Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
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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).

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Book Review: A Murder of Crows … Speaking of Cally … She wasn’t under oath? … The Bernie Sanders Blues …

A Murder of Crows, by Terrence McCauley … espionage, baby, espionage … think the Bourne stuff … or James Bond … but notch it up a little to present day terrorism/anti-terrorism and the infighting that goes on between government agencies (is that why the FBI didn’t put the principal defendant in a criminal investigation under oath?) … but any disassociation with reality, which is my won’t to do when it comes to espionage and/or sci-fi, was quickly put aside because of the recent research I’ve done in regards to a possible project of my own. The technology available to the various agencies are extremely sophisticated and all too real.

So, there’s a secret/not so secret organization a step or two ahead of the CIA, DIA and NSA and the Mossad, except it’s like a private Mossad that often finds itself up against players with the same goal, but playing for a different team. It’s like when NHL players are involved in international tournaments and somebody like Steven Stamkos can find himself playing against Victor Hedman or Ryan Callahan (but normally, they’re playing for the same Stanley Cup Championship as members of the Tampa Bay Lightning).

James Hicks works for The University (that secret/no so secret organization) … and he’s recently captured a real bad guy, Moroccan terrorist, Bajjah—responsible for a biological attack in New York City. Unfortunately, the Barnyard (the CIA), the DIA and the Mossad know about the capture, which took place in Philadelphia. Hicks and his rather hedonistic partner, Roger, have Bajjah ... and they’re busy interrogating him. They get him to give up a few names, (or do they?), but the Mossad and the CIA want him also. Deals have been made, but deals are often broken under the guise of national interest.

Hicks is after Jabbar, a Bin Laden type of leader in the terror hierarchy … but Jabbar has been expert at ducking the laws of all the major nation states and their national security agencies. So, how does this secret organization (The University) stay a step or two ahead of the game (and all those other agencies)? OMNI, a super high-technology communications/ research/hacking tool. It’s the kind of thing you NEVER want in your enemies OR friends hands …

A Murder of Crows takes the reader to different locations with different versions of top notch tension. I was never a big espionage fan, but I enjoyed this one start to finish … and I’m enticed enough to want to read the prequel, Sympathy for the Devil, when Bajjah was hitting New York with his special form of terror. A wild ride that deservedly earned a Booklist Starred review.

Speaking of (Cally) Ryan Callahan … our favorite player played most, if not all, of the 2015-16 season with a hip injury that required surgery immediately after the playoffs. Because of the surgery, Cally will have to miss playing for team USA in the World Cup of Hockey. Cally has been on two USA Olympic teams and won a silver medal in 2010. News of Cally playing injured was no surprise to most. Last year in the Bolts Stanley Cup run, Callahan was forced to get emergency appendectomy surgery and was back on the ice after missing just 1 game. The hip surgery, however, will sideline him for five months, so not only will the Bolts’ ultimate warrior miss the World Cup, he’s projected to miss two months at the start of the 2016 season. Read about his hip surgery, which was successful, here: 
Get some rest and heal, Cally.
The Scales of Justice … The FBI criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email debacle seemed a bit odd when Director Comey stated that Hillary Clinton hadn’t lied to the FBI (after listing a bunch of lies she’s told the public) because, well, she was never under oath.

Say what?

Yeah, we were a bit confused about that one too. So her “interview” with the FBI was nothing more than that … and although it is reported that the fellow who set up the personal email server at casa Clinton-Westchester pleaded the Fifth 125 times, the "no legal harm/no legal foul" FBI recommendation has left a nation stunned at what was supposed to be going on.

Investigation or dog and pony show? The fact the FBI found her statements to be out and out lies, and those same statements had been made under oath to the Benghazi committee (i.e., lying to Congress) should leave the Teflon Diva stuck with a perjury or two indictment, but let’s face it, the scales of justice tip heavy to one side when it comes to money and power, and when we’re talking about Crooked Hillary Clinton, it’s like dropping an anvil on the money and power side of the scale.

In any event, the fiasco called a democratic election continues … and although so many on both sides of the aisle fear what the rest of the world will think of an Orange Blowhard Presidency, the fact that the nomination and election process has been a total sham doesn’t seem to bother them at all.

So it goes.

We’ll be around to poke fun at the entire mess moving forward.
Berned, baby Berned … well, you all know where I’ve stood regarding the Bernie Sanders campaign. I wasn’t happy he chose to ignore Hillary’s emails during the nomination process (they were serious errors in judgment {committed over and over and over again} at best/and criminal is {what most believe} at worst), so he let her off the hook for that and barely touched on the Clinton Foundation scandal at the very end of the sabotaged nomination process. To be fair, Bernie always said he’d honor his promise to support the DNC candidate (long before anyone had a clue it would be Donald Trump—so, so much for it is Trump that has to be defeated—like I always say, once it comes to the actual election, lemmings on both sides of the aisle shit their pants and vote the party line no matter who is running), but Bernie really is letting us down. We, his supporters, are angry for all the abuse Bernie has taken from a corrupt party. The DNC made it impossible for him to win, and HRC couldn’t stop reminding everyone how Bernie was only a Democrat for a few months. Hmmm, it seems to us, he should remind them of that fact at the convention, and maybe add to it: “I tried it, I didn’t like it, so shove it. I’m going Green.”

Bernie achieved two major successes: he was able to expose the corruption within the Democrat Party and he also proved a candidate need not sell themselves to the highest bidders. On the other hand, his call for a political revolution is now fading into yet another call to be just another lemming after all … and for that, I’m extremely pissed off.

So, Bernie, if you’re reading this, take the coin I gave to your campaign and transfer it to Jill Stein and the Green Party. The truth of the matter is, if you really did want a political revolution, you wouldn’t cave and endorse the antithesis of a revolution.

I fear Bernie left his balls in Brooklyn when he headed north to Vermont.


Yesterday I re-watched The Big Short … it’s a reminder why the last person we want in the White House moving forward is someone OWNED by Wall Street …