Friday, April 22, 2016

It's time to end the fraudulent and dangerous $39.95 background investigation scam by data brokers.

Los Angeles, CA--We can begin with the popular ride sharing outfit, Uber that relied on the data brokers assurances they were somehow getting comprehensive nationwide criminal histories of their driver applicants.  

What Uber got for their money were numerous criminals convicted of disgusting, despicable and violent crimes. Uber officials expressed surprise as they are now forced to shell out millions to victims and government agencies for their deadly failures.

Data brokers are not licensed to do investigations.  They are not capable of doing them. They are merely providing data they've collected.  That data is key punched by minimum wage earners and in some cases foreign workers.  Additionally numerous data contributors are actually people serving time in American prisons!  There are just too many holes in the data provided.  Massive mistakes of omissions and incorrect information is the rule, not an exception.

Let's begin with reality.  The FBI can't by law share their information for public consumption even to licensed private investigators.  The information comes from various courts that are willing to contribute their data.  A huge number of courts simply refuse to cooperate with the data brokers because they want to sell their data directly and cut out the data brokers.  

A not so small obstacle is name variation and misidentification.   Our names can change just like our underwear.  People are booked for crimes by police simply under the names they provide.  Identification is based on a unique fingerprint classification generated number!  That number never changes rather than ever changing criminal's names is the identification. 

We private investigators examine the data broker information because it's available but dare not use it as an end report! This is only an investigative tool used to sort out the real story.  

A diligent background investigation requires at a minimum checking each jurisdictional court anywhere near where the target/applicant ever lived.  That includes city, county, Justice of the peace and local Federal courts!  Additionally we search newspaper Archives all with a sharp eye out for alias names and misspellings.

You need to just imagine how difficult doing a records search on a common name like Robert Smith or Bill Jones! Tell me please,  how the data brokers can begin to sort this all out? 

For nearly two decades the data brokers have engaged in widespread fraud making millions of dollars doing little or nothing.  The should be prosecuted and the public needs to be informed.

Banks, landlords and employers have been victimized just as Uber but the regulators like the FTC and police have been asleep at the wheel! 

In addition to a professional investigator's skill all licensed private investigators have what the data brokers don't.  That is lawful access to the state motor vehicle records.  It's a much better tool needed to sort out identification issues! We even have access to the photo database.

A meaningful investigation will easily cost a full day's time of an investigator.  The average cost is about $550.00 and that's a far cry from the $39.95 taken by the Internet data brokers!  





Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why I’m convinced Oswald Acted Alone When He Assassinated JFK.

Oswald's crappy 6.5 Italian Carcano rifle
Dallas, TXLee Harvey Oswald was a former Marine.   He was trained on the eight round semi-automatic M-1 Garand rifle.  In 1963 he military was dumping those fine rifles on the surplus market when they switched to the 20 round M-14 rifle.
Klien’s Sporting Goods in Chicago was selling both the far superior M-1 Garand and the crappy 6.5 Carcano rifle that Oswald bought and used on Kennedy.  Of course Kline’s sold many other rifles by mail order back then.  Oswald selected the really cheap Carcano rifle.  He also bought a cheap 4X scope. 
Had there been any kind of conspiracy Oswald would have purchased a far superior rifle like the M-1 Garand he was trained to use.  Certainly had others been involved a better rifle would have been chosen.
The distance between Kennedy and the sixth floor window was just 81 meters.  Kennedy’s limo was traveling in a straight line away from Oswald’s position at less than 12 miles per hour.
This was what most experienced shooters would call a “cheap shot”.  No particular skill was needed to hit Kennedy even using the bolt-action rifle.  However the use of a semi-automatic rifle would maximize the success of that mad act. 
Conspiracy theories would exist no matter who killed Kennedy.  Conspiracies sell books and films. We know that the Kennedy assassination theories sold massive amounts of books, movie tickets and supermarket heckout line tabloids. .
The truth is that Oswald’s rifle with shipping cost him less than $22.00.  The really great M-1 Garand cost less that $100.00 at the time.
Every time I hear the words, Kennedy and Conspiracy, I cringe.  It’s all baseless, even though there were plenty of people that really wanted Kennedy out of the Whitehouse.
We all know Oswald, an avowed Communist that wanted to become important to Fidel Castro.  Kennedy tried to overthrow and kill the Cuban dictator.  Oswald had dreams of being a hero in the new Communist Utopia in Cuba.
One man murdered both Kennedy and Dallas cop J.D. Tippett.  That man was Lee Harvey Oswald.
As for Jack Ruby he was just another narcissist jackass who thought he’d be hailed as a hero for killing the most hated man in America.
I hope I’ve helped those people that still ask themselves nagging questions about that 22nd day in November 1963.
As for me, I was in the ROTC Class at Chicago’s Senn High School when we got word the Kennedy was shot.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 

So you Wanna Be A Citizen Journalist? Here are a few tips!

Los Angeles, CA—We are now in a truly multimedia world.  TV and Newspapers are on life support because of declining viewers and readership.  Today’s people want news on their terms, instantly, short, sweet and with compelling video.
People want to see news on the iPhones and IPads.  They want it while they are between tasks. They seek it out while in the grocery checkout line or when waiting at the barber’s office or hair salon.
The opportunities for citizen journalists are starting to surface.  Today the pay may be low but now’s the time to prepare.  You can be creative and lead the pack or be left in the dirt.
You need writing skills.  Hopefully you learned them in school.
Multimedia is the venue.  That means writing, photography, video and video editing.  You must be a master of all media forms.  You also need to learn how to transfer your work to the Internet. 
Most people have some of these skills right now.  The technical aspect has never been easier to learn and the equipment and tools gave never been more affordable.
For starters the iPhone 6 plus is a great platform.  You need a selfie-stick and a good lavalier microphone like the Rode for $80.00.  You can simply obtain the iMovie app for $5.00 and you’re in business.  For the absolute best results, so-called prosumer cameras, wireless microphones and lights are recommended.
For spot news the iPhone is quick and easy. 
If you go to YouTube there are a huge amount of tutorials on every technical aspect of shooting, editing and getting your material posted.
If you get an exclusive story on a hot subject you can be paid a small fortune.  Those opportunities are rare but they do exist. 
The first rule is to always hold your iPhone sideways because that’s the way video monitors and TV screens are positioned.  Vertical cellphone video simply stinks.
When you’re at the scene of news events being shy will destroy your chances of success.  Get up close and into the face of the event.  Ask lots of questions!  For news you need not get anyone to sign a release.  If you’re using the video for a documentary or entertainment by all means a release is a good idea.
Learn how to put voiceovers on your video keeping the natural sound.  Crappy audio makes for unsalable video.  Using a second audio source like a Zoom H4N microphone is always the best failsafe.
Drones are great.  Get it up, get the shots and you may have something exclusive, unique and sensational.  You don’t need to ask permission to fly over property!  That’s First Amendment protected activity.
Libel avoidance is an absolute must.  You better have solid proof before making accusations.  Rather than accuse, it’s better to simply ask the question, did your protagonist do something wrong?  
Be bold, be accurate and get the details.  Understand your subject matter and tell the story.
I have one story below done with just my iPhone in London.  It took me just minutes to put the story together and post it on YouTube.
Below that is an exclusive story I did for WND that uses all the things I talked about.  Here I used some prosumer gear because it was warranted.   



Friday, March 11, 2016

There is a documentary film about rocks that really rocks!

Los Angeles, CA--While attending the German Film Pre-Oscar Reception here I saw an attractive lady and asked a fellow who I was chatting with what he knew about her.  He made a disapproving face and said she made documentary films about rocks.  He then said  that her films must be dreadful! 

That lady was Petra Haffter and I didn't care about the the quality of her films because she had a great presence and she rang my bell.  I had to meet her!  

I forgot the line I used on Petra, but she responded in a warm and friendly manner.  I liked her more by the second! Her personality was equally attractive! 

Petra then invited my to a screening of her film series on rocks.  Suddenly in my mind I could see the disapproval on the face of of the guy who thought Petra's films must be dreadful.  I tried not to show Petra any skepticism but I had some serious doubts.  I then called the Goethe Institute and put in my RSVP for the screening.  

Tonight was the screening.  Petra really packed the house! Either she was a great promoter or her project was hot! 

Petra spent a year and a half making her five-part series that took her to Rajasthan, India in search of white marble, the Pacific Rim to see lava at various stages, sandstone, meteors in the American Southwest and granite at the French Atlantic coast. 

Drone video was everywhere but used in subtle and clever ways. The cinematography was great and the sound was a combination of great music with energetic and expertly researched narration by Petra. Petra's minimal German accent all but completely disappeared.  Petra's writing would rival Hemingway any day! 

There are three more parts to this series and I don't want to miss them! 

Could a series about rocks, rock you ask? The answer is a rock solid, yes! 

Petra's website has a trailer for the series!


Monday, February 29, 2016

DJI Products are as good as their service and at least today that Sucks.


Los Angeles, CA-My DJI Inspire 1 drone cost well over $3,000.00 extra batteries are well over $200.00 each. 

Realistically you need several additional batteries if you plan to do any extended flying.  

One of the batteries I purchased was only recharged seven times and somehow gave a "damaged cell" warning.  The battery is absolutely unusable.  

Three DJI technical support calls later they told me to send it in with photos of all six sides of the battery with proof of purchase and I'd get a replacement.  Sounds simple! 

Not so fast!  The date on the receipt Oct 2015 was not readable.  So they refused to send me the replacement.  Without a better copy of thr receipt I'm out of luck! 

So now I'm supposed to kiss enough ass to get a better copy of the receipt from my dealer.  He's closed today so it will delay replacement assuming the dealer will generate another copy. My drone dealer is top notch in every way and I know he will help me within reason. 

I asked DJI if they would simply call the dealer who knows me very well and could verify the sale.  I was told that the DJI policy would not allow for a simple phone call.  

Needless to say I'm going to be unlikely to recommend them or purchase another product with their very unreasonable nitpicking.  

I'll say this for what it's worth.  I'm not talking behind DJI's back.  They are getting a link to this review of their service. 

I'm angry about this crappy treatment and hope this fiasco won't get worse.  I will update and publish just how this aggravation is resolved.

An Update!

DJI finally heard my complaint and cut out the obstruction.  They were slow but by within a week they sent me a new battery.

My lost productivity because of the battery problem was much greater and more expensive than had I just bought a new one!  That was indeed unfortunate.

DJI makes wonderful products.  They like every relatively new business has some setbacks.  Dealing with fraud is no small problem and security measures are no small concern.

I've heard a multitude of complaints about DJI's service.  Will their service ever have the same excellence as their products?  We all hope that will be the case.  I say they need time to streamline and make service more customer friendly.  I hope my criticism was constructive and helpful to that end.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Politics and The Oscar Awards are a Horrible Mix

LosAngeles, CA--instead of having a contest about the art of filmmaking, acting and soundtracks we now have a disgraceful political exercise, The Oscar Awards.

The Olympic Games began as a way to unite people everywhere.  The common enjoyment of sports connected people with the  singleminded goal of excellence.   Instead of creating dividing issues with race, politics and religion the Olympics have brought people together.

Likewise the art of entertainment should be a uniting force.  However the evil of division, hate and distrust has turned the Oscars into a political freak show.

The participants now wear ribbons and bracelets and campaign for political crap that has nothing to do with art or entertainment.  

Nobody benefits from divisive, abrasive or offensive political rhetoric, boycotts or blacklisting.  Those being offended the most are the ticket buying audience. 

The only thing that should count at the Oscars are compelling stories told by those talented folks involved with making films. Instead we see race card promotion, political ass kissing and garbage not related to entertainment. 

The entertainment industry went sideways with the Blacklisting disaster of the 1950's.  They learned nothing from the the sports athletes.  What the public sees are a bunch of narcissistic millionaire brats dictating from the Oscar stage. 

As a film patron I don't give a rat's about anything other then the performances, visuals and sounds.  I don't care about the personal political, sexual or religious proclivities of the players.  Make me laugh, cry or be angry through the delivery of your special art not your political message. 

There is a place for satire in entertainment provided it's funny. Politics has no place on the Red Carpet or acceptance speeches. 

Few will ever forget the horror of the 1972 Olympics in Munich with the murders of promising young athletes.  The athletes did absolutely nothing to create animosity like so many of the Oscar competitors are doing today. Instead the violence and hate came from outside of the competition. 




  

Friday, February 26, 2016

Unarmed Security is Meaningless Because it Simply Facilitates Violence

Los Angeles, CA-
-As the final preparations are being made for Sunday's Oscar Awards Gala terrorism is a real possibility.  Terrorists love to create havoc during events that draw worldwide publicity.

Having untrained minimum-wage earning workers in pseudo police garb is beyond silly.  Thankfully the LAPD will be out in force with every possible resource to deal with these issues. 

I keep wondering when terrorists will employ mortars for assassination and terror within the USA? That may be old technology but teemed up with small computers those things would have amazing accuracy.  Air surveillance by helicopters or drones is  now more important than ever. 

Our large shopping malls are perfect soft targets because they phased out armed security over 40 years ago.  Before everyone had a cell phone there was an advantage to mall guards with radios.  They could notify their office to call police to deal with problems.  Now anyone can make the call so that became a game changer.  Now other than giving directions to confused shoppers or dealing with lost children they have no function.

The Gun Fee Zone concept works as long as criminals or terrorists are not involved.  Making a super-soft target of any public gathering site is pure insanity.  

Running, ducking and hiding does not save lives.  Armed resistance on the other hand is a proven lifesaver. 

Remember, when seconds count the cops are many minutes away. Once the cops arrive they can't tell the good guys from the bad ones. 

Trained and armed citizens or security people can react and end these unthinkable events on the spot.  

I must ask, why do the mall operators and politicians always  prefere solutions that they know don't work? 



Thursday, February 25, 2016

My Review of the Jessie Owens Biopic Film, RACE.

I
Los Angeles, CA--Last night I attended a screening of RACE at the Director's Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.  I was waiting and waiting to see my personal favorite actress, Carice van Houten playing Adolf Hitler's cinematographer, Leni Riefenstahl.    

Riefenstahl was more than a filmmaker, she was an amazing artist that invented film equipment like jibes and cranes that are still in use today. 

RACE was about the Berlin 1936 Olympic star athlete, Jessie Owens wonderfully played by a fine young actor, Stephan James.  

The script by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel was a historically correct, spellbinding masterpiece.  

Actor, Jason Sudeikis rocked as Owen's coach, Larry Snyder.  The issues of racial differences and bigotry were overcome here by a simple conspiracy to make Owens the fastest man alive. 

In 1936 while World War Two was still unthinkable the Nazis were rounding up and deporting Jews.  That atrocity and others were not lost in this offering. 

The treatment of Jews by the Nazis was no small issue to the Olympic Committee.  There were serious questions of a USA boycott of the Berlin games. Avery Brundage played by Jeremy Irons and Jeremiah Mahoney played William Hurt proved well up to those important portrayals. 

Owens' personal life was expertly fleshed out through the terrific performance of Shanice Banton  as Ruth Solomon.  

My favorite actress, Carice van Houten thrilled me with an authentic German accent. This talented Dutch thespian has got a natural gift for languages as she effortlessly delivered her lines in both German an English.

The writers gave van Houten a special challenge to "selectively" translate some angry exchanges between Nazi propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, played by Barnaby Metschurat and Avary Brundage (Irons).

I love van Houten's special gift for facial expressions with her gorgeous big eyes subtly rolling.  You need never guess what she's thinking!  She grew up watching silent films and obviously learned that from the likes of Laurel & Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. 

Riefenstahl was not a Nazi but a opportunistic filmmaker using well  the envious and unlimited budget to showcase the Olympics.  She wouldn't even let Hitler dictate how to make this historic sports ducumentary. 

I'd love to see these writers and this director, Stephen Hopkins roll further with van Houten staring once again but this time in a second biopic of this amazing filmmaker. 

This is a must see film.  There are those people with preconceived political or racial notions that will expect a political spin.  There is no spin!  This is a showcase of determination to transcend hate, ugliness and politics through a sports competition to simply win the gold.  This film wins the gold! 

The trailer: 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

We Must Kill All The TV News Anchors!

Los Angeles, CA
--Kill them?  Not really but their jobs are meaningless.  They are overpaid, underworked and rarely are actually involved in creating news content.  

The anchor smiles, personalities and emotional response to news content serves no purpose other than to create a subtitle propaganda influence on each story.  Celebrity anchors help shape the simple minds of viewers and the audience votes. 

I don't think there's anyone that can't live without those rehearsed, TelePrompTer reading familiar news faces. 

One of the silly games played are those phony anchor questions, tossed to the field reporters.  They are designed to sound candid but they're written by the reporters in a rather poor attempt to make the anchor sound involved with or at least interested in the story. 

News, both broadcast and print is rapidly drowning in red ink.  The Internet is currently the real source for finding news content.  It's quick, easy and always on demand. Twitter and Facebook seems to get the breaking news information substantially faster that of our TV networks. 

Even the companion websites created by both TV and print publications have no anchors.  

The millions saved by removing the anchors could be used to beef up the actual news content creation.  More reporters, field producers to dig and tell the stories is a better choice for available funding.

Crime stories have never been reported in such a pathetic and lame manner.  The cops notify the media of an event such as an arrest or crime.  Rather than reporters out locating witnesses and those involved in the event.  They simply rely on the cops for the information. 

Today reporters stand around waiting for the official police propaganda officers to tell their version of the instant crime story.  The reporters then broadcast or publish exactly what the cops want, nothing less and certainly nothing more.  I find that process very troubling.  Why even hire reporters?  They're letting cops report the news anyway! 

It takes money and effort to flesh our a crime story.  To do it right the backgrounds of these news makers need fast examination.  People that disagree with the police version should be located, vetted and interviewed.  

Too often defense attorneys are overlooked.  News coverage of crime stories are rarely accurate.  Instead lies are redundantly repeated. Often the truth never surfaces until the case is being tried in a courtroom a year or two later. 

With depleted revenue enterprising reporting was the first thing to end in news.  Investigative reporting died because of the fear of lawsuits and legal fees by news executives.  Likewise they stopped hiring lawyers to enforce public records disclosure laws.  

Any meaningful check and balance on government fraud, waste and corruption went to Hell.  The media has surrendered its most important mission.  We now have news censorship by through simple declining revenue. 

There was a failed experiment to dump news anchors in the Bay Area. I confess that I never saw just what they did.

Perhaps it's time for simple graphics and a voiceover artist to introduce the stories and reporters. I for one can live without the on set anchor chit-chat.  The worst example is with breaking news like helicopter covered police chases.  

The anchors all blab on like they're police experts.  The more they say the more ignorance they display.  I'd rather hear raw police communications or narratives from the news chopper pilots especially location information. 

Drones for news gathering are the future. Despite the wild phenomenon of Drone Hysteria they are safer by far and cost a mere fraction of helicopters.  They also can also provide an often superior low altitude view. 

As for news organizations they better move in a hurry.  They need to get lean, improve their content and report news.  Eventually I see TV and Internet sites being mirror images. However the Internet version will repeat until the next show is ready for broadcasting and posting. 

The use of funds for anchors rather than effective  content providers is insane.  The failure of the media to lobby and litigate against drone limitations by the FAA is inexcusable and has already put the industry behind. 

The breaking news is, that news as we knew it must change. 









Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Should Apple be forced to help the FBI breach the security of an iPhone?

Los Angeles, CA--A judge here ordered Apple to aid the FBI in their investigation of the San Bernadino Terror case.  So far Apple has balked and is refusing to comply with the court order. 

Giving the government the power to see the material on our cell-phones to combat terror is far more dangerous than any terrorist on earth.  This would truly be the THOUGHT POLICE Orwell warned us about. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A lot of people ask me why I love Germany. Here is the answer!


Aschaffenberg, Germany--it was December 1968 when after being drafted by the Army I wound up in this beautiful hamlet.  I was just about 15 miles from Frankfurt and was blessed to be assigned there as a medical corpsman.

It was Christmas time and I was in a strange land far away from home.  I decided that since I was a guest in  this nation I'd act like one. 

I was compelled to learn the customs, language and culture.  I stayed far away from fellow soldiers if for no other reason I liked the elegant German babes better.  

I soon found that the German people were incredibly kind to me.  I made some wonderful new friends and got an education few Americans ever get.  

The 18 months I spent in Germany  was the very best time of my life.  I traveled everywhere I could.  The money exchange rate was four Marks to the Dollar then. It was truly an adventure! 

If I made a mistake it was not staying there and finishing my education in a medical profession in Munich or Berlin.  

I never forgot the kindness and love that the German people showed me when I was so young.  

Over the last 25 years I worked on the Debra Milke Death Penalty travesty in Arizona.  I investigated not on her behalf but was hired by many media organizations to help them cover that nightmare.  

It turned out that I discovered early that Milke was framed and told that to anyone who'd listen. It turned out I was correct once again. 

The Milke case actually got me sent back to Europe three times.  The last trip in December was indirectly because of my involvement with the case.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

ARMAGEDDON IS ON THE WAY!

Big Bend, TX--With the sudden death of Supreme Court Judge  Antonin Scalia we can count on Barack Obama to appoint a gun grabbing Communist to the court.  That would shift the court 180 degrees to the Left. 

It remains to be seen if foul play was involved in Scalia's death however at 79 he reached life expectancy for males he was however considered in good health.

My guess is we are a year away or less from a second Civil War as the Left will destroy our hard won freedom. We can try to wait and see but by then it will be too late.  Arguably any appointment could face delay by the Senate but should that happen the unrest will be severe.  

Obama has prepared his Homeland Security just as Hitler did with his SS.  They've been given huge resources and more than a billion rounds of ammunition to use against guess who? 

Internment camps are ready along with thousands of coffins for those that dare resist. I see absolute doom on the horizon.  

Can Obama's effort to appoint a Communist pal like Eric Holder to the court get derailed? Delayed perhaps but it's unlikely he can be stopped.  Martial Law can't be far behind. 

We fought for freedom before but will our young men and women even understand the importance of protecting our Bill of Rights enough to fight for them? 

Will any future election in America ever be trustworthy?  

Food, arms, medicines and ammunition will begin disappear from our shelves.  God help us all!