John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Its winter

Michel Seuphor (Belgian, 1901-1999)


Beat poetry evolved during the 1940s in both New York City and on the west coast, although San Francisco became the heart of the movement in the early 1950s. The end of World War II left poets like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso questioning mainstream politics and culture. A Brief Guide to the Beat Poets | Academy of American Poets https://www.poets.org/poetsorg

 By Lydia Smith

The Royal Albert Hall has always been a keen promoter of poetry but on 11 June 1965, when the Hall hosted the International Poetry Incarnation, it found itself at the forefront of a cultural revolution.
The International Poetry Incarnation is now recognised as one of the first British ‘Happening’, where beatnik poets met emerging hippie culture, and a landmark event of the the 1960s countercultural revolution.
 An audience of 7,000 packed out the Hall to watch and hear readings by seventeen mainly American and British poets including Adrian Mitchell, Michael Horovitz and Beat guru Allen Ginsberg.
The poets were not given any running order and the evening ran with seemingly little structure. Adrian Mitchell read his popular poem, a rant against the Vietnam War – To Whom it May Concern to huge enthusiasm. Allen Ginsberg read New York Bird by Russian poet Andrei Vosnesensky; the poet was present but forbidden to perform by the Russian authorities. To round off the evening Ginsberg read two 2 of his long poems – The Change and Who Be Kind To.
The audience were handed flowers as they entered the arena which, full of a heavy-drinking crowd, quickly became filled with a marijuana smoke, flying paper darts and foliage.
The International Poetry Incarnation encouraged a lurking underground

Introducing the Band-Aids of the Future

MIT engineers are developing a "smart" bandage that can monitor and deliver drugs to a wound

By Heather Hansman

Not much has changed in the world of sticky bandages since 1920, when Josephine Dickinson and her husband, Earle, an employee at Johnson & Johnson, stuck gauze to a piece of adhesive tape and invented the Band-Aid. A Hello Kitty top sheet and a little bit of antibiotic ointment on the inside may be the biggest developments.

But now, a group of mechanical engineers at MIT is trying to change things up. They've developed a bandage made from a stretchy, rubbery hydrogel. Embedded with a range of electronics and drug reservoirs, this "smart" dressing can actually monitor a wound, administer drugs and alert a doctor when more medicine is needed. 

First, the team, led by professor Xuanhe Zhao, had to create a hydrogel that behaved like human skin. To accomplish this, they decided that the material, like skin, would have to be predominantly water. In November, Zhao revealed the results of the work—a hydrogel made of a thin web of biopolymers and composed of 90 percent water.
The material sticks to the metal or glass of electronic devices the way tendons stick to a bone. “Electronics are usually hard and dry, but the human body is soft and wet," Zhao told MIT News. “If you want to put electronics in close contact with the human body, it is highly desirable to make the electronic devices soft and stretchable to fit the environment.” Zhao and his colleagues just published a paper about their hydrogel bandages in the journal Advanced Materials.
To put the hydrogel to use, Zhao and his team ran titanium wire through it to make it conductive. They bonded electronics, such as temperature sensors, to the material, so that the bandage can detect any heat that is indicative of an infection. Then they drilled holes and cut channels in it to distribute medicine, like topical antimicrobials, across the injury. They even put LED lights in the bandage. Attached to the sensors, the LEDs light up when a wound reaches a concerning temperature. Eventually, since it's controlled remotely, the bandage could alert doctors through an app.
The engineers had to make sure it all still worked when it stretched, and that it could keep both rigid electronics, such as chips, and flexible ones, like wires, in place. Zhao is particularly interested in the interface between electronics and the human body, and trying to develop materials that closely mimic how we naturally move. The bandage bends in tricky spots, like on a knee or an elbow.
Zhao’s next goal is to use the material to build probes that can go inside the body and the brain. Neural probes, in particular, are incredibly hard to build, because the brain has a highly sensitive immune response to foreign objects.
“The brain is a bowl of Jell-O,” Zhao told MIT News. “Currently, researchers are trying different soft materials to achieve long-term biocompatibility of neural devices. With collaborators, we are proposing to use robust hydrogel as an ideal material for neural devices, because the hydrogel can be designed to possess similar mechanical and physiological properties as the brain.”
Zhao says they’re not looking at commercialization quite yet. The bandage has not yet obtained FDA approval, but he says some of the earliest applications could be for dressing burn wounds, which need to be covered, monitored and treated.

How Elvis Presley Became A Narc In Nixon's War On Drugs

Available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble


January 07, 2016

By James McClure

Elvis Presley is a hero to legions of rock fans. But many don't know he was also an enemy of America's cannabis culture.
In December 1970, Elvis wrote a letter to President Richard Nixon while flying to Washington, D.C. It was a statement of his views on America, which he claimed was under siege from the counterculture of the 60s.
Elvis wanted to help, so he asked to be enlisted as a secret agent in the war on drugs. In the pitch, Elvis told the president that his acceptance in the counterculture could help bring it down.
Here's how Presley introduced himself and his political stance:

I am Elvis Presley and admire you and have great respect for your office. I talked to Vice President [Spiro] Agnew in Palm Springs three weeks ago and expressed my concern for our country. The drug culture, the hippie elements, the SDS [ Students for a Democratic Society], Black Panthers, etc. do not consider me as their enemy or as they call it the establishment. I call it America and I love it. Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to help the country out. I have no concern or motives other than helping the country out.

So I wish not to be given a title or an appointed position. I can and will do more good if I were made a Federal Agent at Large and I will help out by doing it my way through my communications with people of all ages. First and foremost, I am an entertainer, but all I need is the Federal credentials.
Then he proposed his own sit-in, telling the president that he would stay in D.C. until he got his credentials as an honorary narcotics officer:
I will be here for as long as long as [sic] it takes to get the credentials of a Federal Agent. I have done an in-depth study of drug abuse and Communist brainwashing techniques and I am right in the middle of the whole thing where I can and will do the most good.

The King meets the President

After landing in the capital, Elvis hand-delivered his letter to a perplexed staff at the White House. But an aide named Egil Krogh, who was also an Elvis fan, persuaded his colleagues to set up a meeting between the president meet the King of Rock and Roll.
On Dec. 21, Presley was brought into the Oval Office, where he again asked for (and later received) his honorary status as a law enforcer. According to Krogh, Elvis also showed Nixon his collection of police badges. And he trash-talked some rivals, telling the president that The Beatles promoted anti-Americanism in the world.
Then they posed for one of the most bizarre photos in White House history:

Elvis' motives: prank, scheme or crusade?
There are a number of competing theories about Elvis' motives for the meeting. Krogh thinks that the administration was had. Elvis, an avid collector of law enforcement paraphernalia, wrote the letter and arranged the meeting because he wanted to add the narcotics credentials to his collection:
"Oh, man, we were set up! But it was fun," Krogh told The Daily Mail years later. "He said all the right words about trying to do the right thing, and I took him at his word, but I think he clearly wanted to get a badge and he knew the only way he was going to get it."

But Priscilla Presley has a couple other theories. In her 1986 memoir Elvis and Me, the King's ex-wife claimed that Elvis' ulterior motives went beyond pranking Nixon: "With the federal narcotics badge, he [believed he] could legally enter any country both wearing guns and carrying any drugs he wished."
Elvis' addiction to prescription drugs would later lead to his death in 1977.
However, Priscilla later claimed that Elvis was sincere in his anti-drug crusade.

The art and joy of cinematography

45 years, (2015) Director of Photography Lol Crawley

I'm a big big Fan of Bukowsk

Chinese Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo spends 60th birthday behind bars

China’s only Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo spent his 60th birthday in jail on Monday. The famous dissident writer is serving an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion of state power” over a political manifesto calling for democracy and an end to one-party rule. Liu’s supporters, including Amnesty International, posted birthday wishes to him on Twitter. They also called on the Chinese government to release the human rights activist.

According to the Centre, Liu’s mother-in-law was unreachable after speaking to the family on Monday. In Guangzhou, three dozen people gathered to celebrate Liu’s birthday. A picture of the gathering was posted on the Weibo microblogging platform, according to RTHK.
In Germany, a group of Liu’s supporters were set to hold a rally to read the writer’s works, reported Rheinische Post. On December 10, a protest was held in front of the Chinese embassy in Berlin to call for Liu’s release. In Hong Kong, demonstrators echoed that call on Christmas day.
Liu was one of the authors of Charter ’08, which was published on December 10, 2008 on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He was convicted in 2009 and was unable to go to Norway to collect his Nobel prize in 2010.
His wife Liu Xia has also been placed under house arrest.

MISH MOSH..........................................
Mish Mash: noun \ˈmish-ˌmash, -ˌmäsh\ A : hodgepodge, jumble The painting was just a mishmash of colors and abstract shapes as far as we could tell. Origin Middle English & Yiddish; Middle English mysse masche, perhaps reduplication of mash mash; Yiddish mish-mash, perhaps reduplication of mishn to mix. First Known Use: 15th century


The Golden Gate Bridge under construction

2000 Years Before Mt. Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii, the volcano devastated many settlements in the Avellino Eruption. Preserving the footsteps of those fleeing for their lives in pumice and ash.

Alexander Graham Bell making the first transcontinental telephone call, by Irving Underhill, 1915

An Ash Disposal Site, Somewhere in the Ukraine
Claude Monet


Mugwump   \MUG-wump\  1 : a bolter from the Republican party in 1884 2 : a person who is independent (as in politics) or who remains undecided or neutral. Mugwump is an anglicized version of a word used by Massachusett Indians to mean "war leader." The word was in early America sometimes jestingly applied to someone who was the "head guy." The first political mugwumps were Republicans in the presidential race of 1884 who chose to support Democratic candidate Grover Cleveland rather than their own party's nominee. Their independence prompted one 1930s humorist to define a mugwump as "a bird who sits with its mug on one side of the fence and its wump on the other."


Bridget Riley

Cool Ice, 1972, Will Brown



Sognefjord, Norway (by Helena)



Tubby Hayes



Canadian company sells four-legged pants
A dog is shown in Muddy Mutts pants in an undated photo. (KABC)

By ABC7.com staff
A Canadian dog wear maker is trying to convince people that man's best friend should wear pants.
A 19-year-old student in Belgium said his girlfriend's dog Rocky got him thinking how dogs would look in pants. He posed the question online and people went nuts joking and debating the question of not just should dogs wear pants, but how they would appear in them.So should dogs wear pants on just their hind legs or on all four legs?
Tim Skelly, owner of Muddy Mutts, tried to settle the debate by saying a pup should wear pants on all four legs. He and his wife sell waterproof nylon waders that go for $50 in the U.S.

He said the pants for dogs are a good idea.
It looks really funny, but when you get tired of cleaning a dog for 20 minutes after a walk, it's really practical," he said.

It was a niche product until a diagram of dogs in four- and two-legged pants went viral online - that's when sales jumped 2,800 percent, Skelly said. Now there's a waiting list, and Skelly races to make more Muddy Mutts.

He said the easiest way to put the pants on your furry friend is to start with the front legs. Each leg goes through the opening and is fastened with Velcro cuffs.

Thanks to Skelly's Muddy Mutts, even Rocky - the dog who inspired the debate - may soon be in a pair of his own.


Paid Family Leave Gets More Attention, but Workers Still Struggle

Claire Cain Miller @clairecm

This year is shaping up to be a big one for paid family leave.On Thursday, the Independent Democratic Conference, a breakaway group of New York state senators, plans to introduce 12 weeks of paid leave as part of its legislative agenda; Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly considering similar legislation. At the end of 2015, Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, signed an executive order giving 20,000 city employees six weeks of fully paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
Nationally, meanwhile, some presidential candidates — the Democrats and at least one Republican, Marco Rubio — are making it a campaign issue.

But for all the political sparring and lobbying to pass paid leave laws, they address just a sliver of the challenges that working families face.
After the first few weeks of a child’s life, working parents have at least 18 more years to juggle work and child rearing. And many of the policies don’t address the huge numbers of workers who need time to care for ailing parents or spouses or to deal with their own health problems.

 “It doesn’t take three months to raise a child,” said Joan Williams, founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings. “Paid leave is a drop in the bucket. It’s a very important drop, but it’s a very empty bucket.”
The United States is the only industrialized country to offer no paid family or sick leave (the Family and Medical Leave Act gives certain employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave.) Advocates say state and local paid leave laws are a first step — if a small one — toward addressing the bigger issues.

“We recognize the standards we’re working for are minimum and minimal, but we’re trying to help educate people,” said Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work, a network of groups pushing for paid leave.

Though a national policy seems far-fetched in the current political climate, some policy makers are trying. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat of New York, and Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat of Connecticut, have introduced the Family Act, which would give Americans paid time off to care for babies or sick family members.

They would pay for it by creating a trust fund within the Social Security Administration. Employers and employees would each contribute 0.2 percent of wages, so business and government would not have to pay when workers took time off. That model is similar to the one in the three states that offer paid family leave; California, New Jersey and Rhode Island finance it through payroll taxes for existing temporary disability programs. The New York State Senate proposal would also do this.
Yet even a national policy would not address a deeper problem in the American workplace, people who study the issue say: a culture of overwork. Americans’ hours have increased sharply over the last four decades, according to Current Population Survey data. Earners in the 60th to 95th percentile work an average of 2,015 hours a year, essentially a full day’s work every workday with no time off. Long hours have become a status symbol among the well paid, and people at these types of jobs are expected to be reachable 24/7 for more off-hours work.

with not getting enough hours and unpredictable schedules. They also have many fewer of the additional family-friendly benefits that some highly paid workers get, like backup child care, free food or the ability to telecommute.
 “Employers assume a worker who’s always available for work, with no other responsibility,” Ms. Williams said. “If you’re not, whether you’re a nurse’s aide or an investment banker, you’re seriously disadvantaged.”

Parents struggle with inflexible jobs long after their children are newborns, and taking care of older family members is becoming a bigger issue as the baby boomers age. Grown children are the single greatest source of care for the elderly in the United States. Nearly half of Americans between the ages of 40 and 60 have a parent over 65 and are supporting a child. A third of them say they always feel rushed, according to the Pew Research Center.
For politicians, paid parental leave is one way to address economic anxiety among workers. But they may soon find Americans who are stressed balancing work and family seek relief beyond the first few weeks of their children’s lives.

All the World's a Frozen Sculpture at China's Ice and Snow Festival

Thousands flock to one of the country's coldest regions to see the stunning displays
By Jackie Mansky

In 2000, Harbin, the capital city of China's northernmost provincea, decided to welcome the new millennium by creating a giant ice and snow exhibition. In the bitterly cold winter, where temperatures average around 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, thousands of sculptors and artists cut and hauled ice from the Songhua River, which flows through capital, to sculpt massive sculptures that they then illuminated with LED lights.
The result, the Harbin Ice and Snow World, has become a yearly tradition, the crown jewel of the province's famous Ice and Snow Festival that includes an art expo that features large snow sculptures and the child-friendly ice lantern fair that dates back to a centuries-old tradition of making lanterns out of frozen blocks. While the festival celebrates its 32nd anniversary on January 5, the Harbin Ice and Snow World, however, already opened its doors to the public this week.

The Ice and Snow World display takes up a massive 750,000 square meters of space, in order to make room for the hundreds of buildings created by carvers who started working on their designs in late November. Typically, sculptors choose to recreate iconic landmarks or images inspired by Chinese fairytales. In years past, many have tried their hand at recreating the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian Pyramids and Iceland's Hallgrimskirkja. After a Disney licensing company took over operations in 2009, more references from popular culture have been added to the mix. Now, it wouldn't be surprising to find Cinderella's castle or a life-size markup of Mickey Mouse nearby a Thai temple. Last year's main attractions at Ice and Snow World included a 160-foot "fairy tower" made of ice and steal, as well as full-sized steam train.

Sculpture this and Sculpture that

Secret Service: Man claiming to be Jesus planned to kidnap one of the Obama dogs

In addition to leading agents to his arsenal during his interview, Stockert also claimed he was the son of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe -- adding that he had come to the District to go to the Capitol to advocate for $99 per month healthcare and to announce that he was running for President. After his arrest, Stockert stated he was Jesus Christ, and that this could be verified on his license.

Robert Henri's "Snow in New York," painted in 1902. A leading realist, Robert Henri was an influential teacher to many young graphic artists and painters. Henri urged his students in Philadelphia and New York to reject idealism and to focus instead on reality, whether it be banal or harsh. He said: "Draw your material from the life around you, from all of it. There is beauty in everything if it looks beautiful to your eyes. You can find it anywhere, everywhere."

Henri's "Snow in New York" depicts ordinary brownstone apartments hemmed in by city blocks of humdrum office buildings. This calm, stable geometry adds to the hush of new-fallen snow. The exact date inscribed—March 5, 1902—implies the canvas was painted in a single session. Its on-the-spot observations and spontaneous sketchiness reveal gray slush in the traffic ruts and yellow mud on the horsecart's wheels.  Robert Henri, "Snow in New York," 1902, oil on 

Why Ellsworth Kelly Was a Giant in the World of American Art
The artist’s minimalism put the essence of his subjects above all

By Alex Palmer


Ellsworth Kelly, considered one of the great American artists of the 20th century for his pioneering work in minimalist painting and sculpture, died Sunday in his Spencertown, New York, home, at the age of 92. Recognized for his vivid use of geometric blocks and intense colors, Kelly built over seven decades a reputation for colorful abstraction and works that explored the essence of their subjects.
His earliest works of art were created in service to the United States, as part of a special camouflage unit in France during World War II. Kelly and his fellow artist-soldiers were tasked with fooling the Germans—using rubber and wood to construct fake tanks and trucks—into thinking the multitudes of Allied troops on the battlefield were much larger than reality. While this seems an unconventional early training for an artist, it proved a fitting one for Kelly.
He was able to understand that there were these realities that for most of us are camouflaged,” says Virginia Mecklenburg, chief curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “He would evoke those realities—a distinct feel of gravity, or the physics of weight and momentum that we rarely think about in tangible terms. He was able to get that across.”
After his service, Kelly enrolled in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and returned to Paris in 1948, absorbing an array of influences, including Picasso and Matisse, Asian art and Romanesque churches. He came back to the United States and presented his first solo show in 1956. Three years after that, Kelly’s work was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) 16 Americans exhibition. His geometric abstract works, along with those of other American painters including Ad Reinhardt and Brice Marden, was dubbed “hard-edge painting” by art historian Jules Langsner in 1959.
Throughout the 1960s, he carved out his own niche separate from the New York City and Paris art worlds. Mecklenburg says what she finds remarkable about his work was the way he pared down the architecture, images, and other visuals he saw in the world and in art, turning them into direct, visceral abstractions. Using basic colors—blue, green, white, black—and single canvases (later moving into multiple canvases and sculpture) he created statements that were “less descriptive than evocative,” as she puts it.
“They take time to look at, but once you step back, you realize you are looking at something you have seen over and over again,” says Mecklenburg, giving the example of the 1961 painting “Blue on White” on exhibit in the American Art Museum, which she says evokes a leaf unfurling. “All of a sudden you begin to understand that if you dissociate narrative ideas, how strong the visual impulse is in every human being.”
He showed at the Venice Biennale in 1966 (and would show at three more in subsequent years), had his first American retrospective at MoMA in 1973, and his first major European retrospective at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam six years after that.
“Ellsworth Kelly made the transition from postwar geometric abstraction to the Minimalist movement that began in the early 1970s,” says Valerie Fletcher, senior curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which possesses 22 of Kelly’s works, including “White Relief over Dark Blue” from 2002, on view in the museum’s third floor, and an untitled 1986 sculpture displayed in the garden. “If you look at his paintings compared to others in his generation, they are far simpler.”
Some of these works take on a “totemic” quality, as Mecklenburg describes it, pointing to “Memorial,” his wall sculpture of four white panels at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “How do you talk about something of that magnitude?” she asks. “There are either a million words or no words, and he chose no words.”
His simple, geometric approach had an impact on the next generation of Minimalists—Frank Stella, Donald Judd, and others—with works that explored the essence of ideas or emotions in tangible and tactile ways.
“He had a huge impact on the art world, but the work speaks in a visceral way to whoever looks at it,” adds Mecklenburg. “I have to say there is a sense of joy and a sense of energy to so much of his work. You sort of come back to the center when you look at it.”

Jan Staller’s Images Show New York’s Untrammeled Snows of Yesteryear

Winters in the city are beautiful only for a moment. A pristine lace of snow falls, but then, within minutes, a taxi — or a dog — comes by to dirty it up.
This season, snowless so far in the city, hasn’t offered much of a chance to test that proposition. But the photographer Jan Staller has spent nearly three decades capturing those brief pure periods of winter in New York when the landscape is transformed. “I would go out in the middle of a blizzard when there was nary a soul to be seen,” Mr. Staller said. “It’s only when the snow is still falling that you can enjoy it.”
In his image of Sutton Place, from 1983, the snow is no longer falling but rests untouched atop a sidewalk, marred by nothing but the shadows of silhouetted trees. His photograph of a snowbound Central Park, from the following year, presents a virgin landscape in which the only signifier of civilization is a colorfully glowing stoplight.
Mr. Staller, who is 63 and lives in downtown Manhattan, has had an interest in New York’s natural world since arriving in the city in 1976 after several years at boarding school and college in New England and Baltimore. He began his exploration of the cityscape, he said, by taking long walks along the Hudson River where he could glimpse the horizon and the clean, clear light that the unobstructed view afforded.
“The winter photos are often about the mixture of artificial and natural light,” he said. “It’s transformative work where the qualities of the medium, the subject and my own sensibilities combine to get beyond simple description or ‘the pretty photograph.’”



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)


rough neighborhood


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


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



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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




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