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Very good read. Worth your time.

By John Buccigross
ESPN.com

“I hope the day comes, and soon, when this is not a story.” — Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke


Imagine this.

Well before you are born, your dad plays college hockey at Providence College and wears the “C” for Friars coach and Hockey Hall of Famer Lou Lamoriello. Your dad is then a member of the Calder Cup-winning Maine Mariners AHL team. He admits to having little skill, but contributes rough and tough qualities. You know, like pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence. He’s a man, baby.

Dad is also driven. And smart. He quickly retires from pro hockey. He knows he will make the NHL only with his brain and mental brawn. He earns a law degree from Harvard in 1981, then practices law in Boston for the next six years, representing professional hockey players before joining the Vancouver Canucks in 1987 as vice president and director of hockey operations. He has made the NHL. You are born a year later in Vancouver, British Columbia, in December 1988.

Dad is GM of the Hartford Whalers for a season as a 37-year-old before joining the NHL front office as senior vice president and director of hockey operations under commissioner Gary Bettman in September 1993, staying until 1998. Dad and Mom divorce in 1995, and, as a 9-year old, you move to Boston with Mom in 1997.

Dad then begins a six-year stint on the other side of the continent as president and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks. Meanwhile, you play hockey while growing up in the Boston area, and you are a goalie. You love Dominik Hasek and still believe he is the best of all time. Dad tries to see you play whenever he can. Goalie is a comfortable position for you on the ice, looking out and hiding behind a mask.

You eventually attend Xaverian Brothers High School, a prep school in Westwood, Mass., and make the competitive varsity hockey team as a senior, but choose not to play. You say it is because you don’t think you would get enough playing time and you are upset at the coach. But you actually don’t play because you don’t think you can go another season without someone finding out your secret.

Your hockey career is over.


“Middle school and early high school is the first time I remember thinking that I could be gay, but I definitely tried to ignore it and didn’t want to seriously consider it. It’s pretty easy to try and convince yourself that it’s not true, but it won’t work, ever.” — Brendan Burke

Brendan Burke
Brendan Burke, standing by the Stanley Cup, after his father won it all with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007.

You go on to attend Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, after your guidance counselor recommends the school. Miami is well known for being academically challenging and having one of the more visually idyllic campuses in the country. It doesn’t disappoint. The brick buildings and brand-new hockey rink make the small town feel like what college should feel like. Like an old Hollywood movie set. Ohio is a friendly place with warm people who smile a lot and like to get together in groups and laugh. You fit right in. You’ve made a great decision.

You especially enjoy the Miami hockey program constructed by coach Enrico Blasi. You are involved as a student manager. Blasi demands his program and its culture be grounded in family. He calls it the Miami hockey brotherhood. The mission is to be the best one can be every day with a vision to become a champion in everything one does, on and off the ice. Miami’s focus is on three things: relationships, daily behaviors and accountability. You watch and break down the pre-scout videos. You also keep most of the goalie statistics and prepare all the best clips for highlight videos.

While you’re at Miami, Dad is now in Southern California as executive vice president and general manager for Anaheim and the Ducks win it all in 2007. You drink out of the Stanley Cup with Pops in the Anaheim dressing room. You love your father, you’re proud of him, but you are hiding something from him that you will soon hide no more.

In 2008, Dad is chosen as general manager of the 2010 U.S. Olympic hockey team and named a recipient of the 2008 Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. His résumé is relentless. Today, Dad runs the most profitable NHL team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and is, without question, one of hockey’s more magnetic and interesting characters along with Don Cherry and Alex Ovechkin. Dad televises well.

So, imagine, this is your father. You? Probably destined to be “Burkie’s boy” in Canada even if you resurrected George Harrison and John Lennon and reunited The Beatles. Imagine.


“Brendan is an incredible kid. He and I are incredibly close, even for brothers. In most families, the older brother overshadows the younger brother, but not ours. We went to the same high school and people there still refer to me as “Brendan’s brother.”

He’s exceptionally smart, funny, motivated, successful and happy. He has an incredible way with people.

There’s a genuine kindness about him that really resonates with people. It’s a gift I’m very jealous of.” — Patrick Burke, Brendan’s brother, now a scout with the Philadelphia Flyers

Your dad thinks through everything. Dad is big, confident and continuously radiates a persona that is rough, gruff, unrelenting and unapologetic. He has a cold, expressionless poker face straight out of a Clint Eastwood movie. Yet, he does this all with the most subtle of Irish smirks that says there is more behind this thick skin. And there is. He calls you “Moose” because you have always been a big kid. He cares very deeply about you and your happiness. You say he has always been there when you needed him. And he has a great sense of humor. Imagine that.

But on this night in 2007, you are petrified of your dad. Because you, Brendan Burke, at 19 years old, are about to tell your dad, Mr. Testosterone, that you are gay.

Brian Burke
Said Maple Leafs and U.S. Olympic team GM Brian Burke: ‘I wish this burden would fall on someone else’s shoulders, not Brendan’s.’

It is Dec. 30, 2007, and you are in Vancouver with Dad for the holidays to break the news. His new family lives in Vancouver, and his Ducks are in town. You go to the Canucks-Ducks game, and, obviously, Dad is pretty emphatic about wanting to beat Vancouver, his former employer. You root like hell for the Ducks to win so he is in a good mood. But the Ducks lose 2-1. Of course, Daniel Sedin scores a goal against Anaheim, and his brother Henrik adds two assists to help beat Dad, the man who traded for the twins’ draft rights in 1999 while he was running the Canucks.

You almost don’t tell your dad and stepmom as a result of the loss. But you are flying back to Boston the next morning and you want to tell them in person. You feel as if you are going to throw up as you pace the hallways of their condominium. Just as your stepmom is about to go to bed, your younger sister, Molly, grabs you by the wrist and directs you where to go and gives you a look that says, “You can do it. Get it done now. I’m here for you.”

Just a week before, your older sister, Katie, is the first family member you tell. You had targeted telling your family at Thanksgiving but got salmonella and spent the entire week in the hospital. So you push back your announcement to Christmas.

You are driving home from a family event in Marlboro, Mass., when you decide you want to say it during the car ride. Finally, after a 45-minute ride, you pass the city limits sign of Boston and you know you have to tell Katie. It is incredibly difficult, but your sister is very supportive. Of course she is, you tell yourself, she’s Katie. That same night, you tell Molly and your mom. Everyone is great. Mom tells you she isn’t surprised and had expected it from the time you were a little kid. Moms.

You tell your brother, Patrick, a day or two later. Patrick turns off the car blaring “The Hold Steady” CD, and you tell him as you are walking out to the car to bring in bags. Patrick, like Dad, never one to be fazed, says something along the lines of, “I love you. This doesn’t change anything. Now pick up that suitcase and bring it inside.”

But, now, telling your secret to Dad is another story. Molly’s reassuring hand guides you to the couch for the moment of truth. It’s time to tell Dad, a most public example of hockey machismo, that you are gay.

Finally, you say it. Awkwardly. You basically stumble along trying not to make it a big deal before just blurting out, “And I love you guys and wanted to tell you that I’m gay.”

There is a brief silence.

Dad is surprised when you tell him that you are gay. He never suspected at all.

Your stepmom speaks first: “OK, Brendan, that’s OK.” And gives you a reassuring smile. Then your dad says, “Of course, we still love you. This won’t change a thing.”

Your dad and stepmom both get up and hug you and say they love you. You and your dad then sit there alone for about 15 more minutes watching hockey. Your heart rate is still at a snow-shoveling level. You then hug Dad again, and you go to bed.

But now, questions arise:

1. What about Dad’s reaction the next day and beyond?

2. How will Miami react to a young, gay man working on the hockey team?

3. Can an openly gay man play or work for a hockey team?


“I had a million good reasons to love and admire Brendan. This news didn’t alter any of them.

I would prefer Brendan hadn’t decided to discuss this issue in this very public manner. There will be a great deal of reaction, and I fear a large portion will be negative. But this takes guts, and I admire Brendan greatly, and happily march arm in arm with him on this.

There are gay men in professional hockey. We would be fools to think otherwise. And it’s sad that they feel the need to conceal this. I understand why they do so, however.

Can a gay man advance in professional hockey? He can if he works for the Toronto Maple Leafs! Or for Miami University Hockey. God bless Rico Blasi! And I am certain these two organizations are not alone here.

I wish this burden would fall on someone else’s shoulders, not Brendan’s. Pioneers are often misunderstood and mistrusted. But since he wishes to blaze this trail, I stand beside him with an axe! I simply could not be more proud of Brendan than I am, and I love him as much as I admire him.” — Brian Burke

Reverse skate.

The real reason you choose not to play your senior year is because the atmosphere in the locker room gets progressively harder to deal with as you get older. Homophobic slurs become as commonplace as rolls of hockey tape. Pressure to hook up with girls gets more intense. You are really upset for a couple of months. Your mom later tells you she thought you were depressed. Back then, she keeps asking you if something is wrong, but you don’t want to talk about it with anyone.

You say gay slurs have a direct impact on gay people in the area where they are said. You sincerely believe the majority of people who use gay slurs don’t mean them to be offensive; they just don’t realize the words’ meaning and don’t think there might be a gay person sitting right next to them. Questions 2 and 3 cause you some concern.

Enrico Blasi
Miami coach Enrico Blasi said having Brendan Burke as part of his hockey team’s staff has been ‘a blessing.’

Miami, the No. 1-ranked team in college hockey right now, refers to itself as “The Brotherhood,” and Coach Blasi means it when he says it. You say the players on Miami hockey teams are truly unlike most hockey players you’ve met. It’s a group of genuine, intelligent, good guys. They don’t have to, but they make you feel like a part of the team. Their families treat you as if you are one of their sons.

As you start to become better friends with the players and coaches, it becomes more difficult to hide your true sexuality. You are developing genuine friendships with many, and it feels like a huge part of it is missing because you aren’t being honest with them. You feel, in some ways, as if you are disrespecting the Brotherhood philosophy Miami is based on.

The RedHawks take you with them to the NCAA regional tournament in Minnesota this past March, where they beat Minnesota-Duluth and Denver to advance to the Frozen Four for the first time in history.

As far as amazing life experiences go, being at the Frozen Four in Washington, D.C., is right up there with being in the locker room after the Ducks won the Cup. In between the first round and the Frozen Four, you tell one of the Miami players you are gay. Another player figures it out on the morning of the national championship game, and you have to pull him aside and tell him not to tell anyone before the game. You don’t want it to be a distraction. You ask him to wait 12 hours after the game; then he can tell whomever he wants.

After the heartbreaking overtime loss to Boston University, and mainly by word of mouth, your news gets around to the whole team. There isn’t a big emotional sit-down talk, although you do speak with some of the guys personally. The general response is “OK, Burkie’s gay. Who cares? Pass the beer nuts.”

About a week later, you approach your boss, the director of hockey operations for Miami, Nick Petraglia, and tell him. Then, a few days later, you tell Coach Blasi. You are pretty sure one of the players told them both in advance to give them a heads-up, but neither cares, and both are incredibly supportive.

Blasi says that having you as part of Miami’s program is a blessing and everyone is much more aware of what they say and how they say it. He says he is as guilty as anyone and everyone needs to be reminded that respect is not a label but something people earn by the way they live their life. Coach Blasi says you are a great student and an even better person. You say Coach Blasi is a great coach and an even better person.


“Brendan is a great guy, personable and caring. As student manager, he is involved in a lot of things for us — video, stats and community service, to name a few of his duties.

To my knowledge, there has been nothing negative [since he came out to us]. I think it goes along the lines that Brendan is part of our family. Everyone respects Brendan, and that’s all that really matters.

The players are awesome. They are very sensitive to language and how we talk in the locker room. Again, it goes back to our culture and working on relationships and behaviors.

[As far as whether a player could come out and be able to function like a normal college player], that’s a tough one and I don’t want to speak for any other program. As far as Miami is concerned, we are about the person. I believe we would be accepting and honestly not even think twice about it.

I think having Brendan as part of our program has been a blessing. We are much more aware of what you say and how we say it. I am guilty as anyone. We need to be reminded that respect is not a label, but something you earn by the way you live your life.” — Miami University hockey coach Enrico Blasi

The attitude across the team is pretty much the same: “Who cares?” or “I don’t understand why this is even an issue.” Players you don’t even expect to be supportive are. You say it is proof this kind of thing can happen in other places, too. You wish you could say that gay slurs have been banished from the Miami dressing room. It hasn’t happened yet, although serious progress has been made and one player in particular has made it a personal crusade.

But now that you are “out,” can you successfully pursue a job in hockey, specifically in the NHL, if that is a wish?

You are applying to law schools right now. Hockey management and politics are two things you care about the most, and a law degree is required for both, so it leaves the door open for either. You say you would be lying if you said you don’t think sexual orientation affects a job in pro hockey. You believe it would make some things more difficult. There are going to be people who aren’t comfortable knowing they are working with a gay person.


“He’s incredibly brave. He went back to our all-boys high school and gave a speech about the struggles gay teenagers go through and got a standing ovation from 200 kids who spend half their time insulting anyone different than them.

In so many ways, I look up to him for who he is and what he does.

Obviously, there are gay players in hockey right now, just no openly gay ones. And there are gay people in management, whether they’re scouts or front-office people or coaches. We just don’t have any openly gay ones right now. I think it will be a challenge for the first person that comes out, because they’ll be putting themselves under a microscope.

The scary thing for me is that it might be Brendan, if he chooses to go into hockey. I don’t think it’s fair the face of homosexuality in hockey should be a 20-year-old college kid, but Brendan is more than willing to be the guy, which awes me. I think it’s a matter of when, not if, players and management start coming out.” — Patrick Burke

At this point, you are still undecided about your career options. Although you think there definitely would be challenges to being openly gay and working in hockey, you also think hockey is ready for it. There has been a lot of discussion about when a current player will come out. You’ve always viewed most hockey fans as being very well educated and accepting of diversity. You say fans are much more focused on the on-ice product than on the sexual orientation of players or management, and you say hockey is too good to be dragged down by this.

Brendan Burke
Brendan says his family, including father Brian, has been completely supportive since he told them he was gay.

You believe that if an NHL player came out today, he would face a unique set of challenges but would generally be supported. He might face more verbal abuse from opposing fans, but you believe the overwhelming sentiment would be, “If he can play hockey, who cares?” That’s the perspective you’ve encountered at Miami. You say a good way to start would be for ex-NHL players who are gay to be more vocal and talk about their experiences and challenges.

Whatever happens in your life, whatever career path you choose, you know Dad is in your corner. His long shadow of a hockey résumé that once looked like a crutch might now prove to be just the thing you and others need — a powerful and eloquent voice shouting from the mountaintops.

This is far and away more than what you personally expected from your hockey-famous Dad as you prepared coming out to him. When people ask you about your dad’s reaction to your Vancouver sit-down, you initially say, “He’s been great, but I don’t think we’ll see him at any gay pride parades any time soon. But he has been really supportive.”

So, you are startled this past summer when you get a call from Dad saying, “Hey, Toronto Pride is this weekend, you should fly up.” So, sure enough, you fly up, and you and Dad go to the Toronto Pride Parade together.

If someone had told you before coming out that your dad, Brian Burke, would be attending a gay pride parade with you, you wouldn’t have believed it. You never suspected Dad would disown you or anything like that, but the way he has handled it and the way he talks about it now has, honestly, really moved you. He was a little awkward about it at first. Today, he doesn’t even think twice about it.

You want it known that he has been 100 percent supportive of you. It’s important to you that people know that even the president and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who has a less than sunny public personality, has a gay son and is a firm supporter of gay rights.

Imagine that.

“Imagine if I was in the opposite situation, with a family that wouldn’t accept me, working for a sports team where I knew I couldn’t come out because I’d be fired or ostracized. People in that situation deserve to know that they can feel safe, that sports isn’t all homophobic and that there are plenty of people in sports who accept people for who they are.” — Brendan Burke

Eliot’s Note: Sadly, Brendan was killed in a car crash last week.

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How huge would it be if Sharpton could rally his old civil rights pals to help with getting gay marriage passed…?

Sharpton decries churches pushing Prop. 8
Atlanta alliance forms to counter anti-gay religious rhetoric
By MATT SCHAFER, Southern Voice | Jan 12, 5:17 PM

From the pulpit of Tabernacle Baptist Church on Sunday, Rev. Al Sharpton called out the Mormon Church and other conservative faiths for mobilizing to support Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage in California while refusing to be as involved in any other social concerns.

“It amazes me when I looked at California and saw churches that had nothing to say about police brutality, nothing to say when a young black boy was shot while he was wearing police handcuffs, nothing to say when the they overturned affirmative action, nothing to say when people were being delegated into poverty, yet they were organizing and mobilizing to stop consenting adults from choosing their life partners,” Sharpton told a packed audience on Jan. 11.

“There is something immoral and sick about using all of that power to not end brutality and poverty, but to break into people’s bedrooms and claim that God sent you,” Sharpton added.

Sharpton came to Atlanta to celebrate the launch of the Alliance of Affirming Faith-Based Organizations. Started by Rev. Dennis Meredith, who recently came out as bisexual, the Alliance includes Dr. Kenneth Samuel, pastor of Victory for the World Church; Rev. Paul Graetz of First Metropolitan Community Church; Rev. Geoffrey Hoare of All Saints Episcopal Church; and Rabbi Joshua Lesser of Congregation Bet Haverim.

During the First Annual Human Rights Ecumenical Service to launch the Alliance, Meredith laid out his vision for the new organization. The service for human rights will be held annually at a different church in Atlanta each year. Sharpton will serve as the national face of the organization and help to recruit new members, Meredith explained.

“We’re going to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves,” Meredith said. “If we have to go to a high school, we’ll go to a high school. If we have to go to a college, we’ll go to a college. … Somewhere there has to be a religious voice to counter the other religious voices that preach intolerance.”

Meredith said he hopes to raise enough money to hire an executive director who could see to the day-to-day operations of the Alliance while working to be a force for change.

In his remarks, Samuel preached against the idea that civil rights should not include gay rights.

“Martin Luther King Jr. lead a broad-based coalition, and those who claim that civil rights belong exclusively to black folks don’t know the history,” Samuel said.

“[King] used a methodology from India… brought to him by a black gay man, by the way, named Bayard Rustin. Even the song ‘We Shall Overcome’ was written by a white German, so I don’t know why in the world black folks think we have an exclusive claim to civil rights.”

Sharpton called out ministers who speak out against politically popular causes, but don’t have the courage to live their convictions.

“I am tired of seeing ministers who will preach homophobia by day, and then after they’re preaching, when the lights are off they go cruising for trade,” Sharpton said, his words generating a roar of response from the crowd.

He continued in his refrain that speaking out in support of Proposition 8 while remaining silent on issues like homelessness and poverty was an untenable position.

“We know you’re not preaching the Bible, because if you were preaching the Bible we would have heard from you,” Sharpton said. “We would have heard from you when people were starving in California, when they deregulated the economy and crashed Wall Street you had nothing to say. When [alleged Ponzi schemer Bernie] Madoff made off with the money, you had nothing to say. When Bush took us to war chasing weapons of mass destruction that weren’t there you had nothing to say. … But all of a sudden when Proposition 8 came out you had so much to say, but since you stepped in the rain, we gonna step in the rain with you.”

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Dear President Elect Obama:

It is not okay to allow hatemongers to participate in your inauguration behind the baseless excuse that doing so “brings people together.” The presentation of a wide range of  views during the inauguration is fine. When those views subject a group of people to feeling like second class citizens, they are no longer fine.

Rick Warren strongly supported Proposition 8 in California and, in doing so, helped to take away citizen’s rights away by use of a constitution for the first time in this country’s history. Instead of allowing Warren to participate on January 20, you should be publicly denouncing his behavior and views.

Do you really expect the LGBT community to believe that you are going to work for gay rights when you take such a massive misstep out of the box? Instead, I am saddened and offended by your complete lack of good judgment.

I urge you to step up and cancel your invitation to allow this man to deliver your invocation.

Regards,

Eliot

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As I blogged about a couple month’s ago, my grandmother died on March 19. Arlington National Cemetery has such a backlog of funerals, her service was not held until today. I had been dreading this day for some time because I really do not handle death well and do not like to ever be emotional. (I have no idea how a family is able to deal with losing a son in Iraq, for instance, only to then have to wait up to two months for the service. I know that many have a local service in their hometown, but then having to repeat it again at Arlington, should they want their loved one buried there, must be extremely taxing for them.)

We were worried about rain but it thankfully held off. My wife accompanied me which was nice of her.

My grandmother was a second lieutenant in the army. Therefore, she was buried with full military honors. The service was very small, only the immediate family, and started in the chapel at Fort Myer right at 9am. The chaplain seemed nice and had nice things to say, speaking about serving God and her country. I held it together well during the service.

After the service, which was probably less than twenty minutes, we stepped outside. The band began playing as the casket was loaded onto the caisson. There were probably six or eight horses, nearly thirty band members, a color guard and what seemed to be a dozen honor guard members carrying rifles. They all began to march towards the grave site, which was very far from the chapel, playing music the entire time. We were instructed to follow in our cars.

The very slow journey in our cars took what had to have been over twenty minutes. Arlington National Cemetery is just huge. Even though I have lived in the area for almost ten years, I am not sure I ever really understood just how huge until today. As a tourist you are really not able to comprehend the size of the cemetery and I have never gone to visit the graves of my two grandfathers and step grandfather.

The grave site was about 100 yards from the road and walking through the flooded grass, from our recent monsoon, proved challenging at some points. The honor guard unloaded the casket and placed it on a stand of some sort in front of my grandfather’s stone. He died in 1981, when I was four. I did not get to know him, nor do I remember him. I really feel that he was stolen from us too early at the age of 60.

The chaplain said a prayer and there were three shots in unison from the rifles. Taps was then played. It was during the shots and taps that I felt was eyes welling up with tears but it did not get out of hand. The honor guard folded up the flag with the same military precision you’ve seen on television and the movies and presented it to my uncle, “on behalf of a grateful nation.” An Arlington Lady, a volunteer representative of the Army, gave my uncle a note and had made some comments to him that I could not hear.

That was it. It was over.

My father told me and my brother that my other grandfather was buried about twenty graves down – in the same row. So, the three of us, along with my uncle and half brother walked down. That grandfather, my mom’s father, died six months after my father’s dad. He apparently was fine and at the funeral of my father’s dad, only to get acute leukemia and be buried in nearly the same spot six months later. I have always thought that he was stolen from us too early as well – he was only 58. I didn’t like seeing his grave. It bothered me and I am still not sure why. His wife is my only surviving grandparent.

Throughout the morning, I kept thinking to myself “I hate this place.” Arlington Cemetery has no good memories for me. Fort Myer Chapel is even worse. I attended the funeral of my step grandfather in that same chapel nearly nine years ago. His death was more sudden and the mental images of my grandmother putting his urn in the columbarium, and my aunt’s reaction to that, will be forever etched in my memory. Today was the first graveside service at Arlington and the service of a military officer that I had witnessed. It was all very nice and dignified and memorable. I’m not sure my grandmother would not have liked all of the attention but I am sure she is happy to finally be back beside her husband after over twenty-five years.

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Well, I’m not really moving. But maybe I should since the California Supreme Court had the sense to overturn the voter approved state ban on same sex marriage.

To be clear, this ruling makes California the second state to allow same sex marriage, behind Massachusetts.

I heard on the radio that because the ruling was close, this will not set a precedent across the country. Instead, it will allow both sides of the argument ammunition for their cause.

There is a movement underway in California to change the state constitution to restrict marriage to those of the opposite sex. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is opposed to such a change.

Look for an appeal to the US Supreme Court. In the meantime, I’m happy to celebrate a victory.

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There is an artist, Gerry Hofstetter, that travels the world, depicting images onto large buildings or other surfaces. He has done this at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid at Giza. Also among his triumphs are the Matterhorn in his native Switzerland, the White Cliffs of Dover along the English Channel, and gigantic icebergs in Antarctica. He made his US debut this weekend at the National Cathedral in DC and Bell Guy and I went to check it our on Friday night. Here are a few of the pics:

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Dear Hillary,

Time’s up. You need to get out of the race now. It has been a good run and a fun race but we have bigger enemies than Barrack to deal with now. While you have been bashing Barrack and he bashing you, John McCain has been galavanting all over the country, the world really, building momentum.

While I have been disappointed that Barrack has been unable to win any large states, with the exception of Illinois, I see no way that you can come back and win this. I realize that Florida and Michigan being included would help you, but it does not appear as that will happen and you knew that going in.

Barrack needs time to bring the party together and figure out how we will gain the support of blue collar white people. He needs your support to do that. Four or eight years of Barrack is far better than more years under a Republican regime.

Save your political future and Bill’s legacy and get out before you look like a sore loser.

Love You,

Eliot

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