Sowing Seeds

 “Keep on sowing your seed.
For you never know
which will grow. 
Perhaps it all will.”
Albert Einstein

Most of my fellow Blogaholics are too young to remember one of this countries scariest early domestic terrorist and dangerous white supremacist, Charles Manson.

Manson was an American criminal and cult leader. Early in 1967, he formed what became known as the “Manson Family”, a quasi-commune based in California. His followers, not him personally, committed a series of nine murders in 1969. The motive for the murders was intended to start a race war.

Another well-known supremacist was leader, David Eden Lane. In March 1985 Lane was arrested in Winston-Salem, N.C., and charged with conspiracy and racketeering, along with 22 other members of The Order, a white supremacist terrorist organization also known as The Silent Brotherhood, or Bruders Schweigen. The charges were for The Order’s 1984 machine-gun assassination of a Jewish talk radio host in Denver, Alan Berg, and its robbery of $3.6 million from an armored car in Ukiah, Calif.

Lane was caught only after the FBI arrested Order member Tom Martinez, who became an informant as part of his plea bargain. This was the first step in the FBI takedown, known as “Operation Clean Sweep,” that landed most members of The Order in prison and effectively ended the organization’s criminal activities.

Lane was additionally accused in 1987, of violating Berg’s civil rights by helping to assassinate him, a federal charge. Lane was also charged with sedition, conspiracy and civil rights violations in what was widely known as the “Fort Smith  sedition trial.” Thirteen other prominent white supremacists were also charged in a conspiracy to overthrow the government that allegedly ran between July 1983 and March 1985.

While both Manson and Lane did not pull the trigger, prosecutors said they played a large role in the planning of the murders they had committed by their followers.

White supremacy is not new to our nation. It has dominated in this country both before and after the American Civil War and continues today. Since the first white supremacist group, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in 1865, the United States has an expansive list of the different types of racial elitist groups operating in the U.S.

Some academics argue that outcomes from the 2016 United States Presidential Election reflect ongoing challenges with white supremacy. As of 2018, there are over 600 white supremacy organizations recorded in this country.

Christopher A. Wray, the head of the FBI said on July 23, 2019 at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the agency had made around 100 domestic terrorism arrests since October 1, 2018, and that the majority of them were connected in some way with white supremacy. 

In an October 2020 assessment by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf declared that white supremacist violent extremists “have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years.”


What we witnessed on January 6th is laden with white supremacists. Rioters wearing shirts with, “Camp Auschwitz and 6MWNE” which is a cry from racists, 6 MILLION DEAD JEWS WAS NOT ENOUGH. Hats and banners with these slogans are proof of white supremacists.

Not all Republicans and Trump supporters are white supremacist. In my point of view, all of the violent MAGA people at the capital attack are full blown white supremacists. These MAGA people stated clearly by carrying their confederate flags and confirming their white supremacy wearing proudly their merchandise with racists slogans.

Now, Republicans such as Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) were among the politicians to spread the baseless conspiracy theory as well as their leader President Trump are attempting to pin the blame on Antifa and other radical organizations. The FBI has stated emphatically that there is NO EVIDENCE Antifa was involved in the Capital Attacks.

For centuries, leaders around the world have affirmed, the swiftest way to bring down a country is to divide the country. The act of dividing potential allies and communities who could come together to rise up is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in the book. A key tool for countering such tactics is learning from the stories of how previous organizations and coalitions have avoided the pitfalls of divide and conquer.

Divide and conquer is a strategy used by the oppressors to break down the relationships and unity between subjugated (often racial) groups struggling for justice, freedom, and liberation, in order to maintain the status quo.

Often tactics used to divide and conquer is creating a narrative that blames each group for the other group’s problems. This works to foster mistrust amongst groups and to cloud the systematic inequalities of white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy.

Bribery is another tactic. This works to align some groups with the elite over other subjugated groups. The resources offered are never close to the original goals of the movement.

While all this violence and chaos ensues in the country, Trump continues to do what he has done since elected, which is to try to divide and conquer Americans for cynical gain. It’s all about winning, and everything else be damned.  Over the past five years, he has sown the seeds of racism, xenophobia, and religious bigotry. Everybody knows it, even his most staunch supporters who showed up at his January 6th political event to provoke violence. As long as he is standing in front of his adoring followers, where he can spew his special kind of wink and nod, dog whistle, cultural political rhetoric, he is fine.

I challenge our Republican representatives to name one thing Trump has done to unite the country. 

There is no denying, Trump has laid bare to all of us, who and what he embodies. Trump has yet to denounce what his MAGA people did January 6th. Trump may not have pulled the trigger that killed people during the raid on the Capital, he may not have used exact words to attack the Capital, but his support to MAGA people was loud and clear. To ensue violence and stop the confirmation of our election of our new president because in his words, it was stolen from him.

Trump has been placing a wedge between this country for over five years. A wedge that divides republicans from democrats. That divides race and religion and most importantly a wedge that attempted to divide our beliefs in our democratic society.

Ironically, Tuesday Trump held a political rally in Alamo, Texas to celebrate the “Trump Wall” he created. He bragged how successful his presidency was in building this wall.

I find it extremely telling that Trump chose his wall as his legacy. A wall to divide people. How ironic it is that days before he leaves office we have a new wall. A wall around all of our Capital buildings to protect our democracy not from foreign extremists but from homeland radicals.

Trump must be held accountable for what he has done to this country. Just like Manson and Lane, he has done damage without physically causing violence, deaths, division and threatening our democracy, but by sowing seeds.

 Shine On

Musketeer Mania


“One for all and all for one.”
Musketeer Motto


As a child I was captivated by the French writer Alexandre Dumas 1844 novel, The Three Musketeers. Dumas was the Stan Lee of his time, creating the first youthful super heroes, Aramis, Porthos, Athos, and their protege D’Artagnan. The only difference is, Musketeers actually did exist and Dumas based his characters on some of the most famous of Musketeers.

Anything I could find to read or watch about the Musketeers was on my radar. Mostly because they were excellent equestrians and fencers, two of my favorite combinations, and all Musketeer entertainment had plenty of those two activities. 

My late great uncle was an Olympic fencer. I never had the honor of meeting him, but I like to imagine his passion and talent for fencing was passed on to me. I was fortunate to attend a high school that offered beginning fencing, and this was my first hands-on introduction to this 14th century sport. It’s amazing how much fencing requires a great deal of  mental and physical stamina, balance and fast reflexes. I took to this sport quickly, learning all the common moves and French words for them such as, Advance Lunge, Assault, Extension, Flick, Touché and the most famous En-garde.

Most are introduced to fencing through Hollywood movies. There have been numerous movies about the Musketeers dating as far back as the 1921 silent film adaptation starring Douglas Fairbanks. The first movie I remember watching about the Musketeers was on TV in the 1960s, and was the 1948 movie with Gene Kelly. It’s still one of my favorites because it not only had fencing and horses, but as an extra bonus it had Gene Kelly performing ballet type moves while fencing.

In the 1970s the studios came out with a Raquel Welch and Michael York Musketeer version, which wasn’t one of my favorites. As a little trivia note, this movie was originally proposed in the 1960s as a vehicle for The Beatles. 

Disney released their Musketeer movie adaptation in 1993 starring Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt and Chris O’Donnell. This became my favorite version of all time, until now.

A few weeks back, I discovered on Amazon Prime a 2014 BBC Musketeer series. This exceptional rendition of the swashbuckling Musketeers is now one of my top go to TV series. The acting, costumes, romantic locations, storylines and cinematography is awe inspiring. If you’re looking for some great entertainment to fill your evenings, I highly recommend this series. It certainly is fulfilling my Musketeer mania.

Shine On 

Backstory of Beef Wellington



“The only thing I am afraid of is fear.”
Arthur Wellesley

You’ve got to take your hat off to the 1st Duke of Wellington. Not only did the feisty Irishman vanquish Napoleon, he twice became prime minister and lend his name to the infamous Wellington boot as well as giving us the delicious Beef Wellington to remember him by.

Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley was born in Dublin, May 1, 1769 into an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family. At age 12, he was sent to school at Eton in England. His father’s death that same year threw the family into financial turmoil. Arthur’s mother withdrew him from Eton to be schooled in Belgium and France. She saw such little promise in her son that she felt the military was the best career choice for him. In 1787 at age 18, he was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army.

An outstanding British soldier and statesman, he was one of the most important military and political leaders of 19th-century Britain. Rising to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, he was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French Empire at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813.

Following Napoleon’s exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the 1815 Hundred Days War, he commanded the allied army, which together with a Prussian Army under Blücher, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. His battle record is exemplary; he ultimately participated in some 60 battles during the course of his military career.

Wellesley died from a stroke on 14 September 1852. On his death, he was once again hailed as the hero of Waterloo. Queen Victoria even described him as ‘the greatest man this country ever produced’. He was given a state funeral in London and was laid to rest in St Paul’s Cathedral, next to Britain’s other military heroes.

So, how does all this history relate to Beef Wellington? Well, it seems the Duke of Wellington was quite indifferent to food. However, he did love a dish of beef, mushrooms, truffles, Madeira wine, and pâté cooked in pastry. The Duke loved this dish so much, it had to be served at every dinner. Therefore, his chefs named the dish in his honor.  Some also speculate the dish was named after him because the fillet of beef, wrapped in puff pastry finished product looks like a highly polished Wellington riding boot.

Beef Wellington, like many other dishes, has a debatable story of origin. Many different experts cite England, France, Ireland, and even Africa as the possible birthplace for the dish. Although, several contend that France is the most likely origin for the dish since wrapping meat in pastry is a technique that has been practiced in France for a long time, even before the dish became popular.

This tenderloin of beef in puffed pastry was first made famous in the USA by the TV chef, Julia Child. Her cook book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking was immensely popular in the USA. She presented a version of the well-known French fillet of beef in crust, which she entitled, Filet of Beef Wellington on TV in her New Year’s Day 1965 show.

Thanks to the success of Childs’ Beef Wellington show, the dish became hugely popular in North American social circles and was repeated in a large number of magazines and cookbooks, including the very influential, White House Cookbook.

To Americans, unaccustomed to the English idea of meat in pastry, Beef Wellington must have seemed like quite an exotic dish. It can be an intimidating and complicated dish to put together. But, thanks to cooking shows and YouTube, anyone with a desire to cook this fancy feast can put together a beautiful and tasty Beef Wellington.

Shine On

Looks Can Be Deceiving

“It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see.”
Henry David Thoreau


On my daily walks along the Esplanade there’s a house that has a fairy garden with tiny figurines. One of the figurines has one of Henry David Thoreau’s famous quotes, “It’s not what you look at, it’s what you see.” This quote points out the difference between the senses and perception.

Our senses give us information and facts but does not always allow us to perceive or experience the item our eyes see. For example, I might see a tree as a plant with stem, and branches and leaves. But, what I might perceive is a natural beauty that represents thousands of years of evolution or the hand of a higher power at work. I might look at a painting and view a canvas with brightly painted colors and brush strokes. But, what I see is a mastery of beauty, passion or a story that touches my mind and my heart.

I think what Thoreau was telling us was to not only view the world around us from a sensory input means, but more importantly to see beyond the shapes, colors, and lighting to the inner meaning and beauty contained in the world around us. Thoreau wants us to understand that it is often the unseen or the perceived that is far more important than the seen or input from our eyes. We should take in the world around us with our mind’s eye rather than just our physical eye.

Our awareness of the objects around us is informed and fine-tuned by any number of factors—our strength and energy levels, our sense of confidence, our fears and desires. Being human means seeing the world through your own constantly shifting lens because as we all know, looks can be deceiving. 

Shine On