The Sleep Of Reason Breeds Monsters, and It Can Do That In The United States of America

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(Francisco Goya ~1799)

This image is one of Francisco Goya’s most well known and important. It has been debated if its meaning lies in the personal for Goya or on commentary on society. We can never be sure of what the artist intended.

It is possible, however, to see how when people abandon reason and analysis, that horror follows. Fascism arose in the 20th Century as people in Germany, Austria, and Italy primarily abandoned reason to follow the emotional cults of personality that would lead to the worst evil the world has ever known.

In the United States, which has a terrible history of bigotry, nationalism, and violence, driven by right wing forces that abandon reason and, using tactics of Hitler, such as blaming others through scapegoating and pull people to their worst impulses and the use of the big lie, in which an untruth is repeated loudly and often, we must recognize that such evil is here.

The United States, on January 6th, experienced an attack that was directly against the sovereignty of the country, against freedom, and against democracy. This was the worst attack against the foundation of our nation since the Civil War. This was not a riot gone terribly wrong; this was a planned insurrection, an attempt to overthrow the government of our nation, and those responsible should be held to account for their actions. The insurrectionists responded to a President who used Hitlerian tactics of the big lie about the “stolen election”, which was fair and secure and not stolen, and scapegoating members of Congress as the enemy rather than members of a different political party. These actions were real, and they were horrific and abominable.

Americans, of any party, who believe in democracy must repudiate such beliefs. If as some suggest, we simply move past this insurrection, then we are agreeing once more, to abandon responsibility, analysis, and reason. The consequences of such ignoring of the enormity of what happened can be devastating to our nation and our democracy.

White power groups are an extension of the evil that Hitler manifested. Let there be no mistake about it. They represent bigotry and evil and dictatorship. And they are a direct threat to our freedom and democracy.

We must not fall into a national sleep of reason. We must stay awake, otherwise, the fate of this nation, of the United States of America, for which so many fought and died in many wars, will be at risk.

Have a Happy Halloween and a Blessed Samhain!

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(https://pixabay.com)

I want to wish everyone both a Happy Halloween and a Blessed Samhain!

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(http://lubuntu.me/blessed-samhain/)

On the pre-Christian Celtic calendar, October 31 was Samhain, pronounced Soo-when or Sow-when, and it marked the day when the world of the living and dead where at the closest. It is also the end of year, with November 1 as the start of the next year. This day is one of the most important Gaelic/Celtic/Pagan/Wiccan/Druidic holidays of the year!  And please do not worry about the devil–he is not a part of Samhain. There is nothing evil here.

Samhain/Halloween is a day to remember those who have passed and to think of the future.

This Halloween is special–we have both a full moon and a blue moon this year!

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So, enjoy the day, dress up, have candy, party, and raise a toast and wish all a Happy New Year!

 

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(https://pixabay.com)

Quotations By Franklin D. Roosevelt

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“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

 

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

 

“Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.”

Quotations On The Knowledge Of History

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4/11/02 Michael Crichton ’64, HMS ’69 speaks on “The Media and Medicine” at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA on Thursday, April 11, 2002. staff photo by Jon Chase/Harvard University News Office

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”

                                                                     Michael Crichton

 

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

                                                                    Carl Sagan

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(https://en.wikiquote.org)

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

                                                                    George Santayana

 

“We should and must judge our leaders by their knowledge of history.”

                                                                    Charles F. French

August Self-Promotion Party!

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(Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com)

Hello to all the writers out there and reading this blog!

It is well into the month of August, so it is time for a shameless self-promotion party, so please do not be shy about your work.

Writers need to be their own best publicists, and we should also help each other!

Let the world know about your book(s)!

Shout to the world about your writing!

Tell us about your book(s), and leave an image and a link if you can.

In order for as many people to see your work as possible, please Tweet, and reblog this post!

Please remember to be proud of your work!

Here is my shameless self-promotion: my latest book can help writers who have issues with finishing first drafts of their books. If that is you, I offer direct, practical advice on how to Get The Draft Done! Helping Writers Finish Their First Draft by Charles F. French.

 

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Get The Draft Done! is available here: Amazon.com

 

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Gallows Hill can be found here in ebook.

Gallows Hill in paperback can be found here.

An interview about Gallows Hill can be found here.

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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:

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Available on Amazon

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Available on Amazon

Through The Nethergate by Roberta Eaton Cheadle — A Review

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I am very happy to write this review of an excellent novel I have just finished reading!

Through The Nethergate by Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a wonderful YA novel that will be appreciated by readers of all ages! Cheadle does an excellent job of weaving true historical characters into her tale that pits a teenaged girl, along with her Grandfather, and a few other helpers, against the very forces of Hell itself.

I deeply appreciated the way Cheadle was able to tell the historical tales and intertwine them into the main plot. Cheadle makes this book about history and its connection to our times.

Her development of characters is very strong, and the reader will care what happens to Margaret, the young protagonist of this novel. Margaret is a very special young lady who along, with a supernatural ability, shows empathy and courage as she faces terrible horrors. She witnesses the terrible actions of people in the past as well as seeing what can happen today. Margaret asks, “Do you think the world will ever change? I mean, do you think humanity will ever learn from its past mistakes and be able to turn away from greed, corruption, and jealousy?”  That is a truly important question.

Cheadle has written a true page-turner, a tale of ghosts and horror, and a book that confronts current and past evil.  I recommend this novel highly!

Returning to Dining With Authors

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(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Renaissance_theatre)

The drawing of the Swan Theatre (1596)

Hamlet, Doctor Faustus, The Tempest, and Edward the Second are just a few of the plays produced by the two greatest playwrights of the Renaissance: William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe. Born in the same year–1564, they were the two premier writers of their age and arguably among the  most important of any era. These are writers who have informed both my studies and entranced my imagination.  At Muhlenberg College, I teach Renaissance drama courses and Shakespeare . This summer I am teaching a course called Renaissance Plays In Process, in which we look at several plays and the circumstances surrounding them in the Renaissance as well as how they might be produced today. Whenever I can, I love teaching about these playwrights.

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https://pixabay.com

Christopher Marlowe

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Marlowe

I would love to have the opportunity through a magic time machine to sit down and have a conversation with these two giants of the theater. I would invite both writers to spend an afternoon or evening at a pub–English of course–and over beer and food discuss many topics with them. I am sure that sometimes I would simply listen to them.

I would love to hear what they said about their work and how they felt about each other. I would love to learn from them the specifics of the way their plays were staged. I would ask Marlowe about his mysterious work for the Queen of England.  Was he a spy?  I do not know if he would answer, but I would still have to ask.

I would ask Shakespeare about the canon of his plays.  Were there plays he wrote that are currently lost?  If so, what are they? And I have often wondered if he ever considered writing a tragedy about King Arthur.

I also wonder how the two great writers would behave together. Would this be a polite conversation, a deep discussion of theatrical issues, or a wild and fiery debate or argument among bitter rivals?

I wish I could speak with them.

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https://pixabay.com

 

If you could speak with 2 or 3  authors, no matter living or dead, who would they be? Where would you like to have the meeting?

Books That Are Needed Now

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Some books speak to a specific time, and some reach across eras with their messages. Some include a message for a definite audience, while others span a more general readership.  And some times call out for certain books to be read.

Books are one form of the Media, which must remain free if freedom itself is to survive. Given the turmoil of our present time, I am suggesting these books as crucial reading for today’s world:

1984

by

 George Orwell

 

1984

(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

 

Night

by

Elie Wiesel

 

wiesel-elie

(http://night2011.wikispaces.com)

 

It Can’t Happen Here

by

 Sinclair Lewis

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

I have offered three books I consider to be essential for our times.

What books or books do you think are needed now?

 

Shakespeare on Wisdom

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(Photo by Mike on Pexels.com)

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

                                               As You Like It

 

And seeing ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven”

                                              Henry VI, Part 2

 

“There is no darkness but ignorance”

                                              Twelfth Night

 

 

Quotations By Isaac Asimov

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

 

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

 

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”

“The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.”