Just because we’ve not GUFFAWED in a while!
(Nick Otto/For The Washington Post)
FRESNO, Calif. — While officers raced to a recent 911 call about a man threatening his ex-girlfriend, a police operator in headquarters consulted software that scored the suspect’s potential for violence the way a bank might run a credit report.The program scoured billions of data points, including arrest reports, property records, commercial databases, deep Web searches and the man’s social- media postings. It calculated his threat level as the highest of three color-coded scores: a bright red warning.The man had a firearm conviction and gang associations, so out of caution police called a negotiator. The suspect surrendered, and police said the intelligence helped them make the right call — it turned out he had a gun. (…)
Another twist on ‘the machine’ from TV’s Person of Interest. Not video or audio surveillance, but data-mining to determine if a
subject suspect person-of-interest is a potential danger.I wonder if it finds blog posts and comments and scores them with regard to potential danger, based on a peaceful expression of concern for governmental abuses?Guess I’m worthy of a bright red warning…h/t Liberty Headlines
We’ve been watching Netflix NARCOS, a docu-drama about the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, for a time, the most wanted drug lord in the World.
He did take some of his ill-gotten gains and improved many communities with electric lighting for soccer fields, and support for national (versus foreign) made industries.
This gave him a Robin Hood image, and allowed him access as a national legislator (for a short time).
By promising to give the people what they want.
Now, WE have this guy…
Not a criminal, murdering, drug smuggler, but still wanting to take money from corporations and individuals, and redistribute it.
By governmental force.
Because he believes government can and should.
To give (some of) the people what they want.
The current occupant of the White House is a middle-aged Black socialist, who wants to level the playing field (his words).
Now this pretender to the throne wants to do the same thing – and he’s an old, White guy!
And both keep referring to this nation as a democracy!
NOT voting for socialists is not a race issue. It’s a Republic issue.
One doesn’t need to be a drug smuggler to see that.
The passing recently of David Bowie definitely got my attention, even though I wasn’t a big fan – in any of his incarnations. (Sorry)
But yesterday, finding out that a founder of The Eagles had passed. Well, Universe, this is over-the-top!
As we age, we seem to see more of this – people who are part of our youth, our lives, passing into eternity.
Personal family and friends aside, these bookmarks in the story of our lives remind of us specifics in our past, and of the eventual future for all of us.
R.I.P. Good Sir!
Those of you who know me, or who have read this blog at any length, know I love TV, movies, etc. In spite of this, I’ve come late to the table on many popular shows (original Star Trek, Firefly/Serenity to name a couple) and am now dogged by the idea that anything I truly enjoy is doomed to be canceled.
Person-Of-Interest, for example.
Here is a show with interesting characters, good acting and an engaging theme with caught my interest a few years ago.
The government (and others) are spying on us ALL through public surveillance cameras, traffic cameras, ATMs, personal computers, security systems, cellular telephones ad infinitum, and crunching the data to use for their ‘purposes’ (propaganda, ‘nudging’, marketing, politics).
The lead actor (Jim Caviezel) who plays a spec-ops former CIA guy in the show, even took it upon himself to train with Navy Seals near his home to learn realistic weapon handling and unarmed combat techniques.
Sounds fantastic, right? (from the root word fantasy)
Now, approaching the delayed beginning of Season Five, we’ve been told this will be a truncated season (13 episodes) starting later this year, and probably the last.
I’ve never written a letter to a production company (as an adult – I remember writing Sky King when I was age 7 for an autograph! :-)) but I am considering writing one now.
But, a comment by another fan of the show on an entertainment website may have said it all:
Well, maybe it is not the rating but the subject matter this show speaks about – not so much science fiction at all anymore. Better shut up.
The gun that really went nowhere. Regardless, was VERY cool!
On Gun Broker:
Scarce Webley Fosbery M1901, with matching cylinder and low serial number, that is regimentally marked. SN: 486 Cal .455. Standard military configuration M1901 with 6” barrel having fixed front and rear sight. Top of rib marked “P.WEBLEY & SON. LONDON & BIRMINGHAM”. Left side of frame marked with the Webley logo followed by the caliber “455 CORDITE ONLY.” Above the caliber is the owner/regimental inscription “H.T. MUNN 38th L.V.” Each of the chambers and the right side of the frame is proofed, the serial number appearing on the right side of the frame. Original, checkered wood grips with the left panel having the brass plate “safe” under the safety. Lanyard ring present. Condition: VG-Excellent. Matte blue with oxidative changes on the left side of barrel, cylinder, and release lever suggesting storage on a moist surface. Excellent, near mirror bore with sharp rifling. Perfect manual mechanics. A highly desireable Webley Fosbery with a military provenance that deserves further research.
Starting at only $12,500!
The same model automatic revolver used by that naughty Brigid O’Shaughnessy (Mary Astor) to shoot Sam Spade’s partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) at Burrit Alley, just off Bush Street above the Stockton Tunnel, in “The Maltese Falcon” (1941).
An ‘automatic revolver’!
My roommate and I differ slightly in which movies we like to watch to commemorate the holidays.
My roommate likes everything Christmas, especially SANTA CLAUS related. The three Santa Clause films (Tim Allen), Miracle On 34th Street (two versions), It’s A Wonderful Life, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, The Bishop’s Wife – you name it, we’ve (I’ve) been
subjected relegated thoroughly enjoyed them over the past week or so. Some multiple times.
On DVD or BluRay, in Stereo High Fi…
Don’t get me wrong. I like some of those, in small doses. Some even get me a little misty…
But over-and-over tends to be a bit much. (Sorry J.)
I blame commercial television. Most networks essentially shut down production for the holidays, having fall or winter finales, promising new shows in February!
And giving us fewer choice in the likes of reruns, cartoons and the stuff enumerated above for our viewing pleasure.
It’s like Steve Martin said. 127 channels and nothing’s on.
For television addicts like me, it’s dire.
But, I found a way to counteract the Christmas movie doldrums. I’ve included in the DVD rotation, Lethal Weapon and Die Hard!
As was recently stated on Facebook, it isn’t really Christmas until Hans Gruber is seen falling from Nakatomi Plaza!
Merry Christmas to all you movie fans like me out there…
With all the hype regarding the opening of the latest in the Star Wars saga, I hearkened back to my first experience. Or rather the second.
And one of a relative’s…
Way back in 1977 (can it be that long ago?) a movie named Star Wars was released. I think I eventually went and saw it alone. And, of course, I was blown away.
This was in Phoenix’ premiere Cinerama theater – The Cine’ Capri. The wide screen, formal theater-sized experience. Red velvet curtains and all.
My sister had taken her daughter, then age 5, to the show. And both damn near had heart-failure when a hulking Darth Vader appeared behind them to menace the theater-goers in line for tickets!
I had been dating a woman named Ardith on-and-off for a while. She was an Army vet, liked guns and Italian food. She was a terrific kisser. And was mad for science fiction. Especially Star Trek. And thought Star Wars was some kind of cheesy rip off. (She even had pencil nudes of Spock she bought at an early sci-fi convention – but that’s for another post. On second thought, no, it’s not…)
I attended the showing stag because she had been unconvinced it was worthy of been seen.
Eventually, I convinced her.
And, being the prepared woman she was, she brought her ‘purse’. Essentially a duffel bag!
Lined with plastic – containing massive quantities of fresh, buttered popcorn and a six pack of cold beer!
What a terrific way to watch a movie in Cinerama with THX sound! (We just had to wait for the loud parts to pop the pop tops! :-) )
Ardith and I stopped seeing each other, and moved on with our lives. I married, became a father and I only saw two later sequels.
Then I kinda lost interest in the whole Star Wars thing.
Guess I got older…
Gotta go – it’s nap time.
PS – Han shot first!
I’d two encounters regarding drones the other night.
One was an episode of Madame Secretary, wherein the female Secretary of State co-opts her own brother to obtain information to locate and assassinate an American-born Isis member.
Via a drone strike in a foreign land.
(I’ve an ongoing discussion regarding this TV show – a friend thinks it’s a stalking horse to put Hillary Clinton in the White House. I disagree. The protagonist is a former CIA officer, married to a religious ethics professor at The War College, who is a part-time NSA guy. Hardly The Clintons!)
The second encounter was a TV commercial showing a drone package delivery (Amazon? – I don’t remember, we have The Hopper and fast-forward through most of the commercials! :-) )
Now, I don’t know if this was a planned placement of drones on commercial television to get us used to the idea of them flitting about, or serendipity, or what?
I do remember this administration’s last attorney general not ruling out the idea of drone strikes against American citizens on our own soil(!)
Two drones and The Hopper in one evening? Perhaps it’s just coincidental? Showing us how far technology has advanced?
Let’s say your speech from a soapbox in the public park plays well in NYC’s Central Park. But, not as well in rural Missouri.
Should your right to free speech be restricted in Missouri.? But not in New York?
I don’t think so.
A Right is a Right is a Right. PERIOD.
How about your right to practice (or not) a religion? Or freely assemble? Or deny troops access to your home for quartering in peacetime? Or your right to not self-incriminate?
Different in the Big City versus the small town?
You know where I’m going.
(courtesy of David Codrea)
Jeb’s ridiculous and arrogant view of location-based rights is still not enough for Debbie, who expressed no objections when Obama said the same thing. They all know it’s a lie, and the edicts they’re going after, from the baby steps of “universal background checks” to the end game, will have no “home rule” regional limitations. They just use that term for the suckers.
Still, it wouldn’t be out of line to ask Jeb to explain in detail what specifically works for New York City. Matter of fact, those who have given him “A” ratings and endorsements in the past ought to be demanding it…
UPDATE: Not that I expect this will be anything but ignored…
Of course, old-timers like me remember when William Jefferson Clinton’s running mate (you know, the guy who invented the Internet, and global warming) was the guy who roomed at Harvard with Texan actor Tommy Lee Jones. And Mr. Jones (a Texas rancher and gun owner) ascribed to the same beliefs! That it was okay to carry firearms in Texas, but in D.C. and N.Y.C. (the big city) it was a no-no.
That argument didn’t hold for Tommy Lee Jones, and it doesn’t hold for Jeb and Barack, either!