Hopscotch: The spy game, then and now

The wonderful film Hopscotch was made in 1980.  It starred Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson, Ned Beatty, and a young Sam Waterston.  Matthau played Miles Kendig, a lifer in the CIA who is benched by the new and idiotic head of the agency, played by Beatty.  Kendig is fired for being too old and for not bringing in his Soviet counterpart!  Once fired, he destroys his own file, skips town, and reunites with an old flame and former fellow spy.  He then begins to write his "memoirs."  His memoirs are the exposition of a lifetime of agency secrets, which, chapter by chapter, he mails to the intelligence agencies of all the major nations in the world, allies and enemies.  He spills their secrets as well as those of the U.S.  The powers that be among all of them want to stop him by any means necessary – rather like how the D.C. establishment planned to take Trump down, one way or another.

The spy technology of 1980 is primitive by today's standards but impressive for the era.  Old phones, old computers, old tech all around, but they got the job done.  The film is wonderful, hilarious, and still relevant.  Our intel agencies have had arrogance problems for decades.  Myerson, the new boss in the film, is as arrogant, dull-witted, and abusive of everyone who works for him.

While there are always decent and fine men and women who serve, there are also always indecent, power-hungry people who rise to the top of such institutions.  Are Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Mueller, McCabe, Strzok, Page, et al. a small cabal with a singular plan to bring down an interloper president they had conspired to derail, or do they indicate a rot more extensive?  It took a lot of corrupt people to pull off the Trump-Russia collusion fakery and to keep it going.  The media are complicit.  It will take an army of good guys to expose the many crimes committed by the scoundrels at the FBI, the DOJ, the DIA, and their media tools.  Does such an army exist?  We will have to wait and see.  No one can any longer deny that there are two systems of justice in this nation. 

Hopscotch was entertaining for how it portrayed our intel agencies' capabilities; our agents' relationships with their counterparts in other countries; and, probably true, their occasional respect for one another, even if of enemy nations.  Trump is perhaps the first president who openly expresses respect for the leaders of tyrannical nations like Kim Jong-un and Putin.  This respect may or may not be genuine, but it is wise.  Such leaders must be dealt with; mockery is a good opening salvo, but overt respect, however calculated, is what leads to success in negotiation.

The hysteria on the left over Trump's European trip to visit our NATO debtor partners is comical.  Our lefty pundits make fools of themselves with each frantic column they write.  Their heads exploded over what he said to Merkel at the NATO breakfast.  Apparently, stating the unvarnished truth is the biggest blunder a president can make.  Merkel has made Germany vulnerable to Putin's whims while still expecting us to defend her nation from Russia.  Trump knows what he is doing.  The left-media still have not grasped this fact.

At the end of the film, Kendig fakes his own death and then publishes the book in order to live happily ever after on the proceeds of his best seller.  The perpetrators of the plot to take Trump down by the worst smears they could invent do not deserve that happy fictional end.  They need to be punished for the treason they have committed.  They were so sure of their invulnerability, so certain they would never be caught because Hillary would be their president and that they would be rewarded for their willingness to abrogate the Constitution and a host of laws to see her elected.  They all assumed they were above the law.  They were.  That cannot stand.  If and when their crimes are exposed to the American people, they must be punished as citizens without political power who break the law are punished.  If and when that happens, we can all relish the fact that each and every one of them was the architect of his own downfall.

For those interested in the high-tech world of intel and spying today, pick up Brad Thor's new book, Spymaster.  The technological advances – drones, the ease of surveillance of everyone, GPS, the miraculous advances in weaponry, etc., have made the world, at the same time, both a safer and more dangerous place.  The barrage of accusations of "spying," hacking, surveilling that are tossed around so casually these days belie the truth that all of this is now a fact of all our lives.  All of our emails are likely monitored for a variety of reasons, usually for marketing purposes.  Our personal information is sold to all manner of online buyers.

It is odd to hear the left rant and rave about the "right to privacy" re: Roe v. Wade.  There is no more privacy.  You can take that to the bank.

Miles Kendig in Hopscotch could escape his pursuers.  No one today, if our intel agencies have him in their crosshairs, will escape.  We are all just little dots on a satellite image the government can zero in on if it pleases.  Government officials can read our texts and emails, listen in on our phone conversations, see where we are at any moment of the day if we carry a phone.  "They" can discover in a nanosecond where we last used an ATM or credit card; they can know how much money we extracted and what we purchased, where and when.  Most of us don't worry about this ease of intrusion into our daily lives because we are not of interest to any intelligence agencies.  But everyone should know that we do now live in a surveillance state.

The characters in Hopscotch are often very funny.  The film was made before the dictates of political correctness ruled the world.  The Ned Beatty character is meant to be a joke and is a ridiculous comic figure.  Not so of our band of traitors.  The Clintons, Lynch, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Mueller, Power, Rice, Obama, and the host of others who participated in this demented plan took themselves seriously – as serious as a brain tumor.  And because they thought of themselves as so superior and so powerful, they are, in the end, betrayers of their agencies and their country.  It is their position, influence, and wealth they revere, not America or the Constitution.

Why is it that too often, the worst persons, the indecent, those wholly lacking good character, rise to these positions of power over the decent?  The Clintons?  Harry Reid?  Schumer?  Pelosi?  How do such obviously unethical, immoral people remain in positions of influence and power?  'Tis a mystery – one that must soon be solved.