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This Week in America with Ric Bratton
Issues that matter to you.
Category: Spoken Word
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by Ric Bratton
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October 10, 2019 05:29 PM PDT

THE BEAR by James C. McElroy

Will Cogswell, a woods-wise boy of twelve, is spending the summer with his grandparents deep in the woods of Washington's Cascade Mountains. His grandparents are owners of the resort, "Bridal Veil Falls Lodge." Two lodge guests, Jaime and Petey, challenge Will's abilities as a woodsman in an effort to get him to lead them to the top of Bear Mountain. Will gives in to the visiting boys mocking, and the three set out on what will become a lifechanging experience. Bear Mountain lives up to its name, and all three boys find themselves in a frightening highly dangerous situation. The harrowing experience teaches Will some valuable lessons. Don't try to be someone different from who you really are. More importantly, Will is reminded that a person of honor always keeps his word.

James McElroy who holds a doctorate in education from Rutgers University served as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent of schools in New Jersey for over 25 years. His last assignment was as a principal of the Faber School in Dunellen, New Jersey. James grew up in the Pacific Northwest and was lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the forest. He has three daughters to whom, when they were young girls, he used to tell his made-up stories.

October 10, 2019 05:26 PM PDT


"Footsteps in the Dark" is a collection of eight supernatural/horror short stories, with a Twilight Zone flavor, that highlight the eternal struggle between good and evil, brought on by the human condition and the lengths we go to satisfy our desires. In addition to predominately supernatural themes, each of the stories present an intricate character study that identifies the flaws, frailties and weaknesses of a host of interesting characters, and the outcomes of the actions they take to get what they want. "Footsteps in the Dark" is written in an extremely engaging and intriguing story telling style that will get and keep your attention as you take each of the "Footsteps in the Dark".

About The Author
I went to Northern Illinois University and majored in English/Journalism. I've been writing for years at the same time I was doing stand-up comedy, acting and musical theatre. Writing is my passion and I've written short stories (Foot Steps in the Dark), screenplays (Conversation with Death) and comedy sketches for television. I've just finished my third book ( a drama/mystery) and working on another case for Sam Razor and several more short stories.

October 10, 2019 05:22 PM PDT


This story is about my two grandsons, and one of them has autism. My family's story is no different from other families that are dealing with autism, but I am telling our story so that others will know that they are not alone.

My daughter never talked to me about Ryder until I kept noticing things about him that were different. I was scared to ask her if she thought something was wrong. Ryder is the best kid ever, but something was wrong. I initially thought he was deaf because of the way he spoke. It was never really clear, and since I was around several deaf people, I assumed that he might be deaf and he needed to be tested.

The School of The Deaf and Hard of Hearing asked that we have him reevaluated. Then we came to learn he was not deaf but had autism. I insisted that he was not until my daughter said, "Mom, I think he is because I've been noticing things about him that are different." She also said she has friends who have children that were autistic and they have the same issues. That's were our story starts-by telling others not to give up but support each other and find the tools to help their autistic child have a normal life.

TM is a licensed practical nurse, executive administrative assistant, entrepreneur and author. She attended Houston Community College and Business Training Schools.

October 10, 2019 05:13 PM PDT


The Adventures of Klondike the Frog/Boomer the Bully tells the story of a frog who is very jealous of another frog Klondike). Boomer does not know what it is about Klondike that bothers him so much. He is envious of everything about Klondike, even Klondike’s friends. He decides that he will bully Klondike to show him how much he dislikes him, to show him that she should be the boss, and that he deserves all the friends, even though he has none.

Doris Brookshire Jones is a wife, mother, grandmother and retired educator.

October 08, 2019 08:42 AM PDT

Why do we cry?
Could we survive on Mars?

These are just a couple of the questions
to be answered on the provocative new series
Glad You Asked Premiering October 8th on YouTube

Vox's forthcoming YouTube original series is a host-driven, large-scale exploration of these human curiosities. In each episode of Glad You Asked, Vox’s top journalists go on a quest to answer some of YouTube's most searched and interesting questions.

By employing authoritative voices and venturing to surprising places, this docu-series takes the audience on an experiential journey to get to the bottom of how our mysterious world works. Produced by Vox Media Studios and YouTube, Executive Producers include Chad Mumm, Joe Posner, and Lindsay Perna.

Among the hosts, Cleo Abram & Christophe Haubursin.

Cleo is a video producer at Vox. She decodes complex topics in technology and economics in her stories, revealing how underlying systems work and highlighting the wonder of the world around us. Before this, Cleo previously produced for Vox’s Netflix show, Explained. For fun, she produces a personal YouTube series called Hey Kid, in which she documents her life for her future kids.

Christophe Haubursin is a video producer for Vox, where he makes videos about culture and design. Previous projects he's worked on include Explained on Netflix and By Design on Vox’s YouTube channel. He enjoys running, playing music, and rewatching old Vine compilations. He studied journalism and political science at Northwestern University.
For more information, visit:

October 07, 2019 11:12 AM PDT


This book is not a novel, there is no plot. Unless you munch on a page the best way to enjoy the flavor of this book is with a few examples of the book’s contents.
Mom, this cow followed me home, may I keep her?
One good intern deserves another.
John took a shot with his pistol and he killed his shadow.
My doctor gave me a shot in the arm, but he was aiming lower.
I had four visitors, one of each sex. By the way, did I tell you I flunked anatomy?
I gave my wife an inch; she converted it to centimeters.
Push came to shove when my car broke down.
When in Rome do as the Romans do. When in New York City, forget about it.

About the Author
Shoeshine and newspaper boy, Cub and Boy Scout, Mechanical Engineer and Army soldier, Test Director of Army non-ordnance equipment at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Section chief, 28 years, of test technicians and engineers, Pilot program, Army Management Staff College with over 3200 class hours on many topics. Presently retired and vegetating.

October 03, 2019 05:08 PM PDT


Throughout the 1640’s the Irish were in revolt against their English overlords. English agents discovered that Spain had shipped a fortune in silver to sustain the rebellion. Oliver Cromwell , then a senior general in the Parliamentary army, themselves in revolt against King Charles I, who had been ambiguous in his dealing with the Catholic rebels, sends his best agent, Luke Tremayne to investigate the death of an English officer, and to find the silver, and hopefully divert it to the English cause. His investigation is complicated by intriguing Royalists, active Irish rebels, influential women, treacherous comrades, a loveable witch, maladjusted siblings, murderous charcoal burners and devious priests.

Geoff Quaife was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Educated at the University of Melbourne he graduated as a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Education [MA BEd(Melb)]
Trained as a secondary teacher he taught in rural, and inner city high schools and at a Teachers College. In 1966 he moved to the University of New England, Armidale
where he taught Early Modern History for over thirty years.

His courses covered the Reformation, Spain of Philip II, the English Civil Wars, France of Louis XIV and the European invasion of the Americas—the Spaniards in Mexico, the French in Canada and the English in New England. He developed a popular social history unit which covered the sexual mores of the English peasant and the great witch craze of the period.

His initial research was on the politics and religion of the Victorian goldfields in the 1850’s but he soon moved to social mores and witchcraft in the sixteenth and seventeenth Europe and America.

He retired from the University in 2000 as an Associate Professor having played a major role in academic administration being head of department (History), head of school (Classics, History and Religion) Dean of the Faculty (Arts), Chairman of the Academic Board. For his services to the university and education in general he received an Honorary Doctor of the University [HonD.Univ (NE)]

October 02, 2019 05:31 PM PDT

I'M NOT CHINESE : a tale of satori, cooking and self-discovery by Obry Alan

‘I’m Not Chinese’ is an entertaining, easy to read ‘how to’ book describing how to operate and grow a small business while coming to know yourself by serving others. It’s about owning and being responsible for the days of your life by living with the choices you make in living it and discovering things about yourself that you’d never know if you hurried off to work for someone else everyday.

Obry Alan (authors pen name) has operated a Chinese Szechuan take out egg role and noodle stand for thirty years specializing in rock concerts, and a variety of venues and events serving hungry crowds of people from all over the world and local communities.

October 02, 2019 05:27 PM PDT


The Apathetical Man will change your life for the good or for no reason at all, but there are powerful stories and words written in this book to give you a hope greater than what you have if you have not received your spiritual awakening.

I take no glory in writing this book for it is written for people in my life. I just put it in the words on paper. This book has many emotions you will face. There is suffering, revelations, visions, and power in the words that are spoken.

I was down and out many years ago and I asked God, “What can a sinner like me offer you?”, and he said with a low powerful voice, “Give your life away.” That is when I started writing this book. You are my friends if you read this book. I will relate to you as my friends. Jesus—The Way, the Truth, the Life—gives me hope for today. This book will stand out with the encouragement to change if you need to. It is a book with short stories that are true. This book is true. Nothing in this book will lead you on the wrong path. It is meant for change. For the better, so that you may experience a happy normal life.

This book will keep you interested. I’m confident when you read this book, The Apathetical Man, your eyes will be opened to new visions and revelations in your life. I can share this book with you. The book will nourish your inner man and lead to many questions. This book speaks to you in an intimate style that brings us closer to the meaning of living a normal life.

Living a normal life is living a sober and diligent life before man and God. It’s very intimate. Like I’ve mentioned, I see you as friends when you read this book. Any person reading this book becomes a friend and you will see this and experience this as I will not be preaching from a pulpit but from the very words written in this book.

About The Author
My name is Gregory Martin McLeod. I was born December 25 on Christmas day. I was very shy when I was a young kid. Everyone would always tell me that I was special. I didn’t receive good discipline when I was a kid until later around 10 or 14 years of age. Boy, I sure got into a lot of trouble during these ages. I remember getting discipline quite often also. I was a full-blown alcoholic and drug user at 14. I didn’t like hanging around kids my age. I like hanging around older people because I felt protected and my shyness seemed to disappear.
Before I was diagnosed with the disease (bipolar), I was into drugs, alcohol, sex and rock and roll music. Those things ruled my life. I was sent off to a psychiatric hospital when I was just 16. I remember one of the staff members carrying me out one night (we would get passes to go out for the evening) and you would not believe where he took me? To a topless bar! I thought I was in paradise. I never told on him either. I thought it was fine to go to a topless bar.

I thought I could battle this bi-polar disease, but thinking that way led back to drugs and alcohol. Somehow after an incident, I was being seen as a patient by a doctor near to me. Things seem to get better. I met this girl and we were married. She is my honey, sweet to my soul. She has stuck with me all those horrible years.

I finally admitted to myself that I was sick and I needed some help, so I starting seeing a doctor in the city. I was taking all kinds of meds. At this time, I was working as an electrician in a manufacturing company. I knew one thing I had to quit the meds (for my job was dangerous). I ended back at a drug rehab center.

I had already spent six times by now at rehab centers with no luck. I finally accepted the bi-polar disease and went back on meds. This went on for many years until I finally knew what my problem really was. I had a hole in my heart as big as a black hole in the universe. I had to fill it and I did.

I found some hope. I started going to church and was getting much better. I could handle my meds and work too, but that would soon stop again. After the 10th time in a rehab center, I had a doctor to ask me two questions. The questions were this: “What do you want us to do for you here and what do you want to get out of your stay here.” I didn’t know what to say. I finally admitted I didn’t know. And that is when I knew it was spiritual and not all physical. I needed my first love back and he was Jesus Christ.

October 02, 2019 05:22 PM PDT


Ben Mutwali is a tailor who works at Bloomingdale's and has incredible talent. Not everyone gives him a chance despite his hard work and passion for clothes. However, he gets the opportunity of a lifetime when he meets a Hollywood executive who takes a chance on him. Suddenly, he's mixing with politicians, filmmakers, actors, businessmen, movie executives, and people in the justice system. Can a tailor do more than just make clothes? Why not? We can all do anything we set our minds to.

This is Huda Fitaihi's first book. She studied script writing and movie production at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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