World War II Submarines

I just love World War II submarine films.  I’ve seen them all. Been trying to figure out how to do one for years – the plans are in the works as they say.  Here’s a great minidocumentary on the largest submarine of World War II – built by the Japanese to fly planes!


Novel: “A Cold Death: An Aristotle Witzer Mystery”

Synopsis:  In Paris, American film student Adele Longet is murdered. Aristotle Witzer, a Defense Analyst new to America’s Paris embassy, gets a late night call to get a police report. Witzer is drawn into hutning for her killer, encountering film fanatics, Catacombs lovers and scum from France’s Nazi past. In Paris Catacombs, underground rave parties blaze until dawn with ecstasy, sex and cinema as Witzer scrambles through this subterranean web – the haunt of French kings, the sanctuary for Resistance Fighters and the domain of partying ‘Cataphiles’. Who murdered Adele? Unexposed French collaborators? Drug dealers? Criminal kingpins? He can trust no one. On a hot summer night, when a famed music festival shuts down the City of Light, he searches for a drug lab with answers to Adele’s murder – and the clue to his own daughter’s kidnaping – before he loses her to “A Cold Death”.


American History X

February 16, 2017

American History X is a 1998 American crime drama film directed by Tony Kaye, written by David McKenna, and stars Edward Norton, Edward Furlong, Fairuza Balk, Stacy Keach, Elliott Gould, Avery Brooks, Ethan Suplee, and Beverly D’Angelo. The film was released in the United States on October 30, 1998 and was distributed by New Line Cinema.

The film tells the story of two brothers from Venice, Los Angeles who become involved in the neo-Nazi movement. The older brother serves three years in prison for voluntary manslaughter, changes his beliefs and tries to prevent his brother from going down the same path. The film is told in the style of nonlinear narrative. Made on a budget of $20 million, the film grossed $24 million at the worldwide box office.

Critics mostly praised the film and Norton’s performance, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In September 2008, Empire magazine named it the 311th Greatest Movie of All Time.[2]

Taken – The Original

February 16, 2017

Taken is a 2008 English-language French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Leland Orser, Jon Gries, David Warshofsky, Holly Valance, Katie Cassidy, Xander Berkeley, Olivier Rabourdin, Gérard Watkins, and Famke Janssen.

Neeson plays a former CIA operative named Bryan Mills who sets about tracking down his teenage daughter Kim and her best friend Amanda after the two girls are kidnapped by Albanian human traffickers for sexual slavery while traveling in France. The film grossed more than $226 million. Numerous media outlets have cited the film as a turning point in Neeson’s career that redefined and transformed him to an action film star.[5][6][7][8][9][10] A sequel, Taken 2, was released on 5 October 2012, and a third and final film, Taken 3, was released on 9 January 2015.

Taken – Wikipedia

China and Chess in the South China Sea

An old buddy saw chess everywhere in life. A pawn, wisely moved, may kill a King. Small stories become world-changing events. A pawn is in play between Japan, China and America over the unpopulated resource rich Senkaku Islands. Called the Daiyou Islands in China, the Senkaku lie between Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture and Taiwan. During research for my thriller, “Stealing Thunder”, I discovered that these Japanese ruled rocky outcroppings, claimed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan, are a powder keg pawn between nuclear superpowers and ancient enemies.


On September 7th, , the fire was stoked when a PRC fishing boat ignored warnings to leave the ara and collided with Japanese patrol vessels. Japan took the crew, the captain and the ship. They released the boat and its crew but held its captain on charges and for damages.

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China’s Weapons of War

China is asserting itself on the world stage but with a 21st Century strategy. Striving to resurrect its former glory as a power after a century of foreign domination, World War and Mao’s murderous Cultural Revolution, China’s socialist dictators realize that their Socialist Dictatorship must be protected to insure its capitalist survival. Conventional warfare and nuclear devastation can’t be cards to play which is how I plotted out my thriller, “Stealing Thunder” with its Chinese power grab.


So, what are China’s ‘weapons’ for the next Pacific conflict?

Nationalism. The Communists keep the anti-Japanese sentiment on low boil, cranking up the temperature as warranted. Their TV shows have plots detailing Japanese atrocities – and the Chinese victory. And today’s socialist leaders are very good at manipulating these nationalist sentiments.

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China’s Weak Hand – The Senkaku Islands

The Communist People’s Republic of China is confronting its neighbors and the United States in the Pacific. But how strong is their muscle in the fight? And, to paraphrase John McClane from “Die Hard”, what can we do to throw a ‘monkey in the works’?

First, China is an island. Isolated by Siberia, Western Muslim lands, the Himalayas and jungles of the south, China historically kept inside its borders. The Mongols were horse riders with a bloodthirsty wanderlust, but not Chinese. China’s punitive confrontations with India and Vietnam were short-lived. A population density map of China shows coastal regions where opportunity and commerce are strongest. The central and western hinterlands are almost unpopulated. A key weakness is the economic and social disparity of its interior and the coast. China’s future lies with the sea.Continue reading

China Reach with a Carrier Task Force – “Stealing Thunder” book series

The socialist People’s Republic of China is expanding its influence by refurbishing the Varyag, a Soviet era aircraft carrier, renaming it the Shi Lang. The carrier is expected to start sea trials later this year. An aircraft carrier is a strategy to project power far from the homeland. The mere presence of an aircraft carrier has far-reaching effects in the realpolitik between nations. To defend Taiwan, the United States sent aircraft carriers between the island nation and Communist China to warn against aggression. When finished, the Shi Lang is expected to be a formidable presence, especially when combined with other combatants into an anticipated Carrier Battle Group.

A report by Britain-based Jane’s Defence Weekly stated that the carrier would come equipped with phased-array radars and surface-to-air missiles, making it a more independent platform than its U.S. equivalent, which is dependent on Aegis-type guided-missile cruisers for protection. The 302-m long and 70.5-m wide carrier will have a cruising speed of between 29 and 31 knots. The carrier’s loaded displacement (weight) of 67,000 tons will enable it to host as many as 50 aircraft.

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