Friday Focus

vic fortezza
3 min readJun 7, 2024

Headline from “Costco to stop selling books in surprise blow to publishers: report.” This has been a trend for years. Online venues will pick up the slack. Those who refuse to connect to the web will have to look elsewhere. I hear there are curbside vendors offering incredible deals.

Excerpt from the column of NYP sports media critic “Fearless” Phil Mushnick: “Tuesday was the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in China. Estimates of the total murdered range from several hundred to several thousand. Nike, Adam Silver, Rob Manfred, Roger Goodell, team owners and outspoken pro stars including LeBron James, joined with the Chinese Communist Party in ignoring that the horror happened.” Kudos once again.

This headline will surprise no one: “Children Testing Below Average in Basics of US History.” It is being re-written by the winners — liberals.

I knew there had to be a Catch-22. From NM: “N.Y. Gov. Pushes Tax Increase After Nixing Congestion Pricing Toll Plan.” Heaven forbid they cut spending.

If anyone doubts Putin is a psychopath, maybe the following excerpt from an NM article by Mark Swanson will convince him/her otherwise, edited by yours truly: “In addition to the estimated 150,000 Russian soldiers killed in the conflict with Ukraine, as many as 920,000 citizens left the country by July 2023 over the war. Between 2020 and 2022, an estimated 1.12 million Russians died during the COVID pandemic. And the country is in the midst of its lowest birthrate in more than two decades… The most successful population program that the Kremlin has had has been annexing neighboring territories…”

It’s National Donut Day. Don’t tempt me. Almost five PM and I’ve yet to succumb to temptation. Those who understand a bit of Italian know what the confection spelled backwards is: Stunod. Photo from Google Images:

RIP actor Tom Bower, 86. Born in Denver, he turned to acting when his athletic dreams didn’t pan out. There are 181 titles under his name at IMDb, career spanning 1973 to the present, one work to be released posthumously. He did guest shots on a slew of primetime fare and appeared in 27 episodes of The Waltons. On the big screen he was in Two-Minute Warning (1976), River’s Edge (1986), Beverly Hills Cop 2 (1987), True Believer (1989), Die Hard 2 (1990), Clear and Present Danger (1994), Nixon (1995), Pollock (2000), Crazy Heart (2009), to name nine. Married from 1972 until his wife’s death in 2023, he was a father of two. Well done, Sir. Photo from GI:

According to an article at by Megan Henney, 43,000 of the 272,000 jobs created in May were in government.

The incoming outweighed the outgoing by far at today’s session of the Anti-Inflation Book Shop. My thanks to the donors, and to the woman who purchased a used copy of Five Cents by yours truly; and to Steve, poet laureate of Sheepshead Bay, who bought two audiobooks: The Late Show by Michael Connelly and Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo.

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vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.