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).

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Some Movie Reviews … Megan Kelly … The Marxist Pope is Time’s Person of the Year … Mia Culpa … New Budget “Deal” … Some Fun Facts …


From IMBD: While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Under the stairs in her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents.

From TK: I enjoyed the movie but wish I’d known about it before (I live a sheltered life) … so the wife explained it’s based on a book she read a while back … I have since borrowed her Nook (which I hate compared to my kindle) and I’m enjoying the book much more than the movie? With DEATH as the narrator, it’s an interesting read (and movie).

From IMBD: Paradise: Love (German: Paradies: Liebe) is a 2012 drama film directed by Ulrich Seidl. It tells the story of a 50-year-old woman who travels to Kenya as a sex tourist. The project is an Austrian production with co-producers in Germany and France. It is the first installment in Seidl's Paradise trilogy, a project first conceived as one film with three parallel stories.

From TK: One of the toughest movies I ever watched. Watching Urlich’s vacation/adventure turn into an emotional/personal horror story was like taking a slow boat to hell … yet I continued watching and the picture has obviously stuck with me. I didn’t know that it was part of a trilogy, but I am very interested in what comes next in Paradise.

From IMBD/Wikipedia: It is the real story of Giorgio Perlasca (Luca Zingaretti). Perlasca was born in Como and grew up in Maserà, province of Padua. During the 1920s, he became a supporter of Fascism, fighting in East Africa during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, and in the Spanish Civil War (Corpo Truppe Volontari), where he received a gratitude safe conduct for Spanish embassies from Francisco Franco. He grew disillusioned with Fascism, in particular due to the alliance with Nazism and the anti-Semitic laws that came into force in 1938. In December 1944, Perlasca audaciously rescued two boys from being herded onto a freight train in defiance of a German lieutenant colonel on the scene. Swedish diplomat/rescuer Raoul Wallenberg, also present, later informed Perlasca that the officer who had challenged him was none other than Adolf Eichmann. In a period of some 45 days, from 1 December 1944 to 16 January 1945, Perlasca helped save over five thousand Jews - about four times more than the more famous Oskar Schindler.

From TK: Not nearly as well directed as Schindler’s list, but the things you learn … it is incredible what this guy managed to do with nothing more than his balls. It’s always good to learn, amici …

Un Amor … Two teenage friends fall in love with the same free-spirited girl. On a business trip 30 years later, she returns to town, reawakening old passions. Nothing earth shaking, but I enjoyed the back and forth (youth to adulthood) telling of the tale. Good enough to spend some time with.

TIME MAGAZINE’S PERSON OF THE YEAR … Jorge Mario Bergoglio (a.k.a., The Pope) …

This week he’s against fracking … my man!  We can hear Sarah Palin's teeth grinding from Fords, N.J.!

You Go Pope!

The New York Rangers have become my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills on ice … and it’s all my fault, amici. I could’ve been a Bruins fan and ruined their chances, but nooooooo, not me! I had to remember the first hockey game I ever attended (with Father Scavo and the altar boys from St. Jude at the OLD Garden, when the Rangers lost to the St. Louis Blues) … I remain the kiss of death. I turn on the game tonight and 40 seconds in, Lundqvist gives up an easy one. Oy, friggin’ vey … update: we went to the diner for dinner and now they’re losing 3-1.

Mia Culpa! Mia Maxima Culpa!

The new budget deal everyone seems to be creaming in their pants over (yes, I know, I’m disgusting) excludes an extension of unemployment benefits … that should go over big with families dependent on the money over the holidays. The estimated $25 billion the insurance would cost the U.S. Government is much better spent on war?

2,235 American military personnel have been killed and over 17,500 have been wounded since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom)

It is estimated that over 30,000 Afghan civilians have been killed since 2001.

A record-setting 349 veterans died by suicide in 2012, compared to 310 who died in combat.

The VA estimates that approximately 22 veterans will die by suicide every day, that’s one death every 65 minutes.

Over 2,000 current and former service members have died by suicide in the last decade.

And here’s the financial breakdown:

FY 2013
$7.2 Billion per month x 12 = 86.4 billion
$1.7 Billion per week
$238 Million per day
$9.9 Million per hour
$165,030 per minute

FY 2014
$6.6 Billion per month
$1.53 Billion per week
$218 Million per day
$9.1 Million per hour
$151,670 per minute

Total cost for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: $4-6 Trillion

[SARCASM INTENDED] Well, since it’s worked out so great, I guess we should let people in need of a partial paycheck eat rocks, because Lord knows, 13 years in Afghanistan has been such a wonderful investment. Well, for the defense contractors (the one statistic up there we don’t have … how much profit they “earned” off the deaths and maiming on all sides).


Or maybe Megan Kelly was trying this? The Queen of the Night … Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte

Same opera, the overture … they tell me it was used in a popular cartoon …