The Holidays are a special time full of yuletide joy, ugly sweater Christmas parties and goodwill. This is a guide describing the 10 people you’ll inevitably encounter during the Holidays. Enjoy.
The Best Gift Giver.
Straight up, this person has their shit together. They crept on your instagram, spent thankless nights reading your tweets and even have a bubble gum statue of you. I’m sorry, I think I’m talking about future serial killer, Helga G Pataki. In all seriousness, these people are awesome. They take the time to give you a gift of value and really go the extra mile to make it as special as each individual snowflake. It warms my heart simply thinking of these people.
The International Bad Gift Giver.
This person is a bastard but gosh darn’ it, they’re the best damn cop on the force! Sometimes their gifts are even funny. This person…
My sister found this on Facebook, posted by an Immigration Lawyer named Scott Hicks. It does a wonderful job of explaining why pretending to be a refugee is the LEAST attractive, MOST difficult method for terrorists to get into any particular country, and into the United States in particular.
Please read this and tell me how denying entry to those fleeing for their lives makes us safer? Tell me how it makes us anything more than fearful bigots? Tell me how it makes ISIL weaker, when their ultimate goal is turn the world against all Muslims, so Muslims have nowhere to go but to ISIL?
November 19, 2015 Edited ·
Most of my friends know I practice Immigration law. As such, I have worked with the refugee community for over two decades. This post is long, but if you want actual information about the process, keep reading.
The world was shocked when Paris was attacked by extremist on the evening of November 13 and the attacks in Beirut the day before. Humanity weeps for those we have lost in these tragic events, but it we need to look at why this keeps happening.
Russell Brand has published a video of what he thinks we need to do to end terrorism.
His ideas are great.
We must come to the understanding that we are all connected and that we share this planet with each other.
Violence is never the solution to violence, that will only fuel the flames.
If we show nothing but love to each other that will take the power away from the brutality that humans are capable of.
It is time for us to rid ourselves of these wars and…
Why is today, Saturday November 14th Worldwide Selfie Day? Because we need it. The whole world needs it. We need to show the terrorists that they can’t take away our smiles. We need to show them that we will not hide. We need to show the Parisians that the rest of the world is there for them the way they were for us after 9/11. This week we will mourn those that died and mourn the sense of safety and security that we had when we woke up yesterday, but we will not fear.
Yesterday I saw someone on Twitter blame “social media” for the Paris attacks because terrorists have used social media to recruit members. Social media is a tool, like a hammer. With a hammer you can pound enough nails in enough boards to build a church or a school, or you can use…
When I left Somalia in April of 1993, I didn’t realize I was deploying to America. That’s right, I deployed to America, to fight a war.
It was a war that has raged on every day for the past 22 plus years. A war I didn’t know how to fight. A war that I didn’t know would last the rest of my life.
I engaged in multiple fire fights daily.
The battlefield was the rough terrain of my shredded mind.
The enemy was my own thoughts that assaulted me relentlessly. Each day I became a casualty.
The Motrin and water, became pills and whiskey.
The uniform, cargo shorts and t-shirts.
The combat boots, flip-flops.
The night vision goggles became beer goggles.
The noisy barracks, a lonely apartment.
The Humvee became a pick-up truck.
My weapon became a pen.
My ammo, ink.
Misunderstood and feared by civilians, I isolated in the darkness.
Locked away in the vault of my mind, I kept the memories, nightmares, violence and thoughts to myself.
I was the only one who could hear the screams of Hell.
I was scared to remember, and scared to forget.
The scars were only visible to me…everyone else only saw my smile.
I continued putting my left in front of my right, marching to the cadence of life. But I fell back on that road march. The weight of what I carried was too heavy to move forward. I had no battle buddy to help me up from my knees and encourage me to press on. I was no longer able to function.
So there I lay…in my own blood that poured from my wounds sustained on this battlefield that had become my life.
I had fallen into the hands of the enemy. Now a prisoner of my own mind, I disintegrated slowly, subtly.
I longed to return to a place where I could see the enemy. I didn’t know that I saw that enemy every time I looked upon my reflection in the mirror.
On 24, June, 2002, while in the midst of intense emotional distress, I attempted to defeat that unknown enemy. I assaulted myself by firing a bullet into my face.
The enemy that was me, survived.
Fueled now by rage and self hatred after this brutal confession, I entered the dark world of the VA.
With bottle after bottle of pills I was slowly being controlled.
My weapon became more effective. I took the memories, nightmares, thoughts and violence and gave them life. I gave them breath. The words came easy as I scribbled on the pages of numerous notebooks.
As they danced upon the paper, I could finally see the enemy clearly. I had found the perfect weapon to defeat this enemy.
The enemy no longer lurked in the dark shadows of my mind. I had successfully illuminated that beast for everyone to see.
I slowly crossed that threshold into healing.
I am no longer my own worst enemy.
The enemy that lived in my shredded mind has a name.
PTSD…a worthy opponent that creates havoc on so many.
The voice of PTSD is incredibly loud and sneaks up on you like the enemy that it is. The number of lives it has claimed is numerous.
There is in fact a war raging on America’s soil.
It rages in the hearts, minds, and souls of America’s fighting men and women when they deploy to the Unites States.
It wears no identifiable uniform.
It has a never ending arsenal of weapons used to assault us.
It fires bullets of pain, launches rockets of rage, plants IED’s of worthlessness. It’s like a sniper with a well placed round when we are most vulnerable.
I am still on deployment here in the US. I battle every day.
An enemy that I am now familiar with. An enemy that can be defeated.
I continue to fight the war on PTSD with my best weapon…
The written word.