Category Archives: News

Veteran’s Day 2021

“In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.”

Barack Obama

Image: Janet Brown, The Cake Studio

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Indigenous People’s Day 2021

“Oh Great Spirit who made all races. Look kindly upon the whole human family and take away the arrogance and hatred which separate us from our brothers.”

Cherokee Prayer

Indigenous People’s Day

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No, we can’t make you wear a mask or get a vaccine shot. Here are some other things we can’t make you do…

From fellow writer and blogger Art Browne, my brother in cosmic lunacy.

Pouring My Art Out

Take showers or baths.

Wipe your butt after you poop.

Open your eyes while driving on the freeway.

Not stick your head into a hornet nest.

Not set your house on fire.

Put on a parachute before jumping out of an airplane.

Not drink bleach or shoot horse de-wormer up your rear end.

Think.

Have empathy.

Have common courtesy.

Be a good person.

Do real research on vaccines, not just find internet groups that support your bias.

Pay attention to the vast majority of scientists and medical experts.

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Banned Books Week 2021

This week begins the annual “Banned Books Week” which lasts through October 2.  The yearly event is sponsored by the American Library Association and promotes literacy, free speech and a free press.  It’s the regular battle against the self-styled, self-appointed overlords of what is supposedly proper and improper for everyone to see and read.  I’ve always believed this should be a year-long event, as free speech and free press are under constant threat – not just in, but in totalitarian regimes, like North Korea, but even in open societies, such as the United States.

Keep writing and keep fighting!

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 156 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2020.  A total of 273 books were targeted for removal, but here is a list of the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books.  Some are familiar classics, while others are new arrivals.

George by Alex Gino
Reasons: Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community”

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
Reasons: Banned and challenged because of author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Reasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint and it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
Reasons: Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Reasons: Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Reasons: Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

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In Remembrance: September 11, 2001

“They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind.”

Native American Proverb

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Labor Day 2021

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.”

J. M. Barrie

Image: Modern Toss, New Scientist

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Corona is Quiet

Wow!

Dogpaddling Through Life

Corona piques loudmouths
who doubt if she’s real.
They debate whether she can
be trusted to kill.
Does she prefer old folks,
or will any one do?
Can vaccines disrupt her,
or does she like them too?
Does the color of your skin
determine your fate?
Is it true she likes poor folks;
in the rich she abates?

But Corona? Corona is quiet.
She empties the roadways
and crowded bars.
She covers your mouth
in schools and cars.
She shoves tubes down your throat
to help you breathe.
she shovels the dirt when
you succumb to disease.
Corona don’t care
what your preacher thinks
as she silently weaves
through the towns and streets.

I walk with my dog
on a Saturday morn.
I converse with the birds
not quite overworn
with the sounds of cars
and giggling voices.
Today they’re silent.
This weekend is joyless.
After pretending for months
she…

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Word of the Week – June 26, 2021

Inosculate

Verb

Latin, 17th century

Join by intertwining or fitting closely together.

Example: I often inosculate my dreams with my passion for writing to create unusual tales.

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Tweet of the Week – June 26, 2021

Rep. Matt Gaetz

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Instagram of the Week – June 26, 2021

Carl Nassib

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