Christ the Redeemer …
The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did — then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the Four Horsemen — Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand …
Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.
A Vision for You – Chapter 11 … pgs. 151-152
It is Easter Sunday and the proclamation of Mother Church is Jesus is Risen, He is risen indeed … The pews are packed with marry – bury Christians making their twice yearly pilgrimage to church to observe the sacred holiday.
But not for me this year. I had hoped to bring a friend with me last night to services but she decided instead to stay in, and so did I. I don’t know why I didn’t feel like going to church, but I just wasn’t feeling it for some reason.
I’ve fallen away from Mother Church. Too busy living my life to commit time to religion as of late. Making a commitment to church – the physical building and community is one of the 5 pillars to good Christian practice and living. But I just can’t get around to making it on Sunday mornings.
As of late, grasshopper and I have been enjoying Sunday Morning Breakfast in Dorval on Sunday mornings. They serve good food, followed by a great meeting and conversation.
Today’s meeting was special because everyone who attended this morning’s meeting was there because they felt it was necessary to be with family at a meeting, instead of sitting inside a church worshiping. In the past, as drinkers, family holidays were rife with drinking and excess. Going to these events for many were prescriptions for disaster. A family event usually led to a night of debauchery and insanity of trying to drown out the day in opt for drunken nights.
Holidays are big business for bar trade. Because we all know what the regulars are doing today. And we know where they will end up tonight after dinner.
The reading from today from the Big Book talks about the darkness we find ourselves in when we are stuck in the hole of alcoholism, but it does get better, there is a solution.
We come from hell and we find the rooms and we get to be reborn in sobriety.
When I was back out there drinking on the dark side, there was no one that took notice of my drinking. There was nobody to disappoint, nobody to answer to, it was just me. And maybe that contributed to why my slip lasted as long as it did because there was nobody to tell me or ask me to stop.
And you would have thought that if I got sober once, I could get sober again. But it didn’t work out that way. I wanted so badly to fit into a community that did not even notice I was trying to get in. All that work was for naught.
I knew the way back, but maybe it was shame or inferiority I was feeling. Knowing the sad looks I would get from friends who were now years sober and I was just a drunk coming back again …
A few well placed prayers later and a God moment, brought me a man who would take my hand and lead me back to where I needed to be. It was December, the BIG holiday period of the year. Where on the dark side there was nobody, now on the side of light were a group of people who really cared that I survived, cared about my life, and cared about my well being.
Which proves a big truth in sobriety: Everything I need I find in the rooms and with the people of the rooms. We arrive dejected, abused, broken and finished. And little by slowly, we live, one day at a time, and we find a Power Greater than Ourselves, GOD (Good Orderly Direction – Group of Drunks – GOD ).
And it is here in the room that we are reborn into a community of like minded believers. We all come from somewhere, however different our backgrounds and stories are. Once you cross the threshold, everyone is on equal footing, all of us on the similar journey, to become whole.
Jane Fonda says that “We are not to become perfect, but we are to become whole.”
And on this Easter Sunday, around the city of Montreal, and around the world in rooms just like ours, people gathered together to celebrate rebirth on this hallowed of sacred holidays. Jesus wasn’t all about death, he was all about rebirth. And on the day we proclaim the risen Christ, we share in his divinity.
We are all created by the One God, and we are all blessed by the One God.
And eventually, in sobriety, you find the One God.
“But there is one who has all the power, that one is God, may you find him now.”
Let us celebrate the risen Jesus and marvel in the story of the resurrection of Jesus and what that means to each of us, in our own special way. Let us carry the light of Christ into our family events today.
I am so grateful to be part of such a big family, who care for me just because.
Originally posted on Queer Deviations by EOZ
The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. This year’s event will be held in memory of Lawrence King, a California 8th-grader who was shot and killed Feb. 12 by a classmate because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. Hundreds of thousands of students will come together on April 25 to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior.
Students will hand out speaking cards during the Day of Silence that reads: “Silent for Lawrence King: Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I am participating in the Day of Silence (DOS), a national youth movement bringing attention to the silence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies. My deliberate silence echoes that silence, which is caused by anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment. This year’s DOS is held in memory of Lawrence King, a 15 year-old student who was killed in school because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. I believe that ending the silence is the first step toward building awareness and making a commitment to address these injustices. Think about the voices you are not hearing today.”
Police force will adjust game-night strategy after Monday night’s riot
We were sitting in our living room when the game ended and the noise from outside began to filter westward into our section of downtown. Little did we know the mayhem that was going on just up the block from home. Montreal is shamed by what happened last night. And the local government has voiced its disgust with the rioters and the massive amounts of destruction that took place.
Sad there has to be a few bad apples in the bunch. This does not bode well for other Montreal games in the future, stay tuned for more on this issue.
Montreal police say they will review and adjust their game-night strategy after a riot left the downtown strip littered with torched cruisers and broken windows following the Canadiens’ playoff win Monday night.
Police may consider blocking off Ste-Catherine Street during upcoming playoff games, said Montreal police Chief Yvan Delorme at a news conference on Tuesday.
Several cop cars were torched as game night celebrations turned ugly in Montreal.
(Photo courtesy of Alan Schneider)
Sixteen people, including three minors, were arrested and charged with various counts of mischief and assault after the riot, which boiled over after thousands of revelers gathered on Ste-Catherine Street West to celebrate the Habs’ first-round playoff series win over the Boston Bruins.
Police said they weren’t expecting the kind of violence that bubbled down the strip where thousands of revelers gathered to celebrate the Game 7 win. As the crowd thinned out, vandals smashed windows and set police cars on fire.
Police prevented any injuries and damage to civilian property, said Delorme.
“What I retain from this is there was not a citizen or a police officer injured, and I think that was the principle objective we had,” he said.
Sixteen police cruisers were torched, causing nearly $500,000 in damage.
Normally, police cars are parked at a distance from any crowd, but the force decided to keep their vehicles within sight on the street during the Habs’ home playoff games and blend in with the masses to “show visibility and be welcoming,” Delorme explained.
Police believe the riot was sparked by small, organized bands of vandals who targeted authorities.
Investigators say several cellphone and digital videos have been handed over and are providing police with a valuable source of clues.
Officers don’t want to punish hockey fans during future games for the alleged crimes committed by a few, Delorme said.
ADQ says cops should fight back in case of rioting
Opposition Leader Mario Dumont said Montreal police should have used more force to deal with rioters because officers have the backing of politicians.
Anti-riot police line up on a Montreal street Monday night after vandals stormed the downtown area.
(Photo courtesy of Alan Schneider)
It’s up to political leaders to send a clear message to police forces that they should use means at their disposal when wide-scale vandalism breaks out like it did on Monday night, the ADQ leader said.
Quebec cabinet minister Raymond Bachand, who is responsible for the Montreal region, said the riots are a shame and do not reflect the spirit of real hockey fans.
“It’s not the 22,000 fans who were at the Bell Centre who were part of that,” said Bachand, who attended Monday night’s game.
“In any society there are bums, you know. Just people [who] take pleasure in mischief and vandalism.”
He praised Montreal police for preventing more damage and injuries from taking place.
Montreal’s downtown borough mayor Benoît Labonté chastized rioters for capitalizing on what should have been a night of celebration for hockey fans.
“These people are looking for every moment possible to challenge the authorities, and pay disrespect to the city,” he said.
Merchants clean up post-game mess
By mid-Tuesday morning, most of the broken glass on the street was swept up, but some merchants targeted by vandals were still shocked by the violent outburst.
Sports store owner Sandra Prosper had just gotten home from watching the game Monday night when her alarm company called, she said.
“I’m watching the news, and then I see my store, and some people are running in and out like it’s a free-for-all, and people are just all over the place,” she said while she cleaned up the mess in her Ste-Catherine Street store.
About a dozen stores were vandalized.
Habs fans also rioted in the downtown streets in 1993, when the storied NHL team last won the Stanley Cup.
With files from the Canadian Press
We pray for Mr. Chretien and his family.
Former prime minister Jean Chrétien is ”recuperating very well” after quadruple heart bypass surgery at the Montreal Heart Institute on Wednesday, doctors said.
Former prime minister Jean Chrétien, accompanied by his wife Aline, leaves a meeting on Sept. 12 with the publishers of his forthcoming book My Years as Prime Minister.
(Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)
Chief of surgery Dr. Michel Pellerin, who performed the operation, said Chrétien is in the critical-care unit and is expected to have a full recovery.
“I just talked to him a few minutes ago. He’s well and he’s recuperating very well at the moment. His outcome is excellent,” said Pellerin at a news conference at 7 p.m. ET.
The surgery was performed Wednesday morning. Chrétien was admitted to the hospital Monday night after complaining of chest pains.
Doctors said Chrétien had unstable angina, an unexpected, prolonged chest pain that is a warning sign a heart attack could be imminent. The hospital decided to perform surgery after tests showed he had severe narrowing of all his arteries.
Chrétien will likely remain in hospital for five to seven days, and his total recovery time could last up to three months, doctors said.
Ex-PM Advised against travel
The former prime minister had been attending the Presidents Cup at the Royal Montreal Golf Club over the weekend, where he began feeling the chest pains and some discomfort.
Chrétien consulted with a cardiologist friend who said the former Liberal leader should undergo further tests.
He was examined and then hospitalized at the Montreal Heart Institute.
Chrétien, 73, had to cancel a speech Tuesday at an Asia-Pacific mining conference in Vancouver. Event organizers had said the last-minute cancellation was due to health problems and that Chrétien’s doctor had advised him not to travel from his home in Ottawa.
“I was heartened to hear of former prime minister Jean Chrétien’s excellent prognosis following his heart bypass surgery today,” Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said in a statement.
Chrétien, who led the Liberal party to three majority governments during his 10 years as prime minister, stepped down from the top post in 2003.
Following his retirement from politics, Chrétien returned to law with the prominent firm Heenan Blaikie and has toured the lecture circuit.
He recently has been promoting the soon-to-be-released second volume of his autobiography, which will cover his years as prime minister.
By ARTHUR MAX and MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, Associated Press Writers
BAD AROLSEN, Germany – Deep in Shari Klages’ memory is an image of herself as a girl in, going into her parents’ bedroom, pulling a thick leather-bound album from the top shelf of a closet and sitting down on the bed to leaf through it.
What she saw was page after page of ink-and-watercolor drawings that convey, with simple lines yet telling detail, the brutality of Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp where her father spent the last weeks of.
Arrival, enslavement, torture, death — the 30 pictures expose the worsening nightmare through the artist’s eye for the essential, and add graphic texture to the body of testimony by Holocaust survivors.
“I have a sense of being quite horrified, of feeling my stomach in my throat,” Klages says. Just by looking at the book, she felt she was doing something wrong and was afraid of being caught.
Now, she finally wants to make the album public. Scholars who have seen it call it historically unique and an artistic treasure.
But who drew the pictures? Only Klages’ father could know. It was he who brought the album back from Dachau when he immigrated to America on a ship with more than 60orphans — and he had committed suicide in 1972 in his garage in , N.J.
The sole clue was a signature at the bottom of several drawings: Porulski.
Klages, 47, has begun a quest to discover who Porulski was, and how her family came to be the custodian of his remarkable artistic legacy. The Associated Press has helped to fill in some of the blanks.
What unfolds is a story of Holocaust survival compressed into two tragic lives, a tale with threads stretching fromto Auschwitz and Dachau, from to suburban England, and finally to a bedroom in where a fatherless girl makes a traumatic discovery.
It shows how today, as the survivors dwindle in number, their children and grandchildren struggle to comprehend the Nazi genocide that indelibly scarred their families, and in the process run into mysteries that may never be solved.
This is Shari Klages’ mystery: How did Arnold Unger, her Polish Jewish father, a 15-year-old newcomer to Dachau, end up in possession of the artwork of a Polish Catholic more than twice his age, who had been in the concentration camps through most of?
None of the records Klages found confirm that the two men knew each other, though they lived in adjacent blocks in Dachau. All that is certain is that Unger overlapped with Porulski during the three weeks the boy spent among nearly 30,000 inmates of Dachau’s main camp.
“He never talked about his experiences in the war,” said Klages. “I don’t recall specifically ever being told about the album, or actually learning that I was the child of a Holocaust survivor. It was just something I always knew.”
As adults, she and her three siblings took turns keeping the album and Unger’s other wartime memorabilia.
The album begins with an image of four prisoners in winter coats carrying suitcases and marching toward Dachau’s watchtower under the rifles of SS guards. It is followed by a scene of two inmates being stripped for a humiliating examination by a kapo, a prisoner working for the Nazis.
One image portrays two prisoners pausing in their work to doff their caps to a soldier escorting a prostitute — intimated by the seam on her stocking. Another shows a leashed dog lunging at a terrified inmate.
The drawings grow more and more debasing. Three prisoners hang by their arms tied behind their backs; a captured escapee is paraded wearing a sign, “Hurray, I am back again”; an inmate is hanged from a scaffold; and, in the final image, a man lies on the ground, shot dead next to the barbed-wire fence under the looming watchtower.
The album also has 258 photographs. Some are copies of well-known, haunting images of piles of victims’ bodies taken by thethat liberated the camp. Others are photographs, apparently taken for Nazi propaganda, portraying Dachau as an idyllic summer camp. Still others are personal snapshots of Unger with Polish refugees or with American soldiers who befriended him.
Barbara Distel, the director of theMemorial Site, said Porulski probably drew the pictures shortly after the camp’s liberation in April 1945. He used identical sheets of paper, ink and watercolors for all 30 pictures, she said, and he “would never have dared” to draw such horrors while he was still under Nazi gaze.
“It’s amazing after so many years that these kinds of documents still turn up,” Distel told the AP. “It’s a unique artifact,” and clearly drawn by someone with an intimate knowledge of the camp’s reality, she said.
artwork has turned up before, but Distel and Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum, who is with the American Jewish University in , say they are unaware of any sequential narrative of camp life comparable to Porulski’s.
“I’ve seen two or three or four, but never 30,” said Berenbaum.
In Coral Springs, Fla., where she now lives, Klages showed the book in 2005 to a neighbor, Avi Hoffman, executive director of the National Center for Jewish Cultural Arts. Hoffman immediately saw its quality and significance. The two became determined to uncover its background and find out if the artist had created an undiscovered body of work.
In August, Klages, Hoffman and Berenbaum went toto begin their hunt. They hired a crew to document it, hoping a film would help finance a foundation to exhibit the book.
They began chipping away at the album’s secrets at the Dachau memorial, outside, where they found an arrival record for Michal Porulski, which listed his profession as artist, in 1941.
They learned that Unger hid the fact that he was Jewish when he reached Dachau three weeks before the war ended. “That probably saved his life,” Hoffman said. They also discovered a strong likelihood that the album’s binding was fashioned from the recycled leather of an SS officer’s uniform.
Unger, an engaging youngster, became an office boy and translator for U.S. occupation authorities at Dachau, which was turned into a displaced persons camp, and obtained a U.S. visa in 1947.
Research by Klages’ group and the AP has begun to pull together the scattered threads of Porulski’s life from long forgotten records at theAcademy of Fine Arts, a tiny museum in Warsaw, and Dachau, the International Tracing Service of the Red Cross, the archives in , Australian immigration records and data from England.
Porulski enrolled in the Warsaw arts academy in 1934 after completing two years of army service. Attached to his neatly written application is a photograph of a good looking young man with light hair and dreamy eyes.
It says he was a farmer’s son, born June 20, 1910, in the central town of Rychwal, although in later records Porulski said he was born five years later.
Chronically poor, he left the academy after failing to secure a loan for his tuition but was later reinstated. Afterinvaded in 1939, he made some money painting watercolor postcards of Nazi-occupied Poland, two of which have survived and are now in the Warsaw Museum of Caricature.
In June 1940, he was arrested in a Nazi roundup “without any reason,” he wrote many years later in an appeal for help from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Two months later, he and 1,500 others were the first Poles to be shipped from Warsaw to Auschwitz. He spent eight months there, then was sent to the Neuengamme camp and finally to Dachau, near, in May 1941.
In Dachau, according to a brief reference in a Polish book on wartime art, he painted portraits, flowers, folk dance scenes and decoration for a clandestine theater.
In 1949 he sailed toand tried to work as a painter and decorator but mostly lived off friends. He returned to in 1963 and lived in England and . He visited Poland in the early 1970s for several months, and stayed with his sister, Janina Krol, in on the Baltic coast, and another relative outside Warsaw, Wanda Wojcikowska.
He brought his sister paintings of Dachau, his niece, Danuta Ostrowska, now 75, recalls. But her mother threw them away, saying “I can’t look at them.” The family still owns 10 of his mostly prewar paintings.
He was robbed of his money and passport, and‘s communist authorities wanted Porulski out of the country, Wojcikowska’s daughter, Malgorzata Stozek, recalls. “My mother even found a woman willing to marry him, to help him stay in Poland,” she said. But he already had borrowed money from his sister and left.
His letters from England said he found work maintaining bridges, Stozek said. “He wrote that the moment he finished painting a bridge over some river, he had to start again.” It could have been a metaphor for a life going nowhere.
“One day I came to see my mother and she was crying because he wrote to her that he had no money, he was hungry and was sleeping on park benches. He lived in terrible poverty,” Stozek told the AP.
He was so lonely, she said, he had considered suicide.
In 1978 he sent a request for war compensation to the International Tracing Service in the central German town of, which houses the world’s largest archive of concentration camp records and lists of Holocaust victims.
“I have no occupation of any sort. I was unable to resume my studies after all those years in the camps,” he wrote. “I am just by myself, and I live from day to day.”
The ITS replied that it had no authority to give grants, but was sending confirmation of his incarceration to the U.N. refugee agency to support his earlier reparations claim.
Unger also shows up in the Tracing Service, in a 1955 two-page letter he wrote recounting his ordeal that began when he was 9.
Unger’s father had a prosperous furniture business near. “Then the infamous horde of Nazis overran our town, disrupted our life, murdered my parents and little sister, and robbed us of all we had.” He was the only survivor of 50 members of the Unger family.
Christian friends hid him for a while, but he ended up imprisoned inside the Krakow ghetto, then was moved to a series of concentration camps.
His daughter says that after he immigrated to America, he told a cousin with whom he lived inthat his job at Dachau had been to tend the ovens. The Nazis commonly used inmates for such purposes — it was one of the few ways of surviving.
Newly arrived in America, Unger spoke to Newark newspapers of his years of torment, saying he escaped three times during marches between camps but was always recaptured.
At one point, he told the Newark Evening News, he was herded into a gas chamber at Natzweiler camp with 50 other prisoners, but they were spared at the last minute because some of them were electricians whom the Nazis needed for their war effort.
The two lives, briefly intertwined by theand an album of photos and paintings, ended 17 years apart — Unger by hanging himself in 1972, Porulski in 1989 in St. Mary’s Hospital near , of pneumonia and tuberculosis.
The death certificate gives his age as 74 and his profession as “painter (retired).”
Shari Klages was 12 when her father died.
He had just been laid off from his 18-year job in the aeronautics industry, and his wife had been diagnosed with brain cancer. His suicide is given added poignancy by the image of the hanged inmate in the album, and Klages believes it was his Holocaust experience that weighed most heavily on him.
“I have no doubt it was the most significant contributor to his death,” she said.
Associated Press investigative researcher Randy Herschaft incontributed to this report. Arthur Max reported from , and Monika Scislowska from .
On the Net:
“He has told, O man, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you – to do justice, to love steadfastly, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation. -Leviticus 16:24
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on September 12, the first of Tishri. L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem — May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.
I also learned that there is more than one “New Year’s Day” in the Jewish calendar — sort of like we have a new fiscal year and a new school year in ours: “In Judaism, Nissan 1 is the new year for the purpose of counting the reign of kings and months on the calendar, Elul 1 (in August) is the new year for the tithing of animals, Shevat 15 (in February) is the new year for trees (determining when first fruits can be eaten, etc.), and Tishri 1 (Rosh Hashanah) is the new year for years (when we increase the year number. Sabbatical and Jubilee years begin at this time).” [From Judaism 101 website on the holiday]
By VICTOR L. SIMPSON, Associated Press Writer
VIENNA, Austria –acknowledged ‘s tragic past and warned of its uncertain future Friday as he honored Jews killed in the and urged the continent to accept its Christian heritage.
Abortion must never be considered a human right, Benedict said, and urged European political leaders to encourage young married couples to have children and the continent’s graying population “not to become old in spirit.”
“Europe cannot and must not deny her Christian roots,” the pope declared, saying that Christianity has “profoundly shaped this continent.”
Benedict opened a three-day pilgrimage to, once the center of a Roman Catholic-influenced empire and now a wealthy but small nation that has seen considerable dissent against the church, as in much of Europe.
In an evening address to Austrian officials and diplomats in the former imperial, Benedict spoke of the “horrors of war” and the “traumatic experiences of totalitarianism and dictatorship” that Europe has undergone.
The pope, born in neighboring Bavaria, Germany, began his visit by paying tribute to Holocaust victims.
He stepped out of his popemobile in a driving rain and joined‘s chief rabbi, Paul Chaim Eisenberg, in prayer before an austere stone memorial honoring the 65,000 Viennese Jews who perished in Nazi death camps and others burned at the stake in the 1400s after refusing to convert.
He made no public remarks during the seven-minute stop but told reporters aboard his plane fromthat he wanted to extend his sense of “sadness, repentance and friendship to the Jewish people.”
In 1938, the city’s vibrant Jewish community numbered 185,000 members. Today, there are fewer than 7,000.
Alluding to the nation’s past complicity with the Nazis, Presidentconceded in a greeting to the pope that Austria had “dark hours in its history.”
, Austria’s top churchman, noted Christianity’s roots in Judaism and urged his countrymen never to forget the atrocities committed against the capital’s Jews.
“It is part of the tragedy of the city that here, of all places, this root was forgotten — even denied — to the point where godless will destroyed the people to whom God gives his first love,” he said.
Benedict, who visited and vacationed here often as a cardinal, faced a challenge: Many Austrian believers, disgusted by clergy sex scandals and deeply resentful of a government-imposed church tax, have grown cold — and tens of thousands have left the church altogether.
Benedict’s trip underscored the difficulties theconfronts across , where cathedrals are empty as disillusioned believers question the relevance of faith in the postmodern era.
The pope defended the vitality of Christianity today, saying Christians throughout history have been examples of “hope, love and mercy.”
In his condemnation of abortion, Benedict said he was speaking out “for those unborn children who have no voice.”
He also urged Europeans to ensure humane care of the elderly, assailing “actively assisted death,” a reference to euthanasia and assisted suicide.
In a reflection of anti-pope sentiment held by some Austrians, about 300 young demonstrators marched through central Vienna on Friday to protest the pontiff’s conservative stance on homosexuality, gay marriage and other issues.
“I think the pope represents a system that has repressed people and other religions for hundreds of years. It’s simply antiquated,” said Ludwig List, 19, holding a banner that read: “Papa Don’t Preach.”
Security was heavy for Benedict’s visit, with more than 3,500 police officers and soldiers and 50 aircraft deployed to protect him. The Interior Ministry said the measures were taken even before this week’s thwarted terrorist plot in.
On Saturday, the pope holds an open-air Mass to commemorate the 850th anniversary of the founding of Mariazell, a famous shrine to the Virgin Mary about 60 miles southwest of.
The Vienna Archdiocese said 33,000 pilgrims had received tickets for the event and that 70 bishops, mostly from Eastern Europe, would join in. Benedict called the anniversary “the reason for my coming” and said he would go as a simple pilgrim.
Benedict’s visit concludes Sunday with a Mass at Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral and a visit to the Heiligenkreuz abbey outside the capital.
Associated Press Writers William J. Kole and Veronika Oleksyn contributed to this report.
Krystalnacht – The Night of the Broken Glass…
The Beginning of The Holocaust
Work Makes You Free …
A Survivor from Buchenwald
Yad Vashem – Jerusalem Holocaust Memorial
Auschwitz – Concentration Camp
The Red Ribbon – Synonymous for AIDS
The Pride Flag – Proud Symbol for all things Gay
The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt – For all those who died from AIDS
My friends,My family, My brothers and sisters…
The JEW – The Star of David used during the Holocaust …
You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.
Survival in Auschwitz
The Homosexual – Also Used during the Holocaust …
A Young Man – Hungarian Jewish Boy -
From Fateless, the Motion Picture
The Label Chart Used By the Nazi Party within
the Death Camps and Concentration Camps to
Location, Ethnicity, Area, Orientation, Religious Affiliation
There weren’t only Jews in the Camps…
The ACT UP slogan for Gay and AIDS circa 1980
What Would Jesus Do???
This is my Label – I earned every hour of it, with Pride…
We Should Be Proud, but we should remember what labels have done to millions world wide over the Decades. I think it is time to move past them, to stop labeling and Outing people. I think we need to learn to live together PEACEFULLY in order to stop the killing of ALL people around the world…
THAT WE SHOULD REMEMBER – SO THAT WE NEVER FORGET!!
I really don’t know what to write tonight, I really don’t feel like writing because I’ve not prepared anything really. The last holiday weekend before the grind begins with a bang this week. I’ve been banking on sleep as of late – trying to steal away hours here and there, I love to sleep.
I’ve been on these new medications now for 3 months.
I have to say that throwing up is right up there on my most hated activities during my day. I have morning sickness once or twice a week. This morning it woke me up out of a sound sleep, as if I had spent the night prior drinking until I could not drink any more.
I didn’t even have a drinking dream to go with the morning sickness. I mean it would have meant so much more if I could put throwing up into context! Alas, I was exhausted afterwards and it took me an hour to calm down and get my breathing under control because my body was in that “post vomit” stage of recuperation… UGH!
It was a beautiful day today. I sat out on the lanai enjoying the sunshine. The days are starting to get shorter and the sun will begin to set earlier and earlier. I can’t wait for the trees to start turning.
I spent the past couple of nights reading Elie Wiesel’s “Night.” I found the read to be as cathartic as Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz. Both men were boys when they were taken to the camps. I knew the story, even before I read the first page. Though the two stories are different, they share the common thread:
“You are in a concentration camp. In Auschwitz…”
“Remember,” “Remember it always, let it be graven in your memories. You are in Auschwitz. And Auschwitz is not a convalescent home. It is a concentration camp. Here, you must work. If you don’t you will go straight to the chimney. To the crematorium. Work – or crematorium – the choice is yours.”
Reading Elie’s account as he moves from camp to camp, trying to stay with his father, to keep his father alive, through the worst of conditions was amazing. Where Elie tells us his story on a great scale, describing seasons and changes, his visions of babies being killed and burned in ditches was exceptionally brutal.
“Poor devils, you are heading for the crematorium.” Not far from us, flames, huge flames, were rising from a ditch. Something was being burned there. A truck drew close and unloaded its hold: small children. Babies! Yes, I did see this, with my own eyes…children thrown into the flames. (Is it any wonder that ever since then, sleep tends to elude me.)
How was it possible that men, women and children were being burned and that the world kept silent? No. All this could not be real. A nightmare perhaps…
Night, ppgs. 32-33, 38-39…
Primo Levi tells another story of the same conditions but from a different point of view. Those reviews of that text are in my Holocaust files in Categories, you can read them there. Both writers are important to know, to read and to respect.
It is interesting that I was reading this text over the weekend, and during Saturday night’s Coast to Coast, with Ian Punnet, a caller called in – it was an off topic call – this man said that he had studied in Germany and knew people who were alive during WWII and he told the listeners that in Germany during that time, people were told and it was later understood that on certain days, one just did not go to the train stations at all…
To address the question about “the world not knowing what was going on, it is said that Germans learned not to explore outdoors or go to the train stations on certain days while the extermination of the Jews was being carried out.
Any read of the Horrific stories of the Holocaust are important so that these memories do not go unheeded, that the warnings are not passed on the future generations. “That we should remember, so that we should never forget.” I highly recommend these two texts for those who are interested in Holocaust studies, ‘Night’ by Elie Wiesel and ‘Survival in Auschwitz’ by Primo Levi. These stories must be passed on…
I’ve made some minor changes to the blog, and I’ve added and deleted some of my bookmarks on the side bar. People are returning from hiatus and from vacations over the summer, so go read them, each blogger on my blog list is worth the time.
I hope all of you are well and thanks again for your readership.
Germany’s biggest synagogue, on Rykestrasse in Berlin, has reopened after a lavish restoration.
Rabbi Chaim Roswaski, who presided at the ceremony, described the reconstruction as “a miracle”.
Friday’s inauguration saw rabbis bringing the Torah to the synagogue, in a ceremony witnessed by political leaders and Holocaust survivors from around the world.
The synagogue was set ablaze on Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, in 1938.
The synagogue, with a 1,200-person capacity, has been described as one of the jewels of Germany’s Jewish community.
God’s Warriors – CNN Site
Tonight on CNN – Christiane Amanpour began her series called “God’s Warriors.” I happen to watch the second showing late tonight here in Montreal. This first part covering the Judaism portion of the documentary was very enlightening.
Having grown up with World News as a nightly dinner time fare, I have watched the world change in my lifetime. Wars have been fought, millions have died and still to this day there is conflict in the Holy Land. I am only going to address this first portion of the program as Islam and Christianity follow tomorrow and Thursday. You can visit the site above.
I make no bones about this fact that I am pro-Israeli. This conflict, it is said could be tempered by the “correct political agreements” for all parties involved, if you watched this episode of Christiane’s report. She chronicles the debate, the conflict and the war that rages between the Israeli and Palestinian people to find, colonize and legalize states.
There is a great divide when it comes to the Holy Land as the three major world religions those being Judaism, Islam and Christianity are literally on top of each other in the old city. All three religious groups share common holy ground and all debate the rights of others to visit certain holy sites. This is made clear by the Jews who pray at the Western Wall and are not allowed to ascend to the Temple Mount held by the Islamic faith at the Dome of the Rock. The hallowed location – it is believed that the Prophet Mohammad ascended to heaven.
I am not known for my politics or my political writings because I don’t feel that I own the right to write political commentary on subjects that I am clearly not a master at. I guess I could write my observances as a writer to what I see. The battle for land has been going on since before I was born and this conflict will continue until leaders take the time to negotiate a proper settlement over land, holy sites and statehood. Leaders have come and gone, the few peacemakers of the past were assassinated by their detractors.
It just seems to me that there is enough land in the middle east to go around. The factions of Jewish warriors have made it their life’s goal to see Israel turned back into the land that they say “biblically” was theirs from history as the Torah speaks of. They take their stance from the Book of Ezekiel 37:14
I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ “
I have spent my entire undergraduate career in University studying the world’s great religions from Christianity to Judaism, Islam to Buddhism and the far east Jainism back into my own back yard, religions of Canada and Native Studies. I have been granted a scholars gaze at the conflicts that spread around the world. Each major religion, speaking here of Judaism, Islam and Christianity hold certain biblical passages a doctrine and this, in my opinion, as well shown below is the basis for the ongoing conflict. Whether that be Jewish zealots and Islamic and Christian fanaticism. We are not immune to religious debate at Concordia University and we are not immune to religious conflict either.
There is a calm uneasiness on campus during the school year on the Mezzanine when groups rent tables to promote their views and clubs. In studying world religions, I was granted access to the many faiths on campus. I visited the Ghetto Shul for Passover and I attended Friday Prayers at the Concordia Islamic Prayer space in the Hall building. Attendance of these religious ceremonies was part of my studies and I am fully aware of what the facts are concerning land, statehood and jihad.
The conflict between the Palestinians and Jews is long standing. With the rise of Islam and the sad fact of jihad and terrorism, we stare down the gauntlet every day of our lives in many places in the world. This fact was driven home to me when I moved to Canada and began my immersion into community here. Montreal is a cosmopolitan city of millions of people who span the bredth of religious beliefs. I was forced at one point to make my choice of where I called home. I chose to become a brother of the True North Strong and Free. My education in religious conflict began when the United States declared war in Iraq. Living in Montreal gave me perfect vision of inner conflict in my own community.
Do you think that we all took this all is stride? That we did not march in the streets and did we not have continuous dialogue on campus and within all the campuses across Canada dealing with the common threat of war, revolt, terrorism and fanaticism? We faced all these things and much more. People in the United States, namely the south where I grew up did not see Islam make their presence known. I did not know a Muslim soul growing up but I had friends from other parts of the world.
Coming to Montreal was an earth shattering experience. I started university and began my journey into the world of Religious Education. It has been said of me that had I not been born a Christian, I would have been a Jew. And I contemplated conversion more than once during my university career. I love the three great traditions. I studied Judaism and Judaic History. So I am familiar with all the conflict in the Holy Land. We live with that inner conflict here every day. I am part of that conflict, representing the Christian branch of religious scholars now graduated. I use the term “scholar” very lightly, I am still a student of religion, yet above the fray, my degree grants me this title.
I took a unit on Islam, yet I failed the final exam and in turn I failed the class because I was stupid. That was the only “F” I have on my transcript. But this failure was the greatest opportunity that I ever had to learn something form the ashes of my failure. I met the most amazing man of faith – the professor of the class on Islam. He was a Sufi mystic. And he changed my life in ways that I cannot explain, but Islam is for tomorrow nights writing. Suffice to say, there is more to Islam than jihad and terrorism. I will expound on these ideas tomorrow.
There is always a solution, if all parties can come to the table and work out the fine minutiae and details of peaceful coexistence. It can be done, but in my lifetime?
That is the question the three faiths must approach, ask and solve…
You can read the report from News day.com:
We haven’t seen Christiane Amanpour in quite a while – in, oh, like 15 minutes or so. Flip on CNN and there she is, somewhere, though usually somewhere over there, in the war-torn world and far away from our safe, tethered and generally anesthetized lives. Outside of Anderson Cooper, Larry King or maybe Lou Dobbs, she is CNN’s most visible presence and someone who has amassed a pretty amazing body of work at this network over nearly 25 years.
If this doesn’t sound like a reasonable buildup for her six-hour tour of religious fanaticism that begins Tuesday at 9, then the fault is mine alone. “God’s Warriors” is an estimable achievement, even for a subject that has been relentlessly worked over by hundreds of scholars, journalists and book authors in recent years, including Amanpour herself. (It’s even hard to say how much of “God’s Warriors” has been strip mined by Amanpour before, although “Struggle for Islam,” which won her an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2002, addressed similar themes.)
But what’s special about “God’s Warriors” is the sheer totality of it. Over six hours, Amanpour and her team seem to capture the essence of a hugely important moment in world history, and with the exception of the title, do so without hyperbole or histrionics. It’s really the best of Amanpour – and really, dear, old, battered and much-maligned CNN, too.
“God’s Warriors” is about three world movements – though as you watch, you will probably want to come up with a better word to describe them. It’s about the religious zealotry that has forged so much of the global political landscape since the end of the Cold War. These “warriors” are fighting over radically divergent views while bound by some similar ones, too. In a paradox that unfolds over these hours, they are blood enemies on some obvious level yet strangely allied on another.
But Amanpour’s broadcast is far from comfort food. In a style typically restrained though never diffident, she explores the historical roots of these views that have become more pinched and close-ended over time. Offering no all-encompassing or compassionate solutions – at least in her reporting – the religious extremists are instead steeped in dogma and intolerance. Some of these “warriors” abhor violence. Others, of course, resort to it as a matter of course.
“What they have in common – Jews, Christians and Muslims – [is] the belief that modern society has lost its way,” Amanpour says in voice-over. “They say God is the answer.” (Tuesday’s broadcast is “God’s Jewish Warriors,” followed by “God’s Muslim Warriors” Wednesday and “God’s Christian Warriors” Thursday.)
What else do they have in common? Apparently an abhorrence for Britney Spears, who is made to represent Western culture’s over commercialized and oversexed ways. But West Bank militants are probably not deeply concerned about Spears’ recent car-ramming episode, although the “Christian Warriors” – evangelicals – haven’t exactly been advocating her album sales. The title itself is a silly stretch, too, placing under one all-encompassing catchphrase the kids at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University with the kids at some madrassa in Pakistan learning how to lock and load AK-47s.
Get beyond these superficial flaws, and a richly layered broadcast unfolds. Tuesday and Wednesday’s programs are the best, and “Christian Warriors” is the most dispensable. Much of the material in that installment has been reported so often – from Falwell, whose interview with Amanpour was the last before his death, to Ron Luce’s Battle Cry, the evangelical youth crusade. – that it’s already numbingly familiar.
But Iranian-born, globetrotting, battle-hardened Amanpour is at her best in the Middle East. She seems intent on interviewing everyone – patiently, at length, and pointedly. Tuesday’s Jewish “warriors” were inspired by the Book of Ezekiel (“Ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers”) and refuse to be pried loose from their West Bank settlements spread out over 26,000 square miles. They’re fighting rear-guard with Palestinian militants and a frontline battle with much of the rest of the world, while some of their biggest allies are America’s evangelicals.
Amanpour also interviews author and historian Gershom Gorenberg (“The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements”) who questions the settlements’ legality. She presses Theodor Meron, former counsel of the Israeli foreign ministry, on a “top secret” memo he had once written claiming the settlements violated the Geneva Convention. (He sidesteps the question.)
Wednesday’s Muslim Warriors” is filled with dozens of interviews, too (former President Jimmy Carter appears throughout) and a long historic perspective. It begins with Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian religious leader who inspired Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri and died in an Egyptian prison 41 years ago. She tracks the story of Ed Hussein, a former London jihadi who later published a book on his experience (“The Islamist”). She also travels widely in Iran, where she attends a passion play with Shiite Muslims who weep openly over a 1,400-year-old story.
And her journey ends up in America, with a New Jersey social worker, Rehan Seyam – born and reared in Islip – who insists on wearing a hijab (veil) in public. Like many others of her generation, Amanpour reports, Seyam is more orthodox than her Egyptian-born parents.
But one of God’s warriors? Hardly. She’s squarely in the middle of society’s struggle between the secular and non-secular. The punch line to Amanpour’s story: Seyam and millions more like her are growing in number and have no intention of backing down.
Part 2 – Islam, Wednesday Night… Stay tuned…
This IS Mr. Chad Fox !!!
So I’ve cranked up a pod cast and I am currently jamming to The Bad Cast!!!
The boys of Summer are on their way back to the Sphere, so make sure you go check out the boys on the sidebar. And I think that if enough people write him and ask, maybe just maybe Mr. Chad Fox might grace us with a new podcast for Summer’s coming to an end.
In just a couple of weeks, we return to the grind of University! Finally! We will be shifting gears in the coming weeks to a Fall format. If you have any requests for writing or publishing please let me know.
My publishing partner has the preface to our chat book of the three writers from my birthday celebration. Ben Leto, Angela Leuck and Cooper from B.C. will be featured in my first book to be published this fall. The books is titled “Celebration!!”
These books will go on sale here on the blog in the coming weeks.
I am also putting together several other writing projects in bound form. If you would like customized copies of some of my “Pages” writing please let me know. We thought that putting these small booklets together and publishing them ourselves, that we could offer them for sale here on the blog.
Just a little shameless publishing advertising for myself!!!
We have upgraded the blog to accommodate more uploads and I am working on adding audio-visual widgets to my sidebar so that I can share with you some music for your listening pleasure.
Big Things are happening here The Evolution of Jeremy is Evolving once again.
Publishing will come from Miracle Press here in Montreal.
Go visit Scott and Chad and tell them I sent you!! The boys are coming back, we are still waiting on a return confirmation from Knotty Boy out in Etna! Get out there and read, read, read…
Requests for writing and most importantly your input, comments and visits are very important to us here at Evolution. We look forward to offering you some NEW works in the coming weeks and months…
Have you ever seen God? Would you know what to look for, if you knew for a fact that He would show his face? Do you know for sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that God exists?
Of all the meetings that I have been going to over the last five and a half years, there is one true location that God seems to make his presence known to people in attendance. That meeting would be Tuesday’s Beginners. St. Leon’s is a hallowed church in Westmount. And the members of our meeting never shy away from the spiritual and better yet, none of our members take for granted the fact that they can talk about God as they would any other subject.
Our meeting has been in existence for over 56 years. Several incarnations later and decades following we have seen people come, and go and come and go and come again… And I can tell you with certainty that I have seen God move throughout the room. There is just a feeling, a visual of light that comes from above (the church) and comes down through the ceiling and rests in the middle of the room.
People are having spiritual experiences, and we see it happen week in and week out. People remark that they feel so safe and comfortable in our room. And we find that slippers come back to us to restart their “journeys” after periods of further alcoholic experimentation. Another woman returned to us after a decade of struggle. Today’s topic was “what do you do to guarantee your sobriety?” Nothing guarantees our sobriety better than intensive work with another alcoholic.
My friend KEN came up from Toronto – one of my readers here at my blog. We met some weeks ago at the memorial service for his brother Craig, at St. James United. I had invited him to a meeting when he came to visit. He came to our meeting today, and what a joyous time we all had. We get visitors from all over the world – come to our meeting, and they all leave with a sense of calm and sober understanding.
The last visitor who came to our meeting and told us that God did not exist and that he was a confirmed Atheist, left that meeting and never returned! ‘Coincidence?’ I think not.
On the way home tonight I was walking with Louise and I told her about my perception of God’s power and light finding its way into the meeting and she said to me, “You aren’t the only one to say that, many people believe that God visits our meeting because we honor Him and we talk about Him and we pray to him unified and believing.
So many people have come through our room, and we are as constant as the North Star. We are a place of safety and love. We are always welcoming and spiritually centered, even when we run insane and crazy, the one true fact is that I believe that tonight, like may nights before, God came, saw and shown his light to those who were there.
A woman who had returned spoke of God to me after the meeting. And I told her “you saw the light, have you!” He was here; he is always here, because we seek him with sincere and humble hearts. We gather in his name, there is not one non-believer in the group. Yet we don’t push religion – or faith. But we speak boldly about a Higher Power, who just happens to be God for many of us.
I have seen him change hearts and heal lives and He has made people well, and sober. He has carried their burdens and held them when they wept. He has blessed so many with good things, and people come to express gratitude for all great things, and we all know that there are no coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. People are put into our paths for specific reasons if you are able to divine those reasons as the need arises.
I see the face of God in the people I serve. I see the Christ in those who struggle and I see the spirit in those who have been renewed and healed. Look out into the trees and see his divine hand in creation, in the fall, see him paint the city in colors as bright as the sun. And in the Winter I wait for the silence, for that one true night when the clouds fall and the hush falls over the city as the first flake of winter snow falls, I rush outside and I welcome the voice of God as he whispers to the city… “I am here…”
I have seen him, and I know his voice…
And if you hear his voice today, Harden not your hearts.
10 Things I Hate About Commandments
Here it is: The Anthem of my Life… Jimmy Somerville with the Communards Circa, it was early 1989 and I had turned 21 the summer before my move to Orlando. I’ve moved out of the house and away from my family to be a gay boy. Mark and Patrick have taken me to the Parliament House:
For my “Indoctrination Ceremony.” We pay our cover and walk through the piano bar into the FootLight Theatre, a path I could walk blindly if necessary…
Carmella Marcella Garcia is doing “Under the Boardwalk” by Bette Midler, Rusty Faucett is doing “Fancy” by Reba McIntyre and I have just attended my first drag show in my life in the Footlights Theatre. Jimmy Johnson has done “Ain’t No Mountain Higher!” I am smitten with him. I loved him so. He brought me roses once. I am now a draglett…
We advance into the disco with Patrick on my arm. The lights are flashing, young gay boys are dancing to the beat, and I am out of my mind Drunk on the scene alone. If Heaven had a name then it would be Patrick! This song comes on and Patrick pulls me onto the dance floor and I am caught up in the music. He holds me close and then, like magic, he kissed me and for a brief moment I saw the light …
That memory is 19 years old. I have come so far. And I LIVED…
If I could have a drink, and One night to do it, with the people who were there just as it had happened then, this IS the night I would choose.
The lights go down, the smoke machine is fired up and Seal is on the turntable. I stand in a large space, it is just me, the smoke and my music, as I ready for the nights events. This visual is very useful because it takes me back to the most important time in my young life as a gay man – and an HIV positive man.
I have spoken of this time and place at great length in the pages here on the blog. But I invoke it as I write because it taps that part of my brain where all those memories are stored.
This is supposed to be my “40th Birthday” retrospective. None of my friends have offered up any wisdom to turning 40, and several of my blog reads reached 40 before I did, and they seem to be well adjusted and the same men I knew before they turned 40.
I am not feeling any kind of depression or do I have any problem with my body image the only vain thing I do for me is cut and color my hair, to hide those ugly grays!! That reminds me I need to make an appointment for Tuesday!! It is Sunday Late night as I am writing this.
I was 26 when I was diagnosed in 1994. The doctors gave me 18 months to live. And here we are celebrating my 40th birthday. All the men I loved, liked, followed and idolized in my young gay life are dead, and I am still here …..
I have much to be grateful for. I have many men to thank for getting me here. The men who saved me from death at the Stud, the councilors who helped me cope and heal, the doctors who treated me, the men and women who “Loved” me into existence. Little did I know then, in 1994, that we would be here celebrating. I guess as a gay man with AIDS I see the world differently than most of you.
I am not consumed with the trappings of wealth. I am not a rich man nor a rich husband. We live on modest means and I work a modest job doing God’s work in my community. I don’t obsess over things that most gay men obsess over.
Image, money, wealth, sex, men, drugs and alcohol and going out to the bar to socialize. I guess I have mellowed with age. I have grown into the man I really want to be. And I can’t complain, because I have everything I need today. Being sober is another additive to this perception.
I get tired of reading whine after wine. Marriage has tempered me – life has taught me how to be married. That you find one to love – and that one loved you in return without question, argument or issue. Hell, I had no idea I would fall in love and get married when I was 26. I was concerned about getting through the day alive!
For many months after my diagnosis I kept a daily calendar, marking the 560 days until my death. My first sponsor kicked my ass several times over this. He was apt to tear the calendar off the frig and I would, as usual make another one. It was my way of coping then. When I reached that “Death Date” and I was still alive, it was only then that I started to work on a future.
I was sick an awful lot in the beginning. I was in the hospital all the time. I was sick as a dog for long periods of time. I haven’t had a major illness in many years. “knocks on wood!”
When I turned 30 that was in 1997. I had been sober three years, I was living in Miami, and going to the Coral room for meetings. I made it four years sober. The good thing about hindsight in sobriety is this: I can see what I DID and DIDN’T do right. From 1994 until my slip after four years of sobriety, I was just learning how to survive. Granted staying alive on the U.S. Medical system was a chore, let me tell you.
This is not racist but I was on social assistance and HRS assistance for a long time until I got on Medicaid. And I have to tell you that I had to go to places that “little white boys” did not go in the daytime! Let alone after dark. In order to get services I had to work the system before I either got denied, got sick or DIED! In the United States, Miami, in fact, until I found the loop it was kill or be killed. People were not going to help a little white boy with AIDS, that was clear. And the Government, sure as shit thought i was better off dead than to give me assistance. That is where I learned to be a “Cast Iron Cunt!!”
More than a few times I had to stop taking my pills and get deathly ill to get someone to help me. When I applied for disability I was so sick, I thought I was going to die. I stopped bathing, stopped taking my pills and walked into that government office that day, I was green. I coughed all over that poor women who signed off on my application and finally I made headway and I was able to get what I needed to live.
I became the Cast Iron Cunt from hell. Because I knew where all the contacts were. I had files at home, phone numbers and names of credible people I had amassed for myself. And more than once I was called to a hospital to help a friend who was set in chairs for 13 to 15 hours waiting for a bed, unpilled and unfed!! Those hospital administrators were truly afraid of me, because I was fucking kidding.
These people, my people would be helped or they could find other jobs. We got a lot of nurses and care workers fired over those years. There was no time to train you – your a health care worker, then do your fucking job asshole! Because we aren’t getting better with you worrying about getting AIDS from someone, unless you were fucking us or using our needles…
I was a Little Mean Asshole.
My parents did not help me. My parents traumatized me as an adult and that is their shit, not mine. I got them back years later. Never tell lies to your children because eventually they get washed out in the laundry.
So where are we 1997, I was 30. I was still alive. I set out on a number of really BAD decisions, a geographic that almost killed me a year later. That brings us to the year 2000.I was back in Miami in July of 2000. I stayed with friends after my relocation back after I was hospitalized with facial and bodily trauma.
I was agoraphobic I wasn’t eating and I had to reconnect to the system after being away from 18 months while I tripped to hell and back. I found a place to live, I had a job and my doctor took me back as a patient. That man saved my life. I tested every drug on the market from 1994 THROUGH today!! So Thank me….
I had to learn how to live again. I had to learn how to go outside. I had to take back my life. And Andrea, my therapist saved me once again. I was so god damned lucky you know that, I met some incredibly amazing people in my life, and they all played a part in getting me here. People who believed in me when I could not believe in myself. People who loved me until I could learn what it meant to Love Myself. That took YEARS !!!
And I was on the fast track plan, because people with AIDS were not living very long in Florida. Every time I saw the quilt, hundreds of more quilts were added yearly. This is the period that I learned that Dana Manchester had died. He was a drag queen artist that I knew when I first came out at the Parliament House when I was 21 – in Orlando. That’s where I came out!!! All good gay boys who live in Florida come out at the P-House!!!
God, Ive been though some serious shit in my life. AND I Lived to tell the tale! I am one lucky son of a bitch!! Someone up there likes me. I guess in a way, loosing the people I loved early in my life “family wise” steeled me to either live or die. My grandmothers deaths affected me in ways that nobody knows, not even my family.
And I don’t have any family to speak of left in my life today, and I haven’t had any family in my life since well before I left the states. My parents condemned me as an abomination. Funny that I went on and got a Degree in Religion from Concordia University in Montreal and I did it all before my 40th Birthday…
I showed you, you Fuckers !!!
I’m sorry, but Itty Bitty Bad Ass creeps up on me at times, when I reflect….
I have ever right to be angry … Their loss. My Loss. Nobody won that fight…
I miss my Master.
I miss my friends.
I miss the past – the laughing – the fun – the Joy of drag shows and of being young again.
My mother told a strategic lie to her children. And in 2001 I capitalized on that lie. My mother had retained her Canadian Citizenship until AFTER my brother was born in 1970. She was naturalized in 1974. I had an out – and I took it. They fucked me over and so the last fuck was mine and it was going to be a good, wet and dirty one…
I was 34 years old when I left the United States. I packed everything I owned and I set off for the new world. Hell, I was still alive!! And I had not even started living yet. I was just merely surviving. But I was SOBER when I pulled that next geographic and I STAYED sober during the move.
I came for Easter 2002 to Montreal. I stayed two weeks, I just LOVED this city. And I still do. It is not Miami… that’s when I returned home packed and I left. My parent’s were horrified and insulted that I would gain Canadian Citizenship because of my mother’s well told lie… She almost got deported over my application. She was so angry at me she was spitting!! It was great! Payback is a bitch!!
Itty Bitty Bad Ass…
The last conversation I had with my mother was in 2003. She said to me and I quote:
“If we get sick and one of us or both of us die, we will not call you nor notify you of any funeral or tell you where we are buried!!”
How do you like that line? I had to cope with this news the best way I could. So I had to bury them in my heart forever. We had hurt each other to the point of severance. I was going to have the last laugh. But my mother cut me to the bone. I have seen her twice here in my apartment. She came on my 1st and 2nd wedding anniversary. I saw her here and I spoke to her.
I have always said that the one thing that would send me over the edge and I would drink over is the thought that she is dead, and nobody called to tell me. I am sober and I want to keep it that way. But I tell you, if this secret ever becomes reality, I will surely go insane!!
to you all hearts are open,
all desires known,
and from you no secrets are hidden.
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
So you know the rest of the story if you’ve been reading this blog. All the stories and achievements are there to read about, including the history of Jeremy. I came to Canada to conquer death. I did that. This will be my 40th birthday, and I am still alive. There surely is a God. I know his voice and I’ve seen his face. I am loved.
- I came to Conquer Death
- I met a man in sobriety
- I married that man in 2004
- I went back to school at age 35
- And I graduated in June of 2007 with a Degree in Religion
- I am still sober – by the Grace of God
- I am still alive – by the Grace of God
I don’t worry about dying any more. I don’t worry about the past any more. Save one truth of secrets would probably kill me, so we don’t talk about it ever. I trust my gut to know what God is telling me. My psychic abilities are strong enough to know the truth about death. And I know for myself today. And I have accepted the truth in my heart and I am the man I wanted to become and am still becoming. So join us at Tuesday Beginners tonight and let’s celebrate my birthday Big Brassy and GAY!!!
When I had my near death experience in 1997, I went across and was seated in a garden of the most beautiful flowers. They sent me back without any answers that I had questions about. I met a wise man one night who said to me, “Why wait till you’re dead to ask your questions, ASK them NOW! So I did that…
I’ve never told anyone what I am about to share with you…
In 2001 – I had two “visitations” in my South Beach apartment. One by the Lady in White. She came to bless me. She brought the scent of roses, that I could never find the origin of and never did. I never smelled those roses ever again after that …
The second was the “taking” where I was lain on a table, in a room where beings were present. They pricked my arms and told me that I would be healed and that I would live, that all would be well. Somewhere inside I knew it and I felt it, that was the first time my t-cells ever hit 1000 – in my labs in the Spring of (2001), on the last round in July my T-cells were 1186!! My T- cells have been hovering at 1000 since 2001. They had never gotten that high before ever before…
Someone is protecting me … My faith has saved me, and Christ has redeemed me, and God continually blesses my life. Thank God for all of you.
Thank you to all my readers and friends and fellows. And as always, if you like what you read, please, by all means let us know. It is always nice to hear from my readers. I am not your “run of the mill” Christian, but quite the opposite.
I just do what I am called to do
I help where I am directed to
and I love because I am commanded to
And from the Old Testament I remind of these most important words:
“The most vital commandment in the Old Testament is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deut. 6:5…
Bye for now…
Writing along the lines starting at my last post, “Custodians of a Living Earth,” we take a more serious look at the past for guidance for the future. With all the wars in the world and all the conflict in many areas of the world like the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Iraq and Afghanistan:
“We have Failed to Remember and We have Failed in Never letting this Happen Again.”
I have updated my header with images from that period of time. I happen to have spent an entire semester last Fall 2006 studying the Holocaust. We watched film after film, looking at raw data and Nazi history. I read “Night” by Elie Wiesel and “Survival in Auschwitz” by Primo Levi and I visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum here in Montreal and these numbers come from research notes from our class. My goal here is to remind you that we may not call it Holocaust today, Some use the term “Genocide” and millions of people are dying all over the world by war, conflict, division, famine, disasters and so forth and so on…
It Falls to Us to make a Difference, I Wonder if We are Able???
And do We care to even Try? We Must DO there is no Try !!!
The largest Nazi extermination camp.
- Location: Oswiecim, Poland
- Established: May 26th1940
- Liberation: January 27th, 1945, by the Soviet Army.
- Estimated number of victims: 2,1 to 2,5 million (This estimated number of death is considered by historians as a strict minimum. The real number of death is unknown but probably much higher, maybe 4 millions)
From march 1942 until early 1943, it is estimated that about 600,000 Jews were murdered in Belzec extermination camp.
Chelmno, also known as Kulmhof, was a small town roughly 50 miles from the city of Lodz, Poland. It was here that the first mass killings of Jews by gas took place as part of the ‘Final Solution’.
The killing operations began in Majdanek in April 1942 and ended in July 1944. Majdanek also provided slave labor for munitions works and Steyr-Daimler- Puch weapons factory. The estimated number of deaths is 360,000, including Jews, Soviet POWs and Poles.
Sobibor was the second extermination camp to come into operation in the Aktion Reinhard program. Estimated number of deaths: 250,000, the majority being Jews.
Opening for “business” on July 23, 1942, with the beginning of the evacuation of the Warsaw ghetto, some 245,000 Warsaw Jews and 112,000 Jews from other places in the Warsaw district were murdered in Treblinka by September 21. 337,000 Jews from the Radom district, 35,000 from the Lublin district and 107,000 from the Bialystok district also met their death in Treblinka with 738,000 Jews who had been residents of the General Gouvernement. From outside Poland many thousands of Jews were transported to and killed in Treblinka: 7.000 from Slovakia, 8,000 from Theresienstadt concentration camp, 4,000 Jews from Greece, and 7,000 Jews from the Macedonia portion of Bulgaria. In addition to the Jews, some 2,000 gypsies were killed in Treblinka.
I’m reading again, “I Heard the Owl Call My Name” and I am in the mindset to write about the custodianship of the living earth. The earth is in a shift, I think we can all agree on that – and attention is now on prevention and maintenance of the earth as it exists today. I have written recently about the fact that many people in my own community are not “Being Maintained” by anyone, they are lost among the crowd, banished to sidewalks, doorways and shelters. What can I do to change that? Write…
What if the governments of the world decided to stop warring and fighting amongst themselves? How much money would we have to spend on other things like food, shelter and water? I heard a comment on late night radio last night that
“There will be wars fought over drinking water!”
I am sure that there are some who think about the Order who seek to bring down the number of earths inhabitants by the millions. There is a surplus in population in certain areas of the world, and for some that is too much, and they would rather see them eradicated than to house and feed them.
The earth is sputtering on its axis. Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Hurricane, Oceanic changes to salinity and food source and the cooling of warm water fisheries all over the globe are causing catastrophic changes to major areas of the worlds oceans. How many more signs do we need from Mother Earth to tell us that something is wrong? And if we don’t stop with our preoccupation with war, division, killing and ignorance, that when “IT” happens we will not survive whatever IT will unleash.
I know better than to sit in my what if’s and coulda, woulda, shoulda! I can look out my windows from here and see trees and grass and the mountain off to the North. We can look out at our world and know that there are forests and people and animals who live amongst that forest. Forests are burning – trees are dying – infestations of beetles are killing swaths of forest across Canada, borne on the winds moving West to East. But I wonder what haven’t we done as custodians of the earth to try and mitigate these things from happening.
What if, The Almighty came down from heaven and told warring factions to lay down their arms, and those in power were removed and power was granted to the masses to govern themselves and the wars stopped all over the earth, not just in certain areas. All the warring areas on the globe. What if we heard from on high that “they” believe that wars fought over ideologies and factions needed to end today, right now, for us to stop killing each other and become custodians to one another. How would that change the face of the earth?
Is there a way for the world to get up and state unanimously that the wars should end? Can we impeach presidents around the world, in countries that are sponsoring, funding and are waging wars on other peoples? Do you see what I am asking here?
We truly need to depose several key world leaders, and the American President AND his entire cabinet need to be removed from office, sooner than later. Because America has been hijacked and “Nazi Control” is becoming an adjective to explain George W. Bush.
Mr. Bush, we are not With you -
And We Stand Against You!! It is time to leave Office…
DO WE want to maintain another Hitler in office? Do we want this man making law and imposing unconstitutional amendments upon his people and the world? Because if he does it – the world is watching and you know, the only reason Hitler was so successful at what he did in the Holocaust, was because the people listened to him, and if the American President can do what he is doing, that gives free reign to other leaders to do the same!!! Bush still has the ears of many world leaders, who are not MAN or WOMAN enough to say NO! We will not follow you. So what do we do?
There are some in power who would see people determined to be locked down and subjugated. That is already happening all over the globe, in many countries. Darfur, Sudan and in other areas of Africa, people are corralled into camps, with no water, electricity or better yet SHELTER. People are being slaughtered by militia men. We need to stop them and the killing needs to end. Genocide is happening in OUR time once again, and on many fronts, we must stop the genocide because:
“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”
In the Middle East, the most contentious area of the globe, not to mention Iraq and the Fertile Crescent area of the world including Afghanistan, the militias and the Taliban are trying to eradicate (on a mass scale) entire peoples akin to the likes of Adolf Hitler. If we prayed for the savior to come again and save us, this would be the time and the place.
We must now act, decisively and verbally. We need to lobby those who are in power to do the right thing. We need to Impeach the President. We need to stop the killing in Darfur, we need to stop the wars in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. We need people on the ground who can be trusted to help reconcile the factions that are fighting with each other and those factions who have fighting going on within themselves. We need ambassadors to get in the game and negotiations must be made to end the worlds strife and wars. If we don’t start this now, WHO is going to take our place later to hold those in office accountable for
“Crimes Against Humanity”
It’s not about who – but What is in this photo, read on…
There are too many people around the globe, being ignored. There are entire continents and nations of people that need to be cared for, not to forget those people in warring countries who need to be fed, re-housed and repatriated back to where they came from, those who had to flee to save their own lives. Rich countries sit back and say “we are doing all we can for those inside our borders.”
Yet on the European continent we know for a fact that there are disenfranchised peoples, in the millions, who are not being cared for properly because of the arrogance of status, ethnic superiority and ignorance to accept everyone for who they are not what form of dress or religious affiliation they identify with.
It comes down to the people to start the tide of Anarchy and Dissension. It is time to take back our land and our government from those who have taken it from us. They have been poor stewards of the land, the environment and of peoples. We must stop this – there is too much conflict in the world, so much that any “other” needs are being ignored at the expense of the whole, for a chosen few.
It Is Time to:
Bring the Soldiers Home – Stop the Wars. You either follow certain prescriptions here: (1) You bring ALL warring leaders to Justice, (2) Let them kill each other and save us the headache, or (3) You bring ‘Just’ Diplomatic Solutions to Warring Factions and Areas – and Sit Down and HAMMER out Peace Agreements and Co-Existence Clauses.
Isn’t it time to sit down and think and come to the realization that what war has done for the last 4 years has NOT worked, so let’s allow the Diplomats to work on Peace.
The Mission is NOT Accomplished.
Peace and Democracy has not been attained and WON’T be attained with the present course of action. WAR does not create Democracy – it Breeds Contempt, Rancor, Hatred and brings Division instead of creating Unity.
In Stopping Wars, Governments Agree to Equal care to all Soldiers repatriated home and for their families. And Agree to Rebuild war torn areas with the funds used to carry out war, and Care for those most affected by the war in their Respective regions.
This applies to Canada and the United States and All Countries involved in wars worldwide. It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against WAR!! It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against a President or a sitting Prime Minister.
Democracy is built on the premise of government for the people by the people !! Well People need to start speaking out for Change…
The ‘People’ are being AND have been hugely ignored, save those who support the puppet in office and his cronies he protects. The Ship is Sinking – and is Going down. Who is going to save us? It comes down to us, those of us who are writing around the world, to speak up and ask each and every one of our readers to join this movement. To call your leaders and rulers to task, to make them accountable not only to you the citizens of the country that you reside in, but also to the immigrants who have resettled there as well. Leaders need to be accountable to the earth as well.
Or We Shall Pay when Catastrophe Occurs
We cannot remain self absorbed and self centered. We must step beyond the borders of nationalism and ethnic superiority. We all must be made equal, in that we must begin to love and take care of each other and to become custodians of the world at large, and it begins with me. It begins with you. It continues with US. We must, with a resounding voice say “we have had enough of this…” It is time to end this.
Before We Kill Each Other Trying to create Peace !!!
We must become better custodians to the earth. If we stop the raping and pillaging of the land, we must stop the wars, we must stop the killing of innocents. We must stop the tide of suicide bombers. West and East must come together. The West and The East must agree NEVER to wage war again, however possible that is… We must find peaceful and RIGHT means to the future sustaining of the worlds populations. We MUST find an earthly solution, if we must, a heavenly solution.
“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”
You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.
Survival in Auschwitz
Courtesy of: The Ministry of Pleasure. (NSFW)
An 85-year-old man was requested by his doctor to obtain a sperm count as part of his physical exam. The doctor gave the man a jar and said, “Take this jar home and bring back a semen sample tomorrow.”
The next day the 85-year-old man reappeared at the doctor’s office and gave him the jar, which was as clean and empty as on the previous day.
The doctor asked what happened and the man explained,
“Well, doc, it’s like this – first I tried with my right hand, but nothing. Then I tried with my left hand, but still nothing. Then I asked my wife for help. She tried with her right hand, then with her left, still nothing. She tried with her mouth, first with the teeth in, then with her teeth out, still nothing.
We even called up Arleen, the lady next door and she tried too, first with both hands, then an armpit, and she even tried squeezing it between her knees, but still nothing.”
The doctor was shocked! “You asked your neighbour?”
The old man replied, “Yep. None of us could get the damn jar open!”
WEIMAR, Germany – Holocaust survivors on Sunday marked the 70th anniversary of the Buchenwald concentration camp’s founding by honoring more than 38,000 victims whose identities had previously been unknown.
Buchenwald researchers spent the past decade scouring archives from theto and across in an attempt to identify tens of thousands of the estimated 56,000 prisoners who lost their lives at Buchenwald between 1937 and 1945, but had been known only by their camp-assigned numbers.
Archivists at the camp, perched on a hillside overlooking the eastern city of, were able to identify 38,049 victims and enter their names into a memorial book.
“The Nazis tried to reduce humans to numbers, to rob them of their identity,” said Jens Goebel, culture minister for the state of, upon handing copies of the book to representatives of survivor groups. “That should not be the last word.”
About 8,000 Soviet prisoners of war, as well as some 9,000 who died in death marches as the Nazis tried to evacuate the camp late in, remain unknown.
Most of the early inmates at Buchenwald were political prisoners. But following Kristallnacht — Night of the Broken Glass — in 1938, some 10,000 Jews were sent to the camp. Over the course of World War II, criminals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman and German military deserters were also interned at the main camp and its many sub and labor camps.
- Christ the Redeemer, Brasil
- The Great Wall, China
- Machu Piccu, Peru
- Petra, Jordan
- The Roman Colloseum, Rome
- The Taj Mahal, India
- Chichen Itza, Mexico
Global vote picks Seven Wonders
The Great Wall of China is among the modern-day Seven Wonders
A non-profit foundation has named the Seven New Wonders of the World at a ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal. The Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu in Peru, Brazil’s Statue of Christ Redeemer, the Colosseum in Rome and Jordan’s Petra all made the list.
The Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza in Mexico and India’s Taj Mahal were also picked, but England’s Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower in Paris missed out.
Organisers say about 100m people cast votes over the internet and by phone.
The New7Wonders campaign is the brainchild of a Swiss man, Bernard Weber, who has had a varied career as a film-maker and museum curator.
American actress Hilary Swank said at the presentation ceremony: “Never before in history have so many people participated in a global decision.”
Organisers say the contest was a chance to recognise the achievements of societies outside Europe and the Middle East.
There are fears the ruins at Chichen Itza could have too many tourists
The original list of seven wonders was established more than 2,000 years ago by Greek scholars.
It included the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes, the ancient lighthouse outside Alexandria, the great pyramid at Giza – the only survivor – and three other long-vanished edifices.
The campaign has been some six years in the making.
But the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) – which has long had its own World Heritage List – has criticised the organisation’s approach.
Unesco argues that the list is very limited. Its own World Heritage List numbers sites including 660 cultural and 166 natural.
Success in the competition will not be popular with everyone.
Archaeologists said the Mayan ruins, at Chichen Itza in south-eastern Mexico could be hit by an avalanche of additional visitors and that the extra wear and tear could force authorities to limit the tourist traffic.