Andy Griffith died this morning at his longtime home in Dare County, N.C., better known as the Outer Banks. He was 86.

He was the country boy a country came to love.

  • Silver Screen Collection via Getty


  • Andy Griffith, star of ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ died Tuesday at age 86.

For eight years, from the relative calm of the early ’60s through the decade’s turbulent later years, Andy Griffith— who died today at 86 — sat at or near the top of the ratings with The Andy Griffith Show. One of the rare shows to actually end its run at No. 1, Andy and its star were a calming, home-spun refuge from the social and political struggles raging outside the fictional world of Mayberry.

Vietnam, the sexual revolution and the fight for civil rights would eventually invade TV in the form of All in the Family. But Mayberry was a place apart — a bucolic paradise where elderly aunts dispensed comfort and homemade jam; drunks let themselves in and out of the county jail; and a warm, loving father opened each half-hour by taking his son fishing.

Indeed, odds are for many of you, the very name “Andy Griffith” calls to mind that image of Andy and Opie (a young Ron Howard, one of the most adorable children ever to amble across a TV screen) with fishing poles over their shoulders. And not just the image; surely you’re also humming that theme song?

As Sheriff Andy Taylor, Griffith perfectly embodied one of America’s favorite archetypes: the seeming country bumpkin who’s actually smarter than anyone around. The difference with Sheriff Taylor was that there was really nothing bumpkinish about him. What marked him as stupid, to those visiting Mayberry from the outside, wasn’t the way he behaved or thought, but the way he spoke, that slow, soft drawl peppered with country aphorisms.

The writers often played up that contrast between Andy’s soft speech and sharp mind, but never in a mean way — “mean” was not a part of the show’s vocabulary. And neither were politics. At a time when the urban North and the rural South often seemed to be two separate but equally angry countries, The Andy Griffith Show was neutral ground, a place were we could all indulge in a little nostalgia for a more leisurely paced life.

For that, you can thank Griffith, who set the show’s gentle, understanding tone. Even his by-the-books, exposed-raw-nerve of a deputy Barney Fife— so brilliantly played by the inimitable Don Knotts— couldn’t rile him, and Barney could have riled a saint.

Andy Griffith has highway named after him in 2002.

For Griffith, TheAndy Griffith Show capped a sudden rise to stardom. A little-known actor and comedian, he got his big break in 1955 in No Time for Sergeants, a TV play that became a Broadway hit, a movie and eventually a short-lived TV series (without Griffith). It also inspired a long-running TV series: The Andy Griffith spinoff Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., which reshaped Griffith’s original Sergeants role as the sweet, naïve, inept private to fit Jim Nabors.

Griffith put a nastier twist on his rustic act for a well-received turn in Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd, his big-screen debut in 1957. And after another stint on Broadway in the 1959 musical Destry Rides Again— a job that proved he could be as pleasant a presence as a singer as an actor — Griffith moved to Mayberry, where he stayed until he, not the network, decided it was time for him to go. He did CBS one last favor, launching the follow-up hit Mayberry R.F.D., and then moved on.

In 2005, President George W. Bush presented Andy Griffith with America’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

A succession of TV movies, and even a few TV series followed. But no matter what role he played, in the public’s mind, it seemed, Griffith was fated always to be that openly good-hearted, deceptively smart Southerner he played so well in The Andy Griffith Show. Bowing to the obvious, he went back to type for his second big hit, the murder mystery Matlock— which had a healthy run on NBC before concluding on ABC.

Unlike Andy, Ben Matlock lived in a big city, Atlanta, and only dealt with high-profile murder cases. And unlike Andy Griffith, whose appeal crossed the generations, Matlock’s virtues were mostly appreciated by older viewers. But it’s only advertisers who think older viewers are somehow less valuable than younger ones; the rest of us are presumably wise enough to know better.

Matlock ended in 1995, and Griffith’s appearances became sporadic — in new shows, though not in repeats. But no matter. On many a TV set, and in many a mind’s eye, he’s still walking to that fishing hole, his beloved son at his side, as that catchy theme whistles in the background. It’s an image designed to make even the most cynical among us smile.

One thing for sure is this man gave me a lot of enjoyment over the years……..

Judge Orders Government to Return $167,000 Seized From Driver

A federal judge in Nevada has ordered the government to return $167,000 that was seized from a man driving his motorhome on a highway two years ago. The man, Straughn Gorman, was traveling to visit his girlfriend. He was never charged with a crime.

The seizure originally occurred in January 2013, when Gorman was driving his motorhome from Delaware to visit his girlfriend in Sacramento, Calif.

Police stopped Gorman not once, but twice, within 50 minutes while he drove west on Interstate 80, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.

In the first traffic stop, which occurred near Elko, Nev., a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper stopped the man for driving too slowly in the passing lane. Gorman refused to let the trooper search his vehicle,

Less than an hour later, Gorman was stopped again by an Elko County Sheriff’s Office deputy, who the highway patrol trooper had arranged to pull Gorman over once more, court documents show. The deputy had a drug-sniffing dog with him, and a search of the motorhome was conducted.

In the two-minute video originally posted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the officer searched the vehicle, where he found $167,000 in cash stored in different places throughout the motorhome.

The officer told Gorman that the cash, his computer, cellphone and vehicle would all be seized under civil asset forfeiture laws.

Though the Elk County Sheriff’s deputy said the dog detected drugs in the motorhome, none were found, and Gorman was never charged with a crime.

Instead, he became another victim of civil asset forfeiture, a procedure that gives local, state and federal law enforcement the power to seize money and property if it’s suspected of being related to a crime.

Gorman fought back against the government’s seizure of his $167,000, and last week, more than two years after his money was seized, a judge ordered local and state law enforcement to return his money.

According to court documents, Larry Hicks, a U.S. District Judge for the District of Nevada, criticized the government for withholding information related to Gorman’s second traffic stop.

“No matter how this can be viewed, the two stops were for minor violations and they both were extended beyond the legitimate purposes for such traffic stops,” Hicks wrote in his opinion.

“In particular, the government has a duty of candor and fair disclosure to the court,” he continued. “The court expects and relies upon the United States Attorney’s office to be candid and forthcoming with material information uniquely held only in possession of the government and clearly relevant to central issues before the court. That did not occur here.”

Hicks also notified Gorman that under the 2000 Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, he is entitled to be reimbursed for his lawyer’s fees and litigation costs. His lawyers are now working to ensure those fees are paid by the government.

Over the last few years, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have come under fire for abusing civil asset forfeiture.

The tool started as a way to curb drug trafficking and money laundering, but a number of high profile cases have emerged featuring innocent people who have had money and property seized. In most of the cases, including Gorman’s, the property owners are never charged with a crime.

Policy experts instead point to the profit incentive forfeiture provides law enforcement with as evidence that the practice has been abused.

This has been going on way too long, what was originally a good concept was of course overused and abused. It simply has been legalized theft of property by the Guvment and many times no charges ever filed.

Sometimes immoral and greedy cops are their own worst enemy…….

View court documents here:



The man died as he was allegedly being forced to satisfy his many wives’ demands for sex in Ogbadibo, Nigeria

A wealthy businessman – and husband of six – has died after allegedly being forced into a marathon sex session with his ‘jealous’ wives.

Nigerian Uroko Onoja was having sex with the youngest of his spouses when the remaining five are reported to have set upon him with knives and sticks – and demanded that he have sex with each of them too.

Mr Onoja went on to have intercourse with four of his wives in succession, but ‘stopped breathing’ as the fifth was making her way to the bed in Ogbadibo, according to Nigeria’s Daily Post.

Two women have been arrested following the incident in the state of Benue last week, said the report, which used the term ‘raped to death’ to describe the businessman’s fate.

Mr Onoja is understood to have returned from a bar in the small community of Ugbugbu, Ogbadibo, at around 3am on Tuesday, and headed for the bedroom of his youngest wife.

His five other wives – who were said to have held a meeting to discuss their intentions before their husband arrived home – are then alleged to have burst into the bedroom armed with knives and sticks to insist that they too be granted their conjugal rights.

The businessman, who has been described as a philanthropist who ‘contributed positively’ to the growth of his local community, is thought to have resisted the demands of his wives’ before being overpowered.

Mr Onoja reportedly stopped breathing and could not be resuscitated after having sex with four of his wives in a row.

His youngest spouse is quoted as saying her five fellow wives ran into the forest when they realised their husband was dead.

The head of his village, Okpe Odoh, told the Daily Post the matter had been reported to police.

Coming and going at the same time, that’s how I want it……

Man arrested in connection with San Francisco killing had been deported several times

The man arrested in connection with the seemingly random killing of a woman who was out for a stroll with her father along the San Francisco waterfront is an illegal immigrant who previously had been deported five times, federal immigration officials say.

Further, Immigration and Customs Enforcement says San Francisco had him in their custody earlier this year but failed to notify ICE when he was released.

“DHS records indicate ICE lodged an immigration detainer on the subject at that time, requesting notification prior to his release so ICE officers could make arrangements to take custody. The detainer was not honored,” ICE said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Kathryn Steinle was killed Wednesday evening at Pier 14 — one of the busiest tourist destinations in the city.

Police said Thursday they arrested Francisco Sanchez in the shooting an hour after it occurred.

On Friday, ICE revealed their records indicate the individual has been previously deported five times, most recently in 2009, and is from Mexico.

This undated photo released by the San Francisco Police Department shows Francisco Sanchez. (AP)

“His criminal history includes seven prior felony convictions, four involving narcotics charges,” ICE said in a statement.

ICE briefly had him in their custody in March after he had served his latest sentence for “felony re-entry,” but turned him over to San Francisco police on an outstanding drug warrant. At this time, ICE issued the detainer — effectively asking that he be turned back over to ICE when San Francisco was finished with him.

But ICE was not notified. The incident is sure to renew criticism of San Francisco’s sanctuary city policies.

“Here’s a jurisdiction that’s not even honoring our detainer for someone who clearly is an egregious offender,” an ICE official told

ICE has since lodged another immigration detainer against the individual, though it’s unclear whether San Francisco will cooperate.

An attorney for the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department told the Associated Press it had no authority to honor the prior immigration hold when it released the suspect.

Freya Horne said Friday that federal detention orders are not a “legal basis” to hold someone, so Francisco Sanchez was released April 15.

Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak earlier said witnesses snapped photos of Sanchez immediately after Wednesday’s shooting and the images helped police make the arrest.

Liz Sullivan told the San Francisco Chronicle that her 32-year-old daughter turned to her father after she was shot and said she didn’t feel well before collapsing.

“She just kept saying, ‘Dad, help me, help me,'” Sullivan said. Her father reportedly tried to do CPR before she was rushed to the hospital.

The immigration detainer issued against the suspect earlier this year would have initiated the process of removing him from the U.S. once again.

“ICE places detainers on aliens arrested on criminal charges to ensure dangerous criminals are not released from prisons or jails into our communities,” ICE said in the statement. “The agency remains committed to working collaboratively with its law enforcement partners to ensure the public’s safety.”

The tragedy also surfaced late Friday in the 2016 presidential race. GOP candidate Donald Trump, who has been under fire for controversial remarks describing some Mexican illegal immigrants as criminals, said in a statement that the “senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we must secure our border immediately.”

Just keep in mind white lives do not matter

Retro of the day: Bette Midler

The first year “Wind Beneath My Wings” appeared on music industry trade publication charts in the United States was 1983. Singer Lou Rawls was the first to score a major hit with the song, as his version peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, No. 60 on the Billboard Hot Black Singles chart, and No. 65 on the main Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[2]
Gladys Knight & The Pips also released a recording of the song in 1983 under the title “Hero”, and their version peaked at No. 64 on Billboard
‍ s Hot Black Singles chart[2] while also reaching No. 23 on Billboard‍ s Adult Contemporary chart. Singer Gary Morris released a country version of the song in 1983 that charted highest on any of the Billboard music charts that year. Morris’s version of the song peaked at No. 4 on Billboard‍ s Hot Country Singles chart, and also later won both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association awards for Song of the Year.

The highest-charting version of the song to date was recorded in 1988 by singer and actress Bette Midler for the soundtrack to the film Beaches. This version was released as a single in early 1989, spent one week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in June 1989, and won Grammy Awards for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year in February 1990. On October 24, 1991, Midler’s single was also certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipment of one million copies in the United States. In 2004 Midler’s version finished at No. 44 in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

“Wind Beneath My Wings” has also been recorded by Kerry Ellis, Lee Greenwood, B.J. Thomas, Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Sheena Easton, Patti LaBelle, Captain and Tennille, Joe Longthorne, Eddie and Gerald Levert, John Tesh, Judy Collins, Shirley Bassey, RyanDan, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole, Sonata Arctica, Chyi Yu, Perry Como, Donald Braswell II, Sergio Franchi, Steven Houghton and Celine Dion, Nancy LaMott, the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Sonata Arctica and R. Kelly. Paloma San Basilio (Spanish version “Gracias a ti”) Lou Rawls sang the song at the nationally-televised 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala on January 19, 1985, the day before the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan.Jason Castro (singer)

In a 2002 UK poll, “Wind Beneath My Wings” was found to be the most-played song at British funerals