ON THIS DAY: September 22, 2020

September 22nd is

American Business Women’s Day *

Elephant Appreciation Day *

Ice Cream Cone Day *

White Chocolate Day

World Car-Free Day *


MORE! Alma Thomas, Eric Baker and Maryam Shojaei, click

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ON THIS DAY: September 21, 2020

September 21st is

Pecan Cookie Day

Hobbit Day *

World Alzheimer’s Day

World Gratitude Day *

U.N. International Day of Peace *


MORE! Barbara Longhi, Kwame Nkrumah and Masoumeh Ebtekar, click

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TCS: Life Suggests That You Remember – Poems for Gratitude Day

. . Good Morning!



Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


At times our own light goes out and is
rekindled by a spark from another person.
Each of us has cause to think with deep
gratitude of those who have lighted
the flame within us.

– Albert Schweitzer

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ON THIS DAY: September 20, 2020

September 20th is

Pepperoni Pizza Day

Rum Punch Day

String Cheese Day

Rehabilitation Awareness Day


MORE! Libby Miller, Chulalongkorn and Rose Rogombé, click

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In Memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the second woman on the U.S. Supreme Court on August 10, 1993.

From the ACLU tribute to “the Notorious RBG” –

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU: “Women’s rights are an essential part of the overall human rights agenda, trained on the equal dignity and ability to live in freedom all people should enjoy.”

Ginsburg has been a pioneer for gender equality throughout her distinguished career. While singular in her achievements, she was far from alone in her pursuits and received much support from talented, dedicated women all along the way. Celia Bader provided a strong role model for her daughter at an early age. Ginsburg recalls, “My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent. The study of law was unusual for women of my generation. For most girls growing up in the ’40s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your M.R.S.”

Ginsburg attended law school, not originally for women’s rights work, but “for personal, selfish reasons. I thought I could do a lawyer’s job better than any other. I have no talent in the arts, but I do write fairly well and analyze problems clearly.”

Although she arrived without a civil rights agenda, the treatment Ginsburg received as a woman in law school honed her feminist instincts. One of only nine women at Harvard Law School in 1956, Ginsburg and her female classmates were asked by the dean why they were occupying seats that would otherwise be filled by men.

. . . Ginsburg proved to be a stellar student, making law review at Harvard in 1957, and then again at Columbia Law School, where she finished her studies in order to keep the family together when her husband graduated from Harvard and accepted a job in New York. (Her daughter was born 14 months before Ginsberg entered law school.) This major accomplishment at two top schools was unprecedented by any student, male or female.

Upon graduating from Columbia in 1959, Ginsburg tied for first in her class. Still, when she was recommended for a clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter by Albert Sachs, a professor at Harvard Law School, Frankfurter responded that he wasn’t ready to hire a woman and asked Sachs to recommend a man.

Ginsburg had worked for a top law firm in New York during the summer of her second year in law school. “I thought I had done a terrific job, and I expected them to offer me a job on graduation,” she recalled. Despite her performance, there was no job offer. Nor was there an offer from any of the twelve firms with which she interviewed; only two gave her a follow-up interview.

In the end, Ginsburg was hired to clerk for Judge Edmund L. Palmieri of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York from 1959 to 1961. She received offers from law firms after that job, but she chose to work on Columbia Law School’s International Procedure Project instead, co-authoring a book on Sweden’s legal system and translating Sweden’s Judicial Code into English.

Continuing in academia, Ginsburg joined the faculty of Rutgers Law School in 1963, but her status as a woman still put her at a disadvantage. When she discovered that her salary was lower than that of her male colleagues, she joined an equal pay campaign with other women teaching at the university, which resulted in substantial increases for all the complainants.

Prompted by her own experiences, Ginsburg began to handle sex discrimination complaints referred to her by the New Jersey affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union. Ginsburg envisioned that men and women would “create new traditions by their actions, if artificial barriers are removed, and avenues of opportunity held open to them.” The ACLU Women’s Rights Project was born in 1972 under Ginsburg’s leadership, in order to remove these barriers and open these opportunities. That same year, Ginsburg became the first woman to be granted tenure at Columbia Law School.

The list of her struggles, accomplishments, and triumphs goes on and on.

The one battle she would ultimately lose, after a long and fierce fight, was against cancer. 

I can think of no poet better suited to include in a tribute to Justice Bader Ginsburg than Alicia Ostriker.

Alicia Ostriker (1937) American poet and scholar who writes poetry from a Jewish feminist viewpoint. She was called “America’s most fiercely honest poet” by Progressive.  Ostriker pursued a career as an academic and a poet while also taking care of her children, and was one of the few women authors to write frankly about her experiences of pregnancy and childbirth. In 2015, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2018, she was named the New York State Poet Laureate.


To read “Ghazal: America the Beautiful” by Alicia Ostriker, click:

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ON THIS DAY: September 19, 2020

September 19th is

Butterscotch Pudding Day

National Gymnastics Day

International Talk Like a Pirate Day *


MORE! Mabel Vernon, William Golding and Pablita Velarde, click

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ON THIS DAY: September 18, 2020

September 18th is

Chiropractic Founder’s Day *

National Cheeseburger Day *

U.S. Air Force Birthday *

National Respect Day *

World Water Monitoring Day *

National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day *


MORE! María De la Cruz, Joseph Story and Lucy Aharish, click

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In 1895, Japan was at war with China for supremacy over Korea, which was China’s most important client state. Japan wanted access to Korea’s coal and iron, and to use it as a buffer zone to prevent Chinese or Russian incursions.

Only 42 years earlier, American Commodore Matthew Perry, aboard the frigate Susquehanna, led his squadron of two steamers and two sailing vessels into Tôkyô harbor. After 200 years of Japan’s Sokoku (closed country) policy, which limited trade with Europe to a single Dutch factory (trading post) at Dejima in Nagasaki, Perry’s version of “gunboat diplomacy” forced Japan, which had no Navy whatsoever, to make a trade agreement with the United States. Other Western nations were quick to follow.

When the First Sino-Japanese War began in 1894, China looked like an obvious winner. But Japan had been on a modernization crash-course since the arrival of Commodore Perry, and their forces were better equipped and trained. They scored decisive victories, invading Manchuria and commanding sea approaches to Beijing. By 1895, China was suing for peace. The Treaty of Shimonoseki forced China to recognize Korea’s independence, and ceded Taiwan, the Pescadores, and Manchuria’s Liaodong Peninsula to Japan.

Mitsuharu KanekoMitsuharu Kaneko 金子 光晴 (1895-1975), poet and painter, was born in a year of great change, just as Japan was taking its place as a world power, and still undergoing a huge cultural shift from its isolated past. He was born the third son of a failed businessman, and his original given name was Yasukazu.


Demons and a Poet

The poet saw a pillar towering in the sky amid the fires of hell, or
A long beard flaring up into the sky filled with wild snow.
He saw the shadows of demons stretching across the sky where clouds moved hurriedly, or
Their shadows crouching.
Only the eyes of the poet can see
Tiny demons crawling in and out of nostrils,
Demons counting money, demons who like women,
But these are unworthy even of being sneezed at.
Demons like caricatures who take with tongs
The moon from a big pot,
These too are unworthy, and are
Pretentious and tiring.

I am waiting for
Demons like poppy seeds who have just leaped out of the smelting furnace.
They themselves do not know what is what.
If we were to touch them, we would blister.
We would join them, jumping around, crying,
“Make a poem! Set a fire!”



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ON THIS DAY: September 17, 2020

September 17th is

U.S. Citizenship Day

U.S. Constitution Day *

Apple Dumpling Day

Monte Cristo Sandwich Day *

Professional Housecleaners Day


MORE! Mercy Jackson, C.P. Rogers and Shabana Mahmood, click

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A Poem for International Preservation of the Ozone Layer Day

International Preservation of the Ozone Layer Day marks the day in 1987 when 24 countries signed the Montreal Protocol to reduce emissions damaging to the ozone layer by the year 2000. The ozone layer makes life on Earth possible, because it acts as a filter of the sun’s deadly ultraviolet (UV) radiation.  


The hole in the ozone layer is a kind of skywriting.
At first it seemed to spell out our continuing
complacency before a witch’s brew of deadly perils.
But perhaps it really tells of a newfound talent to
work together to protect the global environment.

– Carl Sagan


Mark O’Brien (1949-1999), American poet and journalist, was born in Boston, and raised in Sacramento, California. He contracted polio when he was six years old, and was left paralyzed from the neck down, needing an iron lung to breathe. He earned a BA and an MA from the University of California–Berkeley. As an advocate of independent living for disabled people, O’Brien was a frequent contributor to newspapers, writing columns on such topics as sports, religion, and disability issues. In 1997, he co-founded Lemonade Factory, a press that publishes work by people who have disabilities.


To read Mark O’Brien’s poem “Breathing” click:

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