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, January 28, 2016

Cally’s Crew: Ryan Callahan for Kids with Cancer … Momma Stella and Cally’s Crew … The Twisting of the Political Winds AND What’s at stake … 2 Movie Reviews … What I’m reading now …

Cally’s Crew … as if there weren’t enough reasons to love Ryan Callahan at Casa Stella, this one tops the list. Click on the link and read the article here. Cally and his wife, Kyla, are doing more than paying lip service to kids in need. From the article: Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is the most recognizable when it comes to the team's charitable efforts. But right wing Ryan Callahan and his wife, Kyla, are making an big impact in their own way. Callahan is known as a guy who plays with all heart. But, inside a suite at Amalie Arena during nearly every home game the couple hosts Cally's Crew, a group of pediatric cancer patients and their families.

"Once we had our two kids, we wanted to help kids out and hopefully be a spot where they can come and get away from their treatments and get away from what they are going through," he (Cally) said.

Visit Cally's webpage and Cally's Crew here (click on the link).
Momma Stella and Cally’s Crew … [So I went to visit Momma Stella last night and told her about the above. Now, Momma Stella doesn’t always hear what I tell her, or remember specifics (i.e., she often confuses the Bolts and the Callahans, thinking the player is the team name, etc.), and although it took a few tries, when she got it, her response was … well …]  As you can see in the picture above, she's the cappa di tutti cappi (female boss of all bosses) ...

Me: Hey, Ma, Cally and his wife provide kids with cancer and their families luxury suits during Bolts games.

MS: (looks at me funny) The hell are you talkin’ about?

Me: Cally, Callahan, on the Bolts. Him and his wife provide kids with cancer and their families a suite at home games.

MS: A suite?

Me: I forget, you haven’t been to a sporting event since I played football in North Dakota.

MS: You’re a real nut, you know that?

Me: Where’d that come from?

MS: You sister’s ass. Don’t bother me now.

Me: Ma, I’m trying to tell you something good hear. Don’t break my shoes. Now, pay attention. Our favorite player, Callahan, him and his wife, they provide kids with cancer, and their families … you with me so far?

MS: Yeah, dumbass, go’head.

Me: They provide kids with cancer and their families a suite, a luxury box, at home games. They do it for kids with cancer.

MS: For which team?

Me: Oy vey. For the Bolts. Callahan plays for the Bolts. You remember that much?

MS: Okay, yeah. For kids with cancer. (misty eyed) That’s wonderful. That really is, Sonny.

Me: Yes, it is. I’ll get you a t-shirt if they sell them.

MS: And you should donate.

Me: Of course I will.

MS: Give them something from me, too.

Me: Of course.

MS: Good boy, Sonny. See, I got it.

Me: Yeah, who does Callahan play for?

MS: The Bills?

Me: No, ma, no. The Bolts. The Tampa Bay—(I realize this can go on forever if I say Tampa Bay Lightning, so I cut it short). Callahan plays for the Bolts. They’re in Florida.

MS: The Bolts, not the Bills.

Me: Yes. Very good.

MS: (flips me the bird) Make sure you donate.

Me: I will.

MS: For me too.

Me: I said I would. Oy vey.

MS: Now, go home before you annoy me again.

I love my Mommy!

The Twisting of the Political Winds AND What’s at stake … Five days out from the Iowa caucuses and the Democratic National Committee is faced with quite the conundrum (yes, use Christopher Walken’s voice there). To add more debates and appear even more corrupt, or to swallow hard and pray for less Hope and Change?
Hillary finds herself in a mess … the coronation, while it still may happen, will further bruise the DNC’s candidate of choice more than was ever necessary. To my thinking, the DNC wishes they precluded Senator Sanders from registering as one of their own. I imagine Debbie-Wasserman Schultz thinking: “Who knew the old Jew from Brooklyn would be so likeable?”

And even that would be a miscalculation. The old Jew from Brooklyn is adored.

Ignoring the obvious Clinton-Bush fatigue this country expresses daily, Dear Debbie tried her best to railroad her BFF through the nomination process (by shoving Clinton down our throats), but it hasn’t gone as planned, and the damage done by the corruption they hurled our way (with a smile) may well have killed any chance for Clinton to a) win the nomination and/or b) win the general election.

Suddenly, it’s Clinton who wants more debates, which is interesting, because when she was asked about the few number of debates earlier on in her expected coronation, the Queen of Evolution wasn’t about to ruffle the feathers of the DNC. Forget the fact Dear Debbie was Clinton’s co-chair in her lost nomination against Obama back in 2008, it was Hillary’s turn.

Come to think of it, has Dear Debbie EVER won anything for anybody but herself? We know she lost backing Hillary vs. Obama in 2008, but then she also lost the House and Senate, right?

Oh, well …

Now, I’m not so na├»ve as to think the DNC machine and/or Hillary Clinton will lose the nomination outright. I suspect all matters of foul play from Iowa to the convention. Whether they ignore Sanders votes during the counting process, or pull the rug out from under him with Super Delegates (the most egregious form of undermining democracy I can think of), the DNC will not allow Bernie Sanders the nomination unless the crowds he’s drawing show up and landslide Clinton into retirement..

And wouldn’t that be nice?

While Bernie drew 19,000 in Duluth, Minnesota one night, and then stumped in Iowa the following day, Hillary, Slick Willy and their spawn, Chelsea, were back east seeking financial institution support (i.e., BRIBES), because nothing says I’ll reform Wall Street like taking more money from them.

What’s at stake … I’ve come to the conclusion that in the end, should Bernie’s magic be sabotaged by the DNC, and Hillary gets his endorsement (to ward off the dreaded GOP), I’ll be making my break from the Sanders campaign (after about $500 in contributions and lots and lots of work for him, including answering phones when they get to New Jersey, etc.), because nothing would be worse than to capitulate to the exact same corruption he’s been fighting throughout this campaign. Simply put, to endorse the process that shoved a knife in your back is to tell your supporters they not only lost, they shouldn’t ever bother getting excited again.

That’s what’s at stake, and I can only hope that should the DNC pull the rug out from Bernie, he veers back to where he belongs, as an independent candidate and runs on that ticket.

Movie Reviews:

The Big Short … yeah, it really is a $28,000,000 ad for Bernie Sanders … want to know how and why Wall Street screwed the country into the ground prior to the economic crisis of 2007-8? Go see the movie … and be prepared to walk out pretty pissed off … and anxious to learn more about this crazy old dude from Vermont by way of Brooklyn … the ONLY honest candidate in the entire mix (and in my lifetime), Bernie Sanders. It’s a GREAT movie and should be required viewing for anyone who believes in that bullshit about “trickle down economics” … the only things flowing down from the repeal of Glass-Steagall (thank you, Slick Willy, for picking up on St. Ronnie Reagan’s union busting and deregulation policies) were foreclosures and lost jobs.

The Revenant … okay, I read the book and the movie veers way off the novel very early on. Frankly, I was disappointed. The cinematography was wonderful, but you know what? When that’s the best thing you have to say about a movie, you should probably subscribe to National Geographic. I’m a huge Tom Hardy fan, but this was a piece of cake for him as an actor. Sir Leo may have had to rough it while shooting the scenes, but it was another “meh” for me (as regards the role). My feeling about the entire flick, about 15 minutes in was this: well, I knew what was going to happen next to the very end and it wasn’t satisfying at all. No trailer for this one (from me). Frankly, if you see the trailer, you don't have to see the movie.
What I’m reading now … Andrea Crossley Spencer’s novel, The Promise of Water, recently made the shortlist for (click on the link) THE CALEDONIA NOVEL AWARD  an Edinburgh-based, international award for unpublished novelists. With a Prize of £1,000, it’s no small shakes.

The Winner will be announced: on February 22, 2016, so keep your fingers crossed.

I’m halfway through this compelling novel (Review next week). In the meantime, here’s a summation from the author’s page (visit it here ).

California advertising executive Nate Bishop thinks that a relationship and a career on the brink of disaster are his biggest problems — until his twin sister, Nora, goes missing while sailing on Lake Superior.

When his twin sister goes missing on Lake Superior, Nate Bishop returns home to discover that searching for her means coming face to face with his past — and summoning the courage to find himself.

When he returns home, Nate finds his search for Nora complicated by a number of discoveries. Who is the mysterious boyfriend known only as Miller? What secrets has Nora been hiding? Is the Seachant lost at sea — or have Nora and Miller stolen away to the other side of the lake?

When the search appears to turn cold, Nate begins to question not only the whereabouts of his twin, but the past he thought he knew and the future before him.

With the backdrop of northern Minnesota as its setting, The Promise of Water is a novel about the quest for identity, the pursuit of family, and how twins distanced by secrecy experience the duality of nature and themselves.


Kevin Polack doing Christopher Walken … “quite the conundrum” …

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Book Review: Breaking Wild … the great storm … the great ambush?


Breaking Wild, by Diane Les Becquets ... Amy Raye is a wife, a mother, a stepmother, and a hunter. She also has a past that includes cousins and the games kids too often play long before they know what they’re doing. At the start of the novel, she’s about to go after an Elk with a crossbow solo. She’d gone hunting with two men, but they’d already hunted their quota. Neither would encourage her to go on her own, but Amy Raye is determined and more than adept at handling her business. She slips out early in the morning and by end of day is lost.

Pru is the other woman in this fascinating and dramatic page turner. She’s a single parent, her son a high school football player. She works for the Bureau of Land Management as an archeological law enforcement ranger, but she’s also adept at the search and rescue missions she’s often called upon to engage in when hunters or hikers lose their way.

The backstories are dramatic and poignant. The author uses alternating points of view throughout the novel. Pru’s story is told first person, Amy Raye’s story comes to us third person. It’s an effective way to heighten the tension as the drama unfolds a piece of information at a time. What Amy Raye does to try to survive the brutal Colorado winter weather, including snow storms, is countered with the search and rescue operation we feel we’re on alongside Pru.

There’s also the personal lives of these two women. One includes an addiction that more than tests the bonds of her marriage and is revealed to her husband and others in the most humiliating manner. There’s been heartbreak in both Amy Raye and Pru’s lives, and yet their strength of character is revealed through a resilience most often found in the hearts of warriors.

And there’s no shortage of danger. Whatever one can imagine might happen to someone lost in a winter wilderness, to include wild animals (bears, mountain lions, cougars, to name a few), there’s also the weather, which is often relentless. Amy Raye is tenacious in her attempts to survive and see her family again. Pru is equal to the task, most often because she’s haunted by what might have happened to Amy Raye, as well as the lack of closure her family may have to accept.

And there are well-plotted ironic twists that leave us frustrated when we see what Amy Raye does with some of her equipment and how her actions are interpreted by the rescue operation. It is classic drama, the kind where you find yourself thinking, “No, no! That’s not what happened!”

Some comparisons to Bonnie Jo Campbell’s works were obvious to me. All I know is that this novel was a hell of a read, amici. I doubt they’ll be another before Bernie’s inauguration in 2017 to best it.

I am not a hunter, nor do I have a clue about what one does when lost in the wilderness, but I learned quite a bit from this novel, and whenever I learn something from a read, well, it’s a very welcomed bonus. Breaking Wild has already received three *STARRED* reviews (Kirkus, Booklist and Publishers Weekly) and is an Indie Next Pick for February. NPR's Morning Edition is going to be interviewing the author around the time of publication. Pretty cool and impressive, yous ask me.

“Les Becquets pens her first novel for adults, with stellar results….a taut and thrilling narrative….with fascinating details about hunting, the logistics of search-and-rescue, and the beauty and danger of the wilderness.” — Booklist (starred)

“. . . Another obvious achievement of the novel is the writing; Les Becquets' prose is as spare, haunting, and nuanced as the wild landscape she brings to life…. It is the human capacity for endurance that is celebrated here, the capacity for friendship, for love, for loyalty, and for living against the odds. A transcendent, breathless exploration of the darkest depths of loneliness and the unbreakable human spirit.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“This is a powerful story of survival, wilderness field craft, and fractured relationships packed into a suspenseful plot with more than a few surprises….After three young adult novels, Les Becquets scores big with this very adult thriller about two women facing life and death challenges in western Colorado’s rugged wilderness.” — Publishers Weekly (starred)

The Great Storm … well, frankly, so long as the power remains on and I can type, it’s pretty neat. Me, I always liked the cold … and the snow … it’s the New England Cheatriots I can’t stand … nor do I care for the New York Strangers, Skankies, the Boston Brunettes and/or what’s become of the NFL. I made sure I had a good and strong workout Thursday, so I’m fine until next Tuesday or Wednesday with the gym. We’re well stocked with grub and my wifey is kind of cornered over the next 24 hours (making me the last man on earth--this could get interesting).

The great ambush … well, it looks as though the Time Warner owned Clinton News Network has arranged yet another Hillary-supporters-packed house for the so-called Town Hall come Monday night. There was a rumor that the new chair of Iowa’s DNC would be one of the moderators, but that’s supposedly just a rumor. We shall see.

Now, is CNN will hosting the event because the DNC was pressured into something close to one more debate? Well, no, not really. CNN will host the event because Hillary’s numbers are down in Iowa and this will give her one more opportunity to spew some more lies about Bernie’s platform, although it’s still unclear whether she will attempt to paint him as the “establishment candidate” or the “socialist.”
What will it take to make this woman go away for good? An FBI indictment might help, although somehow I foresee an El Chappo-like bustout, except Hillary would probably use a window and her broom instead of a tunnel and a motorcycle.



The GREATEST political ad ever …

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The DNC failed to see Clinton fatigue ... and now what?


By now it’s pretty clear that Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC machine not only failed to foresee the populist message reverberating around the country, and on both sides of the political aisle, but it also ignored what has become even more apparent than the climate change Republicans refuse to acknowledge—the Clinton Fatigue factor.
Now, while it’s true Bernie Sanders’ campaign has a very long way to go, including seeing his populist support, especially among millennials, show up to caucus and/or actually vote, the bottom line is he’s running against a political machine that isn’t used to losing. So far, what they’ve done to insure their choice of nominee gets her way appears criminal to most reasonable people/voters. Between the lack of debates vs. 2008 (25-6 = 19 short), the scheduling of them on weekends, the sudden suspension (and then lack of cooperation with an impartial investigation), the handing out of debate tickets to Hillary supporters in the few debates there are (vs. allowing the public in), and now the secret behind the scenes meetings to bring in a relief pitcher (Joe Biden) if, in fact, Hillary fatigue/Bernie support threatens the DNC stronghold on the convention (i.e., super delegates), it’s become very obvious that should the DNC have their way and Hillary is their nominee, there’s even less of a chance of her winning the general, no matter who represents the other side.
For one thing, Bernie supporters are already upset at the DNC and Hillary Clinton. Many, myself included, have signed pledges to do one of the following: A) write in Bernie’s name to the DNC rather than vote for the DNC candidate, B) vote for Jill Stein (my first choice), C) not vote at all (and maybe take in a Star Wars movie since one of the debates was scheduled for the opening weekend of the blockbuster movie), and/or D) vote for the GOP nominee.
The Bernie or Bust movement is real, folks. It’s not just a bunch of yahoos blowing steam. While there’s no doubt some Bernie people will opt out at the last minute and go for Hillary, the bigger picture suggests Independents are not only feeling the BERN, they’re tired of the same old, same old. Should they find the process as corrupt as Bernie’s supporters are experiencing, then all bets are off for the DNC nominee/Clinton. Frankly, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz record as Chair is pretty unimpressive. She’s chaired over record losses since she’s been handed the position (after serving as Hillary Clinton’s Co-Chair in her loss to Obama back in 2008). The record losses in Congress, and recently having lost the Senate, doesn’t bode well for the party’s chances in 2016.
It will be interesting to see how the race progresses, whether the DNC has learned a lesson or not. So far, most of Hillary’s big endorsements have come with a backstory that reeks of corruption (i.e., Planned Parenthood, where not only is the President of the organization a Hillary BFF, her daughter has worked for both the DNC and is currently working for Clinton’s campaign), while Bernie’s endorsements seem to be coming from very brave individuals and organizations willing to take on the DNC machine (and jeopardize the blowback should Clinton become president).
In any event, the DNC embraced Clinton name recognition and dismissed her scandal sheet that continues to expand daily (now we’re back to her email issues and ties to the Clinton Foundation). In an election cycle when people are beyond frustration with business as usual, the DNC has opted for the status quo, and has played the dirtiest politics imaginable to do nothing but reinforce voter frustration.
What we’re seeing today is blowback. It started with Occupy Wall Street and has returned with a vengeance within Bernie’s campaign, except this time the stakes are much more palpable. The powers that be have been put on notice, and I’m not so sure they’ve figured out the game they’ve been playing isn’t helping their cause. In the meantime, Bernie supporters grow more hopeful day by day and the Clinton camp turns to the desperation tactics that yet again reinforce voter frustration/Bernie support.
Last week she picked on Bernie’s adopted grandchildren. Then it was his health. Then it was his electability. Today they’re playing the GOP card from two different angles; one says he’s attacking her like the GOP will in the general, and the other angle claims the GOP will be connecting his name to the “Hammer and Sickle” (Clair McCaskill).
It’s starting to feel like a Trump-a-Day from the Clinton camp, except her numbers keep going down while Bernie’s numbers go up (and he pockets more and more contributions).

So, let the game begin … and GO BERNIE, GO!


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Silence of the Dems (part deux) ...


While the Bernie Sanders campaign gains strength, and continues to surge off of the backhanded attempt by the DNC to subvert his rising popularity with their fugazy 48 hour suspension (an investigation they are unwilling to allow to continue), while corrupt endorsements like that of Planned Parenthood go by the wayside (it actually helped Bernie more than hurt him), the Clinton machine has resorted to their base instincts—to lie and lie often.

Yesterday they sent Chelsea Clinton out to tell lie after lie about Bernie’s Universal Health Care plan. She was called out on those lies (specifically, they were called “disingenuous and a lie”) by none other than corporate media/DNC puppet, MSNBC. Thank you, John Heilemann, for telling the truth about Chelsea Clinton’s lying on behalf of her Mommy. (see video below)

My question to Democratic loyalists (not Bernie supporters, we know where they stand—totally unafraid) is the following: Why the silence? “Some” of you “claim” to support Sanders’ liberal agenda, yet when it is attacked with absurd lies like the Clintons are now spewing about Universal Health Care, you remain silent.

How does a woman benefit more from Obama care than Universal Health Care? How does a single mother benefit more from anything other than Universal Health Care?

Sanders is coming to steal your Medicaid? Really? He’s coming to steal your health insurance? You won’t need fucking health insurance … how do they dare lie about stealing it?

Mainstream Dems are so afraid of … what exactly? Why do they remain silent versus the Clinton lying machine? We already know they shit their collective pantaloons when the DNC attempted a fugazi suspension (which it now fears an investigation of—Gee, we wonder why?) … we’ve already seen how mainstream Dems didn’t bark at the minus 19 debates from Obama vs. Hillary Clinton … nor did they seem to have a problem with half those debates being scheduled for NFL playoff Saturday nights. Nor are they calling for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to step down.

So, where are you Democratic Loyalists/Lemmings?

Lest you forget, while securing your diapers extra tight, this is what the corrupt DNC (and all you loyalist bedwetters have to fear) ... "us" … the Bernie supporters ... the BERNIE OR BUST movement … if you stand by and watch the DNC sabotage our campaign (for the only honest candidate in the race), we'll send YOUR choice into the LOSER column in the general. Make no mistake, we're not afraid ... we're not typical lemming democrats ... many of us aren't democrats at all ... many of us were "forced" to register (I was) as a democrat because of the fugazy and corrupt closed primary system ... but make no mistake ... you pull the rug out from under us with your corruption (6 debates, 3 on NFL playoff nights, a fugazy suspension, etc.), and you'll be short a few million voters come the general election. Jill Stein may not mind, but your girl Hillary will be sooooooooooooo pissed off.

So, maintain the silence and see what happens. Should Bernie win it all, you can thank us (you fucking cowards). Should a GOP lunatic win, you can thank yourselves (you fucking cowards). And should Hillary win, well the GOP wins anyway (you fucking cowards).

Now, yous have a nice day. Keep those diapers good and tight.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bernie snares a LEGITIMATE endorsement … now it’s time to make the BIG PUSH!


Yesterday, the progressive grassroots organization that speaks to liberal causes, MOVEON.ORG, endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. Like the nurses’ union endorsement, it’s one of many legitimate endorsements Sanders has received. Please note: Legitimate as opposed to those the Clinton campaign has garnered via huge corporate campaign contributions, and/or nepotism, and/or political connections.
By now most of you know how Planned Parenthood broke its 100-year tradition of NOT supporting a presidential candidate when Cecile Richards, president of the organization, endorsed her very good friend, Hillary Clinton. Like most Clinton endorsements, there’s a backstory that smells of corruption (Richards’ daughter has worked for the DNC and is currently working for Hillary Clinton’s campaign). We call that a “no shame” endorsement.
The PP sudden and unusual endorsement sent shockwaves through the Sanders campaign, sending many of his supporters online to bark at the Planned Parenthood Action Facebook Page. How do I know this?
Well, as it turns out, someone on that page attempted to take me off the page by claiming a cartoon I posted was a “nude.” Facebook contacted me about the complaint and stated it would review the complaint and get back to me.  When they did get back to me, all was right with the world … and whoever put the complaint in was eating some extra humble pie.
Here’s the cartoon. It speaks to her so-called call to feminist arms ... her recent statement: "victims of sexual abuse should always be heard." Well, yes, of course. We agree. We know Bernie agrees ... but what about ... well, you know, Bill Cosb--I mean, Bill Clinton?
Now that the media can no longer deny the BERN, we can expect the longer knives to appear from both the DNC and their choice for President, Hillary Clinton. So far, pretty much everything they and she have tried has backfired in a major way (sending Bernie supporters to their checkbooks for more contributions and the Internet to decry the DNC’s corruption). It’s a close race and it will require people REGISTER AS DEMOCRATS in closed primary states to vote for Bernie, and then THEY HAVE TO SHOW UP so that the numbers cannot be denied (which we all know is something we can never put passed the DNC’s corruption).

I had to register as a Democrat in New Jersey and although I held my nose when I did it, I knew it was the ONLY way to vote for Bernie in a closed primary state (another party politics hijacking of democracy).
In the meantime, the BERN is being felt nationwide now and none of us can let up. Keep applying the pressure … talk politics at every opportunity … so what your family and friends roll their eyes and wish you were in a coma? Mine run for the nearest exit. Tough (on them) … talk to people in the street, neighbors, anyone you know who is a working person and/or struggling to survive, the elderly, college students, ANYONE in need.
This is too important to ignore. Bernie is the first honest candidate for president without ties to a political machine and/or big money. He has no outside agenda (like making himself rich or leaving a legacy). Bernie is EXACTLY what Abraham Lincoln spoke to at Gettysburg:
A Government of the people, by the people, for the people.



Meet Bernie Sanders ...

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Planned Parenthood makes a BIG mistake … Book Review: The Razor’s Edge … and did you see Ovechkin’s game winner vs. the Strangers?


Planned Parenthood shoots itself in the foot and energizes Bernie’s campaign.

It has to do with this: “Planned Parenthood, which has become an ideological minefield in the 2016 presidential election, said Thursday that it would endorse Hillary Clinton — its first endorsement in a presidential primary in the nonprofit’s 100-year existence.”

As I stated on Facebook, This is an absolute disgrace. We hope your daughter is very happy being a Hillary shill like her mom, but guess what, Bernie is going to win because corruption like this (your "endorsement") is why we're all donating even more to Bernie's campaign today ... you just lost a little more support than you had, honey ... and you can take that "honey" any fucking way you want. Ciao for now.

It’s not just because I’m a Bernie supporter (along with the millions of other Bernie supporters) why I was upset at this “endorsement.” But, like most Hillary endorsements, there’s a backstory that makes Denmark smell like the old Fulton Fish Market the day after Christmas (lots of leftover stinking fish that weren’t bought).

It was bad enough when Randi Weingarten, president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, backed her BFF, Hillary Clinton (even before a single debate), but Planned Parenthood receives most of its support from liberal-minded people, men and women alike … and none of us were happy to hear about this disgraceful endorsement. Setting aside the obvious connections to the DNC and Hillary Clinton, how about what Planned Parenthood is “supposed” to be about—women’s health issues. How could anyone from Planned Parenthood ignore the candidate seeking universal health care? Everyone who isn’t wealthy benefits from such a plan, but single mothers would benefit the most. It’s one reason why the Nurse Union endorsed Bernie Sanders.

Catching the whiff of stink from the Planned Parenthood endorsement of Hillary Clinton yet?

Without going through all the other suspicious endorsements the Clinton’s have gathered (to include monies from foreign countries that treat women like chattel, ignoring Hillary’s supposed support of women’s issues despite her past record of supporting her husband’s several sexual abuses of women), Bernie supporters were energized yet again by the corruption we see as typical business as usual by establishment politicians like Hillary Clinton.

So, we thank you, Planned Parenthood. I know I donated another $30.00 to Bernie’s campaign ($155 thus far, plus $10.00 to the guy running against Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Hillary’s other BFF). I’m sure many Bernie supporters did likewise. Whatever the DNC has in store if Bernie’s campaign actually eclipses “their” frontrunner, they can probably count on these kinds of corrupt moves, along with the lack of debates, the Saturday night NFL playoff debate schedule, the fugazy suspension of Bernie’s campaign, the media blackout of Bernie’s campaign, and whatever else they have up their sleeve, as the reason Bernie supporters may just blackout their nominee should they finish sabotaging Bernie’s campaign. I know quite a few people who have no intention of rewarding the DNC and/or their corruption, never mind Hillary Clinton.

Some of us are called the Bernie or Bust movement. I’m a proud member. So are my wife, daughter, and son-in-law. I suspect there are hundreds of thousands others who refuse to reward the kind of corruption that allows the two party system to screw the middle class into poverty. Sorry, we’re not buying the lesser of two evils bullshit argument. Not anymore.


The Razor’s Edge, by Somerset Maugham … want to get into the mystical, political, class warfare and maybe the early Hippie movement, then I suggest The Razor’s Edge … it pits a search for nirvana against the daily life struggles that consume most of us. Can the spiritual life be as rewarding as a winning $750 million dollar lotto ticket?

Hmmmm, as often as I’ve experienced the wonderful smell of fresh cut grass a day or so before football practice began, or when the brine smell of the ocean hit my nose at just the right time during a walk on a boardwalk, or when just holding my wife’s hand made all the difference in the world to me … or a good drum riff jamming with a band (Avi Wolf knows what I’m talking about), hitting a long ball home run, smashing my forehead into a running back’s chest, landing a perfect left hook, or a puppy smell, etc., (those are as spiritual as I’ve experienced, I guess), there always remained the rest of my day/night, which usually involved work of some kind, legitimate or otherwise.

So it goes.

I don’t mean to poke fun of the spiritual. I admire it no end, but I also know it’s something I’m too selfish to ever want to attain, never mind attempt to do so. The world can be a beautiful place, but all too often it isn’t and we have to make adjustments.

That said, this was a wonderful novel for the rest of what Larry Darrell dropped on those so anxious for him to join the parade of wealthy via nepotism. The experience of seeing a friend give his life for Larry during WWI changed his life and he’s no longer buying into life as usual. Larry wants to “loaf” and Maugham does an incredible job of allowing his readers to like just about everybody in this novel. Trust me, I’m no fan of snobs, but there were more than a few times when I admired Elliot and his ability to do the right thing when it counted (like bailing out relations destroyed by the depression).

I particularly enjoyed the female characters struggling to maintain some independence, and even when one or two gives in and marries for the sake of security, I didn’t mind as much as I thought I would. It’s difficult to identify with people with so much and their “troubles,” but Maugham managed to make me care.

No spoilers, except to say you’ll know the end before the novel begins, but that’s an author’s author’s note … so to speak.

I’m a Maugham fan, so make no mistake, I’m biased. It’s still highly recommended reading.

Get it here:

Alex Ovechkin … back when I was a Rangers fan (before they traded Cally to the Bolts and became the Strangers), I literally became nervous when the Capitals Alex Ovechkin was on the ice. The guy is a tenacious freight train that too often can’t be stopped. Today the Strangers played the Crapitals at the world’s most famous arena and although the Strangers managed 3 goals in the third period, they gave up the game tying goal with just 1.6 seconds left in the period/game. In overtime, after the Strangers nearly won the game twice, Alex Ovechkin took the puck behind his net and made his way up the ice, and I swear you could see the determination in his body language. He raced along the boards around two defensemen and seemed to will the puck into the net for the game winner (his second goal of the game). It was impressive. Very impressive. Glad the Bolts are done playing that guy for the season.


Listen to Susan Sarandon …