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).

Friday, July 5, 2013

Congrats Merle & Tess ... Hysteria ... Student Loans ... Egypt Gone Wild ... The Zimmerman Trial ...


Still waiting on more fellow graduates for their bios, etc., so in the meantime, it’s back to our regularly schedule programming ... but first, Congratulations are in order!

To the beautiful bride and her handsome husband ... Merle and Tess Drown ... Merle is the author of one of my very favorite novels, The Suburbs of Heaven ... Publishers Weekly wonderful review here ...

Hysteria ...

We’re big Maggie Gyllenhaal fans at casa Stella so it was a pleasant surprise for the boss and myself to finally see the second half of the movie, Hysteria. We were actually watching it when our lights and electric were cut off during Hurricane Sandy ... and I guess we forgot all about it. Although the ending didn’t quite fulfill us the way we both would’ve liked, it was a fun movie, apparently based on a true story about the invention of ... the vibrator?

Holy Orgasm, Batman!

From Wikipedia: Manual genital massage of women had been a medical remedy since antiquity, and hysteria was a recognized malady until the American Psychiatric Association discontinued this term in 1952. Joseph Mortimer Granville filed the first patent for an electromechanical vibrator termed Granville's Hammer in about 1883. Granville, however, did not apply his invention in the treatment of hysteria; rather, he used it to treat muscular disorders. Other physicians started to apply the vibrator for the treatment of hysteria.

Student Loans ... Happy Birthday, America ... most of yous get to make a HUGE choice that will impact the rest of your life. To wit, attend college and hope you can find a job that will help pay off your student loans and/or take a good old American blue collar job (if you can find one) and quit your squawking. Got a beef, look back to the founding fathers and how hard they worked (but ignore the fact some owned slaves, because that’s painting too ugly a picture for 4th of July celebrations).

Oy friggin’ vey ... why is it when someone points out an inconvenient truth (to borrow a phrase), some on the right feel the need to upchuck their red, white and blue blind faith oatmeal and assault those pointing out the truth? Don’t ask me ... but also don’t tell me that I hate America ... I don’t ... but I don’t believe in nationalism anymore than I believe my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills will win the Super Bowl this year. I think the world would be a far better place if people dropped their need to belong to a country and maybe tried belonging to the human race ... but you know how us bleeding hearts are ...

So it goes (to borrow another phrase) ...

With Congress allowing student loan rates to double via inaction, we have taken yet another step toward the third world finish line, where those without the means get to slide through the cracks and not attend college because of the prohibitive costs of doing so. Now, not only do some graduate with student loans akin to mortgages and nothing more than minimum paying jobs to pay them off with, they can look forward to doubling the interest rate costs of paying them off. Oregon seems to have come up with a partial solution called Pay It Forward ... read about it here.

So let me amend that Happy Birthday, America above ... Happy Birthday, 1% ... soon we can all look forward to eating cake ... and Third World here we are ...


Egypt Gone Wild ... Holy Military Coup, Batman ... or is it just another changing of the guard? Hey, who cares ... the people spoke (a lesson this country can sure learn from) ... they were getting pissed on and they changed things Old School style ... nobody knows what comes next, but you know what, if it doesn’t work for the benefit of the people, they can always change it one more time. Here, too many conservatives upchuck their Hors d'oeuvres over revolutions ... they seem much more comfortable with us supporting dictators who act in our best interest, no matter the consequences to those who suffer under such dictatorships ... it's a list way too long to list here (so click on the link to be astonished) ... but the bottom line is too often conservatives aren’t amenable to change ... (unless it’s to increase private profits, like destroying unions and doubling the rates of student loans).

Oy vey ...


The Zimmerman Trial ... Okay, so nobody knows what actually happened the night George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin. The only facts we have are the phone calls, embellishments from both sides of the aisle, the investigation interrogations, and a dead kid. We can either believe the shooter’s story or not.

So here are my issues with what’s been showcased thus far: Zimmerman claims he was hit in the face 25-30 times ... his head was being slammed against the concrete sidewalk and that Trayvon Martin was covering his nose and mouth, cutting off Zimmerman’s breath.

Aside from the fact Zimmerman’s injuries don’t seem to come close to that kind of attack, there’s this: how the hell does somebody scream for help during that kind of battering. If you’re getting hit in the face 25-30 times, your head is being bashed on the sidewalk and you can’t breathe.

The prosecution’s opening statement claims there was no blood traces on Trayvon Martin (none of Zimmerman’s DNA was found on Trayvon Martin). How is that possible if you’re getting hit in the face 25-30 times, your head is being bashed on the sidewalk and the kid is supposedly covering your mouth and nose (the one you claimed he broke with his first punch)? How are his hands not covered in blood?

Obviously, Zimmerman’s story has been embellished in several areas, but claiming he didn’t know the Stand Your Ground law was pretty damning ... the professor covered the law extensively, even providing handouts ... and Zimmerman received an A in the course ... but his ability to laugh in court when responding to Defense attorney West’s question: “Do you have to wait until you're nearly dead to respond with deadly force?” "No, no, you don't," Carter (the professor) said, and several people on Zimmerman’s side of the courtroom laughed (as did Zimmerman).


The autopsy report shows a single abrasion on Trayvon Martin’s ring finger. Really? After he punched Zimmerman’s face 25-30 times?

The fact Zimmerman never ID’s himself, something he could’ve done several times, suggests to me he was into this chase (the way wannabes tend to dream about catching bad guys). I also have to wonder why Zimmerman didn’t shoot his “attacker” in the leg ... or fire a warning shot.

At one point, to offset his following Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman says he wasn’t following, he was just moving in the same direction. Oy vey.

This is the problem with the shooter having the ONLY say. We have to assume he’s telling the truth? Really? He jumped from behind the bushes ... he came up from behind me ... he was about five feet away ... he was about fifteen feet away ... he ... he ... he’s dead.

Pundits, after the two interrogators were on the stand Monday, claim the prosecution’s case was flushed down the toilet. That’s not how I saw it. Lead defense attorney, Tim O’Mara, is an excellent attorney, and he did a masterful job of playing a game of words with both cops, but he did nothing to offset Zimmerman’s own words, and he can do nothing about the injuries Zimmerman claims were life threatening (or the way he was “attacked”).

Nobody knows what happened that night and nobody knows what this jury will do with whatever else is presented in court. A second degree charge seems over the top. I doubt George Zimmerman was looking to kill anybody that night. On the other hand, George Zimmerman contributed mightily to everything that happened. At several points during his pursuit, even after being told not to pursue, he could’ve identified himself and/or waited for the police. He didn’t. Nor did he have to shoot the kid in the chest (I don’t think). If “the suspect” (Trayvon Martin) was on top of him, the way Zimmerman described how he reached for his “firearm”, why didn’t he shoot the kid in the leg? Or better, why not fire that warning shot?

Manslaughter ... or negligent homicide ... or whatever lesser charge than 2nd degree murder they can make stick seems appropriate. And hopefully wannabes everywhere will never play cowboy again, but with a stand your ground law in the background, I can see this type of tragedy happening again ... and again.

One more fact that we know about this case is had George Zimmerman remained in his car and/or stopped pursuing Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman is never in court for killing the kid ... and the kid probably makes it back to his father’s girlfriend’s home to deliver and/or enjoy the Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.

For those so protective of Stand Your Ground and or George Zimmerman’s future, take a moment and imagine it was your kid who was killed that night ... first for being profiled (or why did Zimmerman tell the non-emergency operator “this kids up to no good ... these assholes always get away ... fuckin’ punks” ... etc.) ... he was also killed for having the audacity of walking home from the store with an Arizona Iced Tea and a bag of Skittles.

And for those who defend “Stand Your Ground” ... understand it has already been used to acquit gangbangers in street gang shootouts ... From the great state of Florida its own bad self ... click on the link and read ...

FRIDAY MORNING TRIAL UPDATE: I’m watching the live stream of the trial (because I have no life?) this morning and the medical examiner seemed to be doing a great job of frustrating the defense team ... perhaps too good a job. The way this guy started to nervously smile (AND SWEAT), I’m thinking he just buried himself and his testimony with the “personal notes” he brought to the trial in anticipation of what the defense might ask. Only the medical examiner knew what was in those notes ... but I have a feeling we’re all gonna know after lunch ... and it looks like it may get really ugly ... and wouldn't that suck for the parents of a kid killed seeking nothing more than justice?


We’re still trying to find a name for the blues band ... Past Prime was looking good, but we’re not settled yet ... in the meantime, here’s some of the new tunes we played last week.

Buddy Guy ... Feels Like Rain ...

Howling Wolf ... Killing Floor ...

Blind Joe Reynolds (with Cream performing) Outside Women Blues ...

Big Maybelle ... That’s a Pretty Good Love ...