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    When Intervention Fails

    In the 1945 film "The Lost Weekend", Don Birnam (played by Ray Milland) says "Let me have one, Nat. I'm dying. Just one", to which Nat the bartender (played by Howard Da Silva) replies "One drink is too many, and a hundred is not enough". This line has become an unwritten mantra in many alcohol and drug addiction programs. It’s a perfect representation of the cycle of addiction.

    Loving an addict is hard. Watching someone you care about descended further and further into addiction is a soul crushing experience that often leaves one wondering: where did I go wrong?

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    Trump Has No Character

    "It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth...arrogance into humility…brutality into patriotism. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character."

    Joseph Heller Catch-22

     

    Truth, sometimes, is stranger than fiction. This quote, in some form or another, has been used to describe Donald Trump by a number of people. His performance in Helsinki and the subsequent press conference to clean up that mess is par for this presidency.

     

    Donald Trump had a complete meltdown less than 10 feet from Vladimir Putin. He proved once and for all that he is a Beta male using bravado to hide his insecurities. Watch the video again; his discomfort was visible. I wasn't surprised by his lying and scapegoating: he does that almost every time he's in front of cameras, but the timidity was stunning. He looked like a child with a disappointing report card.

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    My Latest for Faithfully Magazine

    When Jerry Falwell Sr. replaced Jim Bakker at his Praise The Lord organization following rape allegations and a hush-money payment to Jessica Hahn, he ultimately refused to defend him. Falwell Sr. publicly described Bakker as "the greatest scab and cancer on the face of Christianity in 2,000 years of church history." One generation later, Jerry Falwell Jr. has appeared on every major cable news network to defend the exact same behavior his father condemned...

    Read the rest at:

    https://faithfullymagazine.com/hypocrisy-conservative-evangelicals/

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    Money: Living Without Enough Of It

    Money can’t buy you love or solve all of your problems, but it can alleviate a lot of the stress we feel.

    Inflation is real! There are very few commodities or services that are the same price (or cheaper) now than they were just a few years ago. With all of the economic pressure we face, is it possible to responsibly plan for the future while enjoying the fruits of your labor?

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    Highland County's Forgotten Child

    "On this day in 1857, Mary Gordon, a "free" black child of about 2 years old, was bound out as an apprentice to Stuart C. Slaven until age 18 to learn the business of housekeeping. Slaven was ordered to pay Mary $25 when she reached the age of 18; Mary died at age 16."

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    Life Goes On, So Should We

    How many brothers fell victim to the streets?


    In May of 2001 I had a nervous breakdown. I completely came apart at the seams. When I look back on that day- and the events that led up to it- I can't believe it didn't come sooner.

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    Thoughts On Education

    Last July, I got an email from a friend who was in the process of finishing a Master’s degree in Special Education. She asked if I would complete a survey related to her research. I didn’t hesitate. A few days later she sent me a list of questions about my past experiences and my current thoughts about public school education. Listed below are some of my experiences, observations, and suggestions educators might want to consider.

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    Striving Over Surviving

    Striving Over Surviving

    Danny Cardwell

    By Simba Sana

    Agate Publishing, 260 pp.,

    It would be easy to categorize “Never Stop” as a postmodern Horatio Alger novel set in an urban community. This memoir has all the ingredients of a rag to riches story. But such a reading has the potential to render all of the pain, failure, and life lessons chronicled throughout its 260 pages invisible. This isn’t fiction. Each shattered life and every violent death can be traced to an easily locatable time in place in our not too distant past.

    Simba Sana’s childhood could be described as catastrophic. His father was a no show. He was raised by a single mother with mental health issues. He grew up in Washington, D.C., at a time when crack was replacing PCP as the drug of choice, and guns were replacing fistfights as the preferred method for settling disputes. He survived a gauntlet of racial and socioeconomic pitfalls that consumed many of his peers. Any of these obstacles could have derailed or ended his life before he attended Gonzaga College High School and then Mount Saint Mary’s University. 

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    One Exhausting Sh*thole

    “Why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?”

    Sh*thole has been uttered on cable news over a dozen times. My only regret is that George Carlin didn’t live long enough to see the barrage of politicians, news anchors and pundits repeat one of the FCC’s seven banned words.

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    Guy Buys A Phone And Takes Pictures

    Are you tired of the existential angst that comes with trying to survive in a world dominated by empire building, global capitalism, xenophobia, racism, patriarchy and homophobia?

    Do you want to go 3 minutes without thinking about Pedophilia, sexual assault, or the Orange Emperor?

    If so, click the link below to look at some pictures I took around Bath County. For 3 minutes our world will seem like a place worth saving...

     

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    Let's Talk About Sexual Assault

    It was as normal a morning as you get in the Department of Corrections. The caffeinated buzz inside the chow hall was interrupted by the sound of trays hitting the floor and shouts too, “kill that baby raping b*tch”. Less than fifteen feet from me, an older white man was getting stomped out as he curled in a fetal position wedged between two stools at the rectangular table he was eating at. It took close to a minute before correctional officers intervened on his behalf.

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    The Insanity Of Gun Violence

    Every few weeks our lives are interrupted by breaking news about innocent people being gunned down in classrooms, movie theaters, night clubs, churches and most recently an outdoor concert. During these highly stressful times, we stop what we are doing to reflect on the preciousness and fragility of life, we offer our prayers and condolences to the families affected by the tragedy and we tell ourselves this isn’t America. We recite this claim with the convictions people give to their religious mantras.

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    Birth of A Myth, Death of A Dream

    Monday was the 54th Anniversary of Dr. King’s “I have a Dream” speech. Americans took to social media and proved once again why this speech is possibly the best and worst rhetorical device for confronting systemic racism in America.

    Dr. King's speech was a mix of the Bible, America’s founding documents and some of his earlier sermons. His words were seamlessly woven into a message that condemned the status quo while simultaneously offering a prophetic vision of a better day. Dr. King talked about the hope that came with the end of slavery and the heartbreak that followed when Emancipation turned into a 100-year nightmare sponsored by Black Codes, Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan. His words aren’t the problem; the willful distortion of those words and his legacy undermine the events of that day.

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    Charlottesville, Salem Witch Trials and Historic Monuments

    In the winter of 1692, Massachusetts Bay Colony was rocked by allegations of witchcraft. In January, a group of young girls from Salem Village claimed to be possessed by the devil. The girls were taken to a doctor who determined they had been “bewitched”. The girls aged 9 and 11 accused a local slave named Tituba of witchcraft.

     

     

    In early February Tituba was arrested and admitted to being a witch. During her confession, she accused other women in the village of being witches. By May of 1692 governor William Phips established a special court to handle the trials of those accused of witchcraft. On June 2nd, Bridget Bishop was convicted of witchcraft and hanged eight days later. This was the beginning of the Salem Witch Trials.

     

    If you travel to Salem, Massachusetts you can visit the Victim’s Memorial, take tours of the jail and visit several preserved structures in Danvers and Salem. What you won’t find are monuments built to honor the brave men who had to hang and torture the women and men accused of witchcraft. This bothers me. They were husbands, fathers, sons and brothers. They did what they had to do to protect their way of life. They are part of history. Where are their statues?

     

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    Sex, Lies and Hate

    This past Monday Pat Robertson offered his Christian Broadcast Network audience a conspiracy theory, as a legitimate response, to Fox News contributor Eric Bolling’s suspension from the network for allegedly sending unsolicited nude photos to at least three female coworkers. Robertson said:

    If you wanted to destroy the Fox News, you really wanted to destroy them, what would you do? Well you would send some salacious material, ostensibly from one of their popular co-hosts or hosts and you’d send it out and then get it publicized and then you have some woman complain that she had gotten this salacious material from this particular co-host.

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    Lil Duval, Non Binary Genders & Questions About Rape

    Fact: there are transgendered people who live in a constant state of physical and sexual terror. In the last few years there’s been an increase in gang rapes, sexualized torture, and murders of transgendered women and men. Paradoxically, all of this violence is happening at a time when more and more people are fighting to affirm the rights of the LGBTQIA community. Much of the violence and fear transgendered people are experiencing is a last-ditch effort to push them back into the closet. This violence has no place in our society.

     

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    Virginia Election 2017 Trump vs. Pipelines?

     

    The Omni Homestead resort in Hot Springs was the center of politics in the Commonwealth of Virginia. On Saturday July 22nd, the Virginia Bar Association welcomed the current lieutenant governor, Democrat, Ralph Northam and businessman, Republican, Ed Gillespie to participate in the debate moderated by “PBS Newshour” host Judy Woodruff.  

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    Hating The Game: Did Michael Vick Sellout?

    "First thing we’ve got to get Colin to do is cut his hair."

     

    Michael Vick offered Colin Kaepernick some unsolicited advice as a guest on Fox Sports 1’s “Speak For Yourself”. After listening to him say, “I really think the stand that he took has nothing to do with him not having a job playing in the National Football League right now.” I was disappointed. Michael Vick was the previous owner of the shoes Colin now fills. There will be over 100 quarterbacks competing for jobs before rosters are cut and Vick doesn't think Kaepernick is better than half of them? Does he really believe 32 head coaches, 32 general managers, and 32 owners simultaneously came to the conclusion he couldn't play anymore?

     

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    Blacks Only?

    The only space we can truly make Black-only is the space between our ears and that’s much more difficult than segregating an auditorium for a few hours.

    The absence of White bodies doesn’t make a space Black-only. People of color have been consciously and unconsciously conditioned to see themselves as less than. Physically separating oneself from White bodies does nothing to deal with the psychological damage that comes from being inculcated with the myth of white supremacy. In every Black-only setting lives the remnants of an ideology that formed the desire to meet outside of the White gaze.

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