Archives 2012

A WORTHY NEW YEAR MESSAGE

SM is a woman now in her early forties. A former, highly decorated K-9 officer in an eastern state, she spent ten years in federal prison because her dog bit a burglary suspect on the leg, which the prosecution claimed was unnecessary. He and another suspect were caught at 1 a.m. atop a roof of a commercial building. Because she was in possession of a firearm at the time of the “crime,” the judge was under obligation to sentence her to a minimum of ten years, to which she served about 95 percent.

It took two trials, the first was a hung jury. The burglar “victim” was a druggie, burglar, illegal alien from Guatemala. The prosecution paid for the search and travel back to the U.S. to have him testify, with immunity, against her.

At the time, she had a three-year-old son. Her husband divorced her and her son was adopted by another woman. Nevertheless, SM was still included in the son’s life, as much as possible.

I could go into all the details, but rest assured, this was a railroad job of the utmost degree. At best, if SM was guilty of unnecessarily releasing her dog, she should have been disciplined, perhaps fired. But the prosecutors office was busy racking up conviction statistics by handing out favors to crooked cops who were looking at long hard time, and they were ratting on any other cop for wrong doing in order to buy a lighter sentence.

Now released SM is reunited with her teenage son and enjoying her freedom and making the best out of life after losing ten years, taking up a jail bed that could have been reserved for a real criminal. What happened to SM was a crime in itself.

She recently posted a new years message on line. I find it an incredible attitude considering what she had been through. It is worthy of all of us. We should all think about the goodness in life as we embark on 2013. Here is her message:

“Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You’ll look ten years younger. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I love you’. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.”

To all my friends and fans: Happy New Year.

THE BENGHAZI INVESTIGATION: CRIMINAL CHARGES PENDING?

     Benghazi’s assault on America happened on September 11th, 2012.  The election has been over since October 6th.  We are approaching New Year’s Eve,  3 ½ months later, and it is being treated like a neighborhood bike theft.

     There’s blood on someone’s hands in the administration of Barack Obama, and it lies somewhere in the administration starting with Secretary of State, Defense, CIA and the president. With a few exceptions, no one is doing squat to get to the truth, including the congress and every news network and mainstream media outlet. Those who have tried to inquire, namely Sen. John McCain and Rep. Darrel Issa have been demonized as republican extremists by democrats and the left leaning media, who accuse them of  politicizing. In fact, the absence of action and inquiry is, indeed, politicizing the investigation to the nth degree.

     All that, alone, is worth a scandal…a do-nothing congress – both republicans and democrats – who are willing to let the whole thing slide as an unfortunate error, absent of accountability. Four Americans are murdered in a consulate representing our government, and to this day, the elusive Secretary of State nor the president has been called into question by congressional authority. Add to that, the fawning media who doesn’t want to see one critical word voiced or printed about Obama.

     There are three main issues here:

  1. Why the consulate was not provided more – not less – protection when it was specifically requested numerous times by Ambassador Stevens and other government workers at the embassy because of the dangerous situation and other assaults on the consulate prior to September 11th.
  2. Why the president and/or Secretaries of Defense and State did not send emergency military defense to the site during the attack when they knew it was happening in real time, when it was feasible and perhaps, capable of saving the lives of two SEALs who were busily saving lives six hours into  the assault?
  3. Why the president, secretaries of defense and state, CIA, and the UN Ambassador deliberately presented false information to the American people in covering up the truth? 

     Generally there are two types of involuntary manslaughter: (1) criminal-negligence manslaughter; and (2) unlawful-act manslaughter. The first occurs when death results from a high degree of negligence. The basic definition of “Negligent Manslaughter” can vary slightly from state to state, but they are all close enough.

     There are numerous examples in which an omission to act or failure to perform – resulting in a death—constitutes criminally negligent manslaughter.

     It would appear to me that the deaths of the four Americans at Benghazi were as a result of criminal negligence on the part of someone either at the White House, the Department of Defense or the Department of State. Yet, the September 11th tragedy is barely mentioned in newspapers, television commentary or among politicians as we approach the new year nearly four months later.

     Ho-hum.

     If we just stop talking about it, it will go away.

     I know something about investigations. This has been a sham. Any murder investigation necessitates swift procedures, including the scouring of a crime scene and talking to key people within minutes or hours of the crime, in order to prevent stories from being coordinated, compromised, concocted and santitized. This is bigger than any murder investigation and in took the FBI weeks to arrive at the crime scene, and even then they did not impound evidentiary records. Meanwhile, not only has Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama not been questioned,  a key suspect was taken into custody in Tunisia, and the U.S. government has yet to conduct an interview.

     This is a whodunnit of monumental proportions. Sure, we basically know the source of the attacks at the consulate in Benghazi, but we don’t know who allowed the compound and its occupants to be negligently vulnerable in the face of documented danger, when the proverbial writing was on the wall for weeks and months ahead of the attack.

     Any time someone even jokingly suggests the president’s life is in danger, that person is immediately hauled in for serious interrogation and/or charges. Meanwhile security around the president is intensified. Yet, when a no-joke threat is presented to an American consulate from viable and dangerous sources, including the president’s foreign representative, not only was the ambassador’s threat disregarded, the security presence was scaled down. Then he – and three other Americans – were killed.

     And nothing is done?    

     The Secretary of State dilly-dallies around the globe, country to country, Australia, Singapore, etc., following the attack on her consulate when she should have stood up to face the music. Her response is confined to one prepared statement two days later in which she rails on about the phony video that we all know, and she knew, had nothing to do with this attack. Never once does she defend America’s first amendment rights, while she whimpers how the government had nothing to do with that “disgusting” video.

     In her fleeting absence, she dispatches (or the president dispatches) the UN ambassador to do her dirty work, to answer to the American people with outright lies. Susan Rice was pumped with information from above, scripted with responses to the media five days later which she carried out as a good soldier. She didn’t know any better. Those who told her what to say… did know better.

     Hillary Clinton’s recent illness was timely indeed, for we all know how she is uncomfortable with criticism and being thrust into the spotlight when she was responsible for a monumental screw-up, and the cover-up that followed.

     Or, was she?  If she was not, then there can only be one answer: The president orchestrated the entire fiasco.

     I propose that Mrs. Clinton – while painted into the proverbial corner – is doing everything she can to avoid testifying, because she will either have to defend abominable actions and/or inactions, which could entail criminal charges, or she will have to pass the buck to the president, where it may belong.

     Not only is this worthy of a scandal far exceeding Watergate, this is a crime in which someone should be tried, convicted and jailed.  Democrats, as well as republicans, why are you not joining in the outrage, demanding answers? Where is your integrity? Why are you not doing your job?

     There obviously is a lot more going on that the administration does not want Americans to know.

      The following video interview with author, Ed Klein, was taped in October of 2012, (pre-election) in which he cites confidential legal sources close to the Clintons who claim that Hillary Clinton did, indeed, prepare to send security reinforcements to the Benghazi consulate prior to September 11, 2012, but that was nixed by Barack Obama.

     Ed Klein is an established journalist/author with sleeves of credentials, including editor of NY Times magazine, Vanity Fair, Newsweek and Parade, plus the author of nine books.

Click here: Bombshell: Clinton Ordered More Security In Benghazi, Obama Denied Request – YouTube 

 

      Another troubling point:  In early October, President Obama Thomas R. Pickering, a former Ambassador, to be in charge of the investigation. Not exactly a neutral investigator. Pickering is known to have close ties with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) which is a subsidiary of the Muslim Brotherhood, which surely has blood on their hands in this entire middle-east debacle. That’s like using John Gotti’s nephew to investigate Mafia murders.

     And the cover-up beat goes on.

     Click here: Is Newly Appointed Libya Investigator an Islamist-Sympathizer With Ties to CAIR? |

 The following video is Glenn Beck’s wrap-up of the allegations concerning the original motives for the Benghazi attack, which entails running guns to the Libyan rebels via Ambassador Stevens through Turkey. There have been many reports on this.  I know some folks don’t like Beck, but people should pay close attention to these well-documented details.

Click here: Beck: Obama May Go To Prison – YouTube

DJANGO UNCHAINED: A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW – 8 1/2

       The story is set in 1858 Texas as a dentist turned bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) rescues a slave from a chain gang (Jamie Foxx) in order to help him find three wanted men. Much of the ensuing story is based on the rescue of Foxx’s slave wife (Kerry Washington) from a notorious plantation in Mississippi which is run by a notorious young master, (Leonardo DiCaprio).

     One word can describe this movie: “Entertaining.”  And that’s what movies are all about. The next word would be “Captivating” because you are glued to the characters and the story from beginning to end. It is an outstanding motion picture with all the elements; Action, suspense, romance, good guys versus bad guys, heroes and villains, history and passion.

     The next word would be “Raw.” Director Quentin Tarantino holds no bars in depicting slavery and white supremacy in its worst of days.

     But it is not a movie for everyone. If you are offended by the “N” word, don’t see this movie. It’s part of the dialogue in every scene, by every character, black and white. It’s the way  it was. And if you can’t stand gore and bloodshed, you might want to turn your head in some scenes, or…just stay home. 

     Tarantino is a movie-making genius, as are the actors that play in challenging, sometimes amusing, roles. The director even appears in one scene, but you have to know him to pick him out.

     Yes, there are shootings and killings galore, which I often rail about in my reviews of bullets flying, cars crashing, glass breaking, nonsensical and gratuitous violence. But, somehow it all fits in this story, much of which will surprise you.

     Because of the movie’s daring to be politically incorrect, it’s not likely to win any awards, though it should. Every actor was superb, including Samuel L. Jackson – who  I didn’t recognize at first…and neither will you.

    The movie is two and a half hours. But you’d never know it.

     For pure entertainment value, I give it  8 1/2 out of 10.

     A couple links that you might find of interest.

 Click here: Quentin Tarantino’s Fascinating Interview with Henry Louis Gates Jr. on Racism and the N-Word

 Click here: ‘Django’ an unsettling experience for many blacks – latimes.com

Click here: Django Unchained (2012) – IMDb

 

LES MISERABLES: A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW – 7

Les Miserables is a movie well made. It’s replete with superb actors. It’s a work of genius. And, I love musicals.

     Half of this movie bored me. Midway through the 2 ½ hours, I found myself checking my watch to see how much longer it would last.

     I feel a sense guilt for criticizing the film because it has received so many rave reviews, therefore, it must be me.

     Here’s the good:

     Anne Hathaway. Better than good. Her greatest triumph as an actress ever and who knew she could sing?  Hands down, she should win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. That’s right, “supporting” because she only plays a small role in the early part of the film. But it is powerful. Her rendition of  “I Dreamed a Dream” will be a classic for all time. Chilling. Stunning. Emotionally wracking. It was far beyond a song, it was an acting/musical performance extraordinaire. Sadly, she didn’t play enough in the movie.

     Hugh Jackman may be nominated for an Oscar as well, though I doubt he will win. He performed and sang wonderfully throughout. Jackman dominated the story as the paroled French prisoner who violates parole and is stalked by the French Inspector played by Russell Crowe.  Crowe (who also sings in a rock band) sings surprisingly well through some difficult music, though it’s obvious he is not the operatic quality we’d find on Broadway.

     Here’s the not-so-good:

     Too much non-melodic musical dialogue. Not a work is spoken, all dialogue is sung. This added to the boredom for this writer.  This is no Phantom of the Opera or Carousel where one song after another is musical rapture. There are only three, maybe four, songs in the 2 ½ hours which are melodic and beautifully musical.

     The entire setting is early 19th century Paris. Yet every actor had an English accent. Something incongruent about that, especially for people who prefer some degree of authenticity. One male child actor had a distinct Limey London accent. This might not bother most, but it was a stand-out to me as a no-no in the streets of France.

     Too much hurling and throwing the camera around, hand-held, herky-jerky photography.

     One critic, Catherine Shoard of The Guardian, wrote: “the experience of sitting through all 160 minutes of Les Mis can feel less like an awards bash than an epic wake, at which the band is always playing and women forever wailing. By the end, you feel like a piñata: beaten, in pieces, the victim of prolonged assault by killer pipe.”

     To be fair, this is an epic movie which was complicated to make and difficult to assemble both musically and technically. The director, Tom Hooper, is an amazingly proficient movie maker.  But as musicals go, this doesn’t stand up to the giants like “Chicago” and “Phantom.”

     I give it a 7.

     Click here: Les Misérables (2012) – IMDb

 

REALIZING THE FUTURE OF LEGAL MARIJUANA

    Now that the voters of two states (Colorado and Washington) have opted for the legalization of marijuana, it’s time for other states to examine their laws, including the U.S. government.

     First, a caveat: I do not advocate for marijuana. Contrary to many arguments, I believe there can be harmful effects particularly with individuals with a predisposition toward addiction. (See link below) If it were a perfect world, pot would not exist, other than in pharmeceutical labs for development as a medical benefit. But it’s here and this isn’t China or Singapore.  It’s part of every day life in America, laws or no laws. Up to twenty million people have used marijuana, which means each one of those are technically “criminals” including the president of the United States. So, let’s stop the hypocrisy.

     Over forty years of a lost war on drugs have proven that strict laws, aggressive enforcement and harsh penalties are not going to put a dent into the amount of illegal drugs in our society, especially marijuana, which is the largest cash crop of the state of California. Rather, the black market thrives on draconian laws which also bring rampant murder and mayhem that would vanish the moment of legalization. No black market, no crime, no corruption, Simple as that.

     So, let’s stop wasting tax dollars on enforcement and punishing people which accomplish nothing other than filling jails and attaching criminal records, often to youngsters who bear the burden for a lifetime. We can reverse the negatives by controlling the trade which would turn a tax burden into a tax plus.

     According to the latest studies, taxpayers spend more than $14 billion a year enforcing marijuana laws.

     More than 80,000 people a year die, directly and indirectly, from the use of alcohol.

     More than 440,000 people a year die from using tobacco products.

     No records exist that attribute deaths to marijuana.

     Yet, because of a continuing “war on drugs,” we incarcerate nearly one million people a year for marijuana charges, 88 percent of which for mere possession.

     Meanwhile, the black markets spawn public corruption. Cartel criminals support lawmakers who ensure that their underworld businesses thrive. Without those laws, there would be no cartel. 

     The taxpayer not only wastes $14 billion annually in law enforcement and incarceration activity, many more billions of incalculable dollars are spent on welfare, health care and residual costs of people going to jail unnecessarily. When a man or woman goes to jail, there is a ripple effect on the rest of their families, which often includes children. The taxpayer often assumes those responsibilities.

     I often reflect on the North Carolina man who grew a few pot plants on the edge of the Blue Ridge Parkway, cultivated for his personal use. A hard working landscaper, he had two small children and a stay-at-home wife. Honest, caring, productive, taxpaying. When he was caught and imprisoned for five years, his stay-at-home wife/mother had to go on welfare and work jobs with tips under the counter. The kids lost their mom at home and were relegated to day care centers. Medical bills were now the burden of the taxpayer via Medicaid. And the beat goes on.

     Criminalizing the possession of marijuana means we create criminals out of non-criminals. And that is a crime in itself.

     Yes, there are smugglers and sellers who are criminals. But they – and all the murders that are associated with them – would vanish by 90 percent or more if the black market was erased and marijuana was treated more like alcohol, controlled and taxed.

     Besides saving multi-billions in criminal justice costs and relieving overwhelmed dockets in the courtroom, another $10 billion could be converted to tax revenue if marijuana was legal and available with restrictions, much like alcohol. A portion of those funds could be redirected toward improved treatment and rehabilitation programs and most importantly, educating the young much like we do with anti-cigarette campaigns.

     We tried the prohibition in the 1920s. Crime soared after its inception, and crime plummeted after prohibition was repealed. We never learn.        

     Face facts. With two states legalizing pot, there will be more to come as the barriers to prohibition come tumbling down. So we might as well prepare for less inmates in prisons and more restrictions and laws concerning the “legal” use of the popular weed.  It’s here. It’s not going away. But we can educate and stop the glamorizing in media, movies and advertisements.

     The war on drugs has been deployed over forty years. It has unequivocally proven to be a losing strategy. If a football coach sent in losing plays game after game, there would be a demand for change.  

     We’re still sending in the same losing plays. Let’s make a change.

Click here: THE MEDICAL DANGERS OF MARIJUANA USE

 Click here: 14 Ways Marijuana Legalization Could Boost The Economy

 Click here: 5 Senior Citizens Serving Life Without Parole for Pot | Alternet