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Charlie's Books
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"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 28, 2016

Andrea Crossley Spencer WINS! Movie Review: Spotlight … What happened to the 4th Estate … South Carolina Blues … Shawn Milnes on Sexism in Opera …


In early February we introduced author Andrea Crossley Spender to all of yous when her novel, The Promise of Water, made the finals for the Caledonia Award … this week we’re happy to announce she’s the winner!

“The cold beauty and sheer vastness of Lake Superior is the dramatic setting for this story of a family faced with the heart-breaking loss of their daughter and sister, Nora in a sailing accident. This is confident storytelling, rich in detail and with an elegiac quality. The characters are strong and Nate in particular is well drawn and believable. I liked the fact that the writer had the courage to keep the pace slow at the start and to let the extraordinary secrets of these ordinary people’s lives unfold gradually. Nate’s efforts to keep hope alive for his own and his parents’ sake and his increasingly desperate search for why his twin sister Nora went missing feel emotionally truthful and satisfying and the writing kept me hooked even when the pace and structure faltered towards the end. This is the story that I keep coming back to, these are the characters who touched me most deeply and this is the novel I most want to read when it is published.”

Check out Andrea’s webpage here:

Spotlight … we sat down to watch this movie Saturday morning at home and had doubts before renting it. We just weren’t sure we wanted to get pissed off again. My wife said, “This will make you angry again.” I assured her I was over it (the Catholic Church pedophile priest scandal), but by the end of the movie, when the list of countries affected by pedophile priests filled a few screens, it turned out she was right: I was angry all over again. I don’t take issue with people who insist on having faith. I think they may be wasting their time and energy along with curtailing some open-mindedness, but to each his or her own. What I do take issue with is the institution itself, whether it’s the Catholic Church or any other bureaucracy seeking to retain power for the sake of power. Spotlight is a terrific movie about perhaps the last time the 4th estate meant something in this country; when the Boston Globe Spotlight (feature) team, went after and unveiled the number of pedophile priests in the immediate Boston area. The numbers were/are staggering, and the fact that the person most responsible, Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, was allowed to escape to the sanctuary of the Vatican remains a stain on the institution. He remains there to this day, untouched by his crimes. His case is testament to the hypocrisy and corruption of the Catholic Church.

This movie is highly recommended, but be prepared to be pissed off, and not only at pedophile priests and their church, but also how far the 4th estate has fallen since the scandal first broke. The media today has become a corporate tool; a vehicle of corporate mission statements. They are one method by which corrupt powerbrokers control the flow of information to a public content enough (or too busy surviving) to accept what they are presented blindly.

What happened to the 4th Estate and all the good purpose it was supposed to offer? It’s a good question, but one we have to assume has an obvious answer: it has been melded into a society either too busy to notice the lack of good purpose, or too trained not to care. The media today comes to us with specific agendas, none of which serve the public unless by accident. The corporations that own the media have vested interests that preclude open and honest journalism. Entire networks are devoted to specific political agendas. In this election year, the media has tried its best to offset the voice of the people on both sides of the political aisle, in each instance supporting the establishment candidates and either ignoring or downplaying the so-called outsiders. It’s been relatively easy for the Democratic Party’s media, because deals were struck long ago as to who would run because it was “her turn” and the DNC continues to run interference for her. On the Republican side, the corporate message via the media hasn’t been nearly as easy. Donald Trump, blowhard, TV Reality star, billionaire (sexist, racist, xenophobe, etc.) has tapped into a resentful public and is leading the day, despite the many efforts of FOX news to disembowel him in debates. Both the DNC and the RNC have their marching orders from above, and although both have followed their scripts, there’s been enough revolt to suggest not everybody is asleep on their couches.

What happens moving forward, perhaps depends on that Democratic race. Should the corporate owners of Hillary Clinton prevail, you won’t see Citizens United going anywhere anytime soon. Clinton has been totally dependent on corporate coin throughout her campaign, and no one doubts the greatest fear the DNC had of a Sanders presidency is his refusal to accept corporate coin. Imagine their concerns moving forward having to depend on the people they represent to fund them? While Sanders proved it can be done, it’s more than obvious Hillary Clinton would’ve been truly dead broke early on if she had to depend on the public’s support of her brand of corporate democracy.

And behind it all is a 4th estate that caters to their owners, the corporations behind the entire American political process.

South Carolina Blues … what’s to say? The African-American community duped itself in the worst possible way this weekend. It will suffer the consequences come the final vote tally, no matter which side of the aisle wins, but it has already suffered quite a bit with a mixed race president they’ve called their own the last 8 years. While I understand the racial bonding, the results of 7+ years of Barry suggest maybe all that blind support was a mistake. Compounding it behind a person as untrustworthy as Hillary Clinton defies logic, but there isn’t much about this election cycle that suggests logic is involved in decision making. On the other hand, the Clinton campaign’s African-American pandering may well cost them should she find herself running against Donald Trump (or any other GOP candidate aside from Ted Cruz). There’s a very good chance Trump will find a boatload of Reagan democrats headed his way come November. He may very well win New York and/or New Jersey. The DNC has gone out of its way to ignore the Clinton fatigue factor I insist will cost her the election, and that’s without the help of Bernie supporters like myself who will NEVER vote for her. Blue collar democrats may be crossing the aisle over more than just Clinton fatigue. Hillary Clinton’s newfound civil righteousness (remember she was a Goldwater Girl who endorsed a candidate who voted against civil rights legislation) may well serve as a reminder to white blue collar workers across the nation that they have a stake in this game too. For whatever reason, economic dependency, regional loyalty, and/or ugly racism, I suspect that Hillary Clinton will find it difficult attracting enough votes to win in November, no matter who opposes her, but especially if she’s running against Trump.

A telling fact was the South Carolina primary. The GOP primary drew nearly twice as many voters as the Democratic primary. Sure she won big vs. Sanders there, but the numbers suggest she’s toast in the general there.

Trump may be clueless and a blowhard, but he’s already silenced her attempts to paint him as a sexist with some devastating reminders about her and her husband’s past. What he’ll do to her on a debate stage with all the scandals suggests to me, she’ll win the woman’s vote, the Hispanic vote and the African-American vote, but that’s it. Hillary will still need Bernie’s enthusiastic millennials, but will only get a portion of them. She’ll need Bernie’s older supporters, but will only get a portion of them. She’ll need blue collar democrats and those, I suspect, she’ll lose in big numbers, along with independents sick and tired of the Clintons.

A couple of anecdotes: My wife mentioned several times how some of her friends at work in Manhattan said they’d vote for anybody but Clinton. I’ve heard that same ABC theme where I work. Angry white guys (for whatever reason they’re angry) aren’t going to support Hillary Clinton and may well vote against her. I know I'll vote against her.

Shawn Milnes on Sexism in Opera click on the link and read this fascinating article.


Tommy Dalton’s ex-wife is on an honesty kick with their daughter, Alysha. She tells her that her dad kills people. Which, of course, he does. But that’s not the kind of information he wants shared with his kids. Particularly now that he’s working on a new job. Dominick Farase, ready to testify against the Cirelli family, needs silencing. An ex-cop spots him and lets Gasper Cirelli know where to find him. Not a difficult job for Tommy Red. But the Cirellis get nervous about this one, and decide to remove all evidence of the hit including Tommy. More hits are called, and some of them get sloppy. A couple of FBI agents get involved. Frank Cirelli, Gasper’s son and acting head of the family, has to make some tough decisions. Sacrifices must be made. But as far as Tommy is concerned, the Cirellis make their biggest mistake when they fail in their efforts to take him out. A fatal mistake. Now he’s after the family--still trying to keep his daughter out of it, too, of course because when you threaten Tommy or his family, the only response is retribution.

Tommy Red was born from a short story of mine in the collection of shorty stories from Baltimore Noir.

Charlie Stella’s on-target dialog spotlights mob efficiency in “Ode to the O’s.” — Library Journal

Charlie Stella’s mob story, “Ode to the O’s,” is brutally direct — Publisher’s Weekly

Charlie Stella’s excellent “Ode to the O’s” may not evoke Baltimore particularly strongly, but it’s a fine piece of crime writing. — Chicago Sun Times

Monday, February 22, 2016

What Trump will say that Bernie can’t vs. Hillary Clinton …


Bernie doesn’t play dirty. Even with all the ammunition he has at his fingertips running against Hillary Clinton, he refuses to take the gloves off and say what is obvious. He leaves it to the American people to figure it out, and although many of us are right there with him, many are not. Some people are either falling for the nonsense Hillary Clinton and her surrogates spew, or they’re too tied to the failed Obama presidency to want to see change … and/or they just don’t care.

So it goes.

While it’s not in Bernie’s nature to sling mud, let’s face it, slinging mud is right in Trump’s wheelhouse. I don’t know about some of yous, but I’ll take GREAT pleasure should the DNC continue to steal the nomination for their choice, Hillary Clinton, and she/they find themselves facing The Donald. Here are some things we’ll get to hear from The Donald vs. Hillary Clinton:

On trustworthy: She’s a congenital liar just like her husband. Ever notice how Bill used to wag his finger at the camera and the American people as if what he was about to say was the absolute truth? And then we find out he lied through his teeth. She’s the same way. From sniper fire in Bosnia—she likes to say she was sleep deprived when she said that, but she said it on at least 17 different occasions. She ever sleep? She lied about every position change she made and she was already caught a dozen times lying about the emails, Benghazi, ISIS, Libya. Please, you can’t trust her. Her own party didn’t trust her. Say what you want about the crazy socialist, Bernie was honest.
On taking money: Come on, look at how owned Hillary is. She takes money from everybody. I don’t need that money. I’m self-financed. I gave to her and she was at my wedding. I played the game when I was in business because that’s what you do. You give money and you get what you want. Either they don’t go after you or they ignore whatever you’re doing. Who’s dirtier than Hillary? Nobody, right. Give the crazy socialist credit. Bernie wouldn’t take money and he wouldn’t go after her directly about it. I will. I know how the game is played. Everybody does. She’s owned. She’s always been owned.
On being a politician: Look at how badly the DNC screwed Bernie Sanders. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a whack-job socialist, but he was honest and the DNC ran total interference against Bernie and made it impossible for him to win. The RNC tried that with me, but I’m too popular so it didn’t work. Bernie was unknown before the primaries so he had to catch up and the DNC made it impossible. Hillary is their choice to run for the white house and she’s a terrible choice. The people running the DNC are just like the people in the White House – all incompetents. I’ll destroy Hillary Clinton like I destroyed all the other politicians. I have to be one now, but people know I don’t need special interests. I don’t owe anybody anything. I’m doing this for the country, to make America great again. Hillary wants to be the first woman president. We all know that. Besides, who's not tired of the Clintons?

On her record: She likes to talk about her record. Evaluate me on my record she's always saying. What’s her record? There are Youtube videos with 28 minutes of her scandals, one after another. And she might be indicted for the emails on top of all the other things. She might be elected president and then get indicted by the FBI. What happens then? I thought Ted Cruz had a problem.

On the emails: Who’s kidding who about this. General Petraeus was forced to resign over his mistakes with government information with his girlfriend. Hillary let the entire world see the business of the government. She should be in chains.

On foreign policy: Iraq, Libya, Syria … come on, how many mistakes are we gonna have to live with? She’s the worst secretary of state in the history of the country.

On jobs: Her husband enacted the worst ever trade deals and she supported them. She was still supporting TPP and called it the gold standard before that whacky socialist pulled her to the left, but let’s face it, if she doesn’t get indicted and wins the presidency, she’ll go right back to all the positions she had before she flip-flopped.

On Race relations: Who said her husband was the first black president? What drug was that person on? He did more damage to the black community than anybody. I’ll put people to work. Hillary will put them in jail because she takes money from private prisons, from everybody.

On Sexism: She’s called me a sexist, remember? And then I pointed out how she’s married to a guy who’s had to settle for big money, a sexual assault case. A guy who perjured himself lying about screwing around with a 23 year old intern while he was supposed to be doing the business of the president. A guy who’s been involved in more sexual scandals than a rock star, and she helped to denigrate each and every woman her husband attacked sexually.


Youtube on Hillary …

Monday, February 15, 2016

After Sunrise, Full Ahead, Wonderful Fiction by Avy Packard … The Empire Strikes Back … The problems with Hillary’s foreign policy mentor … Buyer’s Remorse (so far too accurate) … Scalia …

After Sunrise, Full Ahead, by Avria Myklegard … A guy nearing retirement has a plan to get there sooner rather than later, but it involves making a dangerous decision where he works … this is terrific writing start to finish.

The Empire Strikes Back … so last week, after Bernie Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, and all that loot from the PEOPLE flooded into the Sanders campaign coffers, the DNC struck back and removed the restrictions put into place by Barack Obama against lobbyist contributions, thus providing the Clinton campaign with unlimited dirty money. If this nomination process could be any more corrupt, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz would wear a bandana to cover her face.
And here's Hillary's Foreign Policy Mentor ...
The problems with Hillary’s foreign policy mentor is he appears to have enjoyed playing God … read his top 10 quotes and decide for yourselves …

Top 10 Kissinger Quotes

1. Soviet Jews: “The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy. And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”

2. Bombing Cambodia: “[Nixon] wants a massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. He doesn’t want to hear anything about it. It’s an order, to be done. Anything that flies or anything that moves.”

3. Bombing Vietnam: “It’s wave after wave of planes. You see, they can’t see the B-52 and they dropped a million pounds of bombs ... I bet you we will have had more planes over there in one day than Johnson had in a month ... each plane can carry about 10 times the load of World War II plane could carry.”

4. Khmer Rouge: “How many people did (Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary) kill? Tens of thousands? You should tell the Cambodians (i.e., Khmer Rouge) that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in the way. We are prepared to improve relations with them. Tell them the latter part, but don’t tell them what I said before.” (Nov. 26, 1975 meeting with Thai foreign minister)

5. Dan Ellsberg: “Because that son-of-a-bitch—First of all, I would expect—I know him well—I am sure he has some more information---I would bet that he has more information that he’s saving for the trial. Examples of American war crimes that triggered him into it…It’s the way he’d operate….Because he is a despicable bastard.” (Oval Office tape, July 27, 1971)

6. Robert McNamara: “Boohoo, boohoo … He’s still beating his breast, right? Still feeling guilty.”  (Pretending to cry, rubbing his eyes.)

7. Assassination: “It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination.” (Statement at a National Security Council meeting, 1975)

8. Chile: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

9. Illegality-Unconstitutionality: “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.” (from March 10, 1975 meeting with Turkish foreign minister Melih Esenbel in Ankara, Turkey)

10. On His Own Character: “Americans like the cowboy … who rides all alone into the town, the village, with his horse and nothing else … This amazing, romantic character suits me precisely because to be alone has always been part of my style or, if you like, my technique.” (November 1972 interview with Oriana Fallaci)

Buyer’s Remorse, by Bill Press (so far too accurate) … Bill Press puts into publication my arguments about Obama from the get-go (and why I never voted for him) … essentially, he wasted the enormous political capital that brought him to power, ignoring the power of the bully pulpit, and then ignoring his own party members in feeble attempts to let a party that stated from the get-go they wouldn’t do anything for him once he was elected (except to make sure he wouldn’t have a second term). I’m only 50 pages in, but so far so good. Press is fair in mentioning the few accomplishments of the Obama administration, but he’s quick to counter them with the same scrutiny I found (i.e., how the ACA not only didn't go nearly far enough, as opposed to single payer, it was a gift/payback to insurance companies).

Scalia … in response to a post from a friend on Facebook calling for more of the kind of civility that Ruth Ginsberg found with Antonin Scalia, I wrote this: It is nice that they could get along so well while disagreeing, but they both lived pretty high above the realities of their votes (whether those affected by their decisions were liberal or conservative). One of my very best friends is a staunch conservative and we get along great (usually trading insults and he’s a lot more clever than I am at it, so I usually lose), but his policies enacted by the politicians/justices of his choice are abhorrent to me, as are mine to him. About the ONLY thing I liked about Scalia was that he enjoyed opera. His immediate family came from Sicily. Half of mine did also, but that’s about where our similarities end. One of his votes on the court cost the constitution he was so protective of to be overrun by coin (Citizen United), and that will always remain an irony I’ll never understand. I’m not so sure either would have been as congenial to the other had they been involved in campaigns against one another, rather than appointed to office. I’m glad, for their sakes, they found friendship, but I don’t think it speaks to the same issues of civility as regards elected officials, especially when the process is so poisoned with corrupt organizations (the RNC and DNC), and the corrupt coin that freely flows into both because of Citizens United. As I noted earlier, his agreeing to allow unfettered coin into the elective process will forever baffle me – it is the exact opposite of the first seven words of the constitution he claimed to guard: “We the People of the United States …” It might as well now read, “we corporate America …”

I’d argue that much of the problem regarding the political process today, and the lack of civility (in which I engage 100x’s a day it seems of late), has to do with the corruption voters face, to include misinformation from both major parties, a media with vested interests in the outcome, and a populace lacking either the will to participate in the political process or too ignorant to care (probably born of trying to survive the disastrous legislation passed by politicians owned by corporate coin). So it goes …


Let’s not insult the intelligence of the American people …

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Welcome to the Revolution … and beware the Super Delegates!

What the DNC failed to foresee is pretty obvious to many people this morning: a nationwide Clinton fatigue, coupled with an absolute distrust in the brand. The DNC was sure it could and would ram Hillary Clinton down our throats. Of course they didn’t think they’d have to do so; the assumption being we’d welcome her with open arms. As it turns out, that was a very bad assumption.

It is an age of frustration and revolt, whether establishment politicians care to acknowledge it or not. People have been fed up with business as usual for years, but for whatever the reason(s), these days the same people are willing to do something about it. I suggest it began with the Occupy movement which spread like wildfire and later became the brunt of late night jokes. The joke, it seems now, was on the jokesters.

On one side there’s the Trump brand which appeals to the kind of nationalism that frightens the more reasonable amongst us. "The Donald" claims he will “make America great again.” How he’ll do it consists of self-assured Trumpisms like: “I know how to make deals. I’ll be the greatest jobs creator in the history of the country. I’m the most militaristic guy,” etc.

Specifics? Unnecessary when you have a portion of the populace seething with a bloodlust that rivals that in 1939 Nazi Germany.

On the other side is Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed democratic socialist with a lifelong record of honesty, integrity and compassion. Should it come down to Trump vs. Sanders, I guess we’ll finally see which approach to the future America actually prefers: One of Nazi-like carnival barking or a real to life people’s revolution.

The RNC assumed it would be Bush vs. Clinton. So did the DNC. In that scenario, perhaps Clinton would appeal to more Americans than Bush, but the question so many of us had asked over and again was this: In a country of 330,000,000+ people, are those the ONLY two candidates we have to live with?

The answer, obviously, is not anymore.

Now, both the RNC and DNC will do everything within their power to subvert actual democracy in their blatant attempts to steal the nomination away from both Trump and Sanders. Both candidates clearly suffered dirty politics in Iowa. Trump was burned from a Cruz campaign that lied about Ben Carson suspending his campaign to garner votes back to Cruz. Sanders supporters will likely go to our graves wondering about those 5% missing votes in 90 precincts, along with shortages of voter applications in Sanders friendly precincts, the combination of which more than likely stole the victory from Sanders.

And then there’s this: The Iowa Democratic Party won’t release the raw vote. Why not? The fact that the head of the Iowa Democratic Party, Dr. Andy McGuire, sports a license plate on her Buick that reads: HRC2016 makes the grounds all the more fertile for Bernie’s political revolution. How the DNC doesn’t see this is mind boggling -- and very supportive of one of Donald Trump’s battle cries: “America is being ruined by incompetents!”

Dirty politics wasn’t going to work last night in New Hampshire. Last night the people rejected wholesale both parties preferred candidates and sent a clear message, should both parties bother to listen.

Right now the voter breakdown favors Sanders over Trump in a big way. Not only young women, but all women went for Bernie. Independents were equally as impressive. And let’s face it, with all his bluster, Trump could only must one-third of his party last night. Bernie nailed two-thirds of his and had a much higher vote total than Trump.

Of course the process will get much uglier moving forward. Hillary Clinton will only go down knuckles bleeding. Although her concession speech last night was basically word-for-word Bernie Sanders, she’s going to attack in Thursday night’s debate like never before. Usually that doesn’t bode well for the Clintons. Having her husband out on the stump hurling “sexist” comments was a “disaster” (more Trump speak) vs. The Donald, and will likely be the same vs. Sanders. A man accused of several sexual assaults, having had to settle one for $850,000 to keep it out of court, and with a White House sex scandal topping his resume, Slick Willy probably isn't the best choice to play the "sexist card." But don't tell Hillary and/or the DNC. So far the Big Dawg has wagged his finger a few times, but these days he looks frail and without the old charisma that helped him avoid ... well, jail.

The bottom line is Bill Clinton won’t being doing Hillary any favors by wagging his finger at us. Remember the last time he did that?

Madeleine Albright basically handed whatever percentage of young women voters who were undecided over to Bernie by insulting woman across the board with her absurd statement. Not voting for Hillary Clinton would send them to hell? Really? At least Gloria Steinem had the sense to walk back her dopey comment about young women going for Bernie because “it was where the boys were,” but overall, I suspect that didn’t help the Clinton cause either.

And so now we head South where the Clinton so-called firewall will protect her from the democratic-socialist, except Hillary Clinton’s appeal to the African-American community is waning. Bernie Sanders has a lifetime of civil rights activism behind him, and many African-American activists are switching sides to join Bernie’s movement. It is telling that while Hillary Clinton was studying law at Yale, so that she could one day joke about getting a child rapist off, Bernie Sanders, during his college years, was being arrested for protesting against segregated housing in a Chicago University. Bernie also joined Martin Luther King's march on Washington, D.C., and has supported progressive civil rights legislation for more than 40 years. There are more than enough Youtube videos of the ever-evolving Hillary Clinton playing catch-up with Bernie on everything from Universal Healthcare to marriage equality, trade agreements and as of last night, overturning Citizens United.

The big problem for Hillary is the image she hasn't been able to shed, which I suspect does her campaign the most damage. She is viewed across the board as someone inherently untrustworthy. Forget all the scandals, but does anyone really believe she wasn't thinking about running for President when she decided to use her own email server while Secretary of State? Does anyone really believe all that gelt she gets from special interests ranging from Wall Street to Big Pharma, Monsanto, Insurance Companies, Private Prisons, et al, doesn't influence her?

Does anyone really believe she took sniper fire in Bosnia?

Something tells me the tides have already shifted way too fast and way too far for establishment politicians to alter the current. Consider it a Bernami if you will, but I feel confident today that Bernie Sanders will be the next President of the United States.

In any event, welcome to the Revolution.

An addendum: Upon learning Hillary Clinton walked away with the same number of delegates as Bernie after being crushed in the primary, all due to the non-democratic creation of party hacks called Super Delegates, I immediately wrote this on Bernie's page.  Okay, I am a passionate, hot-tempered, MoFo. The Sanders campaign has reassured his followers that everything is okay. I'm not as confident, but what I wrote below, except for suspending cash and giving him my all, is true. If they steal it from US, I vote the opposition party in protest.

What I just wrote on Bernie's page: Dear Bernie: You need to address this situation with the so-called super delegates. I have invested a lot of my time and money in your compaign. I believe in 99% of what you stand for. You're the first candidate in my lifetime I feel totally confident supporting, and I've convinced most of my family and some friends to back you as well. However, this issue with the super delegates terrifies me and today it took the wind from my sails. If this is how the DNC is going to steal the nomination (we all feel Iowa was stolen), after crushing Hillary in New Hampshire last night, how she gets to walk away with more delegates is obscene and has NOTHING to do with democracy. If you are going to support a party and a candidate who takes part in this kind of corruption, I need to know sooner rather than later. Please address this issue. I sent you another $50.00 last night and I've donated a few hundred before last night. I've spent countless hours on social media for your cause, but if you are going to support a stolen and corrupt process, I need to know so I can switch my attention and support to someone else (Jill Stein, etc.) ... frankly, if this is how Hillary Clinton wins, I will more than likely vote for whichever numskull the GOP nominates. I will NOT REWARD THE DNC OR HILLARY CLINTON. Please address this soon.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Promise of Water … RELEASE THE TRANSCRIPTS … DNC Corruption in Iowa … Tommy Red ... Super Bowl Prediction …


The Promise of Water, by Andrea Crossley Spencer … a terrific read that involves a missing twin and a search for self-identity. Nate Bishop is returning home to Minnesota after his twin sister has gone missing on Lake Superior. Nate has both personal and business issues back in California that involve a failing relationship and an unscrupulous business partner. These issues are on his mind as he tries to come to grips with the possibility that his twin sister, Nora, is lost forever. They’ve been close siblings with a dark past he’s fought to forget, but can never ignore.

When he learns Nora set sail with a new boyfriend he knew nothing about, the possibility of foul play begins to haunt Nate. He touches base with old friends and girlfriends from his youth and the peeling of the onion begins; each new detail compelling us to turn the page as fast as we can read.

As some of the equipment of the Seachant, Nora’s sailboat, are found along the lake’s coastline, the outlook appears grim for Nate’s sister and her boyfriend. But what if something else might’ve happened? Turns out Miller was married … was he running away? Were they running away together? Nora recently applied to adopt a boy orphaned by his parent’s sudden tragic death. Nate was unaware of much of what was going on in his sister’s life and he’s determined to learn what he can, whether it’s by listening to old phone messages or rummaging through her possession in her home.

No spoilers here. The past isn’t always as we’d like to believe, or as we sometimes force ourselves to forget, and as the layers of this beautifully told novel are removed, a complex story of self-identity and family takes hold.

The author has an impressive resume, which includes the following: Excellence Award, Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Communicator Award of Distinction, International Academy of Visual Arts. Runner-Up, 2013 Whidbey Emerging Writers Contest. Finalist, 2014 Great Novel Award. Semi-finalist, 2014 Faulkner-Wisdom Novel Award. Semi-finalist, William Van Dyke Short Story Prize. Honorable Mention, New Millennium Writers Fiction Award. Winner, 2014 Gotham Writers’ Very Short Story Contest. 2016 Caledonia Novel Award Short List.

The Promise of Water is a winner, start to finish.

RELEASE THE TRANSCRIPTS … It was the highlight of the night as far as Bernie supporters go. Chuck Todd asking the question heard round the world; the one we never in a million years expected he’d ask.

“I will look into it,” Clinton said.

Translation: Fuhgetaboutit!

We suspect those transcripts are at the bottom of the same ocean as her deleted emails. Let’s just say most people probably find it implausible that someone who takes MILLIONS of dollars from Wall Street, Big Pharma, Insurance companies, and all other corporations, including private prisons, the same people she “claims” she’ll go after, probably isn’t going to go after anyone. Certainly during Clinton’s carpetbagger stint as Senator of New York, nothing at all happened as regards Wall Street regulation proposals, much less actual legislation. And we’re sorry, but shaking your finger at them and shrieking (in that way she has): “Now you cut that out!” … Well, that just isn’t going to cut the mustard for people with functioning brain cells.

No, we think it’s pretty unanimous. She’s owned.

DNC Corruption in Iowa … we all feel it’s safe to say that Bernie won Iowa and that the corruption involved in the caucusing process there was as blatantly obvious as what the DNC has pulled throughout their campaign to nominate their choice for the American people. The Des Moines Register, a paper that endorsed Hillary Clinton, used this headline after the caucus: Des Moines Register calls for audit of Iowa results: “Something smells in the Democratic Party.”

We all know who has been there setting up a ground game organization forever, and we all know how the Iowa Democratic Party apparatchiks (sycophants) feel, since the new head of the party in Iowa, IDP Chair Dr. Andy McGuire, drives around in a car with the license plate; HRC2016.
Yes, WHAT THE FUCK? And she’s refusing to do a recount. Gee, I wonder why?

For those who ask BernieOrBust supporters how they can ever imagine voting for Jill Stein, or staying home on the night of the general election, should the DNC prevail in their never-ending attempts to sabotage Bernie Sanders campaign (and no matter what Senator Sanders advises or who he endorses in that event), the above is but one of the many reason we feel to vote for a Democratic nominee other than Senator Sanders would be to reward the EXACT corruption he’s fighting against. If anything, it would be our first disappointment with the Senator, should he in fact endorse Clinton (should she get the steal). So, thanks, but no thanks.

Tommy Red, my newest crime novel, is now available for pre-order ... here's the background:

Tommy Dalton’s ex-wife is on an honesty kick with their daughter, Alysha. She tells her that her dad kills people. Which, of course, he does. But that’s not the kind of information he wants shared with his kids. Particularly now that he’s working on a new job. Dominick Farase, ready to testify against the Cirelli family, needs silencing. An ex-cop spots him and lets Gasper Cirelli know where to find him. Not a difficult job for Tommy Red. But the Cirellis get nervous about this one, and decide to remove all evidence of the hit including Tommy. More hits are called, and some of them get sloppy. A couple of FBI agents get involved. Frank Cirelli, Gasper’s son and acting head of the family, has to make some tough decisions. Sacrifices must be made. But as far as Tommy is concerned, the Cirellis make their biggest mistake when they fail in their efforts to take him out. A fatal mistake. Now he’s after the family--still trying to keep his daughter out of it, too, of course because when you threaten Tommy or his family, the only response is retribution.  The action takes place in three locations, New Hampshire (on and around Shutter--ah, I mean, Star Island), New York and Baltimore.
Tommy Red was born from a short story of mine in the collection of shorty stories from Baltimore Noir.
Charlie Stella’s on-target dialog spotlights mob efficiency in “Ode to the O’s.” — Library Journal
Charlie Stella’s mob story, “Ode to the O’s,” is brutally direct — Publisher’s Weekly
Charlie Stella’s excellent “Ode to the O’s” may not evoke Baltimore particularly strongly, but it’s a fine piece of crime writing. — Chicago Sun Times

Super Bowl Prediction … okay, what you’ve all been waiting for … my ability to NEVER get one of these right … so, without further ado … (drumroll) … (more drums) … (add the timpani) … Knucks says: Isn’t there a hockey game on tonight?

Oh, all right … Panthers by 12 … 28-16.


Still brings tears to my eyes …