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Angels From Heaven

by Carley Cooper
It's almost Christmas.  Is it just me or did this year whiz by when I wasn't looking?!  Wow, it feels like last Christmas was just over.  It's nuts.  December is always a super busy month.  Christmas is a very emotional time of year for me.  Being so busy helps and other times it adds to the overwhelmed feeling. 

Today, though I'm feeling wonderful.  I think I'm about to hit a mania period.  I love those, except for when they have to end.  The higher I've been the harder the crash it seems.  I always  bounce back though; and in the last couple years I bounce back much faster and better than I ever have in my life.  I credit this to many factors; but, really, the credit goes to Jesus.  The freedom I have found in the last couple years since I became a Christian is overwhelming.  But, that's a story for another day.  Today, I want to share with you something I wrote for someone super special to me. 

A couple weeks ago, I decided on a Christmas gift for the lead pastor at my church.  It was a collection of 4 small glass angel ornaments with touches of gold trim.  Beautiful set, but I wanted to make it more personal.  I decided that I would write a poem for him to tell him how much he helps me and how much I appreciate it. 

I've written a lot since I discovered my talent and love of the craft.  However, I have never in my life attempted poetry.  I had no idea if I could do it at all.  I sat down one evening after dinner to write a poem for Pastor Henry.  I dribbled many words and phrases onto my keyboard; but nothing that made sense.  After a couple hours, a lot of frustration; and even more laughter at what I was writing; I decided that poetry wasn't my gift.  But it was still bothering me.  I needed to see this through to the end.  I prayed about it as always, and suddenly the words started to come together and they made sense. 

At about midnight I finished this poem.  Let me know what you think.  


Angels from Heaven
by Carley Cooper

A stranger willing to say a prayer,
or a puppy with lots of kisses to share.
A friend who loves enough to sit in silence,
and a pastor with an endless patience.
All are angels sent from Heaven,
to help those like me that’s for certain.

This fancy package that comes from my heart,
is especially for you with my thanks to impart.
Four little angels are contained within,
each a characteristic of our friendship akin.
Lectures, advice, and guidance you extend;
my angel, my pastor, my counsellor, my friend.

I delivered it this morning with the gift to Pastor Henry at the church office; when I took in the huge gift basket filled with lots of home made Christmas treats (which is my own little tradition; because I love all those in the church office so much for all the work that they do for the church, for Jesus and for me).  He read it, and said something like "Wow, that's nice.  Thanks".  It wasn't the response that I had hoped for.  I was waiting for him to look at me and he said "I'm not going to look at you because if I do, I'll cry".  HA!!!  That's the response I expected from him.  He was very touched by it; which makes me very happy.

I also gave him a batch of deviled eggs... one of his favorite treats!  lol  

SHAKEDOWN - A true story of murder, police deceptions, lies and extortion!

Paul Duarte
This book was written by a dear friend.  It is his true story.  Below is the Introduction and Chapter 1 from his book.  If you would like to read more or to purchase a book, you can contact and friend him through is Facebook page Doc Paul Duarte.
 







His personal note to you: 
 
I have written a true life crime story about my next door neighbors murder and what the police can do to people, relationships and friends in the course of an investigation. Some of you may have already experienced similar injustices, some of you never have and will never believe that what I wrote could have ever taken place.

I will be posting a chapter each month starting with the intro [via his FB page] , however; I will be leaving out the last two juicy chapters, after all I have to survive as well. But if you like and find the first 5 interesting, you will not mind buying a copy.



Shakedown
A Non-fiction Book 
by Paul Duarte

Introduction

You know, they say that the least important word in the English vocabulary is the word I. But it is also a word in which we love to use. We love to use it because we all love to talk about ourselves. Blessed is the man or woman who doesn’t, or is wise enough not to - talk about themselves that is. That is a precious gift and if I had possessed such a gift and the wisdom to discern it, I probably would not have been in the predicament in which I find myself now; and probably would not be on record in a police data base for as long as I live. This book is no exception to the rule, since this an autobiography of my latter years there is no way around it.

Most authors write for the sole purpose of personal gain and success and this of course means different things to different people. But this book goes beyond that.
     
You see, I have been falsely accused of murder! Or at least of having some prior knowledge of it. I have not been charged with anything to the point of this writing, but I have been accused of participation. So this book was not really written as much for self gain (although that would be nice) as much as it is to get my story out there. That is Gods honest truth. If at some point I am wrongfully charged with something I had no part in, I want people to know my side of the story for what it really is and not the twisted facts and ideas from a crown attorney or the police - just to get a conviction.

Now! This story really does not and cannot have an ending. Unless I die or the police find the actual killer or killers. Who in my opinion, with all their expensive toys, special units and accumulated knowledge, will never find. Who would commit such a brutal and senseless murder of a neighbour and a friend?
If the police had a clue, they would not be wasting their time and thousands of tax payer’s dollars investigating me, my family, my ex’s, my friends and everyone associated with me. Nor would they be throwing money away on (double) police stings and counterproductive tactics while the killer walks free.

You will see why, to at least some of the questions as you read on.
So if you are looking for a happy ending or closure, it is not too late to get a refund. But I promise you! If you do read on to the end, you will be reading one of the best real life drama’s you have ever come across lately. Especially here in Canada, supposedly land of the free. Nothing in this story was fabricated, exaggerated or bent. The facts come from what the police have said to me or to others, things that people in general have said, things that have happened before my own eyes and the obvious deductions of things that have taken place. So sit back and be prepared to be taken on a journey – my journey. An emotional roller coaster of chaos, tension and sleepless nights. Nights that has led me to the disbelief and credulity of our justice system and the police.

Chapter 1 - The Beginning

For most of my life I have lived a peaceful and quite existence. I have never broken the law, never hanged out with the wrong kind of crowds, never done drugs, abused alcohol or even smoked for that matter.

The first four years, I lived on the outskirts of the small town of Alhandra, in a small house, in the sunny district of Lisbon, Portugal.
The house belonged to my dearly departed grandma, who lived there for the most part of her life, before moving to Canada to be with my mom during her golden years until the day she died. I was born in that house, and I lived there with my folks and one of my sisters, for those first years of my life. My younger sister was born in the house as well, but arrived by stork two years after me.

The property surrounding our home was a Garden of Eden flourished by orchards, vegetable gardens and vineyards, where my cousin Al and I spent most our days playing in make belief mystical forests, medieval knights and fire breathing dragons.
Al was about the same age as me, differing by only a month, and we got along well enough most of the time. Al had a bit of a mean streak in him as a child, and some days he was so hard to handle, that made it difficult for anyone to be around him - even his own parents.

We would play from morning till dark - eating oranges, apples, and figs right out of the tree, and only going home when we were called in for lunch or supper. Of course by the time I sat down at the dinner table, my appetite was lost from eating all that fruit I gobbled down throughout the day.
Sitting across from my father, one stern look and we would not dare refuse to eat what was put in front of us. Hungry or not, it all had to go down. There was no wastage in our household. The way my dad figured, was that, if he had to slave all day from Monday to Friday to earn it, none of it would end up in the garbage - and usually none of it did.

In those days, crime in a small town of Hicksville, Portugal was virtually unheard of. Folks would allow their kids to play outside all day without a care in the world. By far - Those were the best days of my life. Like little monkeys, we would climb the olive trees that ran alongside a main road, adorning the banks of the creek that separated our property from the main road.

One of our many pas-times was making bows and arrows from umbrellas we’d occasionally find in the garbage, on garbage day. In those days the ribs of the umbrellas were made from blue spring steel and did not easily break. Then we would go down to the river and shoot rats with the arrows we made from the same umbrellas. We would also make playhouses from a bamboo-like plant (their name eludes me), that grew along the river’s edge along with pear cactuses and raspberry bushes.

We had loads of fun growing up in this semi-rural kind of place! There were small grocery stores nearby, taverns and cafes where most of the adults hung out. We were too young to go in these

places and were thereby forbidden to enter – at least without adult supervision. We were allowed to play anywhere we wanted, sometimes all day except on the road. Getting caught breaking that rule would mean the belt on the old derriere or not being allowed out at all the next day. Yes sir! That was the life. No commitments, no worries and no responsibilities - just plain fun all day, every day.

The love of archery came about early in life when I was just a boy; when I first saw the original black and white movie version of Robin Hood. To me, that fit right in alongside Cowboys and Indians and the orchards were our Sherwood Forest - especially in the summer when the trees were in full bloom.
As I grew older, I came to love the sport so much that later in life I came in second place at the International Belgium Style Championships in Chicago in 1989 - second on my team and my team second in the world. The trophy that bears my name and of my team mates, can still be found in the City Hall of the Town of Ajax, ON (near Toronto), Canada. No lessons, no training, just a natural love and ability for the sport - a love which I regret to say I can no longer practice due to my disabilities and lack of balance.

For the next following seven years, I lived in a quiet mid-sized village not more than ten kilometres from the town I was born in - Vila Franca de Xira. Nothing much out of the ordinary ever happened in Vila Franca. People went about their daily work lives. On the weekends maybe do a little shopping in the outdoor markets, catch a movie, a bull fight on special occasions or a soccer game. For relaxation, they may perhaps hang out with their family and friends at the local café and sip on an espresso or a beer.

The highlight of my town was, and still is, the annual festival Colete Encarnado that takes place in the first week of every July. It honours the labourers, fisherman and ranchers of years past - a tradition that has passed down from generation to generation. No one really knows just how long this celebration has been around, but judging from the traditional costumes, it is probably as old as the country itself. Portugal is about nine hundred years old, so needless to say, the festivities may have been around for a long, long time.

This is a feast of food, music and live entertainment - a festival of decorated streets, decorated houses and even some decorated people, dressing up in traditional clothing. The main streets are closed off and the party lasts all day, all night for three straight days and three straight nights. The festivities are initiated by fireworks and ends with fireworks. The whole event is sponsored mostly by local businesses, television and radio stations, but mostly paid by the municipality and some of the wealthier business owners of the town.

Every year they have the running of the bulls on segregated streets, which usually ends up with one or more adventurous or really dumb lads landing in the hospital. They have folk dancers, wine, beer, sardines and a parade honouring the blue collar worker. I remember the fire truck sirens always scaring the living daylights out of me and sent me running hanging on to my mama’s skirt. But outside of this event; it was business as usual - at least from the eyes of a child.

The next thirty-four years were spent in the big metropolis of Toronto, where I lived with my folks, learned about city life, became street wise, and meta-morphed into what most would call adulthood.

The best part of my life living in Toronto was when I arrived at the age of eleven. This was the first time I had ever seen snow. For me, it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever laid eyes upon. The ground and the trees were all covered in this cold white stuff. I loved how it felt on my face, when one looks up at the sky and it is coming down in big white cold flakes.

I arrived in early January and many of the Christmas decorations were still up. I loved to see the reflection of Christmas lights on white covered ground at night - that too was something else I had never seen before. When I was a boy in Portugal, they did not put up Christmas lights on the houses, or on the trees for that matter. They do now, influenced by American television and movies but it was not something that existed back then.

My father’s acquaintance, a brother of my dad’s brother-in-law, had given me a small aluminum toboggan - and man.... How I played with that thing all day long, every day after school and on weekends. It seemed that the cold and dampness never got to me. I was made of iron back then and could never get enough of it.

Thirty nine years later after shovelling so much of it and a few wipe-outs on ice, I have a different view and opinion of winter. It is no longer that much fun - unless I am tearing up the back forty on a snowmobile or my ATV and occasionally a snowball fight with my honey on a sunny day. I still love the look of the landscape freshly covered in snow, but now I prefer it from the inside of a window and the warmth of a fireplace sipping on a hot cup of coffee, watching the kids play outside. The other three seasons are still fun and beautiful though.

The latter five years were spent on and off in the small rural town of Opas, Ontario, where my ordeal and this story begins.

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Opas is a small, quite rural town in Northern Ontario - located on one of the main arterial highways that run from south of the province, to the furthest organized settlements of the north - then loops back to the big metropolis of Toronto. Like many other small towns in Ontario, nothing much ever happens in Opas.

It is a peaceful and serene existence, and it is home to about three hundred people or so – who just happen to like it that way. The only establishments that exist in Opas, is a restaurant, gas station/coffee shop and the post office. For the exception of maybe a statue of a big fish in front of the community centre complex and the logging boat dry docked out of place beside a baseball field, there is not that much else. If you are driving a bit too fast as you pass through town and you blink, you will probably miss it all together.

In my younger years, I was a fairly polite and obedient child growing up as children go. I never gave my folks any major headaches - at least as far as I can remember and as far as I have been told by my parents. Perhaps due to the fact that my mom was as fast as John Wayne on the draw with her slipper (on my butt, that is) and my father with his stern look that could stop a train in its tracks, kept order and respect in the house.

Some of you may believe that this kind of discipline (not child abuse, but discipline) is a big no-no and raises violent children. In my books that is hog wash! I love both of my parents and they love my siblings and me. I am respectful of them and they are respectful of us. I feel that anyone who thinks otherwise will end up with unruly, disrespectful children, guaranteed.
In any case on a personal note, I managed to go through childhood, high school and most of my adult life, without getting into a lot of verbal or physical confrontations with anyone - or running afoul with the law.

Kids will test you!
If one lets it slide with empty threats, or sends them to their rooms where they have all their conveniences of home, such as a TV, computers, stereos, play stations, Wii’s, cell phones, and so on.... That is like saying, “you are being punished and so you are restricted to spend the day at the amusement park”. If one is going to punish them by sending them to their room, one must also remove all the toys first. Leave the books though - Lord knows, they might actually pick one up and read it.

Kids will test you again and again, every time in a more aggressive and dramatic way each time. If they know that they can get away with it - they will. I see this happening with my ex’s teenage daughters and their friends, from previous marriages. No respect for parents, authority or their elders. No matter what you do for them or how much care, there is no respect.
Like the daughter of my current girlfriend, barely turned sixteen and does not show up at home for two or three days, despite her mother’s frustration and instructions. Not all kids behave this way. There are well brought up kids that respect their parents and their elders. But if you do have respectful children (especially in their teens) count your blessings, you are amongst the lucky few.

I’m no child expert and this is a subject for another book. But it is my belief that if we don’t discipline our children, the authorities will sooner or later. Is it any wonder why our crime rate is so high and rising? Or that the family unit, the fabric of society is breaking down? Kids having kids, with no experience of what being a parent is all about, nor have a concept of what family really is and thereby looking elsewhere.
Not more than a week ago from the time of this writing, a fifteen year old boy stabbed a forty nine year old man right here in my neighbourhood. A boy! A snotty nosed kid, who has not yet learned how to wipe it properly, is now starting of life by committing violent crimes - coming into adulthood from behind a cell of a juvenile centre.

The worse thing I have ever done in life was probably when I gave a kid a bleeding nose. I must have been ten years old or so. I did it because earlier that day, I was being picked on by my friends; on my way home, I ran across this kid a bit younger than I and really without much provocation, I knew I could take him and so I took out my frustrations on him.
To this day! I still feel guilty by that act of cowardice. What makes it worse is that I cannot remember his name or anything about him to apologize. In my teens, I hit another kid for calling 
my grandma (God bless her soul) a stupid old bag, after she called me for dinner from the balcony of the building we lived in.

However, in the midst of giving I got some back as well, when another much older kid twice my size used to try to beat the crap out of me every time he saw me. This customary beating happened almost on a daily basis.
He tried to kill me once (literally) by throwing a brick off his balcony of the third floor of the same building previously mentioned. He missed my head by a mere couple of inches. I told my folks what had happened once I got home, but they were afraid of getting involved with the police and opening up a great big can of worms, so they did nothing.

They were also afraid of confronting the other kid’s parents. To this day I still don’t know why they did not come to my rescue. We were new to Canada and as in the old country; people feared the police and did not want any kind of involvement or confrontation. Back in those days at least in Portugal, there was a lot of corruption within the force and they were a group to be avoided. People ended up in jail for a long time just for their open political views.

The brick incident happened while I was walking alone on the way home from school one day, if simply for nothing else, but an unfounded hatred towards me. Thank God we did not live in that building much longer than a few months. If we had, this kid would have found a way to “do me in” for sure.

Another incident happened about fifteen years ago or so; was when I got suckered punched in the head by a drunken ex-friend, who owned a local camp near where I was working at the time. This misfortune took place when I lived near Arden, Ontario. I owned and operated a small hardware store and this took place right inside the store during business hours.

His beef was simply this - I called him on the phone and asked him if I could use his typewriter for an hour or two. I needed to borrow it, to type some sort of business letter or invoice I was working on at the time. I can’t recall what exactly it was for but that makes no difference. He refused and asked me to go over to his place and write my letters there instead. All I said to the man and some might consider this an insult, I don’t know... but I didn’t see it that way and I still don’t. Was that I was not going to bring store business to his place - just like he would not bring his camp business to mine.
He found that somewhat offensive! So he got in his truck with his brother and decided that he was coming over to stir trouble – stir trouble over a typewriter - no less!
You know the things we used to use to type letters and write books with before computers and spell check were ever around?

As he barged into my store, I was trying to remove my sweater. Out of nowhere – Bang! A right hook to the mouth. I never called the police, because I knew the guy was drunk and he would probably regret his actions after sleeping it off the next day. Aside from that he was dating my secretary and I did not want to see her upset, or quitting by having her new boyfriend land in jail for assault and battery.

That was pretty much the extent of violence in my life. Not that I could not have taken care of myself, or ran from conflict; it’s just that violence is not and never was in my nature.

I have always been more of lover than a fighter. I love my family, I love my lady and I genuinely care about people and the feelings of others. I guess it is because of that degree of compassion and more recently the fact that I am handicapped, that later in life I studied all I could about theology and got involved with a Church and Ministry. I was searching for that peace and harmony in my life and that has yet eluded me to this day.

I would not consider myself a selfish man. I have done many unselfish acts of charity and kindness toward my fellow men - things such as sitting with the homeless while passerby’s tried to look away as they tossed coins into a hat or container. Some might say that I am trying to put myself on a pedestal, look righteous, or better than thou, by telling you the following stories. The fact is, all I am really trying to say, is that in each one of us there is a good side and a bad side. Even though we are all sinners, we don’t sin every day.

Could I inadvertently break the law? Such as violating traffic acts for example? Sure! Everyone slips up once in awhile. But there are ten rules that I will always try to follow as closely as I can and one of those rules is “Thou shall not kill”.

Sitting there on the street, on a hard and cold sidewalk with some of these people cozying up to a hot chocolate or a cup of coffee, we talked about many things; such as what drove them there in the first place, or what life is like on the streets. I owned a construction company at the time and dressed like any other contractor. I looked a bit like they did! I often had paint and plaster all over my coveralls.
People passing by assumed I was homeless as well and often would walk by trying to avoid eye contact and tossing coins not only at the homeless guy, but at me as well. There were times, where I honestly felt that after I paid my employees their wages and covered my expenses - the homeless person I just spent half an hour with, made more money living on a street corner than I did working ten to twelve hours a day.

Not to degrade or defame the homeless any further than some already are, but figure it out... If every third or fourth person passing by, tossed in a Looney (one dollar) and sometimes two or more; and that happens twelve or fifteen times an hour on a busy or moderately busy intersection - that amounts to quite a bit of tax free cash.
Mind you! That only happens during the busy hours of the day and on busy streets. On the down side of things - there is always the problem of where to spend the night, when the hostels are full and one stands a good chance of being robbed while one sleeps. Especially in the winter time!

I would think that with fifty to sixty bucks ($) a day in ones pocket and in some cases way more; one will not starve or need to find shelter upon the setting of the sun. Now-a-days, there are so many missions and food banks handing out food and a place to stay for a night - especially when it is really cold out - that the need to stay on the streets has been dramatically reduced in the latter years.
That may also explain the increasing number of homeless, mainly amongst young people - who find more comfort on the streets than living in dysfunctional homes. Not all homeless are that 
lucky thought; the busy spots are usually taken by someone else and if another tries to cut into their turf, the consequences could be serious and sometimes fatal.

I hate to say it, but even though there are many genuine people with real needs, I have also met many that abuse the generosity of others and spend most of their money on cigarettes, alcohol and drugs. One of the major problems is that these generous and kind people, as well as organizations that really try to make a difference in society, have difficulty discerning between those who are genuine and those who will abuse their trust. They try to weed out the riff raff, by asking recipients to see their welfare stubs and taking names down; but many that are collecting welfare, are living with a common law spouse, using different addresses and bringing in a generous income by selling drugs, stolen goods, or working under the table.

I had a sort of an acquaintance with a fellow like that, who is on welfare or “well-off” as some of them refer to the (wel)-fare (off)-ice. He supplements his income by selling weed (marijuana) or anything else that makes a bit of extra cash - but he is always broke.
The reason for that is that whatever little money he had left over after selling his goods, he would smoke it away. This acquaintance does not drive and was constantly calling me up for rides into town. He asks me mainly when he needs to do his grocery shopping and at the same time, takes the opportunity to sell his wares in the downtown core area.

I complied most of the time, not because I fancied getting arrested as an accomplice, but because he has a wife and a little girl and they are all basically living in poverty. No work, very little income and seemingly with no light at the end of the tunnel. He is nearly blind in one eye and has no marketable skills. Even though he is an able bodied man, temporary jobs for unskilled workers are only available in occasional short spurts from temp agencies and only from time to time.

At some point, it started to be too much and I stopped catering to his needs. I am not sure what happened to him, but I think that he may be presently running from his (weed) creditors, probably in fear for his life.

Friends, I kid you not! I have walked into soup kitchens, where nearly a third of the recipients of this kind of generosity, are sitting at the table eating bread and soup, while drunk or high as a kite on something or other. Most of them reek with the smell of cigarettes, booze or weed and are there being fed by the generous donations of others.

I was thinking to myself! “These guys can’t afford to buy a can of soup, a Kraft dinner or noodles from the local supermarket, which costs anywhere from fifty or sixty cents - but yet they can afford four or five grams of marijuana (weed) at ten dollars or more a gram, or a ten or twenty dollar bottle of whiskey. Something is wrong with this picture!”
There is definitely something wrong here and the society that has spawned it. I have seen it happen, time and time again.

As I mentioned earlier, the homeless are not all like that. There are many, many, people in legitimate need; but there are also many who abuse the system also - many without shame, 
consideration for others or human dignity. As with anything and as the old saying goes, “a bad apple will spoil the bushel.”

Aside from sitting with the homeless, I have also organized clothing and food drives for those whom we believed really did need it. I had sometimes taken days off work to deliver coats and food to shelters and people sleeping on the frozen sidewalks of Toronto. We used to do this mainly at Christmas time, but on a few occasions we did it at Easter as well. We used to do this because, as the Good Book says, “By your works ye shall be known,” and I am a strong believer in that - for whatever its worth.

On several occasions, I have allowed people into my home that had nowhere to go and even had my gas cut off in my house because I spent all that I had, helping other people with their problems. I did some of these deeds, with the satisfaction of having left a small mark of goodwill in the world, but as I get older I realize that these gestures as soon forgotten within a few days.
Some of them have also back fired and have bitten me in the rear as well. Some will say, that “no good deed ever goes unpunished,” or that “the road to hell, is paved with good intentions,” and in many cases, with many people, that is so true.

Either way, no regrets! I did what I felt was the right thing to do at the time. One can’t live on past failures, but can only aim to future successes and hope that we make the right choices along the way. I have lived for days on macaroni and cheese for the same reasons. But you know, by the grace of God I have always pulled through financially, psychologically, emotionally and I have always managed to hold it together until now.

For as long as I can remember, I have had these dumb founded ideas that someday it would be my turn for my ship to come in. That out of the blue, someone would come along and help me, by giving me that little extra push along the way. Ideas like - that perhaps one day, one of my books will sell really well, that I will find a rewarding business or land a job that my broken body can handle well. But such dreamy ideas happen only in the movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” for example. The days when friends and neighbours would come to the aid of someone in real need, when ones back is against the wall with no apparent way out; these days are long gone with the dinosaur and only happen in the perfect world of Hollywood.

We live in a “me” generation. “What’s in it for me?”
The days of love and compassion when a neighbour’s barn or house burnt down and everyone pitched in with labour and materials to build another, those days are but a distant memory in the pages of history. This kind of love, friendship and kindness, does not even exist within the church communities that I am aware of - or that I have been a part of in the past.
This is mostly due to the fact that they are hurting too (financially speaking that is). It is not just that; but also because most churches do not and will not, associate, co-congregate or cooperate with a different denomination.

The only place that I have seen that embraces that kind of brotherhood is in Motorcycle Ministries, which I am a part of one. But even they are divided into their own separate groups and belief systems - although we are all suppose to be and claim to be, brothers and sisters in Christ. I know this to be true since I have been involved with several of these institutions.

Never in my years on this earth have I ever done anything criminal, nor have I had run-ins of any kind with the police. I have always been an upstanding citizen, with no notions of violence what-so-ever. I will not even kill a spider, if my mate asked me to. I will normally up pick the thing in a jar and release it outside. I have always had a great and deep respect for life; even to a creature as small as a spider (except maybe the mosquito). I have always had the upmost respect for authority, the police and the justice system. I have always held these institutions in their highest regard and I have always believed that our man and women in uniform stood for justice, peace, liberty and freedom.

However, what I have witnessed and have been subjected to since my friend was murdered is appalling, revolting and disgusting. The way police pursue a conviction is ridiculous, sickening and unprofessional. Right or wrong, guilty or not, they will not stop until someone lands in jail for a crime that has been committed. After all, they have to justify their inflated incomes and considerations for promotions somehow. It is an unseen world, where ethics are compromised and lying and deception is a way of life. It is a world where all is well and considered to be all good in the course of an investigation.

I compare this behaviour to large companies who want to capture the market before someone else does. Ready or not, they just want to get it out on the shelves and work out the flaws while the product is already selling. Then, once the glitches are ironed out, they resell it as a new and improved version, after they have already sold millions of copies of the less than perfect merchandise.

The same ethics and principles apply here with the police (or lack thereof) - except this version comes as a huge cost morally, financially and sometimes as a destruction to ones livelihood. “Let’s get a conviction no matter what.” Then release the poor schmo, whose life they have dragged through hell and back, perhaps having even robbed the individual of untold thousands of dollars in legal fees and some of his or her best years of their life while rotting in jail. Only to capture the real killer years later, without as much as an apology to the accused, if he or she is found not guilty at some later date.

How many times have we turned on the news and heard of such stories? More times than you think or I care to hear about! To the police these incidents are only collateral damage, but to these individuals, it represents ruined lives for them and their families who have to suffer with them along the ordeal. The last three stories aired only a few days apart, previous to the writing of these words. Here is one of them which appeared on National News!
Case in point Rubin “Hurricane” Carter - Quote from Wikipedia online.
“Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (born May 6, 1937) is a former professional middleweight boxer from 1961 to 1966 and a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame. In 1966, Carter was arrested for multiple homicides in the Lafayette Bar and Grill in Paterson, New Jersey. He and another man, John Artis, were tried twice and convicted for the murders, but the convictions were overturned on appeal in 1985, effectively clearing him, and the prosecution chose not to try 
the case for a third time. From 1993 to 2005 Carter served as executive director of the Association of the Wrongly Convicted. – Unquote!
Mind you, in many cases, the police actually do manage to find the rightfully accused. On the upside; as much as there are unjust cops, laws and investigations; I can’t deny that a police presence is needed in our society and communities. Sadly and unfortunate, but true! Otherwise, the vultures of society would prey upon the weak and general populous for their own personal gain, greed, and psychological perversions. However, this book is not about the average patrolmen that keep the peace on our streets. It is about detectives and how they conduct their investigations.

In most solvable cases, though, it is because the accused is a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, or ex-friend involved in a domestic dispute. In some cases, it can be a gang hit over drugs or initiations, desperate thieves breaking into places or stealing cars, shoplifters caught by surveillance cameras or eye witnesses.... truly solvable crimes are usually accompanied by solid evidence such as finger prints, DNA, witnesses or on caught on video tape - but never, ever, circumstantial; without real evidence to get a conviction.

What makes no sense to me, are some of the methods used by the police. The line of questioning, that turns friend against friend, reputations ruined, finances depleted, emotional drain on the accused and their families, the insinuations and false accusations..... These methods are all good, when there is solid evidence to back up such actions, but when there is no evidence of wrong doing, so much time is wasted chasing down shadows with tax payer’s money.
When there is no evidence, no motive, no connection to the crime, they are left looking for someone, anyone to pin a conviction on – in my opinion, these are acts of desperation and not legitimate police work.

These actions are unethical, immoral and inexcusable. While everyone known to the suspect is telling them that their “man” is a nice guy and incapable of such act, the police still insist to his friends and acquaintances that he is of bad character and tell the suspect’s loved ones that he is an adulterer, a possible murderer and at the very least of questionable moral fibre - to me that is defamation of character, blasphemy and are tarnishing his or her name for life to those who know him.

I can understand them doing that to establish a motive, but when you have a group of people who don’t know each other and who live far apart from each other, saying the same things about the suspect; shouldn’t it send any intelligent individual or detective a crystal clear message that they are barking up the wrong tree? In this author’s opinion, it is amazing and short of a miracle that they do solve any complex crimes at all, as often as they do.

The end does not always justify the means. There is a little thing in a decent law abiding society, which we like to call a moral code of ethics - a code, that some of those in power (politicians, lawyers, the police and even judges) sometime seem to forget. Ethics is no longer the issue. It is all about the money honey; but we won’t get into that one will we? That would be another book in itself.

One sits in front of the tube (TV) watching crime shows and one thinks. “This can never happen to me. I am just an average hard working and gentle schmo. I go to work every day. I cut the lawn. I shovel the snow. I help my family if needed once in a while and I take in a game or two with the boys from time to time. I am generally a really nice guy. This stuff only happens on TV and it could never have happened to me. Well! Guess what my friends? Not more than five months ago from this writing, I was thinking and saying exactly the same thing.

Until one day the police came knocking and decided that I had something to do with the murder of my neighbour and dear friend. I became a prime suspect in a murder investigation without justification or cause. No motive, no connection to the crime in any way and absolutely no reason - for the exception that I lived beside the man. I was sleeping alone in my bed, when my buddy and neighbour got killed, somewhere around five-thirty a.m. that morning – in accordance to the police.

In this book, I have tried to recollect the time and events to the best of my knowledge. The story is real, the events are real – however, with the exception of my own name, my ex and those that have died; the names of the characters have been changed or not mentioned at all to protect the identification of the characters in the story.

If you live in town or near vicinity and are reading this, then you will know exactly who and what I am talking about. This is also intended to protect those that the police have not talked to and perhaps slow them down in their process of defaming my name, honour and character. This futile attempt may be too late, since they have taken my computer with my life in it, along with a list of my friends and clients alike.


Obituary: Common Sense

I copied this from a friend and thought it was worth repeating!

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain
  • Why the early bird gets the worm
  • Life isn't always fair
  • And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by:

  • simple, sound financial policies
  • don't spend more than you can earn
  • and adults, not children, are in charge.

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by:

  • his parents, Truth and Trust
  • his wife, Discretion
  • his daughter, Responsibility
  • and his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers

  • I Know My Rights
  • I Want It Now
  • Someone Else Is To Blame
  • I'm A Victim.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on.

Tequila & Salt

~ Author Unknown ~

This should probably be taped to your bathroom mirror where one  could read it every day.

1. There are at least two people in  this world that you would die for.  
2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.  
3.. The only reason anyone would ever  hate you is because they want to be  just like you.
4. A smile from you  can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
5.  Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.  
6. You mean the world to someone.  
7. You are special and unique.  
8. Someone that you don't even know  exists loves you.
9. When you make  the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.  
10. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take another look.  
11. Always remember the compliments you received.  Forget about the rude remarks.  
 
And always  remember.....
When life hands you lemons, ask  for Tequila and salt  and call me over!! 
 

Little John the Baptist

I didn't write this... but I just had to share this. 


~~Matt..18:4-5 ~~  "Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And who ever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. "

Johnny's Mother looked out the window and noticed him "playing church" with their cat.

He had the cat sitting quietly and he was preaching to it. She smiled and went about her work. A while later she heard loud meowing and hissing and ran back To the open window to see Johnny baptizing the cat in a tub of water.



.... She called out, "Johnny, stop that! The cat is afraid of water!"

Johnny looked up at her and said, "He should have thought about that before he joined my church."


Things to Remember

I love sharing fun things that I have received in an email.  This is one of those things.  I thought it was something very nice. I hope you enjoy.

  • Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
  • Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
  • Life is simpler when you plow around the stumps.
  • A bumble bee is considerably faster than any tractor.
  • The words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
  • Meanness don't just happen overnight.
  • Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
  • Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
  • It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
  • You can't unsay a cruel word.
  • Every path has a few puddles.
  • When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
  • The best sermons are lived, not preached.
  • Most of the stuff people worry about are never gonna happen anyway.
  • Don't judge folks by their relatives, but by their friends.
  • Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer, but you can always have an opinion.
  • Live a good, honorable life.. when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
  • Don't interfere with something that isn't bothering you any.
  • Timing has got a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
  • If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.
  • Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
  • The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every morning.
  • Always drink upstream from the herd.
  • Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
  • Letting the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back in.
  • If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else's dog around.

Things My Mother Taught Me!

I got this list in an email; and I laughed the whole way through reading it. I hope you get a good chuckle from it too!


My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE -
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning!"

My mother taught me RELIGION -
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL -
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

My mother taught me LOGIC -
"Because I said so, that's why."

My Mother taught me more LOGIC -
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

My mother taught me FORESIGHT -
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

My mother taught me IRONY -
"Keep crying and I'll give you something to cry about."

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS -
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper!"

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONIST -
"Will you "look" at the dirt on the back of your neck!"

My mother taught me about STAMINA -
"You'll sit there 'till all that spinach is finished."

My mother taught me about WEATHER -
"It looks as if a tornado swept through your room."

My mother taught me how to solve PHYSICS PROBLEMS -
"If I yelled because I saw a meteor coming toward you; would you listen THEN?"

My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY -
"If I've told you once, I've told you a million times - Don't Exaggerate!!!"

My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE -
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION -
"Stop acting like your father!"

My mother taught me about ENVY -
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do!"

My Mother taught me about ANTICIPATION -
"Just wait until we get home."

My Mother taught me about RECEIVING -
"You are going to get it when we get home!"

My Mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE -
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

My Mother taught me to THINK AHEAD -
"If you don't pass your spelling test, you'll never get a good job."

My Mother taught me ESP -
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you're cold?"

My mother taught me HUMOR -
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

My mother taught me how to BECOME AN ADULT -
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

My Mother taught me about GENETICS -
"You're just like your father."

My Mother taught me about my ROOTS -
"Do you think you were born in a barn?"

My Mother taught me about WISDOM OF AGE -
"When you get to be my age, you will understand."

And my all time favorite... JUSTICE -
"One day you'll have kids ... and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Those ‘Special’ People

We all know people that may not necessarily be the brightest bulb on the ‘Christmas tree’.  Granted, don’t get me wrong...  I think they're wonderful people.  I really do love them very much!  They’re very ‘special’ people!

Here’s a list that someone sent to me describing the special people in our lives!  Feel free to add to it in the comment section below if you have any new ones.

  • An intellect rivalled only by garden tools.
  • As smart as bait.
  • Chimney's clogged.
  • Doesn't have all his dogs on one leash.
  • Doesn't know much, but leads the league in nostril hair.
  • Elevator doesn't go all the way to the top floor.
  • Forgot to pay his brain bill.
  • Her sewing machine's out of thread.
  • His antenna doesn't pick up all the channels.
  • His belt doesn't go through all the loops.
  • If he had another brain, it would be lonely.
  • Missing a few buttons on his remote control.
  • No grain in the silo.
  • Proof that evolution CAN go in reverse.
  • Receiver is off the hook.
  • He has less going on upstairs than a one story house.
  • Several nuts short of a full pouch.
  • Skylight leaks a little.
  • Slinky's kinked.
  • Surfing in Nebraska.
  • Too much yardage between the goal posts.
  • A few clowns short of a circus.
  • A few fries short of a Happy Meal.
  • An experiment in Artificial Stupidity.
  • A few beers short of a six-pack.
  • Dumber than a box of hair.
  • A few peas short of a casserole.
  • Doesn't have all his corn flakes in one box.
  • The wheel's spinning, but the hamster's dead. 
  • One Fruit Loop shy of a full bowl. 
  • One taco short of a combination plate. 
  • A few feathers short of a whole duck.
  • Foam, no beer.
  • The cheese slid off his cracker.
  • Warning: Objects in mirror are dumber than they appear.
  • He fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.
  • Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  • The lights are on, but nobody's home.
  • 24 cents short of a quarter.
  • A few bricks shy of a full load.

As a matter of fact, the 'special' people are so 'very special' that Bill Ingvall & Travis Tritt did a song about them!  Here's a video someone put together.  Listen to it.  You'll like it.  Hmmm!  Why didn't the rest of us get a song? 

Oh, and if you really don't get any of this... write me, I can send you your sign for $19.99 for the Standard model; and $24.99 for the Classy model.  Plus applicable taxes, shipping and handling, of course!



Funny Animals

I got these in an email and they literally made me laugh out loud! I hope they put a fun spot in your day too!

Somehow I can relate to this.

Yea... I know some guys who take things too literally as well! 

Ahhh... yea, me too... what he said!  There, take that!

Boy... do I know that feeling!

At least he's got singing talent.  Some of us just keep on dreaming about it.

Woo Hoo... go Fluffy... shake what ya Momma gave ya!

Yea... mine too...  way to much some days.  That's why I need a weight loss program!

I need to get me a friend like that!  Either that I need to be a friend like that!

 
.......and my absolute fave..........'cause everyone needs a friend like this...........


Would  you be my friend?  I need to learn the ropes too!

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