THE ABSENT - out now!


Out Now - For sale on Amazon and other onlne book sellers


Out Now


My first book of poetry available through Amazon and other online booksellers

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


(It's been awhile since I've written about comic books. They were a big part of my life as a teenage and I've rediscovered my love for them in the past decade so I will try to write more on that subject in the future. Here's kind of a round-up of my recent comic book thoughts)

Recently was the birthday of Jack Kirby one of the greatest figures in comic book history for the sheer number of classic characters he created or co-created for both DC and Marvel....I especially liked a lot of his early 70's DC creations - The New Gods (especially Mr Miracle), Etrigan the Demon, Kamandi, Omac, Kobra. I also think his work on The Black Panther Marvel solo series is underrated. Where do you start with Kirby? Maybe the first appearances of Galactus and the SIlver Surfer in Fantastic Four #48-50.

Speaking of comic book birthdays, also recently was the birthday of Don Perlin who was the artist who drew two of my favorite comics as a kid - The Defenders and Werewolf By Night. He also co-created another favorite character of mine - Moon Knight (who appeared for the first time in Werewolf By Night).

Yet another recent celebration - Batman day and I'd like to celebrate my favorite artist who drew Batman, Jim Aparo. Aparo drew the human body with great proportion and realistic looking form even when it was in a costume and could also render his characters emotions even when seen through a mask. He also drew great versions of Aquaman and the Spectre as well as all the guest stars in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD team-up book.

Regarding the announcement that the Luke Cage Power Man Netflix miniseries (following Daredevil and Jessica Jones and to be followed by Iron Fist and the Defenders) has cast two of his villains, Cottonmouth and Black Mariah. One thing I always liked about Cage's villains was how exaggerated in physical appearance they were like Dick Tracy foes (Flattop, Pruneface etc.). Hopefully, the series follows this and doesn't go the wretched Gotham/Agents of SHIELD route - that would be tragic and sad.

Also recently read the 2012 Marvel NOW reboot of the THUNDERBOLTS series - The line-up is Red Hulk, Punisher, Elektra, Deadpool, and Venom (replaced by Ghost Rider later) with assistance from Red Leader. So far it's excellent with art from Steve Dillon who drew most of the issues of the awesome Punisher MAX title and great conflict chemistry - Heroes working together who hate each other. These particular characters were a good choice for a super team and the writers working on this series get what they are about and how to show them relating to each other also superb action sequences!

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Hate to say it but Donald Trump did well - More subdued, more specifics, a little less nonsense exuded the sense he was the frontrunner. Personally, I thought Rand Paul and John Kasich were really good and had answers that could connect with the electorate at large not just the Republican base. Ben Carson came off as thoughtful, a decent person but also befuddled, slightly lost - I think he connects with evangelicals better than anyone this time around which is why his poll numbers are high. Jeb Bush was awful - he really got beat down by Trump in those early exchanges. The point where he slapped Trump's hand high five was like he was Trump's b*tch. Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio were very aggressive but all of them peppered their comments with factual inaccuracies and ridiculous silly misstatements. Ted Cruz is creepy, the stilted way he speaks to the camera is like a teenage boy at a public speaking contest and is really awkward. Truth is Trump has killed almost everyone's else campaign (especially Scott Walker). It's Trump's world until something happens to change that.

Some moments....

1.) John Kasich supports the Iran Deal and is against government shutdowns???? Good for him but it wont earn him many votes in today's GOP.

2.) Jeb Bush is a cowardly weasel. His Kim Davis answer was such a pretzel! How he avoided confrontation made me wince. He's no John Kasich that's for sure.

3.) Some people are deliberately dumb and some people are actually stupid - less intelligent than others. I think Carly Fiorina is the latter. Linking the Iran Deal and Planned Parenthood? but she did have a good jab at Trump.

4.) Give credit where credit is due. Donald Trump bringing up North Korea's nuclear program when everyone is talking about Iran was a good answer.

5.) "I hear your wife is a lovely woman" Donald Trump to Jeb Bush LOL

6.) Marco Rubio cue the heartwarming music. My grandfather only spoke Spanish, my father was a bartender blah blah blah.

7.) Donald Trump can talk about birthright citizenship all he likes. You are going to have to amend or get rid of the 14th amendment to change that (which is not going to happen). Rand Paul's comment about no direct Supreme Court decision on illegals is a good point.

8.) Carley Fiorina's answer about her tenure at HP if I understand it is HP got really successful after I left LOL. Trump thrashed her pretty good.

9.) Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson tax answers were embarrassing. When it comes to how much tax working people pay, both want to Duggar America.

10.) Rumor going around Twitter is Chris Christie is eating potato chips between answers LOL. Seriously though, he seems a bit desperate to interject himself tonight. He's in 11th place and almost didn't make it to the main stage.

11.) Jeb Bush is having a terrible night - He just said he would consult foreign policy team from his brother's administration. Even Republicans think those guys were complete failures.

12.) Ben Carson not only opposed the Iraq War but Afghanistan too??? Interesting Also Chris Christie lying again about being appointed on September 10th.

13.) Marco Rubio "Some problems cannot be solved by intellect" LOL

14.) Rand Paul killing it on marijuana decriminalization. Excellent! "The federal government has gone too far on the war on drugs "Ben Carson highlight - vaccines in and of themselves don't cause autism, gently chiding Trump.

15.) Silly questions segment - What woman would you put on currency? Mike Huckabee - my wife, Ben Carson - my mom, Donald Trump - my daughter Ivanka, Also Carly Fiorina said she'd like her secret service name to be Secretariat (race horse).

16.) Will be interested in seeing the speaking time totals for each candidate. Really weird how some speak for huge chunks of time others are mostly silent. Most silent of all are the moderators.

Monday, September 14, 2015


One way you can tell a champion is when they are not at their 100% best, they still find ways to win matches. Novak Djokovic lost a couple finals in warm-up events this summer due to injuries. In the US Open in his last couple matches he played well when he had too despite percentages on serve, errors etc. not as consistent as usual and the same was true today, showed a lot of grit. Good match, very quick. Roger Federer's forehand let him down a bit at key moments.

Some other thoughts....

1.) Tennis history wise, this, his 10th grand slam title, ties Djokovic for fifth place in number of career grand slam tournaments won. If you only count the Open era then he's fourth. I don't think he can catch Federer at 17 but I do think he can catch Sampras/Nadal second place at 14. Needs to win more four grand slams which is not out of the question for a #1 in the world fit 28 year old.

2.) Forget about Serena Williams, Djokovic also reached all four grand slam finals this year. He must really be thinking about that French Open final loss now although I don't think there was much he could have done. Wawrinka was on fire that day

3.) Speaking of Serena WiIlliams tough loss for her. Better luck next year. But for now Steffi Graf is still the greatest of all time.

4.) If the NYPD is looking to brutalize more people they can start with people who yell during a player's service toss or clap when serves go into the net or at double faults. The US Open seems to be the worst of the slams for that type of disruptive audience behavior.

5.) Just happened to notice the single trophy still reads Lawn Tennis Championship. They haven't played on grass since the 70's although grass court tennis I find more interesting to watch and it is better for the body than hard court.

6.) I dug Federer's outfit - white with pink trim. A perfect balance, not too flashy.

7.) As he ages, Roger Federer looks more and more like Quentin Tarantino and a younger Morrissey.

8.) The way Federer plays, he could play forever as his type of play doesn't take a lot of wear and tear on the body. The law of averages of him winning at least one more grand slam tournament is there. I still have hope.


Saturday, September 12, 2015



The question of what the first Libertines record in twelve years sounds like is akin to what sartorial and grooming changes a man goes through between his early 20's and his mid 30's. This record is cleaner and slower. The standout tracks are the ballads the piano driven You're My Waterloo and semi-acoustic Iceman. There are noteworthy rockers such as Glasgow Coma Scale Blues but most tracks are mid-tempo singalongs such as The Milkman's Horse. A more disciplined approach to recording and better musicianship (perhaps both a result of sobriety) yields a very good record that on songwriting ,removed from the anarchic playing of inspired youth, is somewhat on the level of their first two brilliant records.


This is My Bloody Valentine filtered 3rd hand - A grandchild rather than a child of the original shoegazer sound. More from the Bilinda Butcher side of things with unintelligible female vocals that alternately soar above, push, and tug the melodies. It never gets too heavy alternating between poppy bursts of sunshine like Motorcycle and Alison and moodier tracks that still swing such as Dying All the Time. Fast and enjoyable!

Friday, September 11, 2015


1.) In response to Hillary Clinton's recent rude comment about President Obama in an ABC News interview "They need a leader who cares about them again" (I can't recall any same party candidate saying something like that about a sitting president. Even John McCain in 2008 didn't criticize Bush so severely) I think Obama should stand up and give a full throated endorsement to someone else either an already declared candidate or someone who might jump in the race (like Vice President Biden). He should say the following "No offense Hillary but our party needs to win and your campaign is a joke, you stink of non-stop scandals, you and your husband are sociopaths whose time has passed, and no one likes you". That would be wonderful to see. What scum the Clintons are. 

2.) Worse than the restricted number of debates put in place by corrupt Clinton crony DNC head Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is the rule that any other unapproved debates between candidates will be punished by banishment of those candidates from all debates. That is just completely dishonest. It's a rotten, fixed process designed to help Hillary but the good news is people both Democrats and independents seem to be waking up to what a garbage candidate she is and what she represents. Don't know if Biden is running but if not I imagine a real alternative will surface soon.



A few last thoughts on the Iran Deal now that the disapproval resolution has been stopped in the us Senate

1.) It is not just a deal between the USA and Iran but rather six nations (of which the USA is one) and Iran. The other nations have said they will go ahead and lift sanctions even if the US does not due to congressional action so the end of sanctions are a done deal 

2.) Effectiveness? One more time according to Politifact "Under the deal, Iran will lose 97 percent of its stockpile of highly enriched uranium, the kind needed to make nuclear weapons. It will also give up 14,000 of its 20,000 centrifuges, the machines used to enrich uranium, and agree to only enrich uranium to a level unsuitable for weapons for 15 years. The deal also curbs Iranian production of plutonium, the other element that can be used to build a bomb. The deal bans plutonium reactors for 15 years and stipulates that Iran must dismantle its current one." 

3.) Critics of the deal talk a lot about Iran having advance warning of inspections but what they don't tell you is the length of the deal which is 25 years. Hard to imagine them dodging inspectors for that length of time. Nantanz, the largest Iranian nuclear facility, will have security cameras installed that will be on around the clock 

4.) Critics of the deal also like to complain about money being given to Iran but that money does not belong to the United States or Europe. Rather, it is Iranian assets frozen by the US and its allies,being held IMO illegally that is being released to its rightful owners.

5.) The best agreements between nations (and between people) are focused on one or a few items big picture, narrow focus yields the best results. Iran's relationship with Israel, funding of Hezbollah, its part in the conflict with ISIS should be subject of follow-up agreements (if at all). Completely unrelated to the Iranian nuclear program. 

And of course still waiting for investigations on sanctions on Israel for its nuclear program.

Friday, September 4, 2015


1.) Jeb Bush's new offensive against Donald Trump will be ineffective I predict for two reasons 1.) it comes too late, too late. 2.) Jeb is the wrong man to be making this attack.

If Jeb Bush had brought up Trump's prior liberal positions say in late July it would have resonated much more with the Republican base and prevented some of them anyway from jumping on the Trump ship.  Also he would have gotten ahead of Trump attacking him (for example over the poorly photoshopped campaign poster where Jeb had a black hand)  Now, it just seems like desperation and on the issue of the day which is immigration, Jeb is not in step with the Republican base. Attacking Trump both in English and Spanish is tone deaf with the increasingly nativist, anti-immigrant Trumpites. Also for Jeb to react in such a placid manner when Trump insulted his Mexican born wife in Twitter is emasculating. If that had happened to me, I would have waited until one of the debates, taken Trump aside, and given him a beating he would feel for some time. I have always felt Jeb Bush's campaign is a non-starter and he is not even second to Trump anymore in polls - He is fourth or fifth. He is also no longer the first in fundraising.

2.) It's not just Martin O'Malley criticizing the small number of Democratic debates and their late start. Both Bernie Sanders and James Webb have jumped in as have the AFL CIO. Limiting debates to somehow protect a fading front runner while projecting overconfidence is stupid - Criticize the Republicans all you want for their beliefs but at least they are out there .... “While the Republicans put their backwards ideas forward, before an audience of more than 20 million Americans, we put our forward-thinking ideas on the back-burner, as if we are trying to hide them from the airwaves.” Martin O'Malley continues, “Four debates...this is totally unprecedented in our party’s history.” Incompetent Clinton crony Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the DNC should have been fired after the Dems poor performance in the 2014 elections.

Objectively speaking, Hillary Clinton is a weak front runner, her campaign is a house of cards ready to collapse, the answer is not to protect her by limiting her public exposure. Aside from being totally unlikable and ideologically adrift in the Sanders surge, she is dogged by scandal. The E-mail scandal by itself may not be that important (she did break state department) and that would depend on what was in those deleted emails. If she was doing what I think she was doing which is using her office to solicit campaign funds to run for president it is a crime. But even if nothing like that is there it is yet another example of the Clinton's royalist do what we want attitude and haven't we had enough of that in the office of the President of the United States?