# Dying to Believe

### Number 116 in a series

Feeling as though the world has started to go loopy? You’re not alone, and it has:

### Nearly 90 Percent Of Americans Have Prayed For Healing

Prayer is a common but little-discussed feature of therapeutic care.

If you’ve ever prayed for healing for yourself or someone you know, you’re not alone. In fact, the majority of Americans have prayed for healing at least once in their lives, and this prevalence suggests the spiritual practice could have some major benefits, according to a new study.

About 79 percent of people have prayed for themselves and 87 percent have prayed for others, according to data from a randomized Gallup survey of 1,714 Americans. Among those who have prayed for themselves, 32 percent reported they do so often, and among those who have prayed for others, 51 percent do it often.

More than half of the survey respondents have asked for prayer for themselves or participated in a prayer group (54 percent and 53 percent, respectively), and 26 percent have even participated in a laying on of hands, or when a person places their hands on the body of someone who needs healing while praying for them.

A little background. I had hospital procedures on two occasions this year, and I kept getting this question in the entrance interview. “Do you have a religious preference.” I’m wondering if I answered yes, and something went wrong in the O.R., would they pray for me, or would they actually make an attempt at saving my life? The things is, I would never know.

# Quiz Question

An easy problem. The area of the large circle is 10. What is the combined area of the two semicircles? Prove it. Post your answer as a comment below.

## Update and solution

You can resolve this one without doing any math. The solution is in how the question is posed. It is posed that there is a solution, but the sizes of the two semicircles are not specified. Therefore the answer is the same for all configurations of the two semicircles, including the case where the yellow semicircle takes up half the area of the large circle, and the blue semicircle disappears. Therefore the answer is that the sum of the areas of the two semicircles is ½ the area of the large circle.

# Bad Movie of the Week

### Number 230 of a series

This has to be just about Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s worst move. Then, I never saw any of the Conan films. This is End of Days, and it came out in 1999, at the appropriate time for such a movie. Recall that as the 20th century closed down all kinds of doom was projected, not counting four-digit date software issues. The deal was 2000 was supposed to be the 2000th anniversary of Jesus of Nazareth (born in the year -4). 2000 was supposed to be the beginning of the new millennium, and it was, except the new millennium started at the end of 2000, not the first of January 2000. Anyhow, this is about the religious notion of end of days, and there is more on this topic than you care to hear. The movie is currently streaming on Hulu, where I obtained the screen shots. Details are from Wikipedia.

When the movie opens we see a priest (or a monk) at the Vatican pulling out cannisters of ancient scrolls. He finds the one he is looking for.

He takes the document to the Holy Father with startling news. The girl that was prophesied is about to be born. It’s 1979, twenty years prior to 1999, and the girl is going to grow up to bear the child of the Prince of Darkness. Many churchmen declare the girl must be killed to forestall this prophecy. The Pope decides (since when?) it would be immoral to sacrifice an innocent. The girl must be protected.

It’s a few days before New Year’s Eve in 1999, and a Nameless Banker (Gabriel Byrne) is having dinner at a swanky Manhattan eatery, along with a business acquaintance and a most charming woman. He gets up and goes to the men’s room. While he is inside relieving himself, a disturbance in the fabric of time and space comes down the street and enters the restaurant. It follows the banker into the men’s room and engulfs him. The banker becomes the host of the Prince of Darkness.

The man exits the restroom, strides to his table, kisses the woman passionately, and goes outside. As he strolls away the restaurant is demolished in a fiery explosion.

Meanwhile, super cop Jericho Cane (Arnold) and his partner capture a crook. Here is Arnold doing his True Lies stuff, snagging the bad dude in mid-air while dangling from a cable attached to a helicopter overhead.

The girl is born, and now she is 20 and most likely still a virgin. Her parents are dead, and she is being raised by a mysterious woman, soon to be revealed as working for the Holy See. The church is dedicated to protecting the girl, but at the same time to prevent her being impregnated by the Dark Prince. The impregnation must occur between 13:00 p.m. and midnight on 31 December 1999. The reason for this is never adequately explained.

Here young and virginal Christine York (Robin Tunney) rides a subway train, confronted by an apparition. It’s a manifestation of the dark side, and Christine has been plagued with this kind of thing for years. From outward appearances she is schizophrenic.

Back at her apartment some men break in with the intent to kill Christine. But first they must administrate the last rites. These are people from the church, and their intent is to keep Satan from humping her and getting her pregnant.

But Cane and his partner, following up on a related case, happen by, and Christine is saved. Cane becomes interested in Christine.

And the movie plot is off and running as Cane must prevent the girl from getting knocked up during the critical hour, and the rest is cinema FX, packed with scenes such as this one of a subway car crashing in a tunnel.

Come the critical hour, and Cane destroys the banker, but the manifestation invades his body, and he prepares to impregnate Christine, by force, on a church altar.

By sure will power Cane overcomes the dark force and tells Christine to run. It is seconds before the ball drops in Times Square. The church is half wrecked, and Cane impales himself upon the sword of a fallen statue. This is most gruesome.

The ball drops, and the magic hour expires for another 1000 years.

Cane has given all and has atoned for his years of denial of the power of faith. It’s a tale for the ages.

Yes, and that is all the movie has going for it. Based on a legend concocted by people unknown at a time unknown and having no basis in fact or scripture. It is a bad movie.

As I watch through this I was struck by the many ways the prophecy could have been forestalled. Cane could have screwed the girl and gotten her pregnant. She could have gone on the pill (except the church would object).

Also, this Prince of Darkness is such an omnipotent being, how come he has to go through all theis rigmarole to impregnate the girl, and how come he is unable to use his vast powers to defeat some bumbling cops? If this shows the limitations of the Prince of Darkness, why are we so concerned that he could possibly dominate the world.

And finally, this planet is one of possibly billions of habitable worlds in the universe, and it just happens to be the center of all this attention? Tell me more.

My favorite Arnold film tends to be Kindergarten Cop, where Arnold does comedy well. The Terminator is good, also, but there he’s a stand-in for  machine and not a real person. True Lies was another comedic tough guy role for Arnold. I need to review Total Recall.

# The Government You Paid For

### Number 39 of a Series

You may not be satisfied with the weather we’re having, and you may be disappointed in your choice of friends, but one thing you can count on is getting the government you paid for. It would be interesting at this moment to take a look and see what kind of government you most recently purchased. The story comes from CNN streaming on YouTube and also from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, streaming on Hulu, where I obtained these screen shots.

This centers on a story that’s been around for over a year, and it concerns a meeting involving some of candidate Donald Trump’s campaign advisors and a Russian promising help in Mr. Trump’s plan to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. The meeting occurred in Trump Tower, and what attracted Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and campaign manager Paul manafort was the promise that Natalia Veselnitskaya was prepared to dish up some dirt on Clinton. Others attended the June 2016 meeting, as well. One was Rinat Rafkatovitch Akhmetshin, “a Russian-American lobbyist and former Soviet counterintelligence officer.”

So, when prosecutors and intelligence agencies began to dig into Vladimir Putin’s scheme to tip the scales for the election, one of the things they learned about was this meeting. What did the Trump team expect to gain by meeting with these Russians? It was beginning to look mighty suspicious. Denials started to fly. Don Jr. went full-throated to put some distance. He thought the meeting was going to be about adoption. There was a law on the books about adopting Russian children, and the Russians wanted some relief. Emails quickly put the lie to that explanation.

It’s worth noting that Sarah Sanders, a highly-paid government employee, has weighed in, quoting the President’s denial.

I’m beginning to think “I love it” will be the catch phrase by which this administration is tagged in the history books.

Incredibly, Don Jr. is under the impression that continuing to lie about the matter will make everything all right.

Things further unraveled a few days ago. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s long-time attorney and fixer of problems, is now cooperating with the feds. He is saying that, despite denials over the past year, President Trump knew about the Russian meeting in advance. The President has responded, tweeting yesterday:

For the record, and so search engines can find it, here is the text of the President’s denial:

…..I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!

In order to repudiate Mr. Cohen’s charge, the President’s supporters need to impugn the character of Michael Cohen. Here is Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City, and currently one of President Trump’s personal lawyers.

Yeah. That’s going to fly. Listen up, people, and that includes you, Mr. Mayor. When you set out to lay a string of lies, you need to concentrate on keeping your story straight.

In all my life I never expected every politician to be honest. I was hoping, however, to find at least one. I have been told that Diogenes still has his lamp, but that’s only a rumor.

# Bad Joke of the Week

### One of a series

A man and a woman meet at a bar one day and are getting along very well. They decide to go back to the woman’s house where they engage in passionate love making.

The woman suddenly cocks her ear and says, “Quick, my husband just got home. Go hide in the bathroom!” So the man runs into the bathroom.

Her husband comes up into the bedroom and looks at her. “Why are you naked?” he asks.

“Well, I heard you you pull up outside, so I thought I would come up here and get ready for you.”

“Okay,” the man replies. “I’ll get ready.”

He goes into the bathroom before his wife can stop him and sees a naked man standing there clapping his hands.

“Who the heck are you?” the husband asks.

“I’m from the exterminator company. Your wife called me to get rid of the moths you are having problems with.”

The husband exclaims, “But you’re naked.”

The man then looks down and jumps back in surprise.

“Those little bastards!”

# Years of Living Dangerously

### Continuing review of William Shirer’s Berlin Diary

William Shirer published Berlin Diary in 1941, the year following his departure as a correspondent from Berlin. While the book derives largely from contemporaneous notes, it is not the transcript of a daily ledger. There was difficulty getting his notes out of Germany, considerable danger being attached should they be discovered at the border. At the least, such inflammatory material would have been confiscated. A consequence is that Shirer composed the bulk of the book once safely outside Nazi Germany. This is one of a series reviewing the book. Posts follow by 80 years the time line of events.

In 1938 Adolf Hitler began in earnest to solidify control of the Nazi state. His first outward thrust was the annexation of neighboring Austria. Hitler next moved on Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, the German digestion of Austria began to become manifest at the lowest levels. On Shirer’s journey to Rome to cover Hitler’s visit there he met face-to-face with absolute rule:

### ROME, May 2

Some time during the night S.S. Black Guards at the Austro-Italian border got me out of bed in my wagons-lits compartment and seized all my money. They argued a long time among themselves about arresting me, but finally desisted. Hitler arriving this evening at sundown. I’m broadcasting from the roof of the royal stables overlooking the entrance to the Quirinale Palace and have it timed for the moment the King and the Führer are due to arrive.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 114). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The continent of Europe was coming apart at the seams, yet Shirer’s bosses back in America felt the need for the mundane:

### FLORENCE, May—?

Followed Hitler up here, but did not have to broadcast. New York wanted me to look up some singing birds— of all things!— for a broadcast, but could not find them. Spent the day at the Uffizi, but somehow the Leonardos, Raphaels, Titians, even the Botticellis, pale a little after the Grecos in Spain. Walked along the Arno. Remembered the magnificent view from Fiesole, an old Etruscan town five miles up in the hills from here, but no time to revisit it. Back to Vienna tomorrow.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 115). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

It became urgent that Shirer get his wife and baby out of the hot zone and into neutral Switzerland. The fabric of society was unraveling—he encountered a Nazi spy, who had long posed as an anti-Nazi immigrant. Getting the flight Geneva was wrought with imperial entanglements and peril:

GENEVA, June 10

At the Aspern airport they behaved very suspiciously. I explained to the Gestapo chief that Tess was too weak to stand up and I would go over the luggage with him. I had laid Tess out on a bench in the waiting-room. He demanded that she stand up and explain things during the customs examination. Otherwise we couldn’t leave. I tried to hold her up. Then a police official led me away. I left the nurse to help as best she could. In a little room two police officials went through my pocket-book and my pockets. Everything was in order. They then led me into a side room. “Wait here,” they said. I said I wanted to go back to help with the baggage inspection, that my wife was in a critical state; but they shut the door. I heard the lock turn. I was locked in. Five, ten, fifteen minutes. Pacing the floor. Time for the airplane to leave. Past time. Then I heard Tess shout: “Bill, they’re taking me away to strip me!”

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 117). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

The world began to take notice of what was rapidly becoming the fate of Europe:

### ÉVIAN-LES-BAINS, July 7

Delegates from thirty-two states here, on Roosevelt’s initiative, to discuss doing something about refugees from the Third Reich.

Shirer, William L.. Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941 (p. 119). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

Coming up next, the relentless progression of events to sell out Czechoslovakia and to pray this awful mess will just go away.

# Friday Funny

### Number 121 of a series

Yeah, I was thinking that, too. Have fun. It’s Friday.

### Number 33 in a series

Whatever happened to buyer’s remorse? You know about buyer’s remorse. It’s when you purchase something because it looks good in the store, but when you get it home you realize you got a bad deal. Some of that’s going around. Finally.

From ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, 26 July 2018, currently streaming on Hulu: Two years ago people voted for candidate Donald Trump in surprising numbers, despite his obvious lack of integrity and workable plans. We recall the towering promises he made, promises no living man could possibly fulfill. Actually, what no living woman could fulfill either, but that’s a story from a another day.

We see now-President Trump coming against some hard reality. In his campaign he reminded American workers, American  manufacturers, and American farmers they were getting a bad deal from other countries. Unfair trade deals were siphoning us dry, and President Trump, he told us, was going to fix all that. How is that working out?

Easy to say. Here’s the reality.

What do I know, but I had the notion that Congress was supposed to approve appropriations of \$12 billion and up.

Here is the President in the American heartland urging farmers to wait, the promised land is just around the bend. He offers a new hat, as well.

Not to worry. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reassures us this is not a bailout. I guess the question is, “Then how do you spell bailout?”

Farmers in the heartland, who largely voted for candidate Trump, are telling ABC News they don’t want handouts. They just want access to markets.

That might not be forthcoming. The President’s unwise moves on trade have taken these farmers and also many manufacturers, out of some world markets, and other countries have moved in.

I’m hoping I’m beginning to see some signs of remorse, but then remorse does not pay the loan at the  bank.

### Number 121

Found one! Actually, there are several of these every year, and in fairness I post some of the cases involving a friendly handgun. This is from The Dallas Morning News:

### ‘I had to do what I had to do,’ says Dallas mom who shot man trying to steal SUV with kids inside

Loyd Brumfield and Claire Z. CardonaUpdated Sunday at 4:15 p.m.: Revised to includemore details.A woman shot a man in the head as he tried to steal her SUV with her two children inside Wednesday night, Dallas police say.An employee of a gas station in the 200 block of West Camp Wisdom Road, near the border with Duncanville, alerted the mother about 10 p.m. that a man was trying to get into her SUV.

The mother, identified by KDFW-TV (Channel 4) as Michelle Booker-Hicks, told the station she had been paying for gas at the time.

She jumped into the vehicle. When the man didn’t stop, she pulled a gun from the glove box and shot him in the head, police said.

So, there. Sometimes you do come out ahead being in possession of a legal handgun. If she had not obtained the weapon for her protection, as she told authorities, and kept it handy, then man would have stolen her car with her kids inside.

Of course, should have accomplished the same result without the expense of a handgun by taking the keys with her when she got out of the car. But, that’s just me talking.

### Number 32 in a series

Opening scene for the movie 1984 (1984 version)

Aw! The party is winding down. The fun is coming to an end.. The time for poking fun is past. No more making the jokes. Matters are getting deadly serious. President Trump has proclaimed the end and has brought down the curtain, this at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City yesterday:

Donald Trump has launched a fresh attack on the “crap” news media, telling a military veterans’ convention that “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening”.

In a meandering rant taking in “unfair” trade practices by the European Union, his policy of imposing tariffs on incoming goods and big companies “ripping off the United States”, the Republican accused a major US network of manufacturing an interview in cahoots with “lobbyists”.

“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.” Are we now at that point? Is there no remorse?

Whatever the Party holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party. That is the fact that you have got to re-learn, Winston. It needs an act of self-destruction, an effort of the will. You must humble yourself before you can become sane.’

Orwell, George. 1984 (Kindle Locations 3548-3550). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Before it slips away, we need to examine that which is no longer true.

I am so glad all that is now settled. At last I can live in peace with my internal conflicts.

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Orwell, George. 1984 (Kindle Locations 4230-4233). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Rest easy, my friends. The best is yet to come.

### One of a continuing series

This came out in 2007 and has been streaming on Hulu for several weeks. I decided to take a look and ended up investing 2 hours and 38 minutes watching it. It’s American Gangster, featuring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. It didn’t take long to spot this as a meld of Goodfellas and The French Connection. It’s about (see the title) an American gangster, in this case real-life Frank Lucas. From a quick review I get the idea the plot roughly follows the crime career of Frank Lucas. The screen shots are from Hulu. Details are from  Wikipedia. Here’s the cast:

The opening shot shows somebody tied up in a chair. It appears he is being water-boarded. Somebody is pouring water all over him, while he’s screaming. Now we realize it’s not water. It’s gasoline. Frank Lucas has a lesson he wants to teach people who get out of line. He flicks a flaming piece of paper on the man, who bursts into flames. The man screams for a few seconds before Lucas kicks the chair over and shoots him dead.

Next  we see gang boss Bumpy Johnson dispensing largess from the back of a truck in a Harlem (New York) street, where his downtrodden constituents give him rave reviews. That happy scene changes swiftly as Bumpy takes his driver Frank Lucas aside to explain what is wrong with modern cities. Neighborhoods have lost their identity. Small shops, owned by people who live on the same street and who work there, are being replaced by business run by large corporations, by people who don’t live in the neighborhood. This is 1968, and Martin Luther King is already dead, killed by a sniper in Memphis, Tennessee. Bumpy takes Frank into one of the new stores. Nobody there is from the neighborhood. Gone is the community. Then Bumpy dies of a hear attack in the store, and Frank figures to take over his empire.

He takes inspiration for his business model from Bumpy’s advice. Vice in the neighborhood is owned by the Italian mobs. Drugs on the street pass through multiple layers before being injected into the bodies of Harlem junkies. Frank concludes what is needed is local management and vertical integration. He will personally run the whole operation from top to bottom.

Meanwhile, his nemesis is germinating in the form of a, rare, honest cop. Detective Roberts is taking classes to become a lawyer with the idea of moving up in the world. Meanwhile, he and his partner, Detective Rivera, are watching some business going down in a parking lot. Some suspicious characters leave something in a car. They investigate and discover hundreds of thousands of dollars in street bills. Against his partner’s advice, Roberts insists on taking it down to the station.

This is a bad move. This is free cash that could have been distributed, according to seniority, to any number of members of the New York police force. Roberts becomes a pariah in the department. Later, when Rivera, who is, himself a junkie, murders a dealer, and Roberts needs to extricate him from a hostile neighborhood, the dispatcher will not send backup.

Lucas figures to solve the problem of inferior drugs by getting his supply from the source. The Vietnam War is in progress, and 500,000 American troops are stationed in Vietnam and Thailand. Thousands enter and exit the region on a daily basis. It is an excellent supply route from the heroin producers of Thailand. Lucas travels to Thailand, where he hooks up with an American Army sergeant. Together they trek into the hot zone, where the poppies are grown and where the drug is refined.

His business model is an instant success. Selling “Blue Magic” trade-marked heroin at below the competition’s prices, Lucas takes over the trade in the New York City area. He purchases a large country estate for his extended family from low rent North Carolina and moves everybody in. He recruits his five brothers as partners in the business. His scheme is that blood loyalty will protect his enterprise from police infiltration. And that works, for a while.

Back in Harlem, he impresses his brothers with the seriousness of their business. He had heretofore been squeezed by the street enforcer of the legacy gang. The unfortunate pictured here previously demanded 20% of Lucas’ action—insulting and also above the established market. As Lucas and his brothers are enjoying lunch, Lucas spots the enforcer on the street, pressing a local business for the money. Lucas leaves his brothers, who watch from the restaurant, and he strides up to the enforcer, confronts him, and shoots him dead in front of a large crowd. Then he rejoins his brothers. Nobody bothers him. There’s a new sheriff in town.

Lucas operates outside the model of the old Harlem mob. He wears a suit, not flashy, and gives all the appearance of a local businessman. He insists others in his gang do likewise, adopting a low profile. When brother Huey shows up wearing the 1970s equivalent of a zoot suit, Lucas takes him down a peg, asking him why he wants to walk around saying “arrest me.” Lucas marries  stunning Eva from Puerto Rico.

But matters begin to go bad for Lucas. Roberts is recruited from the NYPD into a federal investigative unit and concentrates on finding who is behind Blue Magic. He begins to zero in on the Lucas brothers. His group keeps an eye on them, and in a case-breaking event, they see Huey chase a woman out into the street and shoot her. They now have leverage into the Lucas operation.

At the same time the local police are putting the squeeze on Lucas. He’s not paying his share, and this upsets Detective Nick Trupo, who wants to keep the Lucas operation thriving as a steady source of income to the corrupt police. Lucas strikes back, fire bombing Trupo’s car in front of his house to send a message.

But Roberts’ crew eavesdrops on a conversation between Huey and Lucas (in Thailand). It’s 1975, and American  forces are coming home. The Blue Magic supply line is about to be shut down. Instructions are in code, but Roberts translates the dialog into the tail number of an Army C-130 transport arriving in Elizabeth City, New Jersey. His group is ready with a search warrant when the plane arrives.

But they can’t find the shipment on the plane. They even open caskets of American bodies being returned to the States but find nothing. Roberts’ commander is incensed. They have desecrated the bodies of these soldiers and have nothing to show for it. Also, black guys doing this stuff? Not Italians? Where’s the Italian connection? Only the Italians do this stuff, not black guys. What is Roberts thinking? He’s a disgrace.

But Roberts persists. He decides the shipment is in the caskets, and his men follow the vans taking them away. At a point the caskets are opened, and the bodies are transferred to burial coffins. The caskets leave by a separate van. The crooks take the caskets to a building, where they open them and unseal compartments in the bottoms. They pack a shipment of heroin into plastic trash bags and cart the bags over to a waiting truck. Roberts’ group follows the truck, which goes to  Lucas’ packaging plant.

In a dramatic raid guns blaze, crooks die, and the packaging manager ends up on the sidewalk on his back, staring into the muzzle of a shotgun.

Lucas is in church, and as he leaves he is faced with a street full of police cars and nobody else around.

Lucas tempts Roberts with a deal. Any amount of money. Roberts places a counter offer. The whole gang and all others who can be snared. A closing note says that Lucas received 70 years. But Roberts quit the police and became a lawyer. He represented Lucas and got his sentence reduced to 15 years. Eva went back Puerto Rico.

Meanwhile, Detective Trupo sees what’s going on. Knowing that Lucas is going down, and the money pot is about to dry up, New York police raid Lucas’ mansion looking for the getaway stash that gangsters keep for such emergencies. They tear the place apart and finally locate the dough under a doghouse, after shooting the dog.

Three fourths of the New York City’s drug enforcement agency was convicted of related crimes. We see Dozens of police being arrested and packed into vans. We see Detective Trupo sitting in a lawn chair in his back yard and placing his service pistol under his chin before pulling the trigger. Justice is truly served.

With 158 minutes worth of celluloid, there is obviously more. What I’m not showing is Detective Roberts’ family life coming apart, his wife suing for divorce and taking his son to Las Vegas. We see Roberts humping his lady divorce lawyer on the kitchen counter when he gets a phone call that his partner has died from an overdose of Blue Magic. We see naked women processing the heroin (sorry, Steve). They are naked to make sure they don’t steal any of the stuff. Also, I’m thinking if you don’t get any of the powder on your clothes, it’s going to be easy to test clean when you get back out on the street.

But wait! There are plot failures. The cops raid the C-130, and don’t find the dope. The crooks, enormously stupid, believe they are home free, and they proceed to carry the caper to the end. Don’t they know that by now there is a cop behind every trash can? Who believes this?

Besides, in real life the drugs were not in the caskets, but in the pallets under them. It’s Hollywood, people.

Contrary to the movie, Roberts had no children.

The drama is tense and doesn’t let up from beginning to end. The plot does not line up perfectly with the actual story, but it’s worth a watch.

# People Unclear

### This is number 46 of a series

This series is devoted to those people who, despite having to the best information services in human history, never seem to catch on. They are decidedly unclear. One of these would be conservative writer Ann Coulter:

Ann Coulter Retweeted The Hill

A.G. SESSONS GUILTY OF INAPPROPRIATE LAUGHTER!

All right. I think I get the point. This is a copy and paste from Ann Coulter’s Twitter feed. She is referring to Attorney General (formerly Senator) Jeff Sessions, laughing when high school students begin chanting, “Lock her up!
During the campaign, Trump argued that any presidential candidate under federal investigation — which Clinton was for her handling of classified information stemming from her use of a private email serving while serving as secretary of state — was unfit to lead the country. He egged on chants of “lock her up!” at campaign rallies and told Clinton during the second presidential debate that if he became president, “you’d be in jail.”

This was at the “Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit in Washington.” After enjoying some brief laughter, A.G. Sessions joined in the chant. And that was funny.

But here is what is even more funny. Donald Trump is now President of the United states, and look who’s in jail;

Ann. Ann! Let’s make a bet. \$1000. Just between the two of us. Who ends up in jail first, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?

Funny does not get any better than this.

# This is your President speaking.

### And now a few words from the President of the United States:

So we now find out that it was indeed the unverified and Fake Dirty Dossier, that was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC, that was knowingly & falsely submitted to FISA and which was responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!

There is more delight packed in that short morsel than in a train load of sugar beets. Where to start?

However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit TRUMP’s person  obsessions and sexual perversion in order to  obtain suitable ‘kompromat’ (compromising material) on him. According to Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s perverted) conduct in Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, where he knew president and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed on  one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ (urination) show in front of him. the hotel was known to be under FSB control  with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms to record anything they wanted to.

The image of not-yet-candidate Donald Trump watching in fascination while Russian prostitutes pee on a bed in a Moscow hotel is the stuff liberal dreams are made of, and every morning I wake up and thank the President of the United States for again bringing it to my attention. Jesus blesses you, President Trump.

“Crooked Hillary,” properly capitalized, is one of my favorites.

And don’t we all love “totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!” One picture ices the cake.

May Jesus (and Donald Trump) continue to smile upon us.

# Dying to Believe

### Number 115 in a series

Unreasoned belief kills in many different ways. From The Washington Post:

### Most girls in Somalia experience genital mutilation. The ritual just killed a 10-year-old.

In 2012, Somalia introduced a new constitution that was supposed to ban female genital mutilation. But a few years later, there had been little follow-up, and UNICEF still estimated that up to 98 percent of girls and women there had been cut.

This week, a Somali activist announced that a 10-year-old girl died in central Somalia in what she said was the direct result of an FGM procedure. Hawa Aden Mohamed, executive director of the Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development, a Somali nongovernmental agency that advocates for women’s rights, said in a statement that “the circumciser is suspected to have cut an important vein in the course of the operation.” The girl died two days later.

Where is Jesus? Or Allah?

# This is your President speaking.

### And now a few words from the President of the United States:

“It was classified to cover up misconduct by the FBI and the Justice Department in misleading the Court by using this Dossier in a dishonest way to gain a warrant to target the Trump Team. This is a Clinton Campaign document. It was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump….

….and the DOJ, FBI and Obama Gang need to be held to account. Source #1 was the major source. Avoided talking about it being the Clinton campaign behind it. Misled the Court to provide a pretext to SPY on the Trump Team. Not about Carter Page..was all about getting Trump…..

…..”Carter Page wasn’t a spy, wasn’t an agent of the Russians – he would have cooperated with the FBI. It was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump.” Tom Fitton A disgrace to America. They should drop the discredited Mueller Witch Hunt now!

How many ways are to spell “unhinged?”

# Quiz Question

### I stole this one off the Internet, and I’m not telling where I got it. No fair using Google to find it.

There are 12 coins. One of them is false; it weights differently. It is not known, if the false coin is heavier or lighter than the right coins. How to find the false coin by three weighs on a simple scale?

# Conservative Treasure

### Number 2 in a series

I admit to leaning toward liberal, and I recognize a truck load of foolishness from the left side of the aisle. That said, here’s a swipe at you conservatives reading this.

Take the image above. It was posted on the Facebook feed of a person I know to be deeply conservative. I find this to be mildly humorous, as do any number of clear-headed people. What is more funny is that there are those, call them conservatives, who take it seriously.

What it says is:

Breaking News

President Putin releases identity of Russian spies who influenced the presidential election.

The photo at the top shows Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photos at the bottom are of former President Obama, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, former DNC National Chairperson Deborah Wasserman Schultz, and Donna Brazile, also former DNC national chairperson. These are the people who a conservative advocate believes, or wants readers to believe, are Russian spies. Once you take this in you begin to realize why bottles of shampoo come with instructions. An examination of known facts may startle a few conservatives. Let’s have a look.

First, here is a Russian spy, and more, illustrated using screen shots from ABC World News Tonight with David Muir from 18 July and streaming on Hulu:

This is Maria Butina. She is 29 years old and from Russia. She is a Russian spy, arrested last week and charged with working to infiltrate the U.S. political system and the National Rifle Association, a left-wing organization that promotes gun rights and friendly relations with Russia. The Russian government directs payments to the NRA, which then works to get Republican candidates elected. Prior to her arrest, the enticing Ms. Butina employed her considerable sex appeal to achieve her goals.

Here is Maria with a former United States Senator.

Prior to her arrest, Maria was packing and sending money to Russia. Here, I presume, is one of her pro-gun poses the NRA found so attractive.

Here is Donald J. Trump, President of the United States. He’s the one on the left. On the right is Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two presidents are good friends, and last Monday they had a two-hour meeting in Helsinki, just the two of them with their interpreters. They emerged from the meeting with Mr. Putin smiling. Mr. Trump was not so much smiling as he was expressing satisfaction with a number of agreements he had made with President Putin. Mr. Putin has hinted at some of the substances of the agreements. Mr. Trump not so much.

Following the meeting Mr. Trump proudly announced that Mr. Putin had disclaimed any Russian involvement in attempts to subvert the 2016 elections in the United States, and Mr. Trump assured those watching, which included a large part of the world, that he was satisfied with Mr. Putin’s assurances.

Here is Mr. Trump, who subsequently withdrew his enthusiasm for Mr. Putin’s assurances.

He told us he meant to say he does not see why Russia wouldn’t be responsible for interfering with the election. He had previously said he does not see why Russia would be responsible. American voters were surprised and also glad for the clarification.

Here is Lindsey Graham, a left-wing senator from South Carolina. He is not satisfied with President Trump’s initial statement, nor with his attempts at backing away from it.

Here is Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence, who works for President Trump. He is not satisfied, either.

Nor are Republican Senators Bob Corker and Susan Collins.

Meanwhile, twelve Russian military  intelligence officers have been indicted, charged with assault on computers associated with the 2016 elections.

None of the people identified as Russian spied include the four American politicians in the picture at the top. Among my collection of conservative treasures, this one has to rank near the top. Keep reading. There are conservative treasures yet to come.

# Bad Movie of the Week

### Number 229 of a series

The moment I started watching I realized I had seen this movie before, and I had. It came out in 1953 under the same title, mostly the same characters, and much the same plot. It’s Invaders from Mars, released in 1986. I reviewed the 1953 version in October, so I’m not going to go through the plot again. I will just post a few screen shots from Amazon Prime Video, where this is now streaming, and I will also post corresponding shots from the previous review. You will be impressed with how Hollywood producers can economize by recycling old material, apparently including sets. This is a GolanGlobus production, so you have an idea what to expect. Details are from Wikipedia.

Yes, movie titles improved in 33 years.

The Gardner (used to be MacLean) family beds down for the night after viewing a meteor shower. George (Timothy Bottoms) is a scientist working at a nearby military base. David (Hunter Carson) is a budding scientist. Laraine Newman plays Ellen Gardner.

But David looks out his window and sees a spacecraft land. That rail fence looks much like the one in the 1953 movie.

He tells his parents about it, and the next morning George goes out to Copper Hill to investigate. He returns much strange.

From 1953

Later that day George does not return from work. The police are called. They go out to  investigate. They return much strange.

From 1953

David notices that people who have become laconic, almost catatonic, have something in the backs of their necks. At school the mean teacher Mrs. McKeltch (Louise Fletcher) also eats live frogs. This is different from 1953.

The school nurse, Linda Magnuson (Karen Black) intervenes when David tells her his remarkable story.

In 1953 she was Dr. Blake.

Two army types sent to investigate disappear into  the sand. They return much strange.

David gets the attention of General Climet Wilson (James Karen).

When the two returnees attempt to kill the general, it is obvious that something is up.

The general sets the might of the United States Military into motion.

From 1953

They confront the invaders in their cave. Here a naive scientist figures to negotiate. They are horrible. They vaporize him.

From 1953

Here is the scene where the invaders capture Linda and prepare to insert a device into the back of her neck.

This is the iconic picture from 1953, where the horrid creatures subject the helpless and beautiful woman to their evil scheme.

In 1953 it was the movie poster.

The soldiers fight it out in the cave with the invaders and plant explosive charges. When they try to escape they see the exit has been sealed. David figures how to use one of the invaders’ weapons to blast open the exit.

Then everybody is running. The general and the soldiers run. Linda runs. David runs, pursued by his parents, who are under mind control from the invaders.

The explosives go off, and David wakes up from is dream.

From 1953

After being reassured by his parents, David tries to go back to sleep, but the storm again awakens him. He looks out his window. He see a spacecraft landing on Copper Hill.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

# This is your President speaking.

### And now a few words from the President of the United States:

The NFL National Anthem Debate is alive and well again – can’t believe it! Isn’t it in contract that players must stand at attention, hand on heart? The \$40,000,000 Commissioner must now make a stand. First time kneeling, out for game. Second time kneeling, out for season/no pay!

All right. I think I have this straight now. The President of the United States, elected with the aid of a foreign power, now meets with the leader of the government that assisted in his campaign, alone, except for two interpreters.

He comes out of the meeting and announces said leader of a foreign government was not complicit in aiding his campaign, and he denounces members of this nation’s intelligence services, disparaging past members by name, calling their investigation into crimes committed by the same foreign power that assisted in his election a “witch hunt.”

And he calls football players, who kneel while the national anthem is played, unpatriotic. I now think I have a clear picture of what is going on.

# Bad Joke of the Week

### One of a series

Agnes married and had 13 children.

When her husband died, she married again and had 7 children. Again her husband died.

So Agnes remarried and this time she had 5 more children.

Alas, Agnes finally died. Standing before her coffin  the preacher prayed for her. He thanked the Lord for this very loving woman and said, “Lord, they’re finally together.”

One mourner leaned over and quietly asked her friend, “Do you think he means her first, second, or third husband?”

The friend replied, “I think he means her legs.”