When deciding on candidates for high office, there is far more to the evaluation process than speeches, ads and stated platforms.  What we should be paying attention to is the track record of a candidate’s past accomplishments (or lack thereof) and equally as important, the people who the president would be surrounded by while in office.  Those elements will be better forecasts than any array of contrived promises in order to get elected. Evidence matters.

     In the last 7 ½ years, President Obama’s closest confidant has been Valerie Jarrett, the secret power behind the president. In a nutshell, this is the story of Valerie Jarrett:

  • Valerie Jarrett was born in Iran to American parents, and lived there until age 6 when the family moved to Chicago. She entered politics under Chicago Mayor, Harold Washington, and later worked as Chief of Staff for Mayor Richard Daley. She was significant in hiring Michelle Robinson (later, Obama) from a local law firm, who was then engaged to Barack Obama. Numerous books and articles have been published citing Valerie Jarrett’s ties to communism, most particularly via her father, and later, her father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett.  Vernon Jarrett was very close friends with communist activist, Frank
Read full story Comments { 18 }


“BEN HUR”  –  7 ½


It’s all about the chariot race.

Basically, a remake of the 1959 epic film with Charlton Heston, and further back, the 1925 silent film. So, with some exceptions, this film tells the same basic story set in Jerusalem about two men, related as adopted brothers vying for power and honor.

Actor Jack Huston (who?) plays Judah Ben-Hur who is falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army, played by Toby Kebbell. (Who?) Ben-Hur is then relegated to working as a slave for five years until he frees himself and is consulted by an African Sheik (Morgan Freeman) who engineers a chariot race between the two enemy brothers, which – if won by Ben-Hur – would guarantee his freedom.

Interspersed in the film are brief scenes in which the character of Jesus appears to offer wisdom to people of the land, aid and comfort the oppressed and eventually, a reasonably good depiction of the crucifixion. 

The best part of the film are the action scenes, some of which are quite violent as war combat in those days were mostly hand-to-hand, bloody and barbaric. The chariot race, aided by modern

Read full story Comments { 10 }


(This article appears as an Op-Ed  by yours truly in Florida Today this date)

Has anyone ever thought about the antiquated system of electing local judges?

Unless citizens have been before a specific judge in a courtroom, or they know the candidate personally, they have no idea who or what they are voting for. It’s no wonder that voter turnout, especially in off-year elections, hover below 25 percent of registered voters.

In an election cycle, several names appear on the ballot for circuit and county judgeships, most of whom are completely unknown to the general public. Yet, people will go to the voting booth and mark their ballots for the names they saw most often on roadside signage, or who they think is best qualified because they were already an incumbent. Some unknowing voters will cast ballots based on ethnicity, race, sex, or other non-sensible designations, but not their experience or expertise in legal matters.

Few voters even know what qualifications are required for a person to reach the bench in the State of Florida. Amazingly, a judge can be appointed or elected who has little experience as a practicing attorney. According to state law, any lawyer can become a

Read full story Comments { 17 }


Florence Foster Jenkins”  –  8 out of 10.

This is not the kind of movie that will get rave reviews, but the acting will.

     Based on a true story and set in New York City in 1944, Meryl Streep plays the role of Florence Foster Jenkins, wealthy a middle-aged heiress who donates huge sums of her riches into the music world. Music stars like conductor, Arturo Toscanini are at her beck and call, pandering and receiving an endless stream of money from an eccentric woman who has always dreamed of casting herself into a major operatic role. The only problem, was that she had a terrible singing voice, but that didn’t stand in her way as the beneficiaries of her generosity managed to always tell her what she wanted to hear – that her singing was wonderful.

     Basically, it was a quid pro quo situation, with recipients of her wealth kissing her butt to receive favors, while she basked in the limelight.  No, it’s not about politics, but the parallels exist.

     Streep is actually a gifted vocalist, having played singing parts in a number of other films like Ironweed, Ricki and the Flash, and more. But this had to

Read full story Comments { 7 }


“Bad Moms” =  3 out of 10.

     “You’re an old fogey,” so I was told when I criticized this movie. Perhaps that’s true. The movie certainly has more appeal to the young adult set, than middle-aged and older folks who still care about maintaining some standards of behavior and language among our young.

     While some good messages came through about dead-beat dads, and over worked mothers who assume most of the work load around the house, those messages were lost in the vulgar script writing and direction which held nothing back in graphic sexual diatribe, with constant references to male and female body parts and the “F” word a standard adjective in nearly every sentence, as though dialogue could not exist without it.

     I’m not so much a fogey, not to realize how foul language is a staple in motion pictures these days, and sometimes that’s appropriate for the plot and/or the character. But when it’s repetitive and gratuitous, mixed with unending references to graphic sex, the gross behavioral messages override the plot. Some of the lines were just plain dumb

     Even more disturbing is that many of the scenes where graphic sexual references are regurgitated, children actors are part

Read full story Comments { 8 }


This column appears in today’s issue of Florida Today on line 


Officers never should have been charged given lack of evidence


(Photo: Andrew Burton, Getty Images)

Score one for the cops.

In May of 2015, when Baltimore State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, appeared on the courthouse steps announcing criminal charges against six police officers, I knew this was a proverbial witch hunt.

After four failed trials concerning the mysterious death of drug peddler, Freddie Gray, charges have been dropped in all remaining cases for one glaring reason: No evidence. The officers should never have been charged.

Ms. Mosby announced that the medical examiner had determined that Gray’s death was attributed to “Homicide,” which – she said – gave her legal footing to go forward. She’s either a poor student of law, or she skewed the information to pursue an agenda.

Most people do not understand that “homicide” is not the same as a “crime.”  Homicide simply means that someone died as a result of the actions of another person. “Homicide” could also come under “self-defense” standards, as well as “accidental circumstances.” Ms. Mosby certainly knew this, but she apparently had something else in mind: get the cops.

Marshall Frank: Restore

Read full story Comments { 22 }


Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party”  =  9


In a word:  Eye-opener

     Hard line Democrats will not like this documentary, doubtful that many will venture into theaters to check it out. They should. There’s a lot to be learned, on both sides of the aisle.

     Actually, it’s a remarkable history lesson for all Americans, unveiling a great deal about the horrors of politics through America’s history, and how it was the Republicans, and not the Democrats in the 19th and early part of the 20th centuries, who championed civil rights and opposed slavery, and who we would call the most progressive of the two parties in standing up for the little people. There is much to be learned about past presidents, such as Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson and Lyndon B. Johnson that may surprise a lot of folks.

     One interesting line (which checks out as accurate) was how and why Lyndon Johnson revised the national welfare system, not so much to help people, but to enhance a party voting bloc, saying “I’ll have those n—-ers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” (Recorded in a book by Ron Kessler, during a conversation he

Read full story Comments { 20 }