Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Little Night Music: Miles Davis' Jazz Rendition Of Michael Jackson's 'Human Naure'

You can listen to Miles Davis' jazz take on Michael Jackson song, Human Nature via the below link:

A Little Humor: A Drunken Sailor Down In Mexico

A drunken sailor was down in Tijuana in a local restaurant drinking after a long day of roaming around good ol’ Mexico!  While sitting at the cantina sipping on a Tequila, he noticed a sizzling, scrumptious looking platter being served at a table across from him. 

He asked the waiter, “What is that you just served?” 

“Ah Senor, you have excellent taste! Those are bull’s testicles from the bullfight this morning. A delicacy!”

The sailor though momentarily then said, “What the heck! I’m game to try anything, bring me an order of those!”

“I am sorry Senor. There is only one serving per day because there is only one bullfight each morning. If you come early tomorrow and place your order, we will be sure to save you this delicacy of the day.”

The next morning the sailor returned, placed his order and then that evening he was served the one and only special delicacy of the day. 

After a few bites and inspecting the contents of his platter, he called the waiter and said, “These are delicious, but they are much, much smaller than the ones I saw you serve yesterday!”

The waiter shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Si Senor, but you see, sometimes the bull wins.” 

A Look Back At Rod Serling's Classic TV Series 'The Twilight Zone'

Some years ago, after being operated on to remove a kidney stone, I awoke from the anesthesia and found myself on a gurney in the middle of a row of gurneys.
My first thought was frightening. I believed that I was mistakenly placed in the morgue. I raised up and yelled. Two nurses rushed to my side. One said to the other that my blood pressure was alarmingly high. One nurse told me that I was in the recovery room and that I fine, as the other nurse gave a shot of something that put me back under.
I later blamed this episode on being weaned on Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone TV series as a preteen. 
Rod Serling (seen in the above photo), a prolific writer and creator of the mysterious and supernatural TV series, served as the narrator and host. His great presence and voice was often imitated and parodied. 

"There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone," Rod Serling would say at the opening of the show.

Rod Serling also offered great stories, many of which he wrote himself, as well as good direction and fine actors. Many of the writers, directors and actors went on to greater success and fame. The stories were clever, ironic, spooky and twisted. Even though many of the stories dealt with space aliens, they were always all too human with drama, comedy and pathos. I loved the show.
Now CBS All Access is offering a reboot of the series with Jordan Peele standing in as narrator and host. I don’t think I’ll watch, as I recently watched the entire original series on Netflix over the course of a couple of months.
Sara Stewart at the New York Post offers a piece on how some of the fantastic stories actually came true.    
As we approach the April 1 premiere of Jordon Peele’s “Twilight Zone” series on CBS All Access, it’s worth remembering that some of the most memorable episodes from the original 1959 run ended up being a little too prophetic. And even if we haven’t yet had an alien invasion like in the famed 1962 episode “To Serve Man” (“It’s a cookbook!!”), here are eight times Rod Serling’s masterpiece of a show proved unnervingly adept at predicting modern developments. 

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

You can watch the intro of the series via the below link:
And you can watch Rod Serling via the below link:

Friday, March 29, 2019

The Truth About The Vietnam War On National Vietnam War Veterans Day

You can watch a brief video that explains what truly happened in the Vietnam War via the below link:

A Little Humor: Delivering The Baby

A married couple went to the hospital to have their baby delivered. 

Upon their arrival, the doctor said he had invented a new machine that would transfer a portion of the mother’s pain to the baby’s father. 

He asked if they were willing to try it out. They were both very much in favor of it.

The doctor set the pain transfer to 10%, for starters, explaining that even 10% was probably more pain the father had ever experienced before. 

However, as the labor progressed, the husband felt fine and asked the doctor to go ahead and “kick it up a notch.”

The doctor then adjusted the machine to 20% pain transfer. The husband was still feeling fine. 

The doctor checked the husband’s blood pressure and was amazed at how well he was doing at this point, they decided to try for 50%. the husband continued to feel quite well.

Since the pain transfer was obviously helping out the wife considerably, the husband encouraged the doctor to transfer ALL the pain to him. 

The wife delivered a healthy baby boy with virtually no pain. She and her husband were ecstatic.

When they got home, they found the mail man dead on the porch.

National Vietnam War Veterans Day 2019

Note: The above photo is of the Philadelphia Vietnam War Memorial.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

My Washington Times Piece On Illegal Immigrants And The Criminals Who Prey On Them

The Washington Times published my piece on illegal immigrants and the criminals who prey on them.

Those who go on and on about being humane toward illegal immigrants attempting to cross over into the United States miss the point that their very actions and rhetoric serves as a beacon that invites thousands of poor and destitute people, as well as the criminal element, to come to the United States by any means.

As bad as the conditions are in their homelands, the trek to the United States can be far worst. It is wrought with safety and security hazards as the illegals are victimized and brutalized by the criminals who prey on them on the long road to the U.S. border.

I was thinking of this recently as I was rereading Joseph Wambaugh’s 1984 nonfiction book “Lines and Shadows.” Mr. Wambaugh, a former Los Angeles Police Department detective sergeant and best-selling author, takes the reader inside the Border Crime Task Force, a small group of San Diego police officers, mostly Mexican American cops, who patrolled the vast, snake-and criminal-invested canyons along the California/Mexico border.

These tough cops took on the violent criminals who robbed, raped and murdered defenseless men, women and children trying to cross over the border. Disguising themselves as illegals, they fought and shot it out with the bad guys along the border. The book is dramatic, sad and insightful, and contains ample doses of Mr. Wambaugh’s authentic cop dialogue and his signature black humor.

I interviewed Mr. Wambaugh a few years back. One of his original goals in writing books, it had been reported, was to humanize the image of police officers. Did he, I asked, largely succeed with his novels, nonfiction books, films and the TV series, “Police Story?”

“Oh, yeah, sure,” Mr. Wambaugh replied. “If I don’t humanize them, that is make them come to life as human beings, then no one is going to read my stuff and I’m a failure. That’s what I mean by humanize, bring them to life. I don’t mean clean up their image.”

In “Lines and Shadows,” Mr. Wambaugh humanized illegal immigrants as well as cops.

Although my heart goes out to the illegals who are victimized by criminals, I also know what Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen noted at a White House press briefing last year, which is that entering the United States illegally is — by definition — a crime. I’m saddened by the increase in children crossing the border illegally with parents and other adults. Trudging a child across the border illegally is a reckless action that is akin to a parent taking a child along on a burglary or car theft. 

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

You can also read my Q&A with Joseph Wambaugh (seen in the above photo) via the below link:

'I Done The Time': Longtime Mob Underboss Sonny Franzese, 102, Tells His Story

Newsday offers an interview with 102-year-old legendary Colombo Cosa Nostra Crime Family underboss, Sonny Franzese (seen in an earlier mugshot and below photo).

Now 102 years old, John (Sonny) Franzese, the longtime underboss of the Colombo crime family, is the epitome of the old-style crime chieftain. Despite the entreaties of FBI agents and a 50-year prison sentence for a crime he swears he didn’t commit, Franzese did his time and never talked.

He’s talking to Newsday now.
“They wanted me to roll all the time,” he said over a bowl of pasta e fagioli in the nursing home where he now lives. “I couldn’t do that. Because it’s my principle.”
In his first extended interviews following his release in June 2017 as the oldest inmate in the federal prison system, Franzese spoke to reporters as he never has, reflecting on a criminal life rooted in New York City and on Long Island that spanned the birth, glory days and current lower profile of traditional organized crime.

“What we done in New York is unbelievable,” he said.
Linked by law enforcement to multimillion-dollar bookmaking, loan sharking and extortion rackets and caught on tape alluding to multiple murders he claimed to have committed, he remained mute through more than 35 years behind bars as mob boss after mob boss violated the mob’s code of silence in exchange for lighter prison sentences.
He was silent, even though he hated prison. “I could never give a guy up because I knew what jail was,” he said. “I wouldn’t put a dog in a jail pod.” 
You can read the rest of the piece and watch a video clip via the below link:

My Washington Times Review Of 'Hunting LeRoux: The Inside Story Of The DEA Takedown Of A Criminal Genius And His Empire'

The Washington Times published my review of Elaine Shannon's Hunting LeRoux: The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and His Empire.

Critics of Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels often state that the late, great thriller writer’s villains, such as Goldfinger, Dr. No and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, were unrealistically grotesque and evil.

But consider real life villains, such as Martin Bormann, Pablo Escobar or Manuel Noriega, a drug trafficking Panamanian dictator who wore red bikini underwear to ward off enemies. (Top that, Mr. Goldfinger).

Or consider Paul Calder LeRoux, a slovenly, 350-pound narcissistic cybersecurity genius turned cold-blooded murderer and transnational drug and gun trafficking crime boss. Author Elaine Shannon called LeRoux “the creator of the Innovation Age’s first transnational criminal empire.”

Unlike most crime lords, LeRoux eschewed the flamboyant trappings of illicit wealth and lived in near-seclusion in sparsely furnished condos around the world, hiding behind his secure computer and the dark web. But his enormous ego and greed eventually brought him to the attention of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

In Elaine Shannon’s true crime book, “Hunting LeRoux; The Inside Story of the DEA Takedown of a Criminal Genius and his Empire,” we learn about the background and criminal enterprises of this oddball crook, and the efforts of the DEA’s secretive 960 Group to bring him to justice.

The 960 Group looked for high value targets and they had previously taken down Russian international arms dealer Viktor Bout, another outrageous criminal who seems to have been created by Ian Fleming. 

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

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

From Highway Patrol Cop To Crime Beat Reporter, Thomas J. Gibbons Was An Ace

I first met Thomas J. Gibbons Jr briefly at a crime conference some years ago. He was covering the conference for the Philadelphia Inquirer and I was covering the event for a South Philadelphia weekly newspaper. I saw him again later a couple of times after I became a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

He was, as Stu Bykofsky (seen in the bottom photo) describes him in his Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News column, unfailingly friendly. 

Stu Bykofsky offers a good column on the late Thomas J. Gibbons Jr, (seen in the above and middle photo), who went from a Philadelphia Highway Patrol Officer to a crime reporter..

Duty first.

A ceremony scheduled for Tuesday at which a gleaming, loaded Harley-Davidson was to be presented to the Philadelphia Highway Patrol was postponed when the elite unit was reassigned to escort the funeral procession for firefighter Michael Bernstein, who died last Wednesday while on duty.

The motorcycle was to have been presented in memory of Thomas J. Gibbons Jr., who served four years in Highway Patrol until he was critically wounded in a 1970 ambush.

Physically unable to return to active duty, in 1972 Tommy went to the Evening Bulletin as a police reporter. The Inquirer lured him away in November 1981, two months before the Bulletin folded.

By the time Tommy retired in 2005, he was one of the most popular journalists in the city, loved by colleagues and competitors alike. He was unfailingly friendly to everyone, and dressed better than anyone.

He enjoyed his career as a reporter, but nothing meant more to him than his years in the Highway Patrol, says his widow, Carol. They had been married 47 years when Tommy died of brain cancer a year ago. 

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

You can also read Thomas Gibbons Philadelphia Inquirer obituary via the below link: 

Operation SaboTor: J-CODE Announces 61 Arrests in Its Second Coordinated Law Enforcement Operation Targeting Opioid Trafficking On The Darknet

The FBI released the below information:

Today, members of the Joint Criminal Opioid and Darknet Enforcement (J-CODE) team announce the results of Operation SaboTor, a coordinated international effort targeting drug trafficking organizations operating on the Darknet. This is J-CODE’s second coordinated action and follows the success of last year’s Operation Disarray.
As a result of Operation SaboTor, U.S. and international law enforcement agencies made 61 arrests and shut down 50 Darknet accounts used for illegal activity. Law enforcement executed 65 search warrants, seizing 299.5 kilograms of drugs, 51 firearms, and more than $7 million ($4.5 million in cryptocurrency, $2.48 million in cash, and $40,000 in gold). They also conducted 122 interviews. In addition, participating agencies engaged in public education efforts regarding the dangers of opioid abuse during the operation.
Operation SaboTor was conducted between January 11 and March 12, 2019 and was composed of a series of separate but complementary joint operations, all aimed at making a global impact on the opioid epidemic. The operation was a collaborative effort across the J-CODE entities, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Department of Defense (DOD), with participation from international partners during the Cyber Patrol Action Week at Europol. By leveraging partnerships and surging resources across the U.S. government and Europol, Operation SaboTor was used to detect and disrupt the most prolific opioid vendors on the Darknet and dismantle the criminal enterprises facilitating their opioid trafficking.
“Law enforcement is most effective when we work together, and J-CODE is the global tip of the spear in the fight against online opioid trafficking,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “Criminals have always adopted innovations and new technologies to achieve their illicit goals, and it’s our job to adapt and remain ahead of the threat. Operation SaboTor demonstrates not only the strength of our partnerships across the U.S. government and abroad but how we’re able to capitalize on those partnerships to disrupt criminal activity, even when they try to hide it on the Darknet.”
“This successful operation sends a strong message that DEA, together with our law enforcement partners, will disrupt, dismantle, and destroy drug trafficking organizations that bring poison into our communities,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “DEA’s greatest tool is our relationship with our federal, state, local, and international law enforcement partners who stand with us every day to fight this epidemic. Drug traffickers will be held accountable for the pain and death they cause, regardless of what technology they use.”
“Homeland Security Investigations, together with its law enforcement partners, has proven, once again, the selling of illicit items on the Darknet will not be tolerated in the United States,” said Executive Associate Director Derek Benner, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Operation SaboTor sends a clear message to criminals that no matter how or where crimes are committed, nothing is beyond the reach of the law. We will use every possible means to find them, take apart their organizations, and leave them with nothing.”
“Postal inspectors and our law enforcement partners are using tried and true investigative techniques combined with the latest cutting-edge technology to identify those responsible for opioid trafficking and bring them to justice,” said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale. “Operation SaboTor is a major step forward in the journey to combat the opioid epidemic and protect our citizens from dangerous drugs. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service will continue to work tirelessly alongside our J-CODE partners to keep our communities safe.
“The Darkweb is not as dark as you think. When you buy or sell illegal goods online, you are not hidden from law enforcement and you are putting yourself in danger,” said Europol Executive Director Catherine De Bolle. “This international coordinated approach demonstrates law enforcement’s determination to tackle crime on the Darkweb and to reduce the number of people who fall victim to criminals selling life-endangering products or scamming them for their own gain.”
The investigations leading to Operation SaboTor included support and resources from the FBI; DEA; HSI; CBP; USPIS; DOD; DOJ’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, Organized Crime and Gang Section, and Special Operations Division; and Europol and their Cyber Patrol team.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

A Little Humor: A Talkative Little Girl

Eight-year-old Sally brought her report card home from school. 

Her marks were good, mostly A’s and a couple of B’s. 

However, her teacher had written across the bottom: “Sally is a smart little girl, but she has one fault. She talks too much in school. I have an idea I am going to try, which I think may break her of the habit.”

Sally’s dad signed her report card, putting a note on the back: “Please let me know if your idea works on Sally because I would like to try it out on her mother.”

Note: In my family, I'm the chiacchierone (chatterbox in Italian).   

Monday, March 25, 2019

U.S. Defense Department Authorizes Support To Counter Drug Border Security

The U.S. Defense Department released the below information:

Today, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan authorized the commander of the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to begin planning and executing up to $1 billion in support to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Patrol.  

These funds will be used to support DHS’s request to build 57 miles of 18-foot-high pedestrian fencing, constructing and improving roads, and installing lighting within the Yuma and El Paso Sectors of the border in support of the February 15 national emergency declaration on the southern border of the United States. 

10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7) gives the Department of Defense the authority to construct roads and fences and to install lighting to block drug-smuggling corridors across international boundaries of the United States in support of counter-narcotic activities of Federal law enforcement agencies.

A Little Humor: Jumping Drunk

Two men were sitting at the bar on the top floor of the Empire State Building.

One man says to the other, “You know, if you jump out the window here, the force of the wind will blow you back in through the window on the 90th floor.”

The other man says “Get outta here,  you’re joking aren’t you?”

The first man says “No, here, I’ll prove it!” He stands on the window ledge, jumps out and comes back in through the 90th floor window.

The other man says. “That was just a one off. Do it again!” 

So the first man does it again and comes through on the 90th floor. He runs back up and says “See, I’m telling the truth!”

The second man says, “Wow, I’m gonna do it too then.” He stands on the window ledge, jumps out and falls to his death.

The barman, who just caught the end of this says to the first man, “You know, Superman, you’re a real jerk when you’re drunk!”

READ: Attorney General Barr's Letter To Congress Summarizing Mueller Findings

The Hill offers the letter that Attorney General William Barr (seen in the above photo) presented to Congress that summarized the Mueller Report.

You can read the letter via the below link:

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Little Humor: Good Sportsmanship

In the middle of a Little League baseball game the coach called over a little boy.

“Look," the coach says, “You know the principles of good sportsmanship, right? You know the Little League doesn’t allow temper tantrums, shouting at the umpire, or abusive language.”

“Yes, Coach, I know.”

“Good. Now, would you please go and explain that to your father?”

Feds Bust Largest Cocaine Seizure In 21 Years At Port Of Philadelphia

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection released the above photo and the below information:

PHILADELPHIA – A multi-agency examination of imported shipping containers at the Philadelphia seaport netted 1,185 pounds of cocaine Tuesday.

This multi-agency team was led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and consisted of partner agencies Homeland Security Joint Task Force-East, U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Investigative Service, Philadelphia Police Department, Delaware State Police, Pennsylvania State Police, Nether Providence Police Department, the Office of the Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, and the DEA’s Philadelphia Division.
Inside one of the containers offloaded from the MSC Desiree, authorities discovered 13 large black duffel bags containing a combined 450 bricks of a white powdery substance. A sampling of that substance tested positive for cocaine.
The cocaine weighed 537.6 kilograms, or 1,185 pounds, three ounces, and has a street value approximately $38 million.
CBP officers seized the cocaine. HSI is investigating.
“Taking a half-ton of dangerous drugs out of circulation is a significant success for this collective team of federal, state and local law enforcement officers who work very hard every day to keep people safe,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore.  “Customs and Border Protection remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners and to disrupting narcotics smuggling attempts at the Area Port of Philadelphia.”
This is CBP’s fourth largest cocaine seizure in the Area Port of Philadelphia, and the largest since a 1,945-pound cocaine seizure May 23, 1998.
The shipping container commodity was natural rubber, which was laden in Guatemala.
CBP officers screen international travelers and cargo and search for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality. 
On average, CBP seized 4,657 pounds of narcotics every day across the United States.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Mob Talk 29: The Murder Of A New York Mob Boss And Other Mob Stories

Veteran organized crime reporters George Anastasia and Dave Schratwieser  discuss the murder of reputed Gambino Cosa Nostra Crime Family boss Frank "Franky Boy" Cali in New York and other mob stories..  

You can watch the video via the below link:

A Look Back At The First James Bond Classic Film, 'Dr. No'

As a pre-teen growing up in South Philadelphia in 1963, my crowd went to the Colonial movie theater every Saturday afternoon no matter what film was playing.

One afternoon, as I sat in the third row with my friends, a black and white image of the inside of a gun barrel came up on the screen and a man walked by, twirled and fired his gun. Red blood poured down on the barrel. I was hooked. 

At this point in my life, I had not heard of Ian Fleming, James Bond or Dr. No. I loved the film, loved the actor who portrayed Bond, Sean Connery, and I loved the character of James Bond. I’ve been a James Bond fan and an Ian Fleming aficionado ever since. 

The introduction of Connery’s Bond, clad in a tuxedo at a gambling casino, stating his name as “Bond,” - cue the Bond theme as he lit a cigarette - “James Bond,” was just terrific. 

For this young movie fan, I had never seen a movie character as cool. And it only got better as the film continued.

There are so many other iconic scenes in the film, such as the three Jamaican blind beggars (Three Blind Mice) turning on the British intelligence chief and shooting him with handguns equipped with suppressors, the tarantula crawling up Bond as he lay in bed, Bond shooting Professor Dent in cold blood, Honey coming out of the ocean, sexy in her white bikini complete with a knife on a belt,  Dr No sneaking up behind Bond and stating “One million dollars” in answer to his question of how much his criminal haunt cost, and Dr No describing his backstory and evil plot during dinner. 

I returned to the Colonial many more times and watched Dr No again and again. 

The first Bond film was atmospheric, thrilling, action-packed, suspenseful, clever and sexy. It is not a perfect film, but it had all of the ingredients I would discover when I later saw the second Bond film, From Russia With Love, and soon after began to read Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.

When I read Dr. No, I was sorry that the film makers did not use the deadly obstacle course Dr. No designed to test a man’s pain limit but I was glad they passed on filming Bond’s fight with a giant squid, which was a bit much. I’m also sorry that they didn’t show how Honey’s pain test of being tied down while crabs crawled over her. In the novel, I liked the irony that a simple island girl knew more about Jamaican crabs than the brilliant scientist Dr No, as she knew they wouldn’t harm her. 

The film only showed Bond crawling through the vent system over heated plates and then hit with a current of water (which cooled the plates, thank you), and only showed Honey tied down with crabs around her.

Dr No’s director, Terence Young, a former WWII tank commander, was a stylish and sophisticated man. He took Sean Connery under his wing and dressed him and taught how to act as James Bond. (Young later directed From Russia With Love and Thunderball). 

In addition to Sean Connery, the film has a fine cast with the beautiful Ursula Andress as Honey, Joseph Wiseman as Dr No, John Kitzmiller as Quarrel, Anthony Dawson as Professor Dent, and of course, Bernard Lee as M and Lois Maxwell as Moneypenny. 

I’d like to edit the film and remove the cringe-worthy line in which Bond orders Quarrel to “fetch my shoes,” (the line did not appear in the novel as Bond respected Quarrel, who also appeared in Fleming’s earlier novel, Live and Let Die) and edit out some of the film’s mistakes. 

The film’s editor, Peter Hunt, who later directed one of the best films in the series, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, said that in the 1960s, directors and editors had no idea that viewers would one day own personal copies of the film and would watch it time and time again, picking up on the mistakes. He said they glossed over mistakes, thinking that the one-time viewer who not catch them.

Ian Fleming reportedly described the film as “Dreadful. Simply dreadful."

He initially disapproved of Connery, a working-class Scotsman, as Bond. But he later warmed to him, writing in a letter to a friend that Connery had the right physique for Bond and that the actor was a fine man. 

Much has been made of the fact that when Fleming wrote Bond’s premature obituary in You Only Live Twice, he noted that the character was half Scot and half Swiss. Many people believe this was due to Connery’s performance, and perhaps this was partly true, but Fleming was also Scottish, and he gave Bond many of his personal attributes.    

Although he knew Bond was made for the movies, he could not have realized just how successful the film series would be, and that the films would ensure that future generations of readers, millions of them, would go on to read his novels. 

I was one.    

You can watch a documentary film on the making of Dr. No via the below link:

Note: In the above photo Sean Connery talks to Ian Fleming on the set of Dr. No

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

My Washington Times Piece On How Philadelphia's Sancuary City Polices Freed Illegal Imigrant Who Went On To Rape Child

The Washington Times published my piece on Philadelphia’s sanctuary city policies.

The City of Philadelphia does not like the term sanctuary city. The city’s liberal leaders prefer the term “Welcoming City.” Unfortunately, the city’s “welcoming” policy welcomed an illegal immigrant who was also a child rapist.

On Feb. 26, William S. McSwain, the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, announced the sentencing of Juan Ramon-Vasquez, a Honduran citizen, to 21 months in federal prison for illegal re-entry into the United States. Ramon-Vasquez was deported in 2009, but like many illegal immigrants, he chose to sneak back to the United States again.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, he was discovered to be back in America by U.S. Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers while being held in a Philadelphia prison. The City of Philadelphia refused to comply to a detainer lodged by ICE and he was subsequently released from prison.

Instead of being in the custody of ICE and facing deportation once again, Ramon-Vasquez was free to roam around Philadelphia. He was also free to rape a young child.

He is currently serving eight to 20 years in state prison for rape and his federal sentence will run consecutive to his state sentence.

“The facts of this case illustrate all too well the direct threat to public safety caused by the City of Philadelphia's sanctuary city policies,” Mr. McSwain said. “After the City let this criminal loose on the streets of Philadelphia, Ramon-Vasquez repeatedly raped an innocent child. If the ICE detainer had been honored by local law enforcement, this crime never would have happened, and the victim would have been spared horrendous physical and mental trauma.”

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

My Parents Didn't Bribe Anyone To Get Me Into One Of The Most Elite Schools In The Nation

Note: I enlisted in the U.S. Navy when I was 17 and I attended Navy Basic Training (Boot Camp) at the U.S. Navy Training Center at Great Lakes, Illinois.

A Little Humor: Granny

The family wheeled Granny out on the lawn in her wheelchair, where the activities for her 100th birthday were taking place. 

Granny couldn’t speak very well, but she could write notes when she needed to communicate.

After a short time out on the lawn, Granny started leaning off to the right, so some family members grabbed her, straightened her up, and stuffed pillows on her right.

A short time later, she started leaning off to her left, so again the family grabbed her and stuffed pillows on her left.

Soon she started leaning forward, so the family members again grabbed her, then tied a pillowcase around her waist to hold her up.

A grandson who arrived late came running up to Granny and said, “Hi Granny, you’re looking good! How are they treating you?”

Granny took out her little note pad and slowly wrote a note to the nephew, “They won’t let me fart.” 

Note: The above photo is Irene Ryan, who portrayed Granny on The Beverly Hillbillies.