By John Ruberry

Netflix binge watching just brought me to Scotland’s remote Shetland Islands for the BBC crime drama Shetland, a series that is based upon books by Ann Cleeves.

Stoic Director Inspector Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall), a Shetland native who moved back to the islands from Glasgow after the death of his wife, calmly investigates the archipelago’s murders–and as with many crime shows with a rural setting, such as Longmire, if added up the murder rate in Shetland would rival that of Baltimore. But who will tune in to watch a series about sheep rustling? Besides sheep rustlers, of course.

There have been three seasons so far–a fourth is currently under production. The first season, a two-episode entry entitled “Red Bones,” the series pilot, involves a World War II secret uncovered by an archeological dig, while Shetland’s annual winter celebration, the Nordic-inspired Up Helly Aa, takes place. “Red Bones” was released in 2013, amazingly there is a Donald Trump reference in it.

There are three two-episode storylines in Season 2. There are many, I suspect, in the Shetlands, so not surprisingly an eccentric hermit drives the action in “Raven Black.” The islands’ energy industry inflames tempers and worse in “Dead Water.” The final two-parter, “Blue Lightning,” set mostly on Perez’ boyhood home of Fair Isle, tells us that not even avian research centers are immune from homicide. This is the weakest effort in the series; the story seems stretched out, like a mediocre rock double album that would be a great one as a single disc release. And for much of “Blue Lightning” everyone on Fair Isle is stranded there because of a storm. Except viewers see no evidence of a storm. The BBC doesn’t have stock footage of crashing waves on rocks?

Fortunately Shetland bounces back for for a six-part episode for Season 3, its best. Just as I was wondering why the narcotics trade–a major blight in all European rural areas, particularly far-northern ones–was absent from the series, there it is. An incident on the Shetland ferry brings Henshall and his assistant, Detective Sergeant Alison ‘Tosh’ MacIntosh (Alison O’Donnell) to Glasgow–where much of Shetland is filmed–where they untangle a nine-year-old sexual assault that is linked to organized crime, obstruction of justice, and a senior citizens home.

Rounding out the cast is Steven Robertson as Police Constable Sandy Wilson, Erin Armstrong as Perez’ daughter, Mark Bonnar as her biological father, Anne Kidd as a forensic pathologist, and Julie Graham as Perez’ boss.

The accents are thick–so be prepared to use the rewind button on your remote or to switch on the closed captioning feature on your television while viewing Shetland. Unless of course you are Scottish.

Henshall is not just the lead actor but also the most accomplished one in Shetland. For his efforts he received the 2016 BAFTA award for best actor in television.

As expected, the cinematography is splendid, even though other parts of Scotland, those with treeless hills, often substitute for the Shetland Islands. Watching the series has me pining for a trip to Scotland and of course, the Shetlands.

But watching Season 4 will happen first for me.

In addition to Netflix, Shetland is also available on Amazon.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Both Fausta and I have written about the upcoming Puerto Rico Day Parade in which the organizers, not content to have the island in the news for fiscal bankruptcy decided to add moral bankruptcy to the list by honoring an unrepentant terrorist bombmaker involved in the killing and maiming of Americans.

Fausta noted the long list of those who had pulled out over the honoring of the Terrorist whose sentence was commuted by Obama and I added that the Manchester Bombing had augmented the list by turning on the heat for companies who, in my opinion were not so much bothered by the terrorist as but considered their association with one right after a bunch of kids getting blown up for watching a concert bad for their bottom line.

You can add Andrew Cuomo, the son of Mario the Pious, to that list as well:

“The governor’s support and long-term affection for the Puerto Rican community remains unwavering. Unfortunately, he will not be marching in this year’s parade,” Cuomo’s spokeswoman, Dani Lever, said without elaborating.

and WNBC and Telemundo too

Both WNBC and WNJU hold a long-standing commitment to the Tri-State’s Puerto Rican community, a fact exemplified through our continued support for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade’s scholarship program. Our stations have decided to limit this year’s support to the Parade’s scholarship program, and have respectfully informed the committee that we will not be participating in the 2017 Parade,” they said in a statement.

as did Univision who, like Cuomo, WNBC and Telemundo didn’t bother to give the reason why they or the others had left in their report Newsbusters tells the tale:

Univision’s newscasts hadn’t said a peep about the exodus of parade sponsors since Goya Foods first jumped ship last week and now, all of a sudden, multiple sponsors are suddenly out. Viewers are left to assume that these major sponsors just randomly abandoned the Parade, without any context whatsoever as to why…But López Rivera’s name is mentioned nowhere in the report. Embarrassingly, Univision preferred to leave that knowledge gap unfilled, rather than to admit it had made a mistake by giving so much airtime to the public rehabilitation of a convicted terrorist.

Of course in fairness to Univision and Telemundo Reuters also decided to whitewash that little old bombmaker:

Sponsors have been fleeing next month’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City since organizers decided to honor an activist recently freed after more than three decades in prison for ties to a nationalist group that carried out more than 100 bombings in the 1970s and 1980s.

Oscar Lopez Rivera, 74, was convicted in 1981 of numerous charges, along with other members of the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN), who sought to secure Puerto Rican independence from the United States.

The Terrorist becomes a “nationalist” and rather than mention the bombmaking he is convicted of “numerous charges”

But in the end no matter how many others decide, for whatever reason, they don’t want the blood on Lopez’s hands staining them one man still stands alone in support.

Bill De Blasio

“The organization he was affiliated with did things I don’t agree with, obviously, and they were illegal,” the mayor said at a press conference this week. “I don’t agree with the way he did it. But he did serve his time,” adding that López Rivera “renounced violence.”

He did? Here is what López Rivera, quoted in yesterday’s New York Times, said upon his release from a halfway house in Puerto Rico on Wednesday: “We are a colonized people, and according to international law, that says all colonized people have a right to struggle for its independence, using all methods within reach, including force.”

And outrage by the surviving victims of Lopez’s actions notwithstanding this hasn’t hurt him and might in fact have helped him.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval rating has just ballooned to 60 percent, up 10 percent since February. The latest Quinnipiac poll also tells us he’s likely to handily trounce his opponents for re-election.

Which only goes to show that all politics is local.

Coke, The Yankees, Jet Blue, Goya, Univision and Telemundo are all national and international companies that whose business models extend far beyond the confines of New York City and can’t be openly associating themselves with a terrorist bomber no matter how popular he might be in a loud niche market in a particular city

But in the end Bill De Blasio’s ambitions for elected office, are confined to the five boroughs of NYC, so even if a million citizens, including those who keep the city safe, object strongly, they are dwarfed by the multiple millions of liberal leftists who either don’t know, don’t care or approve of Lopez’s terrorism.

No amount of public shaming will move a man with no shame.

Exit Question: Since Andrew Cuomo’s is electorally dependent on huge margins in the city can we assume that his decision to pull out means he still has national ambitions?


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