A very good friend of mine wrote this, I found it meaningful, so I am sharing it with you here.
Another day, another vicious hate crime against Jews. This one in a Poway, California synagogue, six months to the day since a Jew-hating gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue. See a pattern here?
Although it seems like the stuff of nightmares, you’re not imagining it. The drumbeat of anti-semitism has been getting louder of late, with Anti Defamation League data confirming a 57% increase in Jew-targeted acts in the U.S. in 2017, the largest single-year increase ever. Those swastikas showing up on Jewish homes overnight? Not just punks with paint.
But let’s not kid ourselves: If you’re Muslim, or Christian, or any other identifiable religious group, you’re at risk, too. Muslims slaughtered in Christchurch and Quebec City. Christians blown to bits in Sri Lanka. All because they had the temerity to express their faith.
No doubt today’s political climate contributes to the spike we see now. But, again, hatred has been with us forever. Thanks to dog-whistled support from the highest offices in the land, it’s simply emerging from the shadows. The irony that the same politicians fuelling today’s hate-driven fire have the unmitigated gall to tweet out the now-de-rigeur thoughts-and-prayers stupidity should enrage us all.
I almost don’t know what to say anymore, or what to do. I read the San Diego gunman’s so-called manifesto, a screed so filled with hatred that the mind struggles to understand how someone can become so warped. It makes me fear for humanity’s future.
Key word in my previous paragraph: Almost. We can’t afford to be silent. Because cowering in fear only gives power to those who hate, allows them – and the leaders who validate them – the room and resources they need to expand their malevolent, society-killing influence.
We must also stand together, because an attack on one religion is an attack on all of us, and a cancer that can and will ultimately reach our homes, our communities, no matter who we are or where we live.
Because if they haven’t come for you yet, your silence ensures they eventually will.
So much has been happening this past week, so much I wanted to say, but felt that if I opened my mouth, it would not be good. I erred on the side of caution.
Last weekend, Easter, did not go as planned.
And I got sick.
Having two medical issues back to back, sometimes makes life a little difficult. We have to be spot on perfect, when it comes to treatment, when one side of the equation goes south, so applied medication does not counter the drugs I am already taking for the other side of the equation.
It is day 28 …
I developed a rather painful infection in the one location that is ripe for infection at any time, that being my “manly bits.” Too much sugar going out of the body, in urination, causes an imbalance of fluids going out. I am on a stable amount of insulin daily, with a booster shot once a week on Sundays.
The booster shot guarantees my body will make insulin on its own, and works twenty four seven. With the added 34 units of insulin I shoot daily from an inject pen.
Let’ just say that by Easter Sunday I had swollen like a stuffed pig, and the pain was immense. I knew I was in trouble. So I obtained the emergency key and unlocked myself. On Monday I phoned my doctor, who was not in, but he reached me part way through the day. I knew what was wrong, and so I also knew the drug I needed right off. A quick call to the pharmacy, and a fax of the request was sent, on Monday night, I had my fix.
If you think socialized medicine is such a bad thing, think again. In any areas, getting treatment is a wait and see prospect. I have two phone numbers I can call, any time, any day, and find my doctor. If it is an emergency, I get pushed to the head of the line in the office. And I get taken right away.
My doctors are brothers. Which makes things a lot easier. Both know the total situation, and I have a team of specialist who will do whatever it is I need at a phone call, and if I need to see them, like I said, I get right in.
After five days of treatment, my body is back in sync.
It was a regular week last week, meeting wise. We had celebrations on Monday night, of serious sober time. Our Matron of the Monday Meeting gave birth to a baby boy on Monday night. We could not be happier for them.
It has been raining too much, and thousands of homes have been flooded because of rising rivers and snow melt from up north. Rivers that flow downhill have overflowed their banks, in Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick. Thousands of people have been displaced as of tonight, and the worse, they say will come over the next 48 hours.
Flood rates are higher than they have ever been, and more homes are flooded by multiple FEET not inches. And rivers have yet to crest in many places. Which evacuated people are in the thousands as of tonight.
Homes that were flooded two years ago, are further under water tonight, than they had been back then. The province is talking about shelling out money to move affected residents from the flood plains, but they aren’t offering enough money to make it work. The amount they are offering, $200,000 per house hold, does not hold a stick to multiple hundred thousand dollar homes they are trying to move people from.
It is not a good scene by any stretch.
If you pray … Say a prayer for our people tonight.
I went to The Mission this morning and heard a very bright and intuitive young man speak. He said many good things, I had never heard before and also, his perspective about gratitude for life’s problems. We all have problems, but how many of us find ourselves in the middle of them having either created them, or walked right into them, knowing that was a bad choice to begin with… food for thought.
I went and did some shopping and farted around all afternoon until my evening meeting with my friend. I took a shower and prepped to go out, and today, I locked back up. can’t tell you how good it feels to be back inside.
It frees my mind and my body, because of the word NO.
NO is a Complete Sentence …
I met with my friend today, and we spoke of goals for the future. He has some good ideas. We talked about publishing. Something I have pondered for a long time. I have plenty of material to publish and there are several key demographics I could publish towards as well. So that is tinkering in my brain tonight.
We’ll see where today’s discussion will lead.
I got the third book in Jared Diamond’s Trilogy, beginning with Guns, Germs and Steel, then, Collapse, and now Upheaval. Turning points for Nations in crisis.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation paints a decidedly mixed picture of President Donald Trump’s conduct, that provides ample fodder for either side of the political divide.
The 448-page report on alleged Russian
interference in the 2016 US election confirmed what Mr Trump has
insisted on from the outset: there was no collusion.
also built an extensive obstruction-of-justice case against the
Republican president, though it stopped short of concluding he committed
While there was no immediate “smoking gun” to trigger impeachment proceedings, Democrats said the report had plenty of ammunition to keep up congressional scrutiny of Mr Trump.
‘This is the end of my presidency’
report details the president’s expletive-filled horror as he learned
that a special counsel was being appointed in May 2017.
According to the Mueller report, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions told the president about the coming inquiry, he replied: “Oh my god. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency.” I’m FUCKED !!!
Mr Trump added: “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels, it ruins your presidency. It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”
‘Mueller has to go’
report details how in June 2017, the president called White House
counsel Donald McGahn at home from Camp David and ordered him to have
the special counsel removed.
On a second call, Mr McGahn said the
president stepped up the pressure, saying: “Call Rod [Deputy Attorney
General Rod Rosenstein], tell Rod that Mueller has conflicts and can’t
be the Special Counsel”, and “Mueller has to go” and “Call me back when
you do it.”
Mr McGahn was so upset by the interference that he
threatened to quit rather than participate in what he predicted would be
a Nixon-style “Saturday Night Massacre”.
After media reports in January 2018 revealed Mr Trump’s attempts to have Mr Mueller removed, one of the president’s lawyers made contact with Mr McGahn, asking him to publicly deny the reports. But McGahn, through his attorney, refused.
The report found
there were a number of contacts between members of Trump’s circle and
Russia, and the campaign “expected it would benefit electorally from
information stolen and released through Russian efforts”.
Trump team also “showed interest” in the Wikileaks release of hacked
emails and “welcomed their potential to damage” Hillary Clinton.
Unpatriotic and immoral, Democrats say. But the Mueller team makes clear
it did not amount to a criminal conspiracy.
contacts consisted of business connections, offers of assistance to the
campaign, invitations for candidate Trump and [Russian President
Vladimir] Putin to meet in person, invitations for campaign officials
and representatives of the Russian government to meet, and policy
positions seeking improved US-Russian relations.
“While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges.
But no vindication on obstruction
potential obstruction of justice, the Mueller report is far from the
“total exoneration” claimed by Mr Trump during a victory lap last month.
report ultimately concludes: “Unlike cases in which a subject engages
in obstruction of justice to cover up a crime, the evidence we obtained
did not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime
related to Russian election interference.”
But it also pointedly notes:
we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the
President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so
state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however,
we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the
President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred.”
the report acknowledges a sitting president cannot be indicted, it also
mentions Congress’ ability to investigate and potentially impeach him.
It says: “Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law.”
How else Trump tried to influence inquiry
The report cites 10 instances that were investigated as potential obstruction by Mr Trump.
Most have already been well documented, such as Mr Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
But the findings also validate past US media reports that were denied at the time by the White House.
Mr Trump learned the media was asking questions about a June 2016
meeting at Trump Tower between senior campaign officials, including
Donald Trump Jr, and a Russian lawyer who was said to be promising
“dirt” on Hillary Clinton, the president crafted a misleading response,
says the report:
“Before the emails became public, the President
edited a press statement for Trump Jr by deleting a line that
acknowledged that the meeting was with ‘an individual who [Trump Jr] was
told might have information helpful to the campaign’ and instead said
only that the meeting was about adoptions of Russian children.”
Trump also asked former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to get
Attorney General Jeff Sessions to announce publicly that the
investigation was “very unfair” and Mr Trump had done nothing wrong,
says the report.
After Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation, leaving an enraged Mr Trump feeling that he was losing control of the inquiry, the president pressed his attorney general that if he would only “unrecuse” himself he would be the “hero”.
Refusal to ‘carry out orders’
Mueller report found that potential obstruction of justice by the
president only failed because members of his administration refused to
“carry out orders”, including former FBI Director James Comey, former
White House counsel Don McGahn and former campaign manager Corey
In one unflattering passage, the document says:
“The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests. Comey did not end the investigation of Flynn, which ultimately resulted in Flynn’s prosecution and conviction for lying to the FBI. McGahn did not tell the Acting Attorney General that the Special Counsel must be removed, but was instead prepared to resign over the President’s order. Lewandowski and Dearborn did not deliver the President’s message to Sessions that he should confine the Russia investigation to future election meddling only. And McGahn refused to recede from his recollections about events surrounding the President’s direction to have the Special Counsel removed, despite the President’s multiple demands that he do so. Consistent with that pattern, the evidence we obtained would not support potential obstruction charges against the President’s aides and associates beyond those already filed.”
‘Inadequate written answers’
followers of the Mueller saga may recall that in January 2018 at the
White House, President Trump told reporters that he was “looking
forward” to sitting down for an interview with Mr Mueller, that he would
“love to do that as soon as possible”, and boasted he would do so under
But in the event, the report notes, “after more than a year of discussion, the President declined to be interviewed”.
agreed to submit written answers to the special counsel’s questions to
Russia-related matters, but declined to “provide written answers to
questions on obstruction topics or questions on events during his
transition”, the report notes.
The Mueller report states:
“Recognizing that the President would not be interviewed voluntarily, we
considered whether to subpoena for his testimony. We viewed his written
answers to be inadequate.”
But the Mueller team said they ultimately decided not to subpoena Mr Trump because of the likelihood of litigation would cause a substantial delay at a late stage in the inquiry.
Why Sessions, Trump Jr and Kushner weren’t prosecuted
Mueller team did not indict then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for
perjury to Congress when he wrongly testified that he had no contact
with Russians during the campaign because of the inexact wording of the
questions, according to the report.
“The evidence is not
sufficient to prove that Sessions gave knowingly false answers to
Russia-related questions in light of the wording and context of those
questions,” the report says.
It also makes clear Donald Trump
Jr, Jared Kushner and other campaign staff were on legally thin ice with
their June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer.
Mueller team says they declined to prosecute the president’s eldest son
and son-in-law for campaign finance violations because they couldn’t
prove they had “wilfully” violated the law.
My father, God rest his soul, had certain beliefs. And he raised his family, based on those beliefs. When Viet Nam took place, my father was a young man, who went to fight in that war. When he came home, everything changed. But, some things still remain the same.
We went to school, and every day we stood for the National Anthem, as it played in every school I ever attended. And we said the Pledge as well, every day.
We were taught American History. And we were conditioned to love our country, good or bad. We respected the flag, and the Constitution of the United States. We were taught to always respect our leaders, and never speak out against the Good Old American Way, because, in America, we were blessed to have so much. We lived in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Growing up, one could not mistake the affect alcohol and violence played on us as kids. My father preached a family gospel, set the rules, and spoke very forcefully, that if we did not like it, too bad, as long as we lived under his roof.
I was, for a number of years, absent from the process of citizenship. Alcohol was calling the shots, and I was absent. When I got sick, I learned in raw detail, just how much my country did not think of me, and what my country actually did think of me. A Gay man with AIDS.
I suffered from other Americans who did not keep their words, and let me founder when I most needed it. My world got very small. Some years later, I reached a point that I wanted off this ship.
The government was not coming to my rescue, because they were dead set against giving people with AIDS any coverage or overt assistance.
Fate took it course and I got my ticket out of dodge.
My father was incensed. He swore me a traitor. And said that I was spitting on his good name and everything that he had given me. I’ve always said that my father was a 50% 50% man. But he never forgave me for jumping the border.
There was a better way to live. And Live well. I could not have imagined the life that transpired before me, had you told me what that life would have looked like, as I waited for my papers.
I am still a dual citizen. I am still an American. But I am also a Canadian Citizen. I appreciate both worlds and what each of them have afforded me.
As an American Citizen, I STILL PARTICIPATE in voting in my home city of Miami Beach. I still participate in the Democratic Process of voting in every election. I still own that right as an American with dual citizenship.
I might not live in the U.S. but as a Citizen I retain my right to participate, even if you believe I left. I was never a Forever Trumper. I won’t publish your comments to that effect.
IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE MUELLER REPORT, DO NOT BOTHER LEAVING A COMMENT. I WON’T SHARE YOUR VIEW, IF YOU HAVE NOT PARTICIPATED IN THE TASK OF READING THE PROOF FROM ROBERT S. MUELLER, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR FOR THE UNITED STATES.
The time has come for Americans to read the Mueller Document. I have a copy, and have read it through. You need to read it as well.
The time has come for Americans to speak with one voice. Our President is a LIAR. He has Obstructed Justice. He has overstepped his abilities as President. The Leader of the Greatest country on earth, has spit on his citizenship. He has denuded America of its honor, by his dishonor.
President Trump, needs to be IMPEACHED and removed from office, sooner than later. If you have read Mueller’s report, you too, have read in great detail the injustices perpetrated by our President.
The man who took an Oath of office to Respect and Defend the Constitution of the United States, and protect it.
The Oath Reads:
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
President Trump has dishonored his role as President. He has not defended the Constitution of the United States. He is in bed with the Russians, the main Arch Rival of the United States.
I am ashamed as an American to see where we have gone and what has come of our government and our leaders, who turn a blind eye to a man who has corrupted the office of the president.
There are no two ways about it. We must REMOVE Trump from the White House, NOW. PERIOD.
End of sentence.
We must restore the Dignity and Respect of the highest office in the land, because America is the laughing stock of the world.
Who really has our best interest in mind ? Our parents, our family, our husbands, or our wives ?
It has been said that NO is a complete sentence.
If you have heard these words spoken, you know who I got them from. She is very famous.
As children, our parents are supposed to do the right thing and keep us safe, to keep us from personal harm, and from making mistakes. When my parents said the word NO, it came with usual violence that followed.
I reflect that as a boy, listening to my parents talk among their friends, I learned a great deal about what was coming. The abuse heaped on me was high, and that usually coincided with something I heard them say.
I knew right from wrong. Obviously. Disobedience was usually met with abuse, from both my father and my mother. Alcoholism was the fuel.
I’ve often said that, and I repeated this story earlier tonight, with one of my guys, that as a teen ager, I was an upstanding citizen, employee and friend.
I had the right friends, I had the right jobs. But that all changed when you introduced alcohol into my life. Then, everything went out the window.
I forgot …
How many of us forget things when we drink ?
Alcoholism followed me out into the world, and was waiting to take me down, on the first occasion I walked into a club and drank. Coming out, as I did, IN a club, with the people I wanted around me, with the right music, and experience, made that night epic. And it was.
Nobody was there to say NO. Never, ever.
From twenty one, until I hit twenty five, No was not part of my lexicon.
Until the night I walked into that bar, unawares of who was watching me then. I got my drink, took a stool, and sat down, surveying the environs of that little hole in the wall. It was definitely rough and tumble. And I was definitely looking for rough and tumble.
Then Todd stepped out of the shadows and made his entrance, said hello and changed the course of my life. I’ve said before that encountering Todd, in my memory, was akin to meeting Almighty God, Incarnate.
Because in time, I would seriously need God.
Todd knew I was looking for trouble, and in one cursory inspection of me, inside and out, he figuratively said the word NO.
That was the first time I reflect that thought, here. I’ve never said that before and had not thought of it before.
I got my way into his employ.
My drinking followed.
After a crash and burn suicide experience, and trying to drink myself dead, for the first time, both Todd and Bill, sat me down and tried to get me some much needed help. Suicide survivors meetings, will make anyone drink more than they had originally started with.
A year later … On July 8th 1994, the world caved in on me and I was diagnosed with AIDS. Told to go home, kiss my ass goodbye, and wait to die.
I called Todd home from Provincetown and I told him I was gonna die.
He said and I quote …. NOT ON MY WATCH !!!
Over the next 46 days, I attempted to kill myself.
On the 46th night, drunken and in a coma in a club parking lot, Todd appeared with my friend Danny. That night, Todd definitely said the word
“This has got to stop. And I am going to make it stop, if it kills me in the attempt.”
As a young gay boy, nobody had ever said the word no to me. I could command, just about anything. Alcohol, Drugs, Sex …
Nobody ever denied me my pleasure, because, I was young, tanned and good looking.
Give someone AIDS, and UGLY goes deep to the bone.
You don’t know what it is like to go from Hero to Zero in twenty four hours flat. To have your family, your friends, and your boyfriend, go running for the hills, never to return, or support you.
I was alone. But was I really alone ? NO
Todd was the only human concerned with keeping me alive. I said this earlier tonight, He could have chosen anyone else in that bar, to save. He chose me. Don’t ask me why, but he chose me.
If I had to hazard a guess, I would call that Divine Intervention.
These stories are all stacked in my PAGES —> over there.
The discussion of the word NO has been on going for the last month, or short a month by a few days.
Todd knew what I needed. He was the only man on earth who knew that kind of information. The day he told me that I could, and should trust him, I knew I could trust him. Implicitly.
He never spoke a cross word to me. He got angry for sure, many times because in the beginning I was willful, arrogant, and stupid.
I learned quickly, that if he looked at me directly, and I saw how either BLUE or GREY his eyes were, told me all I needed to know, without a word spoken between us.
I told my friend tonight that NO is a complete sentence.
We are lucky in this life to be able to count, just ONE other person, in our life, the one who has our best interest in mind. Today, I am that one person for a few people. As is my husband for me.
In reality, my husband does not hold a candle to Todd. They are completely different people. Todd’s role in my life was EPIC. And I will never see that kind of EPIC again.
Many nights, Todd said NO to me for one reason or another. And over time I trusted everything he said to me, as if it was God speaking wisdom, because if you look at me today, and wonder why I am still alive?
There are only two possible answers: Todd read God.
I knew that obedience was key. I learned that early on. In our dynamic leather relationship, I was obedient to one man, Todd.
He kept me safe from myself. He kept me safe from everybody else. I was on a very short leash, so to speak, AND I was sober too. Or getting sober.
The Fidelious Charm he erected over the bar worked its magic.
I spent many, many hours, inside that charm filled space. It became the proving grounds for life lessons, love lessons, and survival lessons.
All that Todd was and is today, is deep within me. Every word spoken, every lesson he taught me, every ounce of love he had for me too. I don’t need anyone’s approval. I can even pat myself on the back if need be.
I don’t need anyone to do that for me today.
Confidence, Humility, Compassion, Love …
The day I said goodbye to Todd, he said these words to me ..
If you do one thing, in this life, you will help another human being the way I helped you. You must carry forwards good fortune and love. Because if you don’t, I was a waste of time.
Todd, for sure, was NO waste of time, or effort, on his part.
It has been many years since the last time I spoke to Todd, but I have. I don’t have his number any longer, because it is filed on an old hard drive that is sitting in a box, in my bedroom.
You never know when GOD is going to step out of heaven and grace your life. Will you know it when it happens?
We are connected to all that is, by the particles that make us human. Those biological building blocks that began the universe UP THERE !!!
A little bit of the universe is found within each of us. Deep within the make up of our bodies. The universe, UP THERE, is filled with the building blocks of life, OUT THERE. It seeded the earth and human came to be.
So that little piece in us, is directly connected to the whole of the universe. We are connected, by invisible umbilical to the universe Out There.
The universe is always listening. For we are connected to it temporally.
The universe knows what we need before we think it. But the universe respects our free will, it never imposes itself on us. But gradually entices us with breadcrumbs, and Angelic, and Godly counsel.
We should be so blessed to recognize God when He shows up.
I know God. I’ve met Him, in the flesh. He spoke to me, He cared for me and kept me alive, to do, this … To talk about Him and what he means to me, to certain people in my circle.
I’m still alive. There is no question God had something to do with it. However, in the thick of dying, I never thought about God, I thought about Todd. Because it was Todd, who had my best interest at heart.
And I would love to think, if he met me in the flesh today, he would be pleased with the man I became.
There is a God, and I am not God, and my navel is not the center of the universe.
If you don’t have humility for the simplicity of life, you loose…
Parisians are mourning tonight, as one of the most important cathedrals in the world, burned. it is said, at this hour, that 60% of the cathedral has burned, but major portions of the church building has been saved.
Worry was that the Rose Windows on the North and South faces of the building would collapse. It seems at this hour, that they indeed are still intact, after firefighters in Paris doused the building with water, saving whatever they could, after an immense burn that has taken good portions of the roof and the church spire down.
I’ve never been to Paris, but I have friends who live close to the city and have shared their thoughts with the world.
Notre Dame has survived more than 800 years, and has survived manic holy men who attacked statues in the church and the building also survived wars, unscathed. Fire, on the other hand is capricious. It does not discriminate, as to what it chooses to eat.
We offer our prayers to the firefighters of Paris, and to the city of Paris and her many people, who have been standing guard close to the fire, singing hymns as a community.
This, the holiest week in the Catholic Church, marks from Palm Sunday, yesterday through to the Easter Triduum next Sunday.
The loss of Notre Dame Cathedral cannot be understated. Emmanuel Macron has said that a vigorous rebuilding program will begin, once the flames have been extinguished and an assessment of the damage is complete. Then the world will come together and we will rebuild the church.
Montreal hit the 15c mark today. The first stretch of double digit temps this season. The windows are open for the first time. The breeze is blowing. Me thinks that winter has been pushed out of the province.
With that said, I opened the bedroom windows for the first time today, and took down my weather plastic on the windows, and hung the air conditioner in the bedroom as well. I usually do that on the first day of the change over so that I don’t have to worry about it when temps top 20 to 25c and it is too miserable to do anything.
The climate in Montreal is particular because we sit on the St. Lawrence River. We are not that far off from the river, we can see it from out living room windows down to the south. We are about 15 minutes from the river.
When it gets above twenty (20c) it becomes a bit too warm outside. Last year we had a heat wave and many people died, because normally, Montreal homes do not have central air, or even air conditioners in the units, as we only get heat as standard.
The best thing I did a number of years ago was to invest in an AC unit. It saves a lot of aggravation when it warm up too much.
Last night, I hit the Friday meeting, and found out that several of my friends came down with the same cold/flu I did this past week, Everybody was down and in bed for the entire week. We’ve been through the winter rain, snow,freezing rain, snow, rain cycles, and our bodies just could not handle another day of swinging temperatures.