In a word:  Complicated.

     It’s a good movie, but tough to keep up with.

     The U.S. customs investigation story center on under cover U.S. Customs agent, Robert Mazur (played by journeyman actor Bryan Cranston) who uncovers an enormous money laundering scheme in 1985, which leads to the inner workings of Colombian drug kingpin, Pablo Escobar.  Based mostly in Miami and Tampa, the storyline is busy, fast, blurry and full of inner sanctum spying and counter-spying and a fair amount of underworld murders.

     But there was a certain realism to the script, played well by the actors. The mystery is how the Mazur character could continue to infiltrate the underworld without being detected, which – in true life – resulted in a massive number of arrests in 1985 which jailed many high ranking kingpins and business moguls for many years.

     Particularly impressive is the integrity of Mazur who, despite lying to every crook in the world and mingling with the sleaze by necessity, managed to remain true-blue to his wife, despite opportunity after opportunity to stray.  This is a typical example how he, and his partners in law enforcement working vice, get virtually addicted to their jobs.

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In my 30-year police career in Miami-Dade, I personally witnessed too many police crime scenes, the loss of police lives and the gut-wrenching life-long impact they have had on their spouses, their parents and their children. The recent assassination of five officers in Dallas, and the near deaths of eight more, was the work of a single individual who somehow became indoctrinated with hate and used the two shootings of black men in Baton Rouge and Minnesota to justify the premeditated killing of outstanding Americans and devout public servants.

     This article is about the racial narrative which seems to catch on like a festering disease that won’t let go, as the fans of hatred are flamed following every instance in which a black person is felled by a white officer…for whatever the reason. The race-baiters don’t see facts and evidence, they only see skin color from which they exploit the victim mentality and pass it along to idiots who feed off the dangerous false narrative like fish going after chum.

     At first blush, the recent police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota appear gravely unwarranted, though the evidence is still being evaluated. If the cops were wrong, they should be punished.

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If a woman leaves her baby in a car in 98 degree weather for two hours, and the baby dies, that’s called gross negligence because the responsible party (mother) exhibited “extremely careless” behavior. In real life — intent notwithstanding – that mother would go to prison.

     If a drunk driver runs over a pedestrian on a sidewalk, he may not have “intended” to do harm, but extreme careless exhibited gross negligence, and he would — at the least – be charged with a crime of Manslaughter.  

     According to FBI Director, James Comey, Hillary Clinton demonstrated extreme carelessness with her insecure e-mail system as Secretary of State which put our national security at risk. Criminal charges are not forthcoming for lack of “intent,” but that does not exculpate her from responsibility for acting in a manner that would trigger severe discipline for any other government employee. Comey spelled out the range of punishments an agent would face, including dismissal and being stripped of security clearance.

     The ever-so-political president, Barack Obama, extolling Hillary’s supreme qualifications, is ever-so-politically wrong. Hillary Clinton is not only disqualified, she is unqualified to be a president; she would be a danger to the nation. No person, man

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The first Tarzan movie, silent era, was released in 1918. Since, there have been 48 more films about the same guy, born of well-to-do British parents in the jungles of Africa, only to be orphaned at birth and raised by gorillas and chimpanzees. This newest episode, is good, but not great, perhaps because it’s so predictable and the characters are less believable.

     As a kid, I was fascinated by this character, especially when portrayed by former Olympic swimming star, Johnny Weissmuller, who – incidentally – made eleven movies as Tarzan, from 1932 to 1948.

     This film is the first Tarzan flick to make good use of special effects, near-real animations of animals sound effects and African panorama. The story, this time, goes something like this:

     It’s nearly a decade since Tarzan, whose Anglo name is John Clayton III, left Africa to live in Victorian England with his wife Jane. Danger lurks as Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz), a treacherous envoy for King Leopold, devises a scheme that lures the couple back to the Congo. Rom plans to capture Tarzan and deliver him to an old enemy in exchange for diamonds. When Jane becomes a pawn in his devious plot, Tarzan must

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     Okay, all you old-time cops…what are the biggest changes in law enforcement that have taken place in the last 30,40, 50 years?  My rookie season was 1960 in the Dade County Sheriff’s Office, which later morphed into the Public Safety Department, now known as Miami-Dade P.D. Here’s some of my observations, from the top of my head:

  • The police academy was eight weeks, followed by four months of riding with a trainer. Then you were on your own. (Today, academies are more like 9 months)
  • Minimum standards to be a police officer: 1) male gender, 2) Age 21-35, 3) Height 5’9” to 6’ 4”, weight proportional. Physical fitness also included ability to swim. Nearly all new hires were white and Anglo, though not a requirement. (The Cuban migration situation had not yet begun until 1961.)
  • “Policewoman” was a separate county classification which did not allow promotions for females. Women were hired to handle juvenile matters and female prisoner searches.
  • Cops never routinely wore bullet proof vests
  • Officers used .38 revolvers, 4” to 6” barrel, purchased privately.  We also had to buy our own handcuffs. Motormen wore clam shell holsters that flipped open with a push of the button.
  • We patrolled
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If a woman marries a man for no other reason than to gain wealth, and that man marries the woman for no other reason than sex, how is that not prostitution?

Why is it, that a woman who takes money for sex is a criminal, but a woman who takes money for sex while being filmed (porn) is engaged in a profession?

If a pregnant woman from China comes temporarily to the United States for no other reason than to birth her child and then return to China, why should that child be given rights as U.S. citizen? (Yes, I know about the 14th Amendment)

When a prosecutor deliberately ignores or fails to pursue exculpatory evidence that could acquit a defendant, or fails to vet questionable evidence, in order to win a case, why isn’t that prosecutor prosecuted?

If a group of white people formed a television network “W.E.T.” – i.e., White Entertainment Television, would they be racist? If so, then why is B.E.T. (Black Entertainment Television) not considered racist?

If a man downloads a kiddie porn site to watch depraved movies in his home, but does nothing else wrong; Never acts as a predator, never approaches or abuses

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Free State of Jones  –  8 ½

Those who like historical drama, especially Civil War era, will love this movie because it brings realism and authenticity to the screen.

Those who think good movies consist of crashing cars, gratuitous violence and a constant blast of the “F” word, they will not like this movie.

Yes there is graphic violence, but it belongs in the picture, even the scenes where wounded soldiers are having their limbs amputated under a hospital tent. Sexual content is basically absent. And, if the “N” word offends you, prepare to be offended. It’s part of the authenticity from the times. 

Some reviewers have criticized this picture as boring and slow moving. Perhaps those critics need to study movie-making to learn the difference between quality drama and juvenile nonsense. Yes, there are some scenes involving quiet dialogue under the stars in the bowels of the Okefenokee swamps, but the message ties into the plot quite well.

Free State of Jones tells about the curious settlement of Jones County, Mississippi in the mid and late 1860’s, a true story. During the Civil War, Jones County began as a swamp outpost for runaway slaves plus Confederate soldiers abandoning their

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