John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Trust is the first step to love.

Trust is the first step to love. -Munshi Premchand 

Like we were never there

A Poem about foster care
John William Tuohy

It’s like we were never there
We arrived from a nightmare
A place that’s everywhere nowhere
Places where the good people don’t go
We arrive in places we don’t belong
We don’t want to be there
To become people we don’t want to be
No one wants to be us.
No one does
You never noticed us.
No one does.
We are the living ghosts among you
God’s forgotten souls
We haunt no one but ourselves
We can’t haunt you.
You don’t remember us
It’s like we were never there.


If you write, please consider entering this program. The judge, Glenn Bruce, is a friend of mine and a dedicated writer and I strongly encourage writers to only enter writing contest without fees. We should never pay to practice our craft.

September Freestyle Writing Contest
No Entry Fee!
Word limit: 600
Deadline: SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
Submissions: email to
50 euro first prize (or equivalent amount in your currency)
25 euro second prize
15 euro third prize

Contest Judge: Glenn A. Bruce has an MFA in Writing and was associate editor for The Lindenwood Review. He wrote the movie Kickboxer, as well as episodes of Walker: Texas Ranger, Baywatch, and Assaulted Nuts, and is an award-winning video writer-director. His work has appeared in Brilliant Flash Fiction, Shotgun Honey, RedFez, Defenestration (current finalist), Alfie Dog, LLR, Oval, Carolina Mountain Life, Loud Zoo (Bedlam Publishing), The Rain, Party, & Disaster Society, Green Silk Journal, Flights (poetry), and Beat Poets of the Forever Generation (NF). His play A Man’s World has recently been accepted by In/Visible Theatre and his novel Rubric has been optioned by Luculent Films. He has published five novels, two collections of short stories, and one nonfiction political opinion treatise.
Glenn says: We are looking for your most interesting, creative, soulful writing. Take some chances. Move us.
No poetry, please. No erotica or hardcore genre stuff like alien steampunk zombies or speculative transgressive comic noir. Other than that, have fun and surprise us!
You may enter as often as you like. No simultaneous submissions for this contest.
All entries must be original and unpublished elsewhere. This means submissions that have been accepted for publication anywhere else, including anywhere on the internet, blogs, personal web pages, etc., are not eligible. Entries of more than 600 words or entries found to be published anywhere else will be immediately disqualified. Good luck and good writing!
All winning entries (including shortlisted stories) will be published in the September issue of Brilliant Flash Fiction.

Greetings NYCPlaywrights


at Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA)
with Stefanie Zadravec (Writer, The Electric Baby at Two River Theatre Company)
Developing a strong portfolio of short plays is one of the fastest ways to become a produced playwright. Short plays require an ability to convey character, effective dialogue, and action without extensive exposition, and in this 10-week class, you'll learn not to waste a single word. By the end, you'll be well on your way to compiling a portfolio of submission-ready short plays. Classes begin mid-September. Payment plans available. Register: http://primarystages.org/espa/writing/short-forms .


Diez Minutos 2016 seeks 10-minute plays
Players Workshop seeks plays for the Fourth Annual International 10-Minute Play Festival. This fully-staged festival will be in English, and will take place in late March of 2016 in the international arts center of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico — a World Heritage Site brimming with charm, history, and culture. San Miguel was voted Conde Nast Traveler Magazine 2013 "Best City in the World.”
There is no fee for submitting. Each playwright whose script is selected and performed will receive a $10 USD cash honorarium and two complimentary tickets. One play will be selected as the Audience Favorite and its playwright shall receive an additional $25 USD cash award. No other remuneration will be provided, and any playwright attending must do so at his or her own expense.

The Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company makes an ongoing commitment to new theatrical work, from world premieres to playwright residencies. Generations is BETC's new play development program. The name comes from BETC's goals for the program: to welcome all generations into the theater to see new plays, and to empower playwrights to generate new work.
Each year, one playwright is chosen from a international applicant pool to join BETC in Boulder for a one-week residency, where the writer workshops the work-in-progress with a director, actors, and a dramaturg. Each residency culminates in a public reading. Generations is made possible in part by the Sustainable Arts Foundation.

The Snowdance® 10 Minute Comedy Festival is a festival of original comedies that run 10 minutes or less. Submitted scripts will be judged by the Snowdance Selection Committee. A selection of scripts will be chosen for production during the Snowdance Festival in the winter of 2016. These selections will round out a complete performance. Audiences attending Snowdance performances will have the ability to vote for the production they enjoyed the most. The votes will be tallied throughout the five week festival run, and the Snowdance “Best in Snow” will be awarded to the winning playwright after the final performance on February 28, 2016. Cash award of $300.00 to “Best in Snow,” with $100.00 awards going to both 2nd and 3rd place.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***

*** iPhone in the Theater ***

Theaters Struggle With Patrons’ Phone Use During Shows
Patti LuPone’s quick snatching of an audience member’s cellphone on Wednesday made her a vigilante heroine to those frustrated by breaches of theater etiquette. But the incident, at an evening performance of “Shows for Days” at Lincoln Center, also highlighted a seemingly intractable problem: What to do about people who think a darkened theater is a great place to check Facebook?
“I’m at my wit’s end,” said Ms. LuPone, who in 2009 stopped in the middle of a song in a Broadway production of “Gypsy” to berate a photograph taker.
Theaters’ standard practice is to use recorded preshow announcements, often laced with humor, to encourage the silencing of mobile devices. And once a show starts, an usher may try to quell a rule-breaking patron. In rare cases, actors like Kevin Spacey, Hugh Jackman and Laurence Fishburne, have broken the fourth wall to address silence-shattering rings during a show.



If you value your life, don't let Kevin Spacey hear your iPhone
About two hours in to Sam Mendes’ production of Richard III last night, a mobile phone went off. Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, played by Kevin Spacey with all the fury, venom and warped charm the actor could muster, was interrupted by the dulcet tones of an iPhone ringing. A woman rifled madly through her handbag, and then muttered audibly that she didn’t know how to turn it off. It rang on and on.
A ripple of terror washed over the audience members sitting in row J, and beyond, not because the only thing that can make an otherwise civilised theatre-goer go postal is the interruption of a pivotal scene by the digital rendition of Beethoven’s "Für Elise", but because Spacey will go positively bonkers if he can hear it too.



Jonathan Groff Claims Madonna Has Bad Theater Etiquette: "That Bitch Was on Her Phone"
Curtain called out! Jonathan Groff had some harsh words for Madonna in a recent interview with Dot429. The Looking star, 30, was chatting about his role in Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton when the interviewer brought up a report that Madonna was banned from the show after attending in April.
Asked whether he was disappointed that the Queen of Pop had been declared persona non grata at the theater, Groff replied, "No. Because that bitch was on her phone. You couldn't miss it from the stage. It was a black void of the audience in front of us and her face there perfectly lit by the light of her iPhone through three-quarters of the show."


Please Text And Tweet During This Theater Performance

As Twitter and Facebook have become ubiquitous parts of our lives, there have been numerous experiments over the past few years. This past weekend, I finally had a chance to attend a show that encouraged audience members to actively use social media while they watched.
The production was part of the fourth annual Hollywood Fringe Festival, a noncurated theater and arts festival that has been growing steadily since its inception in 2010. The show in question was the cleverly named #Hashtag, put on by a group called The Mechanical Heart Theater Co. A sample tweet from a night during the show's run:

@theatrehashtag tweeting you from your own audience #hashtag #breakaleg #excited #yay #bye
— Rati Gupta (@theRati) June 26, 2013

I wish I could say that it converted me from a "tweet seat" naysayer into a social-media-in-the-theater enthusiast. All it really did was give me a chance to check my email during the show.



The Infamous iPhone Incident at ‘Hand to God': Theatre Could Use a Charge Like That
Sometimes this is a crazy, crazy world, and social media only amplifies the crazy. Stories fly around the planet at light speed, reaching more people than we can ever imagine. And the consequences can last forever. One errant tweet in bad taste on your way to South Africa and 13 hours later, you’re out of a job. One picture of a dress goes up, and all conversation stops. You never know what’s going to get the internet a-burning.



THE WRITERS LIFE.....................

 “Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise.” Philip Roth

“Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you’re doomed.” Ray Bradbury

 “Well Montag, take my word for it, I’ve had to read a few books in my time to know what I was about and the books say nothing! Nothing you can teach or believe. They’re about nonexistant people, figments of the imagination, if they’re fiction. And if they’re nonficition, it’s worse, one professor calling another an idiot, one philosopher screaming down another’s gullet. All of them running about, putting out the stars and extinguishing the sun. You come away lost.” Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

GOOD WORDS TO HAVE..............................

Doppelgänger  \DAH-pul-gang-er\ 1 :a ghostly counterpart of a living person 2a : a person who closely resembles another living person b : the opposite side of a personality : alter ego c :a person who has the same name as another. According to age-old German folklore, all living creatures have a spirit double who is invisible but identical to the living individual. These second selves are perceived as being distinct from ghosts (which appear only after death), and sometimes they are described as the spiritual opposite or negative of their human counterparts. In 1796, German writer Johann Paul Richter, who wrote under the pseudonym Jean Paul, coined the word Doppelgänger (from doppel-, meaning "double," and -gänger, meaning "goer") to refer to such specters.

 Micturate (MIK-chuh-rayt, MIK-tuh-)  To urinate. From Latin micturire (to want to urinate), from meiere (to urinate). Ultimately from the Indo-European root meigh- (to urinate), which also gave us mist, thrush, and mistletoe. Earliest documented use: 1842.
Brusque   \BRUSK\ 1 : markedly short and abrupt 2 :blunt in manner or speech often to the point of ungracious harshness. We borrowed brusque from French in the 1600s. The French, in turn, had borrowed it from Italian, where it was spelled brusco and meant "tart." And the Italian term came from bruscus, the Medieval Latin name for butcher's-broom, a shrub whose bristly leaf-like twigs have long been used for making brooms. English speakers initially used brusque to refer to a tartness in wine, but the word soon came to denote a harsh and stiff manner—which is just what you might expect of a word bristling with associations to stiff, scratchy brooms.

Skulduggery   \skull-DUG-uh-ree\ : underhanded or unscrupulous behavior; also : a devious device or trick. Skulduggery, which can also be spelled skullduggery, was first documented in the mid-19th century with the spelling scull-duggery. Etymologists aren't sure exactly how the word arrived in English, but despite the macabre imagery conjured by the word's parts, they do not believe it had anything to do with skulls. It is possibly derived from the now-very-rare sculduddery, a term once used to refer to gross or lewd conduct, but unfortunately the origins of that word are also unknown.

Vilify    \VIL-uh-fye\ 1 :to lower in estimation or importance 2 : to utter slanderous and abusive statements against : defame.  Vilify came to English by way of the Middle English vilifien and the Late Latin vilificare from the Latin adjective vilis, meaning "cheap" or "vile." It first appeared in English in the 15th century. Also debuting during that time was another verb that derives from vilis and has a similar meaning: vilipend. When they were first used in English, both vilify and vilipend meant to regard someone or something as being of little worth or importance. Vilipend now carries an additional meaning of "to express a low opinion of somebody," while vilify means, more specifically, to express such an opinion publicly in a way that intends to embarrass a person or ruin his or her reputation.

 Gehenna (gi-HEN-uh) 1. Hell. 2. Any place of extreme torture or suffering. From Latin gehenna, from Greek Geenna, from Hebrew ge-hinnom (hell), literally, the valley of Hinnom, or from ge ben Hinnom (valley of the son of Hinnom). It’s not clear who this Hinnom fellow was. In the Bible, the valley was known as a place of child sacrifice. Ultimately, this word is from the same Semitic root that gave Arabic jahannam (hell) which, in Hindi, became jahannum. Earliest documented use: 1594.

Grandiloquence   \gran-DIH-luh-kwunss\ a lofty, extravagantly colorful, pompous, or bombastic style, manner, or quality especially in language. Grandiloquence, which first appeared in English in the late 16th century, is one of several English words pertaining to speech that derive from the Latin loqui, meaning "to speak." Other offspring of loqui include eloquent ("marked by fluent expression"), loquacious ("full of excessive talk"), and soliloquy ("a long dramatic monologue"). Grandiloquence comes (probably via Middle French) from the Latin adjective grandiloquus, which combines loqui and the adjective grandis ("grand or great"). A word that is very similar in meaning to grandiloquence is magniloquence—and the similarity is not surprising.Magniloquence combines loqui with magnus, another Latin word meaning "great."

Manna (MAN-uh)  An unexpected help, benefit, or advantage. Via Latin and Greek from Hebew man (manna). In the Bible manna was the food supplied to the Israelites by the heavens during their wandering in the desert. Earliest documented use: mid 5th century.

Indomitable    \in-DAH-muh-tuh-bul\ incapable of being subdued : unconquerable. The prefix in- means "not" in numerous English words (think of indecent, indecisive, inconvenient, and infallible). When in- teamed up with the Latin domitare ("to tame"), the result was a word meaning "unable to be tamed." Indomitable was first used in English in the 1600s as a synonym of wild, but over time its sense of untamability turned from a problem to a virtue. By the 1800s, indomitable was being used for people whose courage and persistence helped them to succeed in difficult situations.

Holden and the Central Park Carousel

(These are photos I took in Central Park)

When JD Salinger (Who grew up in the 1930s across the street from Central Park) wrote about the parks Carousel in his 1951 novel Catcher in the Rye, the ride was relatively new to the park. That is to say, it was the latest installation of the ride. Four other carousels versions had stood exact on the site since 1871, although the 1951 version was the only one built within a covered structure.
Actually, Salinger was probably referring to the carousel, one of the largest in the US, of his childhood since he had started writing the novel in the late 1930s. That version of the ride burned down in 1950 as did the prior version in 1924.
 Today’s version of the ride was made by Solomon Stein and Harry Goldstein in 1908. It was originally installed in the trolley terminal on Coney Island in Brooklyn, where it operated until the 1940s.
Over 250,000 people ride the carousel every year.

Excerpted from Catcher in the Rye

After we left the bears, we left the zoo and crossed over this little street in the park, and then we went through one of those little tunnels that always smell from somebody's taking a leak. It was on the way to the carrousel. Old Phoebe still wouldn't talk to me or anything, but she was sort of walking next to me now. I took a hold of the belt at the back of her coat, just for the hell of it, but she wouldn't let me. She said, "Keep your hands to yourself, if you don't mind." She was still sore at me. But not as sore as she was before. Anyway, we kept getting closer and closer to the carrousel and you could start to hear that nutty music it always plays. It was playing "Oh, Marie!" It played that same song about fifty years ago when I was a little kid. That's one nice thing about carrousels, they always play the same songs.
"I thought the carrousel was closed in the wintertime," old Phoebe said. It was the first time she practically said anything. She probably forgot she was supposed to be sore at me.
"Maybe because it's around Christmas," I said.
She didn't say anything when I said that. She probably remembered she was supposed to be sore at me.
"Do you want to go for a ride on it?" I said. I knew she probably did. When she was a tiny little kid, and Allie and D.B. and I used to go to the park with her, she was mad about the carrousel. You couldn't get her off the goddam thing.
"I'm too big." she said. I thought she wasn't going to answer me, but she did.
"No, you're not. Go on. I'll wait for ya. Go on," I said. We were right there then. There were a few kids riding on it, mostly very little kids, and a few parents were waiting around outside, sitting on the benches and all. What I did was, I went up to the window where they sell the tickets and bought old Phoebe a ticket. Then I gave it to her. She was standing right next to me. "Here," I said. "Wait a second--take the rest of your dough, too." I started giving her the rest of the dough she'd lent me.
"You keep it. Keep it for me," she said. Then she said right afterward--"Please."
That's depressing, when somebody says "please" to you. I mean if it's Phoebe or somebody. That depressed the hell out of me. But I put the dough back in my pocket.
"Aren't you gonna ride, too?" she asked me. She was looking at me sort of funny. You could tell she wasn't too sore at me anymore.
"Maybe I will the next time. I'll watch ya," I said. "Got your ticket?"
"Go ahead, then--I'll be on this bench right over here. I'll watch ya." I went over and sat down on this bench, and she went and got on the carrousel. She walked all around it. I mean she walked once all the way around it. Then she sat down on this big, brown, beat-up-looking old horse. Then the carrousel started, and I watched her go around and around. There were only about five or six other kids on the ride, and the song the carrousel was playing was "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." It was playing it very jazzy and funny. All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she'd fall off the goddam horse, but I didn't say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off they fall off, but it's bad if you say anything to them.
When the ride was over she got off her horse and came over to me. "You ride once, too, this time," she said.
"No, I'll just watch ya. I think I'll just watch," I said. I gave her some more of her dough. "Here. Get some more tickets."

MOB STUFF..................................................

Arsenal  According to the FBI, in 2001,  Michael Flemmi, the brother of alleged Boston gangster Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, allegedly tried to hide 80 weapons, including 10 machine guns, 13 rifles, nine shotguns and dozens of handguns, U.S. Attorney Donald Stern said. The guns were found during searches over the past 10 months,   Michael Flemmi, 63, who retired this year after 32 years on the Boston police force, was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice and perjury, possession of unregistered weapons and transfer and possession of machine guns.   Prosecutors said the weapons were stashed at a Boston-area home of a gang member who has since died and then were moved to the back yard of a home owned by Flemmi's parents.   In January, apparently anticipating a search warrant to uncover the weapons, Stephen Flemmi enlisted his brother's help to move the cache to other places, authorities said.
U.S. Attorney Stern stated "The recovery of this mind-boggling arsenal, including ten machine guns and numerous other high-powered firearms, together with return of these serious charges result from the continued determination of investigators and prosecutors to uncover the full scope of the Bulger Group's criminal activities and to eliminate any remaining threat this organization might pose to the public safety. The calculated efforts to thwart the recovery of these weapons, through lies and evidence tampering, were unsuccessful. The Bulger Group's storehouse of weapons has been safely dismantled."
The following weapons were found
   - Two .45-caliber fully automatic pistols without markings  - .45-caliber United States Military submachine gun with attachable 13 1/4" silencer and no visible markings relating to serial number. - .45-caliber Auto Ordinance Thompson submachine gun
      - Three 9mm-caliber German MP40 submachine gun serial no. obliterated
      - 56mm-caliber Colt fully automatic rifle
      - .45-caliber M3 submachine gun
      - .30-caliber U.S. carbine fully automatic rifle
      - .30 carbine-caliber Plainfield Machine rifle with pistol grip, telescoping stock, and ability to accept detachable magazine.
      - 9mm-caliber Uzi rifle, model A
      - Two .30 carbine-caliber Universal rifle, model M1
      - 30-06-caliber Remington rifle, model 742, serial no. 140619
      - 30-06-caliber Springfield Armory rifle, model M1 garand
      - .30-carbine caliber Universal rifle, Model M1
      - .44 magnum-caliber Sturm, Ruger rifle
      - 308 win-caliber Browning rifle, serial no. 69373M70
      - 30-06-caliber Remington Wingmaster rifle, model 742
      - .30 carbine-caliber Universal rifle, model M1
      - .30 carbine-caliber Universal rifle, model M1
      - 20-gauge Browning shotgun with cut-down barrel
      - 12-gauge JC Higgins shotgun with cut-down barrel, model 120, and with no markings relating to serial no.
      - 12-gauge Ithaca shotgun with cut-down barrel
      - 12-gauge Winchester shotgun, serial no. 825678(E)
      - 12-gauge Browning shotgun, serial no. 382736
      - 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun, model 500A
      - 12-gauge Winchester shotgun, model 12, serial no. 1670091
      - 12-gauge Remington shotgun, serial no. 468099
      - 16-gauge LC Smith shotgun
      - .380-caliber Beretta pistol with attached silencer/suppressor
      - .32-caliber Spanish-made pistol with attached silencer/suppressor
      - .32-caliber Walther pistol with attached silencer/suppressor device
      - .380-caliber Beretta pistol with attached silencer/suppressor
      - .380-caliber FN Browning pistol with attached silencer/suppressor
      - .22-caliber Colt Woodsman pistol with attached silencer/suppressor
      - .22-caliber High Standard derringer pistol
      - .38 special-caliber F.I.E. derringer pistol, serial no. 006539
      - .22-caliber Sterling Arms pistol
      - .357 magnum-caliber Astra revolver
      - .38 special-caliber Smith & Wesson Airweight revolver
      - .44 magnum-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
      - .357 magnum-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
      - Two .380-caliber Walther pistol, model PP, serial no. 38030A
      - .22-caliber High Standard pistol
      - 9mm-caliber Walther pistol
      - .38 special-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
      - 9mm-caliber Walther pistol
      - .38 special-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
      - Frame of .45-caliber Government pistol, model 1911A1, with no markings relating to serial no.
      - .25-caliber Beretta Jetfire pistol
      - Two .45-caliber Colt pistol, model NM
      - .45-caliber Ithaca pistol, model 1911A1
      - .25-caliber Astra pistol
      - .22-caliber Sturm, Ruger pistol
      - .30 mauser-caliber Mauser Broomhandle pistol
      - .38 special-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
      - .22-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
      - .22-caliber H&R revolver
      - .22-caliber Ruger Mach-II pistol
      - .45-caliber R.P.B. Industries pistol, model M10, serial no. obliterated
      - 9mm-caliber Walther pistol, model P-38
      - .38 special-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
      - .38 special-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
      - .38 special-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver
      - 9mm Walther pistol, model P38, serial no. 746h
      - Eight silencers
      - Approximately 80 boxes and other containers of ammunition
      - Assorted magazines of various types and calibers
      - Assorted holsters and gun cases
      - Assorted firearm tools and lubricants
      - One blue light
      - Assorted handcuffs
      - Assorted brass knuckles
      - Assorted knives
      - Assorted badges

      - Assorted face masks and gas masks 

Chapter Thirty Four

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. -Winston Churchill

 In September, I moved to New Haven. I was one of the fifty percent of foster children who leave the system without a high school diploma, and one of the fifteen percent who enrolled in college. Jack and I and some other guys from Waterbury leased an apartment in downtown New Haven.
  In a lot of ways, I don’t mind that I had so little early formal education. Looking back, all that early schooling might have done is prevent me from being as well-educated as I eventually became. My mind had always belonged to me, and not a lot of people can say that. You learn to look for similar people, the permanently curious. I have always found people on that never-ending quest to be far more interesting than those whom society has decided are educated.
  My goal was to make self-education, the exercise of always taking in new information, the process of living a full life. The knowledge I picked up along the way would also prepare me for future living, but if it didn’t, that was all right too. A lot of times looking for the answer teaches you more than learning the answer. As part of that all-inclusive outlook, I never let mistakes I’ve made embarrass me permanently, because nothing teaches better than learning and understand how a mistake came to be made. Mistakes are not only unavoidable; they are a handy learning tool.  
  I could control learning and take as much of it as I wanted. Self-education, aside from being tuition-free, is very flexible. There are no fixed hours. I controlled my destiny. I could not control the fact that no one loved me, that I trusted no one, that I had no idea where to find food and shelter for another day, and had no one to accept me for who I was, to support me in my dreams. But I could control how smart I became. It’s not much, but when you’ve got nothing, even a tiny thing is a lot. Learning made me grow. Besides, it was the only path I had. I couldn’t step back into safety—that path was never there for me. Experience can be brutal, but it is also the most effective teacher.
 What I needed to know a formal education would not give me. I needed to know how to make friends and keep them, how to find a job, build a company, buy a house, love people, spot a con artist, and recognize a liar.
  Truthfully, the only thing classroom teaching ever taught me was that I was inadequate. I learned I was incompetent. Hell, I already knew that. But education is sacrosanct. It’s our national religion and you have to be a damned fool to question its value out loud.
  Where my self-education was concerned, I was never intellectually dishonest or passive. If I didn’t want to learn something because I believed it to be stupid or pointless, I didn’t learn it. People don’t talk about it much, but the reason so many give up educating themselves after school is that for twelve years, from first grade through high school, they were forced to study things they couldn’t care less about.
  Nor was my education dependent on what others thought I should know. I learned because I wanted to know. What others wanted to know is  their business. I learned because it was the most important thing in my universe, because I was building a world for myself where it would be impossible to live and not learn. Many times I learned stuff that didn’t teach me, but it made me think, which had the same value as learning. No matter what they say, there is no single, correct way to become educated. There are a million ways to become educated, but you must be resolute in overcoming the obstacles to learning.
  Now almost six decades later, I can give you the sum of what I learned through educating myself and that is this: To continue to grow you must use what you learn to change. The purpose of learning and the purpose of living is growth. That’s why God gave us a body that stops growing but gifted us with minds that can learn until the last day of our lives. No small thing, that. In the world before us, as Alvin Toffler says, the illiterate will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. It’s not all that difficult. If you’re paying attention in life, living and learning are the same.
  Being self-educated gave me an enormous sense of empowerment and motivation to know more. When I decided to educate myself, to take joy in learning, I gave myself tremendous power. I wasn’t locked in a room to learn or pitted against another child in some insane competition. My education is a private matter, between myself and the world of knowledge.
 My act of independence worked for me, but by no means does it work for everyone. The reason foster kids don’t fit in the world of regular people is that regular people grow up surrounded by and drenched in rules. Foster kids grow up learning to survive. If a rule doesn’t help you survive, you have no need for the rule, so you just ignore it and walk over it. That’s why so many of us end up in prison. Regular people know how to get around a rule because they’ve been getting around rules since infancy. They know how to lie, use excuses, and refract reality. And that’s largely how so many of them stay out of jail.
  But in the end, I would have given my right arm to have gone to a prom, to have the same friends year after year, to be bored with my humdrum teenage life. To have my own telephone, to have a collection of memorabilia from stuff I did and places I went. I would have given my right arm to be normal.  
  College was scary at first, and I bounced around, a little lost and confused. I sat through several classes I didn’t belong in, and couldn’t find other classrooms where I did belong. But I was excited about the future, and proud to be where I was.
  The adjunct English professor-doctoral candidate who taught American Literature 101 was a tall, thin woman, a New Yorker, only a few years older than I, who had a penchant for tight black clothes and the deep, psycho-political motivation behind the great American novels.
  Her first name was Tina. She was naturally sexy, and she knew the effect that she had on the young men in the class, whose hallway conversation consisted of speculating whether she wore no bra or a black bra under her snug, dark pullover. The young women in the class disapproved of her and rolled their eyes at her twists and turns across the room.
  I studied and admired these feline movements as she went on about my old friends Fitzgerald and Steinbeck, pausing occasionally to purse her full lips together and wave back her ink-black hair.
  “Fitzgerald’s writing style is very elegant, isn’t it? Formal, really?” I asked after class one day, making sure our eyes locked.
  “Oh, it is,” she said, returning my gaze. “Especially when compared to his contemporary, Hemingway, who was very much the opposite in his style.”
  We fell silent for a second, staring at each other, the moment broken when she fingered her hair. We were both smiling, knowing exactly what we were doing.
  “Lots of visual imagery and symbolism,” I whispered. 
  “With whom?” she asked in a deep whisper.
  “Who cares?” I said, and took her into my arms and kissed her as she slammed the classroom door shut with her stiletto-heeled boots.
  We both lived in the old Wooster Square neighborhood in New Haven, me in a two-bedroom apartment that overlooking the highway, she in a massive and graceful brownstone that overlooking the park.
  I met her there every morning for breakfast and quickie sex before going to school, although sometimes we lounged in her bed for hours, discussing literature, politics, and philosophy.
  “You are wonderfully naïve and hopelessly, absolutely, despairingly Catholic,” she said.
  “I agree,” I said.
  I also agreed, at her insistence, to keep our arrangement low-key and to use “some caution,” as she said, “because my housemates work in academia and wouldn’t see this, this thing we have, as at all cool.” So I never met her housemates. I agreed never to drop by in the evenings or on weekends, and she had no desire to drop by my humble home a few blocks away.
  She was a wonderfully adventurous and inventive lover, fond of role-playing and costumes and somewhat turned on by rough sex, which I found to be a complete turn-off. But that was between us. Most of her experience and what she liked was far beyond my small-town grasp of the wider world. The only thing we had in common was fervid sex and love of literature. Otherwise we were different on every level, starting with the fact that she was considerably taller than I, and continuing to the fact that she was very, very rich.
  She came from an old New York Knickerbocker family made fabulously wealthy through their real estate holdings in the city, and I was fascinated by it all. She lived most of her early childhood in Europe, where her mother’s mother was a viscountess. After several years at the four-hundred-and-something-year-old Charterhouse School, she moved back to the States to live with her father after he married a world-famous financier. He was a partner in a New York investment-banking firm. Her father packed her off to the Taft School and then to Yale.
  One morning when we were in bed, looking over her childhood photographs, I asked her how rich she was, and she shrugged. “I don’t know. No one ever told me.”
  “How could you not know?” I asked.
 “These people,” she said, referring to her tribe of the super-elites as if she were not a part of them, “they don’t discuss this sort of thing. There is an office in Manhattan that handles all that, you know, money, and all that sort of business.” I noticed that she spat out the word “money” like a bullet. “They don’t tell me much.”
  Then she glanced around the empty room as if to make sure no one was listening and said, in a hushed tone, “I know how much the furnishings in this house are worth.”
  “How much?” I asked.
  “Quarter of a million,” she said, and threw back her head and laughed. “I saw it on the lease.”
  “The lease?” I asked. “You lease this place?”
  “My trust fund leases it from my father’s company,” she said.
  I asked the obvious question: “What could possibly be worth a quarter of a million?”
  “Well, that chair,” she said, pointing to an otherwise modest-looking desk chair in the middle of the room that was covered in clothes. “It’s a Le Corbusier.”
  “I knew that,” I said. And looking around the room, I noticed how terribly messy she was. Clothes were tossed on the floor on piles.
  “Then you are familiar with Monsieur Jeanneret?” she said, using the real name of the architect and designer.
  “Familiar? Of course, but we don’t talk anymore,” I said. “We had a falling out.”
  “Over what?”
 “Fabrics,” I said.
  Besides being almost insatiable sexually, she had a wealth of knowledge about a world I didn’t know, a world of good wine, good food, quality, and unapologetic refinement and standards.
  By the middle of October my money was gone. Tina and my roommates could count on their parents to pay for most of their expenses, and student loans picked up the rest, but my student-loan money had all gone to pay tuition.
  Jack was gone by then. He had lasted less than a month at Southern Connecticut State College.
  “I just can’t go to school anymore,” he told me one day. “I’m leaving.”
  “So what will you do?” I asked.
  “That’s what I wanted to talk to you about,” he said, and then leaned into me and said, “Army,” and then sat back in his chair.
  “You want to start an army?” I asked.
  “No,” he said, leaning forward again. “Me and you, we join the Army, see the world.”
  “You join the Navy to see the world, Jack,” I said.
  He waved it off. “I can’t swim. So? What do you think? We’ll join together.”
  “Naw,” I said. “I can’t. Jack, I want to do something with my life. I’ll never join the Army.”
  I would live to eat those words.
  At first, I took the bus to the University, and when the money ran out, I walked the five miles across town in the dead of winter. Finally, I just stopped going. I had to work again, and took any job I could find that fit my class schedule. I rented myself out to the Yale Psychology Department for experiments, washed dishes and bused tables in restaurants, and drove limo, delivering celebrities to the local theater circuit.
  When November came around and the school closed for Thanksgiving,  I pretended for my roommates’ benefit that I was headed back home to Waterbury for a turkey dinner, but there was no home to go to. My home was where I lived.
  Everything in our lives depends on the limits we accept for ourselves. When you accept a larger life, you accept larger regrets, and the troubles that come along with them. And that was what I had to do now. I had taken on an enormous challenge by enrolling in college, but by the beginning of December, I had to admit defeat. I had fallen drastically behind in my schoolwork. Yes, I had to work, but I was also out of my league. I simply wasn’t ready for college, and as a result I wasn’t able to keep up and lacked the basic skills to navigate academia. Had I stayed another semester, I would have flunked out, anyway. I would not be one of the two percent of foster kids who graduate from college.
  A few days before the semester ended, I walked over to Tina’s brownstone. I had a plan. I could pay rent if she let me move in, regroup, and then restart college again in a semester or two. Her place was enormous, after all. It was possible for both of us to live there and rarely see each other. After all, we had slowly graduated from mornings-only sessions to my spending the night.
  I saw a remarkably handsome, well-dressed man in his early thirties, carrying suitcases down Tina’s front stairs. He handed the bags to a chauffeur, who loaded them into the trunk of a black sedan with New York plates.   
  He watched me approach the house and I smiled at him, nodded, and walked up the stairs.
  “May I help you?” he asked. The driver turned and watched us. 
  “I’m going to see Tina,” I said, and continued up the stairs.
  “We’re a bit rushed for time right now,” he said, walking toward me. He seemed unnecessarily hostile. “Perhaps I can help you.”
  “I’m going to see Tina,” I said again, and continued up the stairs.
  “And what is your business with my wife?” he snapped.
  I stopped dead in my tracks, stared into the hallway of the house through the open front door, and tried to process the words I had just heard.
  “Who are you?” he asked, taking another step toward me.
  I looked off into the cold fog that had settled in the park across the street.
  “I’m—I’m—” I felt like a fool and wanted to say that, but I didn’t. “Man, I’m just nobody at all.” 
“Tina,” I heard him say, “Who is this person?”
  I didn’t turn to look at her.
  “I don’t know who he is,” she said smartly.
  I had been shot through the heart with an icicle. I could feel my face turn crimson. I looked down the slate steps past her husband and into the eyes of the driver, who, embarrassed for me, turned his head. 
  With nowhere else to go, I returned to Waterbury to figure out what to do with my life and I returned a lot less little cocky and self-assured. It seemed as if my life of desperation would never end and the new life of my dreams would never begin.
  I went back to the mills and unloaded boxes on the shipping docks and rented a small apartment in a run-down neighborhood. For the first few weeks, I lived like a man in a trance. It was part of my illness. Instead of dealing with my stress through violence, as I had in the past, I opted for the secondary response in the fight-or-flight syndrome: I fled. I withdrew. I became apathetic and gave up trying to thrive. Detaching wasn’t difficult because I was attached to so little. I daydreamed excessively of a better life, a new world, a different place where and I belonged to something and someone, a place and time where I wasn’t insignificant, a place where I made a difference.  


In 1962, six year old John Tuohy, his two brothers and two sisters entered Connecticut’s foster care system and were promptly split apart. Over the next ten years, John would live in more than ten foster homes, group homes and state schools, from his native Waterbury to Ansonia, New Haven, West Haven, Deep River and Hartford. In the end, a decade later, the state returned him to the same home and the same parents they had taken him from. As tragic as is funny compelling story will make you cry and laugh as you journey with this child to overcome the obstacles of the foster care system and find his dreams.


John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."
His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.
His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play.


Contact John:

HERE'S A NICE POEM FOR YOU TO READ.....................



Arthur Guiterman

No matter what we are and who,
Some duties everyone must do:

A poet puts aside his wreath
To wash his face and brush his teeth,

And even Earls
Must comb their curls,

And even Kings
Have underthings.

Guiterman, Arthur. “Routine.” Good Poems. Comp. Garrison Keillor. New York City:
Penguin Books, 2002. 31. Print.

Arthur Guiterman  November 20, 1871 – January 11, 1943) was a writer best known for his humorous poems. Guiterman was born of American parents in Vienna, graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1891, and was married in 1909 to Vida Lindo. He was an editor of the Woman's Home Companion and the Literary Digest. In 1910, he cofounded the Poetry Society of America, and later served as its president in 1925–26. 


Balcony Figure Roland Petersen, 1982

                                                      California Picnic by Roland Petersen, 1970

                          Gustave Caillebotte, The Rue Halévy, Seen from a Balcony, 1878, oil on canvas

                                                            Harald Slott-Møller - Midsummer’s Eve by -irinaraquel-

 Joaquin Sorolla

Lucie van Dam van Isselt - Daisies in a silver cup

                                                                              Marc Chagall, Green Lovers, 1915

                                                      Sergei Svetoslavsky - The Moskvoretsky Bridge, 1878

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” Kahlil Gibran

“You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.” Kahlil Gibran

Chapter Excerpt from "On the waterfront: The making of a great American Film"

FALL 1953

By June of 1953, everything was in place including the site location to film the picture, Hoboken New Jersey.  Kazan’s request (later a demand) for location shooting did not sit right with Columbia’s boss Harry Cohn.  Cohn thought it better to make the film on his back lot in California where weather, pedestrian traffic and local talent would not slow down production.  Kazan held out on his demand, like Huston, Mankiewicz and Zinnemann, believed the atmosphere in Southern California was detrimental to the films theme.  In addition, Schulberg and Kazan were determined to make “An east coast movie.”  That is, a film that would be developed and shot entirely on the east coast as opposed to the back lots of Los Angeles, which is how most films of the 1950s were developed with transparencies (imposing a film shot of an actual location as a background for the actors)  Waterfront, Kazan decided, would use the actual locations.
Reluctantly Cohn agreed to location shooting but with two demands of his own; the film’s title would be changed from the original "Waterfront,” to “On the Waterfront” because Columbia’s lawyers had learned that there was already a television series by that name.  In addition, Cohn wanted the entire shoot completed in 30 days.  Sam Spiegel, whose money was on the line, was completely behind the time rush demands.  With his pushing and prodding the film, shooting was completed in 37 days.  During shooting in Hoboken, he would phone Kazan and Schulberg each night at midnight or even two or three on the morning, with the same message ‘Go faster, speed up production, get it done, wrap it, we’re losing money’ 34
Hoboken was a secondary choice as the location shoot.  Kazan and Schulberg had done all of their research in New York’s West Side, in the areas of Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea but they passed on the New York locations due to the high expense, the traffic and the Mafia, which was clearly upset with the concept of the film.  They looked across the river and saw Hoboken.
They drove over the bridge to New Jersey and talked with the local Chief of Police, Arthur Moretta.  They told him about their problems or least their perceived problems with the mob.   Moretta, delighted at the idea of his city in a major motion picture, promised them a safe filming in Hoboken and appointed his brother to protect the cast and crew.   
There was probably never any real danger from the Mafia to the cast and crew on the location, but there was a sense on the set that they were doing something daring not the least of which was denying the mob that still ruled over the waterfront.  There was only one minor incident during the filming.  When the crew broke for lunch, some thugs, local teenagers who were upset at the way their town was being portrayed,  grabbed Kazan and started to rough him up, the police managed to pull them off.   Overall, that was one of the few negatives from the locals, aside from adding $30,000 to the budget to cover payoffs to Hoboken property owners who charging exorbitant rents and fees to the film crew. 
The production was one of the great events in the city's history.  In its long history, the tenement city of Hoboken, dwarfed by its prestigious neighbor, Manhattan, had but a few claims to fame.  It was the birthplace of Frank Sinatra, G. Gordon Liddy, five-foot actor  Pia Zadora and troubled but extremely talented, singer Jimmy Roselli. (Considered by many to be the inspiration for the character of Johnny Fontane in the Godfather films)  Hoboken was where Steven Foster, in sober moment, penned a few of his classic American songs and Willem de Kooning began his career as an artist  (Of sorts, he was a house painter) The first game of organized baseball was played here, the ice cream cone was invented there and so was the Locomotive engine.
 By the mid-1930's and despite the films depiction of the city as an Irish enclave, Hoboken's largest ethnic group was Italian.  The city itself was a rough, grimy seaport town, dangerous in some places, a closed community that did not welcome outsiders and the Waterfront film crew was no exception.  “It was” said a former resident “Ten minutes from Manhattan, filled with people who never went there” another added “We were right across the river from Manhattan but we might as well have been in Detroit, it was that different”  
Only one square mile in size, Hoboken became a living part of the film and no amount of careful art direction could have resulted in the set Hoboken gave Kazan with its view of Manhattan, its seedy smoke filled crowded bars, the dank cramped apartments where the dockworkers lived and the inner cargo holds.
While Hoboken gave Kazan the setting he needed, drab and worn, his primary concern was to make an exciting, successful commercial feature film, the fact that it showed the deplorable working conditions for the long shore workers and allowed mainstream America and eventually the world to better understand cultural and class differences is an admirable by product of the production.  While the film succeeds somewhat in its depiction of the dockworker’s life, it is entertainment, a love story.  What Kazan needed to do, and what he did do, and brilliantly, was to create spontaneity and the illusion of reality.  (which is why the outdoor shooting in Hoboken in the freezing cold that showed the actors breath on film pleased him so.)
 Although he had been required to hire locals for the films extra, he probably would have done it anyway since they had “The look” he needed.  Another reason he had to hire so many locals (In total 500 extras were paid to either be in the film or on standby) the winter of 1952 happened to be one of New York’s coldest in years and professional New York actors weren’t interested in a trip out of the city to work in the freezing winds of Hoboken. 
The weather was wet, bitter cold, overcast and gray and in several scenes, the metal barrels that the crew used to warm themselves can be seen in several shots throughout the final edit of the film.  Breath is visible on screen, a detail Kazan loved and spoke of often because it suggested the brutal lives of the Dockworkers against both corrupt union officials and the elements.  With so many natural elements, the actors were free to focus entirely on their characters’ emotions. Making conditions worse was the fact that most of the film was shot at night which few people who watch the film ever notice, a tribute to cinematographer Boris Kaufman’s brilliance behind the camera.
For their part, the actors were not as enthusiastic as Kazan was about the freezing weather and rarely left the warmth of their rooms at the wildly misnamed Majestic Grand Hotel.  The films California based actors (Although Eva Marie Saint was born and raised in New Jersey) used every excuse they could think of to delay the early (5:30 AM) shooting schedule.  Brando was the most difficult to get out into the frigid morning air.  Schulberg recalled, “The temperature was near zero and the wind chill blowing up the frozen river was often 10 below.  Teeth were chattering and the cold crept into our bones.  On the roof one day, Marlon made a classical remark.  ``Ya know, it’s so fucking cold out here there’s no way you can over act.”
 “In that case” cracked the ever Spiegel “you’re in your element” However, the wind and the cold had a positive effect on the picture "it made them look like people” Kazan wrote “and not actors, in fact, like people who lived in Hoboken and suffered the cold because they had no choice.”  35  
Of course, the weather, as a part of the film, could be a double-edged sword.  Hoboken offers one of the best skyline views of New York in the entire tri-state area and Kazan wanted to shot it from Hoboken's view... distant, cold and foggy... the opposite of the picture postcard image of the Big Apple that most American knew.  On the first day of shooting, Kazan ordered his crew, tossed together on a moment’s notice, up to a rooftop to shoot the New York City skyline as a backdrop opening to the film.  However, on the very moment that they were about to begin filming, a fog rolled in from the ocean and covered their angle.  Kazan had taken the precaution of setting up crews on other rooftops, from different angles, only to find out that the crews were down on the street.
"What the hell are they doing down there?" he screamed at his assistant director.  Spiegel, the answer came, had refused to rent the two roofs from the owners because they had asked for too much money.  "He chiseled on every cost and took it out of our hides and legs and patience...  Where Sam chiseled was on crew costs and every insignificant thing he could come up with or cut down" 36
 In between, during and after set shots, Kazan was flooded with calls from Sam Spiegel, demanding that he rush through the film and cut costs.  Kazan was positive that the majority of the calls were to impress “Whatever teenager was on his arm this week” (Spiegel was a firm believer in the casting couch)
 Spiegel was an endless problem for everyone.  Brando suspected that the driver Spiegel had provided for him was a spy.  It turned out he was right.  Nor was Brando’s driver the only spy on the set.   Schulberg and Kazan were plagued with calls from Spiegel complaining about a miner expense they had made only minutes after they had made.  He also insisted on cutting line after line and scene after scene in an effort to hurry production along.  While some of the cuts were drastic, others, Kazan and Schulberg agreed, were good and needed.  The problem was, when they would consent to one small cut, Spiegel would see his opening and push for several more.  One of the cuts he demanded was the core of the film, the sermon in the cargo hold by Father Barry.  “You can’t give a sermon” he shouted “in the movies! It just doesn’t play in the movies and it has to be cut!”  37
Schulberg fought him on the cuts making the legitimate argument that the scene could not be cut because so much of the films underlying theme is spiritual. 
 The ritual of Spiegel’s attempted cuts was reenacted each morning when Schulberg, Kazan and Spiegel would meet in Kazan’s hotel room to go over the script changes.  Each morning, Spiegel would start the meeting by asking to see the cuts and revisions in the script only to be told there were not any.  At this point, Spiegel would looked shocked and hurt and ask why his director and screen writer had reneged on their promise to him to cut a scene or a line only to have the pair remind him that they had never agreed to cut anything.  He was, said Kazan “A great actor and a masterful liar” 38 
As to Spiegel’s argument that some of the films dialogue would run to long on screen, Kazan would counter with the argument that Spiegel was reading the lines from a page, on screen, the camera would cut to different actors as lines were spoken to draw their reaction.   
Eventually Spiegel managed to run down the generally easy going and good-natured Schulberg as well with his constant demands for rewrites on the script.  On the first weekend of the project, Schulberg decided to fly up to Dartmouth College to plan a memorial for a teacher he had known.  A panicked Spiegel called “Budd, where are you going?”
 Schulberg explained to which Spiegel countered “For how
“The weekend”
“How are you getting there?”
“By small airplane” Schulberg told him
“But” Spiegel asked “What about the script?”
“Don’t worry” Schulberg said, “I have the script with me”
“But what of the plane crashes?”
One night Schulberg's wife awoke at three in the morning to find her husband shaving.
"What are you shaving for?" she asked
"I'm driving to New York,” he answered
"To kill Sam Spiegel" 39

I LOVE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS FROM FILM....................................

                                             Couple kissing at a dance, Harlem, 1950s.  Photo by Jay Maisel.

Leningrad maestro saves his cello, ca. 1940s.

                                                              karin ater photography

Humanism and Its Aspirations

(Humanist Manifesto III)

Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.

Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience. (See ethical naturalism.) 

Life’s fulfillment emerges from individual participation in the service of humane ideals.

Humans are social by nature and find meaning in relationships.

Working to benefit society maximises individual happiness.

* Just for the record, I admire most of the principles of Humanism, but I believe in God, always have and always will.

“A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.”

                                                                                                      --Oscar Wilde

Basic Income Is Happening: The Growing Support and Early Experiments Of A Radical Policy

A group of people already receiving welfare will get monthly checks ranging from around €900 ($1,000) for an adult to €1,300 ($1,450) for a couple or family per month. Out of the estimated 300 people participating, a group of at least 50 people will receive the unconditional basic income and won’t be subject to any regulation, so even if they get a job or find another source of income, they will still get their disbursement
Council alderman Victor Everhardt told a local publication that he sees the policy as a test of how people will react to having their needs met and not having to do anything extra. One big question: "Will someone sit passively at home or do people develop themselves and provide a meaningful contribution to our society?"
The pilot, overseen by University College Utrecht, is one way of doing basic income. People have proposed everything from a universal benefit open to all (even people with money already) to a more conditional arrangement based on existing income. The advantage of universality, aside from morality, is that the program is cheap and easy to administer.
Meanwhile, mayors from both Edmonton and Calgary have also came out in support of some kind of basic income guarantee.
As we discussed before, a basic income is an idea that begins to make sense given the deep changes in the labor markets of western countries. The impact of automation, the move towards part-time work and "flexibility," the micro-working of the sharing economy—these all represent threats to the traditional idea of a job, and the social contract of employment that goes with it. These could one day necessitate radical thinking about how people pay for their lives. We'll see what these early efforts tell us about feasibility.

Ben Schiller is a New York-based staff writer for Co.Exist, and also contributes to the FT and Yale e360. He used to edit a European management magazine, and worked as a reporter in San Francisco

Get out of jail free: US cities eye bail reform, other efforts to help poor

After a series of tragedies, cities are using a variety of tools – from eliminating bail for nonviolent offenses to pairing police officers with mental health professionals – to reduce overcrowding in America's jails.
By Henry Gass, Staff writer
Mitch Lucas, the assistant sheriff for Charleston County, drives past the lot where Walter Scott was killed every day.
Mr. Scott made it just a few yards across an empty lot in North Charleston, S.C., in April before he was shot multiple times in the back by Michael Slager, the police officer who pulled him over for a broken tail light.
“That’s one of the most disturbing things I’ve ever watched,” Assistant Sheriff Lucas
For Scott, a father of four who worked as a forklift operator, a fear of being jailed due to missed child support payments drove him to a flee a traffic stop that day, his relatives said. According to Charleston County records he owed more than $18,000 in child support and court fees, and had last paid child support in 2012. He had been in jail three times since 2008.
“He had trouble keeping up with the payments, that’s all,” Rodney Scott, his older brother, toldCBS News. “He knew he would go to jail.”
In a tragic irony, Charleston is one of the cities at the vanguard of efforts to reform the jail system, so that people are not held for months without being convicted of a crime after being arrested for nonviolent offenses.
America’s national conversation on race and inequality has reached a crescendo over the past year, and the country’s criminal justice system is at the center of it. Few institutions embody the country’s issues of racial and economic inequality more starkly, and recent tragedies have amplified calls for reform on both sides of the political aisle.
For those able to afford bail, jail might mean a few hours or a night behind bars. But for low-income Americans, an overcrowded system means an average of 23 days in jail before they get a court date. In the most extreme cases, people have waited for years before their cases were resolved. During that time, advocates for reform say, they are separated from their families. They could lose their jobs. If they decide to get out by pleading guilty, they would then have a criminal conviction, which would hamper their efforts to reintegrate into society, limiting access to jobs, housing, even a driver’s license.
“Jails are where the problems of mass incarceration begin,” says Julian Adler, director of research-practice strategies at the Center for Court Innovation. “Prison reform is very important, but if you don’t focus on how America uses and overuses jail you’re really missing that threshold moment where mass incarceration begins.”
After decades as a political third rail, both major parties are now getting behind criminal justice reform. Years of tough-on-crime policy have packed prisons  beyond their breaking point, costing the country billions of dollars while disproportionately affecting the country’s poor and minority citizens. President Obama became the first sitting US president to visit a federal prison earlier this month and commuting the sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders.
But for some experts reforming the jail system is as important, if not more important.
There are almost 12 million local jail admissions every year – 20 times the number of prison admissions – according to a report from the Vera Institute for Justice. Jail populations have tripled since the 1980s, with nearly 75 percent of sentenced offenders and pretrial detainees in jail for nonviolent offenses.
The average length of stay in jail has also increased from 14 days to 23 days between 1983 and 2013, and the longer a person remains in jail, the more the consequences can be exacerbated. Studies have shown that as the length of time in pretrial detention increases, so does the likelihood of recidivism within one or two years.
An arrest, Lucas says, “creates almost a hurricane event, and the person arrested is at the eye of the storm and everything else is flying around out of control.”
An arrest not only disrupts the individual’s life, he adds, but their whole family as well. The family – perhaps already under financial pressure – not only has one less earner in the house, but often has to rustle up money for bail.
Experts hope that if the jail system can be reformed – specifically if it can be made cheaper and more efficient, and rely less on human judgment for potentially life-altering decisions – then there could be significant downstream benefits for the entire criminal justice system.
Local jurisdictions, from large cities to small rural counties, are already taking steps to reduce overcrowding and what critics call a disparate impact on low-income and minority Americans.
Reducing jail populations boils down to two core changes, experts say: reducing the number of arrests for minor infractions, and relaxing or eliminating monetary requirements for jail release. Reforming bail is one tool to reduce the number of people in jail who aren't a threat to the public, but it's not the only option.
•           Money bonds are illegal in Washington, D.C., for example. Courts there release 85 percent of all those arrested on their own recognizance; the other 15 percent are deemed too dangerous or unlikely to return if released. About 88 percent of those released appear for their day in court, according to the District’s Pretrial Services Agency. Of the no-shows, of those re-arrested, less than 1 percent are alleged to have committed a violent crime.
•           Illinois lawmakers passed a bill in May – proposed by the Cook County sheriff – that would release inmates accused of nonviolent crimes without bond, pending trial, if their case has not been resolved within 30 days.
•           New York is pursuing similar reforms. The city is eliminating monetary bail for some low-level offenders, and it is working to reduce its case backlog that has kept some arrestees in jail for more than two years without a conviction. The city also has banned solitary confinement for all inmates who are under 21 years old.
•           Other cities, from Los Angeles to Portland, Maine, are partnering their police officers with mental health clinicians to better handle police interactions with the mentally ill so they receive proper treatment instead of getting sent to jail. Some 75 percent of female inmates and 63 percent of male inmates have been diagnosed with mental illness, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics data from 2006.
Charleston County is trying a combination of strategies, Lucas says. His department wants to employ “screeners” to interview defendants and help judges determine whether a defendant should be held on high bond, low bond, or not held at all. The department also has stopped arresting people for the possession of small quantities of marijuana. They instead give them a ticket and the person goes to court to pay a fine.
“Thirty-two years ago, when I started in this business, that would have been unheard of,” he says.
Criminal justice reform is a complex problem with many small solutions, he adds, but more people in jail is not one of them.
“We cannot, and never will, arrest our way out of societal ills,” he says.
The cases of Kalief Browder and Sandra Bland
Calls for reform have become more urgent of late in the wake of high-profile tragedies. The slate of reforms in New York, for example, were triggered by the case of Kalief Browder, who committed suicide last month.
Mr. Browder was jailed as a 16-year-old for allegedly stealing a backpack. He refused to plead guilty and, because his family couldn’t afford to pay his $3,000 bail, he ultimately spent three years at Rikers Island until his case was dismissed. He was the subject of a profile by the New Yorker in October, in which he described beatings he endured from guards and other inmates. He spent more than 400 days in solitary confinement. His lawyer, speaking to the Los Angeles Times, directly linked his suicide with his lengthy incarceration.
More recently, critics say the death of Sandra Bland in Waller County jail in rural Texas illustrates the flaws in how some jurisdictions handle mentally ill or depressed inmates. Ms. Bland was arrested for assault and taken to jail after a routine stop for failing to signal a lane change escalated. Three days later, she was found dead in her cell from an apparent suicide. Her family and friends have disputed the claim of suicide and depression, saying that Bland was upbeat about a new job.
Forms released by the jail show that Bland wrote on a jail intake form that she had attempted suicide once before in 2015, and that she was on medication for epilepsy. The jail has been cited for substandard training in how to handle potentially suicidal and mentally disabled inmates, and for failing to personally observe an inmate once an hour. The facility also was cited in 2012 for violating the 60-minute observation standard, theHouston Press reported.
Although it’s rare for jail time to lead to the death of an inmate, both Browder’s and Bland’s cases have helped spur urgent calls for reform.
“I think it’s really brought attention to the fact that this is not just for policy wonks,” says Nancy Fishman, project director for the Center on Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute for Justice. “People are dying, people’s lives are being ruined, and it’s multigenerational.”
And those lives are disproportionately those of minority Americans. While they account for 13 percent of the US population, African-Americans are jailed at almost four times the rate of white Americans. African-Americans also have 44 percent higher odds of being denied bail and kept in jail pretrial than whites with similar legal circumstances.
'No larger symbol of big government'
Moral and ethical arguments aside, the simple cost of jails in America have been the tipping point in generating bipartisan calls for reform, with jail costs ballooning high enough to give fiscal conservatives vertigo.
Local jurisdictions now spend $22.2 billion every year on correctional institutions, according to the MacArthur Foundation, with cumulative expenditures related to building and running jails increasing almost 235 percent between 1982 and 2011. One jail bed costs on average $60 per inmate per day, but it can reach upward of $200 in some jurisdictions, according to the Pretrial Justice Institute.
Several prominent Republicans have come out in favor of criminal justice reform, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and presidential candidates Rand Paul and Jeb Bush.
“If you’re someone who doesn’t like big government, there’s no larger symbol of big government and its appearance in people’s lives than our criminal justice system at this point,” says Ms. Fishman.
The MacArthur Foundation is in the middle of a $75 million five-year program to improve the US jail system. The program, called the Safety and Justice Challenge, first put a call out to jurisdictions to apply for preliminary grants to fund research and proposals for reform. In the end, 10 jurisdictions will receive grants ranging from $500,000 to $2 million to implement their proposals.
The Vera Institute is helping the MacArthur Foundation with the Challenge, and Fishman says that they were initially worried about how many jurisdictions would apply for the grants.
Jurisdictions, she says, “would have to come out and own the problems with their justice system and commit to fixing them in a measurable way.”
“We quite honestly were wondering, ‘Who’s going to apply? Will anyone want to take this on?’ ” she says.
MacArthur ended up receiving 191 applications. Twenty were given $150,000 proposal grants.
“As someone who’s been in the trenches for a long time, it’s both refreshing and makes me a bit optimistic,” Fishman adds.
This combination of widespread political support and reforms with proven track records means she isn't the only one feeling more optimistic.
“Right now we have great hope for this, this is a tremendous opportunity,” Lucas says. Charleston County is one of 20 local jurisdictions that have received a proposal grant from the MacArthur Foundation. “Those of us who are in this process are developing new ideas and sharing ideas that a lot of jurisdictions wouldn’t know about.”

Big Soda Suing San Francisco For Placing Diabetes, Obesity, Tooth Decay Health Warnings On Soda Ads

By Lecia Bushak

As more and more fast food restaurants are removing soda from their menus, and the amount of calories Americans are consuming goes down, it appears that we might be on the verge of a new health wave. But not so fast; Big Soda companies, which many California lawmakers view as partially responsible for the obesity epidemic, are fighting back.
The American Beverage Association, the soda industry’s biggest trade body, is suing the city of San Francisco over new rules that will require warning labels on soda ads. The city is also implementing a ban on soda ads on city property. The rules would go into effect in July 2016, and the labels would read: “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”
The trade body claims that these rules are unconstitutional, and that San Francisco “is trying to ensure that there is no free marketplace of ideas, but instead only a government-imposed, one-sided public ‘dialogue’ on the topic — in violation of the First Amendment.”
The ‘New Tobacco’
This determination of soda companies brings to mind how tobacco companies fought against studies proving that tobacco caused lung cancer and other serious health issues in the 1950s and 1960s. These companies aren’t going to give up without a fight, even though plenty of research has proven that soda is bad for your teeth, stomach, brain, heart, and metabolic system.
However, Big Soda might have a shot. After all, they defeated San Francisco in 2014, when lawmakers tried to tax sugary beverages. The soda industry spent $10 million to overcome the tax, which would have been imposed in a city that has aimed to be the first to cleanse its population of the detrimental effects of sugary drinks. The new San Francisco rules would place soda ads in the same category as alcohol and tobacco ads, which aren’t allowed on public property.
California lawmakers fighting Big Soda, however, have hope for the future. "If you smoke in California now, you're a pariah," Kent Sims, an economist who has worked with the food industry, told The Guardian. "The goal here is to have sugary sodas permanently tagged as bad, bad, bad, just like cigarettes. We've already taken the first step."

5 Ways to Keep Your Big Goals from Ruining Your Everyday Happiness


By Dr. Cynthia Ackrill
Keep your eye on the goal? Visualize your win? That’s the secret to success, yes? 
But what if you don’t exactly feel the “thrill of victory” after the big win? What if success leaves you feeling empty or unhappy — like you’re missing out on something more? Perhaps you even feel a dose of guilt that you don’t feel happier when you have so much going for you!
In a goal-oriented society like ours, it’s easy to link accomplishment with “deserving” to feel happy. But as Dr. Jim Taylor pointed out so well onHuffington Post, you might not find happiness at the finish line.
I work with high achievers who often feel restless, disconnected or even depressed despite an amazing laundry list of successes, loving families, friends, and communities.
Of course, you know it’s important to enjoy the journey, but your negatively biased brain is much better at focusing on the gap between where you are now and the next big goal — it’s been trained to do that. Even when you do reach that goal and fire off your brain’s reward center (“the thrill”), your brain immediately starts seeking another “hit,” identifies another gap, creates higher stakes for earning the next good feeling. The ever-moving carrot!
Should you just become a lazy underachiever then? No. Goals are critical to focusing your motivation and attention to get the things in life that matter to you. Goals put your values into action. But they can also lead you to focus too heavily on external metrics for your internal sense of well-being and satisfaction.
“I will be happy as soon as … ”
You probably don’t say that out loud, but along the path of achievement, it’s far too easy to program that moving carrot mentality into your subconscious. This is constantly written into the stories that create the expectations of our culture. This gives goals, instead of emotional self-regulation, control over our feelings. And that lack of control translates to constant stress that erodes happiness.
There is also a nasty, unspoken corollary: “I am not enough as I am.”
Your inner critic uses this theme to undermine your happiness. This often pushes you to skip the powerful step of savoring your wins along the way, a practice that supports positivity and success.
Over-focus on goals can also distract from from focusing on your greater life purpose. Being grounded in purpose fuels health, happiness and performance in a more lasting way.
So then, how can you enjoy true happiness along the path to achieving your goals and dreams? Here are five simple steps.

1. Create rituals to remind yourself of your bigger purpose. When you focus on your core values and the longer journey, individual goals have less power to rule your mood. Use a picture or mantra or daily ritual to ground yourself in what matters most to you.

2. Ask yourself, “Who do I want to be?” more often than, “What do I want/need to do?”

3. Savor the small wins and progress.Research shows that you can boost the deep happiness you crave and improve motivation and performance by making progress. Try the iDoneThis app if you need a reminder.

4. Practice self-compassion and loving-kindness for yourself.Breathe in and out while saying, “I have everything I need, I am enough.” Repeat. Repeat. Schedule this into your daily routine.

5. Lighten up! Let your inner child find more play laughter along the route. You may just learn more in the process. You’ll definitely support your creativity and performance!
Yes. You can practice be more present, more mindful, have more fun, and achieve your big hairy goals with a smile on your face and in your heart! Like life … it just takes intention and practice and A LOT of love.

Cynthia Ackrill is a YourTango Expert. Check out her website to learn more strategies to tackle your stress or take control of your future.

5 Science-Based Practices for Daily Happiness
By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

 Most people I’ve met, if not all, would try like to be happy. There are all kinds of books on happiness, courses on happiness, and documentaries on happiness. So why aren’t we all just happier? If we’re approaching happiness as some goal to achieve, we’re almost always going to reinforce that something is wrong with us and fall short. If we see it as an unfolding process of learning, we will most likely be able to be more grateful for the good times and more graceful during the more difficult times.
I can’t reinforce enough the critical importance of seeing happiness practices as something to continue to play with and learn from, rather than using them to achieve some desired end state. You might be able to taste happiness if you see it as a performance, but only with a learning mindset will you find more mastery with it.
Here are 5 Practices for Daily Happiness

Be Playful
We NEED playtime and we need it daily! One of the first scientists to embark in the field of neuroplasticity, Marion Diamond, showed how rats that have toys and playmates inevitably ran mazes more efficiently and alsoshowed growth in an area of their brain (the cerebral cortex) involved with cognitive processing. Play enhances social bonds and social learning, key areas for generating happiness.
How do we figure out what play means to us? This is going to mean different things to different people. What’s playful to you, may not be playful to me. You may enjoy competitive sports, board games, or going out and doing something — anything. Making it prosocial with friends adds another level of engagement.

 Be Mindful
Well, you knew I was going to say this one. Years ago, Dan Gilbert and Matthew Killingsworth out of Harvard created an app called trackyourhappiness.org. This app pinged you to see if you were paying attention to what you were intending to pay attention to and how you were feeling (this is a general description). Thousands of people went through this and they found that on average our minds are wandering 46.9% of the time. It also found that the more the mind wandered, the unhappier we were. Now there are a variety of studies pointing the happiness effects of mindfulness on the brain.
Ultimately, mindfulness helps us pay attention to our intentions, here’s a mindful breathing practice to play with daily.

Be Forgiving
We’re all imperfect at practicing what makes us happy. But the better we get at forgiving ourselves for our mistakes, the less dwelling there’ll be and the better we will also get at getting back on track. In Uncovering Happiness  you’ll notice the suggestion to practice “Forgive, Investigate and Invite.” Forgive yourself for the time gone by, it’s the past, Investigate what brought you off track so you can learn from it and Invite yourself to begin again.
Also, the better we get at forgiving others, apparently the higher our happiness quotient can go. There’s plenty of research pointing to this, but some of the more informal research by Soul Pancake is more fun (see below):

 Be Compassionate
The act of recognizing someone else is suffering with the inclination to want to support them has plenty ofscience-based correlations to a meaningful and purposeful life. Creating social connection is a major happiness booster, makes important neural shifts in the brain and giving makes it even that much better.
Commit to smiling more, saying thank you, or letting someone merge in front of you in traffic. You can also give financially or volunteer your time. Recognize you are part of a larger network and as my late Grandmother in-law Margie Lipman said in her Ethical Will “Reach out to those who ache for some comfort, search for ways you can lighten their load.”

Eat, Sleep, Exercise, Rest (aka The Basics)
The science seems to be very clear on these (along with probably millions of testimonials). Whenever someone comes to see me in my practice these are the fundamentals I look for. How are you eating, what does your sleep look like, how do you rest and are you exercising? These are all keys to not only happiness, but healthy brain development.Focusing on these basics can create an internal sense of personal control which is correlated with happiness.
It can be overwhelming to consider taking action here, so consider the question, “What do I think I can do?” and then make a plan and go from there.

Take these to heart, weave a bit of them in daily or as we say in MBSR Every Day: Daily Practices from the Heart of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction  (that we stole from Nike) – “Just Do It!”
Elisha Goldstein, PhD


Architecture for the blog of it

Art for the Blog of It
Art for the Pop of it
Photography for the blog of it
Music for the Blog of it
Sculpture this and Sculpture that
The art of War (Propaganda art through the ages)
Album Art (Photographic arts)
Pulp Fiction Trash (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)
Admit it, you want to Read this Book (The art of Pulp Fiction covers)

The Godfather Trilogy BlogSpot
On the Waterfront: The Making of a great American Film

Absolutely blogalicious
The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)
Good chowda (New England foods)
Old New England Recipes (Book support site)
And I Love Clams (New England foods)
In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener (New England foods)
Wicked Cool New England Recipes (New England foods)
Old New England Recipes (New England foods)

Foster Care new and Updates
Aging out of the system
Murder, Death and Abuse in the Foster Care system
Angel and Saints in the Foster Care System
The Foster Children’s Blogs
Foster Care Legislation
The Foster Children’s Bill of Right
Foster Kids own Story
The Adventures of Foster Kid.

Me vs. Diabetes (Diabetes education site)

The Quotable Helen Keller
Teddy Roosevelt's Letters to his children (Book support site)
The Quotable Machiavelli (Book support site)

Whatever you do, don't laugh
The Quotable Grouch Marx

A Big Blog of Irish Literature
The Wee Blog of Irish Jokes (Book support blog)
The Wee Blog of Irish Recipes
The Irish American Gangster
The Irish in their Own Words
When Washington Was Irish
The Wee Book of Irish Recipes (Book support site)

Following Fitzgerald
The Blogable Robert Frost
Charles Dickens
The Beat Poets of the Forever Generation
Voices from the Valley
Holden Caulfield Blog Spot
The Quotable Oscar Wilde

The Quotable Thoreau
Old New England Recipes
Wicked Cool New England Recipes
The New England Mafia
And I Love Clams
In Praise of the Rhode Island Wiener
Watch Hill
York Beach
The Connecticut History Blog
The Connecticut Irish
Good chowda

God, How I hated the 70s
Child of the Sixties Forever
The Kennedy’s in the 60’s
Music of the Sixties Forever
Elvis and Nixon at the White House (Book support site)
Beatles Fan Forever
Year One, 1955
Robert Kennedy in His Own Words
The 1980s were fun
The 1990s. The last decade.

The Russian Mafia
The American Jewish Gangster
The Mob in Hollywood
We Only Kill Each Other
Early Gangsters of New York City
Al Capone: Biography of a self-made Man
The Life and World of Al Capone
The Salerno Report
Guns and Glamour
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Mob Testimony
Recipes we would Die For
The Prohibition in Pictures
The Mob in Pictures
The Mob in Vegas
The Irish American Gangster
Roger Touhy Gangster
Chicago’s Mob Bosses
Chicago Gang Land: It Happened Here
Whacked: One Hundred years of Murder in Gangland
The Mob Across America
Mob Cops, Lawyers and Front Men
Shooting the Mob: Dutch Schultz
Bugsy& His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill
After Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate on Organized Crime
Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee (Book support site)
The US Government’s Timeline of Organized Crime (Book support site)
The Kefauver Organized Crime Hearings (Book support site)
Joe Valachi's testimony on the Mafia (Book support site)
Mobsters in the News
Shooting the Mob: Dead Mobsters (Book support site)
The Stolen Years Full Text (Roger Touhy)
Mobsters in Black and White
Mafia Gangsters, Wiseguys and Goodfellas
Whacked: One Hundred Years of Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Mob (Book support site)
Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal (Book support site)
The Best of the Mob Files Series (Book support site)

It’s All Greek Mythology to me

Psychologically Relevant

The Rarifieid Tribe
Perfect Behavior

The Upscale Traveler

The Mish Mosh Blog

DC Behind the Monuments
Washington Oddities
When Washington Was Irish

Litchfield Literary Books. A really small company run by writers.


The Day Nixon Met Elvis
Paperback 46 pages

Theodore Roosevelt: Letters to his Children. 1903-1918
Paperback 194 pages

The Works of Horace
Paperback 174 pages

The Quotable Greeks
Paperback 234 pages

The Quotable Epictetus
Paperback 142 pages

Quo Vadis: A narrative of the time of Nero
Paperback 420 pages

The Porchless Pumpkin: A Halloween Story for Children
A Halloween play for young children. By consent of the author, this play may be performed, at no charge, by educational institutions, neighborhood organizations and other not-for-profit-organizations.
A fun story with a moral
“I believe that Denny O'Day is an American treasure and this little book proves it. Jack is a pumpkin who happens to be very small, by pumpkins standards and as a result he goes unbought in the pumpkin patch on Halloween eve, but at the last moment he is given his chance to prove that just because you're small doesn't mean you can't be brave. Here is the point that I found so wonderful, the book stresses that while size doesn't matter when it comes to courage...ITS OKAY TO BE SCARED....as well. I think children need to hear that, that's its okay to be unsure because life is a ongoing lesson isn't it?”
Paperback: 42 pages

It's Not All Right to be a Foster Kid....no matter what they tell you: Tweet the books contents
Paperback 94 pages

From the Author
I spent my childhood, from age seven through seventeen, in foster care.  Over the course of those ten years, many decent, well-meaning, and concerned people told me, "It's okay to be foster kid."
In saying that, those very good people meant to encourage me, and I appreciated their kindness then, and all these many decades later, I still appreciate their good intentions. But as I was tossed around the foster care system, it began to dawn on me that they were wrong.  It was not all right to be a foster kid.
During my time in the system, I was bounced every eighteen months from three foster homes to an orphanage to a boy's school and to a group home before I left on my own accord at age seventeen.
In the course of my stay in foster care, I was severely beaten in two homes by my "care givers" and separated from my four siblings who were also in care, sometimes only blocks away from where I was living.
I left the system rather than to wait to age out, although the effects of leaving the system without any family, means, or safety net of any kind, were the same as if I had aged out. I lived in poverty for the first part of my life, dropped out of high school, and had continuous problems with the law.
 Today, almost nothing about foster care has changed.  Exactly what happened to me is happening to some other child, somewhere in America, right now.  The system, corrupt, bloated, and inefficient, goes on, unchanging and secretive.
Something has gone wrong in a system that was originally a compassionate social policy built to improve lives but is now a definitive cause in ruining lives.  Due to gross negligence, mismanagement, apathy, and greed, mostly what the foster care system builds are dangerous consequences. Truly, foster care has become our epic national disgrace and a nightmare for those of us who have lived through it.
Yet there is a suspicion among some Americans that foster care costs too much, undermines the work ethic, and is at odds with a satisfying life.  Others see foster care as a part of the welfare system, as legal plunder of the public treasuries.
 None of that is true; in fact, all that sort of thinking does is to blame the victims.  There is not a single child in the system who wants to be there or asked to be there.  Foster kids are in foster care because they had nowhere else to go.  It's that simple.  And believe me, if those kids could get out of the system and be reunited with their parents and lead normal, healthy lives, they would. And if foster care is a sort of legal plunder of the public treasuries, it's not the kids in the system who are doing the plundering.
 We need to end this needless suffering.  We need to end it because it is morally and ethically wrong and because the generations to come will not judge us on the might of our armed forces or our technological advancements or on our fabulous wealth.
 Rather, they will judge us, I am certain, on our compassion for those who are friendless, on our decency to those who have nothing and on our efforts, successful or not, to make our nation and our world a better place.  And if we cannot accomplish those things in the short time allotted to us, then let them say of us "at least they tried."
You can change the tragedy of foster care and here's how to do it.  We have created this book so that almost all of it can be tweeted out by you to the world.  You have the power to improve the lives of those in our society who are least able to defend themselves.  All you need is the will to do it.
 If the American people, as good, decent and generous as they are, knew what was going on in foster care, in their name and with their money, they would stop it.  But, generally speaking, although the public has a vague notion that foster care is a mess, they don't have the complete picture. They are not aware of the human, economic and social cost that the mismanagement of the foster care system puts on our nation.
By tweeting the facts laid out in this work, you can help to change all of that.  You can make a difference.  You can change things for the better.
We can always change the future for a foster kid; to make it better ...you have the power to do that. Speak up (or tweet out) because it's your country.  Don't depend on the "The other guy" to speak up for these kids, because you are the other guy.
We cannot build a future for foster children, but we can build foster children for the future and the time to start that change is today.

No time to say Goodbye: Memoirs of a life in foster 
Paperbook 440 Books

On the Waterfront: The Making of a Great American Film
Paperback: 416 pages


Scotish Ghost Stories
Paperback 186 pages

The Book of funny odd and interesting things people say
Paperback: 278 pages

The Wee Book of Irish Jokes

Perfect Behavior: A guide for Ladies and Gentlemen in all Social Crises


You Don’t Need a Weatherman. Underground 1969
Paperback 122 pages

Baby Boomers Guide to the Beatles Songs of the Sixties

Baby Boomers Guide to Songs of the 1960s

The Connecticut Irish
Paper back 140 pages

 The Wee Book of Irish Jokes

The Wee Book of Irish Recipes 
 The Wee Book of the American-Irish Gangsters

 The Wee book of Irish Blessings... 

The Wee Book of the American Irish in Their Own Words

Everything you need to know about St. Patrick
Paperback 26 pages

A Reading Book in Ancient Irish History
Paperback 147pages

The Book of Things Irish

Poets and Dreamer; Stories translated from the Irish
Paperback 158 pages

The History of the Great Irish Famine: Abridged and Illustrated
Paperback 356 pages


The New England Mafia

Wicked Good New England Recipes

The Connecticut Irish
Paper back 140 pages

The Twenty-Fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
Paperback 64 pages

The Life of James Mars
Paperback 54 pages

Stories of Colonial Connecticut
Paperback 116 pages

What they Say in Old New England
Paperback 194 pages


Chicago Organized Crime

The Mob Files: It Happened Here: Places of Note in Chicago gangland 1900-2000

An Illustrated Chronological History of the Chicago Mob. Time Line 1837-2000

Mob Buster: Report of Special Agent Virgil Peterson to the Kefauver Committee

The Mob Files. Guns and Glamour: The Chicago Mob. A History. 1900-2000

Shooting the Mob: Organized crime in photos. Crime Boss Tony Accardo

Shooting the Mob: Organized Crime in Photos: The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre.

The Life and World of Al Capone in Photos

AL CAPONE: The Biography of a Self-Made Man.: Revised from the 0riginal 1930 edition.Over 200 new photographs
Paperback: 340 pages

Whacked. One Hundred Years Murder and Mayhem in the Chicago Outfit
Paperback: 172 pages

Las Vegas Organized Crime
The Mob in Vegas

Bugsy & His Flamingo: The Testimony of Virginia Hill

Testimony by Mobsters Lewis McWillie, Joseph Campisi and Irwin Weiner (The Mob Files Series)

Rattling the Cup on Chicago Crime.
Paperback 264 pages

The Life and Times of Terrible Tommy O’Connor.
Paperback 94 pages

The Mob, Sam Giancana and the overthrow of the Black Policy Racket in Chicago
Paperback 200 pages

When Capone’s Mob Murdered Roger Touhy. In Photos
Paperback 234 pages

Organized Crime in Hollywood
The Mob in Hollywood

The Bioff Scandal
Paperback 54 pages

Organized Crime in New York
Joe Pistone’s war on the mafia

Mob Testimony: Joe Pistone, Michael Scars DiLeonardo, Angelo Lonardo and others

The New York Mafia: The Origins of the New York Mob

The New York Mob: The Bosses

Organized Crime 25 Years after Valachi. Hearings before the US Senate

Shooting the mob: Dutch Schultz

Gangland Gaslight: The Killing of Rosy Rosenthal. (Illustrated)

Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City
Paperback 382 pages

The Russian Mafia in America

The Threat of Russian Organzied Crime
Paperback 192 pages

Organized Crime/General
Best of Mob Stories

Best of Mob Stories Part 2


Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobsters in Photos

More Mob Recipes to Die For. Meals and Mobs

The New England Mafia

Shooting the mob. Organized crime in photos. Dead Mobsters, Gangsters and Hoods.

The Salerno Report: The Mafia and the Murder of President John F. Kennedy

The Mob Files: Mob Wars. "We only kill each other"

The Mob across America

The US Government’s Time Line of Organzied Crime 1920-1987

Early Street Gangs and Gangsters of New York City: 1800-1919. Illustrated

The Mob Files: Mob Cops, Lawyers and Informants and Fronts

Gangster Quotes: Mobsters in their own words. Illustrated
Paperback: 128 pages

The Book of American-Jewish Gangsters: A Pictorial History.
Paperback: 436 pages

The Mob and the Kennedy Assassination
Paperback 414 pages


The Last Outlaw: The story of Cole Younger, by Himself
Paperback 152 pages

Chicago: A photographic essay.
 Paperback: 200 pages

Boomers on a train: A ten minute play
Paperback 22 pages

Four Short Plays
By John William Tuohy

Four More Short Plays
By John William Tuohy

High and Goodbye: Everybody gets the Timothy Leary they deserve. A full length play
By John William Tuohy

Cyberdate. An Everyday Love Story about Everyday People
By John William Tuohy

The Dutchman's Soliloquy: A one Act Play based on the factual last words of Gangster Dutch Schultz.
By John William Tuohy

Fishbowling on The Last Words of Dutch Schultz: Or William S. Burroughs intersects with Dutch Schultz
Print Length: 57 pages

American Shakespeare: August Wilson in his own words. A One Act Play
By John William Tuohy

She Stoops to Conquer

The Seven Deadly Sins of Gilligan’s Island: A ten minute play
Print Length: 14 pages


McLean Virginia. A short informal history


The Quotable Emerson: Life lessons from the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: Over 300 quotes

The Quotable John F. Kennedy

The Quotable Oscar Wilde

The Quotable Machiavelli

The Quotable Confucius: Life Lesson from the Chinese Master

The Quotable Henry David Thoreau

The Quotable Robert F. Kennedy

The Quotable Writer: Writers on the Writers Life

The words of Walt Whitman: An American Poet
Paperback: 162 pages

Gangster Quotes: Mobsters in their own words. Illustrated
Paperback: 128 pages

The Quotable Popes
Paperback 66 pages

The Quotable Kahlil Gibran with Artwork from Kahlil Gibran
Paperback 52 pages
Kahlil Gibran, an artist, poet, and writer was born on January 6, 1883 n the north of modern-day Lebanon and in what was then part of Ottoman Empire. He had no formal schooling in Lebanon. In 1895, the family immigrated to the United States when Kahlil was a young man and settled in South Boston. Gibran enrolled in an art school and was soon a member of the avant-garde community and became especially close to Boston artist, photographer, and publisher Fred Holland Day who encouraged and supported Gibran’s creative projects. An accomplished artist in drawing and watercolor, Kahlil attended art school in Paris from 1908 to 1910, pursuing a symbolist and romantic style. He held his first art exhibition of his drawings in 1904 in Boston, at Day's studio. It was at this exhibition, that Gibran met Mary Elizabeth Haskell, who ten years his senior. The two formed an important friendship and love affair that lasted the rest of Gibran’s short life. Haskell influenced every aspect of Gibran’s personal life and career. She became his editor when he began to write and ushered his first book into publication in 1918, The Madman, a slim volume of aphorisms and parables written in biblical cadence somewhere between poetry and prose. Gibran died in New York City on April 10, 1931, at the age of 48 from cirrhosis of the liver and tuberculosis.

The Quotable Dorothy Parker
Paperback 86 pages

The Quotable Machiavelli
Paperback 36 pages

The Quotable Greeks
Paperback 230 pages

The Quotabe Oscar Wilde
Paperback 24 pages

The Quotable Helen Keller
Paperback 66 pages

The Art of War: Sun Tzu
Paperback 60 pages

The Quotable Shakespeare
Paperback 54 pages

The Quotable Gorucho Marx
Paperback 46 pages

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