“I Apologize To You For The Mess”: Leading Gay Rights Lawyers Burns Himself To Death In New York Park Protest

Statue_at_Metairie_CemeteryThis weekend, the New York bar lost one of its most accomplished lawyers, David Buckel, 60.  Buckel reportedly burned himself to death in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on Saturday morning. Buckel was the lead attorney in the lawsuit brought by Teena Brandon, a transgender man who was raped and slain in 1993 in Nebraska. The case inspired the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.”  He left a suicide note reading “I am David Buckel and I just killed myself by fire as a protest suicide. I apologize to you for the mess.”

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Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Now The Size of Texas

microplastics-in-sand_noaa-mdp_472One of the least reported stories this year has been the building catastrophe unfolding in our oceans due to pollution and climate change.  There is no better example of our failure to protect our environment than the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) now stretching 600,000 square miles, according to a study published last week in Scientific Reports.  This disgusted mass of garbage is now the size of Texas — or for our foreign readers, three times the size of France.

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Near Miss: Virginia House Escapes By Inches Destruction From Falling Tree


There are times when even bad luck events can be the luckiest moment of your life.  On Friday, my family, like hundreds of thousands of people in Northern Virginia, was without power after high winds knocked out power lines and blew transformers.  I went outside with my son Jack and we came upon a house in McLean that had a massive tree fall inches from the house. The tree literally ran the length of the house right along its exterior wall with only inches to spare. Given the five dead from the “Bomb Cyclone” on the East Coast, this type of near miss borders on the miraculous.

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Australian Hunter Under Fire For Photos With Dead Animals


I have previously expressed my surprise that people enjoy shooting animals in the wild.  As an avid hiker and animal lover, I go to great lengths to see animals in nature but I fail to see why it is exciting or fulfilling to shoot some animal with high-powered rifle.  These trophy hunters seem to want to collect these animals.  Australian businessman, Nick Haridemos, appears to go further and pose with dead animals.  A series of photos like this Twitter image were posted on social media and led to Haridemos being hounded out of Hellenic Club.


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“De Nile Is Not Just A River In Egypt” . . . But It Is The Cleanest

Nile_River_and_delta_from_orbitNow this is a case only Stuart Smiley can truly understand. An Egyptian “court” has sentenced well-known singer Sherine Abdel-Wahab to six months in prison and a fine for telling a joke. Sherine, as she is known, simply made an oft-hand remark that people should not drink out of the Nile.  For that, she was sentenced for “insulting the state” by suggesting that the Nile is polluted.  As Stuart Smiley said on SNL’s Daily Affirmation, “De Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

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Behold! A National Park Is Born

1600px-Cuernos_del_Paine_from_Lake_PehoéDouglas Tompkins, who founded The North Face and Esprit clothing companies has left a truly inspiring legacy with his wife Kristine McDivitt Tompkins in the creation of one of the world’s greatest national parks.  Chile has agreed to the establishment of a park in Patagonia stretching 10 million acres.  The park was based on land purchases for $345 million by the couple to protect this gorgeous and unique place. I cannot imagine a greater gift to humanity.

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