Super Tuesday

In a recent private auction a copy of Action Comics #1 sold for $3.35 million. It was the first appearance of Superman, published in 1938.

A Bowery Street subway platform has been closed for a long time, but dozens of productions such as Orange Is the New Black use it each year. Steven Spielberg did in his coming remake of West Side Story.

Don’t be surprised if prices at Amazon rise. Headline from “Bezos Endorses Higher Corporate Taxes for Infrastructure.”

The theater of the absurd that America has become continues. Headline from “MLB All-Star Game moves to Colorado despite stricter voting laws.”

I enjoy books that expose the madness that was the Soviet Union. I just finished another, I Was Stalin’s Prisoner by Robert A. Vogeler, published in 1952. He was a 39-year-old executive for International Telephone and Telegraph Corp.(ITT). An MIT grad, he was assigned to Europe post WWII to get the company’s facilities up and running again, and to arrange compensation for any venue usurped by the communists. Of course, the Reds did not play fair. Vogelor stayed too long on a trip Hungary and was arrested on trumped up charges of espionage and sabotage. The first part of his imprisonment was brutal, conditions and treatment designed to break him into signing a confession. He eventually did so and was prepared for the kangaroo court with more humane treatment that erased what he’d suffered, at least outwardly. He then spent less than two years, ‘49-’51, in incarceration — without a cellmate — before his release was arranged. Although well-written, the narrative is filled with the minutiae of business, which didn’t interest me. It is highly detailed throughout, too much for my taste. One fascinating aspect is the plundering the Soviets did. They tore out the telephones in Budapest households in such an incompetent way that they proved useless once transported to Russia. It is clear that U.S. policy should have been for anyone arrested to plead guilty immediately to avoid inhumane treatment, including torture, since winning a trial was impossible, as the prosecutors would have suffered severe consequences for losing. Although a lot of the terminology is dated, it doesn’t diminish the narrative. For example, the cities were two, Buda and Pest, at the time. To my disappointment, there isn’t much info on Vogelor’s subsequent history. I was unable to ascertain how long he lived. Fortunately, a former student of his at St. Mary High School in Greenwich, Connecticut, a graduate in the ‘60’s, wrote an article about him in 2014. Vogelor taught science and Math. The book was a NY Times Best Seller co-written with Leigh White. How much of an impact it had on the cold war was likely minimal, as the Soviet Union continued its nefarious ways into the late ‘80’s. Still, it was in the vanguard and remains a solid addendum to history. One person — his grandson — rated the book at Amazon, giving it five stars. I went with three. While good, it isn’t as powerful as many works that have followed. The cover features his wife, who worked tirelessly on his behalf.

Good luck continued for the floating book shop on this beautiful day. I had a long visit with Crazy Joe, scourge of radio talk show hosts and Facebook. The discussion began with health issues and inevitably turned to politics. He will go to his grave fighting the left, believes it is his duty. I have surrendered, seeing the battle as futile, as it controls the media, academia, social media and many corporations. As usual, Joe overcompensated me for the items he bought: When Enough is Enough: A Comprehensive Guide to Successful Intervention by Candy Finnigan and Sean Finnigan, The Lost Art of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way to Connect with Others and Enrich Everyday Life by Sakyong Mipham, Consumer Reports How to Clean Practically Anything, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, and two books on prostate cancer. My thanks, and also to Lynn, who selected While Six Million Died: A Chronicle of American Apathy by Arthur D. Morse; and to the two gentlemen who combined to buy eight kids books; and to the woman who purchased three cook books.

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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.

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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.