Country in Southeast Asia
Are Plant Toxins Killing You and Can The Carnivore Life Heal You? Dr. Chaffee is an American medical doctor and Neurosurgical resident who, over a span of 20+ years, has researched the optimal nutrition for human performance and health. It is his assertion that most of the so-called chronic diseases we treat as doctors are caused by the food we eat, or don't eat, and can be reversed with dietary changes to a species specific diet. Quote: "It doesn't matter how brilliant your theory is, and it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ~ Physicist Richard Feynman Who is Dr. Chaffee's?! Check out his first appearance only two episodes ago on podcast 398 titled "The Carnivore Life and Who Is Anthony Chaffee MD Part 1". https://livethefuel.com/episodes/carnivore-life-anthony-chaffee/ Today's Top 4 Takeaways: No need for supplementation Plant and Fruit Toxins Cancers, no genetic changes Become Metabolically Healthy! Today's Guest & Resource Links: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzoRyR_nlesKZuOlEjWRXQQ/videos Instagram: @AnthonyChaffeeMD Twitter: @Anthony_Chaffee Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/AnthonyChaffeeMD www.TheCarnivoreLife.com Our Mentioned Influencers: Revero Health from Shawn Baker MD Brain Energy - https://amzn.to/3BKFuMI by Christopher Palmer MD Metabolic Mike - https://www.instagram.com/metabolic_mike/ Chris Hemsworth and Limitless Docuseries https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11714334/ Watch us on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ePl9BV-p3rY Timestamped Show Notes: 00:30 - Introduction 10:30 - It was the most intense period of my life. Burma, there was some very crazy events, tension, and stress levels were always maxed out. It was in the middle of ISIS territory, I don't think it was actually carved out as ISIS controls this, but they were very, very active in Bangladesh. Speaking to the locals there, they were telling me that they're not only active, but they were supportive. They were supported by the local Imams and things like that. 22:00 - All of this data shows that if you're metabolically healthy, you will do much, much better against things like COVID. I think that's something that people can do, that they can affect in their own life. That is something that they can change, that they can affect, and they can take control their own health and their own destiny. A lot of diseases, even chronic disease, especially chronic diseases, are being shown to be metabolic issues. Metabolic...
Suzanne and Ruth are joined by Khaing Zar Aung, President of the Industrial Workers Federation of Myanmar (IWFM), and Treasurer of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM). Ma Khaing Zar grew up in Yangon, Myanmar. She began working at the age of sixteen in a garment factory, making clothing for big international labels. She joined the political movement against the previous military dictatorship led by the then Federation of Trade Unions of Burma (FTUB), while in exile in 2007. After she was able to return to Myanmar in 2012, she became a key force in helping to grow the free and democratic union movement. She is now in exile in Germany. An arrest warrant hangs over her and her passport has been declared void, but her fight for democracy and workers' rights endures despite continued risks to her life. Here she talks about the campaign to get international companies to stop doing business in Myanmar, voices her pleas to the European Union to implement comprehensive economic sanctions to stop the flow of cash into the regime's hands, and speaks of her determination to continue to fight for better conditions for all workers in Myanmar. The ah nah: Conversations with Myanmar podcast was born from a desire to bring into public consciousness the atrocities that are currently being committed in Myanmar (also known as Burma). Our goal is simply to keep the conversation going, and to let the people of Myanmar know that they have not been forgotten. You can continue to support the people of Myanmar by keeping this conversation going. You can subscribe to this podcast on all major podcasting apps, including Apple, Spotify and Acast. You can also follow us on all our social media pages, linked below. If you'd like to reach out, please email us or fill out this form to add your voice to the conversation (https://tinyurl.com/3ee7ssm9).Credits:Song: Kabar Makyay Bu (Until the End of the World), was written and recorded by Naing Myanmar, it became the revolutionary anthem of the 1988 pro-democracy movement and could be heard once again all over Myanmar during the 2021 Coup. Naing Myanmar maintains that the song is no longer his, since the '88 uprising “it belongs to everyone”.Graphics: SelinaXinSound Effects: https://mixkit.co*Special thanks to Khaing Zar Aung and all those who are bravely standing up for workers rights in Myanmar during this difficult time. We are so grateful to Khaing Zar Aung for adding her voice to the conversation.Follow ah nah:instagram.com/ahnahpodcastfacebook.com/ahnahpodcasttwitter.com/ahnahpodcastThanks for listening, and remember to #KeepTheConversationGoing! Myanmar, we have not forgotten you.Follow us at @ahnahpodcast on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Episode #143: The Burma Act's origins can be traced to before the coup, according to Michael Haack, a longtime advocate. Its goal was to provide support for civil society while limiting the power of the military. One of its major features was calling out the Rohingya genocide, but Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell feared it would reflect poorly on his close friend, Aung San Suu Kyi, who at that time was leading the country, and blocked the bill's passage.The final version of the Burma Act drew rare, almost unanimous bipartisan backing in the House, but it was again blocked by McConnell. So a decision was made to include it as an Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill that funds the US military and has passed annually since 1961. Haack notes that the language of the Burma Act specifically allows for only non-lethal aid.Haack emphasizes the groundbreaking nature of the bill, in that it lists many of the Ethnic Resistance Organizations (ERO) by name, along with the NUG and PDFs. Yet advocacy for continued attention to the crisis in Myanmar remains challenging. The Burmese diaspora's failure to effectively coordinate their efforts with local legislators has been an on-going issue. Haack suggests a two-pronged approach to advocacy work. One is cultivating relationships and building trust with influential people and groups. The other is kicking off a well-coordinated media campaign, ideally with a compelling figure at its center. However, Myanmar's ethnic groups now have their own direct lines of communication to the West—which was until recently not the case—making what were once Bamar-centric conversations and policy in the US far more complicated. Not only are past histories being contested, so also are visions of what a federal democracy even means.In the end, though, Haack notes that “Congress runs on winning campaigns,” and so for him, the best thing about the Burma Act is that…it (finally) passed!
In this episode, Moah talks about starting Boomerang, growing to a $10 million profit with only $400k funding, how to hire 10x hires, conducting performance reviews, what can a founder do to ensure that he does not burn out, building schools in Burma, how to be intellectually challenged, and much more!
Don Townsend joined the British army as a private in 1940 and saw service in Egypt, then India and Burma. After five years of active service he left the army as a Major. I'm joined by Don's son, David has compiled his father's wartime letters home to his family and future wife into the book My Road to Mandalay. Patreonpatreon.com/ww2podcast
Author and Buddhist practitioner Jack Kornfield sits down for a candid, in-depth interview to help you suppress self-doubt and find inner calm. Calling on decades of experience as one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West, Kornfield offers valuable insights into how to best deal with conflict and stress in your life and how to handle harmful outside influences in healthy, constructive ways. Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974, co-founding the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass., and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. His books have been translated into 20 languages and sold over a million copies. -- Want even more? Members get early access, hand-edited transcripts, member-only episodes, and so much more. Learn more here: https://fs.blog/membership/ Every Sunday our Brain Food newsletter shares timeless insights and ideas that you can use at work and home. Add it to your inbox: https://fs.blog/newsletter/ Follow Shane on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/ShaneAParrish Our Sponsors: MetaLab: Helping the world's top companies design, build, and ship amazing products and services. https://www.metalab.com Aeropress: Press your perfect cup, every time. https://aeropress.com Athletic Greens: Comprehensive nutrition and gut health support in one simple scoop.
First Aired January 7, 2023With a significant Burmese American population settled in the Battle Creek area, the Burma Center initially helped support folks in their process to get settled in a new country, culture and community. Now, Burma Center Executive Director Tha Par discusses how the mission of the Burma Center has adapted to Burmese Americans' changing needs - along with the needs of the greater community.Episode ResourcesBurma Center website Burma Center Capital CampaignABOUT COMMUNITY MATTERSFormer WBCK Morning Show host Richard Piet (2014-2017) returns to host Community Matters, an interview program focused on community leaders and newsmakers in and around Battle Creek. Community Matters is heard Saturdays, 8-8:30 AM Eastern on WBCK-FM (95.3) and anytime at battlecreekpodcast.com.Community Matters is sponsored by Lakeview Ford Lincoln.Battlecreekpodcast.com and The Richard Piet Show are Livemic Communications podcasts. Livemic Communications helps businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs create customized, purposeful podcast content.
Niners win in a tough one over a spirited Raiders team, in overtime, in Las Vegas, on New Year's Day!! WOW! Not perfect by any means but it's not always perfect and it doesn't have to be. You never get style points, only matters if it is a win or not, and this one was and now Niners riding a 9-game win streak. Close out regular season holding the 2nd seed with a possibility of earning a bye and the #1 seed if Eagles would fall to Giants. Seems unlikely but it is the NFL and ANYONE, can beat ANYONE on ANY given Sunday. Let's play it and see what happens. A bye would be nice! We close out the HPP regular season this week with a person who has become a mentor and good friend of mine, Ralph Steele. Ralph is a licensed therapist, Vietnam veteran, and a meditation teacher grounded in the Buddhist tradition, with a specialty in working with trauma. He has been teaching meditation and leading retreats since 1987 and is the Guiding Teacher at the Life Transitions Meditation Center in Santa Fe, NM. Some of you who participate in our MVP mindfulness courses will recognize him as one of our co-instructors. Ralph spent his early years in South Carolina where his father was killed in the early 50's by Klan members when he was 4 years old. He and his mom made their way to Japan where he attended high school. This is where he was introduced to meditation and martial arts. After graduation he enlisted in the US Army at the height of the Vietnam War. He spent 18 months deployed serving as a door gunner on a helicopter. His experiences in the Army, in combat and with the Army itself, are very powerful, as are his stories on how mindfulness and meditation helped him.After the Army he went to school earning a BA in Humanistic Psychology and an MA in Family therapy. He ran a meditation-based trauma clinic for 32+ years, and in there he left and spent a year training and serving as a monk in the Buddhist monasteries in Burma and Thailand. He wrote a book entitled Tending the Fire: Through War and the Path of Meditation. He later began breaking the race barrier in US meditation circles leading retreats for people of color. His most recent project is a 3-day meditation retreat exclusively for veterans to be held in Albuquerque NM in October of 2023. More on that to be released soon. Thank you to all of you for your support over the past year(s). We really appreciate it. We are excited to be sharing these conversations with veterans and the organizations that support them. We will continue to offer support through meditation and mindfulness courses and invite all of you to enter 2023 mindful and being present in the moment, choosing each day who you want to be and how you want to show up. Together we can do anything!! Love, peace, and kindness!!With love,Emma & Bruce IT IS OK TO NOT BE OK - YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! LET'S SHOW UP FOR EACH OTHER – IT'S OK TO ASK FOR HELP!!https://vetsandplayers.org/
Close to 100,000 Jewish residents in Jerusalem were starving because of an Arab siege of the city. A garrison manned by Jordanian gunners in the high grounds of Latrun overlooking the sole road to Jerusalem saw to it that no trucks bringing relief to the city could pass. Ben Gurion ordered that Latrun be taken, but Israel had neither the manpower nor the weaponry to launch a successful assault and each of its attacks were futile and very costly. A shepherd path was accidentally discovered beyond the view of the Arab gunners, and hundreds of Israeli volunteers worked around the clock to convert this winding path strewn with rocks and pits into a viable road for trucks to bring desperately needed supplies to Jerusalem. The miraculous road, discovered and created so providentially, was named the Burma Road because of its similarity of circumstances to the road built by the Allies during world War II connecting Burma to Southwest China to avert the Japanese sea blockade. This episode has been enhanced by the excellent “History of Israel Explained/Unpacked” series.
This week, we're taking time off for the holidays - so we reached into the Chatter archives for one of our favorite shows from the last year. In this episode, Shane Harris sits down with veteran journalist Leslie Kean, who has done groundbreaking and widely admired reporting on unidentified flying objects. And, no, that does not mean aliens. Kean's bestselling 2010 book, UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record, was a sober account of credible, first-hand witnesses to unexplained aerial phenomena. In 2017, Kean co-authored a major New York Times article that revealed a secret Pentagon effort devoted to the study of UFOs. More recently, the U.S. government has begun to standardize UFO reporting by military personnel and has declassified more information about what it knows about strange objects in the sky. Kean's reporting played a significant role in those disclosures. Kean discusses her early career as a journalist, her travels in Burma, and her interest in Buddhism. She talks about the important questions that remain about UFOs, and what the U.S. government may be on the cusp of answering. Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.Among the works cited in this episode are:Leslie Kean's website: https://www.lesliekean.com/ UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/114166/leslie-kean/ "Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money': The Pentagon's Mysterious U.F.O. Program:" https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/16/us/politics/pentagon-program-ufo-harry-reid.html "Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena" (Office of the Director of National Intelligence): https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/Prelimary-Assessment-UAP-20210625.pdf Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Sithu (similar to an MBE) Colonel Raymond Campagnac was born in August 1921 and passed away in November, 1989. He was Anglo Burmese. His father was Anglo Burmese and his mother Anglo Indian. His daughter Sandra Campagnac - Carney has written a biography of his life entitled Burma's Son (published in 2020 by Blue Mist Publication and available in several ebook shops). I was made aware of his remarkable life by another of my podcast subjects, Sithu Captain Kyaw Thein Lwin - see Episodes 31 to 34. He believes the enormous contribution of the Anglo Burmese to Burma in general and specifically to the success of the Allied Forces in Burma during WW2 and in fighting for Burma's independence have largely been overlooked or forgotten. Sandra's biography of her father goes some way in remedying that.Please feel free to contact me with suggested interviewees at email@example.com.Thank you for listening .Peter Church
Last time we spoke about the grueling battle for Buna-Gona. The villages of Buna and Gona had been captured, but the Americans and Australians had a lot more ground to take before their job was done. By Christmas day American companies were marching upon the Buna government station while the Australians were marching in the direction of Giruwa. Then over on starvation island the situation was so dire for the Japanese, they had to perform a feint to draw the American Army's attention away from their coastal lines. They chose to mount a feint from Mount Austen to draw the Americans there and the feint worked. Now the Americans would be marching upon the Seahorse and Galloping horse to face the brutal defenses of the Gifu to claim Mount Austen's peak. But today we are going to venture back to the Burma front where a new offensive is commencing.
Close to 100,000 Jewish residents in Jerusalem were starving because of an Arab siege of the city. A garrison manned by Jordanian gunners in the high grounds of Latrun overlooking the sole road to Jerusalem saw to it that no trucks bringing relief to the city could pass. Ben Gurion ordered that Latrun be taken, but Israel had neither the manpower nor the weaponry to launch a successful assault and each of its attacks were futile and very costly. A shepherd path was accidentally discovered beyond the view of the Arab gunners, and hundreds of Israeli volunteers worked around the clock to convert this winding path strewn with rocks and pits into a viable road for trucks to bring desperately needed supplies to Jerusalem. The miraculous road, discovered and created so providentially, was named the Burma Road because of its similarity of circumstances to the road built by the Allies during world War II connecting Burma to Southwest China to avert the Japanese sea blockade.
"TF Delta was an avant garde Army think tank designed to explore high performing organizations. The question was 'What is the difference that makes a difference?'" That is; What was it made high performing organizations different from their contemporaries? The idea was to move from generally reactive (most of the military), and proactive (what many strived for) to truly high performing units. " - COL(Ret) John B. Alexander http://johnbalexander.com/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_B._AlexanderDr. John Alexander has been a leading advocate for the development of non-lethal weapons since he created renewed interest in the field starting in 1989. In 2003 he served as a mentor to Afghan Ministry of Defense senior officials through the Office of Military Cooperation – Afghanistan, (Coalition Forces) Kabul. He has traveled to all eight (yes, 8) of the continents on Earth. He trekked the remote areas of Tibet including the Mount Everest Base Camp, went to Timbuktu in the Sahel in West Africa, tracked gorillas in Rwanda, met shamans in the Amazon, Mongolia and voodoo witch doctors in Togo and Benin, traveled across cartel controlled areas of Central America, visited ancient temples in Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia. In New Guinea, he witnessed the emergence of stone-aged tribes people who still practice cannibalism on occasion, and in 2014 was swimming in the open ocean with humpback whales in the Kingdom of Tonga. In 2015 we attended Kumbh Mela in Nashik India, visited Bali and Borobudur in Indonesia and was diving on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. In 2016 a highlight was diving with Great White Sharks off Isle de Guadalupe, Mexico. He entered the US Army as a private in 1956 and rose through the ranks to sergeant first class, attended OCS, and was a colonel of Infantry in 1988 when he retired. During his varied career, he held many key positions in special operations, intelligence, and research and development. From 1966 through early 1969 he commanded Special Forces “A” Teams in Vietnam and Thailand. His last military assignment was as Director, Advanced System Concepts Office, U.S. Army Laboratory Command. After retiring from the Army, Dr. Alexander joined Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was instrumental in developing the concept of Non-Lethal Defense. As a program manager, he conducted non-lethal warfare briefings at the highest levels of government including the White House Staff, National Security Council, Members of Congress, Director of Central Intelligence, and senior Defense officials. He also met with heads of industry, presented at academic institutions, including Columbia, Harvard and MIT. In 2004 he was invited to address the German Bundestag. In 2005 he went to The Hague and addressed international delegates to the Chemical Warfare Convention. Later his civilian U.S. Government position afforded him Senior Executive Service (SES) equivalency. Dr. Alexander organized and chaired six major conferences on non-lethal warfare and served as a US delegate to several NATO studies on the topic. As a member of the first Council on Foreign Relations non-lethal warfare study, he was instrumental in influencing the report that is credited with causing the Department of Defense to create a formal Non-Lethal Weapons Policy in July 1996. He was a distinguished guest lecturer at several DOD universities and has advised the CIA, US Special Operations Command, and the National Intelligence Council. Dr. Alexander wrote the seminal material on non-lethal warfare. He published articles in Harvard International Review, Jane's International Defense Review, The Boston Globe, The Futurist, The Washington Post, and several other journals. He has appeared frequently on television including Dateline, Fox News, Larry King, CNN, MSNBC, Newsweek, and other U
In this episode of The Concordia Publishing House Podcast, author and speaker Deb Burma talks with host Elizabeth Pittman about what it means to lean in to what really matters as we approach the beginning of a new year. Deb has written several books for Concordia Publishing House, including Be Still & Know: A Study of Rest and Refuge and Joy: A Study of Philippians. She also has a new Bible study coming out in May 2023 titled Leaning on Jesus: A Study of God's Strength. Find her books on the CPH website here. Show Notes:Advent is a time of preparation and expectation for Christians to reflect on the fact that we are never alone. The same can be said about preparing for the New Year and everything that leads to it. In this episode, Deb dives into the experience of being overwhelmed and distracted throughout the holiday season and how we can lean in to God's strength to relax our anxieties. Deb also answers the question – Can there be space for both reflecting on Jesus this season as well as the hustle and bustle of worldly commitments? Listen now to hear her insight into this timely topic and more. Deb's website: debburma.com Deb's Facebook: www.facebook.com/deb.burma Deb's Instagram: @debburma About the Guest Deb Burma is a sought-after Christian speaker for women's conferences, retreats, and ministry events. Her assortment of books and devotionals include best-selling Bible studies, Be Still & Know: A Study of Rest and Refuge, JOY: A Study of Philippians and Living a Chocolate Life, along with Beautiful Feet, Stepping Out, and more. Deb is a follower of Jesus, a pastor's wife, and a mom. She's a blogger, a women's ministry leader, and a self-proclaimed coffee/chocolate connoisseur. Above all, she is a grace-filled child of God.
Miguel Candelas is a life coach in transformation, and also an anthropologist. Since very young, Miguel was passionate to understand how belief systems are created, inherited and how they shape a human life and build an identity. His curiosity led him to study communication, anthropology and languages. When he was 23, a major event happened in his life: his father suddenly died of a heart attack. They had not in touch for three years, and when Miguel finally decided to contact him, he suddenly died just one day before they were supposed to meet! He never saw him… Suddenly he lost all meaning in his life. He packed a bag, and went to India, thinking that the meaning of life was somewhere there waiting for him. Instead he unexpectantly started a 2 year journey in search of the meaning of life. He spent time with Buddhist monks in India and Burma, he lived with shamans in Bolivia & Peru. He found healers in Madagascar, Brazil, Indonesia and he lived with very interesting communities all over the world. He travelled around the world non-stop for two and a half years. Now his mission is to empower you, so you can live your life to the fullest potential. He was in search of the meaning of life without being aware that actually, it was attainable, right inside of him, deep within. Today, he supports people in creating their best life, because the world needs people at their highest self, people that step into their power and their gift. www.migcandelas.com
In November 2022, USCIRF visited Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, to assess the current conditions and issues that Burmese Rohingya refugees are facing. The Rohingya community, a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority from Burma, have long fled religious persecution to neighboring Bangladesh. However, the most recent waves of refugees came in August 2017 following wide-scale atrocities that the Burmese authorities and military, known as the Tatmadaw, committed against them. These atrocities forced over a million Rohingya to flee the country, with a majority now temporarily residing in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. In March 2022, the Biden administration designated these atrocities as genocide and crimes against humanity, which USCIRF had been calling for since 2017.USCIRF Commissioner Stephen Schneck, who led this delegation, joins us today to discuss his first-hand account of the Rohingya's current conditions at the Bangladeshi refugee camps. On this trip, the delegation met with refugees, international organization officials, and members of the government of Bangladesh.With Contributions from:Stephen Schneck, Commissioner, USCIRFElizabeth Cassidy, Director of Research & Policy, USCIRFVeronica McCarthy, Public Affairs Associate, USCIRF
It's Christmas time again—the time when we commemorate the birth of our Lord with celebration and the giving of gifts. Matthew 2 gives us the account of the Magi that visited Jesus as a baby; opened up their treasures and gave him the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Magi, or wise men, came from the east. The east, at the time of Christ, was Media, Persia, Babylonia, and Assyria. They followed the directional star until it stopped in Jerusalem. There was something very unique and special about this star because the wise man called it His star. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they inquired at the court of Herod, “Where is he who is born king of the Jews?” Herod did not know. So, he gathered together the religious leaders of the day and asked them “the question.” They answered with a prophecy from Micah 5, stating that out of Bethlehem would come the Ruler and Shepherd of Israel. Now as the Magi departed for Bethlehem, the star once again appeared to lead them to the house of the Christ Child. There are many misconceptions about the Magi. They were not present at the Nativity. They arrived sometime later when Joseph, Mary, and their son Jesus have now moved into a home in Bethlehem. We always picture three Magi, but that number is not given in Scripture. There could have been a large entourage of them pulling up to the house on their camels. But what we do know for certain is that they came bearing the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for Baby Jesus. Before the Magi presented gifts, they fell and worshiped the Christ Child. These are wise, wealthy, and important men. Yet they could not remain standing in the presence of Jesus Christ. Instead, they fell down. They prostrated themselves at the feet of this baby in total adoration and worship. The first gift these men gave the Christ Child was their heart. And we, like the Jews of old, are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our might. Jesus died on the cross not to redeem our body—our body is temporary; our body will pass. Jesus died on the cross to redeem our eternal soul—our heart. And when we give Jesus all of our heart, it is a precious gift in His sight. Wouldn't it have been amazing to be a part of that journey: to follow the star, to arrive at the house, to behold the Young King, to fall down and worship Him, to give the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We aren't able, like the wise men, to bow before the cradle of Jesus. But we can, in a spiritual sense, bow before His throne and present to Him the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Before we look at the significance of these gifts, I want you to understand that the gifts the Magi gave were quite valuable. If you and I were living in that day, we may not have been able to afford the price of these gifts. But the gifts we now present to Jesus are of a spiritual nature. And by His grace, we have been given all spiritual blessings and riches in Christ Jesus. We can only afford to give back these gifts because of the spiritual riches that Christ first gave to us. The first gift the Magi gave Jesus was gold. Gold is the metal of kings. When the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon, she presented him with a large amount of gold. Gold is mentioned 385 times in the Bible as an emblem of wealth and an emblem of royalty. In the giving of gold, the Magi recognized Jesus as King. They believed Him to be the God King, the King of all Kings, the King of the Universe, a child, but a King. Revelation 19:16, “And on His robe and on His thigh, He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS'”. How can we, like the Magi, present our King Jesus with the precious gift of gold? By facing the various trials of our life in faith. 1 Peter 1:6–7, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now, for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Just as gold is refined by fire, our faith is refined and purified by the trials of life. We don't like those trials, but they prove our faith and proven faith is more precious than gold to our Lord. In these verses tell us it is necessary to go through trials and it is necessary to be distressed in this life. The word for distress means to grieve and heaviness, to be thrown into sorrow. Can you relate to these words? Trial testing, grief, heaviness, sorrow? I have been through times of heaviness and deep sorrow in my life. And during these times I felt the most distant from God. And during these times, I have felt the most intimate with God. What drew the line between distance and intimacy? My faith. When I balked at the trial—represented it, my heart was hard and distant from the Lord. When I surrendered to the trial in faith, my heart softened and my relationship with the Lord became very intimate. We know His presence best in times of trial. Isaiah 48:10, “I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” Proverbs 17:3, “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests hearts.” A purified heart is like gold, a precious gift to our Lord. The next gift the wise men presented from their treasures was frankincense. This, too, is a highly prized and valuable gift. Frankincense is an aromatic gum resin scraped from the bark of trees native to the Middle East and Africa. When frankincense is burned, it creates a strong aroma, and it's associated with the priesthood. Frankincense was burned at the altar of incense in the tabernacle as a picture of Jesus Christ, the sweet-smelling aroma of God. The location of the altar of incense within the tabernacle is significant. It was placed right in front of the veil that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies—the Holy of Holies being the abiding place of God's glory. In the giving of frankincense, the Magi recognized Jesus as High Priest. And Jesus Christ is our High Priest and the only mediator between God and man. As our faithful High Priest, Jesus daily sits at God's throne making intercession for us. Hebrews 7:25, “Hence also He is able to save in every way those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” When Jesus died on the cross, the veil separating the holy place from the Holy of Holies was torn from the top to the bottom, signifying we now have free entrance to the throne of God's grace. As our High Priest, Christ welcomes us to come boldly before Him in prayer. Hebrews 4:14–16, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” In Jesus, we have a faithful high priest who totally understands our weaknesses, our tests and trials, our pains and problems. And He has thrown open the doors of God's throne to us. So how can we, like the Magi, present Jesus, our High Priest, with the aromatic gift of frankincense? By bowing before him with a prayerful heart. The connection between prayer and incense—frankincense—is found in Psalm 141:2, “Let my prayer be set before you as incense. The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” Revelation also speaks of the prayers of the saints as incense before God's throne. Revelation 5:8 “When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” The altar of incense in eternity is the lifting up of our prayers and time. Every single prayer that we pray in time is there in eternity, burning as a sweet-smelling aroma to God. How precious is a single prayer to Him. In the tabernacle, the altar of incense was before the veil. In eternity, the altar of incense is before the throne. In the church age, the altar of incense is in our heart. The altar of incense in the tabernacle was to burn continually. And what does Paul tell us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17? “Pray without ceasing.” Keep the altar of incense in your soul burning day and night. A prayerful heart is like incense—a precious gift to our Lord. The third and last gift the wise men pulled from their treasure chest was the gift of myrrh. Myrrh is also a fragrant spice from the sap of a tree. It has been used over the centuries for many different things, but in the time of Jesus, it was most often used for embalming the dead. Myrrh gave off its greatest scent when it was crushed. John 19:39–40, “And Nicodemus came also, who had first come to Him by night, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about 100 pounds weight.” And so, they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. In the giving of the myrrh, the wise men recognized Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah. They recognized Him as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. Jesus was born to die. When we were born into this world. no one gifted us with myrrh. I'm quite sure we were given the usual baby gifts—blankets, sleepers, diapers, and rattles because no one thought that we were born to die. But when, at the age of 17, I put my faith in Jesus Christ, I was reborn. I was born from above. I was born of God. And in my spiritual birth, I was born to die. And so were you. How can we, like the Magi, present our Lord and Savior with the gift of myrrh? By bowing before Him with a sacrificial heart. Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Jesus said to His disciples in Luke 9:23, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life, for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” In my years of living on this earth as a child of God, He has blessed me with the honor of meeting many sacrificial hearts. We have served with Wycliffe translators in Papua New Guinea—a husband and wife that devoted their lives to reaching a remote language group with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were dropped into a primitive village, in their mid-twenties, with six months' supply of food, a radio, and a fire for lost souls burning in their heart. Because of their lifelong sacrifice, there are now thousands of believers in that remote people group. We have been in underground churches in China, Burma, and Vietnam, where pastors and believers sacrifice their safety for the privilege of meeting together, where they have been imprisoned or are willing to be imprisoned for the sake of the Gospel. We have met men and women that carry their body, the scars of persecution-- these are sacrificial hearts. Sacrifice comes in large life, defining packages like these. But also, in small incremental packages. It may be sacrificing a peaceful evening to help a friend in need, to answer that phone call at the most inconvenient time to counsel or comfort someone that needs it. The issue is not to compare one believer's sacrifice with another's. The issue is to be willing, in our walk with Christ, to sacrifice in the way that He asks us to sacrifice. Your cross as your cross, and my cross is my cross. And that will look different for each of us. It would have been such a glorious experience to live in the days of the Magi—to follow the star to a humble home in Bethlehem, to enter with the wise men and bow before Baby Jesus, to worship him and present Him with the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But how much more glorious to come before Him now with the spiritual gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh—a purified heart of gold, a prayerful heart of incense, a sacrificial heart of myrrh, all by his grace and all for His glory. Christina Rossetti said it like this, What can I offer, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring him a lamb. If I were a wise man, I would do my part. But what can I give him? I give him my heart. We wish you all a very merry Christmas as you bow before the throne of Jesus, and love, praise and adoration. Merry Christmas to you all.
Understanding The Healthy Carnivore Life: Dr. Chaffee is an American medical doctor and Neurosurgical resident who, over a span of 20+ years, has researched the optimal nutrition for human performance and health. It is his assertion that most of the so-called chronic diseases we treat as doctors are caused by the food we eat, or don't eat, and can be reversed with dietary changes to a species specific diet. Quote: "It doesn't matter how brilliant your theory is, and it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ~Physicist Richard Feynman Today's Top 3 Takeaways: Burma Genocide Before The Carnivore Life Correlation vs Causation on Health Data Mitochondria Health Against Cancer Plants Attack Your Mitochondria Today's Guest & Resource Links: https://linktr.ee/DrChaffeeMD https://30daychallenge.howtocarnivore.com/home YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzoRyR_nlesKZuOlEjWRXQQ/videos Instagram: @AnthonyChaffeeMD Twitter: @Anthony_Chaffee Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/AnthonyChaffeeMD www.TheCarnivoreLife.com Burma Genocide - www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/rohingya-burma-myanmar-children-beheaded-burned-alive-refugees-bangladesh-a7926521.html Our Mentioned Influencers: Dr. Shawn Baker MD Vinnie Tortorich KETOCON www.ketocon.org Watch us on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xo7BzQLvkYc Timestamped Show Notes: 00:30 - Introduction 02:15 - I was already committed to doing humanitarian work in Bangladesh and volunteering in the refugee camps. There was the largest humanitarian crisis in the world at the time and it was in Bangladesh. I don't know that everyone's heard of it. But there was a mass genocide in Burma in September 2017. About 200,000 people were killed in a Holocaust level of evil ways. About a million people fled into Bangladesh, Southern Bangladesh from Burma to escape this and so there wasn't really enough people helping out. So I felt that I needed to go over and help. So I gave up on on playing professional Rugby that season to go go help out. 16:20 - I sort of had my eyes open before I went there. I expected it to be really bad and I figured there was like a 50/50 chance I wasn't coming back. But I felt that it was worth it to do that. You know, I never fooled myself about about the realities of the Third World. But seeing it in person and seeing people just live like that, it obviously makes it very, very...
After the tragic death of his father, Miguel Candelas lost the meaning of life and spent the following two and a half years traveling around the world non-stop looking for it. On a journey of discovery, he spent time with Buddhist monks in India and Burma, lived with shamans in Bolivia & Peru, found healers in Madagascar, Brazil & Indonesia and lived with interesting communities all over the world. Ultimately, he found answers to his philosophical questions – “Who am I?” “Who are we?" nd “Why are we here?” In this episode, Miguel shares his inner journey through shame and guilt, his outer journey of connection with humanity, and the discoveries which ultimately led him to leave his United Nations job and become a personal coach. Miguel holds three masters degrees, is fluent in seven languages, and is currently writing a book to catalogue his life lessons. Website: https://www.migcandelas.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miguellifecoaching Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/miguel-life-coaching/
George Orwell is perhaps the most important journalist and writer of political fiction of the twentieth century. Though he only lived to 47, dying of tuberculosis in 1950, he did more in half a century than most would in three of four lifetimes. Reluctantly signing up, and then ceasing to be, an imperial officer in Burma, voluntarily entering destitution in Paris, and fighting for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, Orwell was never afraid to stare suffering and desperation right in the face. He was also never one to run with a crowd; of all Orwell's firmly held beliefs, in anti-imperialism, in freedom from oppression and opposition to totalitarianism, none were more important to him than the freedom to think for yourself. This has made him many enemies on the left, a place Orwell called home. The brilliant thing about Orwell as a political thinker is that most of the attacks levied at him, and the devices used to deploy them, resemble the sort of attacks directed towards the enemies of the totalitarian regime in 1984, his most read and celebrated novel. But in a world free from Soviet domination- which Orwell devoted the last years of his life to criticising- what relevance does he hold? Had he lived a longer life, what would he have become? What would he think today? These are the central questions discussed in today's show. My guest for today is David Osland (@david__osland). David is an unabashed left-winger, and a journalist, who writes primarily for the website LabourHub.
Dr. Christina Francis is a board-certified OB/GYN who currently works in Fort Wayne, IN. Christina has worked with orphans in Romania and Burma and worked for three years as the only Ob/Gyn at a mission hospital in rural Kenya. These experiences prepared her to work with the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG). On today's episode, Mark and Christina expose the lies of abortion advocates regarding the effects of abortion bans and restrictions on women's health. Also, Mark responds to the misguided views of former Vice President Mike Pence and makes comments on the new viral video THE PROCEDURE. Please watch/listen, share, and leave a five-star review of the podcast. ✔️ Instagram - https://instagram.com/markharringtonshow/ ✔️ iTunes - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id827982678 ✔️ Google Podcasts - https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9jcmVhdGVkZXF1YWwucG9kYmVhbi5jb20vZmVlZC8 ✔️ Everywhere else - https://markharringtonshow.com/link-tree The Mark Harrington Show is on Mark's Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. Mark's show is broadcast on American Family Radio's 180 stations (5:30 PM CT Sundays) and Salem Radio on Saturdays in Ohio. The podcast is available on all the popular podcast platforms as well as on Mark's flagship websites: MarkHarringtonShow.com and MarkHarringtonshow.tv.
Rolf Potts is a Travel Writer, Essayist, Adventurer and Teacher best known for promoting the ethic of independent travel. This American author has been through adventures on all six continents. Things like traversing Israel on foot, bicycling across Burma and driving a Land Rover across South America are on his list, but there's so much more to it. He's gathered teachings from all over the place and written amazing books about it. His bestselling debut book, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, has been through thirty-five printings and translated into several languages worldwide. Potts has, over the years, felt somewhat at home in places like Bangkok, Cairo, Pusan, New Orleans, New York, and Paris, where he runs a series of creative writing classes each summer. He is based in north-central Kansas, where he keeps a small farmhouse on 30 acres with his wife, Kansas-born actress Kristen Bush.
There's arguably no superhero in existence that has been reimagined, redefined, or reinterpreted more than Batman. No matter how many times he's been rebooted, audiences are always willing to come back to Gotham City's greatest defender. With so much Bat content out there, there's plenty to dissect, analyze, and of course, rank! This podcast is dedicated to a surgical evaluation of Batman's history, with a focus on ranking several topics in the world of Batman, among other classic Bat themes and characters. Join host Daniel Cohen, Pop Break's former Film Editor and Resident Bat-Maven, as he brings on several guests every month to share his passion for the one and only Dark Knight. From Adam West to Robert Pattinson, no bat stone will be left unturned. Bottom-line: If you're a Batman fan, this is required listening. In this episode, Daniel is joined once again by Podcast Editor Alex Marcus, and Pop Break TV Podcast contributor Michael T. Ford III for another superb and hotly contested rankings episode! Before getting into the main topic though, the crew reminisce and pay tribute to one of the most important figures in the history of Batman, Kevin Conroy. This podcast was recorded just a couple days after Conroy's passing, so no doubt the crew wanted to give this iconic performer the honor he deserves. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and being with our families, we honor Batman's family for this month's rankings! That's right, we're ranking all of Batman's allies in his never-ending fight against crime! We look back at the movies, as we discuss, debate, and rank all the Alfreds, Robins, Batgirls, Gordons, Catwomen, Lucius Fox, and of course, the one and only, Chief O'Hara! Who will be the highest ranked Alfred? Do we spend an absurd amount of time debating whether or not John Blake is actually a Robin? Will Dan's dream of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice getting a not awful ranking finally be realized on this podcast? If for nothing else, we can almost guarantee a podcast has never discussed the character of Alfred Pennyworth as much as we do here, as we sift through SIX different iterations of the character. Long live the Burma speech!
Patching things up with Yasmin & Nikita plus complications.By FinalStand. Listen and subscribe to the podcast at Steamy Stories.-Strength is equal parts Body and the Mind, but true strength comes from a relentless Spirit.-(Late Saturday Morning)“Why is she here?” Yasmin asked me, giving a nod toward Buffy. Buffy was a good ten meters away, technically fulfilling her duty as my bodyguard. Yasmin had agreed to meet me at a park.“Her name is Buffy Dubois and she’s my bodyguard for the weekend,” I explained. “At least I’m back at my apartment.”“What happens with her if you don’t go back to work Monday?” Yasmin inquired. “Does your ‘bodyguard’ kill you?”“Nah, not Buffy,” I gave a lop-sided grin. “My co-workers believe in overkill. I bet they’ll send at least three to make it nice, swift and quiet.”“Why do you joke about this?” Yasmin studied me.“As opposed to what?” I chuckled. “Lashing out is futile. Running isn’t much better. I chose to fight when I must, love when I can and laugh when I should be crying.”“Do you think they will come after me?” she murmured.What Yasmin really wanted to know was if her 3-year old son was in danger. From everything I’d learned and seen about Yasmin, she was tough as nails. I had given this some serious thought. I couldn’t read Katrina’s, or Hayden’s minds, so I had to go on my limited experience. Yasmin had seen and heard a great deal yet Elsa let her walk away, and that had definitely been Elsa’s doing.Elsa was the worst kind of racial Supremacist - the benevolent one. She didn’t base her status on some pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo. She based it on the feats of her ancestors, the training she had endured and the devotion she and her sisters dedicated to their craft - violence. She was better than the rest of humanity because she could kill us if she desired and take what she wanted.We had what we had, even our lives, because she allowed it and she had no orders to the contrary. That was her generosity - her benevolent act.“Might,” I sighed. “If I fuck up my balancing act, they might use you to hurt me, or as an object lesson.” Yasmin’s face clouded with anger.“Why did you invite me over if you thought things would develop this way?” Yasmin glared.“Not being insane, I cannot fathom the minds of the insane,” I reasoned. “As soon as I find a way around one challenge, they throw up something new. I certainly didn’t know there was a 'members only’ facility along with a gym for the rest of us peons.” She looked down at her hands.“They really are some kind of crazy cult,” she muttered. She sighed. “You can’t get out and now they know I exist…this is screwed up. What are we going to do?” She could be referring to herself and her son, or herself and me.“I’ve got some money,” I said. “A few thousand. I can get you plane tickets and you two can take off somewhere safer than here.”“You are a real man,” Yasmin slowly smiled. What? Sensing my confusion. “You take responsibility for your actions, protect the weak and those in need, and you are brave in the face of pain and adversity. Where I come from, that is the definition of a man.”“Funny - where I come from that is the definition of bad Hollywood scriptwriting,” I grinned.“Ha,” she laughed. She’d decided to stick around and fuck me despite the specter of eminent death. She was not callous to the fate of her child. Far from it. The only ally she had in this fight was me. She’d beat the fuck out of her husband with a bullet in her shoulder. When surrounded by hostile Amazons she still struggled to get to my side.“What about your Jason Statham?” she prodded.“He’s English. Besides, I prefer Chiaki Kuriyama,” I eyebrow pumped. “There is something about a chick with cast-iron balls.”“Who?” Yasmin searched her memories.“Gogo Yubari from Kill Bill Volume 1,” I informed her. Yasmin thought that over.“That girl was clearly insane!” she thumped my chest.“Believe me, female mental health issues have never stopped me in the past,” I shrugged.“I’m beginning to think you have low standards,” Yasmin smirked.“That implies you think more of me than most women who actually know me,” I snorted.“Let’s go get something to eat. There is a place that serves authentic Acarajé and Vatapá close by,” Yasmin stood and took my hand. I went with her.“So, what are those things you mentioned?” I asked.“You’ll have to wait and find out. I owe you a few dozen surprises after what you’ve put me through,” she teased. After a few seconds, I started laughing. Yasmin was confused.“As bad as it is going to be for me, think how rough it is going to be on Buffy,” I chuckled. “As far as I know, she doesn’t even speak Portuguese, much less traveled to Brazil.”The restaurant taught me a few things. Yasmin was a regular, the men knew her and were afraid of her. A little bit of eye-ball psychology taught me that Yasmin was apparently a one woman domestic abuse arbitrator. Translation: if you were a man who hit your wife, or girlfriend, she pointed you to the closest Emergency Room after she was done with you.In Brazil, men could use the 'machismo’ defense; basically, the bitch had it coming because she threatened my manhood. In Yasmin’s New York City, machismo worked a 'little’ differently. Essentially, there wasn’t a 'straight’ Brazilian man alive who would admit that Yasmin, a woman, had beat the ever-living Hell out of them.The Brazilian ladies who stopped by introduced me to another quaint Yasmin term. It was called 'parroting’. Parroting was what happened when some butthole became a real, repeat problem. Yasmin dragged them to the roof of whatever building she found the dumbass in and threw him off - technically aiming for the closest dumpster. The men often flapped and squawked like parrots as the plummeted down, thus the term.Women were stopping by because I appeared to be an aberration - a man on a date with Yasmin. Best of all, 80% of the conversation in a language I didn’t know. The first serious question thus caught me out of the blue.“Do you date many women?” one sultry number purred.“I’m not sure I would say 'many’,” responded after some feigned concentration. “I only date women from Manhattan…and the Tri-State Area…pretty much the East Coast…and the Ohio Valley and the Mississippi Valley. I should include the Deep South…okay, maybe every women this side of the Rockies…and the West Coast…Hawaii and Alaska would be a change of pace as well.”“I’ve met some nice Asian girls,” I continued to muse, “and South America is looking real promising at the moment. At this point,” I looked over the small clique of women hanging about, “ignoring Africa, Europe, India and the Middle East would be short-sighted.”“Do you fuck as good as you exaggerate, (along with some pet name I didn’t know)?” the waitress asked. I could so do her.“No,” I sighed. “I’m a virgin boy fresh out of Catholic School and have never known the intimate touch of a woman.” For a second, they all wanted to believe that.Guys aren’t the only ones who want to 'break in’ a virgin, believe me. I’ve used the 'I’m a nervous virgin uncertain if I want to attempt sex’ mystique more than once. It is a win-win. Sexually under-confident women know they won’t be judged against any other women and when the sex becomes stellar, they think they are great teachers so they become more willing to experiment.After all, if they get it wrong, I - the young virgin - won’t know the difference. Now, it is not that I always lie. It is just that the truth doesn’t normally get me what I want. As an example, if a girl is terrible at giving a blowjob - don’t tell her that. Tell her she’s doing fine, but maybe this (a technique you know works) might feel different (i.e. better/less painful).Sure, I lied to her. Instead of making her upset and not want to continue in the art of fellatio, she learned a valuable lesson and will not only make me happy, she’ll make happy every other man she is with later. Others can keep their slavish devotion to honesty. I’d rather dispense happiness. Besides, I’ll give them other reasons to be pissed with me soon enough.“Hardly,” Yasmin laughed. “I imagine the closest you’ve come to religion is thanking God when you’ve discovered your date had a horny sister and was willing to share.”“Wow…break room talk much,” I had the decency to appear embarrassed.“Why yes,” Yasmin smirked. “Ms. Reichmann was very expressive in her recounting of your bedroom antics with her and her sister after the sister’s date passed out.”“To be fair, I hadn’t had sex all day and I was kind of wound up,” I offered up.“Do you like toying with women’s affections?” my original questioner asked.“Wha - wait,” I frowned. “You think I’m going out with Yasmin because I want to have sex with her?” Of course I was. “She’s interesting and we both practice Brazilian jujutsu.”“Why would I hunt down a studio when I found a perfectly good practitioner on the job? Plus, my work place had the sparring mats,” I explained. Remember, when lying, tell a lie your audience wants to believe. Yasmin was a feminine titan, standing alone (with her son) against a hostile male world. The women around me counted on that. Dating a hot, physically fit hunk for the purpose of sexual gratification was totally realistic.Dating me because I knew her martial arts style was far less believable, but made them happier, so they went with option B - the workout buddy.“The truth must be like gold to you,” Yasmin snickered. “It is so valuable, you hardly ever use it.” She looked at her buddies. “I have wrestled him to the mat and he was VERY interested.”“Yasmin, that wasn’t me hard. When aroused, I’m much bigger,” I pleaded.“Liar,” she smacked me in the bicep. “I need to take care of something. Don’t run off with him,” she told the girls - in English - for my benefit.Yasmin left our small table and headed for Buffy who was leaning against the wall right inside the doorway. I couldn’t overhear what they were saying. Buffy smiled, nodded and took a table.A minute later, Yasmin had ordered food for Buffy then came back my way.“Is that your girlfriend?” my waitress asked. Why she wasn’t working wasn’t clear to me.“No, she’s his bodyguard,” Yasmin interrupted.“Yes, she is,” I countered half a second later. I looked at Yasmin.“You know that woman who beat me into the ground?” I met Yasmin’s gaze. She nodded. “Well, she was giving Buffy crap for all kinds of reason; only peripherally for befriending me. I didn’t have sex with her to get back at that lady. I did it because she needed me and I needed her. After this, we can’t engage in intercourse for…71 days. It’s complicated.”“Sex with you is some sort of gift?” another one taunted.“Absolutely,” I grinned. “Ask every other woman I’ve been with. Hell, they love me so much, when we break up they normally take some sort of weapon to me, books being the most popular, but I’ve been shot at, stabbed, punched, slapped and wracked too.”There was a moment of silence. Yasmin had her own war story that was well known.“I’ve seen him naked,” Yasmin’s smile cut through the tension. “He has the scars to prove it.”“You peeked when we were changing?” I gasped. I wasn’t really all that surprised.“Yes,” she snickered. “They only have Women’s changing rooms where Cáel works,” she related to the other ladies. The conversation may have flipped back to Portuguese yet the words were definitely descriptive. Either that, or my penis had slipped passed my zipper and the buttons on my shirt had burst off exposing my broad chest and rock hard abs.Yasmin looked at me and said, “É o meu P.A.” The girls all laughed.“Anyone going to clue me in on the joke?” I requested. By mutual consensus, they agreed not to - bitches. For a while, this man had been yelling from the kitchen. If finally dawned on me, and our waitress, the cook had been calling her to pick up her orders.I could have ignored her short denim skirt and seductive sway of the hips, but that would have been disingenuous. Besides, in some cultures, if your 'man’ wasn’t noticing the women around you, he was somewhat less of a man. I unleashed my inner 'machismo’ and oinked. Yasmin shoved me while laughing. The other women found my being distracted amusing as well.I could really get used to Brazilian culture especially when that included Brazilian women. After lunch, we picked up Buffy on the way out. Buffy 'thanked’ Yasmin - in Portuguese. Mother-fucker. That was so unfair. Never one to miss an opportunity to make a bad situation better - or worse, I asked Buffy what 'É o meu P.A.’ meant.Buffy said something to Yasmin in Portuguese. Yasmin responded. They both laughed - bitches.“It is a term of endearment,” Buffy assured me. Sure it was. That is why neither one would tell me what it meant - I repeat yet again; bitches.[FYI: 'É o meu P.A.’ (P.A. stands for Pinto Amigo) literally means 'my friend Penis (or) my penis friend’. In Brazilian Portuguese slang (many thanks to a buddy from Portugal who saved me from a grievous linguistic error) this is a term of sexual endearment indicating trust and a sexual history, but don’t tell Cáel that.]Yasmin and I walked a ways before she had to head in a different direction. We kissed. I kept my hands firmly on her hips like a good boy. She put her hand down my pants and stroked my cock for about a minute, in public.“Next time, I think we have sex,” Yasmin winked before departing. I watched her walk away until she vanished in the crowd. She didn’t look back. She was far too confident.“Well, she seems nice,” Buffy caught me off-guard. She’d snuck up while I was watching Yasmin and she was still being so horribly friendly to me. Best of all, she assured me she’d be back to her normally aggressive self-come Monday morning - right about the time I finally got used to her being nice to me.“Yeah…she is,” I sighed.“What’s wrong?” Buffy inquired compassionately.“What do you mean?” I stared evenly at Buffy. “Hanging out with me could get her killed, that’s what’s wrong.”“That’s not likely to happen,” Buffy to reassure me. I shook my head.“I’d ask you if you were nuts, but I know you are nuts,” I grunted. “Elsa wouldn’t kill you yet she’d kill Yasmin and her son without batting an eye if she felt a severe lesson was in order. Buffy, you work for animals. We both do. The difference being that you are one.”“I don’t think you appreciate how popular you are with the company,” Buffy insisted. “You’ve worked really hard to impress them and they value your efforts.” I screamed to the Heavens. Elsewhere, I would have drawn some serious looks. In NYC, I barely drew any notice.“Yeah - great. Remind me to clap like a pet seal Monday morning. Buffy, you, Katrina and a few others are grinning, thinking you’ve made great strides on this New Directive and the crime for a security guard shooting me as I walk in the office every day is the same - a transfer to someplace less pleasant. Correct me if I’m wrong,” I laid into her.“The difference is that they don’t want to shoot you,” Buffy countered.“Wow, if you put 'you-Buffy’ in place of 'you-Cáel’ you will realize how inconsequential that is,” I informed her. “I’m a human being - unless I’m in Havenstone. Inside, my well-being is based solely on your sufferance - just like a test monkey.”“If you really empathized, you would realize the only other people that walk around think 'gosh, I shouldn’t murder that person today’ are serial killers. Yet you expect me to be thankful for tap dancing faster than you shoot at my feet. You have this happy dream that I’ve accomplished anything,” I shook my head.“In 71 days one of you is going to kill me - that is the reality I’m staring down,” I gazed at her.“Why do you think we’ll turn on you then?” Buffy actually appeared upset.“Havenstone has been letting me play with this '84 Day’ fiction because it amuses all of you,” I took a deep breath. “Whatever I can do in the last 71 days of my life probably won’t matter.”“You’ve made a difference with Aya and Oneida,” Buffy rallied.“Great, I saved the life of someone who would stab me in the heart if I slapped her,” I countered. “As for Aya…I dread to think what she will go through when she figures out you’ve put me down like a rabid dog. I help her because I have to try, because the rest of you have written her off.”We walked the rest of the way to the apartment in silence.“Katrina is not going to like the results of our little chat,” Buffy mumbled. I laughed.“Buffy, she knows. When the time comes she’s sending Elsa to take me alive. I don’t know how I’m going to beat her. It is one of the thousand, or so, things I’m working on,” I chuckled.“I know Katrina better than you do,” Buffy rolled her eyes. “I think you under-estimate her affection for you.”“I don’t doubt her affection for me,” I told Buffy. “I simply deem it to be valueless. Listen, it took me ten seconds to figure out what Aya needed at the Archery range.”“Not a God-damn person who knew her their entire lives would have ever done what I did,” I continued. “It wasn’t that they didn’t understand what needed to be done - show a little faith in her. It was that none of them would have ever had the humanity to do it. Katrina could think the Sun rises and sets on me. It doesn’t change a damn thing that happens in 71days.”I neglected to say that Katrina murdered/dueled her own grandmother to bring Desiree into the Epona fold. That was the head of her household. I wasn’t an Amazon, or even a woman. Buffy was making shit up to keep the insanity of her life at bay. Oh, she’d kill me if Katrina gave the order. She’d hate herself for it. That wouldn’t do me a damn bit of good though.(Saturday Afternoon and then some)Our conversation died for two reasons as I led the way into my apartment. First off, it was Havenstone business and neither one of us was foolish enough to talk about it in front of Timothy and Odette. The other reason would have been Brooke and Libra sitting on Timothy’s sofa. Those two stood up as we entered.“Hi…” I got to say.“We just came around to tell you that you are an…” Libra spat but then, “Which one is this?”“You could have called first,” I snapped back. I reached for my phone…which wasn’t there. Odette sheepishly lifted my phone up from her side. I imagine that bitch had been ringing off the hook since my departure.There was a major bitch-fest coming down the pipeline. I wasn’t going to let that happen. There is an advantage to people having a low opinion of you. It gives you the unspoken permission to act like a crass asshole whenever you feel like it.“This lady is Buffy Dubois and she’s my bodyguard for the weekend,” I tried to sound bored.“Listen, the restaurant we went to was long on sizzling hot food and short on ceiling fans, so I’m going to take a shower,” I callously stated. “Brooke, want to join me?” No, Brooke didn’t want to join me. She wanted to rip my hair out in large, painful clumps. She was the Princess and I was the bottom feeder with dirt under my fingernails (huge salary be damned).“No, I don’t want to shower with you, you Jerk!” Brooke snarled. Sadly, now I was making poor use of my loyal Odette. Such is life. “We only stayed long enough to give you a piece of our minds.”“I’ll come with you!” Odette peeped. She had been on the floor, back to the small space of wall between the workout alcove and the door to my bedroom.Timothy was leaning on the portion of the living room wall next to the short hall that led to the bathroom and his bedroom. He seemed more and more amused as the encountered unfolded.“No,” Brooke squalled. “I’m not done with him yet.” She followed me to the bathroom. Now normally, I would get a towel from the bathroom, go to my bedroom to strip down then return to the bathroom for a shower, or soak in the tub.This time I went straight to the bathroom. Brooke had built up a good head of steam, I slammed the door shut the second she came in. She was about to unload some truly spectacular vitriol on me. That wasn’t the game plan. I shoved Brooke into the door and pressed my lips against hers, conveying my deep desire for her and dowsing her rage.“No, you don’t…” she got out. Game plan.“God Brooke, I’ve been worried sick about you. Have you been holding up okay?” I turned on the concern. This is what she wanted to hear. I wasn’t indifferent to her emotional state. In fact, I was so wrapped up in her Brooke’s turmoil I was nearly paralyzed into inactivity.These are the words that Brooke wanted. What mattered to Brooke most was Brooke, followed up by how much Brooke mattered to other people.“I - ah,” she mumbled before we kissed once more. This time she was hungry and passionate. She had reaffirmed that I was in her 'corner’.Now she could get down to the real reason she’d shown up to a place where some middle class guy who didn’t return her phone calls lived - sex.“Work's been a mess since Trent jumped ship and took that promotion,” I grumbled, still focused on giving Brooke oral stimulation. “The important thing is how have you been recovering? How have you been coming along?”Seduction is multi-layered. Know your partner; not just their erogenous zones, but their likes, dislikes, mindset and goals. Thus I used words like 'Trent jumped ship’ and 'promotion’ to fixate Brooke’s anger on Trent, not me. He deserved it. Also, I used 'recovering’ and 'coming along’ to insinuate that Brooke - strong Brooke - was getting through this trauma all on her own, so now she could let me help her and not be in a weak, desperate position.All that led up to Brooke justifying to herself that she could let me ravish her in the shower without her looking like some insecure, post-breakup slut. The first words that came to mind were 'Pound Puppy’ though 'Pound Kitty’ was more apropos. I was nice, tender, gentle and loving as I drew her into the tub with the shower on.She cuddled against my chest, got off a few tears - mainly for my benefit to express how much she still needed comforting. Then I began tearing her up. I went VOA this time out - vagina, oral, anal - and she had no doubt that I was FUCKING her, capital 'F’. She was no Chalmers’ girl, but she certainly spared no expense on the screams, howls and caterwauls as I ripped piece after sensual piece off of her; body and soul. Thankfully I keep six condoms beneath the shampoo dispenser.It is indicative of the state of disrepair of our apartment building that the water heater didn’t exhaust the water supply and turn cold - it turned lukewarm. More screwing for Brooke and me. When she finally came crashing down from her trash pile of depression, self-doubt and rage over a world that had suddenly stopped making sense, I cut off the water, held her tight, and exited us from the tub.Both being players, Timothy and I had stocked up on nice, plush terry-cloth towels. Nothing builds up a mood for a repeat performance like drying off in a really comfy towel, or kills it faster than being wrapped up in some rag. I partially dried off Brooke because she was still craving close, romantic contact.Again, the most important person in the room was Brooke, and by attending to her, I was reinforcing that. I even stopped what I was doing to watch her put her underwear, socks then pants back on. She loved it. Then Brooke began looking around the small space for her bra. I had been hiding it behind my back. I revealed it, avoided having her swipe it back then used one finger to beckon her forward.Her resistance was enough to assert her independence, but not enough to dampen the sensuous course of events. She stepped forward, I tapped my lips indicating she had to kiss me to get back her undergarment. Brooke faux-resisted then kissed me. Then she French kissed me. I gave her bra back, still she pushed her body against mine, kissing away.She gave up the oral gratification when she wanted to give it up. She was the one in command, she asserted that by giving me what I wanted, so I was okay with things. She kept radiating her confidence as I kept very still, looking her over as she finished putting on her clothes. I cannot stress this enough: give the girl what she wants.There was absolutely no difference between lashing Rhada, instructing Odette in sensuality, finger fucking Elsa, upping my game to the highest levels with Buffy and going at Brooke in a romantic-aggressive style. Oh yeah, it is rarely productive to actually ask a girl what she wants. Most of the time they want to please you, so they’ll lie.Lie better than they do and read what their body likes. Go from there. That was another gift from my mentor. When she was teaching me ancient love poetry, literature and culture, she was doing more than that. She was teaching me how to read women, get inside their minds and make them happy with things they may not even acknowledged they liked. God, I miss her.We/she decided that graduation was the end of the road for our romantic journey. She’d find another young man in need and start over. I would go out in the world and spread the passion and love, my fidelity failings be damned. Libra wasn’t far from being a happy camper when Brooke and I came back out of the bathroom, one arm around Brooke’s waist, the other holding my clothes and me in a towel.“Woot!” Odette, sitting on the floor once more, fist-pumped. “You knocked it right out of the ballpark.” Brooke glared. Libra scowled. Odette basked in the knowledge that she was on the 'inside’ of my little world now. She didn’t have to play games. If she wanted to hang out, or have sex, she could come on over and I’d do my best to accommodate her.Odette had gone from hook-up, to fuck-buddy, to friend. She was still a girl around me with all the resulting pitfalls. That wasn’t going to go away. What she had decided was that she was getting to hang out with cool, adult people. Dating in high school had never been difficult yet in the transition to adulthood, she’d be caught in a state of limbo.One night she met this young, dark stranger and she’d decided to take a chance. Now she had a big, musclebound gay sofa-buddy who was a relatively famous tattoo artist, a woman bed companion who apparently kicked ass for a secret society of some kind (Odette wasn’t stupid) and that gorgeous, dark stranger to make love to her, to cuddle with and to wake up next to.I’d even kissed her before I raced off to work. I never kicked her out once I was 'finished’ with her. We hung out, watched movies and talked about adult stuff. Timothy had offered to take her to a gay club - even a gay strip club. She couldn’t wait. Odette wanted the three of us - she liked the idea of being a trio - going clubbing.Sure, she’d be sponging off me, but Timothy said I wouldn’t mind. Timothy even insisted that we both really liked her. He also told Odette that 'with all the wacky bitches in his life, he needs you’. Before this, Odette had always thought of one boy-one girl. After a few days with me, monogamy flew out the window and she honestly couldn’t recall why she’d been so hung up on it.I gave Brooke another steamy kiss, before heading to my bedroom. I bent over Odette, stroked her cheek as she looked up and smiled at me, and met her lips in a tender, caring moment. Yes, she knew she was special to me. Libra was ready to bifurcate me - verbally. Blood is so difficult to get out of clothes.Why was I going to get away with this? I banged the Trent out of Brooke - again. She could assume I was either ignoring her - Heaven forbid - or I was working up to her - a far more appealing illusion. I nearly closed my door. I wanted to hear what was going on.“Let’s go,” Libra groused.“Why don’t we see if he wants to go out to eat?” Brooke suggested, ignoring Buffy, Odette and Timothy.“We had Brazilian for lunch,” Buffy calmly informed them. It was mid-afternoon.“Oh, how was Yasmin?” Odette inquired in a friendly manner.“Are you his social director?” Libra sneered.“Oh no,” Odette chattered back. “Cáel Nyilas and I are buddies. We have a lot of sex, but mainly I hang around for the meals and company.”“Is he fucking you too?” Libra snapped.“Yes,” Buffy sighed happily. “Yes he is. It is only for this weekend. After that, I have to wait for the end of his internship.”“Damn,” Libra seethed, “Is he fucking you as well?”“No,” Timothy said regretfully. “Cáel isn’t even bi-curious, despite my dreams and fantasies.”“I guess that’s something,” Libra grumbled. Right then I stepped out, looking all male-scrumptious. For guys, imagine a D-Cup tanned blonde, in a midriff exposing damp, white t-shirt, no bra, and red bikini bottoms. This is pretty much how most women demean me in their libido clouded minds. I’ve never actually felt demeaned by this.I mean, if the opposite sex finds me sexy, do I really care if that’s going to be the limit of them getting to know me? I think not. By the way, for all you curvaceous blondes out there who gripe and groan about men only seeing you as sex objects - really? That bothers you? Do this - tease them the say 'now sit there and listen to what I have to say, or no nookie for you’.Talk away. Will they understand you? No, but then very few of us understand Stephen Hawking either. Consider yourself in a select group that includes the smartest human on the planet. That guy/girl on their knees before you pleading for intimate contact? They will agree with you in a heartbeat. Congrats - you are a genius.I also don’t mind. If women stopped wanting sex, I doubt my life would not be worth living. Less I be allowed to savor a victory, there was a knock at the door. I headed that way.“Oh yeah - Cáel,” Timothy called out. “Nikita called and said she was going to stop by.” And here I was with two sexually dressed (it was hard for Libra and Brooke to not look sexy) hotties, plus Odette and a Havenstone Stormtrooper in my crib.Had I whispered for Odette to go hide in Timothy’s room, she would have hopped to it. Had I fell on my knees, begged, pleaded and was shown to be speaking the Words of God, Libra and Brooke wouldn’t have moved an inch. Fortunately (?) this happens to me a great deal.“Hey Nikita,” I gave her a sleepy smile. I started to usher in my policewoman/somewhat-girlfriend.Yes, I was acting like nothing was going on, much less like I’d done something wrong. I was aided in this by the fact that the sex had all been shower-based, thus not odiferous. This wasn’t a great plan, or even a good plan. It was a weak plan, in fact - rather desperate and last ditch.“Hi,” Nikita scanned the room.“Who is this bimbo?” Libra insulted both Nikita and me.“New York City Policewoman Nikita Kutuzov,” Niki snapped back. “Who the fuck are you?”“That’s Libra Chalmers,” Odette spoke up when the two girls wouldn’t. “Her sister and Cáel Nyilas were friends at college.”“The raven-haired woman is Brooke Lee and her boyfriend was a total douche and made work difficult for Cáel Nyilas and life horrible for her,” Odette finished. That was so sweet of her - it was almost 'me’-like.“Are either of you Havenstone?” Niki studied them.“That would be me,” Buffy spoke up. Since she wasn’t dressed like a desperate cry for sex (like the other three women), Nikita hadn’t truly soaked her in yet. For starters, Buffy was clearly older than the rest.“Do you have any weapons on you?” Niki glared.“Yes - do you want to see my Concealed Weapon permits?” Buffy remained serene.“Nice and slow,” Niki told Buffy as her hand came to rest on the grip of her 9 mm. Nikita was off-duty so this was an awkward situation.“You have girlfriends with guns?” Brooke gasped. She seemed excited. Libra was uncertain.Nikita being Nikita, she took Buffy’s word for nothing, using her cellphone to call in and check the three permits - gun, knife, knife. She wanted to card everybody, but I nixed that. These were my house guests. I put my foot down. Niki became truly angry with me.“I need to talk to you - outside,” Nikita insisted. I didn’t hesitate to go with her.By outside, she meant to her car because she was sure my place was under surveillance. She was most likely right. As soon as I put my ass on the passenger seat, Nikita wrapped me in a smothering embrace.“I’ve been so worried about you,” she sniffled.No, Nikita wasn’t brain damaged, or forgiving. She knew that if I hadn’t already had sex with some, if not all, of the four women in my place, I most likely would in the next 36 hours. Don’t forget that she knew I was a philanderer, had come to grips with that, and was beginning to count up my allowed indiscretions before she finally gave up on my worthless ass.“You shouldn’t do that, Nikita,” I hugged her tightly to me. “You have a freaking dangerous job and I’m a big boy. I’ll deal with my work problems. You deal with yours and we take what time together as we can.”“This is not how the World is supposed to work,” she mumbled.“There are two ways of looking at it, Nikita,” I stroked her hair. “Peace is merely the interruption of the otherwise endless cycle violence, or life is a constant struggle to avoid the inevitable slide into anarchy.”“For such a loving, joyous man, you have a terribly dark side to you,” Nikita looked into my eyes.“I read this in a book on the philosophy of social collapse - Imagine that last legionnaire standing atop Hadrian’s Wall, his companions ready to march away yet knowing the Picts remained just out of sight, waiting for the last guardians to depart,” I recalled. “Did he contemplate that, despite generations of sacrifice, nothing had change, or did he realize that, with their lives, those fellow soldiers bought centuries of peace to an otherwise war-torn land?”“Nikita, no victory is permanent,” I explained. “One day the lights will go out in this city and never come back on. One day everything you’ve worked for will fall. That doesn’t mean what you are doing doesn’t have value, or that I don’t appreciate what you do. Every life you save is still precious - it is invaluable to that person, if no one else.”“Every day you take up the badge and gun means hundreds of others get to live their lives wrapped up in the illusion they live in a lawful society,” I said. “I say 'illusion’ because people tend to not understand that nothing lawful is permanent. They don’t understand that one day that last legionnaire will be looking out over their neighborhoods. It is inevitable.”“Is that why you don’t give a crap about any of your relationships - is this the excuse that you use to cheat - that nothing is ever permanent?” Nikita’s gaze hardened.“Remind me to never be honest with you again,” I opened the door. Yeah, I was pissed. I’d broken my rule - lie to make the girl happy - and this is what it got me.“Damn it,” Nikita yanked on my arm, not letting me leave, “Cáel Nyilas, what am I supposed to think after you tell me that?” I hesitated. I hated honesty.“I don’t give a crap about some nebulous, transitory victory, Nikita,” I kept looking away. “I don’t see monogamy as pointless any more than I feel law enforcement as pointless.”“That doesn’t mean I want to be a cop, or in only one relationship. My Dad loved my Mom. He never dated after she died. He loved me and raised me the best he could. That is one of the best examples of monogamy I’ve ever witnessed. It simply isn’t me,” I told her. “Of greater relevance is my initial comment about the value of victory.”“You think you can 'fix’ my situation; that somehow the rule of law can apply to people who live outside of it,” I turned around. “That isn’t happening. You are more likely to convict every banker that had a hand in the 2008 housing loan collapse than you are to ever bring a single senior Havenstone employee up on any charges.”“It is wrong,” Nikita insisted. “I’m not being naive. No criminal conspiracy is ever impenetrable.”“They are not a criminal conspiracy,” I sighed. “They are a nation-state without demarcated borders. Criminals are fixated on making money.”“Havenstone uses money as part of their arsenal to get what they want,” I said.“What is that?” Nikita.“I’ll never tell you,” I put our faces within millimeter of each other.“Cáel, I want to help you,” Nikita persisted.“You can’t, Nikita,” I stared. “Rome calls and you will obey. It is who you are. It is what I like about you. It also means you won’t break the law for me, which means, in the terms of rescue, you are useless to me as anything except a friend. Personally, I suggest you appreciate the next 70 days with me, then find someone who will take care of you, marry them and raise the next generation of policemen and women.”“Are you a police officer?” she altered her approach.“No,” I played along.“Then don’t assume you know what I can and can’t accomplish,” Nikita grew fierce. “Al-Qaeda thought they were untouchable too. As did the KKK and the Mafia.”“Right, Nikita, except there are still terrorists, violent racists and organized crime - different faces but the same hydra,” I relayed. “That is what I’m trying to tell you - these ladies are not conventional criminals. They are not going to flip on each other. They aren’t afraid of drone attacks, wiretaps, or video surveillance.”“If the Justice Department goes after them, they’ll strike back. Don’t think assassinations and bombings - think 'Tail-hook’ and 'Fast and Furious’. The problem is they already know what rules you play by and how law enforcement works. You won’t be able to get your side to understand how Havenstone works until it is too late,” I stressed.“Your side? We are your side, Cáel Nyilas,” Nikita insisted.“No, you are not,” I responded. “My side wants to deal with this himself, only risking his life and earnestly not wanting to have my actions resulting in hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths. Your gang wants to enforce the law and turn this problem into a nice, tidy bundle. Making twenty arrests and confiscating a few million in assets will not make Havenstone go away.”“They will fade back into the shadows and then wreck vengeance upon you all when it is convenient for them,” I stated confidently. I had sat in on exactly one board meeting. That had been enough of an education to figure out how they operated and how long-term their planning was.They wouldn’t put a bullet into the head of the lead investigator. No, fifteen years later, while having a routine medical procedure, there would be a mix-up with his medication and he’d die. A few months later, his son, that man’s wife and two children would all be involved in a fatal car accident. Yes, they wiped out your family.My bet was they had already done something like that. They’d find a weak link in the investigative team, show him/her the evidence of past misdeeds and impress upon them that they would be next. Witness Protection? Over a twenty year old string of accidents? The fed either played ball, or waited a decade, or two, for their loved ones to start dropping.Havenstone Commercial Investments was only 22 years old. Without a doubt, there had been other incarnations built up then discarded only for some new front to take its place. As for grudges; the Amazons took it as a personal affront that an independent Hellas existed today, despite the reality that those Greeks had little lineage in common with the Greeks from the time of Achilles.The conundrum was I couldn’t use the word 'Amazons’, or refer to the board meeting. I couldn’t talk about the armory, Buffy, or Desiree’s backgrounds, or truly impress upon Nikita the absolute level of fanaticism Havenstone engendered in their congregation. If I hinted at it, she’d think of Jonestown, not the Karen Insurgency in Burma.“Why do you have such faith in them, but not in your own law enforcement?” Nikita pleaded.“Training, fanaticism, the ability to act with few restrictions, and their willingness to let a member who makes a mistake to live and learn from it instead of being sacrificed for political and popular expediency,” I counted off my points.“They prepare for war, not peacekeeping,” I clarified. “By that, I mean that each standard office worker is the equivalent of a soldier in any fully modern armed force. For whatever cause you and your fellow NYPD believe in, there is also a long history of corruption. There is none of that at Havenstone. Infighting - yes. They would never betray the principles of their organization though.”“You work under the scrutiny of the judicial system, a normally hostile press and a special panel whose sole duty is to keep your law enforcers in line. They work for superiors who give them far more latitude,” I continued. “A Havenstone breaks an external law, the get assigned elsewhere. Violating their internal code of conduct is harsh and immediate then resolved.”“You screw up, and you are pilloried in the press, abandoned by your superiors and shunned by your peers as if you had a contagion,” I sighed. “The NYPD loses you as a resource because of one mistake. Despite the numerous advantaged of living in a Democratic Republic and a capitalist economy, the underlying weaknesses remain.”“People are people, thus flawed. Office-seekers need money and to be scandal-free to get elected which has become a continuous process,” I stated. “Those realities allow entities like Havenstone to exist in a parasitic relationship with our society. Face it, why pay $100 million in fines, duties and taxes when you can pay $1 million in campaign contributions.”“You are so damn cynical,” Nikita frowned.“Nikita,” I huffed. “No, I’m not cynical. I’m a romantic realist. I know the score. Despite that, I still chose to make my own way in the world. I don’t date a woman expecting a 'Happily Ever After’. I also never make a plan to leave a lady. It happens regularly enough and it is my fault most often, yet it has never been my intention to avoid permanence.”“I don’t understand you at all!” she yelled. This was expected. This was her prodding me into having some frenzied, 'make me forget about the cruelty of the World’ sex.“Nikita, if I did chose to break the law, I wouldn’t be caught because there is some cop out there better than me. If I was caught, it would be that the cops have tons more resources than I possess,” I explained.“I’m not even criminally inclined and I can beat the system. This doesn’t mean I plan to break the law. I have no reason to. In the same way, I won’t surrender because I don’t have to. I’m still alive and have a degree of freedom,” I told her. “It is because I know the score that I can fight with hope. I have spent the last four years not living the easy life - the safe life.”“I have the scars to prove it, along with no regrets, because I am me - the man I want to be,” I smiled. “So what that I work for killers - they are hot and most of them are willing. The unwilling ones I’ll bring around eventually - I always do.” Now she wanted to pepper spray, Taser, baton beat and pistol whip me - all at the same time. Sex.“I keep asking myself why I care about you,” Nikita wailed. “I don’t even know why I came over today. I should have known you would have at least one woman in your apartment. I could have waited for you to return a single damn phone call…but No, I had to drive over and have you stomp on my heart instead.”“I don’t know how to reply to that,” I mused. I did, but drawing it out was important. “My life is a nightmare. It will most likely end in tragedy. If I loved you, I would send you away in a loud, vocal breakup that would convince Havenstone we were done and that would be that. My problem is I like…I selfishly want to know you better and I resonate with you like no other.”When you are the bad guy and she knows you are the bad guy, play the bad guy. See, if I was a good guy, I would sacrifice of myself and send her away. Instead, I was 'selfish’ and I was selfish because we 'resonated’. Resonate is a good, romantic word. Its definition is a bit shady, thus she can interpret it the way she desires.Before you hate me more than you already do, please recall that I really liked Nikita. She was special to me. Unfortunately, 'special’ has sort of a nebulous meaning for me. To put that in perspective, my heart is a five year old child in a toy story. It goes 'get that one, get that one’ without explaining to me exactly why I end up doing what I do.“I want you so much,” she groused, hating herself for her naked desire.“Let’s go back to my place and make love,” I suggested. She jerked slightly.“What about all those other women?” she questioned.“Odette is a dear friend, Buffy is my bodyguard and the other two showed up all on their own,” I informed her.“I like Libra and Brooke well enough, but the attraction is purely sexual (it better damn be all it is). I hope we have something more,” I said. I could even make honesty my bitch, it seemed.“Fine. Let’s go before I regain my sanity,” Nikita declared. It doesn’t take a NASA mission control officer to know that really means 'fuck me now - I’ve soaked my panties’.Nikita was hopping up and down on the balls of her feet by the time we exited her car and made it around to her/street side. She grabbed my hand and yanked my unresisting form hurriedly back to my apartment. We nearly crashed into Buffy who had been watching from the door. Nikita flashed an embarrassed look.That didn’t stop her from bounding up the stairs three at a time as we raced up to my place. Nikita was slowing down on the final approach only to have Odette open the door and stand aside - Buffy had phoned her. In we swept. Libra and Brooke rose from the sofa, I gave them an apologetic look before Nikita drew me into the bedroom. I slammed the door shut.“What the Hell!” Libra screamed. What can I say? When I truly set out to fuck a girl, I leave them wanting more. Before you think I’m an egotist, or a Sex God, it is they want to have sex with me, not that they care about what I want. I’ve been jumped while putting gas in a friend’s car by a girl, whose name I couldn’t recall at the moment, who I had banged in a bar’s men’s room.Midway through that encounter (we were standing up, my back against the car, and her legs spread up and wide as she coasted down from her first orgasm), she confided in me she’d been running around with a condom in her pocket in hopes of finding me - which proved she didn’t really know me - I always have a condom.I even have some stashed in my bathroom & kitchen - just in case. After that, for the rest of my college career the Kwiki Mart attendant kept smirking at me - the gas pumps had video surveillance. My friend and his date were amused too. My date - less so. Maybe I should have stopped at the first orgasm. It turned out okay.See, unknown to anyone at the start, the girl’s (Genevieve it turned out) boyfriend and I had been in a skiing accident and the poor bastard had suffered frostbite dragging me to safety, so I owed Genevieve big time. Yes, my date bought that hastily conjured excuse. All was right with the world and I ended up screwing my date that night and for the next two weeks.That relationship fell apart when three different servers at a Hooters gave me lap dances (who knew - Hooters girls don’t normally give lap dances). I swear to God I had never been there before - the truth didn’t work that time either. That wasn’t too bad. It reminded me of Genevieve. I went back to the bar and nailed her again. In case it matters, I don’t have a fake ID. I lie to the DMV about where I live. It is all official-like, if completely illegal.Back to my current official; a rapid analysis of the kaleidoscope of emotions. Lust, fear and confusion battled for dominance. I had to take into account her sexual background, parenting, and personal let downs. I had to give her something she didn’t want. No, I wasn’t going against my tried and true strategy. I had to give Nikita something she didn’t want yet really needed.She began trying to strip off her clothes. Off went her faded denim jacket (despite the heat in NYC in the early summer) then her short-sleeved shirt. Poor Nikita - her nice, gossamer white bra was obviously new - that crisp, pure white doesn’t come from Tide, and she had marks from the first bra she’d put on today. Off went the gun…and the cuffs.I had kicked off my shoes and so quickly pulled down my pants it burned my skin. The policewoman was drinking up my Nikita-inspired arousal so I was able to strip off my shirt too. She began working down her pants and undies in one motion when I jumped her.“Hey wait,” she giggled. She became a tad more annoyed when I wouldn’t relent.With her pants and panties still above her knees, I slipped on a condom, rolled her over and began slapping my cock against her sopping wet cunt.“I don’t want to do it this way,” Nikita insisted angrily. “Let me up.”“I can’t wait,” I grunted as I penetrated her doggy-style. In I went. Nikita’s love box was best described at intimately velvet.“Girr…Girr…ah,” she finally gave into her arousal. “Ah - ah - aha.” That brought me to a halt. I wove my arms around her waist and drew her back to my chest.“Are you ready to have sex because you want it instead of doing it because you don’t know what else to do?” I whispered in her ear. She twisted her head around. Words failed her so we kissed.“Can I take my pants off now?” sighed happily.“I don’t know. I kinda like you like this,” I replied.“I can barely move,” she protested.“That would be a point in my favor,” I snickered. Nikita got back at me by wiggling in my lap. Yeah, that put me in my place alright. Changing our orientation was part of my instinctual reaction to her desire for a close visual connection. The whole face down/ass up was only a trick to erase her confusion.Keeping my cock deep inside of Nikita, I twisted her around until she was on her back, her bound legs resting on my crooked right elbow. Curse me, Nikita looked up at me consumed by bliss. There is disappointment, settling for what you’ve got, getting what you want and finally, being giving something you never considered yet now you wonder how you lived so long without.This wasn’t only a 'good dicking’. It was the revelation that my life was a total train wreck and for a crusader like Nikita, I was virtually the Holy Grail. I would never 'not be in trouble’ thus constantly in need of saving. To her, I had transformed into the perfect boyfriend. I could never run away, or be saved by anyone else but her. Oh - and I was giving her a terribly good dicking.“Better?” I murmured. Nikita nodded. My rod kept up steady, moderately powerful penetrations. “Is there anything I can do to make it better?” Trick question.“No,” she purred. “I like…this is wonderful…I thought you would be different.” She was one happy camper. She had anticipated a domination play.“I’d only be rough with you if that’s what you wanted,” I pressed her legs farther down so that are faces were very close.“Mmmm…are you ever going to stop seeing those other girls?” she poised. She was no longer angry. Perfect boyfriend plus fantastic intercourse.I’m always doing stuff that makes women act in bizarre and unexpected (to them) ways. Won’t ever do anal? You’ll be ambushing me in the tub and working that ass down my pole inside of two weeks. Trust me. Odette hooking up with Buffy? Been down that road before.“I’ve only got 70 days left, Nikita,” I groaned. “They are going to force me to put out at work.”“I might as well try to make love to the women I care for,” I told her. No, they weren’t going to make me put out at work unless I made
Comedian and podcaster Ben Van Der Velde joins Tyler this week to discuss The Fear Of Wages, Spike Milligan's favourite Goon Show ever and a neat parody of the classic French film The Wages Of Fear (later remade as Sorcerer). Broadcast in March 1956 its entry in the BBC Transcription Services catalogue reads: "For fourteen years Major Bloodnok and Captain Neddie Seagoon have been fighting the Japanese in Burma. For eleven of those years the war has been over, but the two sides have only recently awoken to this fact. Preparing for a triumphal return to Britain, complete with Japanese prisoners and Japanese saké, Neddie has the honour to be put in charge of the truck containing nitro-glycerine." Tyler and Ben talk comedy influences, contemporary politics, favourite gags and characters, topics and language 'of its time', ask why the Ray Ellington number Pink Champagne was edited out of the later versions while an aural joke was fixed, and point out a Bluebottle inconsistency. Ben's podcast Worst Foot Forward is HERE: worstfootforwardpodcast.com
Rambo is the fourth instalment in the franchise. Stallone tried to "direct this movie from the perspective of Rambo". When you take that into consideration the movie takes on new dimensions and becomes a compelling exploration of the psyche of a deeply traumatized and solitary ex vet. However unfortunately Stallone's deeply rooted racism is also on full display in his direction and characterization. The bros discuss this and more on this week's episode. We find Rambo now an elder/peaceful snake wrangler in Thailand and he gets asked by a group of silly American missionaries to take them to Burma. Of course like it does in all the other movies things start going haywire, but in an interesting way this time because the world view represented by Stallone's choices is very nihilistic and troubling. It is a true sequel to the psychological aspect of the first film only much bleaker. Get into it!Also become a Patron!www.patreon.com.thirstyformore
An elephant of an appetite is forcing Auckland Zoo to ask Aucklanders for foliage food. Burma the Asian elephant munches her way through kilos and kilos of plant treats every day. And to keep-up, the Zoo's asking home gardeners to survey the backyard for Burma bites. Senior elephant keeper at Auckland Zoo, Laurel Sandy details the top treats.
Suzanne and Ruth are joined by Hsu and Charlie, two campaigners who have been working tirelessly on a project to create resources for mental health support in Myanmar, called Mental Health Myanmar. Mental Health Myanmar is a website dedicated to informing the Myanmar public about mental health, and why it is important for everyone. The contents of the resources are available in (17) ethnic languages : S'gaw Karen, Moken, Daai Chin, Khong So, Likhy, Hakha, Karenni (Kayah), Kayan, Mon, Tedim (Zomi), East Pwo, Shan (Tai Lung), Ta-ang, Rakhine, Rohingya, Lainong Naga, and Jinghpaw. They also have a Facebook page, 'It's OK to not be OK'. Here Hsu and Charlie talk about the obstacles to mental health awareness in Myanmar, including language barriers and the archaic laws that demonize mental health in the country. They all discuss the strategies they use to look after their own mental health as well as the resources they have created to reach the most vulnerable in Myanmar at this difficult time.The ah nah: Conversations with Myanmar podcast was born from a desire to bring into public consciousness the atrocities that are currently being committed in Myanmar (also known as Burma). Our goal is simply to keep the conversation going, and to let the people of Myanmar know that they have not been forgotten. You can continue to support the people of Myanmar by keeping this conversation going. You can subscribe to this podcast on all major podcasting apps, including Apple, Spotify and Acast. You can also follow us on all our social media pages, linked below. If you'd like to reach out, please email us or fill out this form to add your voice to the conversation (https://tinyurl.com/3ee7ssm9).Credits:Song: Kabar Makyay Bu (Until the End of the World), was written and recorded by Naing Myanmar, it became the revolutionary anthem of the 1988 pro-democracy movement and could be heard once again all over Myanmar during the 2021 Coup. Naing Myanmar maintains that the song is no longer his, since the '88 uprising “it belongs to everyone”.Graphics: SelinaXinSound Effects: https://mixkit.co*Special thanks to Hsu, Charlie and the entire team behind Mental Health Myanmar, who have dedicated their time and resources to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in Myanmar. We are so grateful to Hsu and Charlie for adding their voice to the conversation, you can find our more about Mental Health Myanmar on their website: https://mentalhealthmyanmar.com or their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/itsoktonotbeokmmrFollow ah nah:instagram.com/ahnahpodcastfacebook.com/ahnahpodcasttwitter.com/ahnahpodcastThanks for listening, and remember to #KeepTheConversationGoing! Myanmar, we have not forgotten you.Follow us at @ahnahpodcast on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Has a Spell been caste upon the unsuspecting masses? Does the apparent mass-psychosis of an allegedly sentient species suggest a stealth contagion both insidious and pernicious? The concept is not new, and Native Americans went so far as to coin the term Wetiko to acknowledge the phenomenon. Wetiko is a cannibalizing force driven by insatiable greed, appetite without satisfaction, consumption as an end in itself, and war for its own sake, against other tribes, species, and nature, and even against the individual's own humanity. Paul Levy has thoroughly dissected this issue with his two ground-breaking works Wetiko: Healing the Mind-Virus That Plagues Our World and Dispelling Wetiko: Breaking the Curse of Evil. On this episode Paul guides us on a journey of freedom through the portal of awareness. Paul attended State University of New York at Binghamton receiving degrees in both economics and studio art. While an undergraduate, he was hired by Princeton University to do research in economics. When he graduated college, he stopped his studies in economics and pursued his career in art, moving out to the Bay Area, where he was both making, and teaching art. "It is a disease of the soul, and being a disease of the soul, we all potentially have Wetiko, as it pervades and “in-forms” the underlying field of consciousness." Common to many trail blazers of the Spirit, Paul had a life-changing spiritual awakening following an ntense personal trauma in which he began to recognize the dreamlike nature of reality. In 1993, after many years of struggling to contain and integrate his non-ordinary experiences, Paul started to openly share his insights on how life is a shared waking dream that we are all co-creating and co-dreaming together. "Wetiko induces in us a proclivity to see the source of our own pathology outside of ourselves—existing in “the other.” Wetiko feeds off of polarization and fear—and terror—of “the other.”" As a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner for over 30 years, he has intimately studied with some of the greatest spiritual masters of Tibet and Burma and served as the coordinator of the Portland chapter of the Padma Sambhava Buddhist Center for over twenty years. Paul is the founder of the Awakening in the Dream Community in Portland, Oregon. Show links: https://www.awakeninthedream.com/ Save 50% on the next Knowledge Share class for Law For Mankind! https://alfavedic.com/lawformankind Save BIG on your Brown's Gas AquaCure Machine by using the coupon code "alfavedic' at checkout here: https://eagle-research.com/product/ac50/
Aj talks about Merrill's Marauders a "deep penetration unit" from WW2 and Dee unveils our new sponsorship. Lots of diarrhea in the jungles of Burma in the fight against the Japanese. Patreon Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for BTS and more! @pointsopressure Subscribe to our Youtube channel! Merch Here! Music Credit: SUNDANCE Track Name: "Perséphone - Retro Funky (SUNDANCE remix)" Music By: SUNDANCE @ https://soundcloud.com/sundancemusic The SUNDANCE Official Website is HERE - http://lefthandmusic.fr/ Follow SUNDANCE on BandCamp: https://sundancemusic.bandcamp.com/ License for commercial use: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/...
On this edition of Parallax Views just in time for Veteran's day, New York Times best-selling author Bruce Henderson, author of Sons and Soldiers and co-author with Vincent Bugliosi of And the Sea Will Tell, joins us to discuss his latest book Bridge to the Sun: The Secret Role of the Japanese Americans Who Fought in the Pacific in World War II. During WWII the Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans languished in internment camps thanks to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066. The belief was that they could not be trusted while the U.S. was engaged in a war where Japan was one of the enemies. It was argued they could engage in sabotage on behalf of Japan against America. And yet, the U.S. army would end up needing nisei - first-generation Americans who were born from Japanese immigrant parents - to help them in the Pacific theater of the war effort. Bridge to the Sun tells the story of the war exploits of Japanese-Americans fighting on behalf of the U.S. in Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and even, with the famous Merrill's Marauders, Burma. For years these men thought they were subject to the secrets act and kept their participation quiet and hidden. Bruce Henderson reveals their story through six of the nisei who worked on behalf of the U.S. army in the Pacific during WWII.
Welcome to another episode of The Dirty Lie Podcast! This week, we examine the role Nigeria played in the fight against Hitler! While Nigerian men fought in some of the most inhospitable regions during the second world war, Nigerian women fought against unfair taxation and kept the country from literally being starved by the British empire! Now sit back and enjoy this ride through fairly recent African/World history. Enjoy!
Greg and Ed bare their souls with ‘expat confessions': things in Thailand they are embarrassed to say they have never seen or done, but that they should have, given their years in the Kingdom. Ed begins by admitting he's never travelled to Laos, Burma or Malaysia, despite them being right next door and highly recommended. Greg talks about some of his trips and agrees, it's a pretty startling omission, especially Laos, which almost everyone agrees is worth a visit. Ed vows to make it right. Greg confesses he's never been to legendary late night establishment Wong's, which may have lost some of its luster but which used to be a MUST go - just not for Greg, apparently. Ed follows that he's never been to Sukhothai, despite his love of ancient temples and all the photography opportunities. Greg then talks about never having scuba dived, even though it is on the list of almost all expats and a lot of tourists. Ed discusses his PADI class and argues that it lives up to the hype. Ed last laments he's never been to Pai, even though it's the hippie capital of Thailand and therefore the home of his tribe. Greg talks about his adventures there many years ago filming a movie. Greg finishes up by confessing that he's never taken a Thai cooking class or even cooked Thai food. Not everyone likes to cook, but in twenty years one would think Greg could have gotten around to it. To the kitchen! We close with some confessions from our listeners, ranging from khlong boats to muay Thai to temples. Don't forget that Patrons get the ad-free version of the show as well as swag and other perks. And we'll keep our Facebook, Twitter, and LINE accounts active so you can send us comments, questions, or whatever you want to share.
Back in 1970, a group of women from the Womens Liberation movement stormed the stage of the Miss World Competition in front of an audience of millions on Television. When film maker Rebecca Frayn heard this story and found out that the evidence of the court case that put the patriarchy in the dock had been destroyed she spent a decade un-earthing the story to create a film with Keira Knightly as lead alongside Gugu Mbatha Raw that told the story in 2020. Before that she created a feature film of the story of Nobel Peace prize laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi and her exile in Burma under house arrest, missing the death of her husband and giving up the right to see her children or play a part ion their lives to serve her country. Rebecca began her career almost forty years ago and has also focussed on the stories of controversial but legendary German film director and photographer Leni Riefenstahl and unravels the true extent of her involvement with the Nazi party, A profile of the celebrated American photographer Annie Leibovitz, plus successful screen-writer and director, Nora Ephron who was trained by her mother from an early age to cannabalise her life for material. In todays episode, you will hear how Rebecca learned to speak up and get over her fear of public speaking and who inspired her to create and cover the stories of women globally. This is our first LIVE episode recorded at WOM Radio cafe for WOM-AN, a night of women storytellers, spoken word artists and poetic performances at the end of my very first Womens voice activation Retreat. We will unleash some of that LIVE material next week, but photos are on instagram: @theresetrebel.
In September, the Department of Justice Fraud Section announced a new policy direction on corporate misconduct, clearly stating that personal accountability for employees, executives, and directors was their number one priority. The revised DOJ policy clearly states that an organization's compensation and benefits program must be aligned to its values and ethical culture. So, what does this mean for compliance? In this episode of the Principled Podcast, host Susan Divers discusses how to implement a meaningful performance management system that meets DOJ objectives with Stephanie Ragan, a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (recently of SOFEC) and now solo practitioner after 14 years as a compliance specialist and manager in the oil and gas industry. Featured guest: Stephanie Ragan As an experienced, well-rounded compliance and ethics specialist, Stephanie has recently struck out on her own by launching Ragan Export Compliance, a consulting company focused on providing services and guidance for regulatory compliance. A subject matter expert in trade compliance for the past 10 years, she holds both a Masters of Science in Regulatory Trade Compliance and a degree in International Trade Management. Her credentials include special certifications as a Certified United States Export Compliance Officer (CUSECO), a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP) and an FCPA Expert (FCPA Blog).With a passion for developing efficient, integrated and automated compliance systems and programs, Stephanie's philosophy is that the intentional integration of compliance and ethics elements within an organization is at the core of every successful business model; and through making compliance accessible and approachable to all stakeholders, the value of a company's culture is significantly increased. Featured host: Susan Divers Susan Divers is the director of thought leadership and best practices with LRN Corporation. She brings 30+ years' accomplishments and experience in the ethics and compliance arena to LRN clients and colleagues. This expertise includes building state-of-the-art compliance programs infused with values, designing user-friendly means of engaging and informing employees, fostering an embedded culture of compliance, and sharing substantial subject matter expertise in anti-corruption, export controls, sanctions, and other key areas of compliance. Prior to joining LRN, Mrs. Divers served as AECOM's Assistant General for Global Ethics & Compliance and Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer. Under her leadership, AECOM's ethics and compliance program garnered six external awards in recognition of its effectiveness and Mrs. Divers' thought leadership in the ethics field. In 2011, Mrs. Divers received the AECOM CEO Award of Excellence, which recognized her work in advancing the company's ethics and compliance program. Before joining AECOM, she worked at SAIC and Lockheed Martin in the international compliance area. Prior to that, she was a partner with the DC office of Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal. She also spent four years in London and is qualified as a Solicitor to the High Court of England and Wales, practicing in the international arena with the law firms of Theodore Goddard & Co. and Herbert Smith & Co. She also served as an attorney in the Office of the Legal Advisor at the Department of State and was a member of the U.S. delegation to the UN working on the first anti-corruption multilateral treaty initiative. Mrs. Divers is a member of the DC Bar and a graduate of Trinity College, Washington D.C. and of the National Law Center of George Washington University. In 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Ethisphere Magazine listed her as one the “Attorneys Who Matter” in the ethics & compliance area. She is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Rutgers University Center for Ethical Behavior and served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Institute for Practical Training from 2005-2008. She resides in Northern Virginia and is a frequent speaker, writer and commentator on ethics and compliance topics. Principled Podcast Transcript Intro: Welcome to the Principled Podcast, brought to you by LRN. The Principled Podcast brings together the collective wisdom on ethics, business and compliance, transformative stories of leadership and inspiring workplace culture. Listen in to discover valuable strategies from our community of business leaders and workplace change makers. Susan Divers: Last September, the Department of Justice Fraud Section announced a new policy direction on corporate misconduct. And they clearly stated that personal accountability for employees, executives, and directors was the department's number one priority. And as part of that, the revised policy that DAG, Lisa Monaco put out that day makes clear that an organization's compensation and benefits program must be aligned to its values and ethical culture. That means that positive behavior, for example, turning down a tainted business opportunity should be an essential factor in evaluating performance. And that there should be financial penalties, real financial penalties for misconduct. So what does that mean for compliance professionals? Hello, and welcome to another episode of LRN's DAG, Lisa Monaco. I'm your host, Susan Divers, director of thought leadership and best practices at LRN. Today I'm joined by Stephanie Ragan, a certified compliance and ethics professional, and most recently of Sofec, an oil and gas provider that's global in its operations. Stephanie has just left Sofec and is now consulting on her own after 14 years of a compliance specialist and a manager in the oil and gas industry. We're going to be talking about implementing a meaningful performance management system that meets DOJ objectives and how you go about that. Stephanie, thanks for joining me on Principled Podcast. Stephanie Ragan: Thanks for having me, Susan. Susan Divers: It's my pleasure. Interestingly, one of the questions we ask in LRN's annual program effectiveness survey is about organizations using ethical behavior as a significant factor in compensation, bonuses, hiring and promotion. And last year 69% of the over, I think it was about 1200 ENC programs that we surveyed, indicated that they required that an employee's ethical behavior be evaluated as part of their annual performance review. And we found that top rated programs were much more likely with 88% including such criteria. But Stephanie, as you know, with all things compliance, the devil is in the details. So I'd really like to hear about how you implemented your program that does just that at Sofec. And I'm sure our listeners would love to profit from your experience and your wisdom on this subject. So let's start at the beginning, how did you start this initiative or how did it start and how did you get support for it? Stephanie Ragan: Well, sure. So coming from a company like Sofec, we just celebrated our 50th year and we have a lot of mature programs and some that are still coming along. And our compliance program was one of our newer initiatives. We started it in about 2011. And it was interesting to see that when we formalized that department and all of our programs, policies, everything that helped sustain it, there was a need to measure it against other overhead type departments like HR, HSE and quality. So looking toward those types of departments for direction to see how we could measure effectiveness of programs and tie that back to our professional performance goal setting efforts that we do on an annual basis was a challenge for us. And we decided that as the new kid on the block, we could look at what worked for everybody and what didn't. And we decided that it would be necessary to look at what weight we needed to hold within the organization for each of our compliance initiatives. So for a starting point for our listeners, I would suggest that you look at the way your organizations measure performance. And if there is already an existing HSSEQ component or HR component, that you should also be including a compliance and ethics representation. And that should be a key area of focus for your personnel to align with your company culture and your company code and business operations. Susan Divers: That makes a great deal of sense. And I want to pick up on one thing you said in particular, which is that the ENC program needs to have equal status and weight with other similar programs, whether it's HR or audit or security or health and safety. And that's actually in the 2020 guidance from the Department of Justice as well. Because one of the questions prosecutors will ask or are told to ask companies accused of misconduct is, "Does your ENC program have equal status and resources?" So the approach you took fits very nicely with that. Let's talk about how you actually went about it. How did you enlist support? How long did it take? And what did you do in the end to get it up and running? Stephanie Ragan: Well, you know it takes a village to have any kind of success. And our compliance and ethics global team really took on this call to bring compliance and ethics to the forefront, it having an equal say in the performance measurements that we do in the company. And we were able to within the last few years, convince our management that along with performance measurement, which was a key area of concern, we needed to have regular meetings, at least an annual meeting, to be able to confer as a team globally and to discuss ideas, work on program development and get training initiatives ironed out. Kind of plan out our year as a whole so that globally we could have a cohesive plan that aligned everyone, didn't leave anyone behind from a planning standpoint for all of our entities, and made sure all personnel were covered by local compliance and ethics designees that could administrate and cover those programs as we rolled them out. So this was very well taken on. And again, we leaned back into HR and HSE were having these types of annual meetings and conferences internally in the company. So we wanted to say, again, we need to make sure compliance and ethics is represented. It was well received and management was very supportive. So in 2019, we had our first global gathering. And at that point, we all discussed how we measured and where we had gaps in measuring those compliance and ethics performance areas. And we figured that the global initiative of tying it into your bonus, your compensation that's measured annually by HR, that we needed to partner with them as well. So we were able to utilize the great guidelines that were out by the Department of Justice that came out in 2018, 2020. And then similarly, we had more guidelines come out again this September. These types of guidelines were helpful in getting the highest levels of buy-in. So using that as leverage, we were able to place value on measuring those individual participation to show evidence of a effective compliance program. And we were able to also work with legal. And I think that that's something that anyone who's struggling with finding a way to tie their individual performance metrics for users to compliance and ethics, that having your legal team work with you, if that's not already part of your compliance and ethics team and working with HR to jointly explain to senior management why the Department of Justice guidelines are so helpful and necessary to pay attention to. No one wants to have those types of individual penalties pointed back toward them. And letting them know what the enforcement and penalty details could entail, it can be a little scary and overwhelming for them, but it lets them know the weight of importance. So moving on, our CNE team wanted to then, after we had our senior buy-in, determine specific ways to quantify a compliance and ethics participation that was acceptable. So we developed a way to be able to measure and do a cumulative total for each employee throughout the year. And with the help and guidance of our compliance council, our general compliance council, which oversees all of our compliance and ethics initiatives from a senior level, and our chief compliance officer who's over our entire group, performance matrix was developed. So we determined what KPIs and metrics were most valuable to our company and also how participating in training and completing mandatory training assigned on time or early would be a key indicator that our personnel were engaged in in meeting their CNE goals. Now that was our initial concern that the training and focusing on training, on time training completion wouldn't be enough, but that's a great baseline. So if you are not measuring that, start there. And we also decided though that's a minimum expectation, that other avenues of participation engagement could then be easily added. This was a chance also for our CNE team to promote all of the tools and the outreach that we had been developing to engage individuals in our annual Compliance Week program, our local newsletters, which we could insert quizzes and different activities for them to complete, optional live and virtual training sessions, surveys, quizzes, and use of compliance videos and slides in their operational meetings and team meetings. And then it gave us an opportunity also for people that really went above and beyond to be recognized and have that tied back into their performance goals as a metric to, so our compliance champions who always went above and beyond, or personnel who brought forward potential compliance and ethics issues that were helping make formative changes to our program could also be recognized. That sounds like a lot to keep track of and could be really overwhelming for our listeners that have a new compliance program, limited resources, budget constraints, but there are a lot of great tools and support out there like LRN that is a great content provider and provides support with measuring that on time participation and a lot of other value that you can add into your program. Let's face it, at a minimum, any functioning compliance program is at least checking the box with mandatory compliance and ethics training like anti-corruption or your company code training, general CNE program awareness. So if you start with training as your first building block to measurement, it'll be less of a shock and easily accepted because your population and your personnel are already participating in those training initiatives. Susan Divers: That's a great story. And the way that you worked with other people in the company to identify where you were going to start with the criteria I think is very powerful for people who are grappling with this subject. And I know it's not just companies that are new or small, it's an area that I think a lot of people are still trying to chart their way. And also using the Department of Justice guidance strategically to help management understand why this is a risk that really needs to be managed. I think there is emphasis when you look at the guidance, it's important to realize that it's out there in part to help people like you and your team actually implement it by putting it under an official seal, if you will. So well done. Hey, tell us now, how is it working and are there any tweaks that you would make at this stage? Stephanie Ragan: Well, the great news is we've certainly seen improvement. So we've seen results of greater participation across the board in all of our areas. So whether it's people participating in Compliance Week because they know it ties back to their performance or they attend training that they would've otherwise blown off or not considered taking because it wasn't mandatory. And that is really energizing us to continue to grow the program and continue to find ways to reach people. And we've seen a lot of participation because of this initiative of tying it to performance goals in areas and regions where maybe culturally it wasn't important before to participate in compliance and ethics initiatives. But now they understand because they have something that's tangible material that ties back to their actual individual performance and they want to succeed in that area. So in general, it's helped us create different types of communications. We've been able to go and create management reports to provide managers live specific data on how each of their team members are performing throughout the year. Some managers reach out for that quarterly or semi-annually, but everyone reaches out for it toward the end of the year when they're wrapping up their performance evaluations. And it's great to have that kind of tool. So