Lize Bard: Haiku Out of Africa

narrow winding path ~ where will this thought lead me to? ~ nowhere is a place © Lize Bard @

via Nowhere — Haiku out of africa

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Arnold Schwarzenegger: Mighty, Mighty Supporter of Mighty, Mighty Special Olympics


Arnold Schwarzenegger has been a huge advocate of the Special Olympics, especially since it was founded by his former mother-in-law. Over the last few days, the star of Predator and Terminator has been hanging out with the athletes in Austria.

Earlier this week, he joined the winning Irish ski team – who have to date won two gold, one silver and one bronze medal – on the winners podium to take a video with them. He also shared it to his Facebook page with the caption “These guys inspire me!”:

In a since deleted post (which someone on Reddit has screengrabbed here), Arnie absolutely destroyed an online troll who said “The Special Olympics make no sense. The Olympics are for the best athletes in the world to compete against each other.”

This keyboard warrior also used an incredibly offensive term for the athletes. After seeing this offensive post, Arnie was having none of it:

“As stupid and evil as this comment is, I’m not going to delete it or ban you (yet) because it’s a teachable moment. You have two possible paths ahead. Right now, I guarantee you that these athletes have more courage, compassion, brains, skill — actually more of every positive human quality than you. So take their path — you could learn from them, and try to challenge yourself, to give back, to add something from the world. Or you can stay on your path, and keep being a sad, pitiful, jealous internet troll who adds nothing to the world but mocks anyone who does out of small-minded jealousy.”

And then for the kicker: “I know what you really want is attention, so let me be clear. If you choose to keep going this way, no one will ever remember you.”

The exchange has since been deleted, but it just goes to show that even at 69 years old, Arnie can mic-drop better than anyone.


Bridie Pearson-Jones, Roisin O’Connor: Arnold Schwarzenegger terminates troll who questions need for Special Olympics (Guardian)

‘If you choose to keep going this way, no one will ever remember you.’

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Dante’s Paradise: Canto 19 Retelling — Jupiter — Symbolic Eagle

Chapter 19: Jupiter — Symbolic Eagle

Before Dante’s eyes was the figure of the Eagle, a figure that was formed by the joyful souls of the just.

Each soul of the just was like a ruby through which a ray of the Sun was passing and then striking Dante’s eyes.

And what Dante saw was something that no other living person else has ever spoken or written about, or even imagined.

Dante saw the beak of the Eagle move, and the Eagle spoke. The Eagle used the singular — “I” and “Mine” — but because all the souls of the just were speaking as one, it could have used the plural — “We” and “Ours.”

The Eagle said, “On Earth I was just and pious, and so I am in Paradise and I am appearing before you on this Sphere. I feel as much glory as it is possible for me to feel. On Earth, the memory of me is such that even evil people praise me although they will not follow my example.”

Many burning coals produce one glowing heat, and the many souls of the just produced one voice.

Dante said, “You are like many flowers whose fragrances produce one perfume; please breathe forth more words and satisfy my craving to have my questions about justice answered. You are able to directly see the justice that is within the mind of God.

“You know that I am eager to hear you answer my questions, and you know what my questions are that I have wished for a time to have answered.”

A falcon that is freed from the hood covering its eyes will stretch its neck and beat its wings in its eagerness to take flight. The Eagle moved similarly and sang a hymn to God.

The Eagle then said to Dante, “God is the One Who created the universe and marked its limits and brought order out of chaos, but even God cannot create something that has His perfection. All that God creates is less perfect than God.

“This is shown with the first Prideful Power, Lucifer, who, although he was the most beautiful and he was the closest to God, used his free will to rebel against God. Lucifer should have waited for grace from God to ripen his understanding. Instead, Lucifer wanted to immediately become God’s equal, and he plunged to Earth green and unripe.”

Beatrice thought, If God’s greatest created creature can rebel and fall, then it is possible for all of God’s other created creatures to rebel and fall. Any creature who rebels against God lacks understanding.

The Eagle continued, “Humankind has knowledge, but the knowledge of Humankind is only a small fraction of the knowledge that God has. Although Humankind lacks the knowledge that God has, Humankind does have enough knowledge to know how much knowledge Humankind lacks.

“Humankind cannot comprehend the mind of God any more than it can see the deep bottom of the ocean. Yes, Humankind can see the bottom near the shore, but further out into the ocean, Humankind cannot see the bottom of the ocean. But even though Humankind cannot see it, it still exists.

“Truth and light come from God; all else is falsehood and darkness. The answer you seek is hidden in the mind of God.

“The questions that you want to have answered are these: ‘Consider a human being who is born in a country in which no one knows about Christ. No one can speak or write about Him because no one knows Him. This human being, as far as human reason can tell, always acts correctly and always desires correctly. This human being, who has never been baptized, dies. This human being is then denied Paradise. Is it just for this human being to be denied Paradise? Is this human being at fault for never having known Christ?’

“Who are you to condemn God’s judgment? It is as if you can barely see beyond your nose and you want to pass judgment on something that happened a thousand miles away!

“Human reason cannot know many things, but fortunately, reason has holy scripture to use as a guide to aid its understanding.

“Humankind needs to remember that God is all-good. What God desires is always just. What God does is always just. If something is in accordance with the will of God, it is just.”

Dante thought, Our finite human minds are simply unable to understand God’s infinite mind. We underestimate God’s mind if we assume that we can understand the things that God knows. Some things are a mystery. A mystery is something that human reason cannot understand and cannot explain. All we can do is to accept mystery because we cannot explain it. God created Limbo, and He created the rest of the Inferno. We have to assume that He had a good reason for doing this.

After feeding its young, a stork will fly around the nest and its chick will raise its head to look at it. Much like that, the Eagle took flight — the souls who made up its wings worked together — and Dante raised his head to look at it.

Circling around Dante, the Eagle sang, “What I sing cannot be understood by human beings on Earth: the harmonics and language are too difficult for them to understand. And so it is with Eternal Judgment.”

The souls stopped singing, and then, still in the form of the Eagle, they said as one, “In Paradise, everyone has had faith in Christ, whether they had faith before He was crucified or after.

“But many people who cry ‘Christ! Christ!’ frequently and loudly on Earth will not be as close to God on the Day of Judgment as will many people who have never heard of Christ.

“Pagans in Ethiopia and elsewhere will condemn such Christians who are Christians in name only.”

Dante thought, Being Christian is enough to get you into Paradise, but just saying that you are Christian is not enough to get you into Paradise. To know this, all you have to do is look into the Inferno and see all the Popes there. Many of the unrepentant sinners in the Inferno said that they were Christian. Guido da Montefeltro attempted to scam God into thinking that he was a Christian, but Guido’s scam did not work.

The Eagle continued, “On the Day of Judgment, souls will be divided into two groups. One group of souls will be rich forever after; the other group of souls will be poor forever after.”

Dante thought, In Matthew 25:31-46., we read about the Day of Judgment:

31: When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy Angels with Him, then shall He sit on the throne of His glory:

32: And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats,

33: And He shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34: Then shall the King say to them on His right hand, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

35: “For I was hungry, and you gave me food: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in.

36: “I was naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to visit me.”

37: Then shall the righteous answer Him, saying, “Lord, when saw we You hungry, and fed You, or thirsty, and gave You drink?

38: “When did we see You as a stranger, and took You in, or naked, and clothed You?

39: “Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and came to visit You?”

40: And the King shall answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it to Me.”

41: Then shall He say also to them on the left hand, “Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his Angels.

42: “For I was hungry, and you gave Me no food: I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink.

43: “I was a stranger, and you took Me not in: naked, and you did not clothe Me: sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.”

44: Then shall they also answer him, saying, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or as a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You?”

45: Then shall He answer them, saying, “Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to Me.”

46: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.

Beatrice thought, What is the right thing to do? The right thing to do is to feed the hungry, give something to drink to the thirsty, give clothing to the naked, visit those who are ill, and visit those in prison.

The Eagle continued, “What will the pagans in Persia and other countries say to the Kings of Christian countries when the pagans see the Book of Judgment that God keeps and read about the bad deeds of ‘Christian’ Kings?

“Holy Roman Emperor Albert the First is on the verge of committing the evil deed of invading Bohemia and devastating Prague. The pen is over God’s book as it waits to record the evil deed. War kills many people, including innocent people.

“Philip the Fair will be in God’s book because he brought misery to France. To finance his wars, Philip will inflate French currency and ruin many people. A sound currency is necessary to avoid misery. Philip will be thrown from his horse when a wild boar startles his horse during a royal hunt. Philip will die of the injuries incurred during the fall.

“The English and the Scots warred often, venturing into each other’s territory. The Scottish leaders should stay in Scotland, and the English leaders should stay in England. Edward I and Edward II fought with William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

“Charles II of Naples, aka Charles the Lame, aka the Cripple of Jerusalem — he was the titular King of Jerusalem and had no power there — will have his virtues and vices marked in the Book of Judgment. The Roman number I — for 1 — will be by ‘Virtues’ and the Roman number ‘M’ — for 1,000 — will be by ‘Vices.’

“Frederick II of Sicily is so paltry a man that he will be allotted little space in the Book of Judgment, but the Recording Angel will need to write in shorthand in order to fit in the tiny space the records of his numerous evil deeds.

“Also recorded in the Book of Judgment among the bad Kings will be Frederick II’s brother and uncle: King James of Majorca and King James II of Aragon. Both Kings disgraced their family and their kingdoms.

“Also recorded in the Book of Judgment among the bad Kings will be Orosius II of Rascia, another debaser of the coinage.

“A good king now rules in Hungary, and Hungary will be happy if it continues to escape evil.

“Navarre is happy now, and it will continue to be happy if it uses its mountains as a barrier to keep out the French.”

Beatrice thought, This will not happen. Navarre will become a part of France and will suffer under French rule just as the two principal cities of Crete suffer under Henry II, who is from a French family and who has many debaucheries that make citizens suffer. He is evil, but he is small fry. He does not run in the midst of the pack of evil beings; instead, he runs outside and beside the pack.

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce

This is an excerpt from Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Retelling in Prose by David Bruce, available here:

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Download free eBooks, including books for teachers, by David Bruce here:

Romance Books by Brenda Kennedy (Some Free)

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Dante’s Paradise: Canto 18 Retelling — Jupiter — Lovers of Justice

Chapter 18: Jupiter — Lovers of Justice

Cacciaguida was happy because he knew that Dante would eventually write The Divine Comedy.

Dante was silent for a while as he thought about the exile awaited him.

Beatrice said to Dante, “Think about other things than the bad things. Think about Paradise, where I dwell with God, Who is able to lift the weight of every insult and every bad thing.”

Dante turned and faced Beatrice. Her eyes were beautiful, and they were filled with love. They were filled with more love than can be experienced on Earth — that amount of love is reserved for Paradise. For Dante to be able to experience so much love on Earth, he would need divine help.

But as he looked at the love in Beatrice’s eyes, he knew that he longed for nothing except to continue looking into her eyes, through which God’s joy was shining.

With a dazzling smile, Beatrice said, “Turn around and listen to Cacciaguida. Paradise can be found in his eyes, too.”

Faces and eyes reveal the deepest wishes of a person, and Dante saw that Cacciaguida wished to speak to him.

Cacciaguida said, “Mars is the fifth Sphere. Think of the Spheres as resembling a tree. This tree would get nourishment from the crown, not the roots, because the crown of the tree would be the place where God dwells: the Mystic Empyrean. This tree would always bear fruit in every season, and it would never lose its leaves.

“Here on Mars dwell souls who were so famous on Earth that they would inspire every poet to write better.

“Look up. Look at the horizontal arms of the Cross. I will name some souls, and you will see them flash across the arms as quickly as lightning flashes through a cloud. The naming and the flashing-by will occur simultaneously.”

As Cacciaguida pronounced each name, Dante saw a light flashing across the arms of the Cross. In all, Cacciaguida pronounced the names of eight holy warriors.

Joshua flashed across the arms of the Cross. Moses never made it to the Holy Land. Joshua was the successor of Moses, and he was the conqueror of the Holy Land. Joshua conquered Jericho, and he allowed Rahab, the whore of Jericho, and her children to remain alive. Joshua conquered Canaan.

Judas Maccabaeus flashed across the arms of the Cross. Judas Maccabaeus, a Jewish general, fought the Syrians in the 2nd century B.C.E. because King Antiochus of Syria was persecuting the Jews. He restored and purified the temple at Jerusalem, but later the Syrians defeated and killed him. When Dante saw this light flash by, he thought of a child’s top that spun and was powered by its own joy.

Charlemagne flashed across the arms of the Cross. Charlemagne was the restorer of the Western Roman Empire. He was the Holy Roman Emperor.

Roland flashed across the arms of the Cross. Roland, Charlemagne’s nephew, fought the Saracens, aka Muslims, in Spain. Roland was famous for his ivory horn and the sound it made. He was Charlemagne’s paladin.

William of Orange flashed across the arms of the Cross. William of Orange fought the Saracens in southern France, and he was the living ideal of the Christian knight. William of Orange was the hero of the Old French epic titled the Aliscans.

Renouard flashed across the arms of the Cross. Renouard was a huge Saracen who converted to Christianity and fought on the side of William of Orange; in addition, he was William’s brother-in-law. William found him working as a slave in a royal kitchen and freed him. In late life, they lived as monks in the same monastery.

Duke Godfrey flashed across the arms of the Cross. Duke Godfrey was the leader of the First Crusade. He fought the Saracens in the Holy Land, and he became the first Christian King of Jerusalem. He died in 1100 C.E.

Robert Guiscard flashed across the arms of the Cross. The 11th-century Robert Guiscard fought the Saracens in Sicily and in southern Italy, and he founded the Norman dynasty there. He died in 1085 C.E.

Having recited the names of the holy warriors, Cacciaguida rejoined the other souls who made up the Cross, and he sang.

Dante turned to Beatrice to find out what he should do next, and he saw that she had grown brighter and more beautiful. A human being can do good deeds and take joy in doing good deeds and can realize that he or she has grown more virtuous by doing good deeds. Much like that, seeing that Beatrice had grown brighter, he realized that he was in a Sphere that was further away from Earth and was making a bigger orbit around Earth than Mars had done.

He also noticed that the color in Beatrice’s face had changed like a blush leaving the face of a lady. Before, it had been reddish with the glow of Mars and now it was white with the glow of Jupiter, which was named after the Roman god who was the king of gods and of men.

Beatrice thought, The virtue that is associated with Jupiter is justice, and the souls found here are the souls of the just.

The souls of the just were lights who moved and formed visible speech. Just like birds rise from the edge of water as if they are celebrating an abundance of food, the souls flew together, sometimes in a group and sometimes in a line.

These souls formed letters: First a D, and then an I, and then an L. They sang while forming a letter, but having formed the letter, they stopped singing and allowed Dante enough time to see and remember the letter, and then the souls sang and formed another letter.

Dante thought, Please, Muses, help me to remember the letters so that I can show them later to other people.

He remembered. The souls spelled out this message: DILIGITE IUSTITIAM QUI IUDICATIS TERRAM.

Dante thought, Translated from the Latin, the message means “LOVE JUSTICE, YOU WHO RULE THE EARTH.” This is the beginning of the first chapter of the book titled “Wisdom of Solomon”: “Love justice, you who rule the Earth: think of the Lord with a good heart, and in the simplicity of your heart seek him.”

The souls had formed in the shape of the final M. The letter was gold, and Jupiter in the background was silver. More souls joined the M, and they sang.

Dante thought that they sang about Ultimate Good — perhaps. He was not able to understand some things in Paradise.

When a fire is stirred, sparks rise up. At one time, people thought — incorrectly — that they could foretell the future by examining these sparks.

The souls — it seemed that there were more than a thousand of them — rose to various heights and formed a new shape: that of an Eagle.

Beatrice thought, The Eagle is a symbol of Empire, and it is a symbol of justice. Roman law is to be greatly respected.

Guiding the souls was God, Who also guides birds as they build their nests. God is the Creator, and God needs no one to guide His hand, but He is able to guide others.

Dante the Poet thought, Justice can be found on Earth, and many souls who had the quality of being just while on Earth are present here. Our idea of Justice comes from Paradise, and we can see Justice more clearly when our eyes are not blinded by greed for money.

God’s wrath is rightfully directed against those who try to turn a temple into a marketplace for buying and for selling. The walls of a temple are built with miracles and martyrs, not with greed for money.

May just souls in Paradise pray for those who are misled on Earth by people who provide bad examples although they should provide good examples.

At one time, warriors fought wars with swords. Now, bad Popes fight wars by excommunicating people and denying them what God the Father would deny to no one. For example, Pope Gregory VIII, who died in 1085 C.E., excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV twice. A later pope, Pope John XXII, wrote excommunications simply so he could make money by canceling the excommunications.

Excommunication can be used ethically, but to use it for political and monetary purposes is to misuse it.

Popes who use excommunications unethically should remember that Peter and Paul are still alive in Paradise after having died to save the Church.

Popes who use excommunications unethically say, “My heart is set on John the Baptist, who lived alone in the wilderness and who died after Salome danced for Herod and then asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter. I know nothing of Peter the Fisherman or of Paul.”

Yes, the heart of these popes is set on John the Baptist. This sounds good at first, but it is actually bad. The image of John the Baptist is stamped on the gold coins of Florence.

Popes who use excommunications unethically are more concerned with collecting gold coins than with doing the will of God. Popes who use excommunications unethically know a lot more about John the Baptist — or rather, John the Baptist’s image on gold coins — than they do about Saint Peter or Saint Paul.

Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce

This is an excerpt from Dante’s Divine Comedy: A Retelling in Prose by David Bruce, available here:

Check out the rest of

Download free eBooks, including books for teachers, by David Bruce here:

Romance Books by Brenda Kennedy (Some Free)

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President Trump is Blaming Democrats for Failure to Repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. That’s Fine by Me. We’re Happy to Take the Credit!


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Hillary Clinton: “Let’s not be distracted. Let’s continue to stand up, organize, resist, put forth good ideas to improve the existing system & peoples’ lives.”

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Kristin Salaky: “Hillary Clinton Cheers Move To Pull ACA Repeal Bill As ‘Victory For All Americans’” (TPM)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took to Twitter Friday to celebrate the House Republicans’ pulling of a vote on their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, calling it a “victory for all Americans.”

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“We knew the president [Obama], if we could get a repeal bill to his desk, would almost certainly veto it. This time we knew if it got to the president’s desk it would be signed.” — Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)




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