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).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wisconsin ... NetFlix/Foreign Flicks (God bless them) ...


The battle lines have formed ... 13 brave Democratic State Senators have taken flight to save collective bargaining. Those on the right call those Senators cowards, TK calls them heroes (so long as they don’t cave the way their brethren at the Federal level do over and over again). All this while our President waits in the wings (somebody say “Present!”)?

Going back a couple of years when I was the boring guy in the room distracting other boring guys from getting to the cute redhead in the corner (by rambling on and on about how American workers were ignored in the great giveaway of all those hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street; when not a single stipulation protecting workers (the ones they were taking the money from) was written into the bailouts, I wrote something like labor had been set back 50-100 years.

Well, welcome to 50-100 years ago, amici. What we’re seeing in Wisconsin (and will soon be contested in other states) is the dismantling of collective bargaining rights; the result of workers being vilified in an age when the 2%’s not only gifted themselves hundreds of billions of tax free ducats, they weren’t required to even consider those they had displaced (lost jobs--whether outsourced or laid off). While the rest of us struggle to survive and our jobs become more and more sacred (“Hey, it’s better than being out of work” being the mantra--although one I’ll never follow), we turn to those in our own economic shoes with envy and/or hate and proclaim them (the union workers) the enemy.

How ill advised and unfortunate is that?

Think about it, union pensions and healthcare packages are the cause of our collective economic woes? Are teachers who have bargained collectively for their current contracts over time (and are now willing to pay into their pensions and health insurance plans) really the cause of our economic discontent? Are they doing so much better than all the rest of us?

When a legislator goes to Congress for one term and is gifted lifetime benefits and a pension, can we really get pissed off at teachers, nurses, correction officers and the like for what they bargained for? Don’t forget that Congress wrote their own package (with built in raises)--no bargaining with the people footing the bill at all ...

And what about those 2%’s who caused this mess and then benefited from it with a bailout and record bonuses they saw fit to give themselves? Are we really that short-sighted (and/or naive) as to blame the members of a public union (who’ve already stated they are willing to negotiate)?

The answer, unfortunately, may be yeah, your damn right we are ... because suddenly it’s the education of our children that matters to conservatives on the right who did nothing but complain about providing educational assistance (they demand we cut the education budget or else!). Suddenly, a teachers strike is putting our children at risk. Suddenly, a union member making a whopping $50-or 60 or 70-100K is unfair to the rest of us ... when CEO’s on Wall Street rewarded themselves with hundred million dollar bonuses ... for bankrupting the country.

Change we can believe in or the great economic abyss?

I refer you(s) one and all to actually take the time to read at least one alternative (there are several) to the two major parties who’ve brought us where we are today by the beck and call of the 2%’s.

Please, don’t listen to the propaganda handed down by simple-minded, flag waving, slaves to the 2%’s. Just read up on some of it before you make future political choices. There really are alternatives. Here’s one ... but trust me, there are others ...

Seriously, workers of America unite ...

Lighter fare ... with unemployment comes some good things ... NetFlix for one ... rather than pay through the nose for cable we hardly used, we now pay the $8.99 fee for all the NetFlix we can stream (it’s a beautiful thing) ... which permits me to watch foreign films again ... and whenever I want ... which is one a day. Here, some quick reviews ...

Foreign Flicks I like (no, not MILFs, yous perverts ... FFILs) ... The Secret in Their Eyes ... (Argentina) an excellent story about a rape/murder several years in the past and a recently retired court administrator’s need to write about the injustices/justice served in novel form.

Murmur of the Heart ... (French) a hilarious coming of age story with a mother-son sharing a bit too much before it’s over ... hilarious as the day is long.

The Army of Crime ...
(French) The resistance in France led by a poet living by a code never to kill ... Paris is occupied and the start of Jewish deportation has begun ... this is tough stuff (not for the faint of heart), but engrossing and heartbreaking.