Welcome To A New Member of the U. L. S., The Underground Library Society!

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I want to welcome a new member of the U. L. S., the Underground Library Society, Michelle Saul, an excellent writer, a former student of mine, and someone I am proud to call friend. This is her choice of book to become and to save, if we lived in a world as in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in which books are forbidden.
Michelle’s post:
I have always though that the preservation of the written word is one of the most important things in the world. As a lover of books for as long as I can remember, some of my earliest and fondest memories are of my mother, my Aunt Mary, and my nana reading books to me. Blue Bug and Word Bird were just the start of a life long love of books. As I’ve gotten older and have discovered more books and authors, my love for books has only grown stronger with each passing year. So the thought of a world without books and reading is a horrifies me!
I’ve given a lot of thought as to what book I would memorize should the need ever arise and I’m sure for anyone who knows me, they would be surprised to find that my choice isn’t Harry Potter. Though I have loved Harry Potter for over half of my life and have learned many lessons from it over my lifetime, the book I’m choosing I feel embodies the true spirit of memorizing stories and telling them.
That book would be Ireland by Frank Delaney.
The first time I read Ireland was in my Irish Literature class during my undergraduate degree and it was literary love at first read. This is a book that comes off the page and immerses you in the world Frank Delaney created. For those who have never read this novel, it’s about a storyteller who visits the home of the main character Ronan when he is nine-years-old. The three nights that the storyteller is there changes Ronan’s life forever. From there, we see Ronan grow and have only one true goal- To find the
storyteller that changed his life forever.
It is a beautifully written story with a rich history of Ireland. This novel shows how one good story can change a person’s life and set them on the path of who they’re meant to become. It shows how important the written and spoken are. So this novel, with its theme of storytelling and the life-changing magic that comes with them, makes it feel like an appropriate and very fitting choice for The Underground Library Society.
Please visit Michelle at mythoughtsonwritingandreading
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Enough Is Enough!

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“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

How many mass shootings will occur before we do something about it? Once again, a horrible shooting took place today in El Paso, Texas. The numbers that I have seen on television reporting are at least 19 dead and over 40 wounded. Once again, this horror occurs in America. Once again, we can expect those politicians who are in the control of the NRA to offer “thoughts and prayers.” Once again, we, as a nation, need to demand action.

Once again, we need to say in one voice, “Enough is enough!”

This is a uniquely American tragedy, not that it cannot happen in other countries, but the sheer numbers of incidents that do occur here make it part of the fabric of our nation.

We must not allow this to be normal, to hear it, be upset, and then just move on. This is wrong, this is evil, and this must not continue. The majority of Americans want some form of gun control. We must not simply want it. We must demand it. We must tell politicians that if they do not take action on gun control, we will vote them out of office. We must demand that they stand up to the corporate gun lobby and the NRA. We must demand that they understand and recognize human lives matter more than the sale of guns no one should have.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Elie Wiesel

Let us speak out. Vote. Let your voices be heard.

Writers: Keep Writing!

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Hello to all of the writers who read this blog.

I have a simple message for you.

Trust in your abilities.

Have faith in your stories.

Keep dreaming.

Keep working.

Keep writing.

You can do it.

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More Insanity and Horror–Another School Shooting

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The American insanity with guns continues. Yet, another school shooting has occurred in Denver with at least one dead and seven others wounded.

I expect  that two things will happen: media coverage will decrease as we, as a society, become desensitized to these terrible events; and the other is that spineless politicians who are either afraid of the gun lobby or in their pockets will offer their thoughts and prayers. They will, however, take no action. They will simply hope that American citizens forget this latest tragedy, and they will treat the situation as normal.

This must end. I, for one, will never support any politician who does not support gun control laws. This horrible situation must change.

This is a call to political action: if you agree that serious gun control must be enacted, then do not vote for any politician, on any level, who does not support gun control.

Children, teachers, and parents should not have to face this insanity in our society.

If you agree with this idea, please tweet and reblog this post.

Quotations on Bullies

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“I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.”

                                                                 Abraham Lincoln

 

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“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

                                                                Desmond Tutu

 

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“It is crucial to oppose bullying whenever and wherever it may be found. Turning away from it or ignoring bullying makes the observer complicit in  the bully’s actions.”

                                                               Charles F. French

Honor Veterans Day

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November 11 is Veterans Day, and I simply wanted to offer my thank you to all the men and women who have served or are serving our country in the Armed Forces.

This day began with Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, which ended the First World War. Congress formalized Armistice Day as a national holiday in 1938. After World War II and The Korean War, the day was renamed Veterans Day, and it serves as a time to honor all of those who have served or are serving.

Please let it be a day of honor and thanks, not one of special sales deals. It is a day to recognize the commitment, duty, sacrifice, and service of the men and women who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces.

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Did He Really Say That?

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Once again, I find that I have to address a political situation in this blog, something I have not wanted to do. But this is so extraordinary that I cannot sit by and ignore it. Once again, Americans and the world need to speak out.

In a White House Lawn interview today, President Trump said something incredible, something  I never thought any President of the United States of America would ever say, in any context: “He [Kim Jong Un] speaks and people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

He later claimed that he was being sarcastic, but there is no place for that kind of dictatorial speech by an American leader. Has he forgotten that he was elected and not born into his position that the North Korean Dictator was? And to compliment one of the worst dictators in our world is unconscionable. The North Korean Dictator oppresses, starves, tortures, and kills the people of North Korea. How can the President show any kind of admiration for such a tyrant? How dare he show envy for the North Korean dictator?

There is no place in a democracy for any hint of a dictatorship. How dare he say this? Does he have no compassion? Does he have no decency?

The United States, along with its allies, fought World War Two to defeat dictators. Millions of people died in that war, and their memories must be honored by never–never–having a leader speak like a dictator.  Let us remember that we live in a democracy; in order for it to survive, our leaders and our people must honor that democracy.

And President Trump needs to understand that he serves the American People. The American People are not his people.

Later claiming sarcasm does not excuse this horrific statement. There is no excuse for this statement.

Americans must be aware of the risk of dictatorship.

How dare any President speak like a dictator?

Remember to Register and Vote

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If you are one of the people who was horrified by the recent tragedy of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and you wish to do something to enact changes in gun legislation, there is one crucial action or actions you should take: if you are not registered to vote, register immediately, and then vote.

There is no excuse for not voting–none. And if you want to enact gun control legislation, then do your research and find out where the candidates stand. The population of the United States consistently polls that it wants gun control, so act on your convictions.

Voting is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, tools in our democracy, and I hope the young people who are leading this fight also register to vote when they are 18 and then vote. If we, who want gun control legislation, do vote, then our voices will be heard, and the narrow special interest that is the NRA will have its influence nullified.

Be sure to vote!

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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

Quotations on Strength

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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

                                                                          Lao Tzu

 

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“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

                                                                         Eleanor Roosevelt

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“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

                                                                        Mahatma Gandhi