The Old Lie

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Please, in the name of the victims of the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, let us begin to do something to change the national insanity of gun deaths.

Stop with the old lie — “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” It is illogical, fallacious, wrong, and stupid. Guns are weapons and are designed to expel bullets that are intended to kill. That is their purpose. That is why they exist.

Guns kill people.

Guns are not used to make paintings; they are not used to drive screws into wood; they are not made to make omelets; they are not created to write letters; and they are not aimed at making sculptures.

Guns are made to kill. That is their purpose.

The United States has a history of gun ownership based on the 2nd Amendment. As  I would say to my students, please do a close reading, parse the language, and understate what it says. If you do, then the phrase “A well-regulated militia” is crucial to understand. The militia of today is the National Guard–that is the militia of the United States of America. If you believe in the 2nd Amendment, then you should enlist in the National Guard.

Guns do kill people. Let us never forget that. And let us stop accepting the old lie.

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Quotations on Political Courage and Political Cowardice

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Given the circumstances of the horror of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the hypocrisy of politicians in bed with the NRA and gun-makers, and their inaction about even considering reasonable gun legislation, I wanted to offer three quotations to consider:

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“There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.”

                                                        Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”

                                                       President Abraham Lincoln

 

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“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

                                                      Albert Einstein

My Students’ Blogs

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During this semester, Spring 2018, my students in English 002 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA will be creating blogs about banned books.

I will post the urls for their sites as they are created. Please feel free to drop by and say hello to them.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

Quotations on Questioning

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I participated in a meeting for the faculty of the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA this morning, and it was one of the best, most productive meetings I have had the privilege of attending. Everyone was open to both discussion and learning from each other. It was refreshing! Among the points of discussion was the importance of questions and questioning. I, therefore, thought a post of quotations on questioning was appropriate today!

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“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”                                                                                                       Albert Einstein

 

George_Carlin

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“Don’t just teach your children to read…
Teach them to question what they read.
Teach them to question everything.”                                                             George Carlin

 

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“Original thought, original artistic expression is by its very nature questioning, irreverent, iconoclastic.”                                                     Salman Rushdie

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“Always ask questions.”                                                                                 Charles F. French

 

 

 

Quotations From Reading Lolita In Tehran: A Memoir in Books

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I have been reading an extraordinary memoir Reading Lolita In Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi. In this wonderful book, Nafisi writes about her experience as a Professor of English Literature in Iran and the women who were her students and whom she taught in secret. Her writing is honest, compelling, and a text that all teachers and professors should read. It is an educational inspiration. I give this excellent book a complete recommendation.

For this post, I want to highlight a few quotations from the book:

“what we search for in fiction is not so much reality but the epiphany of truth.” (3)

“Don’t go chasing after the grand theme, the idea, I told my students, as if it is separate from the story itself. The idea or ideas behind the story must come to you through the experience of the novel and not as something tacked on to it.” (109)

“A novel is not an allegory, I said, as the period was about to come to the end. It is the sensual experience of another world. If you don’t enter that world, hold your breathe with the characters and become involved in their destiny, you won’t be able to empathize, and empathy is at the heart of the novel. That is how you read a novel: you inhale the experience.” (111)

 

Works Cited

Nafisi, Azar. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books. Random House. New York.

2004.

 

Roosevelt Franklin–Book Lover–From Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

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This is a revisiting of several posts I wrote about the characters from Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I. Book 2, Gallows Hill, will be out in January or February.

This entry is one of several posts I will write about some of the characters in my first novel. I hope you enjoy it.

The protagonist of my supernatural horror thriller Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I is a retired History professor, living in Bethberg, a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. He is a deeply complex man, influenced by, among other things, his service in the Vietnam War and the profound and loving marriage with his now deceased wife.

Roosevelt has several deep enjoyments in life—eating, drinking good whisky, especially single malt Scotch, and smoking high level cigars, but his primary passion in life is books. A visitor to his home would notice, more than anything else, the enormous number of bookcases lining many of the walls in his house. Roosevelt’s home is an old Victorian home that he and his wife Sarah had purchased and renovated shortly after their marriage.

While she did have a large room dedicated to being her art studio, an avocation she loved, even while being a surgeon, and Roosevelt had a large room that was his studio, smoking room and library, other rooms also were filled with books of many kinds and conditions. Roosevelt, although a man of financial means, is not a book collector. He believes that books should be read and not simply owned to be put on display. He thinks that the words in a piece are what make the book important, not a fine leather cover or being a first edition. He places worth on the ideas, the stories, the tales, the histories, and the communications in books and not their potential monetary value.

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At one point, he tried to make a calculated estimate of how many books he owned, but he decided it was an almost impossible task, so he stopped the tally when he reached 4000. And no matter how many books he owns, he seems to always find more to buy. Again, he is not a snob when it comes to the owning of books. His snobbery emerges when it comes to whiskey and cigars.

More on that later.

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

Beautiful Writing, Part 6: Tim O’Brien

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(Larry D. Moore CC BY-SA 3.0.)

One of the most extraordinary books I have ever read is The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. The book itself presents an interesting question: is this a novel or a collection of interrelated short stories? I do not intend to delve into that conundrum now, but it is something we often explore when I use this book in literature classes.

O’ Brien deals with the Vietnam War, writing, story, and memory, among other issues in this text, but what I want to show is the power and beauty of his writing. Following are several excerpts:

“Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a life-time ago, and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can’t remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.” (38)

“I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.” (179)

“I can see Kiowa, too, and Ted Lavender and Curt Lemon, and sometimes I can even see Timmy skating with Linda under the yellow floodlights. I’m young and I’m happy. I’ll never die. I’m skimming across the surface of my own history, moving fast, riding the melt between the blades, doing loops and spins, and when I take a high leap into the dark and come down thirty years later, I realize it is as Tim trying to save Timmy’s life with a story.” (246)

Works Cited

O’ Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. Broadway Books. New York. 1990.