“Love is the Middle: The True Story of a Father and Son” is nearly finished!

Luke Austin Daugherty & Dad, Joe Daugherty, in Sept. 1978

Luke Austin Daugherty & Dad, Joe Daugherty, in Sept. 1978

As of today, I am half way through my final edit of, “Love is the Middle: The True Story of a Father and Son.” It was January 2014 when I wrote the first words of the book. Now, other than some final tweaks, it is nearly finished. When I started writing, I did not know how long it would take me to write the book or how long the book would be. My main priority was that I didn’t want to rush it. I waited nearly five years after my dad died to start writing the memoir of our relationship. It took years for the reality of his death to sink in and for me to grieve that loss as fully as possible. Through the writing of this book, I have grieved his death even more— and in ways that I did not anticipate.

Now that the book is almost ready to publish, I have a different priority. Perhaps it is more of a hope. I truly desire that this book grows legs and does some “walking around.” Once my work shifts from writing editing to publishing and publicity, I’ll do my damndest to make that happen. My father and I went from being miles apart in our relationship with a burnt bridge between us, to genuinely saying “I love you” again. The story of how we did that is a hell of a tale. I hope you look forward to reading it.

The Sunday Sermon- Alan Watts: What if Money was no Object?

This is an ever-needed reflection from Alan Watts that anyone, regardless of faith system or no faith system, can find encouragement in.

So, what would you do if money is no object?

For more information on Alan Watts, click the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Watts

What would you do if money was no object?

Alan Watts- “What would you do if money was no object?”

Also, if you were encouraged by this post, please pass it along 🙂

Have a great week, Luke

My Pick of the Week- A Vintage Vitamaster Roller Massager!

My favorite pick of the week for my ebay store.

My favorite pick of the week for my ebay store.

This is a VERY cool, vintage massager! Ironically, I just picked and sold a Vitamaster Stand-up belt massager a few weeks ago.

These units are usually hard to track down locally, even in shabby condition. So, when I found my second fully-functional Vitamaster massager within one month’s time, I was excited!

Here is the link to my ebay listing. Don’t miss out as it will likely go fast!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-Vitamaster-Roller-Mid-Century-Full-Body-Massager-VMRL-14-WORKS-GREAT-/111655150531

Here is the general link to my ebay store:

http://stores.ebay.com/Brother-Lukes-Treasures

Check out this old clip featuring women’s fitness equipment of the time. You’ll notice a massager very similar to the Vitamaster above in operation 🙂

The Sunday Sermon: Christopher Hitchens on Life, Death, and Free Will (Video)

Here is one minute and 15 seconds  worth of wisdom for you from the oracle on the street, Christopher Hitches.

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was a prolific author, journalist, political critic, debater, and speaker. For more information, see this link:

http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Hitchens

“Accidental Scars” Live Poetry Reading intro for Lay Down in the Water by Luke Austin Daugherty

This was a live reading of my poem, “Accidental Scars, as the intro to a performance of, “Lay Down in the Water,” from a live concert at the Artsgarden.

“Accidental Scars”-

Her uniform shirt
Was short-sleeved
So I could see the scars on both of her wrists
Not horizontal
But vertical
Because when she made the cuts
She meant business

Still, she made it
Against her own will to die
She lived

The cuts have healed
Into minor disfigurements
On the surface of her epidermis

I bet
That occasionally
She goes a day without even noticing
That the scars are there

Her belly is now swollen with new life
And a second heartbeat
To echo her own

The triumphant irony of the situation
Is not lost on me
That another, unexpected generation
And likely many to follow
Will come from the womb of a woman
Whose heart refused to quit
Until her intentional cuts
Healed up into accidental scars

Copyright 2015- Luke Austin Daugherty- All Rights Reserved
No part of this poem or song may be used or reproduced without written permission by the author.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Lifeline at: 1 (800) 273-8255 or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Check out my books on Nook and Kindle, my music on iTunes.com and CDbaby.com, or my main music/concert site at: http://www.lukeaustindaugherty.com

For the complete song, “Lay Down in the Water,” click this link:

Toy Police Shooting Meme- Art Anywhere Against Police Brutality

Some of my impromptu thrift store art... You can use many tools to make a statement against police brutality and unjustified shootings of citizens in the USA. (I shuffled up the scene after capturing the picture so no children were traumatized :)

Some of my impromptu thrift store art… You can use many tools to make a statement against police brutality and unjustified shootings of citizens in the USA. (I shuffled up the scene after capturing the picture so no children were traumatized 🙂

The Sunday Sermon: “Bertrand Russell’s Message to the Future”

 

I have watched this old video clip many times. I have never read or heard a more condensed, powerful, and comprehensive bit of spoken wisdom. Russell’s message speaks to humans of all religions and no religion. Listen carefully and more than once. Then, share! 🙂

For more information on Bertrand Russell:

Bertrand Russell on Wikipedia

Text of video clip:

“One last question: Suppose, Lord Russell, that this film will be looked at by our descendants, like the Dead Sea scroll, in a thousand years’ time. What would you think it’s worth telling that generation about the life you’ve lived and the lessons you’ve learned from it?

I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral. The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this: When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed, but look only, and solely, at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.

The moral thing I should wish to say to them is very simple. I should say love is wise; hatred is foolish. In this world, which is getting more closely and closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other. We have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way; if we are to live together and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.”

– Interview of Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher and mathematician and Nobel laureate, on BBC’s Face to Face (1959)

Here is a version of the video with Spanish subtitles:

Another Black Man Given Impromptu Death Penalty By Police-COPS NEED BODY CAMS NOW!

I don’t even want to write a blog about this… I am sick of this “same story” playing out again and again in the USA: A random, innocent black man shot to death by police.

Thankfully, in this case, a civilian’s camera was running.

The footage speaks for itself:

Here is the Anderson Cooper discussion on the shooting:

The citizens of the USA are weary of unjustified shootings, beating, arrests, and murders of individuals by police. It happens to individuals of all ethnicities. Yet, it happens disproportionately to African Americans. Much of that situation is carried on the back of a failed “Drug War.” Though, as in the shooting at hand, you never know when being pulled over even for a taillight infraction that you will survive the interaction with cops. To the good cops out there, my hats off to you. This isn’t about you.  It is about the vicious, malevolent, and inhumane officers among you who take advantage of and hurt those who they have sworn to protect.

What is the answer? I’ll give you my opinion on what is the fastest way to make progress. I assert the the first major step is an immediate Executive Order by President Obama that all officers, unless undercover, must wear a functional body cam while on duty. Also, that a no tolerance clause for “my cam wasn’t working” be added. If an officer’s body cam “isn’t working” during a questionable situation or any situation where a citizen is injured, he/she will be put on appropriate leave and the situation investigated. If a 2nd situation happens, unpaid leave. If a 3rd, termination. Though, if any investigations lead to charges, then the law should run its course in those cases. Of course, in my perfect world scenario, it would still take time for police departments to order body cams and train officers to use them. Due to that, a reasonable time limit would need to be included in the Order.

I am not a huge fan of Executive Orders. But, we are in a position where the red-tape must be sliced through post haste for the protection of the populace at large from its “protectors.” Executive Orders have been used for all kinds of things. Obama might as well use one in the best interest of the American people during their immediate time of need. Are body cams a total, 100% solution? No. Still, mandatory body cams are a hell of a step in the right direction.

I also call for town, county, and state governments to create citizen boards, voted in by the public and who are NOT, nor have EVER BEEN members or law enforcement, for the oversight of law enforcement in said jurisdiction. They must have enough power to handle situations and recommend the dismissal and/or charges brought upon corrupt or abusive officers of the law.

The only positive, and I use that term in the loosest possible way, is that the shooter, North Charleston Officer Michael Slager of South Carolina, has been charged with murder. Unfortunately, a 50-year-old black man, Walter L. Scott, is now dead over a broken tail light.

I have only two more things to say: 1. To the family of Walter L. Scott, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. It is my sincere hope that you are able to get as much justice as is possible for your murdered family member. 2. To the citizen who recorded the video of the shooting, the USA is forever in your debt for bringing the truth of this shooting to light. Thank you for your courage.

-Luke

I Saw the Incensed Horde- A Poem Dedicated to Farkhunda of Kabul

"I Saw the Incensed Horde" by Luke Austin Daugherty- A poem dedicated to the memory of Farkhunda of Kabul, Afghanistan and the eradication of the violent, fundamental religious ideology which caused her murder. Copyright 2015- All Rights Reserved, Luke Austin Daugherty

“I Saw the Incensed Horde” by Luke Austin Daugherty- A poem dedicated to the memory of Farkhunda of Kabul, Afghanistan and the eradication of the violent, fundamental religious ideology which caused her murder. Copyright 2015- All Rights Reserved, Luke Austin Daugherty

I saw the initial, uncensored videos of Farkhunda’s murder when they hit the internet last month. I wrote this poem laying in bed, unable to sleep, as I thought about her that same night.It is my hope that her story may break up the stony hearts of those who would support or engage in such inhuman atrocities.

To all who read- Your fellow humans must rank higher than your personal ideology. An ideology has no breath, no feelings, and senses no pain. It is an abstract. Your fellow humans do. They need you and you need them.

If you have the time, please visit some of the following links to learn more about this heart-wrenching story and Farkhunda, a woman murdered in public by insane zealots.

Original Video (graphic)

Video Story:

News article:

News Article