworthy.
What captures the attention of the press are crimes and big time crime bosses. Marlon Brando in the Godfather comes to mind. Al Capone with his trademark cigar. Big John Gotti in his expensively tailored suits. Every culture has an equivalent set of figures who cross the stage of life and then fade into the past as memories of them, no longer fed by the press, dim and their replacements take center stage.
This has been the natural cycle of crime and the bosses who head the organized criminal activities. It has also cycled through countless books, movies and TV series. My feeling is that times have changed and along with that change has come a revision of who are the crime bosses. We have moved beyond the iconic Godfather. The public reconfiguration of the identity of crime bosses is one plausible explanation for the popularity of crime fiction around the world. Who are they? What role do the new digital media play in exposing them and their activities?
The new crime bosses are investment bankers, hedge fund managers, corporate CEOs, and politicians of one type or another. They have advanced university degrees. These men and women know how to rob a bank without a gun. They appear in posh magazines, at film openings, and support the arts. But unlike the old days, not everyone is fooled. The International Criminal Court has been busy trying some of these big time criminals. And in the future they will likely get a shot at a new crop of political leaders.
The public, if not the courts and prosecutors, have been criminalizing economic and social conduct for as long as we’ve lived in villages and cities. The major change is that with the Internet we have internationalized criminal bosses. They are no longer just locally recognized faces; the modern new crop of criminal bosses are on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. They are known to billions.
They represent a different breed of crime boss, and belong to a different category of criminal conduct. In the past we have been content to allow the authorities the power to define crime and the criminals who commit them. Now people are waking up and talking about how this game ‘we define the crime’ has been largely rigged from the start in favor of the elites.
The idea is spreading that around the world we’ve all been sleep walking. That self-delusion about modern economic and political criminal networks has allowed masses of people to become victims without a remedy. The people who died in my neighborhood today will sadly leave behind grieving relatives and friends. But beyond that circle of sadness and despair, the ripples won’t wash to your shore. Government officials who use torture, disappearance, extra-judicial killings create the kind of ripples that wash over your head. Sooner or later, as the sanction of the State launders the crime, exonerates the actors, and is sold as protecting the public.
Crime fiction authors have moved into this field of gray. A place haunted by forces larger than any old-fashioned crime boss. The best crime novels reveal a noir-like world where even the most law-abiding citizen may find himself mugged not by a drug addict but by a hedge fund manager that invested his life savings in mortgages. Everywhere I go on the Internet, I find a growing anger and resentment, as people are no longer willing to adjust to spending their lives inside extended crime families that would have made Capone and Gotti green with envy. The Arab Spring as an example of people seeking to replace the old crime syndicates that pretended to be governments.
The future holds a rich store of experience for the crime author. And the best ones are coming around to the view that readers are interested in novels where the conflict in crime reflects this new breed of criminals who don’t look like criminals and are treated like celebrities. It doesn’t take much digging to find examples of public indignation when one of the new bosses is trapped, cornered and exposed.
It’s a time for self-examination and reflection. As the passions run high, we’d do well to consider this quote from Noam Chomsky:
“I’ve reviewed a lot of the literature on this, and it’s close to universal. We just cannot adopt toward ourselves the same attitudes that we adopt easily and in fact, reflexively, when others commit crimes. No matter how strong the evidence.”