My photo
ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Friday, August 18, 2017

LITTLE SHADOWS AT SUNDOWN

  1. MY POEM TODAY goes back to the sea for those old sounds, the old sights, so familiar with my growing up. I was an only son, and had sisters to protect. Like thi...s young lad who has his sisters covered.

  2. LITTLE SHADOWS AT SUNDOWN
  3. (For the Wee Ones at the Beach)


  4. There is where here is:
    Do you hear the murmur
    Of the sea waves laving this shore?
    It is the whispered caress of a mother
    Come upon her little ones’ romp
    Among the sundown shadows.

  5. Where the flushed horizon
    Meets the sea, a father’s
    Face gleams ruddy
    With laughter’s heat
    Still on his crinkled brow.

  6. O, that this cacophony of sounds
    Becomes the noise of a lifetime
    This heart (from a distance)
    Could hearken to, leap up to,
    Velvety notes of a joie de vivre
    That this place was built for,
    Made of, remembered by:

  7. Is this not, after all, the paradise
    He thought was lost in time past
    Visited now upon his dotage
    When he hankers for joy,
    A little life left, while there is time?

  8. The little shadows taunt the sea
    To reach their limbs. Gleeful,
    Their now surprised screams,
    When touched at last, are drowned
    By whimper of the ebbtide waves
    That has turned to gentle laughter.


  9. ---ALBERT B. CASUGA

THE PASSION

  1. MY POEM TODAY is a Poem suggesting a move to another intensity: like old men, while we walk with the "bottoms of our trousers" rolled, we continue exploring before going back home. Sleep will be good. Then.

  2. THE PASSION
  3. ...
  4. Love is most nearly itself/ When here and now cease to matter./ Old men ought to be explorers/ Here and there does not matter/ We must be still and still moving/ Into another intensity... T. S. Eliot, “East Coker”, Four Quartets

  1. Too late to be afraid, I have left for places
    to explore, posted my address “nowhere”
    and there will be no returning. Not here.

  1. Not now, or anywhere. I have built me
    caverns of love walled with sound, echoes
    really, of cathedrals of thought and feeling

  1. neatly folded into my threadbare knapsack
    of everything that is old and do not matter:
    Only the love, barely the love, all the love.

  1. What is it? Where is it? How is it made?
    How long will it last? Why call it a passion?
    In that hill, on that rugged cross, it was. It is.

  1. Where I shall go, I shall be asked: How long
    did it take for you to know how to get home?
    I always felt the tug, but never its intensity.

  1. ---Albert B. Casuga

BEING PROUD OF HER

  1. BEING PROUD OF HER*
  2. (For Mimi, Blanca and Ding+ Nolledo


  3. Let me at it---get me to my concupiscibles....
    Green. Ripples. Sidled boats. Verdant growth.
    Do you not see the metaphor stripped bare
    Of all that is recondite? Lorca saw it: Verde.
    Old Nick’s barking tremolo swooned to it—
    Evensong lullaby hushed his beer-body riot.
    “Shh…the quiet lord cometh, he is on his way,
    Laving ripples murmur to the brackish rocks
    Serving sentry on the bluff: it is the end of day,
    One more goodbye, one more sleep. No cocks
    Crow here anymore.” Mimi has a good eye.

  1. Do you not feel what you ought to also see?
    The idled empty boats are Indios Bravos tables.
    Our tippling comrades are not there anymore,
    Like the gin-ran pumps of absent boatmen,
    These tubs tug at loose ropes linking them
    Briefly like tumbler-toasting, tired, trolling
    Troubadours. Beyond, it will always be green;
    The gentle whimsy of wind is caressing here.
    But the lights will be turned down soon,
    Like sundown’s stealth, the creeping gloom.

  1. At the old haunt—Nick, Pete, Pascua-Sanchez,
    Papen, Erwin, Recah, Blanca, Adrian, Cuadra,
    Are still shadows on the wall, not unlike catfish
    Bobbing up for air as we did, drunken Bravos,
    Fighting for breath when carousing left us
    Struggling to surface from the depths of dives
    Into bottomless pain and puzzlement: why
    Did we have to walk out, foglike, into a dawn
    Where bright days turned us all into harlequins
    Miming what we thought were loud promises
    to stay alive like these green dancing ripples
    moving my eyes now grafted into Mimi’s Eye.

  1. ---ALBERT B. CASUGA
    Mississauga, 07-07-13


  2. *A poem written in the persona of the late Philippine writer and novelist non pareil Wilfrido D. “Ding” Nolledo, father of artist Melissa Nolledo, and beloved husband of writer-editor Blanca Datuin-Nolledo, who writes a blog “Cropsharing in the Bounty of Love” where she collects hitherto unknown remembrances of one of the finest writers in English in the Philippines, “But for the Lovers” author, Wilfrido Nolledo.

WOMAN TEACHES JESUS

Francisco Albano

8:18 AM (12 hours ago)
to Francisco
 
August 20, 2017
Gospel Reflection
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A
 
WOMAN TEACHES JESUS
Mat 15: 21-28 (RSV)
 
St. Luke tells us that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus – 12 years old at the time – attended the feast of Passover in Jerusalem. On the way home after the feast, the parents noticed the boy was not with them.  He was not among relatives and friends either. They went back to Jerusalem and found him in the temple courts among the teachers listening to them and asking questions. Mama Mary subtly reprimanded the boy who learned a valuable lesson in family relations. The family returned to Nazareth where “… Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man. (Luke 2:52 NAB)”
 
 Jesus the man would learn more lessons in family and social relations that would enable him to teach well, proclaim the Kingdom of God well, and, through healing the sick and feeding the hungry, give signal proofs that the Kingdom has begun and was present in and among the people. Jesus grew in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom – in communicating with people of town and country, in clashes with powers of village and temple, market, and state, in the formation of disciples and apostles, and in processes of struggles of his heart, in the way of the cross. The judgment would be that he did all things well – to open people to the largeness of life, to love of neighbor, and presence of a caring God. To righteousness. To the joy of living: “They have no wine,” was Mama Mary’s subtle suggestion/order at the wedding feast in Cana. And Jesus gave the newly-weds and the guests the best wine served last. Another crucial lesson from Mama Mary.
 
  Where was Jesus slow in the school of the Lord’s service? To be close to the poor, the orphan and the widow, the “little ones” – he got that right basically from the beginning. (Luke 4:18-19). But, IMHO, it was in the area of being all things to all men and women -- especially to women that he must have found some difficulty. Jesus at the start of his ministry learned to get out of the cultural confines of racial, religious, and gender prejudice and discrimination. He was a Jew: To what extent was he prejudiced against the Gentiles? He was a man: To what extent did he distance himself from women, and especially from pagan women? Who exposed to him his limitations in this regard?
 
   And so this non-incidental saving event of Jesus meeting the  Canaanite/Syrophoenician woman begging him to cure her daughter tormented by a demon. A Jew, a man, faces a Gentile-pagan woman. “Send her away,” the male-chauvinist Jewish disciples urge Jesus. "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel", Jesus tells the lady. But Jesus had already cured a centurion’s servant.  Did Jesus compromise? The centurion had faith, Jesus would not enter a pagan home; the servant would be cured from a distance.  An exception,  not causing any scandal?
 
   The woman, a mother to boot, is of strong will and faith, her humility simply amazing “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David.” So she knows his identity and is aware of his reputation as a holy man of good works. On her knees, she begs: “Lord, help me.” Jesus answers: "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." She is not turned off by his rudeness. Yes, Jesus is rude to this pagan woman. Some exegetes say no! Jesus is not rude. He uses an innocuous metaphor. For “dogs: his term is “kunarion,” household pet, and not the pejorative “kuon”, despised street dog / “askal” (cf. Matt 7,6). (Nil Guillemette, SJ). Mildly rude then?
 
   In masterful repartee, a cunning woman counters. "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Eyes opened, Jesus answers her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish."
 
   Jesus underestimated the lady graced by God with faith and winning humor. Nothing good comes from Gentiles and pagan women? Here she is, a sign and presence of the Kingdom of his word. Jesus learns the value of gender sensitivity and the power of a prayerful woman. He learns that though the house of Israel is of special priority, for now, the Kingdom is for all. He learns something beautiful from this Canaanite-Syrophoenician lady who pleads for wellness not for herself but for another. Jesus advances in wisdom and favor before God and a woman. Whatever trace of gender exclusivism is him disappears. He is a growing presence of God, a Jesus who in the fullness of time and space and righteous relationships will then be recognized as true Man and true God.
 
    Is this event saving for me? Where am I in this scene? What word do I hear from Jesus, a man, and a Jew and from a smart pagan lady? Do I say to those who need my loving service: I was sent only to the lost sheep of the Church. Word and sacrament are for Christians only? Do I hold that salvation is only for those who accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, is for the well-to-do only whose economic blessings in life they believe are a sign that one is predestined to enjoy divine afterlife? Do I look down on Jews, Muslims, LGBTs and others who are not like me? How do I regard woman -- Canaanite-Syrophoenician, whatever. -- as an object of pleasure, a commodity, a non-citizen of the world, a second class person in the view of the Pharisees and Sadducees and priests and politicians and businessmen and scientists and soldiers of patriarchy and capitalist globalization? Have I ever prayed seemingly foolish in persistence and insistence for a cure for someone sick in body or mind or spirit?
 
    Does the Canaanite-Syrophoenician woman teach me a thing or two?  Do I send anyone like her away, because she bothers my conscience or my schedule? Am I a good learner as Jesus was?  Do I dare engage God in witty conversation and make him laugh?   Have I advanced in wisdom and stature and favor before God, women, and men?  # 

                                                    By Fr. Francisco R. Albano,  Diocese of Ilagan
 


 

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

AWAKENING A LEADER'S SOUL: LEARNING THROUGH IMMORTAL POEMS

Ascot Media Group, Inc.

2:20 PM (6 hours ago)
to me
Dear Albert Casuga : 
American companies spend billions of dollars annually on leadership development and training with very little to show for it. Clearly, something's missing.
What's missing, says Gaurav Bhalla, a thinker-doer, is the cultivation of our leaders' most valuable assets: their humanity and the wisdom of their souls.
Please allow me to send you a complimentary copy of Bhalla's thought-provoking new book, Awakening A Leader's Soul: Learnings Through Immortal Poems, in consideration of a review, interview or feature.
Simply contact me to schedule an interview with the author, or let me know if I may send a review copy of the book. If you would like to run this story I'd be happy to send you JPEGs of Bhalla and the book cover. Thank you.
To view his video series, please visit http://tinyurl.com/9j44kxd.
Kate Marlowe
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
281.333.3507 Phone
832.569.5539 Fax
news@ascotmedianews.com
www.ascotmedia.com

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Book Uses Immortal Poems To Help Leaders Embark On A Journey Of Reflection And Self-Awareness
Washington, D.C., August 8, 2017 ― Leadership roles rarely come with playbooks, even less so in today's complex and uncertain world. When confronted with 21st-century challenges, quandaries, dilemmas and paradoxes — which often require choices between right vs. right or wrong vs. more wrong — where do leaders turn for guidance?
Not to the brilliance of their executive minds or to best-practice recipes taught by traditional leadership training courses, but to the rootedness of their humanity — who they are, what they stand for, what they are willing to fight for and what they are willing to walk away from.
What matters most is not what's in leaders' heads, but what lies within their souls that guides what's in their heads, says Gaurav Bhalla, author, educator and CEO of Knowledge Kinetics.
Bhalla's new book, Awakening A Leader's Soul: Learnings Through Immortal Poems, is about "Soulful Leadership,” a new human-centric narrative that reimagines the purpose of leadership. It takes current and future leaders on a transformative journey of reflection and self-awareness to help them better understand their own humanity and that of the worlds in which they live through a new set of teachers — immortal poems.
Using the timeless wisdom of Shakespeare, Whitman, Dickinson and many others, the book showcases critical leadership lessons, such as the perils of an over-inflated ego; the importance of authenticity, trust and integrity; the significance of perseverance; and the value of doubting – of not being too sure – all vital for imagining and engineering meaningful leadership journeys in the 21st century.
Through poems and essays, the book creates an inner awakening concerning an important issue – all leadership decisions ultimately require sacrificing something or someone, including planetary resources. Managing these sacrifices in a way that increases the wellbeing and prosperity of the greatest many is visionary. It's also the hallmark of Soulful Leadership, which today's world greatly needs.
Author Gaurav Bhalla holds a Ph.D. in marketing and strategy from the University of Kansas and is a globally acclaimed educator, speaker and consultant. CEO of Knowledge Kinetics, he and his company are committed to helping organizations develop visionary leaders and practice customer-first thinking.
He is also the author of Collaboration and Co-Creation: New Platforms for Marketing and Innovation (2010), the much-acclaimed Harvard Business Review article, "Rethinking Marketing,” and a historical-fiction novel, The Curse and the Cup (2014).
Bhalla asserts that "The head may be smart, but the soul is smarter…and… wise,” and works every day to advance his core philosophy that a person's humanity is a more enduring asset than his or her executive brilliance.
For more information, please visit www.soulfulleadership.world/.
Awakening A Leader's Soul: Learnings Through Immortal Poems
Release date: September 7, 2017
Motivational Press
ISBN-10: 162865421X
ISBN-13: 978-1628654219
Available for pre-order on www.Amazon.com and other online book sellers.
###
TIP SHEET:
Q & As available on request.
Avraham Azrieli, TheColumbiaReview.com: "Highly recommended! … Awakening A Leader's Soul: Learnings Through Immortal Poems by Gaurav Bhalla, Ph.D., is a unique business leadership book that bypasses the usual offerings of practical business advice and decision-making skills in favor of centering on the leader's humanity and, by extension, taking readers on a fascinating journey of self-discovery and deeper awareness. … For anyone reading today's news headlines, the author's audacious leap of unconventional spirit in this book could not be more timely. … The book is further enriched with poignant, classic poems, embellished with introspective quotations from paradigm-shifting thinkers, and interspersed with artistic illustrations. It makes for a wonderful read, provokes deep introspection and occasionally rises to soaring heights of insight, discernment and prose. … This is an excellent, life-changing book for anyone seeking the true essence of great leadership.”











Ascot Media Group is compliant with the can-spam act. Contact Information: Ascot Media Group, Inc. Post Office Box 2394, Friendswood, TX 77549. Main: 281.333.3507. Fax: 832.569.5539. If you would prefer not to receive press releases and other information from Ascot Media Group, Incorporated, please respond with the word "remove” in the subject line. Please note the removal process can take up to 48 hours before it is fully in effect. Thank you.




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

PLANNING FOR A TREEHOUSE
(Voices from Three Generations)



(For my Grandchildren)


We will see so/ little of the world that it is/ important for you to see this/ tree, to envision rooms and/ stairs where there is only air/ and leaves, to place the first/ board against the bark. --- From “Treehouse for God” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 10-25-11



1.
Come summer, we will build
another treehouse on an oak
overlooking the creek, there
is more of you now to gather
remnants we can put together. 

Nothing bigger, but higher,
maybe closer to the clouds,
nearer to the stars, away from
the giggling girls next door.
We will see less of the world. 

2.
Or more of it below: yelping
dogs lining up for the lift-leg
tree astride our river bank,
are easy slingshot targets off
stouter, steadier branches. 

O, and there is soldier-boy
doing it with the wife round
the clock since he came back
wounded from Iraq, Libya,
and all on the eastern crack. 

3.
Shush, buddyboy, that’s not
what treehouses are for. What
are they for, gramps? To espy
on sparrows, robins, jays, owls
talk to each other on sundowns. 

So, if we build it a bit higher,
we can also build a treehouse
for God, can we not, gramps?
Why ever for, laddie? He is
everywhere. But nowhere near? 

4.
Cool. A treehouse for God on
the river bend. Then, maybe,
just maybe, we can visit him
anytime, gramps, ask for help
for starving kids in Somalia. 

Hook him up on a telephone
line, strings and cans and all,
and maybe Dad can provide
Him with a Bell Internet link,
alert Him on the Facebook! 

5.
So he can stop all killings and all
and punish priests who molest
altar boys and girls, and...Whoa!
Whoa, boys, we are building a
treehouse, not His jailhouse. 

Could we build one for God,
anyway, gramps? We got boards
and plywood and shingles and
nails, and...borrow mom’s cross,
to protect Him in His treehouse. 

6.
Winter is almost here, boys,
we need to firm things up here
so it would not fall off. We will
build another come summer
on that oak bent over the creek. 

(He wipes clammy sweat off his
forehead, winces at a strange jab
of pain on his chest, tingling on
his arms.) Time to climb down,
boys, before we nail Him down,
again.



--- Albert B. Casuga

MEANING IN MEANINGS.



MY THREE POEMS ON FINDING MEANING IN MEANINGS. What is the meaning of life? These are poems as answers to the Big Questions. This post was prompted by Brain Pickings link on Leo Tolstoy's "Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World." It was likewise prompted by an Albert Camus post on the meaning of a life worth living as a moral obligation to find happiness. (See my Timeline on Brain Pickings a year ago below.) --- Painting of the suckling mother by UK artist par excellence Janet Weight Reed.


WHAT IS IT (Life) ALL FOR?


(For All Who Care to Find Meaning)


1. IN SEARCH OF MEANINGS
Missing the many splendored thing
is one way of looking at this search.
How really far out there do we need
to fly, or espy for the god particle we
seemed to have lost in the process?
Why look behind the stars or in them?
Did we not lose our angels coming off
the crib or the direst cranny for shelter?
They do not grow with us, nor guide us.
Absconding, they quietly creep away.
Courage and devilment open our eyes
to what stories we could live with or by,
or what places to board up or occupy.
Orphans at birth, we are alone at death.
What we mean here is what we make.
The womb is a meaning we cannot do
without: our final breath is a call:
Mother, hold me. Our first cry is a call:
Mother, love me. And then we grow old
shaping up all excess purposes and ends.
The tomb is yet another meaning we
scarcely begin to understand before it
pulls us to its urgent demand: living
to die trying to live while dying is easy
may yet be the meaning we struggle for.

---ALBERT B. CASUGA


Here's a poetic response to the Big Question: Why is There Something and Not Nothing? (The Strange Ways of Being)*


2. MEANING AS AXIOM
If another twig falls in the night,
as silently as it grew as a sapling
toward the sky, would that mean
anything anyway to anyone?
The graveyard of a fallen tree
may tell untold stories that stay
untold until a struggling stray root
breaks through dry rot and ground
for yet another flushed cherry tree.
The inexorable is also axiom here:
life begins in death in a spun gyre
twirling into flowers, forever moving.
Nothing is everything here, but there
where leaves had once fallen, broken
twigs spring back as fluttering birds
twittering on branches like new leaves.
—ALBERT B. CASUGA


*Simon Blackburn, The Big Questions: Philosophy, Quercus Publishing Plc, London, UK, 2009.


3. WHAT MEANING MEANS
Giving up on giving up is a better choice,
when being sensible and clear are futile.
Words would lose meaning, ours will not.
Where you see a vine leading its tendrils
up to a broken branch shedding a last leaf,
you make me see its undulant plummet
to the parched pond mottled by blackened
and brittle leaves long dead even before
the end of this long hot summer. It is real.
Is this not our faultless way of knowing
what we pretend to know when we can
no longer see the dancer from the dance?
Would not the falling of that lonely leaf
trace the slower climb of a clinging vine?
Like seeing both sides of the wall at once.


---ALBERT B. CASUGA

SUB SAHARAN AFRICA

Ascot Media Group, Inc.

8:55 AM (9 hours ago)
to me
Dear Albert Casuga:
When it involves poverty, the outpouring of generosity from the developed nations of the world is awe-inspiring. In the past five to six decades, more than $1 trillion has been donated to the nations of Sub-Saharan Africa with little to no improvement, despite the overwhelming advantage these nations have in possession of natural resources. Hence, according to retired Maryland neurosurgeon Dr. Sylvanus A. Ayeni, it is obvious that no amount of foreign aid will alleviate the grinding poverty in these nations unless there is a major reversal of the widespread leadership failure.
In his new book, Rescue Thyself: Change In Sub-Saharan Africa Must Come From Within, Dr. Ayeni outlines exactly what needs to be done to help make the people in these nations self-sufficient.
I would like to send a copy of Rescue Thyself in consideration of an interview or review from you. Please read the press release below and let me know if I may schedule an informative interview with Dr. Ayeni. If you would prefer to run this story, I would be happy to send you JPEGs of the author and the book cover.  Thank you.

Kelly Landrum
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
281.333.3507 Phone
832.569.5539 Fax
news@ascotmedianews.com   
www.ascotmedia.com
(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Why Is Sub-Saharan Africa Still The Poorest Region In The World Despite Its Abundant Natural Resources And Generous Foreign Aid?
Bethesda, MD, July 26, 2017 ― Why has foreign aid failed to alleviate poverty and promote development and economic growth in Africa? If an influx of more than $1 trillion in aid over five to six decades hasn't solved the problem then it's obvious nothing will help unless there is significant improvement in the performance of the leadership, says Dr. Sylvanus Ayeni – retired neurosurgeon and founder of the non-profit organization Pan Africa Children Advocacy Watch. His new book, Rescue Thyself: Change In Sub-Saharan Africa Must Come From Within, is an in-depth, bold and holistic examination of this region. The discussion about the profound deficits in virtually all areas of human development in these nations engages several  audiences including government policy makers in the West and in Asia, the foreign aid community and Africans in the continent and the Diaspora.
The author strongly suggests that there should be significant rethinking of the open-ended "giving” approach of many of the donors, including the rich and developed nations of the world. Sure, the donors are very passionate about alleviating the suffering of the populations in these nations. However, they should demand more accountability, transparency, honest governance and true commitment to the rule of law from the leaders of these nations.
The most formidable barriers to progress and development in many of the nations in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are Sub-Saharan African leaders who have presided over the decimation of the subcontinent. Some of these nations certainly need help. But first, they must start helping themselves. Several possible solutions are proposed, all anchored on a new type of leadership, quality education, superb infrastructure, respect for the rule of law, and a different strategy by the donors.
The murderous activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Niger and Chad, including the abduction of hundreds of female students in North Eastern Nigeria and the 2014 - 2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa have been well publicized. Recently, the UN says it needs $1.4 billion to help refugees escaping conflict and famine in South Sudan. The country has been embroiled in a catastrophic civil war since 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his deputy, Riek Machar of plotting a coup. Now, nearly 2 million South Sudanese are seeking refuge in neighboring countries. These are three examples of the disasters that plagued and continue to inflict pain and suffering on the people in SSA.
These situations, plus the destitution in many of the other nations of SSA, all make it imperative that a blunt, deep analysis and discussion of the failure of these nations should take place. While the agony in most of these nations affects the majority of the population, the children, the youth, and the elderly have been particularly impacted. 
The book is a comprehensive and rather provocative examination of the calamitous state of most of the nations of SSA; written by someone born in Africa, and educated there from primary school to medical school. He has also been involved in development issues in the sub-continent for many years, mainly in the education and healthcare sectors.
No amount of foreign aid to these poor-performing nations will reverse the poverty in the region unless there is significant improvement in the performance of the leadership. The case is also made that Sub-Saharan Africans have been bequeathed with all the tools needed, i.e., human and natural resources, to develop their nations. Thus, they need not continue the culture of dependency on the rest of the human race.
Available at online outlets including amazon.com,  BarnesandNoble.com, rowman.com and some bookstores.
RescueThyself: Change in Sub-Saharan Africa Must Come From Within
By Dr. Sylvanus Ayeni
Publisher: Hamilton Books
Language: English 
April 2017
ISBN-10: 0761868917
ISBN-13: 978-0761868910
###
TIP SHEET:
Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services, Canada: "[Dr. Ayeni] has for years been involved in the education of children in Africa as well as in attempts to improve Africa's healthcare sector. If anyone knows about the ins and outs of Africa's decades old problem of little to no progress, it's Dr. Ayeni. He delivers his message with incredible doses of passion, love, logic, and statistics.
His quotes from many sources are appropriate and well placed. And many of his own are also worthy of being cited elsewhere. One memorable one for me, when he debunked any excuse Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) might have as to why it is still in trouble was "Except in the Garden of Eden, no society started out rich.” Another one is: "The color of the skin does not determine the quality of the output of the human brain.”
He goes where others have feared to tread and this is to ask the question, "Is democracy the appropriate form of government for the nations of SSA?” But the bottom line of the good doctor's message is this: it is time for the foreign-aid community to rethink its strategy… In his last chapter as well as his epilogue, the author gives some very practical suggestions as to what can be done now. And he also warns us of what may well happen if these things are not done. Scary. This is a must read for anyone working with NGO's in Africa. It's also a must read for pastors and mission leaders, and of course the individual who cares about helping his or her less fortunate brothers and sisters in the world. Well done, doctor.”








Ascot Media Group is compliant with the can-spam act.  Contact Information:  Ascot Media Group, Inc. Post Office Box 2394, Friendswood, TX 77549. Main: 281.333.3507.  Fax: 832.569.5539.  If you would prefer not to receive press releases and other information from Ascot Media Group, Incorporated, please respond with the word "remove” in the subject line. Please note the removal process can take up to 48 hours before it is fully in effect. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

POWS Revenge

Ascot Media Group, Inc.

Jul 17 (1 day ago)
to me
Dear Albert Casuga:
More than 40 years ago, two naval aviators endured unspeakable pain as POWs in Vietnam. One soldier buried his demons and built a successful career in law enforcement. But the other followed his demons down a dark path toward the ultimate revenge.
In The Oath, author Dennis Koller expertly weaves the gripping stories of two former POWs with a modern-day murder investigation to create a mystery-thriller with enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing until the end.
Please allow me to send you a complimentary copy (or pdf) of The Oath in consideration of a review, interview or feature.
Dennis Koller makes a dynamic guest. Please contact me to schedule an interview, or let me know if I may send a review copy of the book. If you would like to run this story I'd be happy to send you a JPEG of Koller and the book cover. Thank you.
Sarah Carter
Pen Books
117 Southwind Drive
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
310/413-4691
925/586-2012
sarah@penbooks.biz

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Oath — The Desire For Revenge Never Dies
Pleasant Hill, CA, July 17, 2017 ― A lifetime ago, two young naval aviators took an oath to "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Both were shot down over North Vietnam and endured years of brutal torture in the same prisoner-of-war camp.
Now, one is a San Francisco homicide inspector, with his allegiance firmly anchored in the law. The other remains steadfastly allegiant to the oath and is systematically eliminating Americans who had visited North Vietnam to aid the enemy's cause — Americans he views as domestic enemies. The lives of these two former POWs are about to intersect again, and the consequences will be explosive.
In The Oath, author Dennis Koller creates a gripping, stay-up-all-night mystery-thriller that expertly intertwines the compelling stories of two former POWs with a modern-day murder investigation.
The book opens with the cold-blooded murder of a famous San Francisco newspaper columnist. Homicide Inspector Tom McGuire is called to investigate a scene that's unlike any he's seen before. The victim was shot in the head — execution style — and her arms were bound behind her, the rope knotted tightly from shoulder to wrist.
Awash in an eerie chill of recognition, McGuire is transported back in time to the infamous Hanoi Hilton where as a POW he endured rope torture many times, his arms tied in exactly the same fashion.
The medical examiner — already on the scene — explains that the victim was shot and killed before she was tied up. The killer, it seems, is leaving a calling card that only a select and unfortunate few would recognize.
As the killer's identity slowly comes into focus, McGuire is forced to face his own demons and reluctantly pursue a brother-in-arms. Will McGuire remain allegiant to the law or to the oath he shares with the killer?
Born and raised in San Francisco, author Dennis Koller was the Executive Director of the SS Jeremiah O'Brien, a World War II Liberty ship berthed at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.
In 2013, Koller figuratively "jumped ship” to write his first mystery-thriller, Kissed By The Snow, about a secret FBI drug taskforce that devises a plan to finally win America's war on drugs. The book placed fourth in the Ink & Insights national writing contest.
He is also the author of The Custer Conspiracy, published in October 2016, which was named a 2017 Distinguished Favorite in the thriller category by Independent Press Award.
The Oath, released in May 2016, won the 2016 Bay Area Independent Publishers Association Book Award for Best Fiction and the 2017 Independent Press Award for Military Fiction.
Koller is a member of the Naval Order of the United States, the Navy League of the United States, the Military Writers Society of America, the California Writers Club, the Independent Book Publishers Association, the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association and is on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Bethlehem Shipyard Museum. Koller holds an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a graduate degree in business administration, both from Saint Mary's College of California. He lives with his wife in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Oath
Pen Books
ISBN-10: 0692656731
ISBN-13: 978-0692656730
Available at www.Amazon.com and all book stores upon request.
Autographed copies are available at www.penbooks.biz.
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TIP SHEET:
Q & As available on request.
The Irish Herald Book Review: "Dennis Koller's mystery-thriller debut is a strong one. The novel has it all: intrigue, politics, murder and romance. Combined with characters and dialogue that are ultimately believable, The Oath is a real page-turner.”
Military Writers Society of America Review: "An intriguing plot and artful writing make Dennis Koller's The Oath an entertaining read. Readers will appreciate the author's ability to bring a scene and its characters to life with just enough detail to make it all pop, without becoming bogged down in over-descriptive narratives. Adventure and thriller fans' appetite for a rush will be well satiated with the twists and turns throughout this book. Koller displays an innate understanding of the plight of Vietnam POWs as well as the intricacies of police work. He weaves these experiences together to create a plausible and compelling picture of the immense struggles attached to both. That the homicide investigator survived the same prison camp as the killer he now seeks creates a clear conflict — as he must choose between his allegiance to the law and the oath he and the killer once took. The tension builds as readers are drawn into both Tom McGuire's character and the man he reluctantly hunts. The Oath's suspense pulls its readers through each page with a force of its own.”
Mike Billington, author and Army veteran who spent two tours in Vietnam (awarded Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman's Badge): "A dying former POW, four dead women, a world-weary homicide cop and the Vietnam War are expertly woven together in a masterful piece of storytelling that will leave you guessing right until the last few pages of The Oath. This is an excellent book with just the right amount of social commentary woven into its pages to make it not just another murder mystery.”
Capt. Kris Carlock, USN (retired): "This is the book today's sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen want to take on their long deployments for those short moments they can get away and unload their minds on an entertaining novel. It's a good read that might be hard to put down when you have to go on watch or patrol, but in the end, after the twisty-turny story and after the good guys and the bad guys duke it out, there's the great military lesson. The oath that we all took to 'support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic' is repeated over and over in this novel, reminding us, and perhaps all of society, of our military's responsibility and why we are such a great country. Great book!”

















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