Why I Love Coffee

May 13, 2017

Source: Why I Love Coffee

Yom HaShoah Tribute

April 24, 2017

Source: Yom HaShoah Tribute

Stupid Democrats . . . and Republicans

March 23, 2017

“A woman in a hot air balloon realized she was lost. She lowered her altitude and spotted a man in a boat on a lake below. She shouted to him, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The man consulted his portable GPS and replied, “You’re in a hot air balloon, approximately 30 feet above a ground elevation of 2,346 feet above sea level. You are at 31 degrees, 14.97 minutes north latitude and 100 degrees, 49.09 minutes west longitude.”

She rolled her eyes and said, “You must be an Obama Democrat.”

“I am,” replied the man. “How did you know?”

“Well,” answered the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct. But I have no idea what to do with your information, and I’m still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help to me.”

The man smiled and responded, “You must be a Republican.”

“I am,” replied the balloonist. “How did you know?”

“Well,” said the man, “you don’t know where you are or where you are going. You’ve risen to where you are due to a large quantity of hot air. You made a promise you have no idea how to keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. You’re in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but somehow, now it’s my fault.”

Republicans claim Democrats are ‘all about welfare’. Well:

WP Saturday Spotlight- Abbie Lu!

March 20, 2017

Source: WP Saturday Spotlight- Abbie Lu!

Brilliantly Brontë

March 7, 2017

The Brontë sisters, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Charles Dickens–the Victorian era was a treasure of great writers. Mostly very heavy social commentary. Loved them all.

Cafe Book Bean

emily-bronte.jpgTheir writing was bold and beautiful
and each infused with their own individuality;
wit, character, and spirit.

In honor of Emily Brontë’s birthday
Today July 30th 1818

Here is a tribute to the Brilliant Brontë Sisters:

10546-2.JPGTheBrontës
 A nineteenth-century literary family associated with the village of Haworth in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Charlotte, Emily, and Anne, are well known as poets and novelists. Like many contemporary female writers, they originally published their poems and novels under male pseudonyms: Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Their stories immediately attracted attention, although not always the best, for their passion and originality. Charlotte’s “Jane Eyre” was the first to know success, while Emily’s “Wuthering Heights”, Anne’s “The Tenant of Wildfell Hall” and other works were later to be accepted as masterpieces of literature.


Jane Eyre
By Charlotte Brontë
Deliciously haunting and dark Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences…

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Tribute to Browning’s Beauty

March 7, 2017

It’s not always the loudest voice that is heard clearly . . .

Cafe Book Bean

elizabeth_barrett_browning_2Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(6 March  1806 – 29 June 1861)
She was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era, popular in Britain and the United States during her lifetime.

Elizabeth’s volume Poems (1844) brought her great success, attracting the admiration of the writer Robert Browning. Their correspondence, courtship and marriage were carried out in secret, for fear of her father’s disapproval. Following the wedding she was indeed disinherited by her father.
The couple moved to Italy in 1846, where she would live for the rest of her life. They had one son, Robert Barrett Browning, whom they called Pen. She died in Florence in 1861.A collection of her last poems was published by her husband shortly after her death.
Elizabeth’s work had a major influence on prominent writers of the day, including the American poets Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickinson. She is remembered for such poems…

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Why Donald Trump may Ultimately be Good for America

February 9, 2017

When a forest has been allowed to grow rampantly, many problems crop up. There’s a lot of dead wood, and other shrubbery becomes overgrown. Young trees have a hard time getting nutrition and sunlight in which to grow properly. Diseases spread amongst the mature trees. Vermin have an easier time hiding from predators, whose place in the ecology is to keep their numbers down. The list goes on.

fireNature has a way of taking care of this problem: forest fires. Huge conflagrations that burn everything to the ground, eliminating this chaotic decay of a once healthy environment.

Let’s face it: this once great country has indeed deteriorated. In that sense, it is very much like an overgrown forest.

Where once nearly everyone did something useful for society, there’s one hell of a lot of deadwood. But deadwood does not merely mean people on welfare who could easily perform constructive work, whether for a wage or as a volunteer.

It also includes bloated bureaucracies where the ‘workers’ push paper around from one desk to another to justify their incredible benefits packages, including retirement deals that are bankrupting city after city. Just look at Greece. It also includes ‘vermin’, such as those who exist in the dark spaces between the government and corporations, ‘lobbying’ with special payments and generous gifts for legislators to vote for the special interests of their clients. It also includes the people on Wall Street who live in mansions due to their ability to sell invisible paper, ‘leveraging’ real assets into castles made of cards.

Sadly, the actual environment is decaying. Our industrial model, dependent on rapid and unchecked growth, is destroying the world we live in. In the name of bloated profits, we are willing to cut down any forest or grassland that regenerates oxygen, pollute any waterway that sustains life on our planet, and contaminate the very air that we and those plants breathe. And when the vast majority of scientists as well as environmentalists protest our unconcern, they are shouted down by the capitalistic businesses and politicians who live off of those profits. They are dismissed as reactionaries. So now we have a climate change denier in charge of the EPA. That’s going to promote real progress.

Small businesses, which were once the backbone of the entrepreneurial spirit, are being stunted by the huge corporations granted monopolies by fat-cat bureaucrats. The concept of small, local banks who fed those budding businesses is being blotted out by huge international banks and the Fed, a private corporation controlled by a few uber-wealthy individuals who have a stronghold on the American economic structure. Monopolies are being encouraged by those politicians who are paid by them. And Trump has appointed another billionaire’s boys club member from the wonderful Goldman-Sachs disaster to advise him on finances. Didn’t they help create the 2008 recession?

Our attempt at a national health service, the ACA, is indeed a disaster. Never mind that the Republicans gutted the intended structure so badly that it barely limps along, with Mr. Trump ready to kick the crutches away. It was a first attempt to fix the towering healthcare costs generated by outrageous med school tuitions, greedy insurance companies, litigious attorneys, and, not least, the unmitigated avarice of Big Pharma. Now there will be a lot more Americans who will have reduced qualities of life or even die because they cannot afford decent treatment.

Our once proud public educational system, one of the finest is the world, is now nearly moribund. Most states have passed laws that send the property taxes to the state government instead of the local school district, meaning that all students suffer. While state legislators pass more and more demands on teachers, further crippling their ability to serve the students, federal legislators demand standardized tests that creates a “one size fits all” delivery and caters to the lowest common denominator, rather than encouraging our best and brightest to rise above mediocrity. And Trump wants to completely destroy the public system through his pay-back choice as Secretary of Education, who is all about privatized and charter schools, and has possibly never set foot in an actual classroom in her life.

If you want a healthy country, you need healthy people who are well educated. It is obvious that taking care of unhealthy people is tremendously more expensive than the reverse, so the cost benefits should be obvious to even the most obtuse capitalist. And the benefits of education to the economy (as shown by personal lifetime income) are touted by all educational systems, so why is that even a question? Ours is a system that requires educated, modernized employees, not mindless workers.

Perhaps the worst destruction has been to traditional American values, such as equality and justice. Once again, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Nancy Pelosi explained how we have entered the age of shareholder capitalism, which is why CEO pay continues to climb while the average worker sees little to no income growth. Our “melting pot” mentality has melted down, to the point where we discriminate against well-educated professionals wanting to gain citizenship while allowing manual laborers to pour across our borders because Americans have become lazy and entitled. In that sense, Trump’s policies may actually serve a purpose. However, he wants to enforce his policies with dictates that violate the laws of our land, both technically and in intent, that were incorporated into the Constitution and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

So, the Trump administration may ultimately prove to be beneficial to America. But it is not because our latest president is a careful gardener. It is because he is a forest fire, who will leave our earth scorched and barren, destroying everything we love about our world. We can only hope that, many years after the conflagration has passed away, the American people will once more look at what really made this country great. That we will—like a forest consumed by a terribly destructive fire—regenerate the fresh and positive growth that brings new life and hope.

John Shakspear’s (Shakespeare) Contribution to Art (and Catholicism)

February 6, 2017

http://hyperallergic.com/344523/saved-by-shakespeares-father-a-series-of-medieval-murals-is-finally-restored/

The above article proves that John Shakspear (as he spelled his name), then an official in the borough of Statford upon Avon, was a dedicated Catholic who defied the dictates of the new Protestant regime in England. Rather than destroy the artwork in the church, he had whitewash painted over. This evidence helps to prove my contentions about John, and then William, in my upcoming novel “The Shakespeares and the Crown”.

Sunday Funnies!

February 5, 2017

This is real life for a writer . . .

Cafe Book Bean

cartoon-of-the-day-short-story

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First International, Now Domestic Totalitarianism has Started

February 3, 2017

If you read the attached article, you will see that Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley, as invited by the Republican students on campus. There was a protest from those who are opposed to his virulent support of Donald Trump; it was originally non-violent, but then a large group of masked agitators escalated the protest to violence. It is unclear if those agitators were students or outsiders.
As is his wont, Donald Trump had an immediate reaction via his favorite media, Twitter (the British have a word, ‘twit’, that perfectly describes why Mr. Trump might like that format). To wit:

“If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”

First, I am in nearly full agreement—for once—with Mr. Trump. Free speech should work both ways. And the people who wore masks in order to incite violence are cowards and hypocrites. If Trump had stopped there, I would have been amazed. But this is not a man who understands moderation or objective condemnation.83125-henry-ii-becket-p1

No, he had to go and threaten to withdraw federal funding from an exemplary public university because of the actions of a few radicals, who then incited otherwise peaceful students. Once again, he showed how his reactionary thoughts translate to a shoot-from-the-lip policy making via a medium that is best used by entertainers and teenagers. I take him seriously, that, if it were in his power, he would curtail all federal funding to a landmark center of education because of one incident where his most vocal supporter was essentially run off the campus. It is the same type of hysterical reaction he applies to virtually every situation.
Can no one convince this man that even a few careless words from a man with great power can lead to disaster, as in the case of Henry II and Thomas Beckett? Oh, right . . . he’s probably never heard of either man.

As a president, he is a complete disgrace.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-threatens-to-defund-berkeley-after-violent-protests-force-cancellation-of-breitbart-editors-speech-145048174.html