Showing posts from 2019

Climate Change: this time disappearing animals

According to the International Energy Agency, China is a significant culprit in CO2 emissions (c ombustion of coal, natural gas, oil, and other fuels, including industrial waste and non-renewable municipal waste on the globe (30%), and the United States is in second place with 16%. Anthony Barnoski, executive director of Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve , and a global expert on extinction said three years ago “that we humans have, at the very most, 20 years to change the way we treat nature, or we will bring about the sixth mass extinction event in the entire history of Earth.” Climate Disasters. Climate Change. Global Warming..not much difference in definition as we humans are murdering the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soil for planting, creating shipping disasters and assisting in the extinction of many of our animals. The devastating drought in Zimbabwe has seen over 200 elephants die, zebras grazing grounds being decimated a

A Howard Watson Intrigue - The Scheduler

 Coming Spring 2020 -   The Scheduler (A Howard Watson Intrigue) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "The old law about an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind." Five men have been targeted for death by someone trained on an M-24 sniper rifle..a rifle that only the military provides. The person or persons unknown is an expert shot. Howard Watson i s an FBI Supervisory Special Agent in Charge in Washington, D.C., and his friend and colleague, Allen Knox , is one of the two targets on the offenders' list who escapes the deathtrap. What do these five men have in common that has garnered the wrath of the shooter? The FBI Profiler will offer her insight. Howard Watson will be forced to realize  t hat mental illness is a scarring disease that can leave a healthy person blemished, and sometimes with fatal results. #joannfastoffthewriter #mysteryandintrigue #howardwatsonsonthecase #womenmysteryandintriguewriters #blackwomenmysteryandintriguewriters 

We Write Challenge 2019

The rain was heavy. Why didn’t I wear my ugly shoes? Samantha tried walking around the large puddles on the sidewalk, but they were too numerous to avoid. Her $300 heels were now soaked. She waited at the corner for the light to turn green. A car turned right in front of her and splashed gallons of water on her and others. She let out a sigh of exasperation. This new dress and these new shoes will not see the light of day at the banquet! The day had begun on a much more promising note. Melissa had called and offered a shared trip to The Caribbean. Like always, she somehow had managed to get some unsuspecting man to fund her dalliances in the sun. A week at an all-inclusive where the most complicated decision to be made was what drink to order sounded just about right, especially since the calm, blue skies of earlier in the day had transformed to an apocalyptic deluge. Skipping the banquet was not the best career move, but attending in dripping silk plastered to the

First Thanksgiving?

First Thanksgiving? Isn't it ironic that there is little coverage of whether November is Native American Heritage Month or that November 23rd is Native American Heritage Day? Wow, one whole day! "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. This feast lasted three days and was reported by Edward Winslow, who wrote that it was attended by 90 Wampanoag Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. What wasn't being written were the massacres of Native tribes like the Pequot that took place in the years that followed the so-called "First Thanksgiving." It seems no one mentioned that English settlers robbed Wampanoag graves and stole food from their storage to survive their first years on the new continent, America. The same Wampanoag greeted them with food for three days in November 1621. It's possible but unlikely that there was a turkey on the first Thanksgiving. More than likely

A Howard Watson Intrigue - West Point Academy

Duty, Honor, Country Plebe that I was West Point Academy was originally established as a fort that sits on strategic high ground overlooking the Hudson River,  with a scenic view about 50 miles north of New York City.  It is one of the five U.S. Service Academies .  Tuition for cadets is fully funded by the Army in exchange for an active duty service obligation upon graduation. Approximately 1,300 cadets enter the Academy each July, with about 1,000 cadets graduating. The idea of attending West Point Academy didn't hit me until my junior year in high school.  By that time my dad and I were bonafide political opposites. The Vietnam War was raging and I had the nerve to want to go to a military college. Go figure. My father would have liked to hit the roof but decided at nearly the last moment to refrain from doing so, as he would only be hurting himself. In addition to the required excellent grades and test scores for admission to West Point, a candidate must recei

A Howard Watson Intrigue - CIA Friends

CIA Friends This piece will be short and sweet because I only have two CIA friends: Officers Allen Knox and Trent Michaels. To be honest, I don't know if I could call Trent a friend per se,  maybe a little more than an acquaintance...but I like his peculiar take on things. The CIA and FBI are both members of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The CIA, however, has no law enforcement function. The CIA collects information only regarding foreign countries and their citizens. Unlike the FBI, it is prohibited from collecting data regarding "U.S. Persons," a term that includes U.S. citizens, resident aliens, legal immigrants, and U.S. corporations, regardless of where they are located. Of course, I'm not about to tell Knox this. He and I have worked on several missions together. In The Smoke Ring case ,  he helped the FBI tie up strings that might have been missed had he not been on board. In The Standing People  case, Knox's resources were unbelievably

A Howard Watson Intrigue - Alberto Marino

Alberto Marino - the best.boss.ever. I'm going to write this as if Al won't ever see it. Unfortunately, he sees and knows everything, so it will only be a matter of time before he'll call me into his office and ask me to "stop putting the light in my face". Alberto Anthony Marino was born in an Italian ghetto in New York City.  Al likes to say it was ironic because the word "getto'' was first established in the 16th century in Venice, Italy.  His paternal uncle worked on New York's waterfront for over 30 years and would tell him often as a kid that he remembered  suffering the consequences of the anti-Italian sentiment that had spread like wildfire once the United States entered World War II.   His uncle's only crime was being born in Italy. But during the early years of World War II, that was enough to classify him as an “enemy alien”.  Even Joe DiMaggio’s parents in California weren’t spared from harassment, though their son

A Howard Watson Intrigue - Ahmad Waverly

FBI Special Agent Ahmad Waverly Who is this person? Why is he so special to me? Ahmad Waverly grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Forensic Science coupled with a minor in Chemistry, thinking he was going into the Medical Examiners Office in Miami when he graduated. As salutatorian of his high school graduating class he was a recipient of a four-year academic scholarship to the University of Florida, graduating four years later cum laude. Prior to his senior year at Florida, he interned at the office of the Medical Examiner in Miami and was truly praying that they would offer him a position once he graduated. Sometimes the divine just intervenes. Two months before he graduated, Ahmad met FBI Special Agent John Mason at a career fair with an emphasis on scientists. As far as John was concerned Ahmad was a perfect candidate for the FBI. Ahmad's background and knowledge in computational forensics involving computer-based

A Howard Watson Intrigue - Female Agents

Me and the Female Agents "What's it like working with women FBI Agents?"  I 've been asked this question so many times that you'd think I would be sick of answering it by now. You would be right. I always say the same thing, "It's as if I'm working with men."  Sounds lame? Yeah, but maybe I'm just tired of the question. Unfortunately I do recognize why the question always comes up since  only 20 percent of the Bureau’s 13,667 agents are women, and, sadly to say 83 percent of the agents overall are white.  Indeed, 10 months before being fired as director of the FBI by President Trump, James Comey called the situation a "crisis." In 1972, after Mr. Hoover died,  the FBI opened up the position of special agent to women.  Although one of the first two women hired  was also appointed the first female agent to run a field office, her assignment was in Anchorage, Alaska, which was not then, nor is it now, at the center of the a

A Howard Watson Intrigue - My Father

My father, my influence Although my mother Anne was masterful at keeping me and my father George from constantly bickering, he and I always remained at opposite ends of the totem pole when it came to politics and vocations. Ironically my two younger sisters fought more with my dad than I did. Go figure.  I was a high school student when I decided that I wanted to be an FBI Agent.  Our social studies class had been studying the JFK assassination and the FBI had impressed me considerably with its professionalism and degree of intelligence. My father couldn't understand why a black person, especially his son, would want to work for an arrogant, white, elitist group like the FBI.  I, of course, did not agree with his assessment. I felt that minorities had been afraid to apply to the Bureau for fear of peer pressure. However, my father continuously conveyed his feelings about my pursuing a "safe" career like medicine or engineering, and not the FBI.  That  wasn&

A Howard Watson Intrigue - Vietnam Lessons

Lessons from Vietnam After I graduated from WestPoint Academy, my father George literally screamed at me when I volunteered for early duty in Vietnam.  He never let up on the notion that Vietnam was the wrong war at the wrong time against the wrong enemy.  I can recall his words like it was yesterday. “Howard, this ain’t our fight! This is the white man’s M-O getting into another country’s business when they’re fighting against themselves! You don’t need to be getting into the middle of this mess. Ain’t a Vietnamese alive who’s done us wrong. Enough is enough!" Of course I was too headstrong to agree. I listened, but I didn’t agree.    His objection to the war, at least in his view, was important and right but  Vietnam was just something I had to do. When I stepped off that transport plane in Vietnam the heat hit me like a blast furnace. The greenery was so glistening it almost hurt my eyes. The strange smell that hit my nostrils I later found out was the stench of deat

A Howard Watson Intrigue - Tim Yamamoto

Happy New Year 2019. Glad you're still around.  I've been getting a lot of questions about one of my colleagues - Tim Yamamoto. He's a great guy and even greater Agent..but then again, I'm biased. Tim Yamamoto's father Akashi is straight up Japanese and his mother Carrie is half-Japanese and half-Black. During World War II, twelve year-old Akashi, along with his father, mother and older brothers, were shoved into an internment camp in Colorado. During this time the Japanese had to constantly prove that they were as American as anyone else. It didn't help that they lived on the west coast and it was  feared that the transplanted Japanese might be loyal to their mother country.   FDR's Executive Order 9066   gave the military broad powers to ban any citizen of Japanese heritage from living on a 50 to 60 mile-wide coastal area stretching from Washington state to California and extending inland into southern Arizona. Years after the war, Akashi's fathe