Do you love bacon? If you do, you are not alone. I went through a period of time when I thought I wanted to convert to Judaism but it is hard (and I am lazy) but a friend I had gone through the process and said they are harder on converts so bacon would be out of the question if I went that way. So that idea was a nonstarter. The fact that I was pretty much an atheist also didn’t bode well for a conversion to any religion.
I often question why people follow one religion or another but I most often question Christians. It seems the people who identify the most as followers of Christ are also the ones most likely to condemn other religions. I self-identify as Buddhist but that is more of a philosophy than a religion and is not without its own crazies and zealots. I mean, look at how the Rohingya have been treated by the Buddhist majority in Burma. Not well.
But back to bacon. I used to love it but it is so messy. And I feel bad for the pigs so I eat Morningstar Farms vegetarian bacon. Tastes good to me.
Will you help me fight #Genocide in 2022?
We made a lot of progress in 2021. The Burma Act was introduced. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act became law. Harry Winston stopped sourcing #GenocideGems from Myanmar and Kirin Beer stopped working with the Burmese military. Gainesville, Florida passed an anti-genocide resolution. We were also able to empower Burmese people all over the United States and train them how to lobby Congress. We worked hard for Paul Rusesabagina and will continue to do so until he comes home.
Donations from great people like you make all that possible. If you can, please donate. If you do it today or tomorrow, you can take your donation off your taxes for 2021. We can end genocide if we work together.
Omicron is on everyone’s mind but I am starting with something light. I was so excited to blog about this important holiday and you may not think I am serious but I am all too serious. Don’t believe me? If you were around me on any day that the NY Times has a rebus puzzle, you would not think I am not serious.
“What is a rebus puzzle?” Good question! That’s where they put MORE THAN ONE LETTER OR A DIGIT in a square and it MAKES ME CRAZY! Well, crazier than I normally am. The first time I saw one of these, I thought my head was going to explode. Seriously. And you don’t want to be around me when they get their facts wrong!
The first thing I do every day is the Times’ crossword. I LOVE IT! There is even a movie, Wordplay, about people who do and love crossword puzzles. If you are like me and love them, check it out!
Omicron is not a transformer, though it is transforming life
This week, New York City is once again the epicenter of covid activity thanks to the omicron variety. Not only that but the part of town where I hang out the most is the epicenter of the epicenter. That’s right! Greenwich Village is one of the hottest spots (for omicron) in the city.
Over the last seven days, for every 100,000 Manhattan residents, about 1,672 have been infected, the city said in a transmission chart on its COVID data site.
And that’s just an average – in some Manhattan neighborhoods, the numbers are astronomically higher. In Greenwich Village and SoHo, it’s 2,927 cases per 100,000; in Chelsea, 2,513 per 100,000.
Source: NBC4 NY
This matters to me because when I go into the city, my number one destination is MacDougal Street, which is in the heart of the Village. Great. I thought I was getting my booster shot yesterday but had the date wrong. D’Oh!
Lauren Boebert called Ilhan Omar a terrorist because she is a Muslim, can you imagine if someone made that statement about Christians?
Bear in mind, these are the people who have a hissy fit when someone says, “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” As soon as some people on the right hear that, they are all “It’s a war on Christians! It’s a war on Christmas!” So while people like Boebert are totally cool making jokes about Muslims being terrorists, they would go absolutely crazy if anyone made the same joke about Christians.
And all of this shows what a pussy Kevin McCarthy is. If Ilhan Omar — or anyone else — made a comment about seeing Boebert in the elevator and worrying Boebert was about to start an insurrection, he would be on the House flood demanding Nancy Pelosi strike Omar of her committee assignments. Never mind that Boebert has bragged about carrying a gun to the House floor. If anyone is scary to meet in an elevator, it’s Boebert.
Of course, it is also important to remember how people like Boebert and her blond twin, Marjorie Taylor Greene have also supported Qanon and that craziness. Does anyone not think Qanon people are terrifying? Before I moved back to New York, I had someone take care of my house who was a HUGE Qanon supporter. He believes that Hollywood, industry, and the government are controlled by shape-shifting lizard creatures from outer space who worship Satan and both eat children for their adrenochrome and have sex with them. Now he was on the extreme end of Qanon but he is also an Oath Keeper and has guns. When I left Florida, I knew people who were big into the Proud Boys. If you aren’t scared of these people, you aren’t paying attention.
But back to the hypocrisy. I don’t consider myself to be a Christian. I celebrate Christmas only because I like the secular parts of the holiday. Jesus was most likely born in April so I see this holiday through seriously secular eyes. Some of the worst terrorism on American soil has been perpetrated by Christians. The Klan was/is a Protestant group. People have killed abortion providers in the name of Christ. No religion is free of extremists. Buddhists in Burma have been guilty of persecuting the Muslim Rohingya. In fact, Muslims are more likely to be victims of terrorism and genocide than perpetrators.
Can you come to either of these events?
I am a little nervous about two events I have been planning for weeks.
World Genocide Day protest: We are going to meet up at the US Mission to the UN and walk over to Harry Winston’s headquarters. We will deliver a list of the people who signed our petition to Harry Winston/Swatch to get them to stop selling #GenocideGems. You can learn more here.
Comedy to Free Paul Rusesabagina: On January 11, 2022, at 7:00 pm, No Business with Genocide has teamed up with Two Joke Minimum and the New York Comedy Club to bring together some of the area’s best comedians to raise money for Paul’s legal defense fund. Get your tickets here.
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.
“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.”
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!
Tomorrow (August 17), I will celebrate another year ’round the sun. Accordingly, I am asking people, in lieu of a gift or card or anything else, to donate to a cause that I not only feel strongly about but one I work on every day.
As you may know, I work with No Business with Genocide. We work on a number of causes. We seek to raise awareness of the problem of genocide, which is as much a problem today as ever. One way we do this is by working with cities, states and localities to pass resolutions against genocide. Through our work, Gainesville, Florida passed such a resolution earlier this year.
We have also been working to free Hotel Rwanda hero & humanitarian Paul Rusesabagina. We have worked to raise awareness of his plight through traditional and social media; collected 12,000 petitions to President Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and the Rwandan Embassy in the US; got nearly 3,000 people to write their Congressional representatives on his behalf and organized a fundraiser for his legal defense.
Our main goal remains getting companies and governments to divest from nations that perpetrate genocide and other crimes against humanity. Working with a coalition, we were able to get Chevron to cut some of its payments to the brutal Myanmar military (there’s still work to be done here), Kirin Beer to cut its ties to the junta and we remain committed to getting Harry Winston (Swatch) to stop buying Burmese rubies.
For the Uyghurs, we are part of the #forcedlaborfashion coalition that is putting pressure on companies such as Nike to stop using cotton processed by slave labor.
We have a lot of work to do. We need your help. I need your help.
My birthday is tomorrow. If you can donate to this, I am asking you to. If you cannot, I am asking you to share it with your networks.
(No Business with Genocide is a part of the International Campaign for the Rohingya)