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Sunday, January 31, 2021


Image: Leonid Pasternak (1862-1945)

ecently on NPR Keisha Dutes and Audrey Nguyen interviewed therapist Anastacia Locklin describes chronic procrastination as “an inability to regulate negative or fearful emotions or feelings. Research shows that your in the now person values immediate gratification over the long-term goals. 

Excerpt: To combat procrastination — on the big things and the little things — here's what Locklin recommends: 

First, identify small goals. Set a goal to work on something for a short, fixed amount of time — say, 10 minutes. 

If you need more structure, Locklin recommends trying the Ivy Lee method. At the end of each workday, make a list of six things to work on the following day. List them out in order of true importance. Tackle those things and only those things the next day. 

Next, if you're trying to figure out the best way to prioritize tasks, use natural patterns to your advantage: If you're a morning person, do important tasks in the morning. If you have midday slumps, take that time to organize and create your list for the next day. Don't be too hard on yourself. Research shows self-compassion can help you cope with procrastination-related stress. Remember every success is just that: a success! 

If you're procrastinating wellness and rest, plan ahead and delegate! Block out vacations in advance and put systems in place with co-workers so that you can work toward your time away and feel secure that all your goals at work are met. 

Finally, if you're having trouble addressing procrastination on your own, meet with a therapist. One treatment approach, called cognitive behavioral therapy, can help improve coping skills by focusing on current barriers and solutions to those problems. 

For the complete NPR feature click here. 

Saturday, January 30, 2021


GUEST BLOG / By Kris Gunnars,
--Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, it also seems to be quite healthy. 

Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases. Thanks to our friends at for the next few Saturdays, this column will highlight one at a time the top 13 health benefits of coffee. Here’s Number Two: 

2. Can Help You Burn Fat 

Caffeine is found in almost every commercial fat-burning supplement — and for good reason. 

It’s one of the few natural substances proven to aid fat burning. Several studies show that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3–11% Other studies indicate that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning by as much as 10% in obese individuals and 29% in lean people. 

However, it’s possible that these effects diminish in long-term coffee drinkers. 

 SUMMARY Several studies show that caffeine can increase fat burning and boost your metabolic rate. 


WEEKLY COFFEE QUIZ--Where in the world is this coffee establishment? Answer next Saturday in Coffee Beans & Beings post. 


— Bosco Café faces Red Square in Moscow from its location at the edge of the GUM Department store complex. Popular with shoppers as a restaurant or just a place to relax, enjoy coffee with pastries and watch the world go by—Russian style.

Friday, January 29, 2021


An armed woman who goes by the nickname "La Guera," and who says she is a member of a female-led, self-defense group, patrols the edge of her town El Terrero, where it shares a border with the town of Aguililla, in Michoacan state, Mexico, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. In other towns nearby, residents have dug trenches across roadways leading into neighboring Jalisco state, to keep attackers out. (AP Photo/Armando Solis). Click Here. 

Thursday, January 28, 2021


An Excerpt:
GUEST BLOG / By Azam Ahmed, New York Times--SAN FERNANDO, Mexico — Miriam Rodríguez clutched a pistol in her purse as she ran past the morning crowds on the bridge to Texas. She stopped every few minutes to catch her breath and study the photo of her next target: the florist. She had been hunting him for a year, stalking him online, interrogating the criminals he worked with, even befriending unwitting relatives for tips on his whereabouts. 

Now she finally had one — a widow called to tell her that he was peddling flowers on the border. Ever since 2014, she had been tracking the people responsible for the kidnapping and murder of her teen daughter, Karen. 

Miriam Rodriquez slain
on Mother's Day, 2017

 Half of them were already in prison, not   because the authorities had cracked the   case, but because she had pursued them   on her own, with a meticulous abandon.   She cut her hair, dyed it and disguised   herself as a pollster, a health worker and   an election official to get their names and   addresses. 
She invented excuses to meet their families, unsuspecting grandmothers and cousins who gave her details, however small. She wrote everything down and stuffed it into her black computer bag, building her investigation and tracking them down, one by one.  

For the complete article click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021


aint-Lazare Prison (photo above in 1912) was originally a leprosarium founded on the road from Paris to Saint-Denis at the boundary of the marshy area of the former River Seine bank in the 12th century. 

It was ceded on 7 January 1632 to St. Vincent de Paul and the Congregation of the Mission he had founded. At this stage it became a place of detention for people who had become an embarrassment to their families: an enclosure for "black sheep" who had brought disgrace to their relatives. 

The prison was situated in the enclos Saint-Lazare, the largest enclosure in Paris until the end of the 18th century, between the Rue de Paradis to its south, the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis to its east, the Boulevard de la Chapelle to its north and the Rue Sainte-Anne to its west (today the Rue du Faubourg Poissonnière). Its site is now marked by the Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. The building was converted to a prison at the time of the Reign of Terror in 1793, then a women's prison in the early nineteenth century, its land having been seized and re-allotted little by little since the Revolution. 

It was largely demolished in 1935, with the Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris installing itself in the remaining buildings, where they remained until recently. Only the prison infirmary and chapel (built by Louis-Pierre Baltard in 1834) remain of the prison, with the latter to be seen in the square Alban-Satragne (107, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis) in the 10th arrondissement. 

The surviving remains of the Saint-Lazare prison were inscribed on the supplementary inventory of historic monuments in November 2005.

The Musée de la Révolution française conserves a portrait of Joseph Cange, prison officer at the Saint-Lazare prison during the reign of Terror, who gave financial help to the family of a prisoner at the risk of his life and that was honoured nationally after the fall of Robespierre.

A song by Aristide Bruant entitled "À Saint-Lazare" is named after the prison. 

Source: Wikipedia. 

Mata Hari, who lost her court case and obviously her pantaloons, was housed in Saint-Lazare for a time. She was eventually shot by a French firing squad on October 15, 1917 as a convicted spy for the Germans. Legend has it she was innocent. 

Leonie Biard is a woman who is not so often mentioned even though her exploits with the famous writer, Victor Hugo, eventually landed her in prison for adultery. Although both Hugo and Briard were married they began to see each other. Their encounters did not remain private for very long however because On July fourth Hugo and Biard were found "in criminal conversation and in uncrumpled attire meaning that they were comitting adultery and were wearing no clothes. While his lover went to jail Hugo left the station a free man because he was a French nobleman in good standing and was thus immune to prosecution." History was kind to Leonie d'Aunet (wife to Biard and mistress to Victor Hugo) as she was called a woman of letters in this portrait taken by noted French photographer Etienne Carjat. 

When she heard the news Mme. Adele Hugo was pleased that Juliette had a rival took up Leonie's case. Madame Biard asked at that time for legal separation from her husband, and wished for a double divorce, leaving them free to marry Hugo and her. On July 5, 1845, they were surprised in a hotel in the Passage Saint-Roch. Hugo, as a peer of France, could not be prosecuted; on the other hand, Léonie was imprisoned for two months in Prison Saint-Lazare.  Photo of a young Victor Hugo proves timing is everything.  He would have starved as a ladies man anytime after the 20th century.

Le gran bouche, a.k.a. Marquis de Sade was thrown into Saint-Lazare prison after offending Robespierre by reading a speech on freedom of worship.  It was one of many prisons de Sade was held in his lifetime.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021


GUEST BLOG / By Edwin Hearn 

 “To move from protector to encourager is a big jump that parents need to make as their son matures.” 

Growing up in Corona, California in the 1950s was a scene right out of the movie Sandlot. It was a small town where it seemed like everyone knew everyone. As young kids, we had the run of the town. 

We could ride our bikes to Merrill Street park where there was a Little League Park, a place to play over-the-line, a tennis court, a playground, or we could ride our bikes up to box canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains south of town, ride down to the city plunge to swim or play in the citrus groves that seemed to be everywhere. 

During the summer we entertained ourselves all day by inventing games, playing baseball, and using our imagination to entertain ourselves. The only family rule I remember was the dinner prayer was precisely at 5 pm and do not be late. 

The point being we learned how to navigate boy culture. Some days there were fights when there was a disagreement. Respect came from being fearless and being independent of mom and dad. Problems were solved within the confines of the group and most of what we learned resulted from trial and error. Sometimes we stumbled made stupid decisions and had to face the consequences of our actions. 

Leadership in the group seemed to change depending on our activity. The goal was to have fun and be cool, so the older boys accepted us. 

Obviously, these days have long passed. Somehow the world became a more dangerous place during my growing up years. It now seems with each succeeding generation of young men; parents have had to exert greater control over their activity.  

The over-riding ethos underlying the raising of a young boy had to do with more supervision, which resulted in more controlled activity and the need to protect children from the scars of growing up. 

In today’s world, some parents attempt to intercede anytime their son is facing punishment for a transgression. It is hard for parents to imagine that consequences are part of the learning process that must take place in order to achieve the best outcomes in the formation of their son. 

Unlike most schools, St. Augustine [aka Saints] has always taught that parents in almost all cases should allow their sons to handle their own problems. Moving against the cultural tide, Saints has just a short time to help young boys develop a sense of independence, self-confidence, and leadership skills. 

Most of us have witnessed the moment in the gymnasium during Freshman Orientation when Mr. John O’Beirne, the Assistant Principal for Student Affairs instructs the freshman class to separate from their parent(s) or guardian. 

It is a moment I am sure that stays with the parents for awhile—watching their sons move across the gym with other members of his class and then hear from Mr. O’Beirne that in the future their son should contact his teacher or coach if they are experiencing a problem. 

In the best possible world, we want every young man at Saints, to learn to solve their problems without help from mom or dad. It is never perfect, but it does lead to the development of self-confidence and independence. This in turn leads to improved negotiating skills and ultimately to desired leadership positions in student government, a team or activity, with their group, or in the classroom. 

This can only happen with parents letting go and trusting they have raised their son well with the ability to challenge perceived injustices in his own life. Like all learning, there are successes and failures, but in time the desired learning takes place with transformative results. While we hate to see our sons suffer, this is the only way they will grow up to be men that make a difference. 

To move from protector to encourager is a big jump that parents need to make as their son matures. 

To use a weightlifting analogy; I have heard for years— “no pain no gain!” 

How does a person get stronger? 

He works to the point of exhaustion, receives encouragement from his coach to suffer through additional repetitions, and grows into a stronger athlete as his body adjusts to the greater load. 

Over the years, I have witnessed young men attempt feats in the weight room that resulted only from failure, which in turn created motivation, which led to success. 

What has been a central core ethos of Saints down through the years has now been substantiated by a 2019 article in the Journal of Applied Psychology, which studied 1500 teenagers for the purpose of assessing each of his/her leadership potential. While a far-ranging survey, the key area being studied was the extent to which parents stepped in to supervise their children. 

The researchers wanted to understand the effect of overprotective parents and the consequence concerning their children seeking leadership roles and desiring independence. The study concluded that overprotective parents tended to raise less confident children who in turn are less motivated to lead. 

This lack of confidence and passivity was also seen from an organization’s point of view that people are not promoted to leadership positions who lack charisma and confidence when they interview. Saints position, now supported by science, has continued to encourage growth in its young men through a process that sometimes results in short-term failure but promotes the long-term goal of creating a platform for young men to better understand themselves with a growing sense of self-confidence and independence coupled with the desire to lead. 

About the Author: Edwin Hearn is President of St. Augustine, a 700-student all boys high school located in the historic North Park neighborhood of San Diego, California. 

Monday, January 25, 2021


GUEST BLOG / By Nick Clegg, VP of Global Affairs, Facebook
--On January 21, 2021, Facebook referred its decision to indefinitely suspend former US President Donald Trump’s access to his Facebook and Instagram accounts to the independent Oversight Board. 

The board was established last year to make the final call on some of the most difficult content decisions Facebook makes. It is an independent body and its decisions are binding — they can’t be overruled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else at Facebook. 

The board itself is made up of experts and civic leaders from around the world with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. We believe our decision was necessary and right. 

Facebook's Nick Clegg
Given its significance, we think it is important for the board to review it and reach an independent judgment on whether it should be upheld. While we await the board’s decision, Mr. Trump’s access will remain suspended indefinitely. We look forward to receiving the board’s decision — and we hope, given the clear justification for our actions on January 7, that it will uphold the choices we made. 

In addition to the board’s determination on whether to uphold or overturn the indefinite suspension, Facebook welcomes any observations or recommendations from the board around suspensions when the user is a political leader. Our decision to suspend then-President Trump’s access was taken in extraordinary circumstances: a US president actively fomenting a violent insurrection designed to thwart the peaceful transition of power; five people killed; legislators fleeing the seat of democracy. 

That has never happened before — and we hope it will never happen again. 

It was an unprecedented set of events which called for unprecedented action. In making our decision, our first priority was to assist in the peaceful transfer of power. This is why, when announcing the suspension on January 7, we said it would be indefinite and for at least two weeks. 

We are referring it to the Oversight Board now that the inauguration has taken place. The reaction to our decision shows the delicate balance private companies are being asked to strike. 

Some said that Facebook should have banned President Trump long ago, and that the violence on the Capitol was itself a product of social media; others that it was an unacceptable display of unaccountable corporate power over political speech. 

We have taken the view that in open democracies people have a right to hear what their politicians are saying — the good, the bad and the ugly — so that they can be held to account. But it has never meant that politicians can say whatever they like. 

They remain subject to our policies banning the use of our platform to incite violence. It is these policies that were enforced when we took the decision to suspend President Trump’s access. Whether you believe the decision was justified or not, many people are understandably uncomfortable with the idea that tech companies have the power to ban elected leaders. 

Many argue private companies like Facebook shouldn’t be making these big decisions on their own. 

We agree. 

Every day, Facebook makes decisions about whether content is harmful, and these decisions are made according to Community Standards we have developed over many years. 

It would be better if these decisions were made according to frameworks agreed by democratically accountable lawmakers. But in the absence of such laws, there are decisions that we cannot duck. 

This is why we established the Oversight Board. It is the first body of its kind in the world: an expert-led independent organization with the power to impose binding decisions on a private social media company. Its decision will be available at the board’s website when it is issued. 

Sunday, January 24, 2021


GUEST BLOG / By Michael Connelly
--Well, it’s unusual when a writer is at a loss for words, but that’s how I feel today. We finished filming the final season of Bosch. I am both sad and fulfilled. We made a really good show, one I am proud of, one I think will be discovered by new viewers for years to come. 

It was an intense 7 year experience that brought me deep friendships and even deeper fulfillment and pride. I love the show. I love actor Titus Welliver (above, left) as Harry Bosch and everybody else in the cast. I am so lucky that this happened to me and to Harry Bosch and I will always cherish the results and remember the people who made it happen. 

This is just a portion of them in the photo (ABOVE) but it certainly took a village and I was glad to be a resident in that village. Thanks to all who helped make it, thanks to all who have watched it. Season 7 will be the best yet. 

We don't yet know when Bosch Season 7 will be streaming on Prime Video. As soon as we know the date, we'll post it on 

: With the hard cover version already in bookstores, the paperback version of “Fair Warning” debuts in the US and Canada February 2. 

Early tease asks “How do you find a killer who knows everything about you? 

The hero of previous Connelly best sellers “The Poet” and “The Scarecrow” is back. Jack McEvoy, the journalist who never backs down, tracks a serial killer who has been operating completely under the radar – until now. 

Jack McEvoy is a reporter with a track record in finding killers but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, he realizes he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he’s ever encountered. 

The next thing he knows, the police are at his house telling Jack he's a suspect in her murder. Maybe it's because he doesn't like being accused of a crime he didn't commit. Or maybe it's because the method of her murder is so chilling that he can't get it out of his head. 

But as he uses his journalistic skills to open doors closed to the police, Jack walks a thin line between suspect and detective. Jack investigates – against the warnings of the police and his own editor – and makes a shocking discovery that connects the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. 

Undetected by law enforcement, a vicious killer has been hunting women, using genetic data shared by the victims themselves to select and stalk his targets. 

Uncovering the murkiest corners of the dark web, Jack races to find and protect the last source who can lead him to his quarry. But the killer has already chosen his next target, and he’s ready to strike. 

“Fair Warning Audiobook.” Listen to an excerpt read by Peter Giles. Click here. 


Gosh, he didn't really mean to threaten lives while trespassing at the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol
Proving once again you don't have to be good looking to raid the US Capitol, Garrett Miller from Dallas was arrested for alleged threatening the lives of New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the unidentified law enforcement officer who fired the fatal shot at one of the rioters inside the Capitol building.
He also made it easy for federal prosecutors by admitted his threats on social media and by posting video of himself inside the Capitol.  True to form, his lawyer said his client, who is now in jail "certainly regrets what he did."  It was all misguided political hyperbole, according to his mouthpiece. Does anyone believe that in the real world.

OMG, I’m going to be famous. Maybe.
Speaking of lost causes, the US Civil War ended in 1865 with the secessionist states surrendering. The South lost the war. That’s a fact. Anyone out of diapers knows that. Maybe. Another fact is the confederate flag has until Jan. 6, 2021 has never flown in the US Capitol—not even during the civil war. Temptation is to reveal the name of the flag waver in this photo, especially after his arrest this week for his part in the invasion of the Capitol. Knowing that he’s been arrested and charged is good enough. No need to give this disrespectful lout any more attention. Other internet sources have outed him. He’s a lucky man to be living in such a free and forgiving nation. And, breaking the law to enter the Capitol to wave the rebel flag is not protected by the first amendment. Lock him up.

Oh, that podium?

Alleged US Capitol building looter identified as Adam Johnson, 36 was arrested and booked in Pinellas County Florida on three federal charges, including one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; one count of theft of government property; and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Before he was arrested he removed his beard and address numbers from front of his house. But the ghosting outline of the address was still visible to arresting officers. 

Why are the US Capitol rioters so darn handsome? 

The pictured individual, who was part of the mob breaking into the US Capitol has been ID-ed by authorities as Jacob Chansley of Phoenix, Arizona and is currently in federal custody charged with his involvement in the riots of Jan. 6, 2021. Gofundme confirmed Chansley had a fundraiser to help pay his way to the Trump rally in Washington DC. Gofundme shut down the fundraiser noting that it had raised $10 to date. Click here for Justice Dept. press release on the arrest. 

Staircase Stalker. 

In a photo (below) provided by Polk County (Iowa) shows Douglas Jensen, who allegedly took part in the riots at the US Capitol. Local police and the FBI took Jensen into custody at his Des Moines home. National videos repeated on the news captured Jensen taking the lead in chasing a Capitol policeman up the stairs of the Capitol building, while the officer was trying singlehandedly to thwart the crowd. On Jan. 6, 2021, an AP photo (shown above), shows Jensen appears wearing a QAnon T-shirt over a hooded sweatshirt and wearing a stocking cap. Meanwhile back at

home, Jensen’s employer a masonry company fired him stating that the firm doesn’t agree with his actions, said KCCI-TV. Click here for KCCI coverage. 

What a Pair. 

Two Chicagoland men, who were at the US Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021 claim they did not participate in entering the hallowed building. Nevertheless, a CEO of a marketing company Bradley "What was I thinking" Rukstales, 52, was arrested by Capitol police and charged. Upon returning to the Chicago area the CEO was fired from his job.  

Also arrested was 48-year-old David "I have no regrets" Fitzgerald, who now has been banned by authorities from DC and he will appear in court later this month.

Takes the Cake.

Next time you illegally crash a federal building during a riot, be sure to wear your company ID on a lanyard. It must have worked because so far this smartie hasn’t shown up on federal arrest rosters. What did happen was his boss like the entire country saw this rioter’s hijinx on TV and fired the dude for cause on the spot.

Ties that bind. 

USA Today
and the New Yorker magazine reported an Air Force combat veteran has been fired after he was reportedly identified as one of the Capitol rioters carrying zip-tie handcuffs on the Senate floor Wednesday. Texas-based Hillwood Airways confirmed to USA TODAY Saturday that retired Lt. Col. Larry Rendall Brock, Jr. that the pilot no longer worked for the airline. Brock told the magazine that he was the man in the photos and videos seen standing in the Senate chamber holding zip ties. He told the New Yorker that he found them on the floor. "I wish I had not picked those up," he told the magazine. 

Another US Capitol rioter (left, photo) arrested for possessing zip tie restraints was Eric Munchel, a bartender from Nashville TN.

Taking an alleged pee

While we’re online searching for disgusting rioters at last Wednesday US Capitol coup attempt let’s pitch in an find who the guy pissing on the Capitol wall happens to be (lower right of above photo).

Mr. Sensitivity. 
A rioter who stormed the US Capitol Wednesday wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase "Camp Auschwitz" has been identified as Robert Keith Packer, a felon from Virginia, according to three sources who spoke with CNN. An image of
Packer (left) inside the Capitol, whose sweatshirt bore the name of the Nazi concentration camp where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II, has evoked shock and disbelief on social media. The bottom of his shirt stated, "Work brings freedom," which is the rough translation of the phrase "Arbeit macht frei" that was on the concentration camp's gates. As of 1-12-2021 Packer has not been arrested for illegal entry into the US Capitol as so many others have.

Whatcha got there, Lonnie? 

Authorities have released an image of Lonnie Coffman (left), who was arrested Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington DC in possession of weapons, ammunition and Molotov cocktails in his truck. The truck was two blocks from the US Capitol. Here are evidence photos released by federal prosecutors. Click here. 

Fur Ball. 

The winner of the Neanderthal look alike contest among US Capitol rioters goes to Brooklyn’s Aaron Mostofsky, (near left), who is facing several federal charges, including  theft of government property and participation in an unlawful, deadly insurrection. In the photo, Mostofsky, 34 is seen wearing animal pelts; a police vest and carrying a police riot shield. Climbing down the stairs with him is Kevin Seefried, the rioter who appeared in photos around the world waving the confederate flat inside the US Capitol.  Mostofsky appeared in court wearing Yoda pajamas and released on $100,000 bail.  Seefried was also arrested for similar charges.

Ex-Fireman assaults police. 

A retired Chester PA firefighter participating in the firestorm riot last week, has been arrested for (among other charges) throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three US Capitol policemen causing bodily injury. Robert Sanford, 55 is facing felony charges for his assault. Lucky for Mr. Sanford that authorities had video showing the fire extinguisher that he threw at the officers was not the same extinguisher that killed police officer Brian Sicknick. His attorney said Mr. Sanford was not part of any extremist group. That might be true had FBI agents searching his home not found a well-known militia t-shirt in his possession.

Hotter water, now. 

Hey, participating in the recent US Capitol riot is better use of time than living out of your car, especially in his home state of Colorado. Just ask Klete Keller, an US Olympic gold medalist, who was charged this week for his alleged role in Capitol riots. The ex-homeless guy and now ex-real estate freelancer, says CNN Keller was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstructing law enforcement engaged in official duties incident to civil disorder, according to documents filed in US District Court in Washington, DC. Yep, he’s in hot water now.

Wildman rioter beats fallen DC cop with US Flag: Arrested.

Self alleged patriot Peter Stager has been arrested at his home in Conway after reportedly beating a police officer with an American flag during the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. According to a federal affidavit, the officer was from the Washington D.C. Police Department and was guarding the entrance to the Capitol when a mob pulled him down the stairs and attacked him. There is a video on social media of Stager allegedly saying "death is the only remedy for what's in that building," referring to the United States Capitol. The documents also source a confidential source who said they recognized Stager from a Twitter thread that showed a video of a man, assumed to be Stager, beating the officer (who is not identified in public documents due to privacy) with a flag pole with the American flag attached to it. After comparing Stager's driver's license photo with the videos taken of Stager on Jan. 6 during the Capitol riot, law enforcement said they believe him to be the man in the videos.


Click here.

Lock 'Em Up

Below is a full list of people arrested by DC Capitol Police and charged with federal crimes in connection with the rioting: 

Cleveland Meredith was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with making interstate threats to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

Richard Barnett, of Arkansas, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry; violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and theft of public money, property, or records. Barnett allegedly entered a restricted are of the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. 

Lonnie Coffman, of Alabama, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device) and carrying a pistol without a license. It is alleged that Coffman’s vehicle contained 11 explosive devices known as Molotov cocktails and firearms. It is further alleged he was in possession of two firearms. Coffman was arrested and is currently being held. His detention hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2021. 

Mark Leffingwell, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; assault on a federal law enforcement officer; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Leffingwell allegedly entered the Senate side of the Capitol and when stopped by law enforcement, struck an officer in the helmet and chest. Leffingwell is currently being held and has a detention hearing in district court today. 

Christopher Alberts, of Maryland, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with carrying or having readily accessible, on the grounds of the United States Capitol Building, a firearm and ammunition. Specifically a Taurus G2C, 9mm handgun and 9mm caliber ammunition. The defendant appeared in district court and was released. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021. 

Joshua Pruitt, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. The defendant appeared in district court and was released. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 28, 2021. 

Matthew Council, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. Council allegedly unlawfully entered the Capitol building, and when stopped by law enforcement, he pushed the officer. 

Cindy Fitchett, of Virginia, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

Michael Curzio, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

Douglas Sweet, of Florida, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

Bradley Ruskelas, of Illinois, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

Terry Brown, of Pennsylvania, was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. 

Thomas Gallagher was charged on Jan. 7, 2021, with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority; or knowingly, with intent to impede government business or official functions, engaging in disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Saturday, January 23, 2021


GUEST BLOG / By Kris Gunnars,
--Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and beneficial nutrients, it also seems to be quite healthy. 

Studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases. Coffee is a highly popular beverage around the globe that boasts a number of impressive health benefits. 

Not only can your daily cup of joe help you feel more energized, burn fat and improve physical performance, it may also lower your risk of several conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In fact, coffee may even boost longevity. 

If you enjoy its taste and tolerate its caffeine content, don’t hesitate to pour yourself a cup or more throughout the day. 

Thanks to our friends at for the next 13 Saturdays, this column will highlight one at a time the top 13 health benefits of coffee. 

Here’s the first: 


Coffee as a Superfood Can Improve Energy Levels and Make You Smarter. 

Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels. That’s because it contains a stimulant called caffeine — the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. 

After you drink coffee, the caffeine is absorbed into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to your brain. In the brain, caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. 

When this happens, the amount of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine increases, leading to enhanced firing of neurons. Many controlled studies in humans show that coffee improves various aspects of brain function — including memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reaction times and general mental function. 


Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, which causes a stimulant effect. This improves energy levels, mood and various aspects of brain function. 


—Al Seef is a new waterfront district (designed by 10 Design) in Dubai, a scenic spot complete with restaurants and other shopping attractions. It is home to a new Starbucks that blends modern with traditional Arabic architecture. Located near Dubai Creek and the International Airport. 


--Where in the world is this coffee establishment? Answer next Saturday in Coffee Beans & Beings post. 


Friday, January 22, 2021




By Amanda Gorman. Recited at the Inauguration of President Joseph Biden January 20, 2021 

When day comes we ask ourselves, 
where can we find light in this never-ending shade? 
The loss we carry, a sea we must wade 
We've braved the belly of the beast 
we've learned that quiet isn't always peace 
And the norms and notions of what just is 
Isn’t always just-ice 
And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it 
Somehow we do it 
Somehow we've weathered and witnessed 
a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished 
We the successors of a country and a time 
Where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one 
And yes we are far from polished far from pristine 
but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect 
We are striving to forge a union with purpose 
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man 
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us but what stands before us 
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside 
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another 
We seek harm to none and harmony for all 
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: 
That even as we grieved, we grew 
That even as we hurt, we hoped 
That even as we tired, we tried 
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious 
Not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division 
Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree 
And no one shall make them afraid 
If we’re to live up to our own time 
Then victory won’t lie in the blade 
But in all the bridges we’ve made 
That is the promised glade 
The hill we climb 
If only we dare It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s the past we step into and how we repair it 
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it 
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy 
And this effort very nearly succeeded 
But while democracy can be periodically delayed it can never be permanently defeated 
In this truth in this faith we trust 
For while we have our eyes on the future history has its eyes on us 
This is the era of just redemption 
We feared at its inception 
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour but within it we found the power to author a new chapter 
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves 
So while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe? 
Now we assert 
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us? 
We will not march back to what was but move to what shall be 
A country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free 
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation 
Our blunders become their burdens 
But one thing is certain: 
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright 
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left with 
 Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one 
 We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west, we will rise from the windswept northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution 
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states, we will rise from the sunbaked south 
 We will rebuild, reconcile and recover and every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful 
 When day comes we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid 
 The new dawn blooms as we free it 
 For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it 
 If only we’re brave enough to be it.

Thursday, January 21, 2021


Full Text of the Inaugural Address of the 46th President of the United States Joseph R. Biden, Jr., January 20, 2021. 

My fellow Americans, this is America's day. This is democracy's day, a day of history and hope, of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew. 

And America has risen to the challenge. 

Today we celebrate the triumph, not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The people, the will of the people, has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. 

We've learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed. (Applause) So now, on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol's very foundation, we come together as one nation under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries. 

As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic, and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be. I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here today. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. (applause) 

And I know -- (applause) And I know the resilience of our constitution and the strength, the strength of our nation, as does President Carter who I spoke with last night, who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime in service. 

I've just taken the sacred oath each of those patriots have taken. The oath first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us, on we the people, who seek a more perfect union. 

This is a great nation. 

We are good people. And over the centuries, through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we've come so far, but we still have far to go. We'll press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities. Much to repair, much to restore, much to heal, much to build, and much to gain. 

Few people in our nation's history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we're in now. Once in a century virus that silently stalks the country. It's taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost, hundreds of thousands of businesses closed, a cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. 

The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. (Applause) A cry for survival comes from planet itself. A cry that can't be any more desperate or any more clear, and now a rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat. (Applause) 

To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy, unity. Unity. 

Lady Gaga performed one of the best renditions of our National Anthem--ever

On another January, on New Year's Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, "if my name ever goes down into history, it'll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it." "My whole soul is in it." 

Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation. And I ask every American to join me in this cause. (Applause) Uniting to fight the foes we face, anger, resentment and hatred, extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness and hopelessness. 

With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs. We can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward -- reward work and rebuild the middle class and make health care secure for all. 

We can deliver racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world. I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know that the forces that divide us are deep and they are real. But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we all are created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, demonization have long torn us apart. The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured. 

Poet, 22, Amanda Gorman, reciting a powerful poem dedicated to our nation

Through civil war, the great depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifices, and setbacks, our better angels have always prevailed. In each of these moments, enough of us -- enough of us -- have come together to carry all of us forward, and we can do that now. History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity. 

We can see each other, not as adversaries, but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature. For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America. 

If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we've acted together. And so today, at this time, in this place, let's start afresh, all of us. Let's begin to listen to one another again. Hear one another. See one another. Show respect to one another. Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. 

Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated, and even manufactured. (Applause) My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. America has to be better than this, and I believe America is so much better than this. 

Inauguration performer Jennifer Lopez poses for a selfie with our troops

Just look around. Here we stand, in the shadow of the Capitol dome, as it was mentioned earlier, completed amid the civil war, when the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. Yet, we endured. We prevailed. Here we stand, looking out on the great mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream. Here we stand where, 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. 

And today, we mark the swearing of the first woman in American history elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris. Don't tell me things can't change! (applause) Here we stand, across the Potomac, from Arlington Cemetary, where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion, rest in eternal peace. 

And here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever. Not ever. (Cheers and applause) 

To all those who supported our campaign, I'm humbled by the faith you've placed in us. 

To all of those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That's democracy. That's America. The right to dissent peaceably. Within the guardrails of our republic, it's perhaps this nation's greatest strength. Yet hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. 

And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans, all Americans. (Applause) And I promise you, I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did. (Applause) 

Many centuries ago, St. Augustine, a saint in my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love. What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans? I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honor and, yes, the truth. (Applause) 

The recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies. (Applause)  

I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like my dad, they lay in bed wondering, can I keep my health care, can I pay my mortgage. Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it. But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don't look like -- look like you or worship the way you do or don't get their news from the same source as you do. 

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus -- rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we are willing to stand in the other person's shoes -- as my mom would say -- just for a moment, stand in their shoes. 

Because here's the thing about life: there's no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days, when you need a hand. There are other days when we're called to lend a hand. That's how it has to be. That's what we do for one another. And if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree. 

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we're going to need each other. We need all our strength to preserve -- to persevere through this dark winter. We're entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation. And I promise you this. 

As the bible says, "weep, ye may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." We will get through this together. Together. Look, folks, all my colleagues that I served with in the house and the senate up here, we all understand, the world is watching, watching all of us today. 

So here's my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested, and we've come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday's challenges, but today's and tomorrow's challenges. (Applause) And we'll lead not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. (Applause) 

We'll be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security. Look, you all know, we've been through so much in this nation. 

In my first act as president, I'd like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those who we lost in this past year to the pandemic, those 400,000 fellow Americans -- moms, dads, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We'll honor them by becoming the people and the nation we know we can and should be. So, I ask you, let's say a silent prayer for those who have lost their lives and those left behind and for our country. 


Folks, this is a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy and on truth. A raging virus, growing inequity, the sting of systemic racism, a climate in crisis. America's role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is, we face them all at once. 

Presenting this nation with one of the gravest responsibilities we've had. Now we're going to be tested. Are we going to step up, all of us? It's time for boldness, for there is so much to do. 

And this is certain. I promise you, we will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion, is the question. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations, and pass along a new and better world to our children? I believe we must. I'm sure you do as well. I believe we will. 

And when we do, we'll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America, the American story, a story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me. It's called "American Anthem." And there's one verse that stands out, at least for me. And it goes like this: "The work and prayers of centuries have brought us to this day. What shall be our legacy? What will our children say? Let me know in my heart when my days are through. America, America, I gave my best to you." 

Let's add. Let's, us, add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children's children will say of us, they gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land. My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath before God and all of you. I give you my word, I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I'll defend our democracy. I'll defend America. And I'll give all, all of you, keep everything you -- I do in your service, thinking not of power but of possibilities, not of personal injuries but the public good. And together we shall write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us, the story that inspires us, and the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. 

Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch, but thrived, that America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forebears, one another, and generations to follow. 

So, with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasked of our time, sustained by faith, driven by conviction, and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. 

May God bless America and may God protect our troops. 

Thank you, America.