Category Archives: Politics

Jane Austen: Writing, Society, Politics Book Review

Art does not come from nothing. It comes from the world around us and the experiences that have shaped our lives.

Jane Austen: Writing, Society, Politics by Tom Keymer, was published last year. In the book, Keymer walks the reader through the Regency era and how that world had a hand in developing her voice as a writer. He goes into the politics of the period, the complete disenfranchisement of women, and how a strict, but slowly fading class system played a role in her work.

I loved it. It was short, concise, and a reminder as to why Austen’s work continues to be timeless and universal. I will say, however, that it is aimed at two specific and different groups of readers. The book can be read in an academic setting, but it is neither dry nor stuffy. It also squarely falls into the Janeite camp. My one warning is that to truly enjoy it, the reader should be well versed in her life and work. Otherwise, they may not understand the nuances and the details that a long-time Jane Austen fan can easily identify.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Feminism, History, Jane Austen, Politics, Writing

Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump Book Review

There are two kinds of loyalty: loyalty to one self and loyalty to others. The question is, where does one draw the line between listening to your inner voice and putting someone else first?

Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer of you know who, published his memoir last year. It is entitled Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump. In the book, he writes in great detail about the years that he worked for the former President. The man he describes is one that cares only for himself. He will say anything and do anything to get his way, not caring about the consequences that other people will face. You know who is crass, crude, racist, cheap, and was known to fly off the handle when he did not get his way. As Cohen spent more time with his ex-employer, he began to lose himself in the job and the person he reported to.

Though Cohen calls it a memoir, I would call it a confessional. He puts everything on the page, leaving nothing behind. The book is well written. As I was walking in his shoes, I understood why he continued his employment in spite of the number of times that the legal and moral boundaries were crossed. Though he comes off as contrite, a part of me will never be able to forget or forgive his actions.

If nothing else, it is a reminder if why this you know who should never be allowed to get anywhere near any political office in this country again.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Happy Independence Day!

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I Appreciate Sha’Carri Richardson’s Maturity

The mark of an adult, in my opinion, is the ability to admit when one has made a mistake and accept the consequences.

On Friday, Olympic hopeful Sha’Carri Richardson spoke to The Today Show, She apologized for drug use that led to her one month suspension from competing in the trials for this month’s Olympics.

I admire Ms. Richardson for accepting her punishment with grace and maturity. While I understand that she was grieving for her mother, what she did was wrong. Instead of taking a tantrum (unlike a certain former President) in public, she put on her big girl pants, and let the chips fall where they may.

It is a lesson we can all learn, regardless of how old or young we are.

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Filed under Books, Life, National News, Politics, Television

Juneteenth is the Newest Federal American Holiday

The late Martin Luther King Jr. once said the following:

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”

This week, the arc of justice finally reached it’s mark this week. President Biden officially designated Juneteenth as a federal holiday. As others have pointed out (which I agree with), as important this proclamation is, it must be backed up by laws up holding equality and shutting down of institutional racism in every fact of our society.

The fact is that African-Americans have built this country. Instead of thanking them and giving greater opportunities, we have degraded them, dehumanized them, and denied the most basic of rights that we claim is due to every American.

In a move that surprised no one, several members of Congress, who are all male, Caucasian, and Republican, voted no. Thankfully, a majority knew and understood how vitally important it is to at least try to reach the ideals written in our founding documents.

This is just a step in the road to real equality, but it is huge and if nothing else, a day to be proud of.

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Filed under History, National News, Politics

Beautiful Things: A Memoir Book Review

Addiction is not a thing we can turn on and off like a light switch. It is an all consuming habit that devours and destroys everything in its path.

Hunter Biden, the younger son of President Joe Biden released his memoir back in April. Entitled Beautiful Things: A Memoir, is an emotionally raw and difficult read about Biden’s decades of drug addiction, his adoration of his late older brother Beau Biden, and his many attempts to get clean. He tells the story of his life as only he tells it. From the death of his mother and baby sister when he was a young child, to his father’s time in politics and his attempt to live a normal life while dealing with his inner demons, nothing is off the table.

If this book is not among the top five, if not the best book of the year, something is wrong. I have a feeling that putting pen to paper was a cathartic experience for him. It is real, it is uninhibited, and it is emotional. I wanted to reach out through the pages and give him a long hug. Leaving no stone unturned, he is honest about his long years of drug abuse.

He also talks about the accusation that came from the other side during the 2020 Presidential election in regards to the laptop that linked him to the Ukraine scandal. Unlike a certain person and their family, Hunter Biden comes off as a genuine person who is not always looking out solely for number one.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Mental Health, National News, Politics

Paxton Smith is My New Hero

When fighting against injustice, superheroes don’t always wear capes or use fantastic weaponry. Some are just brave enough to stand up and speak their truths.

Earlier this months, recent Texas high school graduate Paxton Smith stepped up the microphone to give her valedictorian speech. Instead of reading from the text that was approved by the administration, she used her platform to speak out against the heartbeat bill signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott.

The problem with this bill is that it goes into effect before pregnancy is detected, taking away the person’s right to make a decision about their body and their future. The problem with this bill and others like it is that is shortsighted. It does not take into account if the pregnancy comes about via rape, incest, or if it is medically necessary to abort the pregnancy. It also ignores the millions of already existing children who for a variety of reasons, are growing up in less than economically ideal circumstances. Where is the need to help those kids?

We need more young women like Paxton Smith. With future leaders like her, I see a bright future for this country.

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Filed under Feminism, National News, Politics

The Lincoln Project on Memorial Day and the January 6th Commission

January 6th, 2021, was a day that will forever part of American history. Those of us above a certain age will forever remember where we were and who we were that day.

Nearly 6 months after the fact, a bi-partisan commission is being put together to figure out what happened and more importantly, what went wrong. As expected, while some members of Congress understand the importance this commission, others (cough, Republicans, cough) have shot down the idea.

Today, as we all know, is Memorial Day. Instead of remembering those who have given up everything to protect this country and everything she represents, they are as usual more concerned with saving their own skins and brown nosing you know who.

The Lincoln Project is far more eloquent and knowledgeable on this topic than I am. I will end this post with their latest video because a picture is always worth a thousand words.

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Would My Health Inspector Grandfather Vote for Kathryn Garcia?

Before Covid-19, going out to eat was an everyday and hopefully enjoyable experience. These days, eating in a restaurant may mean the difference between it staying open and closing for good.

During last week’s NYC Mayoral debate, one of the nominees, Kathryn Garcia, stated the following:

“We do need to make sure we are inspecting restaurants, but they can schedule the appointment so they are staffed to be able to manage it moving forward rather than losing a whole night’s worth of receipts,”

One of my late grandfathers worked for the city as a health inspector. I have to wonder, if he was alive today, what would he say to Ms. Garcia and would he vote for her?

Given his devotion to his job and protecting customers from food poisoning, I would think he would completely disagree with her opinion.

My opinion is that we don’t want to fine these restaurants out of business, they have enough on their plates these days. However, it must be said that the sanitary conditions must be up to par, not just for the diners, but for the kitchen staff as well.

In the end, there has to be a balance between keeping these establishments open and the restaurants clean. Is there a middle ground? The truth is that I don’t know if there is one.

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Filed under New York City, Politics

Allegiance: The New Lincoln Project Video

If I were a betting woman, I would say that if any American child were asked to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, they would be able to do so by heart.

It seems that many adults in this country, specifically some in the Republican party, have forgotten these words. I could go on, but instead I will let the new Lincoln Project video do the talking. If a picture is worth 10,000 words, then this clip is worth its weight in gold.

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