The Real Galactic Superweapon: The Skywalker Bloodline

So I was thinking about Star Wars the other day, as you do, and I had an entirely non-canon but interesting idea:

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The Economancer – Epilogue

80s Business Witch by msjobee

So that’s the story of my grand adventure.  I’ve certainly had other adventures, and I’d be glad to tell you about them if you’re interested, but unlike a certain chain-smoking London street wizard, I don’t save the world every other day. 

So what actually happened, there at the end? 

La Guardia would have been a match for either Bill the Butcher or Bill Tweed – the spirit of New York’s violence and the spirit of its corruption – but not both at the same time. 

So we called in help.

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I’m Back. Here’s What’s Next

Hey all.

I know it’s been quite a while since I posted here regularly. But I have good news for you: that’s about to change.

Monday, I will post the final chapter of The Economancer. After that, I will start posting regularly again with new material, mostly on Mondays and Thursdays.

But I have a more important announcement: starting next Thursday, I will be taking my short stories down from my blogs, and beginning to republish them on Amazon. As each is republished, they will be available for free download for the first five days, and thereafter on Kindle Unlimited. Better yet, there will be new stories coming soon!

Stay tuned!

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The Economancer Chapter 16 – Closing The Deal

80s Business Witch by msjobee

It wasn’t actually that hard to get Bill the Butcher and Boss Tweed in the same room, though it did take a bit of fast-talking in both cases.

I just told each of them that the other wanted to meet to discuss terms of surrender.

I don’t blame Bill the Butcher for buying it.  He had every reason to believe that I’d be too scared to try anything clever.  But Tweed really should have known better. 

The location is important.  They’ve gone to the mattresses, and neither wants to come out of their strongholds.  If they’re going to meet at all, it has to be somewhere neutral.

Somewhere neutral to them, at least. 

That’s how we find ourselves in Delmonico’s. 

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The True Story of Kitty Genovese

My wife, my sister and I have a tradition for St. Patrick’s Day: she comes over to our place, we eat corned beef and cabbage, and we watch The Boondock Saints

For those unfamiliar, The Boondock Saints is a 1999 action thriller about two Irish-American brothers in South Boston who come to believe that they’re on a mission from God to slay the wicked. 

The movie begins with the brothers, both devoutly (if very heretically) Catholic, attending Mass.  One of the attending priests stands up at the lectern and gives a sermon that tacitly approves of the brothers’ vigilante activities.  To illustrate his point, he tells the story of Kitty Genovese. 

You’ve probably heard the story of Kitty Genovese.  The short version is the version the Monsignor tells, which is that a young woman was murdered in broad daylight with dozens of people watching, none of whom intervened because they “didn’t want to get involved”.

It’s one of the most commonly-cited examples of Bystander Syndrome – which is to say, the human tendency to not get involved when they’re in a large crowd, because responsibility is dispersed among that crowd, and everyone thinks someone else will handle it.  Less charitably, it’s used as an example of the cowardice and cold-heartedness of human beings in general, or city folk in particular.

Allow me to give you some good news: it’s bullshit.  More than bullshit, it’s an outright lie. In the movie’s defense, while there were definitely people who knew that it was a lie in 1999, it wasn’t widely debunked until 2016.  Unfortunately, the lie has had decades to sink into the public consciousness as fact (along with all the wrong conclusions drawn from it), but few people have heard the debunking. 

So let me tell you the true story of Kitty Genovese.

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Filed under New York Life, Nonfiction, Real-Life Chillers, True Crime

Ways to Help Ukraine

Hey all. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Since last July, according to the dates in my existing posts queue. It’s a wonder anyone still visits. Well, that changes today.

I’ll be back with news about my own work soon, but as we all know, there are more important things in the world right now.

I think we’re all worried about what’s happening in Ukraine and want to know how to help. Well, the good news is that there are many options:

9 Meaningful Ways You Can Help Ukraine

If you have a hard time deciding and just want to give to a single place that you know will be effective, the International Rescue Committee is one of the best refugee aid organizations out there:

International Rescue Committee

On the other hand, if you’re feeling more aggressive, here are a bunch of ways to stick it the evil old man in Russia:

Stop Putin

If you’re the kind who likes to help on a more individual level, here is a link, shared by some family members of mine, to a family seeking to adopt a Ukrainian orphan:

Adoption of Oleksii

And finally, a few suggestions from the government of Ukraine itself:

(BTW, for those of us who remember the USSR and the Cold War, it’s “Ukraine” not “The Ukraine”, just like it’s “Kyiv” instead of “Kiev”. The latter in both cases is the Russian way of saying it, and this past is Exhibit A as to why you wouldn’t want to give Russia even linguistic claim over Ukraine.)

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The Economancer Chapter 15 – High Finance

80s Business Witch by msjobee

I’ll spare you the negotiations with Morgan, Rockefeller, and Carnegie.  They get repetitive. 

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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Serial Fiction

Help Lexi Get Her Diploma

Good morning all.

I have a request for help going out this morning.

A former student of a friend of mine is about to graduate from my alma mater (how’s that for six degrees of separation), but she can’t get her diploma until she pays her last fees.

She’s a good kid who’s been through some hard times, and she’s so close to getting out. Please do whatever you can to

Help Lexi Get Her Diploma

Even if you can’t contribute, please share.

Thank you.

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The Economancer Chapter 14 – The Thief and The Thug

80s Business Witch by msjobee

So Fiorello LaGuardia took me back to his office in the City Hall at the center of New York City’s soul. 

It’s a weird day when you can write that sentence.

It was a corner office, as you might expect – or you might expect if you live New York, anyway – and its windows each looked out over a different vista of the City, views that changed each time you looked out the window.  First look: Civic Center, like you might see from City Hall in the real world.  Second Look: Central Park, looking up from the South, you can see all the way to the Sheep Meadow before it becomes just a mass of trees.  Third look: looking out over Batter Park and the Harbor, Lady Liberty lifting her torch in the distance.  Fourth look: Times Square at night, showing off its brightest colors. 

And so on.  This really is the Heart of New York.  But then, New York has a lot of hearts. 

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New York Moment

Sitting on the N train

Riding for Coney Island

First visit of the season

A young Hispanic man and I

Me sitting

Him standing and holding a pole

Watch an old woman with a walker

Get up from her seat, carefully steadying herself against the train’s motion as she gets ready to leave.

We meet each other’s eyes

Then look back at her

Respecting her old New York strength

But each of us ready to lunge and catch if the train’s relentless stop-and-start defeats her

As it has the young and surefooted

The train stops.  She plants her walker and gets off.

He gets off too.  Not with her.  He isn’t her nephew or grandson.  They don’t know each other.

I go back to reading my book.

Our eyes don’t meet again.  We don’t speak.

Three people who never met.

A New York Moment you won’t see on the news.

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