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).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Peter Rosovsky’s Blog … Oy vey, the Replacement Refs … TK’s locks of the week ... Placido & Lucianno ...


Some really kind words about Stella’s novels over at Peter Rosovsky’s blog, Detective’s Without Borders.
And fair warning to any sock puppet hunting Nazis out there … I am sending Peter a copy of Rough Riders (and two thousand dollars). Of course should he decide to review it, any good review will no longer be a “legitimate” review for the simple fact I thanked him for the kind words on his blog in the past, never mind having sent him a copy of RR’s (he should have received an ARC in the first place--my bad), or the two dimes (thousand) … but since I still subscribe to the donut theory, I’m giving myself a pass.
And, yes, I was joking about the two large.
The coolest things I learned from some of the comments on Peter’s blog was a) I recognized the name of the Dutch super Soccer player of yesterday, Johan Cruyff (that’s his picture up above--for East Coast Don) and b) Peter was also a Strat-O-Matic nut like myself.

Frankly, it’s pretty amazing how kind Peter has been to me considering he lives in Philadelphia where my never ending angst with Philly’s football team (the once proud eaglettes/now the dog killers for signing Michael dog killer Vick) is expressed ad nausea.

Replacement Refs ... Now that the frequent flyer flags will be turned over to the competent officials (at least those knowledgeable of the NFL rulebook), football can return to its proper place in American culture. Say what? Did it ever leave? No, not really … and as my Tommy Burns character might say, “And a fuckin’ shame it is, too.”
Universally, nobody blames the poor bastards offered instant celebrity and bigger bucks than they’ll probably ever see again in their lives for throwing flags around the workhouses of a multi-billion dollar business. The fact they were scabs was more than anxiously excused by a football hungry public that could care less about workers’ rights (especially union workers). Workers rights? Unions?
Football vs. worker rights? Forgetaboutit, no contest ... because nobody cares.
Before I wax political on the mess this “lockout” represented, let’s take a look-see at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s apology: "Obviously when you go through something like this, it's painful for everybody," Goodell said on a conference call about 12 hours after the deal was struck. "Most importantly, it's painful for fans. We're sorry to have to put fans through that. Sometimes you have to go through something like that in the short term for the right agreement for the long term."
Note he doesn’t mention the fiasco the other night in which one team (Green Bay) was tattooed with a fugazy loss for the rest of their season and whatever playoff implications it might have while the other team (Sea Pigeons) gets the exact opposite benefit. Apologize for that? We don’t do no stinkin’ apologies, the NFL said when they released a statement affirming the “simultaneous possession” instead of the actual interception it was. What was that all about, you ask?
That was management sticking it to a) their employees and b) the masses. The NFL was saying: Screw you, everybody who isn’t us. We can do anything we want, even change reality, and if you don’t like it, go watch The Big Bang Theory.

What the picture above reminds me of, however, is this:


One ref says touchdown, the other says touchback (interception) … and we say: And whata’ya want from me?
Oy vey …

Here now, the political stuff … On the other hand, it will remain an interesting phenomenon for me. In an America where workers (union or otherwise) are demonized daily by both the GOP propaganda machine (especially the one selling an “American Dream” while more and more of the so-called middle class join the ranks of poverty) and Democrats remain politically paralyzed to stand up for those they’re allegedly representing, somehow the refs avoided the scorn teachers, firefighters, police and all other municipal workers are met with daily these days.
The GOP will tell you the American Dream is alive and well and that you should go it alone (like all of them did?) ... See how Romney the wannabe warrior handled his Vietnam days further below. As for the American dream being so accessible ...

Tell it to the thousands of college grads now living with their parents while seeking minimum wage employment to help pay off their mortgage-like student loans.
We’ve become a culture still anxious to swallow the Kool-Aid of an American Dream that no longer exists, anecdotal rags to riches stories aside (especially while the vast majority of people suffer the consequences of not being born into money/opportunity and/or are hard working people just looking to live a comfortable life who aren’t, as Mr. Romney believes, lazy SOB’s looking to milk the government teat for the rest of their lives). Unless you count winning Lotto’s Powerball, the American Dream is a thing of the past for the vast majority of Americans.
White collar and other non-union workers (other have-nots) take issue with public and private unions because their tax dollars fund their salaries and benefits and they aren’t happy with (or don’t need) the returns (i.e., childless couples having to kick into an education system). How absurd is that? Instead of seeking the same benefits for themselves, they vilify others in the same economic boat. What they must believe is that all those taxes lead to an incredibly high standard of living union workers get to enjoy (SARCASM INTENDED), where 7 out of 10 public employees get LESS than $30,000 per year in retirement.
Imagine, the nerve of those greedy MF’ers … $30K a year!
Oy vey, vey iz mir
The point being, I found it interesting (and sad) how refs seeking the same things that teachers, firemen, policemen, etc. seek (i.e., better wages/benefits, etc.), rather than being vilified, were glorified (at least until the first flags are thrown). No, I didn’t want to see them (the refs) demonized or flogged … what would have been nice is to hear the same sentiments repeated on behalf of teachers. You know, what so many of us common folk were saying: That those greedy multi-billionaire MF’ers … now they have Thursday night football revenue on top of everything else and they can’t grant a few concessions to people essential to their product (i.e., those doing the actual work) making peanuts by comparison?
Imagine that kind of radical talk being repeated on behalf of teachers and other municipal workers? And if it’s taxes vs. multi-billionaires you want to respond with, here’s an idea. End the goddamn idiotic wars we’re fighting for no good reason under the sun and use some of that money to support workers here rather than defense contractors.
Frankly, it’s about time somebody does more than tell them how they’ll put on comfortable shoes and walk the picket line ... it’s time somebody (a third party?) sticks up for them.

Speaking of Presidential politics ... at least we know this much about Mitt during the Vietnam years. His church conveniently shipped him off to France after he protested in favor of the war while in college. While some of our 50,000+ were getting killed in the jungles of Vietnam, Romney was writing loves letters in the sands on France’s beaches.

As for Mr. Obama ... the fact is, for all his charisma and possible good intentions, Mr. Obama has been an abject failure to labor, unionized or not. The middle and lower classes, which one can now argue are pretty much one in the same, has taken the brunt of the burden while the top 1% has never benefitted so well (certainly not under Bush—something the GOP won’t dare mention because it blows their “Obama is a socialist theory” out of the water).

But here’s what you’re all waiting for, admit it ... Knucks’ kiss of death/locks of the week.

If you took the Knuckmeister last week (6-8 on games we picked), your pockets are feeling more empty than full. Fear not, with each new week of football (competent officials or not), we’ll offer you tickets to financial paradise ... or certain ruin.
Choose wisely, amici ...
Thursday night we like the Wes Cravens over the Brownettes of Cleveland.
The Choketriots will be an angry team coming into Buffalo this week ... and we’ll probably have to go with our third string running back (Choice), but he’s better than anything the Cheatriots have running the football ... Super Mario breaks out and down go the Choketriots to a 1-3 start.
49’ers will be pissed off too ... and the Moonachie Green team won’t be able to respond. 49’ers big ... over the Y-E-T-S, Yets, Yets, Yets!
The Sea Pigeons looked awesome and although they deserve a loss, we doubt it’ll come to the Ramettes. Sea Pigeons in a close one.
The Panthers aren’t close to what I had thought ... the Falconettes by 10.
Vikings and Lions ... wow, who would’ve thunk it? Pick’em.
The Chefs over the Chargers? Divisional rivals are always tough. Another pick’em.
Titans at the Texas Two Steppers ... might be closer than we think, but Texas wins.
Begalis over the Jags by 4.5 (just make believe the replacement refs are still calling the game) ...
Broncettes rebound against the still celebrating Raiderettes ...
Skins at the Bucks ... pick’em.
The Aints aint’ goin’ nowhere it appears. And the Pack HAS TO BE PISSED OFF. Green Bay by 7-10-14-20?
And in the feature game of the week, take the Moonachie Blue team in a crushing revenge game (from last year’s losses) over the Philadelphia dog killers ...
Cutlerettes at the Girls ... we like the girls ... at least the cheerleaders ... another pick’em but we’ll be rooting for the Star-heads.
For all the crybabies out there ... from Turandot, Placido Domingo Non piangere liu ...
And here’s Louie in a live performance. I saw him sing Calaf in this opera three times back in the day. Like I said, crime paid ...