Hosting a mic at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club
This is one of my favorite places to do comedy and the producer, Steve Aarons, is one of my favorite people in the city. I am trying to make myself go out and about even when it is super cold and tomorrow, it will be super cold. Of course, I will be outside only a little bit. I will walk from the subway to the club and then back to the subway. I will also stop off at a pizza place for a slice. Or maybe at a sushi place for some of that (I have eaten pizza three times in the last week).
Either way, it will be a lot of fun! If you are going to be in New York City today (Tuesday, January 4, 2022), head on over to 99 MacDougal Street. You’ll thank me later!
Still fighting for Paul Rusesabagina
This fall, No Business with Genocide joined the Hotel Rwanda Foundation and #FreeRusesabagina campaign and delivered tens of thousands of your petitions to President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking them to do more to bring Paul home. Now we are asking Dr. Biden to use her voice to help. In September, Paul was sentenced to 25 years in prison. His heath continues to decline and he is still being denied access to his lawyers, medicine, and any documents related to his case.
Multiple groups have denounced the trial and the verdict. Both the Clooney Foundation and the American Bar Association have said it was neither fair nor just. Please sign and share our petition to Dr. Biden.
For more information about Paul Rusesabagina and the situation in Rwanda:
- PBS’s “Dictatorial governments are reaching beyond their borders to silence critics“
- Washington Post’s “Opinion: My husband risked it all to protect hundreds in Rwanda. Now, he needs our help“
- Grio’s “‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero’s wife calls for U.S. intervention to free husband from prison“
- The Clooney Foundation for Justice report
- The American Bar Association report
- The Freedom House report on Rwanda
Sometimes when I post about Paul, I get messages about the crimes he was accused of. I don’t normally respond but I am going to respond now.
- I am not convinced the crimes Paul was accused of happened. At least not the way the Kagame regime says. I say this becauise, Kagame accused Paul of the same thing in 2010 and it seems unlikely that the same crime was committed twice.
- If Kagame had real evidence, he could have gone the legal route. He took similar accusations to the U.S. and Belgian governments back in 2010 and neither found the charges to be credible.
- More recently, if the evidence was credible, it would have been presented in court. None was.
- If there was a real case against Paul, the Rwanan government would not have had to infringe on his civil rights. He was denied access to his lawyers, legal documents and the paperwork he needed to file an appeal.
- If this was a legitamite case, the witnesses would have been sworn in like at every other Rwandan trial. None were.
If a permanent resident of the U.S. who is also a Belgian citizen and U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient can be kidnapped by the leader of another country, who is safe? No one.
Are we finally at the end of the American experiment?
This is also not comedy but I think it is important. As we near the anniversary of the almost coup, I am reminded of something I wrote a while back. On January 18, 2021, I wrote a piece for the website Addicting Info. That no longer is around but I found my piece on the Way Back Machine (which moved to Canada when Trump moved into the White House).
In Goodbye American democracy, you had a good run I quoted Abraham Lincoln who warned the country would not be destroyed by outside forces but from within.
Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer. If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.President Lincoln at the Young Men’s Lyceum in 1838
I ended the piece:
When we start destroying the foundations of our government (the DOJ is not alone, the State Department is also being decimated from within), we are participating in a kind of cannibalism. When our government acts only to get one side ahead of the other politically and we live in a time when each side lives by a different reality, how can anything positive come from that?
For decades, during the Cold War, the Soviet Union sought to weaken, if not destroy, the United States. Lincoln was right. They should have saved their money. We are going to do it for them.From, Goodbye American democracy, you had a good run
Both sides of this debate think we are facing an existential crisis. People on my side (including Congresswoman Lynn Cheney) think if Donald Trump gets back into the White House, democracy is dead here. People on the other side, like Dan Bongino (conservative pundit and talk show host) think if he isn’t returned to power, our republic is lost. The main difference is I am not sure how clear-headed Mr. Bongino is. Trump has attained a cult-like power over his people. They think he was draining the swamp but was thwarted by the deep state.
I guess we’ll see what happens but hold onto your hat, this is going to be a crazy year.