Charlie's Books

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).

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Asterisks respond … Too big to fail … The Cider House Rules … DOGFELLA … RIP Mr. B.B. King …


The Asterisks respond … want a good laugh? Read the Asterisks’ version of life on planet Brady. The New England football team has now officially gone from Patriots to Cheatriots to the Asterisks. Let’s look at the bullet points (as a teaser) to this in-house “report.”

The Wells’ Report dismisses the science … Right, the “science” affected one side of a football field, but not the other. Sure.

Or maybe this will make more common sense … creationists beware … Bill Nye explains it all:

The text messages were about weight loss … Since before the season began, the “Deflator” meant the guy accused of letting air out of the balls was talking about losing weight (Jenny Craig?) and not letting air out of the footballs … even though he references how (“Fuck Tom”) Brady was pissed off about getting balls that were over-inflated (i.e., the proper psi). Not to mention the fact that the Asterisks themselves suspended both ball-boys without pay (not the league’s doing) … for telling jokes? Well, those two fatsos should probably retain a labor lawyer themselves, no? Or write a tell-all book … again, I’m available.

There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 psi and no evidence anyone even thought that he did. All the extensive evidence which contradicts how the texts are interpreted by the investigators is simply dismissed as “not plausible.” Inconsistencies in logic and evidence are ignored. Wow, what can one say, except: So, why didn’t Brady turn over his phone text messages and emails? Why did the Asterisks not allow McNally and Jastremski to accept follow-up interviews?

What the Asterisks did with their “report” was nothing more than play to their base of fans in New England and insult everyone else’s intelligence. Let’s face it, it isn’t so different than something FOX news did in defense of Bill O’Reilly’s several fabrications of his journalistic experiences.

Bottom line: The Asterisks, and especially Tom Brady, have Donald Trump on their side. They’ve taken a page from Hillary Clinton’s playbook (attack the accusers and finders of FACT) … remember the vast right wing conspiracy? Well, this is a vast NFL conspiracy … and now that Robert Kraft’s dinner guest, Roger Goodell, has taken on the appeal process, it’ll be interesting to see how the NFL Commissioner handles it. It’s bad enough Coach Bill BeliCHEAT wasn’t given the same sentence as Sean Payton, a one-year suspension, for not knowing “what he should have known” (Goodell’s excuse for suspending Payton over bountygate) but sometimes a dinner can go a lot further than you think …

Too Big to Fail … Politics aside, let’s look at how a few of the wealthiest companies treat their employees and why so many workers are finding themselves hanging on by a very thin string.
Walmart sits atop the Fortune 500 club … their net sales totaled $473.1 billion, up 1.6% from the year-earlier period. Not bad, especially if you’re a stockholder … except, of course … according to Forbes, Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing, according to a report published to coincide with Tax Day, April 15.

One could come up with a pretty good argument against our economic system … but then we’d be called Marxists, wouldn’t we? Godless, Pinko, Heathens looking to steal what isn’t ours (because when Apple pays Chinese workers $0.19 an hour, it has everything to do with how hard their board of directors had to work to find such a good and profitable labor deal?) Does that qualify them (technically) as having “earned” their humongous slice of the profit pie? Is it justifiable that the millions/billions earned (or is it stolen?) from the poor bastards doing the actual work (for as little as $245.00 per month) is considered legal? … let’s see how the math on that works out … $245.00 divided by the average Chinese workday (in hours), which is 12 hours x 6 days = just about $.93 cents an hour.
By the way, this is why the CEO’s who drafted the TPP deal for themselves (with President Obama’s blessing and attempt to “fast track” it through Congress and up the American workers’ collective asses) were so anxious to see it happen. Wonder why American manufacturing fled the country? DO THE MATH …

This has little to do with small businesses, by the way. Socialists like myself have no problem with people starting a business and growing a business. It’s when a business becomes a corporation so big, or is swallowed by one, and becomes too big to fail when workers find themselves in a no win situation. And small businesses that remains independent can ever be too big to fail. Wall Street gambled and lost and taxpayers bailed them out (without the benefit of precluding the CEO’s who authored the failures giving themselves record bonuses). Since the 2007-8 bailouts, the banks that survived had grown and consolidated their power/stranglehold over our political system and those it’s supposed to represent.

The inevitability factor … when government works for corporations the way it has here in America, the outcome is inevitable (i.e., even the most limited forms of government sponsored capitalism {never mind corporatism}, had to (and has) lead to a very small percentage of the population gathering the vast majority of its wealth). One way to redistribute what is essentially unjustifiable wealth (because how can any one man “earn” what amounts to 22,255 times pay of average worker? is to 1) return to a 90% top marginal tax rate. Following World War II tax increases, top marginal individual tax rates stayed near or above 90%. When one considers the lack of equity between investor salaries vs. workers, what’s the problem with that figure (outside of greed)?

Aside from the obvious oligarchy our so-called democracy has turned itself into, whereby the most wealthy in the country (i.e. 0.1%), via Citizens United (Citizens United was the culmination of years of work by James Bopp to chip away at the nation's campaign-finance regulations), buy government representation via campaign contributions that exceed both common sense and morality, the taxpaying public finds itself working harder for less pay (more production/less reward).
Is that what flag waivers mean by American Exceptionalism? If those at the top reap exceptional benefits on the backs of those on the bottom, I guess the flag waivers are right after all.

And a damn shame it is too.

The Cider House Rules … I’m reading this John Irving masterpiece before returning to some crime fiction reviews … it’s as superb as the other Irving novels I’ve read (all in the last year) … funny, poignant and ultimately heartbreaking, the story of Homer Wells and his life inside and outside of an orphanage is wonderful. Irving handles the abortion issue with absolute brilliance.

“Good night you princes of Main, you Kings of New England.”

Over time that line will make you cry.

Last night I cheated and watched the movie last night … but it veers a bit from the novel … making me continue to read with all the more enthusiasm.



The Thrill is Gone …