Monday, January 14, 2019

My Washington Times Review Of 'Handsome Johnny: The Life And Death Of Johnny Rosselli: Gentleman Gangster, Hollywood Producer, CIA Assassin'

The Washington Times published my review of Handsome Johnny: The Life and Death of Johnny Rosselli: Gentleman Gangster, Hollywood Producer, CIA Assassin.

From the Prohibition era to the mid-1970s, Johnny Rosselli traveled first class through the nexus of Hollywood movies, Las Vegas gambling, shady business deals, secret government assassination plots and organized crime.

He always had money and tipped generously. He was always groomed perfectly. He was always with a beautiful actress. He was always seated at the best spot in a nightclub or restaurant. He was always in the company of wealthy and powerful men on the golf course and tennis court and at a card table. He was the intimate friend of movie studio bosses, casino bosses, major entertainers and notorious mobsters. He was called “Gentleman Johnny” or “Handsome Johnny.”

Johnny Rosselli lived a charmed life right up until he ended up dead in a 55-gallon oil drum floating in the Atlantic. 

Lee Server’s “Handsome Johnny: The Life and Death of Johnny Rosselli: Gentleman Gangster, Hollywood Producer, CIA Assassin” offers a complete picture of a smooth operator who began life as Filippo Sacco in Frosinone, Italy, on July 4, 1905. Raised in Boston, his early travels took him across the country to Chicago, where he changed his name and then changed his life.

In the 1950s, the FBI noticed that Rosselli spelled his name differently at times. Sometimes with double “s” and sometimes with only one “s.” The FBI thought that when a man spells his name differently in different years, something is definitely wrong.

“He covered his tracks well — his origins, his early years. The FBI was sure he was not who he said he was. But who was he? What was he hiding?” Mr. Server writes. “For a guy whom everybody in law enforcement knew about for decades — one of Al Capone’s boy wonders, the Mob’s man in Hollywood, big wheel in Las Vegas, the hundreds of pages of police reports in which he figured, numerous arrests and trials, headline convictions — he was a mystery.”

You can read the rest of my review via the below link:

Friday, January 11, 2019

Great Scot: James Bond – The World’s Favourite Scottish Spy

As regular readers of my website are aware, I’m an Ian Fleming aficionado and I love the early James Bond films starring Sean Connery.
Being part Scot on my father’s side, and having spent two years in Scotland while serving on a U.S. Navy tugboat at the American nuclear submarine base in Holy Loch, Scotland, I’m interested in Scotland and all things Scottish. 
So, I was interested in reading Kenny Smith’s piece on Ian Fleming and James Bond’s links in Scottish Field.  
Since first appearing on the big screen in 1961’s Dr No – and before that in Ian Fleming’s novels, beginning with Casino Royale in 1953 – 007 has been at the forefront of Her Majesty’s Secret Service, with a gadget, a knowing wink and a wry quip.
Over the years, we’ve learned several things about Bond – not ideal for a secret agent – including his Scots ancestry.
Here, we present 10 fantastic Scottish facts about James Bond.
1. 007’s creator Ian Fleming (seen in below photo with Sean Connery on set of Dr. No) was of Scots descent. His father, Valentine, was born in Newport-on-Tay in north-east Fife in 1882, the son of successful banker Robert Fleming, who moved his family to London. Given that Fleming borrowed so many of Bond’s personality traits from himself, it’s no wonder that he chose to make his famous creation Scottish. 
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Border Patrol Agents Overwhelmingly Support Trump's Wall In New Survey

Stephen Dinan at the Washington Times offers a piece on Border Patrol agents who support the need for a wall on the border.

Border Patrol agents say they can’t be much clearer: They want more walls along the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a survey conducted by the National Border Patrol Council, the agents’ union, they overwhelmingly supported adding a “wall system” in strategic locations, embracing President Trump’s argument that it will boost their ability to nab or deter would-be illegal immigrants. 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

Stephen Dinan also offers a piece in the Washington Times on why Border Patrol agents think a steel fence may not be impenetrable, but still is needed. 

You can read the piece via the below link:

Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Look Back At The Classic TV Crime Series 'The Sopranos'

Although I think The Sopranos perhaps should have ended a season or two earlier, and I disliked the finale, I was a huge fan of the classic crime series. 
Michael Starr at the New York Post offers a piece on The Sopranos.
On Jan. 10, 1999, a little-publicized drama series called “The Sopranos” premiered on HBO, chronicling the domestic and professional life of a ruthless North Jersey mob boss living in suburbia with his wife and two teenage kids — and seeing a shrink for his anxiety.
Its large ensemble cast, including James Gandolfini as titular mob boss Tony Soprano and Edie Falco as his wife, Carmela, was largely unknown — as was series creator David Chase, whose TV résumé included “The Rockford Files,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “Northern Exposure.”
“The Sopranos” changed the landscape of cable television and won a slew of Emmys (including three apiece for Gandolfini and Falco) during its six-season run. It ended with an ambiguous, WTF? cut-to-black series finale in June 2007 — panicking 12 million viewers who thought their cable crapped out and leaving Tony Soprano’s fate forever open to interpretation.
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

This Map Shows Where In The World The U.S. Military Is Combatting Terrorism offers a map of the places in the world where the U.S. Military is engaging in counterterrorism operations.

Less than a month after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, U.S. troops—with support from British, Canadian, French, German and Australian forces—invaded Afghanistan to fight Al Qaeda and the Taliban. More than 17 years later, the Global War on Terrorism initiated by President George W. Bush is truly global, with Americans actively engaged in countering terrorism in 80 nations on six continents.

This map is the most comprehensive depiction in civilian circles of U.S. military and government antiterrorist actions overseas in the past two years. To develop it, my colleagues and I at Brown University’s Costs of War Project at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, along with Smithsonian magazine, combed through U.S. and foreign government sources, published and unpublished reports, military websites and geographical databases; we contacted foreign embassies in the U.S. and the military’s United States Africa Command; and we conducted interviews with journalists, academics and others. We found that, contrary to what most Americans believe, the war on terror is not winding down—it has spread to more than 40 percent of the world’s countries. The war isn’t being waged by the military alone, which has spent $1.9 trillion fighting terrorism since 2001. The State Department has spent $127 billion in the last 17 years to train police, military and border patrol agents in many countries and to develop antiterrorism education programs, among other activities.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Note: You can click on the map to enlarge.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

2019 National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

Philadelphia Police: Be On The Lookout For DeJuan Robinson In South Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Police released the above photo of Dejuan Robinson and the below warning:

*URGENT* This male is a person of interest for multiple homicides in the state of Delaware. 5'6" 160lbs.. Medium complexion with light beard. Male was wearing a white thermal shirt which he may have discarded and blue jeans. **He is believed to be in South Philadelphia in the area of Broad and Oregon, he and is armed and dangerous**DO NOT APPROACH - call 9-11 immediately!