Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
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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).

Monday, October 19, 2015

Movie Review: The Lesson … Shawn Mills on tenor, Stephen Costello … AJ+ and Francesca Fiorentini on The War on Drugs … Bills-Jets …


The Lesson … Bulgarian flick about a teacher in a bad financial way due to bad economic times and her useless husband. It begins with a classroom situation wherein a student has stolen some cash from another student … the teacher plots to expose the thief, but there’s plenty of mess to cleanup at home. Her husband is a good-for-nothing-much, but her young daughter dotes on her dad. In the meantime, his all-consuming project (to repair a camper for sale) is a bigger disaster than a blown sale … he’s used the mortgage money to buy new parts … the bank wants payment or will auction the house …the teacher (wonderfully portrayed by Margita Gosheva) has to come up with the money … her father has coin, but he’s remarried a woman the teacher can’t stand … the teacher remains loyal to her dead mother and visits her grave often … she blames her estranged father for her mother’s suffering before she passed and has issues asking him for money (he’s wealthy enough to help) … she works a second job as a translator but the business is a deadbeat one and she’s always being stalled on payment for work done … what’s the poor woman to do? Well, there’s always a loanshark, right? And the police are, well, corrupt. I love this movie and Ms. Gosheva’s understated portrayal of a woman striving to maintain her morality in an immoral world is both poignant and brilliant.

Heartbreak Almost Destroyed This Opera Singer’s Voice, by Shawn Mills … the TK faithful seen my video clips of tenor, Stephen Costello, singing with Soprano, Ailyn Perez … here it is again.

The couple having so much fun with one of my favorite arias from La Boheme in the video married … but their break-up nearly cost Costello his career … read about how he was forced to bow out of a Metropolitan Opera performance of La Traviata because he’d temporarily lost his voice. Read the article here.

AJ+ produces the best progressive videos on the planet … Francesca Fiorentini delivers the goods with humor, irony and very accurate information. Here they are teamed together for The Failed War on Drugs … where Big Banks (HBC, Wachovia and Bank of America) and private American business (gun manufacturers, private security, private prisons, etc.) profit from money laundering to incarcerations for drug offenses ...  all for the benefit of drug cartels and American business …


Bills-Jets … some of yous may be wondering what’s up with TK’s disowning the Bills and/or the NFL of late. Well, it’s not true, not fully, but I’m close … damn close. I’ve been a Bills fan since I abandoned the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets as a season ticket holder the day they moved to Moonachie, New Jersey. I became a Bills fan that day and have suffered many years since. I don’t mind suffering when my team blows and there’s just not enough talent to win. The Bills are a different story. Yes, you need the talent, but let’s face it, the NFL isn’t made up of wannabes. Coaching does make a difference, a big difference, and for too long my beloved New York State Buffalo Bills have had issues with hiring African-American coaches. While I understood the interest in hiring Rex Ryan for the sake of ticket sales and extra media exposure, letting a few very established African-American coaches interview for the sake of NFL rules governing minority coaching interviews, and then ignoring them, wasn’t the smart move.

This latest Bills disaster is fast becoming yet another Bills blunder.

Rex Ryan had a couple of good years with the Jets and then everything fell apart. His method of defending his players first may work well in the locker room, but in post-game press conferences, it’s already grown stale. The Bills are loaded on defense with talent, yet perform at a mediocre level, especially against good offensive lines. Okay, so the players aren’t getting it done … nor is the defensive game plan, but like his brother over in New Orleans, Rob Ryan, it’s getting hard not to look at those two as bad jokes praying on desperate fans. Ryan has managed to cut down on the absurd number of penalties committed by his team, yet they continue to lose and lose bad.

I don’t know what it’ll take for the new Bills administration to see through the clown act, but season ticket holders at Rich Stadium aren’t going to be patient much longer if the Bills wind up taking another step back (which is where they’re headed this season as it stands right now). If you look to the Jets organization, a total joke until now in pretty much everyone’s opinion, things have turned around in a very big way, at least after five games. We have Rex and are 3-3, with some very humiliating losses. The Jets have Todd Bowles and are 4-1. We beat Rex Ryan’s Jets twice last year. What will happen if the Jets beat us twice this year?

And how on earth do NFL owners continue to get away with paying players in the most dangerous sport what amounts to the lowest salaries of the big four sports? Talk about income inequality. If Rex Ryan wants to put his players first, then do it with a microphone in front of the public he’s maneuvered with a clown act for the last several years. Oh, right … then he’d be fired and blacklisted. I guess he really isn’t a players-first coach after all.

Unfortunately, most fans believe that professional athletes should shut up and take the millions they’re offered and be thankful for it. The fans never realize how short a professional career is, or how physically debilitating the injuries from playing some sports can be. It isn’t so different from the capitalism we all experience day-to-day, where workers perform the bulk of the work and are paid the lowest wage possible for the greatest gain of owners. You think professional athletes are overpaid? Take a look at the owners’ books.

Oh, right, they won’t allow that, will they?

Isn’t it amazing how we fight amongst each other and always at our own expense?


From AJ+ and Francesca Fiorentini … watch and learn …