Sunday, November 17, 2019

Happy 77th Birthday To Martin Scorsese, The Director of 'Mean Streets,' 'Goodfellas,' 'Casino,' And The Upcoming 'The Irishman'

As notes, today is the 77th birthday of Martin Scorsese, the director of crime classic films, like Mean Streets, Goodfellas and Casino, as well as the upcoming and highly anticipated film on Netflix, The Irishman.

Martin Scorsese is known for his gritty, meticulous filmmaking style and is widely considered one of the most important directors of all time. Scorsese's passion for films started at a young age, as he was an 8-year-old, pint-sized filmmaker. In 1968, he completed his first feature-length film, Who's That Knocking at My Door?, but it wasn't until he released Taxi Driver nearly 10 years later that he skyrocketed to fame for his raw formula of storytelling. He proved that the film wasn't a fluke with a lengthy string of successes that included Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Departed, Hugo and The Irishman. 

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

You can also read my Crime Beat column on Martin Scorsese’s crime world via the below link:

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Little Humor: An Ugly Man In A Bar

An ugly man walks into a bar and a beautiful woman approaches him the woman asks the man, “How would you like to get out of here?”

The man is stunned. He never thought a woman like her would ever approach him so he agrees. 

They both get into his car and drive really far. He stops at a cliff with the view of the whole city. 

Within seconds they start taking off their clothes. After 15 minutes of vigorous sex they finally finish. They both put their clothes on and they both just sit there awkwardly.

The woman speaks up first and says “I’m a prostitute and it’s going to be $100 for my service.”

The man is stunned and saddened that she didn’t really like him. 

He gives her the money and they both sit there awkwardly. The woman tells him that she is ready to go back to that bar.

The man starts his car, turns on his taxi meter and says: “It’s going to be $150 for the ride here and back.”

Note: The above photo is of Shemp Howard, who was once described as the “Ugliest Man in Hollywood.”  

You can read about why he was called that via the below link:

Friday, November 15, 2019

Who Were The Real ‘Peaky Blinders’? The Shelby Family Is Fictional, But A Real Street Gang Operated In Birmingham At The Turn Of The 20th Century

I’ve enjoyed watching the British crime drama Peaky Blinders on Netflix, although I know the show is historically inaccurate.

Meilan Sally at offers s piece on the real Birmingham street gang. 

The British screenwriter Steven Knight took inspiration from his father’s stories of “incredibly well dressed,” “incredibly powerful” gangsters active in turn-of-the-century England when he invented the Shelby clan—the family of razor blade-wielding mobsters at the heart of his BBC drama “Peaky Blinders.” But it turns out that the Birmingham gang that lends the series its name actually existed, albeit in a different form than the family-centered criminal enterprise.

The real-life Peaky Blinders weren’t quite as successful as the rags-to-riches Shelbys, whose criminal network evolves from a small local faction to a multi-country powerhouse over the course of the show’s five seasons. Still, the two share a number of core similarities: namely, savvy fashion sense, a brutal disregard for the law and a member base made up largely of young working-class men. These youths, hardened by the economic deprivation rampant in industrial England, created what Historic U.K.’s Jessica Brain deems a “violent, criminal and organized” subculture.

As historian Carl Chinn, author of “The Real Peaky Blinders” tells the Birmingham Mail’s Zoe Chamberlain, the main difference between the fictionalized Peaky Blinders and their historical counterparts is timing. Although the television drama is set during the 1920s and '30s, the actual Birmingham group rose to prominence closer to the 1890s. 

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

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A Little Humor: A Gorilla Walks Into A Bar

A gorilla walks into a bar. He ordered a dry martini to the amazement of the bartender.

When the bartender gave the gorilla the martini, he’s further surprised to see that the ape is holding a $20 bill..

The bartender took the $20 and then he decided to see just how smart the gorilla was, so he handed the gorilla $1 change.

The gorilla quietly sipped the martini until the bartender brook the silence.

“We don’t get too many apes in here,” he said.

The gorilla replied, “At $19 a drink, I’m not surprised.”

Note: The above photo is from a Three Stooges short film that I recently watched on METV called Crime On Their Hands

Moe, Larry and Shemp are budding crime reporters on a story about a stolen diamond when they encounter the gorilla. 

I loved the Three Stooges as a kid and I still get a kick out of them.  

You can watch the short Three Stooges film via the below link: 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

'Extraordinary' Letters Between Ian Fleming And Wife To Be Sold

Mark Brown at the Guardian offers a piece on the sale of the late, great thriller writer Ian Fleming's letters to his late wife Ann.

An extraordinary stash of letters that shine a light on the tangled relationship between the James Bond creator Ian Fleming and his wife, Ann, from their intense and secret affair to the bitter end of their marriage, are to appear at auction.

Sotheby’s is selling more than 160 letters between the couple, written over 20 years. Gabriel Heaton, a specialist in books and manuscripts at the auction house, said the letters in their scope and scale provided what “must surely be an unmatchable record of the life of the author as his fortunes changed”.
They also provide insight into the rise of Bond. Heaton said it was no coincidence that Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in the year of his marriage.
… Heaton said the letters were packed with stories of high society, travel, love of nature and gossip.

“They are quite something, it has been a real treat,” he said. “They are an extraordinary read because Ian Fleming is pretty much incapable of writing a dull sentence.” 
You can read the rest of the piece via the below link: 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Prosecutor Versus Prosecutor In Philadelphia: My Washington Times Piece On The Trump-Appointed U.S. Attorney's Feud With Liberal Philly DA

The Washington Times published my piece on the feud between William McSwain (seen in the above photo), the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of PA, and Larry Krasner (seen in the below photo) the Philadelphia DA.

In our criminal justice system, a prosecutor represents the government and a defense attorney represents the accused, but in Philadelphia there is a prosecutor versus prosecutor scenario.

Following the tragic shooting of two children, which I covered here, William McSwain, the President Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, released a blistering statement that assigned blame for the shootings on the pro-defendant policies of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Mr. Krasner, who was elected DA thanks in part to a huge George Soros donation, was previously a civil rights attorney who sued the Philadelphia Police Department 75 times and represented anti-police groups like ACT UP and Black Lives Matter pro-bono. He was opposed vehemently by Philadelphia police officers during the election.

On Nov. 4, Mr. McSwain stated that Philadelphians were shocked and outraged by the shootings of 11-month-old Yazeem Jenkins, who was shot four times on Oct. 19 in the Hunting Park area of Philadelphia while in a car with his father and stepmother, and 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera, who was shot in the head and killed the following day while in her mother’s arms in her living room in the Kensington area. Yazeem Jenkins remains in critical condition at Children’s Hospital.

“The community is united in its condemnation of these heinous acts –- but we must be honest about what enabled them to happen,” read the U.S. attorney’s statement. “It is the misguided policies of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner that led to these avoidable and heartbreaking tragedies. No amount of excuses or deflection can change this fact.”

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

Veterans Day 2019

Veterans Day is a Davis family affair. The below photo is of three veterans.

On the left is my late father, Edward M. Davis, who served as a Chief Petty Officer and UDT frogman in WWII. In the middle is my older brother, Edward R. Davis, who served in the U.S. Army in South Vietnam. And on the right is me. I served on an aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War.

Happy Veterans Day to all who served.