May 1st, 2021

Ugh…. treatment day was yesterday, so that leads to a long night of aches, and more aches. I’m doing them once a week now since we moved to Nfld. I’m giving myself a smaller dose, and time to recover as opposed to slamming a large amount thru, and be a REALLY hurting buck. And yes, I do them by myself. I stick four needles in my stomach area and the IV runs thru them for about an hour. No more 7 hour treatments. I lose more and more respect for IV drug users every week. That’s just so incredibly stupid.

But, I did wake up this morning. Some people didn’t. And as you & I breathe right now, another person takes their last. Just think about that for a second.
Now…..stop complaining, and learn to appreciate your life and live with what you have. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. Life is entirely too short. So forgive quickly, believe slowly, love truly, laugh loudly and never avoid anything that makes you smile. Stop worrying about what can go wrong, and get excited about what can go right.
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. I’m not telling you it is going to be easy, but I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it, and do NOT give up. You can either throw in the towel, or use it to wipe the sweat off your face.

Now, I won’t lie to you; I’ve been doing this for 32 years and I still hate IV’s. I’m not perfect, but at least I know who I am. I fall, I rise, I make mistakes, I live, I learn, I’ve been hurt but I’m alive. I’m human, I’m not perfect but I’m thankful. As I sit here, I just have to know my body body can do anything, it’s usually just my brain I have to convince. Your mind will quit 100 times before your body ever does. Feel the pain and do it anyway.
But pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit. And every setback has a major comeback.
Tell me I can’t, then watch me work twice as hard to prove you wrong. If no one thinks I can, then I have to. True motivation comes from within. No one can hand it to you, but no one can take it away.

It ain’t over ’til I say it’s over – enough when I say enough. Throw me to them wolves and close the gate.
I’m afraid of what’ll happen to them wolves.
Now let’s get out there, my people, and have yourselves a helluva good month. -D. 😎

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Ten Golden Years


IGGY!!!” The player’s nearly panicked shout could be heard over the screaming crowd. It was to his teammate with the puck. Jerome Iginla deftly passed that little black disk to the front of the net, where it was quickly deposited across the red line, into the back of the goal.

Cue chaos.

“Sidney Crosby… the ‘Golden Goal!!!!’” We can all still see it in our minds. The mouth guard thrown high in the air; the stick and gloves followed. We can still hear Chris Cuthbert’s usual high voice, belting out his now historical call. Dad and I jumping from our chairs, shouting and cheering together like we had never done before. High-fives, big hugs, and extended toasts to Canadian Pride were made. Then it was bedtime, when I fell asleep surprisingly quickly. “Sidney Crosby…the Golden Goal” are the last five words I heard before my life changed.

I was staying overnight with Dad to watch the Olympic gold medal hockey game. During the entire time, I was constantly texting and calling Deantha, as we had only re-connected a mere six days prior. She was visiting her parents in Newfoundland at the time. We knew we were going to be together. One way or another, we just did. And so we said our good nights, and we would talk the next morning.

Then my cell phone rang at 8:30am the next morning. It was from an unknown number which meant it was probably one of my doctors wanting a quick follow-up appointment. Sure enough it was Dr. Sue Robinson’s office. She had been my hematology doctor for over 20 years and we had become good friends over the years. I had an annoying lymph node removed from under my chin in mid-January of 2010. It was hard, round, and about the size of a medium marble. Still, I assumed this was the usual “no problem” message. But something was different this time. Elaine, her secretary, seemed “off” as she asked me if I could get in there as soon as possible. I told her yes, and packed up to go back to my place after the quick results I expected from the appointment.

As I checked in, I was rushed into a “procedure room” and had all the regular pre-meeting vitals, and administrative ceremonies performed. I, as always trying to joke around with her nurse. However, I wasn’t getting the usual banter back. Then Dr. Sue came in and quietly sat down with a thin file on her lap. That was weird in and of itself, as my normal “hemo-file” couldn’t be carried by one person. She looked at me and said, “Darin, the results of your biopsy are back, and they are positive. You have Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma…cancer.

I remember hearing the words repeat over a couple of times in my head, but at no point was I “scared”. I was more stunned, dazed, and kept saying “Really??” out loud, because the unthinkable had finally happened: That son of a bitch had finally caught up to me. She told me they needed to find out what stage the disease was in, so she had to perform a bone marrow biopsy immediately. Those are incredibly unpleasant procedures. So much so, that over the years they’ve performed “unscheduled ” biopsies on me. Unscheduled because they knew I’d be calling in sick if I caught a whiff of that test in the air. I told her I needed some time to make a few calls, and she understood.

The first call was to Dad to briefly explain what I was told, and what was about to happen, and I was going to need a drive home, so he was on his way back in. The second call was to Mom to inform her of what news I had.

The third call went to Deantha. We had an extensive chat and she was so strong, even though I know she was about to fall apart. After the calls, Dr. Sue came in and took out a piece of my hip bone about the length and width of a golf tee. Yes, it freaking hurts a lot. Six weeks later, I got a call that the results were in. Dr. Sue and I sat down, and she just put it out there as clearly as anyone possibly could: “Darin, your cancer is Stage 4. It is throughout your body and in your bone marrow. There is no cure, and no real hope for a true remission. Tears starting to form in her eyes and ran down her cheek as she ended with, “This is going to kill you.”

Suddenly, just as I thought I was about to start a solid new life, I took a solid donkey kick to the neck that knocked me down to the ground. It was going to take a lot of personal strength, and the unending moral support from a team of family and friends.

Keep in mind, I had doubters that I would be able to get through. Surprisingly, one of them was Dr. Sue. My first thought was, “OK, so what are we going to do about this?” I asked her and she said that chemotherapy was usually recommended at this point, but she said it would do more harm than good. She said it might kill me faster than the cancer. I asked what the chances were that the chemo might help the situation. She said there was a small chance. So I said, “When do I start? I have a new wife, a baby on the way, and too much to live for to just NOT TRY. Plug me in.” Seemed pretty straight forward to me.

After eight months, and a change in provinces, I endured thirty-six blasts of three types of poison, which included two surprise “bonus rounds” that I was rather upset about. A fact I had to explain that to the kind Saint John Regional Police Officer who pulled me over for going a zillion over the posted limit down the worst road in the city away from the hospital. Fortunately (in a way), he had gone through the same thing. He told me to slow down, keep my head up, get home to my girls and make damn sure everyone in your life knows how much they mean to you on a daily basis. Well said Officer, well said.

So here I sit, ten years later, in ANOTHER province 😃, with my simply incredible wife, and our SO “grown up” daughter, and a new medical team with a new plan for treating my immune disorder.

Honestly right now, it kind of feels like the walls are closing in on me a bit, and I’m trying to keep my composure together as best I can. Deantha is away on tour in Labrador playing superstar again ⭐️, so I’m playing single parent for now 9 year old Annabelle. I’d prefer to not break down in front of her as that’s just not good form.

She has a basketball tournament this weekend that I just can’t attend because of my immune deficiencies. I joke, but Im sure my Immunologist has me in the “Office Pool” to be the world’s first recorded case of “sporadic COVID-19” occurring, if I was in a gym full of people for an entire day; even if none of them had even been exposed to the virus at all! 🤣

After 31 years of this bullshit I feel like I can almost roll my eyes at every new diagnosis or prognosis a doctor wants to give me. I’ve been dead six times, and I’ve outlived every expectation ever laid out in front of me. And if there’s one thing I’ve managed to do in all this time, it’s buy back every goddamn word of my  premature eulogy, because it’s time to cue chaos ….I’m golden.

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I know there are still many of you out there who don’t understand the passion I have about why sports can, I repeat, CAN bring so much good to this rather grim world, even if it’s for a mere 40mins at a time. You just never know what can happen.
Since it’s March Madness time, we get to see the full blown spectrum of emotions. As such I’ll use it as the example.  And after my Arizona Wildcats did their too common early exit, I have no horse in the race.
The 16 seed over a 1 seed Friday night, will be ingrained in my mind forever now. Honestly I can’t stop thinking about it. Yes, it was destined to happen in terms of mathematical probability. But, it actually happened within my lifetime. I’m floored, and can’t stop watching the end of the game on YouTube. Better yet was how Tony Bennett, Virginia’s losing head coach was so genuinely , outwardly gracious and congratulatory to UMBC. I have my doubts many other coaches could be interviewed in that pressure cooker, and come out clean, dry, and looking like a class act, good person. But with a name like “Tony Bennett” I think he’s going to be cool under any form of pressure and come out looking good! 🎤
Then last night, we had the #11 seed Loyola-Chicago Ramblers beating the 3rd seeded Tennessee Volunteers in another unthinkable victory. American Airlines Arena in Dallas was in a frenzy, without having Mark Cuban dropping a billion dollars from the ceiling.
Now, these kids could’ve run directly to hug all their teammates, family, or friends, but as is their tradition, they immediately ran to the baseboard sideline, to all line up in an orderly fashion, and give “Sister Jean” a big hug, and VERY sincere thank you.

Sister Jean, replete in full UMBC warm up suit gifted from Under Armour, and her ever-present school scarf has been a nun at Loyola for more than a half-century. She is the chaplain of the men’s basketball team and was just inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame. I LOVE that she’s been inducted into the Hall of Fame yet never had to be an athlete. I guess it goes to show another of the many cogs that help keep an Athletics Department machine in motion.

But she’s not just in the dressing room delivering sermons. She offers MUCH more. She provides a scouting report on their opponent during prayer before every game. She knows more about college basketball than I’ve forgotten. These are full-blown scouting reports of every opposing player, etc. Sister Jean is at work every day at 8 a.m. “So what?”, you may ask.
She’s 98-yrs old and forced to use a wheelchair. That’s what.
“I tell them guys to watch out for on the other team and to not let anybody get under their skin,” she said. “We ask God to keep us free from injuries and play with great sportsmanship. We pray for the referees that they can see clearly and fairly.”
THIS is why sports can be fun, healthy, and provide invaluable life lessons. On one end, we watched on in horror as CBS continued its yearly tradition of finding all the kids who were crying because they lost, then justifying it with the old “one of life’s hard earned lessons”. I still see that poor little girl in Tennessee Volunteers pattern suspenders, bawling her eyes out at the end of the game, waiting for at LEAST one of her “obviously Tennessee alumnae” parents, whom had just to console her some. The father finally realized he had a daughter and brought her over, but the mother was so entirely caught up in the fact her team lost, she seemed oblivious to her own child wailing next to her. needing her mother.
UMBC athletes and personnel weren’t answering every question with the standard, “I have to give thanks to God above,” They said the win came from all the many late hours of practice in the gym, just for that “one shining moment”. I loved that.  It was a great message to kids to NOT be slacking off even before or after practice because you never know when that shot will need to go up at the buzzer, in your hands, and be made. Be prepared for everything life will throw at you.
As Clayton Custer’s buzzer-beater dropped, (and yes, he actually did thank “God above” first, with the caveat that he’s never done that) along with the streamers and confetti, so did the hopes of an entire southern state.
This is why I watch sports. You just never know what can happen in any single elimination game. Sure University of Virginia, you can be the best team all regular season, but how much is that helping you when you’ve already put your name into the second round, with a Sharpie without playing 2 minutes.  They didn’t give any respect, and ended up giving zero resistance to a very determined, tough, little bunch of kids from UMBC.
Can’t wait to see the next chapters in this story, continuing Sunday afternoon.
Thanks folks. As it is common to say on Twitter, “Put some respeck on THAT!l”

-D 😎

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“Bill M-103” or, “How I fell in love with having duct tape stuck over my mouth”

Hello folks:

As a young Canadian, I was taught that we are constantly trying to bridge any divide that may come between us. We managed to keep Quebec in Canada. We’ve come together as a nation and fought in at least four or five major war campaigns. We’ve acted as as the go-between in many United Nations problems on countless occasions even, as they will not recognize us by putting us on the Security Council. Hey, we even brought the Jets back to Winnipeg.

But now it appears our youthful, vibrant, well-coiffed, yet horribly unqualified PM Trudeau is starting to make President Trump look like the smart, loyal, good guy leader of the North American nations.  That’s not a good thing. With every single new law enacted in Canada under this government, trying to appease every single ridiculous micro-minority in this country, we have more and more left behind the core values, beliefs, and foundations upon which it was founded, thereby fracturing us, and slowly breaking us apart.

The healthy, middle-class, hard working, heterosexual, well educated, married, English speaking, white male in Canada is now officially screwed after the passing of Bill M-103. Please take a moment today or this week and speak with any veteran you see about how they feel since they heard the news. After all, they now have the proof-positive knowledge that our government just doesn’t seem to care how hard they fought, how badly they were injured, or how many of their brothers in arms died trying to protect our right, nay obligation to have free speech. With one stroke of a pen, it’s just not going to matter. It could however, get JT a boost of the “minority vote” and a possible Redken hair products endorsement deal. It’s such a blatantly sad political ploy.

The left-leaning citizens and, especially the media outlets of our great nation, wanted a clear-cut governmental change of direction before the last election. In fact they’re so left-wing all they can do is fly in circles and dive bomb people who they think are being insensitive. It’s that type of hypocracy in a liberal ideologist that drives me crazy. It seems that in their world of sunshine, rainbows, lollipops, and unicorns you have to agree with their opinion. If you do not, you be treated as an outcast, a bigot, ignorant, intolerant, and of course fascist. But isn’t that what they’re trying to fight the OTHER way?  Isn’t this a kind of “reverse racism” or “old rich white guy phobia”? It makes no sense whatsoever.  It’s starting to look like a leftist version of 1930’s Germany

Unfortunately for these liberal minded folk,  AND for the rest of us, they got the government they wanted. I truly believe many of them are now starting to question what they’ve done.

To those people, I tell them there is only one correct answer to that question:
You broke my country.

🇨🇦 Forever

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A New Year’s Message- My 28 Year Program

For those who know me, you understand what the 28 years have been like.  For those who do not, there’s a 25 year anniversary posted here or Facebook.  So I will start this by again offering my undying gratefulness to my friends, and especially my family for their love and support through every surgery, diagnosis, recovery, and horrible decision I’ve ever had or made. It can never be properly repaid.

So now I sit here tonight, almost 28 years to the minute, that this medical gong show of a life began.  Hence, the beginning of my “new year”.

This past year has been…well, something else. It’s opened my eyes to many things and many people. It’s had its ups and downs and ins and outs. And I believe we’ve all been able to take something from that and dream and grow in our own peculiar ways. We’ve overcome obstacles, and set in motion opportunities that can change our own individual lives because only dreams give birth to change. President John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future”.

So now: A New Year. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this changing year of delight and self-discovery. Yeah…self discovery. We don’t have to go to anybody to learn anything about ourselves. And the idea we do is a mental illness we contracted from breath mint commercials and Sandra Bullock. We can’t keep going to each other until we learn to go to ourselves. Stop making our hatred for ourselves someone else’s job and just stop hating ourselves.

People can find the good in just about anything but themselves. Look at me, it’s clear to all of you that I am awesome. See, I could never admit that, because that would make me an ass. But what I can do is recognize what makes others awesome. Some people are driven, and we need these driven people or the lights go out and the ice cream melts. That would suck. And some, some people have wisdom to offer. They pass their knowledge on to the rest of us and we grow as a society. But do you know what makes human beings different from any other animal on Earth? We are the only species on Earth that observes “Shark Week”. Heck, sharks don’t even observe “Shark Week”, but we do. We do this for the same reason I can pick up a pencil, and then tell you its name is Steve. Then I can snap Steve the pencil in two, and part of you dies just a little bit on the inside. You audibly gasped there, didn’t you? That’s because people can connect with anything. So you see what humans are capable of? We can sympathize with a pencil, we can forgive a man-eating shark, and damn it, we can even give Ben Affleck an academy award for Screenwriting.
Maybe someday we should listen to him. We might not regret it.
Maybe someday. Might not.

And what about athletes? Who cares if they think they’re all that? Maybe they are. Do you think astronauts go to the moon because they hate oxygen? Nope. They’re still trying to impress their high school prom queen. And the “know-it-alls”. They’re like shaman. You ask them to pass the salt, and they give you a bowl of soup, because you know what? Do you know why? It’s because soup is better, they are better, and YOU are all better than you think you are. You are merely designed not to believe it when you hear it from yourself.

I want you to look at the person to your left…sorry, my bad. Uh, look at the person sitting next to, or around you. This year, I want you to extend to that person the same compassion that you extend to highly developed sharks, or simple pencils, and yes, dare I say…the even simpler Ben Affleck.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. To quote Winston Churchill, “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

History is a selection process: it chooses moments, events, and even people. It then hands over a situation that they shouldn’t be able to overcome, and that it’s in those moments, in that fight, that people find out who they are. Yet History doesn’t choose individual people. History chooses everyone. Every day. The only question is: How long will you ignore the call? So here’s the deal folks: Stay alive…see what the next minute brings.
Cheers to everyone for a happy new year, and another chance for us to get it right.

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The Art of The Election

Ok: Remember my Super Tuesday essay after Mr Trump basically secured the Republican nomination for President on March 15th? Here’s the link

In that I assured you it was written because I “did not have a horse in the race,”. That meant because I’m Canadian I am unable to vote there. It didn’t mean I didn’t have an opinion on things.

No, I didn’t want Donald Trump to win, but I didn’t want Hillary Clinton to win either. I just cannot tolerate her. I am looking forward to the first woman president, and I think that’s going to happen sooner rather than later. Finally the glass ceiling, the ULTIMATE glass ceiling will be shattered, just not by Clinton.
But, had this election been held here, it would be the first one since I became a legal voter that I would actually not exercise my right to vote.  I truly, sincerely apologise to all Canada’s veterans who read that last sentence, and thank you as always for protecting our freedom in this great country, and for that right to vote.

Now we have the results, and we have “President-Elect Trump”. With the amount of hatred, vitriol, ignorance, anger, and insults being typed on my Facebook news feed, you’d actually think Trump lost, and now everyone is acting like they think HIS supporters would following a loss. They went out of their way to criticize the supporters of Mr. trump during the campaign for this exact type of behaviour. It’s so very pathetic, and sadly, incredibly hypocritical. Do better…BE better. Please people? Set that good example for your children that all the pundits and you are worried will dissipate due to this election result.
Everyone has been talking about how they “want to work together to unite the USA and the world”, but then all the members of the losing party immediately start acting in a manner totally contradictory to this ideal. It’s over. We don’t like it, but let’s hold our noses, and act like a civilized continent. It starts at home.

It began election night when Clinton wouldn’t even give a concession speech. WTF? It’s not like she was in bed reading a book or binge watching “24” in her hotel room. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewndowski went OFF when it happened on CNN. Democratic shill Van Jones tried to tell him he was being ignorant, and I agree he went a “little” over the top.  Then the “media stunner moment” of the night occurred as both Jake Tapper and Dana Bash actually agreed with Mr. Lewandowski. It blew me away! They’re with CNN, the most loyal of Clinton’s media buddies. (I cite CNN a lot because they’re the only major American cable news network we get here.  We don’t get MSNBC or FoxNews.)  It was the worst possible way for her to “begin the final chapter” in her political career. It was sheer poor-sportsmanship. Again, not the example we want to be setting for our children.

Now imagine if Trump had pulled that stunt. The ridiculously left wing liberal democrat media in the US and Canada would crucify him.
CNN had enough trouble that night with Wolf Blitzer and his multiple “Breaking News” coronaries having to announce another Trump state win, John King trying to figure out the Magic Wall math as to how their puppet master can pull off a miracle comeback, and Jake Tapper’s hair turning grey faster than a woodland animal in springtime. Now that she’s done, they’re going to need every ounce of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s neurological surgery brilliance to separate their anointed Democratic Party demagogue, without killing the patient.

No, I didn’t want him to win. But he did. The sun still rose, and the stock market went up. The Whos down in Whoville are still singing and joyful.  What most people are totally overlooking is the fact the Republicans won the Senate and the Congress as well. In so many ways this was a “rejection election”. The people wanted change. They’re tired of nothing happening in DC. It was a rejection of Obama in part, because basically everything in government shut down over the past six years of his term in office because he wouldn’t agree to sign anything given to him by a Republican Senate or Congress. NADA, zero, zilch. Nothing was accomplished. So the people wanted a clean slate. They took a chance with the ultimate outsider, but the devil they knew. They knew he was not already part of the problem with the Washington elite. He’s seriously flawed, but because they’re so damn fed up with Washington, everything he did was overlooked.

Then with Secretary Clinton, her untrustworthy past continually caught her in an inescapable net. On Super Tuesday I referred to this as the “rogue almond in the vanilla ice cream” effect. No one knew what the next scoop might bring up with her.

Last night, people began exercising their right to publicly protest the results. Well, it’s called a “protest” by CNN. But if those were Trump supporters it would be labelled a “riot”. Believe me, if they started burning Clinton in effigy it would be called a riot.  NO, I didn’t want him to win, however there was one good thing that happened: watching the pompous, arrogant, and totally left-wing biased media be so very, VERY wrong. There’s nothing better. By 10:30 last night I couldn’t stop laughing at the faces of the smug CNN anchors as their faces melted like hot butter. The media, the Democrats, and everyone involved in the Clinton campaign thought this was a sweep for her. They were stunned.

They took states like Wisconsin for granted. They seriously guessed wrong in the use of the “celebrity vote”.  Real people don’t care who George Clooney and LeBron are voting for.  All that did was create a further divide between the haves and have-nots. They ignored an entire segment of the population. They had trouble understanding that white, working-class individuals are people too. Unfortunately for them, these turned out to be the people she needed to talk to. She needed to assure them she had their backs. The rust belt unemployment rate has skyrocketed since Obama took office, and their rural areas are tired of being overlooked.

We were constantly fed incorrect information about all these polling numbers, and positive clips of Clinton, and selective negative sound bites from Trump on a loop.
It didn’t work. People are so frustrated with being told that “these are the people who know what’s best for the USA, ” by mainstream media outlets, that the electorate was willing to overlook all of the many, many flaws of Trump. MSM took a major blow to its already waning credibility with its blatant overt support and cheerleading efforts for the democrats. Things are going to need to change for them, or cable news networks, and news shows in general might end up going the way of the newspaper. Most people now get their news from social media. It’s not the late night shows like we’re led to believe, anymore. They became unwatchable due to the non-stop Trump bashing and winding up the Clinton propaganda machine. Yes “The Daily Show” and “SNL”, we get it: you don’t like him or any Republicans. Find a new joke.  That’s where she lost the millennial vote

Like many of you, I didn’t want him to  win, but he actually did. And he did it in the best way we know how to chose our government and its leaders: Democracy. While the Electoral College system played a role, the people still spoke, and they for what they wanted. Of course today, I hear Democrats are going to start trying to undo the electoral college system. They have lost twice since 2000 because of it. I’m guessing if they WON Bush vs Gore, or now Trump vs Clinton, nary a bad word would be said about it.

So again…no, I didn’t want him to win. Most of you appear to have felt the same way. But I’m very disappointed in the way many of you have done exactly what you shouldn’t be on your Facebook page, with the hateful words, insults, and unwillingness to accept this.
But enough already. It’s time to stop with the, “I can’t believe this.” posts. Believe it.
I have to as well, and Americans truly do have to come together in unity. I have faith there’s enough smart people surrounding Mr. Trump that the right decisions will be made. If we’ve been told one thing about him, it’s that he hates to lose or fail at anything. I’m trying to have faith his advisers and the Obama transition team will do their damnedest to make sure the country runs smoothly during a bumpy next few months.  It will also be time for all of his ardent supporters to hold his feet to the fire to make sure he follows through on what they want done with the economy, security, and health care.

Keep in mind, while the office of the President is called “the most powerful in the world”, a President really has very, very limited powers. It’s Congress and the Senate who debate and create and the legislation. That legislation then goes to the Oval Office for a signature. It only gets signed if the President is convinced all of it is the right thing. It’s an all or nothing deal barring a line item veto which last happened in Bill Clinton’s tenure. That’s a rarity.

So I leave you with this:
The people have spoken. 55+ million people voted in a way no one ever thought possible on June 16th, 2015 when Donald J. Trump descended his escalator in Trump Tower and announced his candidacy. However that’s when democracy took over, and the people were given another option. “Democracy” does not inherently mean nor does not intend to include “unity”. Democracy gives us the right to disagree, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion. We do not HAVE to always have agreement, but we need to be civil about the outcome and have productive talks about what we want. The candidates, Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton, along with some biased media, candidate “surrogates”, and general protagonists have said so many vicious things about each other that unity may be impossible for quite a while.
What is for sure is that the country must be engaged with their local representative in Republican/federal government policy development, and speak their opinion on all issues without fear of verbal reprisal or abuse from fellow citizens. Without that, governments will tend to listen to the most vocal “interests” or the highest dollar amount on such important issues as gun laws, women’s rights, race relations, health care and child protection laws.

In closing, it is very apparent unity and democracy do not coincide. But if we all behave in the civilized manner we’re expecting from others, it truly shouldn’t need to.

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I’m A Tad Angry

I’m A Tad Angry

Way to go North America…have yourself a helluva three weeks.
Fair warning, my “voluntary Tourette’s Syndrome” does come flying out during this, and the piece got extensive.

While I would never expect anyone of you to be awaiting some random crazy post from me every day, there may be some of you, for some ungodly reason, who have noticed that other than posting a Tim Duncan tribute, liking a picture or two of Annabelle, and whatever mindless drivel accidentally spilled over from my Twitter account, I have not been here. I have been temporarily boycotting Facebook.

That decision was made following the tragedies of the police killings in Baton Rouge and in Minneapolis, followed up by the horrible murders of the five members of the Dallas Police force. Please stay with me on this. I’m not throwing my opinion on that around here. No matter what I would say, someone would be really pissed off at me, and that’s not what this is about. I don’t promote any of the “lives matter” hashtags
in this, and can’t believe how controversial a goddamn tic-tac-toe gameboard has become.

I watched CNN in horror as I viewed, and promptly told Deantha to NEVER….EVER watch the Phillando Castile shooting video. I’d never get her “back” from that. That’s a not an insult, that’s a fact of how wonderfully emotional and caring my wife is. Ironically, as I type this Shinedown’s song “Diamond Eyes” is blasting thru my iPod. What Diamond Reynolds, Castile’s fiancée, did in that video, calmly narrating her boyfriends death with a gun in her face was incredible. Very few people would be able to do that. Once she was in the back of the police car she lost it, screaming at the police about what the officer had done. She was then comforted by her four-year old daughter with the words, “Don’t worry Mommy, I’m right here.” Read that again. Shake your head. HARD. Comforted….by her Four. Year. Old. Daughter. What the hell is wrong with us? Who’s playing the adult in the room?
The next day, discussions on race relations between the police and the black community heated up again, as all the past police shootings and wrongful deaths were brought back into the light, and hammered on by “experts”. I watched CNN anchor Don Lemon break down in tears on live TV as one of the panelists. He was describing how he’d have to call his Mom as he was leaving to drive home from work in Atlanta, and STAY on the phone with her until he got in the door safely. She wanted to make sure her son, a well-respected, well known CNN news anchor made it home safely, without any police trouble. This is while he was (in his words) a “44-year-old grown ass man.”
I chatted briefly with him afterwards on Twitter, just to say something comforting, appreciative, thanking him for sharing his story while showing true emotion on air, and that I couldn’t wait for his show at 11pm that evening. He thanked me as always and said he had to get back to work. Then all hell broke loose in Dallas during his show. It was like watching America set itself ablaze. I remember tweeting:
“In a cave, #ISIL is laughing their underwear bombs off, as the US implodes w/out them having to do a thing. @CNN #Dallas #PhilandoCastile.”
I chatted extensively through the the ordeal with a Twitter friend of mine who lives in Georgia. He was appalled at what happened to his country. As the situation got worse and worse, and as the body count grew one by one, I could sense the increasing disappointment and shame in his country, simply from his messages. He also pointed out Georgia wasn’t the best of places to be a black person.
Keep in mind, we still do not have ALL the facts from each side of this continental calamity, and I leave it at that. I got a message from Don after his show with two simple words: Tough night.” We know what has happened from there, and all the ‘talk’ of coming together as collective humans in a civilized world began anew. That was on Friday, July 8.
Then Sunday, July 10 came, and I was watching the Wimbledon final. I had posted some comments on Twitter cheering on Milos, and pretending that Canada’s most decorated tennis player EVER, Daniel Nestor, was drunk in a bar yelling at the “telly” because no one cares about doubles tennis. I wanted to see what was spilling from that over to my Facebook page. For some reason, some of my tweets go over, some do not. Can’t explain that one, can’t adjust the settings any more. However that’s when I saw something on Facebook I never thought I’d see, and it is what brought me to this petty boycott. You probably saw it as well, since it was shared over 30,000 times. It was the post about the black woman getting a morning coffee in Andover, Mass., and two white police officers came into the shop while she was there. According to the story, the cops went quiet. After she had sat down, one of the officers came over and asked how she “REALLY” was feeling. After agreeing they were both “very tired”, the officer said something to the effect of, “It’s not easy being either of us right now.” It continues:

“Then he hugged me and I cried. I had never seen that man before in my life. I have no idea why he was moved to talk to me. What I do know is that he and I shared a moment this morning, that was absolutely beautiful. No judgments, No justifications, just two people sharing a moment.”

That’s when I turned Facebook off. I realized the world was officially broken. Don’t get me wrong, it WAS a wonderful sentiment. But I was absolutely astounded I had seen this on Facebook. My brain froze (more than usual) and I was going to scream but stopped. (So you’re aware, my Deantha & Annabelle were out having a “girls morning” and prepping for an afternoon birthday party so nobody would have seen that behavior). It came down to remembering a trick I used when I was in the hospital for four consecutive months at age 16: I had to train my mind to withdraw from the outside world. Then I had to train it to withdraw from those sections of the brain that transmitted pain. To do this, I needed to conjure up a time and a place. I needed to make this place real….as real as anything you could experience with your five senses. I had to go there, and stay there for the duration of what I was about to go through, or even if I was having a “mental vacation day”. Otherwise, either my will would eventually be broken or I would go ape-poopy. So Sunday I basically shut myself down for a while and just stared straight ahead in silence, waiting for my incredibly loving family to get home.

My point is (I know, finally), I go on Facebook to post pictures of my daughter, congratulate Deantha on yet another successful performance, and make foolish statements about sports. That pretty much sums it up. Occasionally I post what I think is a hilarious meme, a note about a topic, or share one of my blogs. While I am there, I EXPECT to see what Facebook was originally designed for normal people to do: pictures of people’s family, funny photos from the Internet, unnecessarily graphic descriptions of their pet’s bowel disorder or severe injury, and how they can’t wait to try this new recipe, or pictures of what someone cooked for their supper. THAT’S Facebook. That’s what it should be. Mindless shit that entertains us and gives us a chance to be closer to those far away, and waste time. Never in my life did I ever expect anyone to feel so encumbered to post a story relaying how (stick with me here)….someone was NICE TO THEM. Wow. What the blue hell have we done? What kind of a world do we live in where someone “being nice or kind” to another person is now newsworthy? That’s not news or worthy of a Facebook post. It should be everyday common decency and respect. I’d truly rather going back to when I’d read about your damn bean salad and how your calico cat just pooped everywhere, “Oh, you never can tell what that dang Fluffy is going to do next!! LOL!!” Jesus H. Smith. Where are we now?
What are we going to do?

I don’t want ANY of my Canadian followers to fool themselves into a false sense that racism is not a problem in this country. It’s not just our heavily-armed, crack addicted neighbors to the south without health care that have the problem. IT EXISTS. And hell no, I’m not excluding myself. If you HONESTLY have gone through your life without any biased thoughts at all, you should be sainted, knighted, and assume the throne as King of the world. But I’ll admit I’ve told inappropriate jokes, and expressed opinions that were definitely based on the mere race, creed, color, or religion of someone. I apologize profusely, but that obviously doesn’t excuse it. It never will, no matter how many versions of “I’m sorry.” I can come up.

My generation has failed so unbelievably in continuing to help the cause, or bring about better ideas for a solution. Our grandparents got this country through two world wars, and a Korean conflict. They dug us out of the Great Depression, and the economy flourished. They did such a good job at setting things up for us. Unfortunately, the two following generations treated everything like some jeezly bowling alley and we’re now knocking down the pins one by one.
After having the economy basically ruined after the greedy 80’s boom, by the earlier generation to mine, we are now at the precipice of a racial divide almost as wide as it was before Rosa Parks sat down on a bus. I’m scared to look down, and I’m not going to even pretend I have all the answers. Everyone and their pet monkey knows I’m not that smart. But when I watch CNN and see a supposed “expert” panel including former NYPD officer Harry Houck who does nothing but spew incredible venom about blacks and other minorities causing the majority of crime as the anchors and other panelists are throwing actual facts proving him wrong, it makes me sick. He’s not offering solutions, he’s aiding and abetting the further very real mistrust and bias between some minorities, and some “rotten apples” in a police force. Houck actually used the term, “You People” when addressing the black panelists. Stunned, former Obama aide Van Jones calmly argued his point along with black defense lawyer Joe Johnston. However, they let him on-air all the damn time. I’m not sure if someone is high while booking guests, or if it’s a ratings gimmick, but there has to be a better representative for the police on these issues than some bald, racist, drunk former cop who used to beat the shit out of people all the time. What I just typed are the facts of his hair-less appearance, and according to his own permanent record. But Harry won’t listen to facts, for as a wise man once said, “Facts, scmacts! Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!” ->Homer Simpson

We have heard about this recurrent police behavior for many years, but only with the invention of the cellphone camera have we really had the “chance” to see the different areas of the country where these events occur, the brutality, and the startling frequency of this bullshit by what is hoped to be a few bad cops. it ain’t just the LAPD beating the living hell out of Rodney King. It can’t be ignored or pushed aside any longer. I know white cops. I know damn GOOD white cops. We rented out first “real” house from a white police officer and his wife. I have a white cop and his son who have been mowing my lawn every two weeks for five years. He tells me some stuff that’s going on around this area that would scare the shit out of normal person going off to their boring old desk job. I consider him one of the good guys, there to protect us, and a hero. But who’s to say there’s not a cop with a bias on this force that will someday come out and suddenly we have a horror story here too?
Then there was another “expert panel” appearance on CNN Newsroom on Wednesday. This time by Ebony Magazine’s Editor, Jamilah Lemieux. Guest Anchor Ana Cabrera told her in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, and in plain, simple English that the Dallas cop- killer had specifically stated in his “mediation with police” and forensic evidence found at his home afterwards that he absolutely targeted white. police. officers. (Got that?). She then asked Ms. Lemieux if she considered what the shooter had done to be a “hate crime”. Incredibly, stunningly, ridiculously….Lemieux began by criticizing the use of the phrase “hate crime” in association with the five white Dallas police officers who were killed, and disagreed with President Obama. She said that because they were white it’s “tricky territory” to call it a hate crime. WTF? To be clear: for the purposes of collecting statistics, US Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or organization.” Seems pretty straight forward to any rational thinking person. This was a perfect opportunity for a high-profile, well-educated, highly-respected black woman to make a gesture of “coming together”, as everyone seems to want. Show Harry Houck what you’re supposed to do! But nay nay….she pretty much shit on the keyboard of that laptop in front of her while on Skype. She basically said that the killing of white people cannot be considered a hate crime because that designation is reserved for minority groups only. That is such an inherently racist statement it scares me. It was so incredibly racist that through her lapel mic, you could hear Ana Cabrera inhale quickly through her teeth, then cut the interview off without even allowing the other guest so much as a follow up murmur. The look of shock on her face was enough to tell you she was scared of what other vitriol was going to spew forth while still live on-air. I’m pretty sure the control room was thinking the same thing and they cut short the segment and threw to commercial ASAP to somehow try to save a shred of Lemieux’s dignity. If a white person said that, would they still be employed even immediately post-interview? Her comments are still drawing fire from all sides. I guess she “brought people together”, just not the way I would have hoped.

After hearing that comment, I discovered I truly love three things in this house: Deantha & Annabelle, of course….and apparently my 56″ big screen because I had to physically restrain myself from throwing my remote through it. Again, the girls were out, at school, so they didn’t have to see that. I was so upset I made a coffee and actually went for a walk on a seriously bum left knee, sans crutches. As I did, I checked her Twitter feed and within minutes could see I wasn’t over-reacting, and that many, many, many other people were both disgusted and really disappointed in her behavior. How did this help? We need solutions, not industrial strength pry-bar comments that can help the divide become larger.

I don’t know what to do. How do I go about trying to raise Annabelle in this world? I’d go all Cobain here, but she needs a proper father in her life. I asked former Ravens WR Qadry Ismail how he was holding up during one of our weekly talks. I explained my feelings about everything, and asked what to do. He responded:
‘Thanks Darin for the note… And all you can do is pray and be a model for your family.. All the best to you!!’
Well, since I am quite far from being a religious person, prayer is probably out of the question. I try everyday to be a good role model for Annabelle. But I’m far from perfect, and I can’t be the parent to everyone. So I guess we just need a superhero; someone who can not just bridge the divide between races, creeds, colors, religions, and organizations, but also “rebuild” a paper-thin trust that truly never existed between the police and many minorities. Yeah, shouldn’t be any trouble finding that person with a quick Kijiji ad.
But until we do, it is incumbent on EVERY SINGLE PARENT they stress upon their children how to behave properly in society, and then around police officers. When you are pulled over, there’s a good chance it is actually for a good reason. Somehow you effed up. This is why you teach your kids to use the following three simple phrases, seven simple words later on in their lives: “Yes sir, No sir, Thank you Sir”. Use them separately, or as a group when required. Unless you are asked to expand upon a story, just sit there and shut the hell up. That is your duty as a civilian, as the officer performs his duty as a cop. So who’s going to be the hero? What’s so great about being a hero? Why would I want to be like that?
Everyone seems to admire—nay, revere—them. They’ve used terms like hero and courage and perseverance to describe me. People have actually used those words and the phrase, “I wish I could be more like him.” But why? What about the ME would anyone want to emulate? My ability to stumble through daily life whining about this headache? The unending House M. D. episode that is my life. The way I sometimes read a situation incorrectly and come across as sarcastic and emotionally stunted at exactly the wrong time? That makes no sense to me whatsoever.
Look at me. I’m a 44 year old loving husband, and father of one spectacular 5-yr old girl. I’m a stay at home Dad only because of my health conditions. I’d love to have the opportunity to help my family financially. But that isn’t an option. I have issues getting up 12 fucking stairs without collapsing at the top on some days. I spend a lot of time alone because the girls are working or at school. Or I’m not able to be out running and playing as I sit in bed with a blistering migraine, and shouting obscenities that may not even exist at the TV.
But they are out there….true heroes. THAT person with the right idea is out there, and we need to find them quickly. So, why are heroes important? Why do we feel the need to look up to people? Here’s why:
Because we’re less than perfect, ALL of us, and we’re always looking for perfection. Somebody who can do it better than we can, somebody who can be an example to us of what we could do, of what we could be. That’s why heroes are important: because they offer us the hope and the example of being something more that we alone think we might be.
Everybody wants the chance to do the right thing. It makes them feel good inside. Even if doing it doesn’t exactly fit inside the rules, sometimes you have to rely on the voice inside that tells you what you should do.
If at the end of your life, all that you thought of yourself, and more importantly OTHERS thought of you, is that you were a coward and a puppet…..I can think of nothing much harsher that a man could put on his own tombstone.  So try, just try to leave this world having at least one person believe you were always worth saving.
Our failure on this issue cannot be how our generation is defined. We MUST be determined to fix this. We cannot stop the discussion. It’s going to be a long, harsh, brutal process. To change a mind is tough at the best of times, but when an entire behavioral culture amongst millions of people needs to be torn down and rebuilt properly, without using shitty IKEA parts is at stake, it will be difficult, and it will take time, but we must persevere. The past is behind so we now have 20/20 hindsight to learn from it. The future is ahead, we must prepare our children for it. But for now, we need to try to live in the present and make it beautiful. It’s that easy: you just stop thinking about whats good for you and start thinking about what’s good for someone else…and you can change the whole game with one move. Now if you like this idea, you can make it true by doing good for EVERYONE. After all, we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.

So let’s all get out there. Let’s all try to BE that shining star. Pick a hero…I’m Batman so there! Go, teach, impart wisdom, and stop people from saying or doing hurtful things. We’re looking at an entire change in a cultural thinking. We’re not going to be able to prevent every bad guy from ending up on the news because of a cell phone video. We need to somehow change minds. President Obama was right. Yes, I just typed that. His speech from Poland after these tragedies was maybe the smartest I’ve heard from him. He said, “We CAN do better. We must do better”. It only took eight years. Remember when everyone celebrated the first black POTUS? As he also said eight years ago in his first election victory speech, “YES WE CAN.”
And I for one believe we will. I think we finally are crippling the “racism camel” from that huge load of straws. That way, someday I will go back to reading people’s inane posts and seeing the pictures about how someone’s kid broke their arm after slipping on a puddle of pee their new puppy left in the kitchen while everyone was cooking spaghetti. Oh that little dickens……

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Heaven’s Diary: April 21, 2016

April 21, 2016

Holy shit… Michael Jackson just challenged Prince to a walk off. This is the moment Jesus has been waiting over 2,000 years for.

ER MER GERD!!!! David Bowie just appeared to judge. This is it. This is the day Heaven peaks.

All of sudden, amid a puff of purple smoke & the sound of thunder, Elvis, Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, & Jimi Hendrix jump onto the runway.
MJ: What is this BS?
Prince: Oh them? I guess you could call them the…. REVOLUTION
*1,000 purple lightning bolts swirl around the stage*

Michael claps his hands & a giant castle pushes up from the clouds below, there are beautiful gigantic bursts of fireworks. And…
the Disney Theme song starts playing. Jesus gave MJ a “the fuck is this” sort of look & telepathically he responded back “Bro, I just LOVE Disney”
The gate of the Disney castle explodes open with a ball of fire, & out walks Tupac, Kurt Cobain, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Fucking Cash.
Prince: Let me guess, the Jackson 5?
MJ looks sharply at Kurt: Why didn’t we think of that?
Kurt: Dude, I’m just here for the whiskey.
Now Kurt, Frank, Pac, & Johnny are taking turns guzzling Jack. So far they’ve each downed a bottle. And yes, Angels can get drunk…
Prince: You ready?
MJ glances at his squad, who are so shit faced they can barely stand. He nods yes.
“They can’t be worse than Tito”, he muttered.

Prince steps onto the catwalk first: “Dearly, beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called afterlife.”
Hendrix pulls out his guitar & starts playing a funk rock version of ‘Cream.’ John Lennon, to everyone’s surprise, jumps on the drum kit.
Jesus: Drums?
Lennon: I’m the best fucking drummer in the Beatles man.
Me: A-fucking-men

Elvis: This is it 🎤
Freddie: it’s time for you to go to the wire 🎤
Elvis: You will hit 🎤
Freddie: Cause you got the burnin desire 🎤

Prince hits the runway like a bedazzled hurricane. Every step a revelation, every hip thrust a miracle. Angels are fainting left & right.
As a grand finale Prince drops into the splits then springs back to standing, and repeats while spinning. Champagne begins to rain.
At last report 300 angels have gotten pregnant merely witnessing Prince walking.

As Michael steps up to the walk Johnny Cash begins strumming out an acoustic smooth criminal. Sinatra & Kobain have long since passed out..
TuPac: This shit needs bass.

Then, out of nowhere, Lemmy appears from the shadows, winks at Bowie and says, “I believe I might be of service.”

Pac: As he came into the window
It was the sound of a crescendo 🎤
He came into her apartment
He left the bloodstains on the carpet 🎤

As Michael begins floating in what can only be described as a moon walk dipped in stardust, Frank awakens.
Sinatra: You still got it kid!
Sinatra takes another swig of Jack & begins violently vomiting chalupas & cinnamon twists, because shit in Heaven is seriously kray-kray.
MJ starts to spin as he reaches the end of the stage, while he rotates the ground begins to shake and what is that? What is that bright light?
The stage splits in 2, an inter-dimensional doorway opens up, & HOLY SHIT, out walks Jonathan Brandis, River Phoenix, & Corey Haim.
Michael Jackson is so fucking magical he literally released the lost boys from purgatory. Even Bowie seems impressed.
It is too close to tell who has won, but before Bowie can offer up a verdict, MJ offers his hand to Prince.

MJ: Truce?
Prince: You’re still dangerous
Prince & MJ simultaneously: You can be my wingman anytime.
MJ: Did we just become best friends?
Prince: YUP!
Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, Jim Morrison & the 1927 Yankees join everyone on stage as Freddie picks up a solid gold mic.

Freddie: I’ve paid my dues
Time after time 🎤
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime 🎤

Jimi: And bad mistakes 🎤
Frank: I’ve made a few 🎤
Johnny: I’ve had my share of sand
Kicked in my face 🎤
Elvis: But I’ve come through 🎤

The Lost Boys: & we mean to go on and on & on & on 🎤

EVERYONE: We are the champions – my friends
& we’ll keep on fighting
Till the end 🎤

Kurt: We… are… the… champions…
Lemmy: We are the champions
EVERYONE: No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the World

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I’m not stumping, pumping, or Trumping

Well…it appears to be “all over but the deportin’.”

I’ve said in the past I wouldn’t do this; “this” being an essay on politics. It is “the ides of March”, and we’ve been warned for centuries to beware today. Well, beware pissing me off by assuming my mindset. This is being written to stop people from getting the wrong idea about my political thoughts, based on some random tweets about events I found intriguing, disturbing, bizarre, or hilarious during this calamity called the election of the President of the United States of America. I will say it again. I do NOT have a horse in this race. I am not cheering for anyone. I am not doing fist-pumps after the results of every poll have come in. Because I post something about Donald Trump does not mean I support him. Please re-read that last sentence. Again. Thank you. I hope you got it. Re-read it one more time for good measure. Good.
I am, like most everyone else, just astounded, amazed, horrified, and amused at what has become of this election cycle. It is being posted now because “Super Tuesday” Part 3…just happened.

First things first, anyone who truly knows me, and has known me for a very long time understands that President Ronald Reagan is #5 on my “all-time heroes” list. He is surpassed by my parents, Deantha, and Wayne Gretzky. At the age of 13 it was my turn to choose the family summer vacation and I picked driving to Washington, D. C. because Reagan was in power, and I was always more interested in U.S. history as opposed to our own. The attempted assassination by that asshat John Hinckley in 1981 is forever etched in my mind like the split rocket boosters of the Space Shuttle exploding. As is his famous line to Mrs. Reagan when he got to the hospital: “Well Nancy, I forgot to duck.” He had such respect for the office, he refused to get out of the limo at George Washington University Hospital until his suit was properly re-buttoned. He walked himself inside while in front of the cameras, and once inside, out of sight from everyone, finally collapsed. March 30th of this year will mark the 35th anniversary of that shooting. Anyone else feeling old?
And now, since Mrs. Reagan sadly passed away last Saturday morning thereby ending a great political era in American history, I thought it was time to get some thoughts down, and try to enlighten everyone as to what I’m thinking.

This is mostly going to be about what has happened to President Reagan’s Republican Party during this campaign. But, I do want to clear up that I am ALL a for a woman President someday. However…it cannot be Secretary Clinton. There are just too many shifty questions about her…too many unknowns, too many refusals to turn over emails, the sheer stupidity to install a personal server for possible classified government documents in the first place, the refusal to turn over financial documents regarding her speaking fees being paid by the “Big Banks”, her questionable handling of the Benghazi raid that ended in dead US soldiers, and more hypocrisy when it comes to being a hero for women’s rights, then being the biggest supporter of her cheating, lying husband. Is THAT what people want for President…a human question mark? A person where the possibility of a scoop of vanilla ice cream occasionally ends up with a rogue almond in it thereby raising unending questions about how much more is actually under there? I am not a Democratic Party supporter, but I would vote for Bernie Sanders over Secretary Clinton any day, even with a gun to my head.
There are really only two “non-detrimental” things I can say about Trump: the first is he has managed increase awareness in politics and raised the number of people actually exercising their constitutional right to vote. In my mind, that’s huge. It won’t be a 30% turnout during this cycle. We’ve seen polling stations running out of ballots early and often because everyone assumes that nobody votes anymore. We tend to take democracy for granted, but men have fought and died for that sacred right. He has finally made people aware of just how precious the right to vote is.  Secondly, he really has put it all on the table. He has said everything he could possibly say. What you see may be what you don’t want, but it’s also what you get. It’s all on the surface, and I honestly don’t think we can find anything worse than that.
Any moron can criticize, condemn & complain and lets not fool ourselves, most morons do. But this? This? This is like the book “Animal Farm“. Everyone is equal, except some are more equal than others. It’s not quite Communism but it is a hypocrisy in which he states all Americans are great, except “these people”. They just rape, pillage, burn, & kill. So he wants a wall built across the US and Mexico border, and recently has called for one to be built at the New Brunswick/US border. Hey, maybe he’ll help pay to fix some of the roads and bridges here too. He claims he has a great plan for the Mexico wall to be funded, in that the incurred costs will come out of the massive trade deficit Mexico has with America. I haven’t heard how the NB wall is being paid for yet. While I agree that our borders need to be protected and guarded from illegal activity, etc., it’s also a very lonely person that resorts to building walls, instead of building bridges.

It all started out so seemingly innocuous with this loud rich guy from the late 1980’s who decided to run for President one day in June. He was still loud, abrasive, brash, and was the lead story on almost every US news broadcast. Saturday Night Live was having a field day, as were all the late night talk shows. Then the ball really started rolling during the summer. It has been said “The greatest liar has his believers. If a lie is believed for only an hour it has done its work. Falsehood flies & truth comes limping after; so that when men come to be undeceived it is too late; the false tale has had its effect.” For Republicans, it now appears too late. They “misunderestimated” Trump, the genuine anger of the American people towards their current elected officials, and his ability to sell himself as the savior and only person able to defeat Sec. Clinton.

18th century Irish statesman, Edmund Burke once said, “It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.” Trump claims his “voice” is that of the silent majority. Sadly, he’s right. Much of his divisive rhetoric is stuff people have been dying to express, but they actually have a “foot in mouth filter”. There are reasons it’s silent: They are called decorum, dignity, and respect. Now, that “silent voice” has hit a new volume where it APPEARS his is the “true voice” of the party. He has managed to rile everyone in the Republican Party establishment into mass confusion and panic. Nobody saw this little snowball from hell making it thru summer. He was supposed to fade away after eventually saying something so offensive that no one would support him. Didn’t happen. Then it was supposed to be stopped by poor showing in debates because nobody thought he’d be able to express himself clearly and he can’t stand someone talking while he’s interrupting. I say, “nay nay.” The audience merely lapped it up and shouted for more. Then finally he was to be quashed by early Primary season where the Southern “Evangelical” vote would support the other established, Bible-thumping, political right-wing nut bars. Nope. Still going, and just as strong as ever. Honestly, that kind of makes his team of advisors absolute rocket surgeons. I don’t like watching CNN and seeing former top Reagan aide Jeffery Lord on as one if Mr. Trump’s top supporters.

Part of the problem is that people are fed up with politicians in general. I mean, a frigging neurosurgeon was in second place during the summer. Never in history has a politician’s CV included “separation of conjoined twins at the brain.”  Most politicians are lucky to have half a brain to begin with.  I never understood his motivation in running.  Then, the former CEO of HP was in second before she pretty much fell off a cliff, then recently re-appeared to throw her support behind Ted Cruz. That’s just another prime example of why people are so pissed off. She was this “ultimate outsider” candidate: A woman who had broken the shackles of the business sector, and had smashed through its glass ceiling. She was doing so well, but then just vanished after the 2nd or 3rd debate. Now she comes back into the news-cycle to back the only real hope for the GOP establishment in Cruz. That kind of a flip-flop can only successfully be pulled off by a dying fish out of water, and it still dies. There’s no way the average Joe is going to be moved by this complete 180 degree turn in her support. It’s so transparent this is her play to be on the Cruz Presidential ticket as VP, or she has been promised a prominent, high level cabinet position like Sec. of the Treasury.
This has not been a normal election year. The Republicans expected establishment golden boy Jeb Bush to pretty much dominate, but he was shot down early and often by a barrage of comments questioning his energy level of all things. He dropped like a rock. Eventually, several other “establishment politicians” were forced out because of a total lack of support, with Trump consistently gaining momentum. As it’s been said, “There’s no ‘mentum’ like ‘momentum'”. Finally Jeb and Chris Christie dropped out. Christie and Dr. Ben Carson have since been the only former candidates to endorse Trump. Yet, if I’m “The Donald” I’m very leery of those who come falling at my feet. One never know what’s going on in the back rooms of Washington. Someone may be reaching for the corner of the rug you’re standing on.
The two other remaining options are pretty much non-viable contenders for the upcoming general election in November. Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks with all the authority of an empty podium, but he’s still going. There something very fishy about that. He won Ohio and that’s it and according to GOP Convention rules, you have to have won at least 9 states or electoral districts in order to be eligible for consideration. If this thing actually makes it to the convention, it is already mathematically impossible for him to have 9 wins. So what’s he still doing there? I get the feeling there’s something seriously underhanded going on at GOP headquarters.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio reminded me of a 15-yr old boy who was trying to sit at the adult table. I cannot take him seriously. Yet. His time may come, but as of tonight he’s out after losing BIG in his home state. Best line of the night goes to former Obama advisor Van Jones on CNN when he said, “It’s ‘Good bye Rubio Tuesday'”. That’s still funny, and I don’t like Mr. Jones.   Finally we are left with second place Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Every time I see Cruz speak he reminds me of a televangelist from the late 1980’s. He’s like Jim & Tammy Faye Baker holding up the Bible, praising God, asking for donations, and telling people not to touch the back of the TV set. You do realize the first three of those are what he actually does, right? He creeps me out like some wacko cult leader who’d have 26 wives and 134 kids. While he seemed to be on a bit of a roll himself, his wins all occurred in states with caucuses, not free elections where everyone can vote. Plain and simple, he’s not going to get the required delegates to defeat Trump because the other candidate will take them from him by staying in the race. But hey, that’s fair game in politics, even if it destroys the core of the party President Reagan worked so hard to re-build after Nixon ruined the trust of the people.  I haven’t even brought up the violence at the rallies. In short, it’s sheer chaos.

There’s a Chinese Proverb stating “When the music of a nation becomes fast, wild & discordant it shows the nation is in confusion.” I quickly listened to the Top 40 songs in the US for the first week of March on a YouTube mix. Let’s just say somewhere Ryan Seacrest is rolling in his grave (😜) and Casey Kasem is very happy he’s dead. Most of the songs were totally unlistenable to, performed by non-Americans, and around 15% were by this poorly raised, heavily gelled, fake bed-headed blond kid from Canada. We get it. YOU’RE SORRY. Apology not accepted. Shut up. Go away Beibs.

As much as it pains me to consider, right now it is the duty, nay obligation of the ridiculously left-wing biased media to do their due diligence and provide the people with every iota of pertinent information about EVERYONE. This includes their female superhero Sec. Clinton. She needs to be held completely accountable for what she’s done in the past, and cannot be given a free ride by a bunch of networks that are so blatantly left-wing they just fly in circles. People who live in glass houses might as well answer the doorbell, so it’s time Madam Secretary, to turn over all your documents and emails and give full disclosure. If you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when it is free to be expressed. Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government.

They live in a republic where every person’s vote matters. For reasons no one can explain, one party has all their votes going to a guy spewing racist, homophobic, misogynist rhetoric. He’s been racking up Republican votes like they’re not making them anymore. If, like I said earlier, the GOP Leaders decide to change the rules come convention time, I pity the poor citizens of Cleveland. (By, that I mean more than I already do.) If the rules get switched and suddenly millions of people lose their vote, that city will figuratively and literally burn. So because of this…there may not BE a Republican Party to vote for anymore. The party I grew up watching President Reagan lead wasn’t like this, and to watch it die like this saddens me.

Because this megalomaniac will most likely win the Republican ticket, does that mean democracy is wrong? Does that mean from now on we are to be told who we must vote for and like it? And what of these millions and millions of Americans who voted for Trump…is their vote not valid, or worth as much because YOU or I don’t agree with them? I’d throw in a token communism remark here but I used that up with my Animal Farm reference.

Instead, I’ll go this way: it was President John F. Kennedy who once said, “We are in danger of losing something solid at the core. We are losing that pilgrim & pioneer spirit of initiative and independence—that old-fashioned Spartan devotion to duty, honor & country.” These millions upon millions of people voting for Mr. Trump are obviously fed up with the way their government is being run, and the only way to alter that is to vote someone else in. They see this as their message. Democracy is a system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives. Well, that’s what Google wants you to believe anyways. One way to settle a disagreement is on the basis of what is right, not who is right. In my opinion, democracy is right, and it is still the best option we have for electing a government, even if you or I don’t like the dumbass the people vote in.

Times and issues have changed but politics are still all about ego, popularity, and parlor tricks. Sometimes if all you have are “old words”, all you can do is put them together and hope they say something new. In closing I believe the beer should be cold, and boots should be dusty. I believe 911 was bad, and freedom, well I think that’s just a little bit better. I hope I can count on your endorsement.

Vote Ramsay.


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My 2016 New Year’s Message

There’s nothing like flying across a time zone on New Year’s Eve. We got 2 countdowns in the air. I was floored that Anderson Cooper replied to me on Twitter! That poor guy goes through more stuff with Kathy Griffin on New Years Eve, than with most of the news stories he covers for the rest of the year. That chick be kray-kray.

The last year was a good one for us, Miss Deantha in particular. Her new CD was released and has received major positive reviews, and stirred up some waves, hopefully leading to even bigger and better in the near future. We wait to hear news on a huge possible performing gig. Here’s hoping.

Annabelle is growing into an extremely talented little girl. Laurel Atherton once said, “A daughter is one of the most beautiful gifts this world has to give.” We are fortunate enough to have a daughter who is going to give this world the gift of her voice, acting, and dancing. She IS the arts, folks. Her first TV performance was incredible at the Empty Stocking Fund Telethon. It is far from her last. Be ready.

My health has been stable for a while now. Still doing the treatments every three weeks, but I’m not going to get away from that. As long as the treatment interval isn’t shortened I’ll be fine.

Now 2015 is gone and we all need to take a breath and get our strength back.
2016 is under way. Look around you. Appreciate what you have. Nothing will be the same in a year. It never is. Maybe 2015 was a really shitty year for you. I’m sorry for that, and I know you tried all you could to make it better, but some things are out of our hands and that bites. Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us. No regrets. Just lessons learned.

Your mistakes should be your motivation; not your excuses. On the heels of these defeats or failures, start all over again. Failure is a large part of the growing and learning process. You don’t know where you’re vulnerable until you fail. Once you’ve found that hole in the dam, you can’t be like that “little Dutch boy” and his thumb. You need to put your entire body and mind into plugging it, making damn sure the dam doesn’t burst again in that spot. You’re not saving a village. You’re saving YOU.

2016 will be challenging for some of you. Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows. Live in the moment. Forget the past and don’t concern yourself with the future. Ask yourself what is really important and then have the courage and be committed to building your life around that answer.
Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in has left you. Then it’s totally up to you to MAKE it a success.

Former Detroit Tigers Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson said, “Success isn’t something that just happens – success is learned, success is practiced and then it is shared.” Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving forward. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit. Successful people know the difference between patience & procrastination. There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs. And those stairs are freshly waxed, and lack handrails.

Don’t compare your progress with that of others though. We all need our own time to travel our own distance. You can never be another person, you can only be a better version of yourself. You can have RESULTS or excuses. You cannot have BOTH.
The difference between who you ARE and who you WANT TO BE is the work you put in. Great things never came from comfort zones. Don’t think outside the box. Pretend it’s The Matrix: “There is no box.” 🙂 But be wary never to be played for a fool…never to be left without a seat when the music stops. Don’t be deceived. It will be a humbling experience that you will not care to repeat.

Most importantly, be happy. Be who you want to be. If others don’t like it, then let them be. Happiness is a choice. Life isn’t about pleasing everybody. Never apologize for what you feel. It’s like saying sorry for being real.
This year, do something that will make the person you’ll be next January 1, proud to have been the person you are today. You are made to make a difference, so embrace every opportunity to do so.

My best to you all in 2016. HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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