John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” - Henry Ford

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” - Henry Ford

 (So turn off the TV and get to writing)

The purpose of art

 The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Picasso

Once you make a decision

“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

In his memoir, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,

In his memoir, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, King shares valuable insights into how to be a better writer. The book was first published in 2000. In 2010, a special anniversary edition of this million-copy bestseller was republished. Here are a few great pieces of advice from the memoir:
1. Stop watching television. Instead, read as much as possible: If you're just starting out as a writer, your television should be the first thing to go.   
2. Prepare for more failure and criticism than you think you can deal with: Not only will you doubt yourself, but other people will doubt you, too. Oftentimes, you have to continue writing even when you don't feel like it. And when you fail, King suggests that you remain positive. 
3. Don't waste time trying to please people: Rudeness should be the least of your concerns. "If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway," he writes.
4. Write primarily for yourself: You should write because it brings you happiness and fulfilment. As King says, "If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
5. Disconnect from the rest of the world: Put your desk in the corner of the room, and eliminate all possible distractions, from phones to open windows. 
6. Don't be pretentious: One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you're maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones, says King.   
8. Avoid adverbs and long paragraphs: King  believes "adverbs are worst after "he said" and "she said" — those phrases are best left unadorned. Also pay attention to your paragraphs, so that they flow with the turns and rhythms of your story.  
9. Don't get overly caught up in grammar: Writing is primarily about seduction, not precision. The object of fiction isn't grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story, he says.
10. Master the art of description: Description begins in the writer's imagination, but should finish in the reader's," writes King. The important part isn't writing enough, but limiting how much you say.  Visualise what you want your reader to experience, and then translate into words. The key to good description is clarity, both in observation and in writing. Use fresh images and simple vocabulary to avoid exhausting your reader. "In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it 'got boring,' the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority," notes King.
11. Don't give too much background information: There's a difference between lecturing about what you know and using it to enrich the story," writes King. Only include details that move your story forward and persuade your reader to continue reading. If you need to research, make sure it doesn't overshadow the story. Research belongs "as far in the background and the back story as you can get it," says King. You may be entranced by what you're learning, but your readers are going to care a lot more about your characters and your story.
12. Tell stories about what people actually do: Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do — to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street," writes King. The people in your stories are what readers care about the most, so make sure you acknowledge all the dimensions your characters may have.
13. Take risks; don't play it safe: First and foremost, stop using the passive voice. It's the biggest indicator of fear. "Fear is at the root of most bad writing," King says. "Try any goddamn thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn't, toss it," he adds.
14. Realise that you don't need drugs to be a good writer: Substance-abusing writers are just substance-abusers. "Any claims that the drugs and alcohol are necessary to dull a finer sensibility are just the usual self-serving bullshit," believes King.
15. Don't try to steal someone else's voice: When you try to mimic another writer's style for any reason other than practice, you'll produce nothing but "pale imitations." This is because you can never try to replicate the way someone feels and experiences truth, especially not through a surface-level glance at vocabulary and plot.
16. Understand that writing is a form of telepathy: All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing is the purest distillation, says King. An important element of writing is transference. Your job isn't to write words on the page, but rather to transfer the ideas inside your head into the heads of your readers.
17. Take your writing seriously: You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or despair, says King. If you don't want to take your writing seriously, he suggests that you close the book and do something else. As writer Susan Sontag says, "The story must strike a nerve — in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk."
18. Write every single day: Once I start work on a project, I don't stop, and I don't slow down unless I absolutely have to, says King. "If I don't write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind ... I begin to lose my hold on the story's plot and pace." If you fail to write consistently, the excitement for your idea may begin to fade. When the work starts to feel like work, King describes the moment as "the smooch of death." His best advice is to just take it "one word at a time."
19. Finish your first draft in three months: King likes to write 10 pages a day. Over a three-month span, that amounts to around 180,000 words. "The first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months, the length of a season," he says. If you spend too long on your piece, King believes the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel.
20. When you're finished, take a long step back: King suggests six weeks of "recuperation time" after you're done writing, so you can have a clear mind to spot any glaring holes in the plot or character development. He asserts that a writer's original perception of a character could be just as faulty as the reader's. When you do find your mistakes, he says that "you are forbidden to feel depressed about them or to beat up on yourself. Screw-ups happen to the best of us."
21. Have the guts to cut: When revising, writers often have a difficult time letting go of words they spent so much time writing. But, as King advises, "Kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler's heart." Although revision is one of the most difficult parts of writing, you need to leave out the boring parts in order to move the story along. In his advice on writing, Vonnegut suggests, "If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out."
22. Stay married, be healthy, and live a good life: King attributes his success to two things: his health and his marriage

55 Scott Street

My family, I should say families, lived in this house for four generations. It's on Scott Street in Naugatuck Connecticut in an area that was called Kelly Hill, for two reasons. An immigrant named Kelly owned almost all of the property on the hill and cut it up it up parcels and sold it to newly arrived Irish immigrants. Kelly acted as the bank, holding the mortgage until the house as paid for. In the late 1880s, my great grandfather, Cornelius Tuohy married one of the Leary daughter and the Leary family (Who owned a house a few feet away) purchased this house for them. The  Tuohy's lived there until about 1980 when the property was sold. For a short time they also owned the red house behind 55 Scott Street (Scott Street is named for the Scott family who sold the land to Kelly). That house was built in 1716. 

A good book

“A good book, he had concluded, leaves you wanting to reread the book. A great book compels you to reread your own soul.” Richard Flanagan

If a writer

“If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.”

More than 70 kids missing from Kansas foster care system

Here's what will happen: Nothing will happen. No one will be arrested and no one will lose their job and the foster care system will continue to run in secret on hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars 

More than 70 kids missing from Kansas foster care system
Associated Press

Lawmakers are expressing outrage after learning more than 70 foster children are missing in Kansas, a number that officials say is in line with the national average.

Foster care contractors provided the information during a meeting of an oversight panel Tuesday at the Statehouse in response to questions about the disappearance of three sisters from a northeast Kansas foster home, The Kansas City Star reports. Police believe the missing girls -- ages 15, 14 and 12 -- ran away in August.

Sen. Laura Kelly, a Topeka Democrat, told a child welfare task force meeting that when she asked the Kansas Department for Children and Families about the missing children on Tuesday, the agency knew nothing. She said after the meeting that she was "flabbergasted."

The agency's chief, Phyllis Gilmore, said after the meeting that she can't discuss the missing sisters. She said in a statement Wednesday that the department has long had policies in place to attempt to find missing foster children quickly and that many are returned to their foster homes swiftly.

"These children who run away are not under lock and key; they are generally in family foster homes, older youth, who attend school and activities, and they often miss their biological families," she said.

She also said that some of the missing children who are considered to be on the run are with a parent attempting to keep them out of foster care.

KVC Kansas, one of the foster care contractors, said it has roughly 38 missing children. The other company, Saint Francis Community Services, said 36 in its system are missing.
Chad Anderson, chief clinical officer at KVC Kansas, told the child welfare task force that the number of missing represented about 1 percent of the foster care population and is in line with the national average.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that during the federal government's 2015 fiscal year, about 4,600 children in foster care were listed as runaways, or 1.1 percent of the nearly 428,000 total. Kansas had almost 7,100 children in foster care in August, so the number of those missing is about 1 percent.

Still, Anderson acknowledged the contractors could do a better job.
"I don't know that we as contractors have shared as much in terms of missing youth and the day to day as we probably should," Anderson said, adding that contractors update DCF every 30 days on the missing children.

Rep. Linda Gallagher, a Lenexa Republican, said she was shocked at the number of missing children. Even if the number missing is in line with the national average, she said, it is still too many.

Rep. Steve Alford, a Ulysses Republican who chairs the task force, said after the meeting he wasn't really surprised.

"There's a break between DCF and the contracting," he said. "Once the children ... (go from the court) into the possession of the secretary, she hands them off to the contractors and it's their responsibility, you know, it's kind of like out of sight, out of mind in a lot of aspects."


I’m sorry this guy lost his job, but what he did was dangerous on a dozen different levels.

Utah cop who dragged screaming nurse fired from police department A Utah detective who was filmed handcuffing and dragging a nurse in July has been fired. Jeff Payne, a detective with the Salt Lake City Police Department, was fired Tuesday following an investigation, Chief Mike Brown said Tuesday. In a video filmed July 26, Payne, who was working as a part-time paramedic, asked University Hospital Nurse Alex Wubbels to draw blood from an unconscious patient, which she refused to do, citing company policy. The detective had support from his supervisor, Lt. James Tracy, who said Wubbels could be arrested if she didn't allow the blood draw. Payne eventually told Wubbels she was under arrest and physically removed her from the hospital while she screamed, claiming that she hadn’t done anything wrong. An investigation by a civilian review board found Payne had apparently become frustrated after a long wait to perform the blood draw and ignored the nurse's correct explanation that she could not allow it without a warrant or formal consent from the patient, who had been in a car crash. Salt Lake City police later apologized for the arrest, changed their blood-draw policies and placed Payne and Tracy on paid administrative leave after the video from police body cameras drew widespread attention online. An internal investigation with the police department found evidence that the officers violated several policies. Payne was fired from his paramedic job with Gold Cross Ambulance — a company which he worked for since 1983 — on Sept. 5. Greg Skordas, Payne’s lawyer, said last month that his client would “love the chance to sit down and apologize for what happened here. If he could do this over, he would do it differently.” Skordas also questioned whether Payne’s behavior warranted being fired.

I don't know whether to laugh or hang my head

So much for empathy.

Members of opposing political groups clashed Tuesday inside a so-called "empathy tent" on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

At least four people were arrested, police said.

The empathy tent was reportedly in place to offer protesters a calm place to unwind amid the chaos around them. But the tent ultimately offered little respite -- and nearly toppled during clashes between conservative students and leftist activists, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“It’s tough, but we do what we can to foster dialogue,” said Edwin Fulch, who reportedly used the tent for talks about the virtues of meditation and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The protest was led by Joey Gibson, leader of a group called Patriot Prayer. Gibson had called for a rally after student organizers canceled a planned "Free Speech Week.”

Counterprotesters determined to shut the event down got into shouting matches and scuffles with Gibson and his supporters inside the tent and later in a city park.

Left-wing activist Yvonne Felarca was arrested for battery and resisting arrest, police said. Three men were arrested on charges including possession of body armor, carrying a banned weapon and participating in a riot.

Berkeley's reputation as a liberal bastion has made it a flashpoint for the country's political divisions since the election of President Donald Trump.

Four protests have turned violent on campus and in the surrounding streets in recent months, prompting authorities to tighten security as they struggle to balance free speech rights with preventing violence.

David Marquis, who identified himself as a senior at the school, said he was tired of the protests on campus. Marquis was outside the protest area and described the scene.

“If you look at them, it’s ridiculous,” Marquis told the Los Angeles Times. “You’ve got a guy with purple hair with a f---ing lightsaber talking about Hitler. It’s hard for me to take any of this seriously.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

I adore B&W photos from film

Grotto In An Iceberg, Photographed During The British Antarctic Expedition, 5 Jan 1911.

And once again I say; nationally required IQ test and self-insured law enforcement license for every cop in America.

And once again I say; nationally required IQ test and self-insured law enforcement license for every cop in America.

New Jersey police detective fathers child with 15-year-old, is charged with sexual assault of minor
The police officer received multiple honors for his work.
His numerous gun and drug arrests at one point earned him “Officer of the Week” in the Camden County Police Department.
But he also fathered a child with a 15-year-old girl, and now Camden County Police Department Det. Rafael Martinez Jr. is facing charges for sexually assaulting a minor, according to the county prosecutor.
Martinez, 32, reportedly admitted to being the father of the baby. The 15-year-old girl, identified only as E.L., told authorities that she and Martinez had a sexual relationship from September 2016 to August 2017, according to New Jersey newspapers.
The police officer was suspended after he was arrested on Sept. 12. He earns almost $66,000 a year, according to the Courier Post.
Martinez signed the baby’s birth certificate when the child was born in mid-August, the Courier Post said. An affidavit that is part of the criminal complaint against Martinez said the teenager told authorities that the police officer was “the father of her child and that they had sex on multiple occasions at his home.”
A court-ordered DNA test confirmed Martinez as the father, reports added. 

Let it kill you

“My dear,

Find what you love and let it kill you.
Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness.
Let it kill you and let it devour your remains.
For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover.

~ Falsely yours” 

Eli, my dog, in the car

Water can


Don't you just want to see the entire world?


Portrait of Tiberius. Circa 30 AD. Marble.

Tiberius:  November 16  42 BC – March 16 37 AD) was a Roman emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Born Tiberius Claudius Nero, a Claudian, Tiberius was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Octavian, later known as Augustus, in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian.

Tiberius would later marry Augustus' daughter (from his marriage to Scribonia), Julia the Elder, and even later be adopted by Augustus, by which act he officially became a Julian, bearing the name Tiberius Julius Caesar. The subsequent emperors after Tiberius would continue this blended dynasty of both families for the following thirty years; historians have named it the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

In relations to the other emperors of this dynasty, Tiberius was the stepson of Augustus, grand-uncle of Caligula, paternal uncle of Claudius, and great-grand uncle of Nero. His 22-and-a-half-year reign would be the longest after Augustus's until Antoninus Pius, who surpassed his reign by a few months in 161.

Tiberius was one of the greatest Roman generals; his conquest of Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and temporarily, parts of Germania, laid the foundations for the northern frontier. But he came to be remembered as a dark, reclusive, and sombre ruler who never really desired to be emperor; Pliny the Elder called him tristissimus hominum, "the gloomiest of men."

After the death of Tiberius’ son Drusus Julius Caesar in 23 AD, he became more reclusive and aloof. In 26 AD Tiberius removed himself from Rome and left administration largely in the hands of his unscrupulous Praetorian prefects Lucius Aelius Sejanus and Quintus Naevius Sutorius Macro.

Caligula, Tiberius' grand-nephew and adopted grandson, succeeded Tiberius upon his death.

Writers hint

“What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story.”F. Scott Fitzgerald

Remember when you used to think teachers were smart people?

Great Valley Charter School in Modesto, California is accusing a five-year-old of making terrorist threats

The parents of a 5-year-old boy in Modesto are upset their son was suspended for a day after refusing to take off his backpack.
Jackson Riley had told his teacher there was a bomb inside his backpack.
Jackson's school, Great Valley Charter School, sent his parents a letter saying he was suspended for his intent to "threaten, intimidate or harass others."
School administrators later changed the letter to apply to a school code saying he made terrorist threats, but that code only applies to students in the fourth through 12th grades.
Jackson's parents argue he's just 5 years old and was just playing around. They say they don't want anything on their child's file saying he was suspended for making terrorist threats.
The school declined to comment

California professor under fire for 'white privilege' quiz

A San Diego State University professor is under fire after he gave students an extra credit quiz to determine their level of “white privilege.”
Sociology professor Dae Elliott’s “White Privilege Checklist” included 20 questions in hopes that students can see that “racial privilege is one form of privilege,” The College Fix reports. The assignment asked students to check off whether statements apply to them. Elliott is the President South Bay Lesbian Alliance
“I can be late to a meeting without having the lateness reflect on my race,” one statement on the quiz said. “I can enroll in a class at college and be sure that the majority of my professors will be of my race,” said another.
The end of the quiz asked students to define any other types of privileges they may think they have. Those with the highest number of checkmarks are determined to have the most privilege. 

The answer is YES

Has asset forfeiture gone too far? 

By Doug McKelway

Customs seized Gerardo Serrano's truck because he had a handful of legally obtained bullets in his possession; Doug McKelway has the story for 'Special Report'
WASHINGTON –  Two years ago, Gerardo Serano – an American citizen, Kentucky farmer and a one-time GOP Kentucky statehouse candidate – was driving his brand new, $60,000 Ford F-250 pick-up truck to visit relatives in Mexico, snapping pictures along the way, when Customs and Border Patrol agents halted him at the border, demanded his cell phone, and asked him why he was taking pictures.
"I just wanted the opening of the bridge. I was gonna take the opening of the bridge, the entrance of the bridge. That’s all I wanted to do," Serano told Fox News.
As a self-proclaimed student of the Constitution, Serano said he knew his rights, and protested to Customs and Border Patrol agents vehemently when they asked him to unlock his phone.
"You need a warrant for that," he says he told them. They searched his truck and found five bullets in a magazine clip that Serano, a Kentucky concealed carry permit holder, forgot to remove before leaving his home.
"We got you," he says border agents told him. He was detained, but never arrested, nor charged, nor tried, nor convicted. However, agents did seize his prized new truck. Two years since its seizure, they have yet to give it back.
Serano is still making monthly payments of $673 on the truck as well as paying for its insurance and Kentucky license fees.
His attorneys at the Institute for Justice say Customs and Border Patrol has told them the truck was subject to the government's Civil Asset Forfeiture program because it was used to "transport munitions of war." 
The Civil Asset Forfeiture program has its roots in English law that American colonists rebelled against. Their rebellion was ultimately codified in the Fourth Amendment, which reads, in part: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..."
Despite that unambiguous language, civil asset forfeiture was revived in the 1930s Prohibition era against bootleggers and mobsters. It was revived again in the 1980s war on drugs and continues to this day.
"It’s absolutely astonishing that civil forfeiture is a policy that we have in this country,” said Clark Neily of the Cato Institute. “It is totally unjust, unfair, and I think it's unconstitutional."
Sen. Rand Paul, (R-KY) agrees. "There are instances of people, young people, getting some money and saying, ‘I'm moving to California from Boston.’ They're stopping in some small town in Nevada, and they have a thousand bucks their dad gave them to get started,” Paul said. “And the police just take it and say: ‘You prove to us that this isn't drug money.’"
Gerardo Serrano's truck was seized over five bullets, which he says were lawfully his.  (Institute for Justice)
Morgan Wright, a senior fellow at the Center for Digital Government, spent 20 years as a police officer and detective in Kansas. He cites the benefits of civil asset forfeiture.
"We seized everything from cars to houses to money to jewelry to you name it," he said. "One of the cash seizures I had, had plans for a methamphetamine laboratory. They had documented intelligence that they had people working in these operations, people selling cocaine - cartel activity out of Mexico."
Wright acknowledges asset forfeiture may have gone too far.
"One of the worst things you can do in law enforcement is to take a good tool and abuse it," Wright said. "So that restrictive regulations come down on it, and it's taken away from everybody."
Many contend the program's abuses outweigh its benefits. Congressional critics were outraged, when, this summer, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ended Obama-era restrictions that blocked forfeiture without a warrant or criminal charges.
In a rare show of bipartisanship, conservative House Republicans joined liberal Democrats this month in rolling back Sessions’ undoing of the Obama-era reforms. During floor debate, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said: "Asset forfeiture is a crime against the American people committed by their own government."
"The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution exists to protect the citizens of this country from being deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. In practice and in principle, adoptive forfeiture is a violation of that Fourth Amendment," she said
The Senate is also poised to act.
"We have a free-standing bill that says the government shouldn't take peoples’ property without a conviction, that the burden is on the government that you actually agreed to commit a crime," Sen. Paul told Fox News.
"We also will look at, as the funding bills come through in the House, if they do bring up the Appropriation Bill for the Department of Justice, I will attach that language to it," he added.
Many say what's needed is a Supreme Court test case. It may get one.
Serano, represented by the Institute for Justice, is suing Customs to get his truck back and to end the policy of civil forfeiture once and for all. Justice Clarence Thomas has publicly said the high court needs a good case that address the problems of civil asset forfeiture.

I adore B&W photos from film: Emil Otto Hoppé

Emil Otto Hoppé (April 14 1878 – December 91972) was a German-born British portrait, travel, and topographic photographer active between 1907 and 1945. Born to a wealthy family in Munich, he moved to London in 1900 to train as a financier, but took up photography and rapidly achieved great success.
Rarely in the history of the medium has a photographer been so famous in his own lifetime among the general public. He was as famous as his sitters. It is difficult to think of a prominent name in the fields of politics, art, literature, and the theatre who did not pose for his camera."

Although Hoppé was one of the most important photographic artists of his era and highly celebrated in his time, in 1954, at the age of 76, he sold his body of photographic work to a commercial London picture archive, the Mansell Collection. In the collection, the work was filed by subject in with millions of other stock pictures and no longer accessible by author. Almost all of Hoppé's photographic work—that which gained him the reputation as Britain's most influential international photographer between 1907 and 1939—was accidentally obscured from photo-historians and from photo-history itself. It remained in the collection for over thirty years after Hoppé's death, and was not fully accessible to the public until the collection closed down and was acquired by new owners in the United States.
In 1994 photographic art curator Graham Howe retrieved Hoppé's photographic work from the picture library and rejoined it with the Hoppé family archive of photographs and biographical documents. This was the first time since 1954 that the complete E.O. Hoppé Collection was gathered together. Many years were spent in cataloguing, conservation, and research of the recovered work.