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LA LA LAND” – 8 ½


In a word:  Refreshing.

     Finally, a musical! Yea. A movie without guns and bombs, explosions and terror, blaring sound effects, raw sex and vile language, bad music, unfunny comedy and computerized characters.  It should be doomed at the box office, but I suspect the opposite. Why? Because it’s really good. And, it’s at the top of the charts for awards, including Golden Globes for Best Picture, Best actor and actress (Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone) and best Director, Damien Chazelle. The Academy Award nominations are not out yet, but I’m sure this movie will follow the trend.

     Nothing complicated here. It’s a story about two young people who meet and fall in love. He’s a jazz pianist, she’s a waitress/wannabe actress hoping to be discovered in Hollywood. Naturally, complications set in and nothing goes perfect, as they are both driven by their ambitions that take them in different directions.

     What makes the movie is the chemistry between Gosling and Stone, as though living in fantasyland, with scenes reminiscent of Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, dancing and singing under starlit skies.  (Gosling is no Kelly, but he sure has the heart) Emma

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There’s a whole lotta puckering going on.

     And I’m not talking about lips.

     Not only from the Democratic side, but the Republican establishment as well, who did everything they could to assist Donald Trump in losing. Republican big shots like Mitt Romney, John Kasich, Paul Ryan and John McCain – and many more including the Bushes– showed their colors when it came to not doing what’s best for the country. They turned their backs on a record 13.3 million American primary voters who made a clear statement that the political system is broken and needs fixing. In the general election, Republicans, Independents and even some Democrats joined a movement infused with zeal and patriotism not witnessed since the Reagan era, or JFK before that.

     But the likes of Romney, Kasich and Ryan didn’t care. Their own personal image was more important than defeating a terribly flawed and proven lifelong serial liar under investigation for numerous allegations and suspicion of criminal conduct, not to mention selling her soul and the nation, via her foundation, for personal gain. This was a candidate who – if she were anyone else — could never have been awarded a security clearance because of her reckless,

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One of a kind.

     Her primary focus was on justice; not power, not politics and not image.

     Former Attorney General of the United States, Janet Reno died this morning, after suffering for many years with Parkinson’s Disease.

     I knew Reno. When she was the Dade County State Attorney, I headed Miami-Dade Homicide in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The first time we met, I found myself awkwardly looking up and shaking hands with a woman standing 6’2”, while I stood 5’9”.

     On important matters we worked together. She was a major figure during the investigation and prosecution of several police officers who beat 31-year-old Arthur McDuffie to death after a long inner-city chase in Miami. The racial overtones were as harsh and sensitive as any such case today. I headed that investigation. I remember Reno going out of her way to approach me personally to tell me I had done an “excellent job.”

     If our political world would follow the examples of pure integrity that Janet Reno stood for, we would have no political divide in this country. She was a common lady, a brilliant mind and a solid American. She was so conscious about fairness, she would not

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October 21, 2006 — Ten years past.

That day helped change lives for many, in a very good way:

Esther Muradov was a delicate, 13 year-old young lady when we met her ten years ago today at our private home. With her mother on piano, she lifted her violin and played the first long note of a Vieuxtemps Concerto. Hair rose on my arms.  Suzanne and I, and friends, sat stunned as this child mastered the music as though in a concert hall.  When she finished, I lifted my jaw off the floor as a zillions questions flowed through my brain.

“How much do you practice?”

“About four hours a day.”

“Who’s your favorite violinist?” I asked

“Jascha Heifetz,” she responded.  

“But he died long before you were born.”

“I know,” she replied. “But he was the greatest of the 20th century.”

She was right.

“What are your ambitions, Esther?”

“Well, I’d like to go to Europe and compete internationally against other violinists. Maybe, someday I can play in Carnegie Hall.”

Her Russian-born mother, Pervin Muradov, answered for her, “Too expensive.  Besides that, her violin no good. Other kids will have much better instruments.”

“Perhaps we can do something,” I

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Think Trump’s remarks uttered in private from 11 years ago were terrible?  Read on:

Many books have been written by former aides and secret service personnel that chronicle the behavior and attitudes of the woman (Hillary) who aspires to be our next president.  There is no reason to suggest they are lies or written by hacks just trying to sell books. No such books about a foul-mouthed, condescending First Lady were ever published or written about Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Rosalyn Carter..and etc.

The following provides a sampling of Hillary’s private filthy tirades and her disdain for people under her…not said in jest. While reading, think about Trump’s private conversation eleven years ago which is being used by Hillary and the Democratic party, and the left media, as a lightening rod to portray Trump as a horrible person.  Think about the utter hypocrisy, when Hillary is not held to account for her actions and her air of superiority.  I realize a lot of folks don’t want to read this, but if you are on that “hate Trump” train, you should have the guts to digest see the whole picture.
Here are some quotations gleaned from a number of authors who
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President, protests haven’t improved black lives

Marshall Frank, community columnist12:05 a.m. EDT September 18, 2016

I’m one American citizen who’s heard enough of the rhetoric about black oppression and white supremacy. Race baiters continue to stoke the flames of hatred because it intimidates and garners attention.

Fact: Race relations in this country have taken a nose dive since the inauguration of Barack Obama. And that’s not because more people have become racist.

Despite being led by a first-black president, little has improved for poor blacks in America today, than in 2009. Obama has made some black appointments in high places, hosted lots of rich celebrities in the White House and made lots of speeches, but the fact remains, black unemployment remains dismal today and the plight of violent, inner-city criminal activity among black youths has soared.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rate for young blacks up to age 24 stands at 20.6 percent, more than double that of white males in the same age bracket. According to the Pew Research Center, the rate of blacks living in poverty is 27.2 percent, higher than in 2009 when the

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There was a time – up to 2008 — I thought Colin Powell would make an excellent choice for president. He was dignified, smart and full of track-record accomplishments in the public sector. And, among black dignitaries in government, he was unequaled except, perhaps, by Condoleeza Rice. Then, he showed his true colors…literally.

     Figure this:  The nominees running for president in 2008 were John McCain and Barack Obama. One would think Colin Powell would be giving his support to McCain, a slam dunk.  After all, both men were career military officers with sterling credentials, both were Republican, both had spent a lifetime in public service, in many positions, contributing to the well-being of this nation.

     There was nothing in common between Colin Powell and Barack Obama. Obama had no track record of accomplishments, no service to his country other than winning an election and earning a law degree.  Obama’s only career path had been as a Chicago community organizer…which, in other words, was a political position aimed at amassing minority voters. His background was marinated with associations and advisers who were closely aligned to communist organizations. That was no secret. And, he was a Democrat.  Basically, there was no way

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