Walking in a winter wonderland…

it's winter in Stony Brook

Our first snow of the winter!

I used to love snow. It was pretty and fun to play in and sometimes, I got the day off from school! Now I am not such a fan. Back then, I didn’t have to deal with the roads or shoveling or, well, shoveling is the worst part.

One winter, when I was a little kid, the house next to my grandmother’s (where I live now) was used as a mental hospital of sorts. A psychiatrist had her patients in the mansion next to my house. One of the patients got a knife and stabbed another. The injured man ran to our house and rang the bell. I am not sure what happened then. What I do know is that I was not allowed outside and when we left the house I had to go out the back and walk to Bennett Lane to leave because it had snowed and the snow in front of the house was bloody from the stabbing next door.

I didn’t know about any of this then. Judy, my grandmother told me about it all much, much later.

The Internet’s a crazy place…

I was looking for info on the house next to mine when I found this. My mom was in the Peace Corps back in the early 1960s. I had never seen this before today. Crazy!

Got plans for tonight?

If you are on Long Island and ready to have some fun, you won’t want to miss this show.

Tonight, January 8 at 9:00 pm (doors open at 8:00), Round Two Pub in Ronkonkoma!

Goin to the city, gonna do a lot of comedy

This is not comedy

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:

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. More recently, if the evidence was credible, it would have been presented in court. None was.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Random thoughts on a windy day

That’s my friend, James Thompson. I met him when I was living in Gainesville, Florida. Yesterday, I learned that he killed himself earlier in the week. Just before I read about this tragedy, Harvey Ward posted on Facebook about men and suicide. This is unbelievably sad. I wish I could have done something. It felt so random to read of his passing.

This is what Jeremiah Tattersall told the Gainesville Sun:

“He was a very, very kind man. There are very few things that happened progressively in Alachua County that didn’t at least have his fingerprints, often behind the scenes,” Tattersall said. “It was always great to talk with him. We would start talking about something small, like the school board and the unions, for maybe 20 minutes and then talk another two hours about art, life, children, friends. It was also like that with him.”

James also wrote this piece in the Iguana.

It’s hard to think that James was suffering. I am comforted by the fact that he was surrounded by people who did care about him. That might seem strange, given how things turned out but it goes to show how little we know about what’s happening with the people around us. I can be in a crowd of people and feel totally alone.

I also understand, more than I would like, the thought process he may have been experiencing. I have struggled with depression and anxiety and have had thought that I am not going to explain now. I just hope if anyone reading this ever feels they aren’t worth much (as I have felt) or that they need help, I am always here.

This has actually been a tough week for me. Not so much emotionally but physically. I went in for an upper endoscopy (EGD) on Monday and while the procedure itself went fine, it takes about ten to 15 minutes, the experience was harrowing. It felt random the way I experienced this test, which I had had before.

The problem, as it always is, was getting the IV in. I always tell the nurses that I am a “hard stick.” Do they listen or believe me? Of course not! They were all, “we do this every day, all day.” It seemed a nurse got one in but it didn’t work. It took an anesthesiologist about 45 minutes and an ultrasound machine to get the job done and I am back to looking like a domestic violence victim or heroin addict.

I am not looking for sympathy here when I write this, it helps me to get this out of my system, but I experienced something I never have before. Lying on the stretcher, with the medical people trying to get an IV in, I felt more scared and vulnerable than I ever had before. One nurse kept poking and prodding and saying, “If that doesn’t work, I’ll go here!”

No, no you won’t. They tried my foot (hurts a lot). They tried my hands (never happening again). The doctor who finally got the IV told me to never let the nursing staff try and to just ask for an ultrasound.

I am lucky. I have good insurance and access to decent care but that was scary.

I had a city adventure on Tuesday

Fresh off my EGD on Monday, I went into the city on Tuesday

But there’s good news! I have lots of comedy shows coming up!

  • Thursday, September 16 @ 8 pm EDT. Zoom show. This is a fundraiser for the International Campaign for the Rohingya, the parent organization for the Campaign for a New Myanmar. You can get tickets here.
  • Saturdau, September 18 @ 8:30 pm. Coasters in East Meadow. Come on down!
  • Wednesday, September 29 @ 8 pm. The Broadway Comedy Club in NYC. Tix are normally $22 but give the guy my name and your ticket will be $11.
  • Friday, October 1 @ 9 pm. Contest show at Clyde’s in Mt. Sinai. This place used to be Barton’s Place.
  • Friday October 8 @ 8pm. Vagisilly at Coasters in East Meadow.

Did you see this?

My birthday was a few weeks ago and there is still time to donate to my fundraiser for the International Campaign for the Rohingya. You can learn more about that here.

More coffee with do the trick

Sam Bee needed more coffee before her bogus segment on Rwanda

Coffee! It’s what’s for dinner!

No, not really. Dinner around here is usually salmon, sweet potatoes and veggies but I do consume a lot of coffee.

People always ask, “What’s new?” I always want to respond, “Not much!” but that isn’t true right now. So, what’s doin’ in Stony Brook?

First, I heard that Samantha Bee did a segment in Rwanda with a focus on conservation and how they did with refugees. I wrote about that for Medium. The Human Rights Foundation had this to say:

On Monday, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) sent a letter to television host and executive producer, Samantha Bee, expressing concerns over how Rwanda’s dictatorial regime will likely exploit her show’s segment, “Rwandans and the UNHCR Are Treating Refugees with Empathy,” to whitewash its long history of grave atrocities against refugees and refugee camps, following the country’s 1994 genocide, as well as its ongoing deadly campaign of espionage, extrajudicial executions, renditions, and intimidation against Rwandan dissident refugees living abroad.

The Human Rights Foundation.

I used to really like Samantha Bee. She was great on The Daily Show. She did a segment about someone I wrote for and I was offended that she lumped the website I wrote for in with a bunch of satire sites (I do write satire but try to keep a firewall between satire and general opinion). I haven’t watched her show recently. I do think it is incredibly irresponsible to do a piece on Rwanda about how they deal with refugees without looking at all the people who have been displaced (or worse) by President Paul Kagame.

From critic to being complicit

The view Bee gave of Rwanda was not even close to accurate and the segment will be used by the government as propaganda. Nice job, Sam! You went from being a critic to being complicit.

In other coffee needing news, I have several shows coming up that will be great.

  • Friday, August 6 @ 8 pm (doors open at 6). Governor’s Comedy Club — the Lil Room. Levittown, NY.
  • Saturday, August 14 @ 5:30 pm. Greenwich Village Comedy Club. NYC (this is my favorite venue!).
  • Friday, August 27 @ 9 pm. Clyde’s (used to be Barton’s Place). Miller Place, NY.

Can you help keep me employed?

Ok. I am asking. I work for several non-profits. We work to get companies to not make money from or give money to governments that commit genocide and other crimes against humanity, we are also working to support the people of Myanmar in their struggles post the coup in February and to stop the genocide against the Rohingya. We are also working to free Paul Rusesabagina (Hotel Rwanda).This is important work but we need your help. If you can, please donate here.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

pandemic cat eats cheese

If you want to get up to date information on where you can see me perform, I will be updating this page weekly with my current comedy schedule.

This week:

  • Sunday 24 January, Coffee Culture,  7:00 to 11:00 pm.
  • Monday 25 January, The Tom Miller Show at Maude’s Side Car 10:30 pm (or so).
  • Tuesday 26 January, Market Street, 9:00 pm.
  • Wednesday 27 January, Hardback, 9:00 pm.
  • Sunday 31 January, Coffee Culture,  7:00 to 11:00 pm.
  • Tuesday 2 February, Market Street, 9:00 pm.
  • Wednesday 3 February, Hardback, 9:00 pm.
  • Sunday 7 February, Coffee Culture,  7:00 to 11:00 pm.
  • Tuesday 8 February, Market Street, 9:00 pm.
  • Wednesday 9 February, Hardback, 9:00 pm.

You might notice a pattern here.  I think you see where I am going with all of this. If anything new gets added, I will post it. In the meantime, I am putting a lot of my stuff on my Facebook page and plan to update my YouTube channel. More information on that will be available when I have it.

Hope to see you soon!