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Charlie's Books
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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, March 5, 2015

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of … Ferguson … Netanyahu … Hillary’s e-mails …

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of, by Dana King … The Shamus Award nominated Nick Forte series remains strong as ever … great writing, which is what I look for most when reading anything. Nick starts off with a Maltese Falcon redux with dialogue so good, I was seeing/hearing Sydney Greenstreet throughout …

Obese and sexually perverted, Russell Arbuthnot (I couldn’t pronounce it so I used Arby throughout) is playing the Kasper Gutman character in a soon to premier one man play about the Falcon … he’s got the diction and mannerisms down … he’s also got the actual/fabled (and treasured) bird itself (or so he insists) … he’s been receiving threats, so his very attractive middle-aged manager hires Nick to protect the famous actor for $10K for 2 weeks (not bad work if you can get it) … but something doesn’t sit right with Nick …
and there are IRA issues and general bad guys in the mix … Nick has a love interest on the police force (he’s a former copper), but he also has a kid of his own and an ex-wife who gives him daily doses of agita. Fatso’s manager is years Nick’s senior, very sensual, and the kind of woman he (and many others) is/are attracted to (her eyes do it, for one thing) … the dialogue is superb, start to finish, in this fast-paced story that has much to do with the bird … or does it? No spoilers here. Just know that King is on his game big time with this wonderful read. I dare anyone to read any of his books and not want to get hold of his others. Terrific writing, end of story.
Ferguson … for those in denial of systemic racism in America, take a gander at the statistics culled from the Ferguson Police Department … along with risking their lives every time they left their homes (sarcasm attended), many members of the Ferguson police force were having fun with e-mails that tell as much of the story as does the one-sided statistical divide, one that rivals any from the old south. How old? I suspect if all police departments were investigated the way Ferguson was, we might see similar statistics south and north of the Mason-Dixon line. Not to be unfair about it all, I’m also sure it works both ways (the racist jokes/emails ... I've been called a cracker more than once for Sharpton bashing ... which doesn't bother me quite as much as being called a fat cracker).
So it goes.
Netanyahu … Oh, the drama … the sideshow the Republican Party orchestrated in the form of an end run around the President last week, aside from the entertainment value, was yet another drum beat for U.S. involvement in yet another war in the Middle East. Netanyahu used the survival card at every opportunity, rallying the yahoos in Congress to stand and cheer, while some Democrats grimaced, and one turned her back.
Talk is cheap. Iranian zealots have been calling for wiping out Israel for a long time now. They’ve also called for “death to America” … somehow the two aren’t equated. We laugh at such threats to America because we know a nuclear attack on us would require a similar response, thus ending (for the most part) this absurd form of human life as we know it. Israel has nuclear weapons. Does anyone really believe that Iran, should they acquire nuclear weapons, would risk a response? The suggestion that they might is NOT a justifiable reason to a) attack their nuclear facilities or b) preemptively hit them with nukes … or why bother waiting. You’re so sure they’re going to try and wipe you out? Really? So, what’s stopping you from wiping them out first? Can you see the insanity here? Is it at least on the horizon of your thoughts, Mr. Netanyahu?
Utah Congressman, Jason Chaffetz, on national television last week said he’d “take out” Iran for the threat they pose to Israel and America now. Does that count as a threat to survival? Does Iran get to claim we’re looking to wipe them off the face of the earth now? Politicians talk shit. They’ve been doing it forever. The one thing anyone can count on is their ability to lie and spin facts in the direction they’re heading (usually guided by the money behind them).
Netanyahu guaranteed there would be enormous positive reverberations after we took out Saddam Hussein.
Okay, so how’d that work out?
The simple(ton) answer is to bomb away … everyone who disagrees with us or our proxy in the Middle East gets in line or else. Nation states don’t get to protect themselves unless we (or our proxy) let them. With that mindset driving our policy there, is there really any wonder why so many in the Middle East hate us?
Nobody denies Israel’s right to exist. Nobody denies Iran isn’t to be trusted. Somehow, however, we and Israel are to be trusted, hands down, end of story. A couple of FACTS for the untrusting to consider:
We are the first and only ones to ever use a nuclear weapon in war ... and we did that twice.
We’re the ones who recently enough preemptively invaded two different nation states in the Middle East.
And our net gain from those fiasco wars? Instead of the enormous positive reverberations Mr. Netanyahu guaranteed, aside from those who have died and/or have been maimed, we average 22 American veterans a day committing suicide.
22 A DAY!
So, thanks, but no thanks to another war in the Middle East.
So, for those who claim criticizing American policy is traitorous (or that they’re self-loathing Americans), try using caffeine with your morning coffee. We are exercising democracy by questioning policy, which is OUR right (the same right we’re always reminded of by those who point to the sacrifices our military makes “so we can complain”). This goes for those who criticize Israeli policy as well. We/they aren’t anti-Semitic. That’s as absurd as Al Sharpton claiming that criticism of his opportunism and tax evasion makes us racist.
Larry David handled this wonderfully ... "You know, they got a mental asylum a couple of blocks down. I suggest you check yourself in ..."
For those so desirous of us going to war, whether to support Israel, or for the sake of spreading democracy throughout the middle east (that’s worked great so far—sarcasm again intended), why not join the military and walk the walk? So many of our politicians who’ve ducked their chance to prove their LOVE for America during Vietnam (Cheney, Giuliani, et al.) are always so anxious these days to send other kids to prove THEIR love of country. I call that convenient patriotism. Same goes for those who claim that any criticism of Israeli policy equates to anti-Semitism. Feeling extra passionate today? Join up. Too old? I’m sure there’s a militia somewhere in the Middle East that will gladly provide you with a uniform and rifle.  From what I gathered at the IDF site, age limits start from 26+ … I’m assuming that means way up (but I don’t know for sure). And if you are too old or don’t have the right qualifications, you could always go there and support the war effort up front and personal by doing something more than using ALL CAPS to express your patriotism.
The point being, curb your enthusiasm for war. At the least, try to understand that not all of the people catching American missiles dropped during drone strikes and/or from American bombers are terrorists. Try to realize that innocents killed in the Middle East during and since our preemptive wars there view us as the terrorists, no matter what label we put on our justifications.
So, Bibi, next time you need a stage to win an election back home, feel free to use the Congress again … it’s been enhanced as the theatre of the absurd since the party you court today (the GOP) took over anyway.
Hillary’s e-mails … so let me go on record and state that I am not a fan of the Clintons … in fact, it was Bill Clinton’s hard veer to the right that chased me from the Democratic Party for the two elections after he took his show on the retirement road. I’m not a fan of Hillary Clinton either, and I once called her Satan (and caught flak for it) … why Satan? Because she appeared to be willing to stick it out with Slick Willy for the sake of her own Presidency. I thought she (and he) were big phonies back then and I haven’t changed my mind an iota. I find it absolutely dumbfounding that as we go into the next Presidential election cycle, we’re likely facing Bush v. Clinton yet again. How the hell does that happen in a so-called democracy?
I trust no politician who a) takes money from corporations (never mind foreign countries), b) flip-flops with the political winds and/or c) has a proven record of absolute duplicitousness … and Hillary hits the trifecta based on those caveats.
So, does that mean I turn back to another Bush mistake? Not in this life. I’ve changed somewhat over the last few months on who I’m willing to vote for … it’s one of two people now (it was only one prior to this narrowing of the field to Clinton-Bush). I’ll vote for Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. No Bernie, no Warren = no vote. To quote my favorite coach ever … “It’s as simple as that.”
Now, to the emails … Seriously? She’s telling the State Department to release the emails she was willing to release? No thanks.
Run Elizabeth, run!
In honor of what STILL appears to be a Clinton-Bush Oligarchical 2016 slugfest …