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).

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Book Reviews: Mad Dog Barked, Rick Ollerman … Jungle Horses, Scott Adlerberg … The RNC Convention … Hillary’s Wikileaks Problem …

Mad Dog Barked, by Rick Ollerman … There’s a lot going on in this baby, including protagonist Scott Porter’s being the owner/boss of his private-eye business and having more than a crush on one of his operators (Trudy) … one problem with that relationship is Trudy’s husband, a cop who doesn’t do right by his beautiful and very smart wife, but does provide the occasional police research for the agency to stay in his wife’s good graces.

Problems evolve and keep the thriller ball rolling when a client comes in, lays down a fat check, and then hands an original Edgar Allen Poe book with a handwritten letter inside that reads like jazz scat. Then the client takes off and winds up dead. So does his personal secretary, a guy watching his house (his head gets caved in) … and so the carousel of thrills and dangerous liaisons begins. There’s a hitman from up New England way, a guy working for the mob up there named Gallo. He’s after the letter more than the book, and he’s willing to kill for it. There’s also an employee or two who aren’t as dedicated as Porter is to his work/business (or theirs). Deals are made, people die, and then enter the FBI. There’s a touch of the Whitey Bulger story that comes with the FBI and although Porter could just hand over the letter and walk away from everything, paid in full, he’s one of those types who doesn’t like to skim on a job.

There’s a lot of action between the very clever dialogue and it flows fast and furious as we speed toward a major confrontation.

Ollerman has the goods and this one could make a few best-of lists, including some award nominations, if the cards are dealt fair and square.

Mad Dog Barked is a clever ride of a thriller that will keep you reading start to finish. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Jungle Horses, by Scott Adlerberg … Arthur has dreams of wild horses running through jungles … these are some of the thoughts he has since he’s gone impotent and can no longer service and/or enjoy sex with his wife … it isn’t a problem for her (Jenny), she’s got a lover (Vaughn) … he’s wealthy and he lives across the street … Arthur has been cuckolded; he accepts the life arrangement he finds himself in … Arthur likes horses more than sex, especially thoroughbreds, almost as much as the horses in his dreams … those dream horses, by the way, are what once excited his life in a very sexual way with Jenny … but now all he does is gamble on horses (and it was here that I was reminded of my own horse-betting quirks on Sunday mornings before leaving for Manhattan and stopping off at Belmont on the way back home; Arthur has all the gamblers quirks) … Arthur’s wife doesn’t know he’s gambling (she assumes he’s just a drunk hanging out in pubs all day), so when he loses big, he borrowers from a bookie/loan shark … and when he gets in over his head, as all inveterate gamblers eventually do, the muscle shows up … but a deal is struck, and although Arthur wonders whether his wealthy friend Vaughn (who is having quite a life with Arthur’s wife, Jenny—they also go to the opera, dinners, etc.), is just looking to get rid of him when he offers to pay the freight on the gambling debts and send Arthur off to a topical island to tend to some other kinds of horses. Arthur leaves his wife and Vaughn and the thoroughbreds behind in London and it’s at this point we get into the mystic. Although I’m not usually a fan of the mystic, it was the absolutely smooth and beautiful pros of the author that kept me engaged throughout. Adlerberg writes smooth, elegant narrative. No spoilers here … but I was genuinely enthused each time I picked up the book to continue reading. Real good stuff, amici, and Highly Recommended.

The RNC Convention … well, we’ll hear their platform is about as medieval as it gets, but let’s face it, nobody pays attention to party platforms, least of all the election winner. If I’m not mistaken, the winner takes the party platform list into the bathroom the day after the election and wipes his/her ass with it … and what the Orange Blowhard had on stage in Cleveland the last night, cheering for a man proud to be gay … cheering for new trade agreements … cheering for a black employee of the Trump organization … well, I guess they were going to wipe their asses with the platform list way in advance of election night.

So it goes.

I watched bits and pieces of all four nights, most of the big speakers (minus Chachi and the Italian fella from some soap opera—oy vey). I’m pretty sure most Republicans, and most voters in general, kind of wish either of the Trump boys were running rather than their father. Both rich brats were completely polished and apparently knowledgeable (at least about what their father obviously is not knowledgeable of). The most striking part of either speech was Eric Trump alluding to a blue collar billionaire with a degree in common sense. Now don’t get crazy on me, I haven’t lost my mind. I don’t agree with 75-90% of what either Trump boy had to say, but how they said it was impressive vs. any political speech I’ve heard, including some of Bernie’s … and there’s no denying that it’s the Harvard & Yale degrees that have us where we are right now. That FACT is just undeniable, like it or not.

I’m writing this Thursday night (as the convention progresses), so I’m still waiting for the Orange Blowhard … and let’s face it, he can blow it “big league” tonight, so let’s wait and see.
One can only hope he doesn’t come down from the ceiling on a cable (ala fart man)… or if he does, that the cable snaps and one of his two rich brat sons do get to take his place.

All the controversy over Melania’s plagiarized speech was okay the night she spoke and some of the following day, but eventually the Trump campaign managed to find a scapegoat (I wonder how thick her envelope was). Nobody was fooled by the screw-up. It was outright plagiarism.

Last night Pence was Pence, and a bit of a surprise regarding his humor. It was delivered well, but CNN kept running his most infamous statements along the bottom of the screen while he spoke. One has to wonder if that same methodology of media agenda will be present when the Democrats meet next week. I’ll be watching, that’s for sure. I can think of some pretty good Bernie lines about Hillary Clinton I wouldn’t mind seeing along the bottom of the screen (to be fair, of course) … and now that wikileaks has left a huge turd in the DNC’s cereal … well, we shall see.

So, until later tonight, I’ll say they get a grade of B. Not for the bullshit they were selling, but strictly for the presentation and how I think independents will react to their convention and candidate.

Okay, it’s started … so far the two openers are losers (Falwell’s son and Sheriff Joe the maniac). Bad, bad, bad, but you’d never know it from the reactions of the yahoos.

Casa Stella Time out … we went out to the Jacuzzi to help my sore back, but we’re back in time for Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee … she’s actually talking about Trump uniting the American people … I’m guessing she smoked a crack pipe before she stepped on the stage … another bad, bad, attempt at a Trump makeover.

Another dud, Mary Falin, Governor of Oklahoma, speaking religion … don’t mind the religion so much, but it’s boring right now. At least she’s addressing minorities, but the crowd doesn’t seem as enthused about that at all.

The Make America One Again convention has a distinct pale to it (i.e., they’re mostly white) … I guess they didn’t notice there weren’t enough token minorities in the crowd. On the other hand, next week America will be presented as “forget what I said about Barry in 2008, I love him now … and he loves me … and I love all of you people—ah, I mean African-Americans and Latinos.”

Reince Preibus … oy vey … NEXT?

Finally, PETER THIEL ... okay, I don't believe in capitalism, but THIS GUY IS GREAT ... he's kicking HRC's incompetence all over the place. How do we get him to go GREEN?

Tom Barrack … very good speaker … good stories … true? Untrue? I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Who better than Mickey Donovan to introduce the Orange Blowhard! You gotta love it ... in a comical way.

Ivanka … good presentation, except for calling Daddy “honest” … oy vey.

The Orange Blowhard his own bad self … it’s not a speech most pundits will care for, but middle America and many independents will eat it up. He stayed mostly on script, and although it went long, the blowhard delivered to those who accept him and probably to those who want something other than another Clinton and/or a Clinton who recently should’ve been indicted.

Hillary’s Wikileaks problem … well, let’s just say the next week will be very, very, very interesting.


Interview with a Charlie Stella … The Pulse’s, Ken Cail interview the Ugly One (moi) … Part I …

Part II

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bill Maher, the ultimate Ivory Tower Bubble Boy …

Bill Maher gets on my nerves. Even when I agree with him, which is probably 65-80% of the time, his arrogance, enforced by his Real Time bully pulpit, often makes me want to reach out and smack him. When he cuts people off, and/or pulls his rich boy tough act, I find myself thinking: This punk must’ve been tortured as a kid in high school.

And I could be wrong about whether or not he was tortured in high school … so it goes.

Maher loves to castigate those of us who refuse to accept the rampant corruption within the Democrat Party, especially Bernieorbusters. I wrote a response to one of his childish rants against Bernieorbusters (click on this link), because taking advice from an Ivory Tower liberal just doesn’t cut it for me.
That was then, and this is now … well, last night anyway.

Last night Maher became the ultimate bubble boy, a derisive term he uses to describe Republican supporters (i.e., they’re living in a bubble and do not deal with reality). While I probably agree with him about that at a much higher percentage than average (85-95%), I’ve come to conclude that so does Maher live in a bubble.

Last night Maher not only defended Hillary Clinton on her email fiasco (without ever mentioning the lies she was caught telling—that was NEVER discussed as a possible reason most people (67-70%) don’t trust her), he also said something like this: “And liberals who say they have to hold their nose to vote for her are wrong.”

Really? I guess living in an Ivory Tower, and shielded by the bubble of sycophants in his audience, precludes him from smelling the stink of her allegiance to every special interest under the sun (to include Monsanto and oil companies just wild about fracking). Isn’t Maher supposed to be big on the environment and/or the labelling of GMO’s?

To be fair, he did say she wasn’t his first choice (he too was a Bernie supporter), and that she isn’t perfect. On the other hand, he defended her as if her track record on everything, including her countless political flip-flops, was something any liberal voting for her shouldn’t hold their nose about.
Really, Bill?

Ever hear about her support for wars ... all wars? How about her regime change fetish that has much to do with the chaos the world now experiences? Is she EVER going to release her Wall Street transcripts?

Maher is also of the opinion that “third party candidates will never win a presidential election.” Another naysayer who insists we should live with the corruption that best suits our purposes, as if there are no other choices. The problem with that opinion, of course, is that Bernie Sanders just proved that not only do we not need corporate control of campaign financing, millions (13+ million without counting caucus states) of people are ready to make the change. Now, had Bernie walked away from the Democrat Party last week (or if he does so after next week), Maher and the rest of the naysayers would get a taste of a true political revolution. Since Sanders endorsed Clinton, a large percentage (I don’t have the exact numbers) of Sanders supporters have switched (or intend to switch) allegiance to Jill Stein and the Green Party. Her donations went up over 1000% over a 24-hour period. And, yes, I’m one of those who donated … twice so far.
My anger at Bernie remains in his reluctance to continue a true political revolution by leaving the counterrevolutionary party that sabotaged his campaign. The Democrat Party, no matter how thick the bubble you choose to envelope yourself within, is a corporate party that has become corrupt to the core. If you can’t see that, you don’t want to see it. If you’re fine with that, then it should be the party of your choice, but to suggest that the Democrat Party is the lesser of two evils, and that’s why you should vote for a person 56-60% of people polled last week believe should have been indicted under the Espionage Act, is to not only sit inside a bubble, it’s closing your eyes while doing so.

In any event, why vote for something that requires you to hold your nose when there are people running for office you can actually support with passion? Why assume that either of the two counterrevolutionary parties be embolden (with your vote) to forever suppress a third party candidate? Why accept the shit being thrown in your face year after year after year?


Fight for the Greater Good … don’t be a Lemming …

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Book Review: A Murder of Crows … Speaking of Cally … She wasn’t under oath? … The Bernie Sanders Blues …

A Murder of Crows, by Terrence McCauley … espionage, baby, espionage … think the Bourne stuff … or James Bond … but notch it up a little to present day terrorism/anti-terrorism and the infighting that goes on between government agencies (is that why the FBI didn’t put the principal defendant in a criminal investigation under oath?) … but any disassociation with reality, which is my won’t to do when it comes to espionage and/or sci-fi, was quickly put aside because of the recent research I’ve done in regards to a possible project of my own. The technology available to the various agencies are extremely sophisticated and all too real.

So, there’s a secret/not so secret organization a step or two ahead of the CIA, DIA and NSA and the Mossad, except it’s like a private Mossad that often finds itself up against players with the same goal, but playing for a different team. It’s like when NHL players are involved in international tournaments and somebody like Steven Stamkos can find himself playing against Victor Hedman or Ryan Callahan (but normally, they’re playing for the same Stanley Cup Championship as members of the Tampa Bay Lightning).

James Hicks works for The University (that secret/no so secret organization) … and he’s recently captured a real bad guy, Moroccan terrorist, Bajjah—responsible for a biological attack in New York City. Unfortunately, the Barnyard (the CIA), the DIA and the Mossad know about the capture, which took place in Philadelphia. Hicks and his rather hedonistic partner, Roger, have Bajjah ... and they’re busy interrogating him. They get him to give up a few names, (or do they?), but the Mossad and the CIA want him also. Deals have been made, but deals are often broken under the guise of national interest.

Hicks is after Jabbar, a Bin Laden type of leader in the terror hierarchy … but Jabbar has been expert at ducking the laws of all the major nation states and their national security agencies. So, how does this secret organization (The University) stay a step or two ahead of the game (and all those other agencies)? OMNI, a super high-technology communications/ research/hacking tool. It’s the kind of thing you NEVER want in your enemies OR friends hands …

A Murder of Crows takes the reader to different locations with different versions of top notch tension. I was never a big espionage fan, but I enjoyed this one start to finish … and I’m enticed enough to want to read the prequel, Sympathy for the Devil, when Bajjah was hitting New York with his special form of terror. A wild ride that deservedly earned a Booklist Starred review.

Speaking of (Cally) Ryan Callahan … our favorite player played most, if not all, of the 2015-16 season with a hip injury that required surgery immediately after the playoffs. Because of the surgery, Cally will have to miss playing for team USA in the World Cup of Hockey. Cally has been on two USA Olympic teams and won a silver medal in 2010. News of Cally playing injured was no surprise to most. Last year in the Bolts Stanley Cup run, Callahan was forced to get emergency appendectomy surgery and was back on the ice after missing just 1 game. The hip surgery, however, will sideline him for five months, so not only will the Bolts’ ultimate warrior miss the World Cup, he’s projected to miss two months at the start of the 2016 season. Read about his hip surgery, which was successful, here: 
Get some rest and heal, Cally.
The Scales of Justice … The FBI criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email debacle seemed a bit odd when Director Comey stated that Hillary Clinton hadn’t lied to the FBI (after listing a bunch of lies she’s told the public) because, well, she was never under oath.

Say what?

Yeah, we were a bit confused about that one too. So her “interview” with the FBI was nothing more than that … and although it is reported that the fellow who set up the personal email server at casa Clinton-Westchester pleaded the Fifth 125 times, the "no legal harm/no legal foul" FBI recommendation has left a nation stunned at what was supposed to be going on.

Investigation or dog and pony show? The fact the FBI found her statements to be out and out lies, and those same statements had been made under oath to the Benghazi committee (i.e., lying to Congress) should leave the Teflon Diva stuck with a perjury or two indictment, but let’s face it, the scales of justice tip heavy to one side when it comes to money and power, and when we’re talking about Crooked Hillary Clinton, it’s like dropping an anvil on the money and power side of the scale.

In any event, the fiasco called a democratic election continues … and although so many on both sides of the aisle fear what the rest of the world will think of an Orange Blowhard Presidency, the fact that the nomination and election process has been a total sham doesn’t seem to bother them at all.

So it goes.

We’ll be around to poke fun at the entire mess moving forward.
Berned, baby Berned … well, you all know where I’ve stood regarding the Bernie Sanders campaign. I wasn’t happy he chose to ignore Hillary’s emails during the nomination process (they were serious errors in judgment {committed over and over and over again} at best/and criminal is {what most believe} at worst), so he let her off the hook for that and barely touched on the Clinton Foundation scandal at the very end of the sabotaged nomination process. To be fair, Bernie always said he’d honor his promise to support the DNC candidate (long before anyone had a clue it would be Donald Trump—so, so much for it is Trump that has to be defeated—like I always say, once it comes to the actual election, lemmings on both sides of the aisle shit their pants and vote the party line no matter who is running), but Bernie really is letting us down. We, his supporters, are angry for all the abuse Bernie has taken from a corrupt party. The DNC made it impossible for him to win, and HRC couldn’t stop reminding everyone how Bernie was only a Democrat for a few months. Hmmm, it seems to us, he should remind them of that fact at the convention, and maybe add to it: “I tried it, I didn’t like it, so shove it. I’m going Green.”

Bernie achieved two major successes: he was able to expose the corruption within the Democrat Party and he also proved a candidate need not sell themselves to the highest bidders. On the other hand, his call for a political revolution is now fading into yet another call to be just another lemming after all … and for that, I’m extremely pissed off.

So, Bernie, if you’re reading this, take the coin I gave to your campaign and transfer it to Jill Stein and the Green Party. The truth of the matter is, if you really did want a political revolution, you wouldn’t cave and endorse the antithesis of a revolution.

I fear Bernie left his balls in Brooklyn when he headed north to Vermont.


Yesterday I re-watched The Big Short … it’s a reminder why the last person we want in the White House moving forward is someone OWNED by Wall Street …

Monday, July 4, 2016

Bill and Hillary’s Raskolnikov Problem … a fine short story by Stanton McCaffery ... Run Boy Run (movie review) ... About that nationalism fever ...

So, Bill met up with Attorney General Lynch at an airport in Phoenix and we’re supposed to believe the lie Hillary told when she stated it was a “chance meeting” … of course it wasn’t a chance meeting if Bill held his flight from leaving Phoenix for as long as 40 minutes … but hey, they’re the Clintons.

Raskolnikov used Napoleon as justification for the actions a “great” man/person might take that precludes him/her from the laws that bind mere mortals. Raskolnikov whacked a loanshark and her innocent invalid sister, who happened to be at the crime scene at the exact wrong time.

Now that, the invalid sister's murder, for what it’s worth, was a chance meeting.
Bill and Loretta Lynch’s meeting? Not so much.

Immediately after announcing the three-and-a-half hour FBI interview of Mrs. Clinton, the leaks hit the corporate owned newsrooms: No indictment.

Surprise, surprise … or maybe just, “Duh.”
It's an amazing phenomenon how Bill and Hillary survive their assaults on decency. The voter fraud and Clinton Foundation pay-to-play deals with foreign countries continues to boggle the mind ... because there never seems to be a genuine consequence ... or a response outside of allegations eventually swept under the rug. The corruption in this election cycle, especially from the Democrat Party, has been stunning, yet nothing has been done about any of it. Could a Donald Trump win in the democrat primaries? Apparently not ... thus, the DNC proved themselves even more corrupt than the RNC (not that the RNC hasn't flirted with overwriting their own rules to dump their outsider).

In any event, obviously the Clinton think themselves above the rest of us mere mortals. They don't answer to the same rules and regulations, nor do they care what we think about it. And lord knows, their party faithful have been turning a blind eye since Slick Willy perjured himself and was disbarred.

So it goes.

In any event, the two things Bernie Sanders proved beyond any doubt this election cycle were these: 1) there’s absolutely no need for corporate coin to run an election campaign (assuming, of course, the people can trust the politician they’re donating to) … and 2) the Democrat Party is corrupt beyond what anyone could have imagined prior to 2016.

Whether or not Bernie actually follows through on his political revolution is another story. Those who’ve supported him with coin and passion are anxious for him to break away from a party that treated him like a pariah, but we’re not so confident he’ll do it. His promise to support the Democrat nominee, especially in light of what the DNC did to his campaign, is nothing short of rewarding corruption and many of us are appalled at the thought he’d support and vigorously campaign for Hillary Clinton. And if he does, his political revolution turns to dust before his and our eyes, especially if she wins the general election. Sorry, Bernie, but the lesser of two evils doesn't fly when it comes to revolution. If Bernie folds and she wins, what possible need would the DNC ever have of the left after making a mockery of Sanders and his campaign? They’ll be stronger for their corruption, end of story.

And if that’s the case, make no mistake how TK (and Charlie) will feel: Fuck you, Bernie, and please transfer my donations to you over to Jill Stein and the Green Party. At least Jill stands for what she says. If Bernie folds, he turns lots of private campaign donors like myself into the same cynics who say: “Why bother, it’s all rigged anyway?”

And isn't in interesting how George Carlin's "The Big Club" routine remains so prescient today?

Run Boy Run … a Jewish boy on the run from Nazi persecution in Poland … you’ll get angry and you’ll cry … and then you should stay angry for the barbaric acts of National Socialism and the blind faith that turned half the world upside down. The movie is based on the true story of Yoram Fridman. Maybe extra appropriate viewing after the very recent death of Elie Wiesel.
And remember, amici ... regarding nationalism? Above and below ...