I'm a Proud American, but It's Time to Start Planning to Leave
Ever since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States on November 8, 2016, my wife has been asking me if it’s time to leave the county. My answer has always been the same. “No sweetheart,” I’d say, “This is not the time to leave. This is the time to fight for what’s right. This is the time to stand up for and protect those who won’t have it as easy as us-African-Americans, legal and undocumented immigrants, Muslims, the LGBTQ community.” I gave the same exact response every time my wife asked. Until today. Today my wife challenged me once again with the question she has floated so many times before, and I thought deeply for a moment before responding, “You know what, honey? I believe it’s time we started coming up with an exit plan.”
What’s changed, you ask? Well, all sorts of things since Trump was sworn in as president on January 20th of this year, none of them good. For one thing, the population of this country has become increasingly divided, to the point where the idea of a second civil war isn’t entirely out of the question. Read the comments on any post from Breitbart News, the new conservative heir to Fox News, and you will find wildly seething anger and resentment. The Trump supporters there genuinely despise liberals and everything they stand for. The vicious, hateful comments are filled with increasing calls to violence and constant reminders that the right-wingers possess the majority of the guns and the willingness to use them. Conversely, the responses to articles from any of the left-leaning news sites are filled with snark and sarcasm about the intelligence (of lack thereof) displayed by those from the other end of the political spectrum. Increasingly, we live in two totally different countries, with two completely different accepted realities.
The other thing is the increasing demonization of the press and the abandonment of what were previously cherished democratic norms. Our president is fond of labeling both print and television news media “fake news” and has famously referred to them as “the enemies of America”. Other talking heads have taken up that chant, to the point that it is widely believed by those on the right that previously revered sources such as CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post are lying to us and are not to be trusted. In fact, this thinking goes, the only sources that are to be believed are President Trump himself and those that unquestioningly parrot his talking points.
The turning point, I believe, came this week with what might very well turn out to be one of the pivotal moments in American history. On the eve of the special election to fill Montana’s open congressional seat, Ben Jacobs, a reporter for the British newspaper, the Gaurdian, had the audacity to ask Republican candidate, Greg Gianforte, his feelings on the new health care bill, designed to replace Obamacare, that had just passed in the House of Representatives and was now being considered in the Senate. Gianforte’s unbelievable response was to charge Jacobs, smashing him to the ground and breaking his glasses. As awful as this was, the worst part was the aftermath that followed. Commentators on the right bent over backwards to excuse Gianforte’s behavior, claiming that the reporter somehow deserved to be assaulted for doing his job or that Jacobs was less than manly because he refrained from assaulting Gianforte in return. Rarely was there an acknowledgment that the candidate had committed a crime and in so doing had badly crossed a line that has protected press in this country for generations. Then, thousands of dollars in online contributions began to pour into the Gianforte campaign. It became obvious that many viewed his criminal aggression as a positive rather than a drawback. The following day, Gianforte won the election against his Democratic opponent, sending the message loud and clear that once unthinkable behavior was now to be rewarded. The very next day, while signing a gun bill, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, joked about starting to have reporters shot. Let me say that again so it sinks in. Two days after a reporter was beaten up without consequences, the Governor of Texas made light of the idea of having them murdered.
I feel that this could be only the beginning. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but as I said earlier, I am worried that this is a moment in our history that we will look back on with increasing horror and regret. We may be turning the corner towards on uglier, less forgiving country, where the idea of violence towards upstanding members of our society who are merely going about their day to day jobs is no longer unthinkable. We’ve witnessed these same small, irrevocable steps towards totalitarianism in other many other countries and I’m afraid to say, I think we’re watching it here.
I am a decent, patriotic American who has always loved his country. There are millions more like me who want nothing more than to see the best for these United States. I hate to say it, but I believe all of us who care about the rule of law; who care about freedom and compassion for our fellow woman and man, need to start preparing our escape.
Q: How do you feel before the big match? “I feel very good.”
Q: Is this the best moment of the season for you? “I am fortunate to say every year at this time that I feel good. But now I’m better physically than in other seasons. In the last 2 or 3 seasons I reached the final phase of the season a bit more tired because I played more. This year was different thanks to Zizou’s smart management and also to my teammates. I feel good!”
Q: Thoughts before the big final? “If you overthink things, they won’t happen naturally. So I try to stay calm, spend time with my people, outside of football, I try to relax because the match will bring nervousness, lots of fuss, on the part of family and friends, the teammates. So right now I try to not think too much about the final and to lead a calm life. (When the match comes) we have to be cool, with our minds focused on the match.”
Q: How to win a final? “By scoring goals and not conceding. (laughs). This is the key. I think the team is in a great shape for the big moment and we have to enjoy it. Winning the Liga title gave us tranquility and now we know that we have the unique chance to win the Champions League twice in a row for the first time in history. This is a special moment and Saturday will be a beautiful night.”
Q: Hard work, humility - humility is very important, isn’t it? “Humility is a big word, but too much humility isn’t good. Therefore we have to go into the match with humility, yes, but no too much, but with showing attitude and character, showing who is the better team. IMO we are better than Juventus. They are an excellent team but we are too, because we both are in the final. I have the feeling that we are going to have a great game and win.”
Q: You played less matches and minutes this season. “This was very intelligent management by the coach IMO, all the players got playing minutes, everyone contributed, of course some of them wanted to play more, but the coach has to make his decisions, But I feel better than in previous years, as I already mentioned, so I believe this will be good for me and I hope that I can help the team again with a good performance and if possible by scoring. And afterwards I’ll still have the Confederations Cup and so I have to stay in form. I feel very good physically.”
Q: Message to the Madridistas? “Be with us on Saturday, think positive - and HALA MADRID!” (beaming smile)
DailyPBO: The President & The Black Veterans - Memorial Day 2015
Serving their black Commander-In-Chief. Despite one’s issues with the system in general, nothing can diminish the distinct pride of these black soldiers who are serving at this special moment in American history. This moment in black history. #BlackExcellence.
Omg, I love this arrangement so much! I’m picturing Yuri skating to it while thinking of Victor. I decided to watch YOI after I found your video, and I love it, I watched it almost twice already! Thanks for the sheets, I learned your arrangement, and uploaded a video of me playing it. :)
It makes me happy, it makes me cry tears of joy, it makes me fall in love with Yuri and Viktor’s love once again 💖💖💖
It’s such an honour that somebody else chose to play my arrangement, and lilxsweetz did such an incredible job!
Please watch this beautiful performance and send lilxsweetz some love in the comments to her video on Youtube 💖
Emmanuel Lewis plays a latchkey kid who can’t get into the Christmas spirit, and Mr. T plays a street Santa who swoops him up and hustles him around town to metaphorically smack the jolly into him. Which was kind of weird, because ‘80s kids were told that there were three things they were supposed to avoid: crack, strangers and insider trading convictions. In fact, Mr. T himself sang-talk-rapped-mumbled a whole song about avoiding strangers.
The most surreal moment? When a prestigious choir starts singing, Emmanuel does this head roll loop thing. It’s almost like he’s a puppet and a puppet master is yanking the string that controls his head. Or he’s a snake and the American Boychoir is his snake charmer.
Two, Mr. T doesn’t know what to do with his hands while the choir sings, so he faux conducts. You know, like we all do when we hear classical music and we’re 4 years old.
Three, and this is the BIG ONE, after telling the story of the birth of Baby Jesus, Mr. T delivers a second speech where he reveals a bizarre obsession.
I always found this moment in Captain Swan’s history extremely special. If anyone was to ask me to rank a top 10 scene, this scene would be up there because I always found it so beautiful.
This is what I’m talking about;
I always felt this was Emma finally allowing herself and going there, thinking about what it would be like if they did get together. I know, it’s a lot of extrapolation just from one look.
But we got episode 5x21, and this;
And all of a sudden one of my favorite scenes ever becomes even more special because I always wondered when it was that Emma might have accepted that she was in love with Killian, or fell in love with him, and I always felt that the ball was when all of this happened for her.
I know the book was put there as a plot point for when the pages Killian sent about how to defeat Hades came from the Underworld. But you know, the book didn’t have to be open, and Emma didn’t have to be looking at that picture, because Emma is a modern girl, and I’m pretty sure she has pictures of them together in her phone, and she could have been looking at those while the book was right next to her.
But she went back to a moment where she was emotionally vulnerable with him, and where her walls were down, and she took the time to really see him like she hadn’t since she left him at the town line.
And this for me makes the ball so much more precious.
“When I met Kate and photographed her all those years ago, there was a unique sparkle to her which was bound to evolve into something special, although I had no idea how much at the time. I was very young myself and I just wanted to do my best for Sarah, her agent. Today, these pictures are very special as they portray her at the absolute threshold of her life changing forever. They are very special to me as they mark unique moments in time and history and this is the first time I have ever printed them to present to the world.
I have the utmost respect and admiration for Kate and her wonderful success which is incredibly well deserved, while she has had to work hard from such a young age and learn very quickly. She has survived an incredible run of pressure to perform almost without relent. She has climbed to the top of her profession overcoming every obstacle.”
Forty years on from the discovery of Mungo Man, what he represents is as pertinent now as ever
by Jim Bowler
“26 February 1974 was a historic day, one destined to change my life and affect the lives of many others. It was the day I encountered the eroding remains of Mungo Man on the shores of a distant and then unnamed lake basin in western New South Wales.
Five years earlier, on those same dry lake shores, I had happened upon the cremated remains of a young woman, now known as Mungo Lady. Her discovery established that fully modern humans had been in Australia for longer than any European expected. But just as significant were the complex ceremonial features of the burial of Mungo Man, which presented one of the dramatic mysteries of ancient human cultural development. His emergence 40 years ago was a special moment, the opening of an entirely new page in Australian history. The circumstances of that encounter help clarify understanding of who we are; they establish an ancient link with this land and our shared past.
In the summer of 1974, in geological pursuit of ice age climatic change, I was using dry lake basins as rain gauge records of past wet-dry climatic oscillations. Heavy rain had interrupted my excursions into what was an eroding wonderland, the large high-rimmed dune or lunette lining the eastern shores of the yet-to-be-named Lake Mungo. I was temporarily “confined to barracks” at Mungo station, the homestead and shearers’ quarters of the late Albert and Venda Barnes.
Eventually the rain stopped, the mud dried and the landscape brightened. Eager to explore surfaces refreshed by cleansing rains I hastened to the site of the earlier Mungo Lady discovery, the Joulni or southern sector of the big lunette, an area rich in items of archaeological and geological interest. While I was following a distinctive soil horizon, one that had already yielded many artefacts, the late afternoon sun highlighted a tiny patch of something white shining through a cover of expansive sand mantle. An immediate examination revealed what was obviously the domal part of a human skull. I brushed away sand to reveal that the jawbone was intact. This was part of an emerging body. Suddenly, and only 400 metres from the site of Mungo Lady, the number of human grave sites on the dunes was doubled” (read more).
The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - that you’d thought special, particular to you. And here it is, set down by someone else, a person you’ve never met, maybe even someone long dead. And it’s as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.
“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” –Warren Buffett
Whenever we visit Florida, I am struck by the beauty of the trees that majestically line the streets. From palm trees to stately oaks, covered in Spanish moss, the green contrast against the brilliant blue sky is remarkable.
Having just described the vivid colors, in reflecting on this trip, it seems (more) fitting to share this image in black-and-white. For me, it accentuates the moment, feeling the love and history of this special place.
This weekend allowed us to cherish time with family and friends. So very grateful and honored to be part of wonderful traditions. Looking forward to creating many more memories…every day!
We’ve all been there. The lights turned down low. The sound on the television cranked up. ‘Resident Evil’ playing on the screen. Then suddenly, the words “Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson” pop up and you scream like a little girl. The Continue? guys (Paul, Nick and Josh) and their special guests recount the creepiest moments in the history of the greatest survival horror franchise in history. Tune in and let us know if you agree.
Guys. You’re crazy. Seriously. I’m at 102 followers. This is a special moment in History. You’ll all be seeing this in you’re History textbooks one day. I thought I’d give my mutuals a mention, just cuz. Here we go. This is in a random order. Ain’t got time for that ABC bullshit.
The Walking Dead #115 Year 10: Prepare for war! Rick’s group of Survivors teams-up with Ezekiel’s Kingdom and Jesus’ Hilltop versus the Saviors lead by Negan. The covers together will form an image that highlights significant moments from the past 10 years of the series. Each of the 10 individual covers will also depict a special moment from a year of The Walking Dead’s illustrious history. These covers are drawn by series artist Charlie Adlard, with colors by Dave Stewart.