Literary Ashland with Dennis Powers

Our June guest was Dennis Powers, Professor Emeritus at SOU and author of numerous books both fiction and non-fiction. We talked about his maritime series of non-fiction books which began with The Raging Sea, an account of the worst Tsunami on the US West Coast, and includes the volumes The Treasure Ship, Sentinel of the Seas, Taking the Sea and Tales of the Seven Seas. Each book explores a fascinating topic along the West Coast of the United States.

 

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On Nationalism

Nationalism

Daniel Defoe (Wikipedia)

Invoking of mythic past is a key aspect of nationalism. The emphasis being on mythic. In the case of England, Daniel Defoe offered his take in 1702. Of course, the similar stories can be told about pretty much any natio

Thus from a Mixture of all kinds began,
That Het’rogeneous Thing, An Englishman:
In eager Rapes, and furious Lust begot,
Betwixt a Painted Britton and a Scot:
Whose gend’ring Offspring quickly learnt to bow,
And yoke their Heifers to the Roman Plough:
From Whence a Mongrel half-bred Race there came,
With neither Name nor Nation, Speech or Fame.
In whose hot Veins now Mixtures quickly ran,
Infus’d betwixt a Saxon and a Dane.
While their Rank Daughters, to their Parents just,
Receiv’d all Nations with Promiscuous Lust.
This Nauseous Brood directly did contain
The well-extracted Blood of Englishmen

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Regarding Brexit

EU FlagLet’s get this out of the way first. Yes, the European Union is a bureaucratic institution with a democracy deficit. Its regulatory role is often experienced as burdensome. All this has been true for a long time, but the post-Cold War expansion has made it even more unwieldy.

Let’s also get his out of the way. The Brexit vote had not a lot to do with the EU. It wasn’t a working class blow against globalization as Bernie Sanders would have us believe, even though many districts that traditionally voted Labor also voted to leave the EU. It was a bill presented to the British elites by the citizens who had been hoodwinked, first by Thatcher and then by Blair, into believing that nostalgia for an imperial past is a substitute for responsive politics. Even though the target of the discontent driving the Brexit vote was the EU, its origin is domestic.

Read more

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Blog Tour: Shattered Circle by John Stamp

Shattered Circle coverWhat’s It About?

Jackson Cole is a newly minted homicide detective thrown head first into the grinder when he is ordered to investigate the grisly murder of three women, each adorned with occult symbols.

The press is stirring up a frenzy about a killer cult. The mayor, the chief of police, and Cole’s captain want results to calm an increasingly fearful public, and Cole’s  partner is nowhere to be found. It’s just another day at the office until a stranger shows up spouting a wild theory: blood magic.

Cole won’t even consider it. There is no such thing as magic, no such thing as voodoo. And there are definitely no demons roaming the Charleston Peninsula. There’s always a rational explanation for the evil humans commit upon one another. Until a demon tries to take Cole’s head off.

How do you stop a supernatural evil, something ancient and unencumbered by the laws of physics or man? Especially when all you bring to the fight is a pistol and a pair of handcuffs. If Jackson Cole wants to close this case, he’ll need to open his mind to a world of the impossible. A world he never knew existed, until now. And he’ll have to survive it. Read more

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