Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Most Private Intrigue by Leo Rosten

High-voltage suspense adventure by a master novelist......"whose writing and imagination seem boundless" - San Francisco Chronicle

copyright 1967 Fawcett Crest Book


Church of St. George the Redeemer

But this was Connecticut - and the bald, sweating mountain-of-a-man smiled silkily, "I come to sell you something."

"Sell?" frowned Jarvis. "What Reverend, do you sell?"


So begins A Most Private Intrigue, a novel that moves from New York to Washington, London to Istanbul - and beyond.....

I give this book a 4.5 rating, a half off for some of the confusion the language caused me. The author, I suppose, gave the Turkish and Russian characters terrible english so that the reader would know they weren't to be fully trusted. It may have been better to have just changed the print type for the English words spoken by foreigners, just as some words spoken in Turkish or Russian were italicized.

That being said, this book was definitely entertaining and a thrill to follow. Though you never really thought of Peter Galton as a heroic type, you believed he was smart and gutsy enough to pull off the deal.

Even when it appeared Galton and his mission were possibly doomed, you never gave up on the man.

The best part of this book is not in the writing but the story itself. The author uses a mystery story approach as he patiently exposes bits and pieces of the people, places and events that are served up to us in this thriller. Never do you feel lost in the story, which makes for a smart read.

As the baiting suspense and intrigue builds, then collapses under an unsuspecting explosion, then builds again to a final climax, you find yourself on the hook for a fully loaded espionage ride.

And the true beauty of this book is it believability and that you never would have guessed how it all plays out in the end.

Very Enjoyable! And I learned what a Turkish Sunnet Room is used for.

We Interrupt This Program

Retired Los Angeles police Capt. Greg Meyer in defending former Bart policeman Johannes Mehserle, on trial for the on-duty murder of Oscar Grant, made a very telling and revealing statement during testimony.

The former captain, now a "use-of-force" expert being paid in the neighborhood of $44,000.00 to testify for Mehserle's defense, claimed to have studied the 1991 Rodney King case where policemen were caught on tape beating King unmercifully.

Yesterday, while on the stand and under oath answering questions from prosecutor David Stein, use-of-force expert Meyer was prompted to say that officers who beat Rodney King in 1991 did not use excessive force.

Is this so-called expert trying to set-off another Los Angeles riot or what? Now I know the true reason why the defense succeeded in getting this trial moved from Alameda County to Los Angeles; in L.A. it seems you can pay anyone, especially so-called experts, to say anything on a stack of bibles and the citizenship will believe and swallow every morsel.

-$44,000.00 paid to a former police captain to testify in defense of a policeman charged with murder by use of excessive force.

-$44,000.00 paid to a man who believes there is no use of excessive force in this video from 1991 and that the actions of the police officers were justified.

-$44,000.00 paid to Mr. Greg Meyer to help the cause of defendant Johannes Mehserle who is on trial for shooting to death an unarmed and subdued man.

-$44,000 paid to convince jurors and the public once again to suspend belief of what their own eyes see on video

Ladies and Gentleman, please take the time to painfully view the Rodney King beating as recorded by a passerby-er and tell me what part of the tape is "Not" excessive force? Then ask yourself if you truly think this policeman will be found guilty of any wrongdoing in a Los Angeles court of law.

Sometimes the inconvenient truth about these United States of America is scary to the core! Cops Gone Wild.

Odd that I found an on-line article about the Rodney King incident written by the same former captain Meyer in 1994. In this article, Mr. Meyer seems to lean more towards excessive force when commenting on the Rodney King Beating:

In short, Mr. King was something more than what the media calls "a motorist." Still, he should never have been subjected to the tactics we see on the video.

After Rodney King: What Have We Learned? by Greg Meyer

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Subdues Russian Champion

Werdum submits Fedor via armbar

An MMA main event in San Jose,Ca. saw the favored Russian Fedor Emelianenko tap-out against Brazilian Fabricio Werdum 60 seconds into the match.

"It was only a matter of seconds before Emelianenko turned purple and his arm was bent out of its natural shape.

San Francisco Examiner Article:

After a 27-bout win streak that was only briefly interrupted by a No-Contest-decision the seemingly invincible and #1-ranked heavyweight fighter in the world, Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko, was defeated by two-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum in one minute flat in the main event of the Strikeforce/M-1 Global mixed martial arts fight card at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. on June 26.

Read full article

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bang! Bang! Michael Vick Birthday Bash Bullets

Reinstated NFL QB Michael Vick had a birthday party early this morning in Virginia Beach, Virgina. The "Birthday Bash" was billed as a star-studded event on Twitter. We don't know if guests were blinded from seeing stars at the event, but we do know that they caught flashes of bullets being fired as the party got out of hand in the early morning hours.

Its reported that unfortunate guest, Quanis Phillips, was taken to the hospital for gunshot wounds and is listed in good condition. Phillips just so happens to be a former co-defendant of Vick's 2007 federal dog-fighting trial. Yes, the same federal trial in which Vick's guilty plea landed him in prison for 21 months.

Oh well, someone let the dogs out last night on Mike Vick, and though he owes none of us fans an explanation, I'm sure the NFL can't wait to question the man who put Animal Abuse on the national awareness map.

Its a "dog eat dog" world"
K-9 Justice

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

USA Defeats Algeria To Advance

The USA Soccer team pulled off the equivalent of a baseball walk-off home run. Well, Almost equivalent anyway. Bottom line, facing elimination in the closing "stoppage time" minutes of a hard fought World Cup game against Algeria, the USA punched in a goal and went on to win the game 1-0.

USA is showing their "fight to survive" mentality in these games. They've scored in the last minutes of games to claim a draw or win and keep their World Cup hopes alive.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Rest Well Big Fella

Former NBA player Manute Bol passed away over the weekend. Manute had two stints with the Golden State Warriors in his career and was a joy to SF Bay Area fans. Watching Manute jog down the court with his seven foot seven inch watusi-like frame was a site to behold. Never before or since has the NBA entertained us with a character the likes of Manute.

Memories of Manute taking a three-point attempt with encouragement from the fans always brings a smile to my face. As much as I'd like to be able to say that Manute changed the way professional basketball was played, the truth is that the NBA changed the way Manute played and lived.

Manute may not have been a dominating force on the basketball court, but to the poor peoples of his homeland in Sudan he was a Godsend and hero. His humanitarian efforts in Sudan to help the oppressed made him a knight in shining armor to his people.

I remember attending a party at a friends bachelor pad back in the days when Manute-mania plagued the bay area. When I'd called to get directions to the place the person who answered the phone said to just look for the life-sized Manute Bol cut-out glaring out from the bay windows of the apartment building. Sure enough, when I arrived in the designated block I had no problem spotting the life-size image of Manute, which looked so real that I thought maybe my friend had actually gotten the big fella to make an appearance at the party.

To us in the SF Bay Area the big fella will always be a symbol of hope, courage, compassion and fun in sports as well as in life.

Manute Bol

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Educating Women AND MEN On Anorexia

What brought my attention to this horrible disease of the mind was the following Hollywood "Glamour" shot of actress Megan Fox at the premiere of her new movie "Jonah Hex."

Though I must admit that I'm a man living in a cave because I didn't know who Ms. Fox was until recently, her body structure resembles many of today's starlets. Bodies that best compare to these are those of World War II concentration camp survivors, crack addicts or sufferers of Anorexia, an eating disorder.

Its been no secret that advertisers and promoters of various products are feeding the gullible public an unhealthy image of itself. The scary part is that the public masses are so mesmerized by what their told the image represents that they find it overwhelmingly beautiful. Just look at the face and wrapping, pay no attention to what's behind the curtain.

The women who are used in this trick to mask and distort the judgment of the public's sense of beauty and health are nothing more than mere victims brainwashed into believing the hype. The real perpetrators of this sick trickiness are ill men of power and influence who dictate what's acceptable and what's not in our social society today. And they have the influence of money to see it through.

Don't get me wrong, all of us carry some blame for allowing ourselves to be so brainwashed by unhealthy images being fed to us daily through various broadcasting mediums. But at some point we as human beings must break away from the life controlling mediums of today and re-think what's right from what's wrong. We must break the chains that bind us to the perverted images of ourselves. The chain is the hype.

America is a consumer society that is fed the products of profit seeking organizations who have little concern for the well-being, both medical and mental, of its customers. Their first priority is money and profit. Their only concern is the well being of the organization. They'll use just about any means necessary to accomplish their goal, consumer addiction. Consumer Addiction insures that the returning customer is hooked on a product enough to keep them coming back for more. This allow the organization to turn their attention to fishing for new customers and developing new products.

If a baby smoking a cigarette can bring one of these profit seeking organizations more money, they'd find a way to "Market" that image to you and make it acceptable. Social Scientist have helped such organizations map exactly how human beings are wired and what methods of influence best work on us. Oh yeah, these organizations have done their homework, having practiced on a global pool of consumers for years.

Hey, did you see the cigarette smoking baby from Indonesia who smokes two packs a day? I was floored by it. I refused to post anything about the hot topic a few weeks ago just because of my mixed feelings about it being so funny and yet so sad. I wonder if any of these organizations have signed the baby's family to a contract yet?

As for the anorexic image that modern women and men throughout the world are being force-fed, we as a society need to fight the projections of such images by getting informed and educated about the issue. Then once armed with the information, share it.


Seymour Signs, Russell Booed Again!

All Cheer the Oakland Raiders for taking care of business this off-season. Yesterday they inked a one-year, $12.4M, Franchise Tag contract with Defensive Lineman Richard Seymour. Seymour returns to what appears to be a much improved Defense that can make some serious noise this NFL season.

Speaking of "Noise," an ex-Raider who'd broken hearts, hopes and promises of Raiders fans the past two seasons showed up at the Oakland Arena last night giving Raider fans in attendance a chance to pelt him one last time with their boos and disapproval.

The event was the Andre Ward WBA super middleweight fight which Ward won handily against challenger Allan Green. The ex-Raider who's late arrival caused Boos to rain down from the Black Hole of the Arena was guess who?...............Jamarcus Russell.

The nerve of him to show up in town, as if he's a former local hero returning for a final standing ovation, after robbing our silver & black franchise of millions of dollars while making a mockery of the Raiders quarterback position. Why if this were the old wild wild west there would of been shouts of "get a rope" mixed in with the booing catcalls.

Old frontier justice was quick and deadly back in those days and sent a strong message of warning to all horse thieves, cattle rustlers, bank robbers and bandits; the message? Violators will be dealt with, Severely!

Lets hope we'll see no more players the likes of Jamarcus Russell in a Raiders uniform ever again.

The Nerve!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Night Fights - "The Twins"

The music, the action, the twins; all this and Jet Li is what makes the clip from the 2001 movie "Kiss of the Dragon" one of my favorite fight scenes. After today's USA soccer team robbery by referee Koman Coulibaly, seeing Jet Li kick some a@@ was the perfect relief tonic.

USA Gets Shafted Against Slovenia

Now I don't have much experience with World Cup Fifa soccer rules, but I'm an avid sports fan and a quick learner. This morning I watched the USA soccer team post a 2nd half comeback as dazzling as the Los Angeles Lakers rally against the Boston Celtics last night in game 7 of the NBA Championship (Lakers won 83-79).

Unfortunately, the soccer referees monitor 10 players as opposed to 5 in basketball. Those extra five may have contributed to referee Koman Coulibaly's controversial call that negated a goal by the USA which could possibly have won it for them.

The go ahead goal was the result of a free kick from the corner that appeared to be an impressive feed to a USA teammate who timed his charge to the net perfectly. The feedee was called off-sides, the goal was disallowed and the game stayed a 2-2 draw. Replays clearly show the USA feedee was not off-sides and the goal should have counted.

I didn't know Walt Coleman, the NFL referee infamous for the "Tuck Rule" call against the Raiders, is now working the World Cup.

If I can I'll post the commentator making the call in a British-like brogue stating "That Was Robbery!"

The good news is that the favored USA staved off what appeared to be a Slovenia upset to possibly avoid a next round elimination. Great Fifa Word Cup Competition!

Final Score
Slovenia 2

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Frank Forgot!

A fugitive who managed to avoid authorities for 40 years has been caught and is back behind bars thanks to the diligent work of a relative of the victim.

Clem Pellett, who's grandfather Clarence Pellett was shot six times in the back by Frank Dryman in 1951, spent a year tracking down the killer of his grandfather. Clem, whose family never talked about the murder because of lingering pain, says he was driven by an intense curiosity.

Frank Dryman has lived 40 years as honored citizen Victor Houston. He is now 79 years old and will most likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. Though the articles comments are mixed as to whether Frank should be kept in jail or released, most expressed their good'ol "Eye-For-An-Eye" philosophy in saying Frank should die in jail.

I felt compelled to write something in defense of Frank, hoping to awaken some compassion in the commentors. But after much thought about this changed senior citizen, and re-reading the article (Fugitive hid 40 years in plain sight) it was I who was awakened to the fact that our honored senior might not be deserving of compassion.

Here's my Comment:

I tried to think of reasons why the law and the victim's family should forgive and exonerate Frank Dryman and show compassion for this changed elderly man. Then something that Frank repeated throughout his interview hit me. Frank "Forgot."

"Frank Forgot he was a wanted man."
"Frank Forgot he was a parole violator."
"Frank even Forgot about hiding."

All these confessions of Frank's forgetfulness made me wonder if Frank had any remorse or compassion for the life he'd taken with six shots in the back when he was young and wild. Further along in the interview Frank's words confirmed what I suspected:

"Only since I have been back here did I start to think about it," said Dryman. "To be honest, I didn't even remember the victim's name."

Frank had forgotten his victim and his crime. He had lived freely in complete denial of the young and wild Frank Dryman while his victim's family lived with a scar too painful to glance at. If not rehabilitate, prison should at best remind criminals of the wrong they perpetrated that landed them behind bars.

Frank may be a changed man from his young and wild self, but it damn sure wasn't a compassionate heart or a guilty conscience that brought about the change. Frank Forgot or never learned the most important part about human growth and spiritual change; acceptance of who we are in all our imperfections.

Frank Forgot to Pray for himself and those he caused harm. He was too busy living as Victor Houston to ask God's or anyone's forgiveness for Frank Dryman/Frank Valentine.

Frank Finally Remembers!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Raiders Add Another Defensive Piece

John Henderson was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in April. Henderson made the Pro Bowl twice as a Jaguar.

Word is that the Oakland Raiders have added a 6-foot-7, 335 pound piece to their revamped defense. Big John Henderson, 2-time pro bowl defensive tackle with the Jackson Jaguars, is said to have signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders.

Henderson started in 120 of 124 appearances with the Jaguars, proof that he knows how to stay healthy and on the field in today's injury-plagued game. His unusual ritual of having a "puny little trainer" slap him across the face before games is cool with the Oaktown defense. Whatever gets your motor running Big John, just win baby.

The Jags tried trading Henderson to Oakland for a 4th round draft pick, but the Raiders offered only a fifth round pick which Jacksonville turned down. At 31 years old, its said that Big John still has a lot left in the tank. Now with a big chip on his shoulder to prove his worth, Big John is exactly the piece the Raiders defense needs, an experienced run-stopper with a face-slapping mean attitude.

Welcome to the Silver & Black Big John Henderson. Don't worry about the pre-game slapping ritual, we got "Smacks-For-Days" here in Oaktown!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Its Official! = Blackhawks Are Champions!

Chicago Blackhawks celebrate after they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in overtime to win Game 6 of the NHL hockeyStanley Cup finals Wednesday, June 9, 2010, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It ends the longest active championship drought in the NHL
Congratulations Chicago Blackhawks

NHL 2010 Champions

Final OT

Chicago won 4-2 (Game 6 of 6)

Game 6: Wednesday, June 9th

Chicago Blackhawks Take NHL Stanley Cup

The Chicago Blackhawks "Road to the Cup" was a twenty-two game battle through four Cup-hungry opponents;


Although I rooted against the Blackhawks through two of the four series (Sharks, Flyers) I definitely tip my hat to them tonight as they wrap up ........................

Oh Shucks! My Bad. I didn't realize there's still over 12 minutes of championship hockey left in the third and final period with the Blackhawks up 3-2. I was way too busy sulking in the San Francisco Giants loss to the Cincinnati Reds 6-3. Buster Posey did get his first major league home run.

I could've sworn I saw a Blackhawk player lifting the Stanley Cup over his head as I switched briefly to the game. Did they have color television in 1961, the last time Chicago won it all?

Apologies Hockey Fans!

The good news is that my Philadelphia Flyers, down 3 game to 2, still have a ghost of a chance to extend the series to a game 7.

Go Flyers!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Stephen Strasburg Inauguration Day In D.C.

Washington Nationals' new darling pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, showcased his phenom talents in today's debut major league game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Strasburg, the 2009 #1 draft pick, struck out 14, gave up only 2 runs and walked zero in pitching a full game that took 2 hours and 19 minutes.

His fastballs reached 100 mph and his curves were nasty. The Nationals now have an east coast version of "The Freak" and I can't wait to see Lincecum and Strasburg battle one another.

Final Score
Pirates 2
Nationals 5

Monday, June 07, 2010

Shame On Israel

I could see attacking a shipment of weapons of mass destruction, but a ship loaded with aid for the poor in occupied Palestine? In International Waters?

Come'On Man!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Joy In Pictures

Spring is truly a time of year that reflects God and his/her creation.

One look at the natural blossoming of anything during springtime gives us a glimpse of what the great creator must of had in mind.

Life Is Beautiful!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Almost Perfect!

On a day in sports where Ken Griffey, Jr. announces his retirement from baseball after 22 seasons, the talk is all about 22-year veteran umpire Jim Joyce.

So what feat did Mr. J achieve to put his unrecognizable name atop headline sports news? He simply made a human mistake; a big one.

His mistake cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfectly pitched game and a footnote in the history of Major League Baseball.

• Armando Galarraga of the Tigers lost his bid for a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning on a call that first base umpire Jim Joyce later admitted he blew. First baseman Miguel Cabrera cleanly fielded Jason Donald's grounder to his right and made an accurate throw to Galarraga covering the bag. The ball was there in time but Joyce signaled the runner safe.

You can imagine how all the baseball enthusiasts who've been screaming for "instant replay" are using this unfortunate incident as a springboard for their cause. It appears that MLB is looking into a review of the play and may reverse the call.

In the meantime, umpire Jim Joyce should not be made a "whipping boy" for blowing the call. He's admitted his error and has more than apologized to Galarraga and fans. It is Major League Baseball who find themselves on trial today for not implementing a rule or review that would correct the human errors made in the game. Court is in session!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


A Reminder to Arizona Lawmakers

Remember, remember always, that all of us... are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

What, then, is this new man, the American? They are a mixture of English, Scotch, Irish, French, Dutch, Germans, and Swedes. From this promiscuous breed, that race, now called Americans, have arisen.
- J. Hector St. John de Crevecouer

In times of shrinking expectations,... everyone feels like a victim and pushes away outsiders to defend his own corner.
- Oscar Handlin

Remember that when you say "I will have non of this exile and this stranger for his face is not like my face and his speech is strange," you have denied America with that word.
- Stephen Vincent Benet

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.
- Emma Lazarus

Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.
- John F. Kennedy

In response to Arizona's "Enactment" of State Bill 1070.

A little reminder to Arizona Senator (R) Russell Pierce, Governor Jan Brewer and the peoples of the State of Arizona.

DITAT DEUS (Latin: "God Enriches")