Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pay-to-Play … Gotti Jr. IV … Why a duck? … Adelaide T. Stella …DOC says ...


Pay-to-Play ... Earlier this month in Grove City, Ohio, high school student-athletes won a reprieve. At issue was whether a tax would be levied to support public school athletics or students would be required to pay-to-play. The vote had gone against athletic programs in the past with many feeling that during severe economic crisis and high unemployment, citizens shouldn’t be burdened with extra taxes for any reason (never mind track, baseball, football, etc.). Many others felt removing athletics from school was a guarantee that many student athletes, especially those from poorer school districts, would have little reason to stay in school; that losing athletics would lead to students losing an incentive to stay in school.

It’s a tough decision only if one chooses to ignore the waste this government incurs (at taxpayer expense) in the form of welfare and Medicaid fraud and it is absolutely criminal when one takes into account the fact this government (also at taxpayer expense) continues to pay rogue cadres of would be terrorists not to shoot at American troops in countries where we’ve chosen to initiate military operations. We’re paying-not-to-shoot at us and if that isn’t criminal, it is insane. Knucksline considers this a common sense issue that conservatives need to rethink in terms of a long term cost analysis. Aside from rocks, what do we get from these countries where we’re paying-not-to-shoot at us? The number of kids eliminated from the America dream because of budget cuts in athletic programs will multiply exponentially. Those most in need will not be able to pay-to-play, further unbalancing an already unbalanced playing field. In a country where CEO’s get to ransack an economy and reward themselves with multimillion dollar bonuses, surely we can find the relatively tiny amounts of dollars to keep public school athletic program affordable for all.

Gotti Jr. IV ... there’s a good chance the latest government prosecution of John Gotti Jr. will result in a hung jury (and probably a Gotti Jr. V). I’m not sure if the deals the prosecution made to admitted and convicted murderers require a Gotti Jr. conviction, but the deals themselves couldn’t be more despicable. In the case against Gotti Sr. the government let Sammy Gravano walk away from 19 admitted murders. Many on the street say nineteen is a very low-balled figure. Knucksline says 19 murders qualifies as serial killing and letting Gravano walk away (to start a drug business in Arizona for which he eventually was convicted and returned to prison for life) was obscene. Do we know if Gravano killed anyone in Arizona while he was at it—after being released for admitting to 19 murders? Would it really make a difference to the government?

The other thing the first three Gotti Jr. trials should show is how arrogant prosecution doesn’t always lead to their desired results; perhaps a lesson for those so anxious to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a federal criminal court in New York City.

Why a duck? ... or (regarding the above and similar situations), why Ask me to pay? The disadvantage some Americans suffer (regarding poverty) negates arguments on the right that point to “how hard their ancestors had it” ... while everyone has the opportunity to pull themselves out of the shit, so to speak, the opportunities and access to those opportunities are far from equal. Those born into poverty suffer severe disadvantages and although there are “American success stories” that emerge from such poverty and disadvantage (success too often measured by eventual wealth), the number of those who fail to come close, whether the failure is personal or from circumstances out of their control, far outweigh the successful. The further into Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead I read, the more upsetting her Objectivist theory becomes. Adhering to such selfishness renders my favorite of all Dickens’ lines null and void: "Mankind is my business."

If it isn’t, it should be.

Aiding the greater good neither promotes a lack of incentive nor precludes success (no matter how it is measured). It’s the right thing to do.

Adelaide T. Stella ... a year ago today (11-22-08) my sister passed after a nasty bout with cancer. My mother remains tortured by losing one of her children and today will be tough visiting with her. My sister taught English as a second language at Liberty High School, a New York City public school. The library at her school was dedicated in her name. My son’s t-shirt (picture above) was a dedication to his aunt. On his Your Cause page Charles wrote: I have dedicated the journey to my first ever marathon on May 17th in Delaware to Adelaide Stella (1953-2008). The passing of my aunt was the saddest day of my life and, in her memory I hope you will contribute any amount you can afford during these tough times to the American Cancer Fund.

The library plaque below:


And the DOC says ...

Hey Chaz,

So the whiney, little brats can't play sports unless they come up with the fazools. Tough! Welcome to the real world. Perhaps if they had something to sell they could come up with the cash. Mary Landrieu just sold a preliminary senate vote for $300 Million. Do you think that might save your sports program? Well, too bad, we don't have the money...we're broke! Only by the grace of God did Harry Reid find the $300M (obviously from his personal stash) to give to Mary. She says she'll want more when it comes to the final vote in 2 weeks, but the $300,000,000 will tide her over for now. William "cold cash" Jefferson must be pissed. He got less than half a mill in his bribe. That sounds like some kind of a racial thing to me. Call the Reverend Al.

Getting back to your point. I believe a sports program is part of an education program. The old "sound mind in a sound body" thing. If the school system doesn't have the bucks for a sports program I can only think of 3 reasons.

1) They're buying the basketballs at the same store where the govt. buys those $700 hammers.

2) The school board has started handing out Goldman Sachs type bonuses to teachers if at least 3 students in your graduating class can read.

3) Harry Reid gave it to Mary Landrieu.

Sorry I keep coming back to that Harry/Mary thing, but the way it was handled, in broad daylight, raising the initial $100M bribe to $300M when she held out, absolutely sickens me. They're not even bothering to hide their disdain for us anymore.

So there you have it Chaz. The corruption is so out of control, that we can't afford wiffle balls for Little Johnny, but we can spend a few trillion for a health care plan that no one really wants except for a handful of assholes in DC who won't be in it. Yet, you continue to throw your vote away. Yes, I know you call it "voting your conscience" I call it "farting in the windstorm". This is 21st Century America. You don't vote "for" someone. You vote "against" someone. We start off by voting this whole crowd out in 2010 and then again in 2012.

You don't even have to feel too bad about it because a congressman who serves 5 years gets a $125,000/year pension for life (plus cost of living raises). Five years gets you a pension for life? Sheesh! Who voted for a sweet deal like that?

Maybe one day, someone will come along that we can vote "for", but I don't see him coming out of this crowd.

Ponder this on your way to work, Sunshine.

Your pal