Quotations on Tyrants

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“Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”

                                                                  Mahatma Gandhi

 

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“Voldemort himself created his worst enemy, just as tyrants everywhere do! Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!”

J.K. Rowling Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince

 

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“The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”

                                                                           John F. Kennedy

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A New Quilt – Part 2

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Jennie, that extraordinary teacher, once again has given us a wonderful post!

A Teacher's Reflections

In Part 1, children embraced the song “This Land is Your Land” as their own.  They sang the song every day, multiple times a day.  By the time winter arrived, they had ‘taken over’, and constantly used the book This Land is Your Land when they sang.  The book brings American landmarks and history to life, and it also depicts humanity, the good and the bad.  Children love the ‘sad page’, and the ensuing verse that gives us all hope and reminds us of what we can do, together.  In my classroom, the song just keeps on going.

Part 2:
It was a regular morning in the classroom.  Children were finishing snack.  The routine is they get a book and have silent reading (or not so silent) while other children finish their snack.  Of course there are a few children who try to eat quickly so they can have…

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Quotations on Fighting Oppression

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“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

                                                                    Robert Kennedy

 

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“You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police … yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home — all the more powerful because forbidden — terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.”

                                                                  Winston Churchill

 

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“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

                                                                  Elie Wiesel

Independent Bookstore Day

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April 27, 2019 is Independent Bookstore Day, and all readers and writers should celebrate the day and support independent bookstores!

Independent bookstores are increasing in number over the last few years, which is comforting and encouraging for readers and writers alike.

I would like to feature one bookstore in my area that is a wonderful place, and it does what many such bookstores do–it fosters a community or readers, both adult and children, and offers various events, ranging from readings, to open mike nights to game nights. This store is Firefly Bookstore in downtown Kutztown, PA, near a small public university and not far from where I live.

Firefly Bookstore is a wonderful establishment, and if you are ever in this area, please visit it.

Their website is Firefly Bookstore.

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Do you know an independent bookstore that you can feature?

Islas Ballestas~

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Here are more beautiful and stunning photographs from Cindy Knoke!

Islas Ballestas, an island group off the coast of Paracas, are often referred to as Peru’s Galapagos. They are a group of uninhabited islands that are part of the wildlife rich, Paracas National Reserve. This is a colony of Guanay Cormorants native to Peru and Chile.

You cannot visit the islands without passing the giant Candelabra carved into the rock face and carbon dated to 200 BCE.

The islands shelter an incredible variety of fauna. There are literally millions of birds and their feathers float and fill the air like lazy drifting snowflakes.

There are fur seals, Humboldt penguins, Inca terns, blue footed boobies, and so many more amazing wild creatures here. I will show you them in my next few posts.

But for now, let’s just look at these unusual islands.

They are volcanic, and riddled with arches and ancient sea caves. The layers in the caves show the…

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National Pretzel Day

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April 26 is National Pretzel Day! This wonderful snack has a long and mysterious past with some claiming Italy and some Greece as the original place of their creation. No one is certain, but someone is to  be thanked for presenting the world with this tasty treat!

And as a Pennsylvanian, I want to point out that approximately 80 percent of all pretzels are made in Pennsylvania.

And I have to say that a heated soft pretzel with mustard is  a wonderful snack!

So, have a hard or soft pretzel and enjoy!

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Response to Evil: Revisited

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Maledicus

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” This issue is one of the central themes of my horror novels Maledicus: Investigative Paranormal Society Book I  and Gallows Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book 2 and is also one of the main issues that has faced humanity in the last one hundred years. From the consequences of millions slain in the Holocaust to one single person murdered on the streets of New York City while many watched and did nothing, humanity has been confronted with this dilemma. We see brutality, oppression, and bigotry towards others on an almost daily basis. When finding evil threatening others, what do we do? Do we ignore it and pretend that it is not there? Do we call authorities to try to handle the situation and hope they arrive in time? Or do we inject ourselves into situations that for both individuals and nations could be filled with the worst kind of danger?

It does not take much effort to find contemporary examples of such circumstances. In all of these situations, the observers are faced with a moral quandary, and in my novels, it is those circumstances which drive the central conflicts. What do three retired gentlemen who are trying to find the answer to the ancient question—is there life after death?—do when they are confronted with a sociopathic supernatural evil that threatens an innocent? It would be easy for them to turn aside and say—this isn’t our fight, or this doesn’t concern me.

These three retired gentlemen do decide to fight this evil, even at the potential cost of their lives and perhaps souls.

In our cynical so-called post-modern world, I feel that I am a bit of a dinosaur, because I am an unapologetic Humanist. I still believe that our connections as people are more important than that which disconnects us. My three central characters believe this ideal also. Hence, they understand Donne’s admonition—“Never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” And they understand that whatever threatens an innocent must be opposed.