Next Step in the Epstein Investigation?

 DATELINE: Costume Ballers

 Weinstein/Epstein/Maxwell.

 What a trio!

When Prince Andrew threw a costume ball, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein joined Harvey Weinstein for fun and games.

Word is now filtering out of the Southern District of New York federal prosecutor’s office that the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell is opening up a Pandora Box. They may be looking at an investigation into public officials tied into the Jeffrey Epstein case.

You have political types jumping up and down on both sides of the aisle:  Republicans think Bill Clinton is under the gun, and Democrats think Donald Trump is the person of interest.

The term “public official” certainly rules out Prince Andrew, the son of Queen Elizabeth and a royal slime-ball of another country’s color.

Trump’s firing of the US Attorney Geoffrey Berman last week indicates that he was attempting to de-rail any investigation into Rudy Giuliani or Alan Dershowitz, two Trump allies with connections to Epstein’s unsavory sexual history. Bill Gates and Elon Musk have taken to the powder room to keep dry.

Everyone denies their culpability, but the rumors for years of loose morals among these people can be uncovered on many websites and news feeds over the past decade or so. Like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, all seem to be connected to each other, crossing paths or socializing with no distance too close. Ghislaine’s photo with Kevin Spacey from 2002 has been unearthed, and pix of Weinstein with Epstein are also now easy to find.

If you want to believe in a network of sexual predators, you don’t have to stretch the mind too far. Nearly all these people were flight risks on the Lolita Express, Epstein’s aptly named jet to perdition.

Some experts think Ghislaine will talk a good game to escape a long prison term; others believe she will never make it to trial. Accidents do happen when you cross billionaires and political power horses.

 

 

 

 

 Not Birds of a Feather: Birders

 DATELINE: Central Park 

 Cooper, Starr with director Kimball.

 

If you want to escape viruses and racial problems, you may go to Central Park in New York City where over 200 varieties of birds come to spend time each year. The film is from 2012 and is called Birders: the Central Park Effect..

Seasonal birders are bird-watchers who come in spring or fall to see the most friendly and unusual birds ever to congregate in a small urban space.

One of the most charming of people in this documentary is Chris Cooper, a gay African American man who calls the art of birders “a treasure hunt,” and explains he disappears for a month of delightful fun every spring. He compares birding to stamp collecting.

You may recall the incident (not in the movie) about the white woman (clearly a racist who could never apologize with a name, only calling her victim “that man”) who called police on Cooper who complained her dog was not on a leash and was frightening the birds. Her attack on Cooper went viral.

That shows how even birdwatching has become dangerous in our racially charged world lately.

What a shame about the racist attack on Cooper, but it draws attention to how real the problem is—even when we try to escape the horrors of our society lately.

Cooper is articulate, intelligent, and a marvelous birder to introduce the artful hobby that entails The Central Park Effect on birds.

Other birders in the film include an old woman named Starr Saphir who charged a few dollars to lead people on watching tours. She usually finds a dozen birds, identify them, and give their history. She kept records for each year for decades before her passing in 2013.

Another character in the story compares birders to those seeking movie stars. The stars are not pigeons or geese, but rare birds you may know from books and pictures. To see one in person is like meeting a movie star, according to Jonathan Franzen.

The film now resonates in ways never intended, but it remains a delightful study of human nature in natural setting. If there is bad news, the number of birds is declining everywhere.

 

Any Cost for the Race to Victory

DATELINE: World War II & Big Three

Leave it to History Channel to bait and switch its viewers yet again.

It seems after weeks of calling Race to Victory  a three-part series, it now appears it is multi-part series. Worse yet, History Channel simply tagged on the nextepisode after the third (now penultimate episode). But, wait, there’s even more!

Events superseded individuals in the first two episodes, but we wanted to see more about the interpersonal and psychological ties between the Big Three. This is a glaring omission in an otherwise excellent series. Now it appears this may be coming in the unknown fourth and fifth episode of the show.

We still have no idea what the “race to victory” of the title means. No explanation seems to have been offered, and self-evident strikes us as ridiculous.

 

This is still fascinating stuff: starting with Germany trying to break up the new alliance of Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt, by revealing mass graves of Stalin’s victims. It didn’t work because the Allies needed the lesser of the two evils.

The first meeting of the Big Three didn’t happen because Roosevelt was too sick to travel to Asia where Churchill and Stalin actually became friendly. Stalin wanted aid to Leningrad, but Churchill was set on fighting in Africa to protect the Suez Canal.

 

The States were also preparing to take on the Pacific campaign to regain Midway. Both Brits and Americans were breaking Axis codes—and that was the real turning point, but it didn’t hurt to have General Patton show up to give the Nazis a headache.

There are likely many tidbits in this series that only diehard buffs of World War II will know. For the rest of us, this is illuminating and intriguing.

 

 

 

Live Free, Ghislaine’s Motto

DATELINE: NH Hideaway for Child Molester

 Home Sweet Home!

A new episode of Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein is now required! In the past two weeks, Trump fired the prosecutor responsible for the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, notorious pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s eponymous procurer for a couple of decades.

Apparently she believed the motto of New Hampshire: “Live Free or Die,” as the FBI arrested her in Bradford, NH, in the foothills of Mount Sunapee. There, she lived like Prince Andrew’s consort in exile.

She was not exactly living free:  in December she bought a beautiful one-million-dollar mansion with cash. Miss Maxwell has more loot than you could count. Her hideaway was in the heart of Trump country: most of the locals thought a reclusive movie star had moved into the neighborhood, as the buyer was anonymous.

No, she was simply on the run from federal authorities, and she lived like a star.

The manse, located in cell phone free zone, had a breathtaking window wall view of the mountain. You couldn’t be reached by modern inconveniences. This little house required servants and caretakers, and so you can assume that Ghislaine had her enablers. They were either locals or flown in to do the dirty work.

Maxwell’s father was Robert Maxwell, the notorious tabloid dirt collector. Some claim he worked for Putin, providing photos and grist on political leaders who ended up in the blackmail pile.

Ghislaine procured for Jeffrey Epstein, not for money or love, but because it was a hobby she enjoyed. She ‘d choose and groom those 14-year-old girls for Epstein. She likely whistled while she worked. The British socialite could have fled the US and hidden in one of Prince Andrew’s castles in Scotland (they’re old buddies, or old something). Instead, like most arrogant people, she flaunted her money and lived the high life.

She had a helicopter pilot license and could have fled, but chose to challenge the FBI.

Now her residence of six months in Bradford will be on the market before you can say “child molester.” They better watch her closely in her cell, lest she be dispatched before being deposed.

WW2 Race to Victory: Second Episode

DATELINE: No Re-enactors!

 

  FDR & Winnie

History Channel’s new series Race to Victory  started off shakily in the second installment by suggesting that both Stalin and Roosevelt were surprised by the attacks on their countries. Putting the drunken bender of Stalin in line with philatelist FDR. It seemed bad taste, and outright preposterous.

The excellent photo footage is most remarkable in its selection and usage. The second episode began in early 1941 well before Pearl Harbor to show how much Churchill tried to entice FDR to give up isolationism and convince America to fight with the British Empire.

FDR was a capitalist against empires, and Churchill was the epitome of the colonial mentality. Though they met and personally liked each other, there was no agreement on this sticking point. And, both were reluctant to accept Stalin, but his massive country was important if they were to stop Hitler.

The series skips with balletic care the idea that Pearl Harbor was a deliberate set-up to bring America into the war. However, we know from our father, a Naval officer in the war, that he and others believed it firmly.

The end of 1941 was Hitler and Japan’s run to victory on both fronts. The Japanese immediately took hold of all the key ports of the Pacific, making America’s requirement for two fronts. It undercut Churchill’s plans for the US to fight strictly in Europe.

However, this compelling series manages to pull together extraordinary historical film and pictures to make this a a refreshing and powerful series that depicts the Big Three in ways you may not expect.

 

 

Marilyn Declassified

DATELINE: Patsy Monroe? 

In a new documentary called Marilyn Monroe Declassified,  director and writer Paul Davids in 2016 tackled the thorny subject of the probable suicide (its official designation) almost 60 years later.

He takes much archival footage and tries to find rare insights to give a background in his premise that it was more likely her death was an improbable suicide.”

No doubt that even decades later, Marilyn is a glowing and beautiful icon, transcending time and place. She may be up there in a few thousand years with women like Helen of Troy. Yes, legends easily pass into mythology with a background like Marilyn.

This film purports to examine both FBI and CIA documents only recently released to public scrutiny.

Using some fairly reputable scholars and researchers, the film veers off the standard biography patter for the final 20 minutes or so when the revelations about affairs with the Kennedy brothers (President and Attorney General) devolves into a mob contracted hit to embarrass the Kennedy Administration, led by the CIA guru and demonologist, James Angleton.

Sam Giancana, who believed the Kennedys betrayed him, was an eager contractor for Angleton. All stones could be unturned and thrown into the ocean when used. You may well ask yourself why it took 4 hours to call the police to report Marilyn was dead by her housekeeper (allegedly a CIA agent). After that, all bets are off.

The connection to Kennedy revealing to Monroe about the truth of the Roswell incident is documented in CIA/FBI reports. Whether true or not, she believed it and was prepared to use it, but the CIA was not about to accept that reality.

This documentary may seem to have gone off the rails, but it also seems grounded in the horrors that not even Ancient Alienswill tackle. It appears Oswald was not the only Patsy in a  conspiracy-ruled world.

Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein?

DATELINE: Trumpeting Epstein’s Death

 the Buddy System?

The short cable series in three parts went to tackle this thorny question, and you would be amazed at how many people became angered by the question. The series has received many low grades and bad reviews. Yet, it uses actual police video, interviews, and even Epstein’s own voice.

Who Killed Jeffrey Epsteinis a good question and a puzzling mystery, and an interesting documentary.

Just how and why may be of interest: a billionaire predator for years managed to buy whatever he wanted in girls as young as 14 years, and art as old as valuable. He had many residences—and even more powerful friends like Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and Donald Trump.

Some speculation is that he made his money because he had dirt on the famous rich people who attended his parties. No one is quite sure how many girls were molested, or how he made his money.

The series opens with all the blunders and peculiarities of his death in a high-tech New York City federal prison. Cameras malfunctioned; his bunkmate was released suddenly and not replaced; guards fell asleep or surfed the web instead of making rounds.

It was a perfect storm for a perfect crime. With life nowadays considered cheap, it would not take much powerful moneymen to wipe out Epstein. Yet, others bristle at the idea it was not suicide. You may wonder why “conspiracy” is such a dirty word. It certainly makes an outrageous murder all the easier to cover up.

Epstein’s latest criminal lawyer said he was upbeat and ready to fight again. His other lawyers said his plea agreement of 14 years earlier was airtight. He likely would have walked again.

Interestingly, and not noted in the first episode, the prosecutor of Epstein in New York, by the name of Geoffrey Berman, was recently fired by Donald Trump, one of Epstein’s friends. It almost requires a new episode of investigation.

The lawyer of O.J. Simpson, Klaus von Bulow, and Donald Trump, is Allan Dershowitz—and he intimidated all the girls who accused Epstein.

The man who gave Epstein his first foray into rich society by hiring him as a teacher and liaison at the Dalton School in New York was the father of AG William Barr. Epstein had no experience and no degrees.

We have here a horror story of money’s power.

Prince of Cool: Chesney Baker!

DATELINE: 1954 Buddy

 Chet as Challenger.

Was he really the first jazz musician in the early 1950s with a gay following? In a world of macho and homophobic jazz fans, Chet was often was dismissed as “faggy,” and singing like a girl. His style was decidedly feminine, often impossible to tell whether it is a boy or a girl’s voice. Think of Astrud Gilberto or Stan Getz.

He chose to sing a few ditties, that cemented the belief. His “My Buddy,” is shockingly gay for 1954.  And, his other plaintive tunes, like “Just Friends,” seem to sum up a gay world experience in the closet days of yore. He was always with beautiful women and a dog, as if to throw the bloodhounds off scent.

You half expect him to sing out about the love that dare not speak its name. And, then he bookends his melancholy sound with an amazing trumpet rendition that is subtle and delicate.

Gay historians may have missed him simply for not looking in the unexpected world of jazz by the Prince of Cool, as he was known to the aficionados of the day. He speaks convincingly, “How could you know what love is?” It almost seems a finger-poke to the straight eye.

“Miss your voice, the touch of your hand

Just long to know that you understand

My buddy, my buddy, your buddy misses you.”

Bruce Weber did a lionizing documentary on Chesney, Let’s Get Lost, which has been called homoerotic, rather knowingly. If you want a copy on DVD or tape, you will pay through the trumpet, unless you can play a Euro version on your recorder.

He was beautiful in his youth—and the camera loved him. By the end, the drugs and careless living took a hideous toll on his face. His talent remained, like a granite pyramid.

Chet Baker was hardly gay, in any open way, but was a sexually charged creature.

When Chet blew off a movie role as a trumpeter, Robert Wagner replaced him in  All The Fine Young Cannibals.

Weber’s biographical docurama contains the last haunting images of Chet before he either jumped off a hotel roof in Amsterdam, or was thrown off by drug dealers to whom he owed money.

The movie is stunning in its black and white sharpness: Chet Baker was James Dean, Louis Armstrong, and Picasso, all rolled into a trumpet.

Race to Victory: History ‘s Honorable Series

 DATELINE: Original Big Three

  Winnie.

In an age of re-enactors playing historical figures and onerous narrators, History Channel has gone against its own monster: we have World War II: Race to Victory,  a three-part examination of the Big Three of the greatest war in history.

World War II: Race to Victoryis a throwback to the grand documentaries of CBS back in the 1950s and 1960s. It is purely informative and uses rare footage to enhance the lessons.

With a plethora of newsreels, photos, and historical documents, it seems that History is drawing on this goldmine of records, news films, and interviews. And, they are not colorizing the brilliant black and white footage.

The series starts with an examination of Winston Churchill and his nemesis Neville Chamberlain. On the same side, they were bitter opponents, but had to live with the other in their cabinets.

Churchill’s rhetoric still makes him transcend all others in the 20thcentury. His persuasive powers were made for an age when behind-the-scenes patricians ran the British government. And make no mistake, the Brits did not have a democracy in the American sense.

While Churchill uses his techniques to great advantage, he falls short with his counterparts: Franklin Roosevelt will not be drawn into the war before he was ready, and Josef Stalin didn’t believe anything Churchill told him.

If there is a revelation in the first episode, it is that Chamberlain’s appeasement was a misnomer. He was buying time for a country not ready for war; to Churchill, that meant nothing.

Race to Victory  plays on the rivalries and mistrust among the original Big Three, and we hope future episodes are of the same high quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crossing Rachmaninoff with Villani

DATELINE: Grand Music

Flavio in concert.

Some disparaging commenters have called Flavio Villani a mediocre talent who is the subject of a documentary on his effort to play Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto with a symphony orchestra.

It takes a snide and cowardly person to label Villani anything but brave and courageous to make such an effort. To tackle that difficult and breathtaking piece of music in a concert is like throwing a touchdown pass at the Super Bowl.

And, the sports metaphor certainly applies to Villani who came late to music—but found himself challenged and gripped by becoming a pianist of classical order. He left his native Italy and went to study in New Zealand at age 26.

His efforts are documented in this little film that shows him walking on the beach, admiring nature, cooking, and living a normal middle-class life while he ruminates on the power of Rachmaninoff’s intimidating piano composition.

We see him practice alone, practice with a second piano, and prepare for this first attempt to play with a symphony. It is daunting, and he is committed. A gay man, alienated by both classical music and his personal life, he is a man in exile in New Zealand. He returns home triumphantly, reconciling with his family before the big concert.

We see and hear snippets of the First Movement and almost the entire Third Movement on the big night. Whether he made a single mistake or several, we might never know, so complex is the concerto. The music is staggering, dramatic, and ultimately a melodious work of genius. He acquits himself admirably.

If you have never heard this concerto, you have missed one of the great experiences of life.

If someone without as much passion and heart want to knock his efforts, they reflect on their own base misunderstanding of the human condition.

This little story of one person’s integrity and decency is a beacon in the dark world of today’s inhumanity.

 

 

 

Best Agatha Christie Bio

DATELINE:  Mystery Maven

You have to delve into the Britbox archives to find the 1990 biography of Agatha Christie done a dozen years after her passing. The thinking at the time was that she was a surprise to have her popularity survive her death.

Indeed, one interviewed critic dared to say he thought she had great staying power and would keep her fame and interest alive well into the 21stcentury. Imagine that!

This is, perhaps, a highly intelligent portrait called An Unfinished Portrait.It is based on the title of one of her nom de plumeworks that passed unheralded for years. Her furtile and creative mind is boggling.

This delightful film is narrated by Joan Hickson (who played Miss Marple several times) and features appearances by David Suchet (the definitive Hercule).

Using archival interviews with the grand Dame, you have an understated genteel woman who fairly much is dumb-founded when an interviewer asks her if she likes crime. She retorts, she likes detectives and puzzles.

She worked as a pharmacist during World War One, and learned all about poisons. The documentary uses words from her novels that parallel her personal feelings and biographical events.

IN one creative period from the 1920s to 1950, Dame Agatha wrote about 35 classical titles, all still known. Several include plays like The Mousetrap  or Witness for the Prosecution.

 

We could list 30 titles here that you’d recognize.

 

The film is unflinching in examining her strange, staged disappearance in 1926 that cast a murder charge over her philandering husband, Col. Christie. She set him up, or so it appears. She later married an archaeologist, 14 years her junior, who gave her many plot ideas.

Miss Marple was based on her grandmother, and Dame Agatha always maintained good manners in her personal life and in her storylines. She just enjoyed giving people a good mystery to figure out: chess on an entertainment level.

What a refreshing look at the great mystery writer.

Skinwalker Reaches Its Finale

DATELINE: Begging for another season?

Abandoned Homestead at Skinwalker!

This dubious series has reached its first-year contract with History Channel: they have done eight obligatory episodes. Whether there will be more, we may not know until the time for another season is upon us.

 

History Channel works in mysterious ways. This show, Secret of Skinwalker Ranch, has now given Dr. Travis Taylor his moment of revenge on the nitwits who have hampered him for eight episodes. He reveals that those mysterious copters overhead are the intelligence force of the United States, or so claim.

 

They have brought on Linda Moulton Howe for the final two episodes, and she has a wealth of info about cattle mutilations as she observes footage of a craft hovering above a dying cow.

Howe believes they interrupted a broad daylight mutilation in the making. The dead cow is dragged off for predators to eat, but not one has touched the dead animal.

As part of the self-congratulations, Brandon Fuglar brings in the Utah Attorney General to thank the Skinwalker crew for all they are doing to safeguard the public! Hunh?

At the Fuglar billionaire headquarters, the group assembles to re-hash the events of the previous episodes. What it becomes in its own strange way, is a plea to the powers at History Channel to allow them to continue investigating next season.

The Disneyland of Paranormal tries to recap its high points, but never are too far off the ground.

 

Travis Taylor makes his bold and arcane announcement that unidentified agencies are interested in their findings. He is so vague we almost want to ask what country contacted him.

 

Each member of the team professes how much he has changed since the show started. It’s more than the audience can say.

Fat Cells Unite!

DATELINE: When a Pound is not a Lb.

 Moby Trump?

Someone is not telling us the truth. The relative weight of blubber is not fluid.

According to Nero Trump’s latest physical exam, he stands 6’3” and weighs 244 pounds. This is a growth of height and weight since he became president.

When we looked at Ryan Allen, formerly of the New England Patriots, another athletic individual, he is listed as 6’3” and 230 pounds. Clearly someone has his numbers skewed.

When you look at a man 40 years younger than Trump, one expects to see more muscle. In this photo comparison, it is clear that Trump has more muscle around the ears and around the waist.

We think it cruel that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi believes that Ryan Allen is morbidly obese as she characterized a man who is tall and athletic. Oh, wait, she was calling Mr. Trump “morbidly obese.”

We must castigate the House Speaker because Trump is merely “clinically obese,” if we believe the poundage presented by his ever-truthful doctor.

It is not possible that Trump is 275 pounds, though his shape more naturally matches the size girth of NFL linemen more than a place kicker.

Trump defenders insist that the President’s fat cells have been photoshopped.  We think it is more possible that they have been distorted by hydroxy treatments. Couple that with the lack of exercise caused by his daily couch-watching habits determined by Fox TV binges, and you have put a bullseye on the below-the-belt hitting Democrats.

Trump Flees to Florida

DATELINE: Storming the White House

 Trump & Mentor.

Gutless and a snivellling coward, Donald Trump has fled the White House. See Donald run. How fast does he run? Hightailing it out of town is a new record.

A night of loud protest, storming the gates of the People’s Home terrified Trump enough that he was up to 3:30 am. He announced that he was safe within because the paid civil-servants known as Secret Service are ready to protect his sorry ass, no matter what kind of a tool he is.

A predecessor in the White House, named Harry Truman, once said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” And Trump has taken his Tupperware and canned beans on the road. At Mar-a-lago, he will find a golf course in which to hide.

The mayor of Washington, D.C., had it correct when she called him afraid and alone, needing vicious dogs and a body guard. They could not quell the noise.

As a result of losing sleep, the coward has flown off today to Florida where Hitler once reportedly was living in Naxi exile.

We know that people like Trump in history do not always end well.

The storming of the White House gates almost had a parallel to the storming of the Bastille in Paris. We were trying to recall if the King of France fled in terror from his citizens like Donald Trump.

It did not save Louis, though he did not have to face the voters, now angry about a pandemic and racial injustice.

Does Trump get it? No more than Marie Antoinette. If Trump could be quoted, he might say let them eat bullets from his national police state.

Tom Brady at Skinwalker Ranch

Tom Brady at Skinwalker Ranch

Brady’s Custom Spaceship Now for Sale!

Tom Brady continues to divest himself of all things New England. Latest is his used vehicle, a customized spaceship that brings heart-warming memories back to the aging quarterback.

It can be yours for $300,000. Not since the Aaron Hernandez Death-Mobile went up for sale on eBay has there been such a chance for Patriots fans.

Among the amenities, this vehicle is super re-enforced to protect Brady against bad New England drivers. You may not recall he was involved in a car crash on the way to Gillette Stadium early in his career. After that, he wanted super-reinforced electromagnetic, interdimensional protections.

Now we presumed he worried about terrorists and kidnappers against his family, but now living in Trump country where there are no taxes and Gulf Breeze is a familiar jumping off point, he no longer needs insured protection: unless it is against space abductions by rival aliens and lost time (an important commodity for Tom).

Yes, the vehicle exceeds all U.S. Crush and Crash Resistance Laws. Unfortunately, this gas guzzler will need plenty of fuel as it goes about 3000 feet on a gallon of high octane.

This vehicle has propulsion that can travel to the stars with stars: it’s not just another pimpmobile where Julie Edelman and cronies can pile in.

Yes, this vehicle can transcend warp speed and has even been seen emerging from orange portals at Skinwalker Ranch, lending credence to the notion that Tom Brady is a shape-shifter as well as a shifty guy.

The custom seating will accommodate Brady in whatever form he takes in his universal time travels. Oh, yes, this car exceeds the DeLorean abilities of going back to the future. Tom has maintained his youthful appearance by using the vehicle as a hyperbolic time chamber in his copper-fused pajama spacesuit.

There is enough headroom in this vehicle that the Apollo astronauts would be envious.

Though it has been deceptively created to appear to be a Cadillac Escalade, it is a vehicle once filmed by AATIP jet pilots on scramble over Catalina Island.

Among standard modifications are six-way electro-magnetic chargers that gently provide you with immortality while reclining in the electric leg rests.

“Parting ways with my UFO won’t be easy. From day one it became my sanctuary from the outside noise,” the Tompa Bay Buccaneer star is quoted as saying in the listing. He hopes that the next owner will feel like Superman, a strange visitor from another planet who may also use the disguise of an NFL GOAT to hide his true identity.