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).

Friday, July 10, 2009

AIG … a reminder … a Knucksline Editorial Response … a rant … and another reminder …


AIG ... $235 million in bonuses to go (after paying out $135 million) … after they went bankrupt ... so much for change, eh?

Now, I’m not picking on Obambi, but I sure and hell am picking on the Democrats. They have a significant majority (filibuster proof) and they promised us change and national health care and the end of wars of choice and that there would be regulation over the financial markets like never before. Well, it looks like never before came and went. Democrats continue to vote Republican (it sure seems) on everything from the wars to health care to financial regulation to gay rights.

I get into it every once in a while on some political blogs (as you might imagine), mostly with so-called “liberal Democrats”; I say so-called because they are so content with having defeated the Republican Party they accept ANYTHING the current administration does as something good and worth defending (as opposed to anything approaching “liberal”). Usually, rather than defend the actual policy (whether they agree with it or not), what they do is attack something inane (always Republican based—like clueless and insignificant Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh or Dick Cheney). Tim Geithner announces there will be no regulation to executive compensation of bailed out companies and instead of so-called liberal democrats screaming “no fucking way”, they jump on Sarah Palin. What so-called liberal democrats don’t do is hold their party to account (on issues across the political and social spectrum) the way they didn’t hold them to account when Democrats became the majority in 2006 (and proceeded to give Republican President George Bush pretty much everything he asked for).

While it looks like Democrats will shoot down the national health care we were promised, so-called “liberal Democrats” continue to attack some Republican Senator who had his family bribe his mistress ... or point to the inane Palin “I quit” speech ... or mock South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford (because making fun of Republicans is so much more important than wondering just what the f—k happened to all those campaign promises).

Oy vey and Vey iz mir …

Reminder ... July 18th at Casa Stella ... The week of the First Annual Casa Stella Food Festival is upon us (or is it a barbecue)? Look, I’m so confused at this point, I don’t know what it is except my wife is breaking my shoes about it being so close and me not paying attention. Try and let us know if you’re attending so’s I can alert the pizza joint up the street (the backup plan). Spartacus has been out and about catching rays for this in the hope he isn’t accidentally skewered.

34 Hornsby Street
Fords, NJ 08863

A Knucksline Editorial Response to the DOC ...

Knucksline recently felt compelled to respond to the good DOC’s explanation of Socialists and capitalists. The DOC wrote:

You finish your second shift and come home dead tired. Sitting on your front steps are three fat guys drinking 40s. They have been waiting for you to come home with the groceries and cook something up. They want to share your food, Chaz. And they are hungry from waiting. That's Socialism!

In the other scenario, you shoot two of the fat guys and let the other one escape to warn other fat guys to never show up at Casa Stella. That's Capitalism!

Here’s how we at Knucksline see it: A guy (or gal) either through very hard work, luck, or inheritance (it’s usually a combination thereof) develops a booming business. He makes tons of gelt and hires many workers to keep the gelt flowing. He treats them good (a big … wait, no ... a HUGE assumption) and all are happy in NEVERLAND. Eventually, the owner dies off and his offspring inherit the business. Now, whether or not they (his offspring) are hard working and/or decent individuals (like we assume their parent(s) were), the FACT remains the new owner(s) did nothing to earn/deserve their inheritance aside from being born. Let’s assume they are every bit as good and decent as their parent(s) (ANOTHER HUGE ASSUMPTION) ... they were born into great wealth and to protect that wealth they will be required to keep those in their employ BENEATH THEM financially (which leads to social and political subjugation as well); the workers having much less (in the form of benefits, salary, etc.) than those they work for even though the owners did (and continue to do) NOTHING for their advantage.

See the Born Rich documentary for the sake of seeing who many of the very richest inheritors are, how they turn out and think about whether or not they deserve what they have. And, of course, register how many times you want to smack some of them, never mind support retroactive abortions up to the age of 25 or so.

Now, although Doc’s paradigm has the capitalist whacking 2 of the three fat guys lounging on said capitalist’s stoop (drinking 40’s and waiting for dinner), the 3rd was permitted to escape (for the sake of warning other fat guys not to come back to Casa Stella). One has to assume that said fat guy(s) (the one who gets away is just one of several similar fat guys who got away, right?) will eventually organize and decide on pursuing their dinner a bit more aggressively in the future (to meet the challenge of survival in a capitalist state) ... say, like, STORMING THE FOCKING BASTILLE. Which, by the way, we at Knucksline would define as JUSTICE (socialism) but totally understand how others (capitalists) might call said storming a revolution.

Well, hell, now that I’m on a rant ... the degree to which the investment banks screwed the economy is best reflected in the benefit losses to labor (all forms) across the country. Many firms have cut workers salaries. Others have discontinued overtime or extended the 35 hour work week to 40 for the sake of getting 5 free hours before paying overtime. Many firms have cut hours, reduced sick and vacation time, done away with raises, medical coverage and let’s not mention bonuses (or do you know someone who was fired for being a fuck-up and then given a $20 million dollar sendoff like the CEO of GM?). And none of this has anything to do with outsourcing; this particular form of capitalist greed, while it hurts now, hopefully will one day spark a true workers revolution in America.

The fact the bailed out companies didn’t have to account for anything in the paragraph above (as stipulations to preclude so long as they were willing to take our money) is beyond criminal—it is treason. A government of the people by the people and for the people just gave away the people’s money to a bunch of greedy bastards who gambled and lost and the same government didn’t provide anything near protection for the people it took the money from—the same people it’s supposedly of, by and for.

What a joke.

The fact is between technology and an ever growing population, the numbers just can’t work for capitalism to survive in America (if it’s supposed to benefit the many as opposed to the few). There has to be many more poor than rich in a capitalist society and while hard work more often than not has little (or anything) to do with how one becomes rich, the formula for how one maintains the status quo once they are rich is always the same: benevolence is always the first thing to go.

This might have a lot to do with my current reading of Leon Uris’s Trinity (a wonderful read, by the way—extremely informative novel about the subjugation of the Irish by the Brits; how easy it was within Ireland to divide and conquer), but I doubt it. I’ve voted for both major parties and have pretty much come to a conclusion once and for all: They’re both corrupt beyond supporting anymore and so long as we vote the lesser of two evils or insist that people like Ralph Nader or the socialist or communist parties are evil, the financial and social divide will continue to grow within America until it bursts.

When I was a kid and we used to play war, when someone was supposedly shot they fell to the ground, waited a few seconds (to die), then yelled “new man”, got up and resumed playing. If only it were that easy for so many families financially devastated by Wall Street’s greed to start over again. We’ve been knocked down (the economic crisis born of greed), had our pockets picked while we were there (the bailouts) and then handed greased banana peels in the form of hands to help us back up (change we can believe in). Maybe it’s time to wash ourselves off, stand back up, declare new man and start over (with any number of parties other than the Republicans and/or the Democrats).

Could it really get any worse?

Don’t forget ... this Saturday, July 18th ... figure around 2:00 p.m. or so ... come and sign DOC’s new memoir: “Why I shot Chaz and his dopey mouse.”