FRIENDS FOREVER – DR. JAY PIANO, ME VIOLIN

(A two-minute video. c. 2014)
     The back story: About 14 years ago, a little lady came over to me after a library talk about writing books, and introduced me to her husband, Dr. Jay Barnhart, saying, “My husband here plays piano, maybe you two should meet up and play together sometime.”
     Now retired and in his 80’s, Dr. Barnhart had a long medical career, in Pennsylvania and then in Miami, where he worked for the renowned Dr. Joe Davis, as an assistant medical examiner. He was the autopsy guy. 
     Jay and I kinda eyeballed each other, reluctant, then saying, “Well, what the heck. We’ll try it.” He had his quirks, I had mine, he was finicky about playing, and like him, I always want to play pieces – my own way. (ahem)
     Long story short, that began one of the most wonderful and rewarding relationships ever. We played everywhere, not always at Carnegie Hall levels, but always having fun. When music got too difficult, we’d just laugh and fake it.  Our greatest gift was that we could play most anything…by ear.  (Yes, I used my fingers too). Jay was a musical phenom. Sometimes we dared the audience to name any tune that he didn’t know. Rarely could he be stumped.
     The one thing we had in common, was — in childhood — the good fortune to have a mother who made us learn and practice, practice, practice. One time, I asked my mother, “Why, Mom? I wanna go out and play.” Her answer: “Practice first. Someday you will thank me.”
     Thank you, Mom.
     Jay and Ruth, his devoted wife, have now moved to another state, to be with family in the twilight years.  I do miss him, and our music together. I couldn’t love a brother any more. The memories will always prevail.
     Thank you Ruth. And…thank you Jay.
     Sharing this story, a heartfelt musical message, with good friends and loved ones. Enjoy.

 

 

THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: FOR AND AGAINST

This is about employing common sense.  

In the presidential race, many feel we do not have great options. But we must still vote, and … like in many other elections…we often end up voting against someone rather than for someone. In other words, many voters are guided by deciding who we think would be least harmful to our nation.

When viewing the election in such terms, it clearly tells me how important it is to re-elect Donald Trump, and why.  I am not his biggest fan. I’m one of those who cringe when he blurts out some of his ego-maniacal comments and other assorted barbs that make me shake my head. But all things considered, America will still be far better off by keeping the country in a democracy mode with a capitalistic government. Preserving those basic tenets are far more important than being guided by personalities.

The hard left in America is rising to the occasion.  Our nation is inching its way to the slippery slope where Socialism is not just an idea, it’s a reality which will come to bear, affecting our kids and their kids for generations to come. Consider also, there is another step to consider in that process.  Hard-core socialists have a mission to see America fall down that slope into a full-blown communist state. This is not a theory. It’s close to a reality if radical  Democrats like Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pelosi, Schumer, AOC and George Soros have their way.

We all remember Castro, and the Cuban revolution. Many of us were still living in S. Florida then. Fidel fought in the jungles as a die-hard socialist, so he claimed. But it was a deception. It wasn’t until Fidel completely controlled the new government and admitted (surprise) his goals were rooted in communism. 

I spoke to many struggling Cubans back then (being a young Dade police officer). Cuba lost multi-thousands of innocent citizens to “MIA” (missing in action)  status, while thousands more escaped the island bringing with them the clothes on their backs, and nothing else. Sixty years hence, people are still driving pre-1960 jalopies and people own nothing, unless provided by the state.  I remember one Cuban guy selling bananas on a street corner, I asked about his journey from Cuba to the USA.  He said he had been a bank vice president, and his family was living with two other families in one apartment. I remember him passionately telling me, “No welfare. We no take welfare”

Black Lives Matter is a nice cliche’ .. we all want to see equality among all citizens. However, if you look past the smokescreen, Black Lives Matter is co-founded by proud Marxists named, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza. Check it out. They are an established, unapologetic communist organization, portraying themselves as guardians of black people. And, by the way, very involved in much of the violence and looting in the last seven months.

 PolitiFact | Is Black Lives Matter a Marxist movement?

Communism is a reality, not a theory. It is a hard-cold fact. They’ve been warning us since the 1950s they intend to divide and conquer the west. And, they are inching closer.  Communism is powerful. It is well-funded. It is aiming toward the grand prize. You and me. 

Riots and desperation are everywhere throughout our country like never before.  It is no accident. The movement is organized and paid for via haters of America, behind the scenes.

So let’s vote smart.

If communism comes to the U.S., there will be no turning back. So when we vote, we must not only be passionate, we must be intelligent and well informed or else our grandkids may one day be slaves to the government. When we vote, we must remember that it’s not just about a presidency, or a party. It’s about the movement, and the vast array of management systems, domestic and foreign, that comes with the president we elect.

Reminds me of that little girl in the Sci-Fi movie saying “They’rree  Heerrreee!.

In an article, columnist L. Todd Wood, Washington Times, 2018, wrote:

“Yes, this is the goal; it is slowly being propagandized by the corrupt Marxist media. The communists lost the Cold War in an economic and military collapse. Since then, they have sought to re-establish their power by embedding themselves and their ideology in our universities, to corrupt the younger generations, and the media, to control the thought processes of the low information voter.”

A FRANK MOVIE REVIEW: “HONEST THIEF” – 7.0

 

In a word:   Engrossing                    

 

Liam Neeson is one of those actors who cannot make a bad movie. Much like DiNiro, Cruise and so many more, he always gives it 100 percent, while making his tough-guy  characters as believable as possible. “Honest Thief” is a good movie, but not a great movie, mainly because of too many implausibles.

     Based in a major city in America, Neeson plays a middle-aged widower raising a boy and, for the last several years, worked at becoming a top-flight bank robber because he had been a munitions expert in the military and knew the mechanics of entering a safe undetected. Over the years, he amassed some 9 million dollars, but never spent any of it (Implausible #1) but rather, he stored the cash in boxes inside a rental storage facility.

     Alas, Neeson’s character meets the woman of his dreams and decides he will give up crime and confess to her, and to the FBI, his crimes, and return the money in the hope of earning a short sentence. (Implausible #2) Sounds good enough, but the mission becomes more dangerous when the FBI agents are more personally interested in his piles of cash. Everything goes wrong, even the confession, as he and his lady friend are faced with separate lives for many years.

     As usual, a number of fight scenes consist of the inevitable overdose of martial arts, compliments of the good-and-bad guys, as well as a few shoot-outs.  (Implausible #3).

     The new romance for Neeson is played by Kate Walsh, a very good actress. I can’t say the same for some in the supporting cast, especially those who played the crooked FBI agents. It just didn’t work for me and, I would imagine, the FBI as well.

     I can opine that Neeson is truly a gifted actor, who will likely be confined to more shoot-‘em-ups and too many scenes of martial arts combat, rather than deep, moving roles like he did in Schindler’s List. Regardless, the film was entertaining, but not worthy of any Oscar nominations.

     I’d give this movie a 7 out of 10.

Honest Thief (2020) – IMDb

OPEN SEASON ON COPS: PART II.

See link, below.

I wrote this piece in 2014, six years ago. Not much has improved. Cops are still under fire, subject to ambush, hate and revolution. That was the year Black Lives Matter came into being to be seen as a non-violent group of love dispensers. Six years hence, after witnessing their back-up ties to Antifa, we now know the true motives and objectives of BLM…learning that the co-founders (Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza) are proud and open Marxists, whose long range goals … like all Communists  … is to bring down the free world (you and me) under the oppressive control of government.  Ask any Cuban from the early days of Fidel Castro, and following generations, the nightmarish revolution, when Castro never acknowledged his Communist attachments until the takeover was completed.
                                                                                                                                         ___
Sure, the Cubans have government-controlled health care, but ask the population, how many citizens own cars, or houses, or property, or…for that matter, free will. 
                                                                                                                                          ___
Read the article.  It’s worse today than it was in 2014.  We actually have mayors and governors, and leaders of blue states that condone riots, assaults, arson, destruction of homes and businesses, and more. Never thought I’d see the day.
                                                                                                                                          ___
Remember, we are voting for a complex 4-year package deal, not just one human being.
                                                                                                                                           ___
Here’s the 2014 piece. Then, imagine the situation worsening in another six years.
                                                                                                                                            ___

BIDEN VERSUS TRUMP: WHAT’S AT STAKE

I am a registered independent. While most of my views are generally in line with the Republicans, I do tend to side with Democrats when I agree with their points of view. For example, my feelings about Capital Punishment would be more in line with Democrats.

With presidential elections, voters seem to be more concerned about the persona of candidates, than the factors they represent, or what’s best for Americans. Candidates on both sides are beholden to financial supporters, which are not always best for the nation, but best for the donors.  Politicians, I feel, are too often putting integrity aside if it’s a matter of winning or losing.

It’s not so much about corruption of the candidates, as it is, corruption within politics. It’s a natural outgrowth of a system that manipulates political gain via the almighty dollar.

While Donald Trump is often seen as ego-maniacal, I am convinced that his goals, as president, are the least egregious as compared to most politicians in the political theater where money is everything. He is by far, the most accessible president in my lifetime, always willing to field questions from media, whether scheduled or not.  He is repeatedly willing to talk to the people of America. He is the richest of presidents, as are his family members, which assures me – to some extent – that his motives for decisions and policies are untainted by corruption and greed.

Issues aside, we now have two candidates to choose between. Here is my short evaluation.

We are not just voting for one person to be a president. We are voting for the massive political machines that come with them. Along with the candidate, come the supporters, the debts, the domestic and international finance machines, world affairs, and cabinets, lawyers and leaders who make up a very complicated government. I will vote for the candidate who is least indebted to the political well, and who truly has the best interests of Americans at heart.

Joe Biden is a nice guy. But he has his debts to pay like any politician, which might not always be in the best interest of Americans. I see Mr. Trump as owing far less to outsiders. Much like a child, he mainly wants to hear approval, gratitude and a report card of accomplishments.

I’ve been attentive to the reports of Joe Biden’s mental acuity, which has been questioned by many. For a while, I dismissed the accusations that he was slow, or stupid and confused, because it just sounded like political smearing. But as time has passed, I’ve come to feel badly for Biden because I think he is a decent man about to enter into a daily rat-race he’s ill equipped to handle. That’s not good for him, or the nation. And if he cannot match up to the daily grind of presidential demands, he should not be there.

The link below is a little more than two minutes long. It stars Joe Biden in various speaking dates. As you pass through the various scenes, ask yourself, do you really want this man – nice as he is — to be in a position to be running the country, and all that it demands. For sure, if he should get elected, the chances (in my opinion) are strong that he will not be able to withstand the mental trauma.  Frankly, I would be worried for the nation considering who might replace him. 

It’s a very serious situation.

Must See: Joe Biden Proves How Lucid He Is: Without A Teleprompter, Script Or Interrupting Staffer – YouTube

 

(My latest non-fiction book “A Boy Who Mattered: Examining the Roots of Drug Addiction,” is available at Amazon. Signed copies are discounted if ordered via my e-mail, mlf283@aol.com )

In “A Boy Who Mattered” the author draws the reader into the pathetic life of his firstborn son, Bennett, who entered the drug world before his teens, turned on by a family member. This ultimately opened the doors of dependency sickness, failure and homelessness that profoundly affected many others, friends and family, for forty years. This book focuses on the root causes of dependency and what could be done about it. Hopefully, this story will guide abusers and loved ones on options of how to combat this dreaded disease. If but one human being is saved, Bennett’s struggle will not have been in vain