Ten Conspire to Kill Ortiz!

DATELINE: Bounty Hunters Come Cheap in DR

ortiz-unleashed Bargain Basement Killers!

The price on David Ortiz’s head was reportedly only $6000 to be divided up by a dozen conspirator killers. Then, the number went up: no, not the bounty, but the number of plotters splitting the ante. The latest count from the Dominican Republic is there are ten co-conspirators. It’s almost like a county fair of killers. A few are still at large.

We are on our way to a baker’s dozen.

Maybe your money goes a lot farther in the Dominican Republic economy. If that cheap lifestyle is driving Americans to move to that crime-ridden country, they are living a cheapskate rich lifestyle.

We thought that assassination of Julius Caesar was a shoddy affair, but 2000 years later the attack on Ortiz is even more carnival-like. Instead of a forum, or even Fenway Park, Ortiz was shot in the back, a la Jesse James, in an outdoor bistro atmosphere.

No motive has been given for the crime. We cringe at the speculation. And none of it enhances Ortiz’s reputation as a moral paragon.

Friends now say that Ortiz counted on the general public to protect him from dangerous gang members or gangsters.

The best laid plans belong to mice, not men. No one could stop the bullet with Big Papi’s name on it.

If you think witness identification is a deterrent to crime, you have only to see killers blithely walk up to the large Ortiz and put the gun at gall bladder height. They did not care who saw them, or if they would be known.

What we have here is the polar opposite of the Aaron Hernandez case.

The motorcycle get-away driver was inept too. He skidded into the crowd, giving a mob the courage to beat him up. He professes to be a Big Papi fan.

Heavens, imagine what might have happened if the motorcycle driver had been a Yankee fan.

We come back to the low-ball price on Ortiz’s head. This was not the work of a head-hunter, but of a world where life is not only cheap, but it is on sale to anyone with a credit card limit under $8000. The killers planned to share the amount at a payoff of $1000 each, but as the number goes up, the slice of the pie drops to crumbs for a murder.

 

 

 

 

X-Ray Milland with X-Ray Vision

DATELINE: See-Through?

Rickles Stares Down Milland Stare down between Rickles & Milland!

One of the first major box-office-poison stars who won an Oscar was also one of the first to go to American International’s low-budget junk division to continue his career when others simply faded away.

Man with X-Ray Eyes is a sight to see.

We think of Ray Milland as a man with an expensive toupee and a weary face.  His career as actor and director fell into the skids after playing the lush DT-suffering alcoholic in the film The Lost Weekend. His Oscar led to a lost career. In this movie, he makes an equally ludicrous choice when he character decides to cheat at cards in a Las Vegas casino.

Milland liked to work, and he was not about to let trashy scripts and bad TV stop him. Here, he plays Xavier, or X-Ray Milland, the savior of mankind gone all wrong.

Milland often transcended much bad material by finding something a cut above:  such was the case with Roger Corman’s delightful X-Man with the X-Ray Eyes.

Oh, it is filmed in lurid, eye-popping color, with boiling hard-boiled eggs standing in for bloody eyeballs in a glass specimen jar.

The film is actually quite modern and quite intelligent, dealing yet again with a researcher (Milland) who uses himself as the guinea pig—despite friend’s (familiar costar Harold J. Stone) objections.

Don Rickles is also around for the cynical laugh part as a carnival barker, perfectly cast as an unlikeable, greedy insulter.

The doctor starts off by seeing through paper folders to read messages or seeing through some clothes to see a missing button. Then, it becomes more sinister and more licentious. Yup, the thrill of voyeurism gives way to seeing bare bones beneath the sexuality.

There is a sense of medical come-uppance in Corman’s morality film that manages to hit on all the sensational aspects but presents them with a sensibility of political rightness. (Our woman doctor colleague demands respect—before the women’s movement in 1963).

You may be surprised that the exploitation elements are actually intriguing issues of ethics. Milland’s performance was regarded as scraping the barnacles off his once-high-toned acting, but in retrospect, he is professional and classy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horse’s Neck & Other Derby Matters

DATELINE: Horsey Set?

mr. ed Mr. Ed for President!

In the United States of America, there is only one horse who can talk—and Mr. Ed likely has plenty to add to the recent spectacle of horse flesh known as the Kentucky Derby.

This annual bettor event is used by swells for preening and promenading all for the better. Tom Brady was there with a plethora of former backup quarterbacks and some of his other sycophantic friends. It was a Trump supporters’ extravaganza.

However, Maximum Security stole the show and may be now in lock-down if not in harness in his solitary stall. He was disqualified for cheating.

We suspect the horse sense only applied to his jockey, but the action of judges to take the one-third of the Crown away from the pretender to the Derby has left big bettors throwing their hats in the ring for a fifteen-round fight.

Imagine a horse cheating in 21st century American sport known for gambling, and he did not even take a steroid.

Now the Cheater-in-Chief has taken again to Twitter to explain his view of the universe. He hasn’t much else to do except bet on losers.

In America the only talking horse is Mr. Ed.  But, when it comes to blowhards, the white horse’s ass is speaking again in 140 characters from the White House, no country estate.

You have to understand how a cheater and liar can be indignant when someone does not win after cheating or lying. If you are looking for a premonition of the 2020 presidential election, you may gulp hard at the attitude of the White House wannabe returnee.

Maximum Security lived up or down to his name, and the Country Horse is Country House, an offense to someone in the White House.

Of course, as you might expect, Mr. Trump cannot even spell “Kentuky,” a state he hopes to carry in the next election. His semi-literate tweets may once again prove that his father bribed some college to give the horse’s end a degree, but that’s a horse of a different color.

World War II Gold: Second Episode

DATELINE: Have Drone, Will Travel!

have drone, will travel

Money is no object when a trillion bucks worth of glorious stuff is reportedly hidden in caverns beneath a thick jungle. Only modern technology can save you from the “needle in a haystack,” end of good intentions.

This week on Lost Gold of World War II, we learn that the Japanese depositors of stolen loot used various tricks to booby-trap their cache. We heard about the sarin gas bottles last week, and this week we hear how they have made flood tunnels that will drown the gold seekers. Shades of Oak Island!

And, yes, other treasure hunters met their ignominious ends through this means.

Our American heroes are not so dumb. They have found a shaft dug only 20 years earlier, but hubris leads them to think there is a concrete cap inside that leads to a subway system. Wrong.

Their ability to maneuver through the Luzon jungles is impossible except for Lidar, which arrives from a drone that does a fly-over. As the expert drones on, he claims this is digital napalm: jungle leaves will disappear on the computer, revealing roads and caves.

Bingo Minerva, the researcher back in the States, confirms much of this. Yes, Bingo Minerva may be the smartest one not to go on this treasure hunt.

He does not face unrelenting humidity, insects, and booby traps.

Facial markers are the key under the leafy canopy. They must find a large gorilla head carved into rock under a waterfall. We wouldn’t make this up, and it is why we remain intrigued.

Finding petroglyphs (like a gorilla face behind a waterfall) is historical, but these treasure hunters attribute them to Japanese soldiers.  These war-mongers are members of the Golden Lily — part of a Niponese version of the Knights Templar, complete with symbolic codes and secret rituals.

We are eager for more to come.

 

Civil War Gold: Overboard and Underwhelmed

 DATELINE:  Gong Show Amateurs

Marty  Enter Mr. Moneybags

After four weeks of toying with the Civil War gold hunters, Marty Lagina comes through with a boat. We half expected he would provide them with the SS Minnow, as Kevin Dykstra tends to look more like the Skipper than Gilligan. Marty Lagina shows up as Thurston Howell, III, and brother Rick is a no-show as Lovey.

Welcome to episode five of Curse of Civil War Gold.

To our surprise, Lagina coughed up plenty to give them a state-of-the-art 80’ yacht with all the amenities of up-to-date sonar and research ability. They even have a captain who seems to know what he is doing, though that never stops the hunters from ignoring expertise.

Kevin Dykstra is hell-bent on diving, even in choppy seas. Much to our amusement, Marty Lagina showed up for the first dive, as if to check on how his money is being spent.

Of course, the first hit is not the right boxcar on the dice. After one of the gold hunters tells Lagina there can only be so many boxcars at the bottom of Lake Michigan, we discover there are at least two.

Strike one does not daunt Kevin Dykstra who is eager to don his wet suit as if posing for the ‘before’ pictures for Jenny Craig. Alas, not using experts continues to be the daunting issue here. During his second jump, Dykstra actually breaks a hip by hitting the diving platform. Curses, foiled again.

Though they were on the cusp of finding some kind of valuable metal, the entire operation is scrubbed because of the Chuck Barris Gong Show mentality.

If there is a silver lining, it means that a real diving team will have to finish the job: so Lagina will call in his old Oak Island stand-by to resolve the issue.

We are at the end of this season, with episode six on the horizon.

And, if there is any explanation of why the series has been called the Curse of Civil War Gold, we are hard-pressed to know what it is.

We don’t usually blame stupidity on curses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bridge Too Far to Play

DATELINE:  Gamblers Anonymous

Our Bridge Team Under Fire!

As an avid bridge player, you have to worry about the latest crackdown. The card game is now bridge over troubled waters.

Senior citizens in Thailand were arrested for being dummies.

The actual suspected crime is gambling, but the oldsters were arrested for having illegal playing cards. Perhaps it was the deck with pictures of Playboy bunnies—or some other sexual deviance well known to Thailand.

Bridge is best played nowadays with a computer that holds all three hands—and surrenders to you when it is your partner as dummy. We suspect Roger Clemens, A-Rod, and Barry Bonds all play bridge.

We have found that computers cheat at bridge. And, everyone knows that computers are programmed by cheating human beings. Machines come naturally into the world as innocents (sort of like playing cards). It is the environment that corrupts games and cards.

Just ask the skilled experts who guess winners of the NFL each week on  FanDuel or DraftKings. The corruption quotient is creeping in from the coasts. Hawaii is now joining New York in banning these games of corrupt chance.

We never thought you could make millions playing bridge.  Now that the word is out, we expect more young people under age forty will buy a deck of cards and build their empire.

We have decided to cancel any notion of a trip to Thailand. It joins Hawaii and New York as places that are kill-joys when it comes to get rich quick schemes.

Was Bernie Madoff a bridge player? We wouldn’t be surprised.

The $350,000 Question: Can FanKings and DraftDuels Lose?

 DATELINE:  Can ESPN Be Far Behind?

Featured image

If you think FanDuel and DraftKings have more in common than a missing space between their titles, you may be on to something. Is the operation rigged?

It appears that the $64,000 question has arisen from the dead game shows of the past.

Can it be the two sports game sites are fixed? That there is insider trading of information has become an issue when a rival employee used his insider stats to win $350,000.  That dwarfs the old TV game show scandal by nearly seven times, if our fixed math education does not fail us. Obscene winning does not compute.

We have been overwhelmed by the series of manic commercials permeating sporting events by the two dueling kings of gambling online. We have been disturbed by the idea that a generation of young men, with no discernible and employable skills, now will start to make a living as gamblers in the world of chance. Talk about strip poker!

Holy rollers, how high can the winnings go? One man-in-street claims in a commercial that he spent $35 and won $2million. It’s enough to make you quit your day job and put the life savings of $50 into this week’s NFL picks. Hey, our guess is good as a win.

When your economy is based on sports, the next step is to share the wealth with gambling sites apparently. Move over, Pete Rose.

If you cannot be a millionaire athlete, overpaid and wallowing in celebrity, you may as well be a swine wallowing in the dirty games of fixed gaming online.

When we hear that pro athletes are members of KingDraft and DuelFans, we will know the entire house of cards of online gambling and sports is about to burst the Wall Street bubble.