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Ray Donovan

ray-donovan

click for wiki

Yep, yet another TV show to which I am addicted.

A transplanted Southie Irish guy (played by Liev Schrieber), transplanted to L.A., makes his living by being a ‘fixer’ for rich Hollywood (and other) types.

Sometimes the fix is a simple contract negotiation.  Sometimes it’s more complicated – like involving blackmail, kidnapping and murder.  Or covering up his client’s crimes.  Like murder, robbery and prostitution.

He does very well with it, too.  Mercedes CLS 550.  Nice house.  Kids in private schools.

Of course, it’s never as easy at all that.  A history of killing the priest who molested he and his brother.  A wife with breast cancer.  Teen kids acting out.  Currently, he’s pissed off the Russian mob.  And he has an ex-con father (Jon Voight) who has his own criminal agenda and cannot seem to stay out of jail.

And the FBI is on his ass!

So, many times, HE becomes his own client!

It’s on Showtime, and next week is it’s 4th Season finale. (It’s also available on You Tube and other venues).

It has the usual extreme violence, sex and language.  If you are easily offended, you might stay away.  (FTC – Neither Showtime or the production folks give me anything.  I would accept a Mercedes from Mr. Schreiber, if he offered!  :-)  )

Hugh O’Brian RIP

Okay, 2016, enough already!

Another one of my childhood icons, Hugh O’Brian, passed yesterday…

He was 91.

For those too young to be baby-boomers, he was Wyatt Earp in the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp 1955-1961.

When the Western was King.

(Yeah, he didn’t sport a mustache, and didn’t truck with hookers on the show, I know!)

(from Wikipedia)

O’Brian first attended school at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, then the (now defunct) Kemper Military School in Booneville, Missouri. He lettered in football, basketball, wrestling, and track. O’Brian dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after one semester to enlist in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. At seventeen, he became the youngest Marine drill instructor.

(…)

Hugh O’Brian dedicated much of his life to the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY), a non-profit youth leadership development program for high school scholars. HOBY sponsors 10,000 high school sophomores annually through its over 70 leadership programs in all 50 states and 20 countries. Since its inception in 1958, over 435,000 young people have participated in HOBY-related programs.

One high school sophomore from every high school in the United States, referred to as an “ambassador,” is welcome to attend a state or regional HOBY seminar. From each of those seminars, students (number based on population) are offered the opportunity to attend the World Leadership Congress (WLC). In 2008, over 500 ambassadors attended from all 50 states and 20 countries. The concept for HOBY was inspired in 1958 by a nine-day visit O’Brian had with famed humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa. Dr. Schweitzer believed “the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves.”

O’Brian’s message to young people is “Freedom to Choose” as explained in an essay on the topic:

I do NOT believe we are all born equal. Created equal in the eyes of God, yes, but physical and emotional differences, parental guidelines, varying environments, being in the right place at the right time, all play a role in enhancing or limiting an individual’s development. But I DO believe every man and woman, if given the opportunity and encouragement to recognize their potential, regardless of background, has the freedom to choose in our world. Will an individual be a taker or a giver in life? Will that person be satisfied merely to exist or seek a meaningful purpose? Will he or she dare to dream the impossible dream? I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose, to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.

— Hugh O’Brian, The Freedom to Choose[10]
When I get depressed, and think the Hollywood crowd consists primarily of self-centered leftist morons, I remember there are folks out there who have dedicated their lives not only to entertainment, but the betterment of others.
Hugh O’Brien is one of those folks.
And now he’s gone.
RIP, Sir!  And thank you!
hugh

Jon Polito RIP

(It’s said it comes in threes.  Guess it all depends on when one begins counting, and what the criterion are…)

You all know me and my love of character actors.  Mr. Polito first appeared on my radar in the wonderful 80’s TV show Crime Story, as a third lead mobster versus Dennis Farina and his major crimes crew.   (Any resemblance of the show’s character to Sam Giancana was purely coincidental, I’m sure…)

Later, it was Miller’s Crossing, Homicide: Life On The Street, Barton Fink, The X Files and many other shows and films.

Almost always playing some flavor of wiseguy.  Oh, he played in THAT, too!  He played cops, too (as mob-cast guys often do!)

Turned out he was distantly related to a friend of mine here locally with the same last name!  I’m sorry for your loss.

Your gruff voice and persona will certainly be missed!

jon polito

 

 

 

Kaepernick

Regular readers of GiA know I’m no sports fan.  It’s only when a sports figure does something of note (as with many of the Olympic athletes) or does something onerous (as with some Olympic athletes) that it gets my attention.

This Kaepernick guy apparently refused to stand for the National Anthem at the last game.  And, in spite of the firestorm of controversy reacting to his remaining seated, said he will continue not to stand.  Until things change regarding the oppression of Blacks in the United States.

He’s Black.  His parents are White.  He makes NINETEEN MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR AND LIVES IN A MANSION.

What could have happened?  What oppression?

A quick search (on Duck Duck Go) regarding the National Anthem situation made it appear his protest was all about injustice done to Blacks.  BLM stuff.  A subsequent search adding the term ISLAM brought forth stories that Kaepernick converted to Islam during the off season – probably because his girlfriend is a radical Islam radio show personality…

Funny how the more narrow Internet search failed to mention this conversion.  And the ‘news’ outlets in the broader version consisted of bloggers and sketchier news outlets (IOW, NOT CNN, NBC and such.  WND for example).

Which brings me to my point.  Many of the folks leaving comments on the National Anthem story demand that Kaepernick be forced to stand.  As repulsive as his behavior my be, forcing someone to stand in ‘free’ Republic doesn’t sound like an appropriate response to me.

I’m a big believer in free markets.  And voting with one’s feet, TV remotes and wallets.  And via Email and post if necessary.

If you don’t want to support this clown, don’t watch his game, buy his team’s foam fingers or products advertised.  Hit ’em where it hurts.

I LOVE this Republic and her Anthem.  Singing along with my hand over my heart sometimes brings me to tears.

But forcing someone to stand – that smacks of fascism, and certainly doesn’t paint a portrait of the Land Of The Free.

I don’t care what religion he is.  But, it IS interesting that the mainstream media has been soft-pedaling that information.

Hmmm.

RIP Steven Hill

(You know me and character actors.)steven hill

I first saw Steven Hill in an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour entitled ‘The Thanatos Palace Hotel’. A place where suicidal folk could go to be murdered. 😨

Following that, I was at home in  bed recovering from the onset of my leg disability. Watched a lot of TV. And the show ‘Mission Impossible’ premiered.

I WAS HOOKED! Both on the show’s premise and the MI team’s head honcho, Dan Briggs.

Played by Stephen Hill.

He left after the first season, because he refused to work Saturday, being an Orthodox Jew.

Later, he was a District Attorney on Law & Order.  And was also memorable.

(Sandwiching many, many other shows in-between!)

RIP Sir! 

Taking Out A Sentry

So, a guy walks up to a sentry and asks, “Hi, sentry, new in town?”

Back-in-the-day, when I was young and foolish (I’m not so young, anymore) I used to read Soldier Of Fortune magazine.  (In addition to Shotgun News, Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Guns Magazine and pretty much every firearms periodical I could find!)  This was before they were sued for facilitating a hitman in their classifieds, and LTC Robert Brown (founder and publisher – U.S.Army-Retired) reportedly discharged a 1911 underwater at a Scottsdale resort pool.  Just to see if it would function.  Rumor was some alcohol was involved.

For me, being unable to get into the military, I was, as Brown described it, truly an armchair adventurer.

And, unlike Playboy’s centerfold (that used to be nude women – sigh), SOF had a centerfold with a different focus.  Sentry removal.

I’m certain Michael Echanis, premier martial arts editor, had something to do with the content.

It would illustrate techniques like the Turkish twist, and judiciously-lethal dagger placement, as though all the readership had been to the CIA’s ‘Farm’ or Ranger School.

Like we were all spec-ops assassins just aching to ‘take out a sentry’, silently.

Of course, we weren’t, but enjoyed reading such macho fodder, nevertheless.

And we’d do the joke about ‘taking out’ sentries whenever a new issue arrived on the newsstand.

And absorb tales of mercenaries world-wide, new gun reviews, read about the latest in electronic surveillance gear, U.S. and foreign military actions and macho TV and movies.

Mike Echanis died in a plane crash en route training in Central America.  And more lawsuits continued.

April 2016 was the last paper edition of SOF.  It continues to be available online.

I’ve not read it regularly for some years.  For me, just getting out of the armchair requires effort enough.  Forget adventure or sentries.sof

FTC – I bought my own.  Get your own!

 

“Don’t Go! It’s A COOKBOOK!”

to serve man

I awaken middle of the night and I’m cold.  Not just cool – cold.  This may have something to do with the fact that I’m laying on top of the top sheet, and not wearing much.  (I know – TMI)

Why am I doing this?

Well, I reside in The Valley of the Sun (the Phoenix Arizona area).  And we’re experiencing a cold streak.  It’s reportedly going to be 103° F, today.

It was 118° a week-and-a-half ago!  (Unofficially at a friend’s – 123°, on his back patio!)

And being in the Western side of the townhouse, I get the PM Sun exposure.  Usually 5 – 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house!

SO…I sleep with a fan blowing directly on me, so the A/C may do her best work!

But, the body cools during sleep, and sometimes the combination of forced colder air and a cooler body equals…?

NO, this is not a replay of the Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode wherein the Earth’s orbit changed, and it is moving ever-closer to the Sun.  When, in fact, the TV character’s fever broke and he began getting colder, and in fact the Earth was moving AWAY from the Sun!

I was just getting cold last night.  So I moved the fan.

Which has nothing to do with the post’s title, except that’s another TZ episode.  The tag line from which popped into my head upon awakening cold. 🙂

My roommate said I watched too much TV as a child.  I’m beginning to think she was right.

Sometimes these posts write themselves!

The Politically-Incorrect On Television

I’ve gotten used to seeing political correctness on TV.  Not that I like it, but have come to the realization that most of the TV show writers, producers and networks foster an agenda.  Nowhere near that of a constitutional republic.

And many times, it’s not based in fact – it’s based on what is perceived as popular and liberal.

An aside on a sitcom about the prevalence of global warming; the presence of a gun – in and of itself – shown as evil and dangerous.  The whole BLM agenda, as well.

But, occasionally, some differing opinions slip through the cracks!

Last Man Standing – a sitcom with Tim Allen as a beleaguered conservative business owner, surrounded by liberals and mostly conservative females.  Making statements against The President’s policies and Secretary Clinton’s lack-of-action about Benghazi.  And, still remaining a comedy!

Blue Bloods – a Tom Selleck (a Gunsite graduate) cop family vehicle including Catholicism, proper gun handling instruction, and the difficult balancing of policing with civil liberties.  Tom plays the current police commissioner.

Criminal Minds – The FBI against serial killers, with Joe Mantegna (another Gunsite graduate) showing off many his many skills.

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders – Another FBI vehicle, this time offshore, with Gary Sinise (a champion for the American Veteran).  In a recent episode, they helped capture a duo of American mass murderers in Cuba (!)  Sinise gave a passionate spiel about the Communist propaganda prevalent on our college campuses, and the ubiquitiousness of that vile t-shirt celebrating a murdering bigot Che’!

So, there IS hope…

Sadly, watching Blue Bloods, with Mr. Selleck as the Police Commissioner, I’m reminded of watching the movie Air Force One (in the 80’s), wherein Harrison Ford plays a President who had been a Green Beret (I remember).  He stands up to terrorists and kicks a**!

I left the theater feeling good.  Until I remembered Bill Clinton was (then) the actual President!

And the current P.C. of NYC is no Tom Selleck!  :-(

Cellular Telephone Security

Remember the old adage, “Never put anything into email you don’t want someone else to read.”

(Secretary Clinton, are you listening?)

Of course, with modern security software and pass codes (etc.) we needn’t worry about that with our smartphones, right?

(from Bayou Renaissance Man)

So you think your smartphone is secure?

Not according to CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ program.

Hering is a hacker himself, he’s the 30-something whiz who cofounded the mobile security company “Lookout” when he was 23. Lookout has developed a free app that scans your mobile phone for malware and alerts the user to an attack.

Sharyn Alfonsi: How likely is it that somebody’s phone has been hacked?

John Hering: In today’s world there’s really only — two types of companies or two types of people which are those who have been hacked and realize it and those who have been hacked and haven’t.

Sharyn Alfonsi: How much do you think people have been kind of ignoring the security of their cellphones, thinking, “I’ve got a passcode, I must be fine?”

John Hering: I think that most people have not really thought about their phones as computers. And that’s really starting to shift.

Sharyn Alfonsi: And that’s what you think– it’s like having a laptop now?

John Hering: Oh absolutely. I mean, your mobile phone is effectively a supercomputer in your pocket. There’s more technology in your mobile phone than was in, you know, the space craft that took man to the moon. I mean, it’s — it’s really unbelievable.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Is everything hackable?

John Hering: Yes.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Everything?

John Hering: Yes.

Sharyn Alfonsi: If somebody tells you, “You can’t do it.”

John Hering: I don’t believe it.

There’s much more at the link.  Highly recommended – and disturbing – reading.

Peter

So, about that porn you’ve been sneaking a peek at on your lunch hour…
PS – I saw a recent interview with Jim Caviezel, John Reese of Person of Interest (Season 5 – probably the last – starts TONIGHT 05/03/2016!).  He was asked if he changed any of his habits in real life, having done a political science fiction TV series about rampant surveillance.  He responded he is thoughtful regarding what he says in cellular telephone calls, and ELIMINATED THE INTERNET FROM HIS HOME!  Said he doesn’t need it!  Food for thought…

Spoiled

The brilliant and beautiful Tamara posted recently the dearth of correct tactics and technique with regard to television shows and weapon technique.

She, of course, is correct.

I’ve posted in these pages regarding the same stuff – the guy in the show 24, for example.  Cup-and-saucer does not Weaver or Isosceles make…

But these martial faux pas go back decades.

jbThe Untouchables, M Squad, The Detectives, The FBI (in color!)  And don’t even bring up the spy genre – The Man From UNCLE (for example).  And the movies!  James Bond to Dirty Harry…

And thousands of other TV shows and films.

Weapon technique is terrible!  Cup-and-saucer.  Or worse yet, grabbing one’s wrist with the off hand.  Or supporting the shooting arm with the other under the forearm!

Shooting rifles and submachine guns from the hip!  Because it looks cool…

And the gun hand up next to the face.  Because it frames our hero with a gun next to their face, NOT because it’s a good idea!

And the ubiquitous fingers on triggers!

And many of us (mostly male) took their initial learning ques from these ‘techniques’.  This is why women are generally better students.  They don’t have to unlearn as much.

We do need to be reminded that these media are for entertainment, and are not documentaries or training aids, however.

But sometimes some of these Hollywood presentations are just too ludicrous to be able to suspend disbelief and enjoy.  Remember T.J. Hooker?

Having been a semi-professional magician in my youth, I’ve had much the same reaction to watching magicians on television.  Either I know the secret (or know something) and the performance loses it’s entertainment value.

Spoiled?  Sometimes.

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…