The Nice Guys  =  6 out of 10.


In a word: Overrated.

     I’ve read two other newspaper reviews, which gave four stars and three stars (out of four) raving about this antic-laden comedy set in 1970’s Los Angeles, starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, both seasoned actors. Because the anticipation for hilarity was high, the movie simply did not deliver on the same level of Meet The Fockers, Blazing Saddles or even Some Like it Hot.  It’s a good and silly movie, but not a first–rate comedy.

     First of all, if you saw the previews, you already saw most of the funniest scenes. 

     Second of all, while the actors are great, the movie falls flat in many spots which detracts from the story.  The problem is not in the plot or the acting, it’s with the writing and/or directing which seemed to over-play the comedy card that fell flat. 

     Third, some of the lines are just plain dumb, certain to draw painful “ooohs” from the audience.

     Russell Crowe is a shabby tough-guy unlicensed private investigator who crosses paths with another licensed P.I., single father, smoke-aholic played by Ryan Gosling.  The plot centers around the search for a

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Our lame duck president has singularly passed an edict to state-run public schools, requiring compliance lest all federal funds will be withheld from school districts if they fail to obey, i.e., to provide bathroom special accommodations to all who self-identify as a gender other than how they were born.  In other words, if one transgender student is not provided special privilege, an entire school district will suffer consequences along with all the children in it.  It’s pure blackmail.

     The constitution was established as a three-part separation of power, for fear that any one person, i.e., a king, would impose undue or frivolous power independent of review and/or confirmation by other branches of government. It’s a stark example why the federal government should keep their noses out of state matters – which is the way our government system was intended.

     This is how a runaway head of government can choose to make proverbial mountains out of mole hills that are clearly unnecessary. Unless, of course, there is a hidden motive. If the president and his acolytes were interested in disrupting America into greater divisiveness, this would be an effective follow-up to other charades like “Black Lives Matter,” that do more harm

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Money Monster  –  8 ½ out of 10


In a word: Intense.

     Set in a New York City television studio where a show about financial investments is live and on the air, the plot centers on three main characters who drive the story:

     George Clooney is the on-camera host and cocky expert in Wall Street investment matters, being directed in the control room behind the scenes by Julia Roberts, when an armed working class fellow (Jack O’Connell) holding two boxes manages to sneak his way onto the set. O’Connell is irate that his entire savings has been lost after following the advice of Clooney and other experts in the field of money markets. The tension is begun when the angry fellow – on the air – suddenly fires his handgun into the ceiling, then forces Clooney to don a vest with explosives.

     With a perfect New York accent, mannerism and all, O’Connell keeps everyone on the edge throughout the film. His acting is masterful and believable. Viewers can immediately relate, and even sympathize with his anger.

     George Clooney, a seasoned actor, is good. But he’s George Clooney, with the same Clooney bobble to his head that he has in

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(This article was published as an Op-Ed for Florida Today on August 11, 2014.  With new emphasis on the subject possibly affecting state law, I thought it appropriate to re-issue in this blog.)


I’m a 30-year retired cop. I’m also the father of a lifelong drug addict.

I’ve witnessed the bane of the drug world on the inside and the outside, from a professional standpoint, as well as a personal one.

On its merit, I support Amendment 2, concerning the legalization of medical marijuana, on the November ballot. There are worthwhile uses for people with symptoms of nausea, glaucoma, seizure disorders and more. But we cannot be dismissive. There’s much more to the issue of using marijuana for medical reasons, or debating the pros and cons of pot in general.

If and when the amendment is approved, it would be naïve to believe that all marijuana use will be confined to health issues. Profiteers and users will exploit the new relaxations, which will transgress into abuse for purposes other than relieving pain and nausea. That’s a guarantee. I suspect it will open the floodgates for marijuana highs in the name of health care.

Yet, there are two reasons to

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(This Op-Ed – by yours truly – appears in the 5/9/16 issue of Florida Today serving Brevard County)


I worked Dade County Homicide for 16 of my 30 years as an investigator. I saw criminal carnage close up, many hundreds of times. I’m no bleeding heart. But we have to change how we handle capital crimes.

Death row is a fate worse than death. We rarely acknowledge that. We mainly focus on criminals paying for a crime with their life. We don’t care about the interim torture element.

Timothy McVeigh waived all appeals for his death sentence after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. It still took six years to carry out the sentence. In truth, he considered death far more desirable than rotting in a hot, tiny cell 1,440 minutes a day for decades.

So is it really punishment? Everlasting sleep is far more humane than lifeless life in a concrete cell. When we relegate suffering pets to die by the veterinarian needle, we call that “humane.” For inmates, it’s “punishment.”

Brandon Jones, age 72, was executed in Georgia earlier this year after 36 years awaiting execution day after day confined amid steel and concrete without social interaction.

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Vivien Peterson was born of pure Norwegian parents in Chicago, September 13, 1910. Eventually she would become a bombshell redhead showgirl compared by many to Rita Hayworth.

     A concert pianist at age 14, she also studied dance and becoming a professional ballerina, tap dancer and singer at age 17. These were the Roaring 20’s, the days of prohibition, speakeasies, the Charleston, Charles Lindberg, Babe Ruth, Al Capone, Charlie Chaplin and Rudolf Valentino.

     In 1929, she met Art Frank, a famous vaudeville rube comic. Though he was dating a rising star named Ginger Rogers, he was smitten with Vivien and talked her into joining him on the vaudeville circuit. They toured as a comic and dance team from New York to San Francisco, entertaining and working with the likes of Milton Berle, Rudy Vallee, Burns and Allen, and many more great talents who would later become household names. They also married.

     While most Americans suffered during the great depression in the 1930s, Art and Vivien led the good life, before and after Prohibition, making big bucks, but sending much of their income to family members who struggled.

     In 1935, while living in New York City, she bore a beautiful son named

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(This Op-Ed was published in Florida Today newspaper this date, April 24, 2016.)



Since when did my vote as a citizen, carry less weight than another citizen’s vote? Why should an ex-president or former governor carry more clout in the voting process than me?

Answer: Since the parties started rigging primaries with Super Delegates and Super Pacs.

This primary season has proven to be an obfuscation of voter rights, both parties, which nullifies the precepts of democracy, i.e., one man, one vote.

On the Democratic side, someone with the political notoriety of Hillary Clinton can assemble nearly 714 former and current politicians whose votes are already in the pocket without going to the polls. They are free to vote as they choose, or as they’ve been lobbied, but not as ordinary primary voters. Hillary gets most of those 714 votes au gratis, without earning them. That gives her a major head start against anyone running in the primaries, a near-impossible hill to climb for a challenger. That’s democracy?

I would not want to see a Socialist as president for many reasons, but Bernie Sanders deserves a lot of credit for the

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