Lorde takes a stand

By   /   December 25, 2017  /   55 Comments

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In taking this courageous stand, Lorde follows in the steps of her parents’ generation who stood up against apartheid in South Africa; testing atomic bombs in  the South Pacific; New Zealand’s  involvement in the Vietnam War; and demanding a nuclear-free New Zealand.

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Media reports indicate that Lorde has taken a stand and cancelled her planned June tour of Israel;

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In taking this courageous stand, Lorde follows in the steps of her parents’ generation who stood up against apartheid in South Africa; testing atomic bombs in  the South Pacific; New Zealand’s  involvement in the Vietnam War; and demanding a nuclear-free New Zealand.

There are those who insist that “politics and entertainment shouldn’t mix“. But we’ve heard that refrain in the past, in 1981, when so many New Zealanders protested at the Springbok Tour, or demanded that our athletes withdraw from the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Back then it was “politics and sport shouldn’t mix“.

The real subtext of “politics and sport shouldn’t mix” was individuals demanding to enjoy a particular past-time, even at the detriment of others. This was the nakedly selfish side to Individualism bubbling to the surface of New Zealand – perhaps for the first time made so vividly visible for all to see. For them “politics and sport shouldn’t mix” and the corollary that “we can’t make a difference anyway” (or, “it’s none of our business“) was paramount.

Those people were proven wrong. Eventually the apartheid regime collapsed in South Africa.

Let’s recall Nelson Mandela – languishing in prison on Robben Island – remarking when he heard that the Hamilton rugby game had been cancelled after  anti-tour protestors stormed the pitch;

The anti-apartheid movement in South Africa was buoyed by events in New Zealand. Nelson Mandela recalled that when he was in his prison cell on Robben Island and heard that the game in Hamilton had been cancelled, it was as ‘if the sun had come out’.

People made a difference in 1981.

2017 has become the year that women have spoken out against injustice and abuse by those in power. Lorde has become to her generation what Rosa Parkes, Jane Fonda,  Kate Shepherd, and many others were to theirs.

There are those who insist that one person  cannot make a difference, that it is a waste of time to speak out, and that it is pointless to endanger your own well-being  on behalf of others – especially strangers who you’ve never met.

But history is replete with individuals who have reached out to help strangers whom they have never met.

Here in New Zealand, NGOs and volunteers spend vast amounts of time helping those in need – complete strangers. Whether it be Kidscan or Women’s Refuge, people helping other people for no other reason than it is the right thing to do.

Lorde has shown uncommon courage, integrity, and understanding for the plight of Palestinians. She may become the leading light for her generation to follow her example and say, “No, this is not right, we will not accept this”.

I submit that not only is it not pointless to help others – especially total strangers – but it is the essence of what it is to be human.

Once again,  New Zealand has shown the way in the world.

And it takes one person to begin.

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References

Radio NZ: Lorde reportedly cancels Israel show after backlash

Fairfax media:  Kiwi pop singer Lorde cancels show in Israel after open letter from fans

Haaretz: New Zealand Singer Lorde Cancels Israel Show After BDS Pressure

Daily Mail:  Lorde cancels Tel Aviv show after backlash from fans who accused her of supporting Israeli government

Other Blogs

Redline:  Israel, Palestinian liberation, the BDS campaign and left critics

The Standard:  The United Nations gives Trump the middle finger

Previous related blogposts

Wellingtonians say ‘No!’ to Israeli aggression

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55 Comments

  1. Siobhan says:

    Her ‘Stand’ was to play in Israel.

    At this point in time and history, that is, in fact, a political statement.

    Her now not playing is called saving her brand and future sales.

    • Marc says:

      Simply a ‘new stand’, after ‘reconsideration’. If only our Ombudsmen, the HDC and so would be capable of the same, I’d be happy.

      • John W says:

        Lorde’s manager will have a major part in both decisions.

        Why would a NZ singer want to go to Israel to perform.

        • Indeed, John. Furthermore, it may escaped the attention of Israel and it’s vocal supporters that after this fiasco, I doubt any performer will want to even consider touring Israel.

          Israel should’ve taken this quietly and not kicked up a fuss. Their reactionary, vitriolic response may well be an “own goal”.

          • Sam Sam says:

            At any given time, Israel’s Prime Minister will always side with Israel. If targeted sanctions or boycotts ect, truly threaten their riches and ability to enjoy it, The Israeli Prime Minister is done for.

  2. Marc says:

    Good step, Lorde, we need more of you do the same, thanks!

  3. Adrian Thornton says:

    ‘Lorde takes a stand’

    Are you joking?

    “Thank you for educating me, I am learning all the time too” ….

    Frank, come on seriously man, you can’t be that naive’ , that tweet was aimed at convincing 14 yo kids, not grown, critical thinking adults.

    Let’s look at the facts….
    Lorde booked a gig in Israel, (probably organized at least a year ago) most surely with the full knowledge of it’s long history of radically racist, violent and oppressive political ideology and actions.
    Lorde would surely still be playing Israel in June, had there not been a backlash that would obviously effect her career/image going forward.

    So yes your title is right, ‘Lorde takes a stand’..but only to protect her image, nothing more, nothing less….shameful, not courageous.

    • Michal says:

      I strongly disagree. She wouldn’t have set up her schedule but her manager will have. For goodness sake give some credit to the young woman. It would not have damaged her brand in my opinion if she had gone.

      To suggest she booked a gig in Israel knowing the history of the Zionists will simply not be true. She may be really intelligent that doesn’t mean she knows all about the struggle of the Palestinians.

    • Frank, come on seriously man, you can’t be that naive’ , that tweet was aimed at convincing 14 yo kids, not grown, critical thinking adults.

      14 year olds don’t need convincing, Adrian? I remember how politically aware I was at that age (not very). I remember how uninformed and reactionary my views were at that age (very).

      It’s unclear to me why you think convincing young people (of any age) is a bad thing.

      There are many who call for Civics to be taught in our schools to achieve that very thing.

      (By the way, I’m not sure why you think I’m “naive”. It was Lorde who made the comment “Thank you for educating me, I am learning all the time too”, not me. And at her age I was fairly naive as well. )

      • Adrian Thornton says:

        I said I thought you where being “naive” because….

        1. The title of your piece ‘Lorde takes a stand’

        2. The first line of your piece ‘In taking this courageous stand’

        Both of which I personally believe are pure bullshit, I mean are you seriously saying that you don’t believe Lorde had any idea what is going on in Palestine/Israel, prior to accepting the booking to perform in Israel?

        I am sorry if I am coming across as a real cynic here, to me her music sounds like music made especially to appeal to prepubescent girls, so maybe she really is that naive and I am just a big old grouch.

        I’m not too proud to admit that maybe I didn’t make the right call on this one?

        • Marc says:

          “I am sorry if I am coming across as a real cynic here, to me her music sounds like music made especially to appeal to prepubescent girls, so maybe she really is that naive and I am just a big old grouch.”

          Not a completely wrong assessment, I think.

          As much as Martyn and this blog tries to excite the millenials to join the progressive, ‘left’ force, and go and vote accordingly, I fear that this blog does not interest all that many under the age of say forty to fifty year old readers and activists.

          They (especially under 30) are a generation out to have fun, to get quick and easy kicks, who want instant gratification and weigh up everything for their own personal benefit and advantage.

          Lorde caters for them, so no matter whether she may know much about the true situation in Palestine, or not, she will have listened to her managers who organise her concerts, as that will help her sell tickets, propagate and sell her music, and make a successful living.

          At such a stage most if not all ‘idealistic’ or even ‘principled’ artists become servants of Mammon.

          But putting all realism, cynicism and so besides, we must still support her decision, as it is the right one, not to go to Tel Aviv under the present circumstances.

          Knocking her down, that will NOT serve our interests at all. As for TDB, the majority of the younger generation have other places they visit on the web, there is too little in ‘exciting’ stuff here, although I consider the posts here being worth reading and analysing, same as many comments. It may require some additional efforts to get the fans of Lorde to also come and read here. They are simply NOT interested in ‘isms’, in idealism of the past, in left or right, as I already hinted above, as disappointing this may be for many of us.

          • Sumsuch says:

            Disagree with you Marc on some matters. Think you’re right about the 40-50 year-olds who follow this blog. But the media says the youngsters are more world-aware than previous generations?

            I can’t see much more exciting than politics, truth and demo-cracy. That may be beyond the vista of Americans but that is just the wordage on their death writ.

            • Sam Sam says:

              I’m not that old

            • Marc says:

              “But the media says the youngsters are more world-aware than previous generations?”

              Yes, some are, but most, most, they just follow click bait ‘news’ and the likes via the screens of their i-phones, Samsung Galaxy and whatever else they use in gadgets.

              Many are superficially informed and have NO clue about the basics of life, of nature and production, and this will create a huge risk for ‘western’ and ‘developed’ societies in general, where people increasingly rely on robots and apps to do the hard and also mundane tasks, and where that is not possible, cheap immigrant labour, and offshore labour are used to do work so many do not want to do, as it does not appeal to them.

              I see it with my own younger relatives, they all want to study something and have fancy ideas about their life and careers, they think they know it all, but they do not understand the complexities of how our natural world evolved and functions, let alone how food is produced.

              Grown up with massive fossil fuel exploitation and use, with mass production, with consumerism galore, but not with parents teaching them enough basics.

              It reflects in their political thinking, which some of course have, but it is simplistic and full of expectations, while the hard work needed is what many will not bother with.

              Bill English and many Nats know this, hence ruthlessly exploit that situation for their own ends. Hence mass immigration, housing speculation by the property owning middle class, which will be ‘wealth’ inherited by many young people, who will never have worked in a hands on job.

    • Johnnybg says:

      Or better still, because the PC thought police have shamed her into making this decision. So now her political consciousness has been raised an inch or two, maybe she should also stop playing in corporate US of A, as their almighty fuehrer is one of Israels biggest fans. But then her musical career would be totally ruined, as she’d loose the backing of all her plastic show biz mates who’re key players in the perpetuation of our homogenised, bread & circuses world. So Frank if you’re so concerned about; the imperfections & convulsions of our all too human nature & the outrageous injustices that result from this then maybe; you should dream up a better world or get behind someone who has; forsake the security of your comfort zone; get down & dirty in the mean streets & commit yourself 100% to the revolutionary action that will be required to bring about real change>

      • Considering you’ve never been particularly concerned with “outrageous injustices” previously, Johnnybg, it appears that your sole concern is supporting the Zionists in Israel and elsewhere.

        Blaming “the PC thought police” when someone makes a decision to stand against oppression speaks volumes of your pro-Israel agenda.

        Whenever such stories hit the media, social fora, or political blogs, Israel’s Zionist supporters come out of the woodwork.

        • Johnnybg says:

          How do you know all this? Considering you know nothing about me you’re very knowledgeable about me & my views. I’ll enlighten you a little; I am the NZ Patriotic Revolutionary Front who’s stood up & been counted out. I’m also Ayvangard, but as those who practice false humility say, ‘it’s not about me’, of course it is, personality in the highest form of reality, this is why we’re getting all hot under the collar, because Lorde is one. Solutions bro, wish fulfillment, endless whingeing & blogging won’t evolve our natural inclinations, improve the human condition or change the world. From an ex bikie, shaman, artist, poet, activist, barfly, dreamer, stirrer, guerrilla gardener & lifelong rebel etc. Lighten up mate, we’re living in a post-post modern post-truth world, there’s no hope for us, enjoy the slippery slide into extinction & oblivion or come up with an course of action that will result in widespread human transmutation. Bring on the Kaos I say.

          • Otto Mann says:

            JohnnyBG, you’re either sniffing something highly volatile or you were born halfway crazy. Most of your shit doesn’t mean anything and the only thing you’re doing is avoiding the real issue being discussed here.

            Namely: Israel and it’s subjugation of Gaza and the West Bank. Oh, and threatening it’s neighbours with weapons of mass destruction. The REAL kind. Not the fantasy bullshit kind which George Dubya fantasised about.

            Lorde has made her decision and it’s time Israel had a damned good look at it’s own behaviour.

            • Johnnybg says:

              [Comment declined for publication. Racist abuse is against TDB policy. One more like that, Johnnbg and your posting privileges will be permanently rescinded. – Scarletmod]

              • Johnnybg says:

                So it is not racist when you make sweeping derogatory comments about Israel or the Jewish people? Have I got this right?

                • What racist comments? Give us some concrete examples.

                  • Johnnybg says:

                    That’s your area, selective facts from dubious media source that suit your prejudices. There’s two sides to this argument & they’ve been put very well by the latest post on this matter. But here’s a couple of thoughts; in the 1930’s when the main ideologies of the early 20th century were being fought over in Spain, people went there from all the over the world to support & fight for their specific cause. Why don’t you head over to Palestine & do the same, or better still become a homegrown freedom fighter, as there’s a lot to do right here. Too much of an inconvenience perhaps? Oh for those joyous days when existentialism was the talk of the town, & word & deed were one.

    • Otto Mann says:

      Acshully, Adrian, Lorde wouldn’t have booked anything. It’s her MANAGER handles that sort of shit.

      But being all growed up and mature, you knew that, right?

  4. Lorde has admitted her mistake on this issue;

    “i pride myself on being an informed young citizen, and i have done a lot of reading and sought a lot of opinions before deciding to book a show in tel aviv, but i’m not proud to admit i didn’t make the right call on this one.”

    ref: http://www.vulture.com/2017/12/lorde-cancels-israel-show-i-hope-one-day-we-can-all-dance.html

    That takes courage to admit a mistake. God knows I’ve made plenty in my lifetime.

    I respect a person who has fucked up and admitted their mistake, rather than someone who fucks up and never admits to fallibility.

    • Nitrium Nitrium says:

      Well good on her. I do hope there isn’t an even bigger backlash from the many Jewish lobby groups that adversely affects (or even ruins) her career. Given that she seems to be primarily doing this to appease her fans (she’d have to have been living in a cave to not know about the Israeli/Palestine “hot potato”), this could well turn out to be a case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. The smart thing, in hindsight, would have been to not announce a concert in Israel in the first place.

      • Marc says:

        NITRIUM:

        “Given that she seems to be primarily doing this to appease her fans (she’d have to have been living in a cave to not know about the Israeli/Palestine “hot potato”), this…”

        You and others here are active followers of developments, such as what is going on in the Occupied Territories, in Gaza and so forth, so you may have some good understanding of matters.

        But many persons out there, and I would even include Lorde, they have a very superficial, poorly informed view, if they have ‘a view’ at all on the Palestine issue.

        It takes a fair bit of effort to really know what goes on there, as we know that the MSM, on which most do still rely most of the time, are also informing in a very superficial manner, some are misrepresenting realities.

        Hence I believe that Lorde was just poorly or insufficiently informed on such matters as Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, that she did not see it as such a serious issue at first. Now she seems to be getting a bit of a grasp of what is really going on, what may be behind it, and what her going to Tel Aviv would mean to many who are negatively affected by Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians and the PA.

        We here on TDB are a tiny minority in this society, who know a bit more, and care a bit more, than the bulk of the populace, that is in my view the situation. Most care only what affects them personally here in NZ, what goes on elsewhere is of little interest to most.

        • Indeed, Marc. In my 20s I believed that the 1967 War was launched by Arab states against Israel and I formed my beliefs accordingly. It wasn’t till I was informed of the facts much later that I learned that it was Israel that had started the conflict with surprise attacks on Egyptian airfields. Popular Western media is not particularly helpful in educating the masses – something we should be well aware of, by now.

          What surprises me is that 20-something year olds have any political knowledge these days. Perhaps explaining why so many of them don’t vote.

          • mary_a says:

            Same here Frank. Despite being schooled to SC and UE level during the 1950s and ’60s, I can’t remember being educated about the conflict in Palestine.

            My real knowledge came about when I was 21 in 1967 and saw the devastating butchery inflicted upon Palestinians on TV, being told by US dominated news sources the conflict was instigated by Arabs, giving the false impression the state of Israel had every right to exist by any means, even if it resulted in the attempted annihilation of Palestinians!

            As I became more informed about the situation (no easy task back then getting facts, due to the spread of propaganda re Israel), like yourself, I formed by own opinions of the issue and realised what Israel was doing was akin to terrorism, with total disregard for the consequences of its aggression towards the Palestinian people! An opinion I strongly hold today.

        • Nitrium Nitrium says:

          You’re probably right, come to think of it. Although I personally did very much have my fingers on the pulse of the world affairs in my 20’s, I know many other’s didn’t – and you can’t necessarily blame them for that. I see the backlash has already begun.
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11966035

          • Marc says:

            And more of a ‘backlash’ today, I note, even RNZ reporting this as first news item, oho, listen!?

            What Lorde should smartly do is to offer a free concert in Ramallah or in another place in the West Bank, for Palestinians, and perhaps still hold that concert in Tel Aviv, and there unveil a banner supporting a peaceful two state solution, with Israel having international status as a city of special interest to the three major Abrahamic religions and its inhabitants.

            She could do this to advance peace and consultations, to achieve a good outcome to all, those living in modern day Israel, and those in Occupied Palestine.

            If the Israelis are so desperate to have her there, and claim they are the ‘most democratic’ country in that region, let Lorde test it, and do as I suggest.

            If the Israelis should object to a free concert in Ramallah (West Bank) or arrest her for unfolding a banner appealing for peace and a special status of Jerusalem (not as capital of Israel), then they will shoot themselves into their own foot.

            The intense lobbying by the Zionists to get Lorde forced into reversing her recent decision (see above) shows their desperation, and it offers Lorde an excellent opportunity, to take a truly principled stand herself, AND at the same time expand her fan base to Arab countries and beyond.

            • Marc says:

              “..with Israel having international status as a city of special interest to the three major Abrahamic religions and its inhabitants”

              Sorry, mistake in the first section, it should have read:
              JERUSALEM having international status.

            • Otto Mann says:

              Yeah, and I heard the Israseli Ambassador wants a “cosy little chat” with our Lorde.

              Well he can piss off.
              She said no. When did it become mandatory to follow Tel Aviv’s demands? Are we now under Israel’s direct authority?
              Fuck them and fuck Trump for his crazy decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.

              We need more principled young people like Lorde. There might be hope for this planet yet.

        • Otto Mann says:

          Well said Marc!

      • Samwise says:

        “Appease her fans”?? Why attribute so cynical a reason to her decision? She could simply have changed her mind after studying the issue more closely as well as seeking advice.

    • Johnnybg says:

      Mistake, according to who? A self appointed judge, jury & executioner. Sublime arrogance. Why does the Spanish inquisition, Russian show trials & McCarthyism come to mind. I’ve made heaps of mistakes & keeps making them, c’est la vie. If I need a new propaganda minister I’ll be in touch. Done for the day, have a good one.

    • Sumsuch says:

      One of the major problems of this age is holding ourselves up to the model of perfection (cvism) rather than that of humanity.

      The English criticize the French for immorality, the French think the English hypocritical. Don’t really believe there is a halfway point.

  5. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    If this clusterfuck ends Lorde’s career, don’t say i didn’t call it. You keyboard warriors wanted it, now you got it. Slow clap, I guess.

    • It didn’t end the All Blacks when they stopped playing rugby with apartheid-era Springboks…

      • Nitrium Nitrium says:

        The All Blacks weren’t beholden to global opinion for their livelihood. I guess Lorde could be the next Dave Dobbyn (a local hero, as it were), but I’m pretty sure she had a far greater potential and ambition.

        • In Vino says:

          Had? If she continues to produce quality work this little firefight will be quickly forgotten. You may not like her style. but I think the younger audience will be influenced by more good songs – not where she did or did not tour, and who spat tacks at the time.

    • Otto Mann says:

      “Clusterfuck”!!!!

      Nice to know you see someone making the right decision to change her mind in a derogatory sense.

      What would you have done, Nitrium, caved in?

      She didn’t make the touring arrangements. Her manager did. Give the woman her dues, she eventually decided to abandon the tour. There’s no time frame to making the right decision, as long as it’s made.

      Easy for you to sit in high moral judgement. When did you ever put yourself on the line against a racist regime?

  6. **Update**

    Israel’s Minister of Culture, Miri Regev, is piling pressure on Lorde to reconsider her decision to cancell her tour of that country;

    “Lorde, I expect you to be a ‘pure heroine’ like the title of your first album. A pure heroine of culture, void of any foreign political considerations, not to mention delusional ones.”

    ref: https://www.timesofisrael.com/culture-minister-urges-popstar-lorde-to-reconsider-israel-gig-cancellation/

    If there’s one thing Kiwis don’t do, it’s buckle under pressure from foreigners.

    The US found that out when they tried to pressure the Lange-led Labour government to abandon their ban on warships carrying atomic weapons.

    But this will backfire on Israel (take note supporters of Israel who are posting on TDB). This will warn other performers not to even consider performing in Israel.

    The Israeli government are doing no favours to themselves by pressuring people to kow-tow to their demands.

    In simple terms: Israel can fuck off.

    • Nitrium Nitrium says:

      As I’ve tried to explain, it’s all very easy when it costs you nothing to boycott (like all “keyboard warriors” such as yourself and media pundits like Hosking and Henry). However, when you fuck up your entire hitherto very successful career for it, especially at 21 years of age, it’s a whole other issue imo. Are you willing to cough up every last spare penny of your income in support of Lorde’s decision going forward? If you scan your bank statements and post them online, I’ll believe it. You (and others) effectively demanded (potentially) career Martydom from her, are you now willing to back her up financially? If not, why not?

      • Marc says:

        This offers Lorde an excellent opportunity, if she is smart as she thinks she is.

        Offer Israel to come to Tel Aviv, under the condition that they allow her to hold also a free concert in Ramallah in the West Bank!

        And at the end of a concert in Tel Aviv, she could smartly use the opportunity to thank her fans there, and unveil a large banner, calling for peace and cooperation, for consultations that respect the previous UN sanctions, and that lead to a two state solution of sorts, that allow Palestinians to ALSO have Israel as their capital (at least the Eastern part of the City).

        Or demand that a special status is upheld for Israel.

        She should support the recent UN vote against what Donald Trump and the US government announced, re Jerusalem, and call for PEACE and mutual understanding.

        Doing that would force the hand of Israel’s government and their Zionist supporters, to allow a free concert in Ramallah, offering Palestinian fans to see and hear Lorde, and may embarrass the present government there, taking the wind out of their sails, while Benji Netanyahu is already getting rather unpopular due to corruption allegations.

        If Lorde is smart, she can win over many more fans, and earn more in future, doing as such.

        • Marc says:

          Damned, brain malfunction:

          “that allow Palestinians to ALSO have Israel as their capital (at least the Eastern part of the City)”

          Should of course have read JERUSALEM …not ‘Israel’.

        • Nitrium Nitrium says:

          Good plan. Incredibly women don’t even need to cover their heads in Ramallah, so Lorde can pretty do her show in her usual clothing without offending anyone.

    • Geoff Lye says:

      Now for a sports boycott.

  7. David Stone says:

    Lorde’s decision to play in Tel-Avive must have been made months ago.
    The move by Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem makes a difference.
    While Trump has said this doesn’t mean East Jerusalem can’t still be the Palestinian capital Netanyahu has said so. Most of the world is condemning the US for this move as it seems, without a balancing move to announce moving or setting up a Palestinian embassy in East Jerusalem, to be a significant step by US and Israel together to cement the subjugation of Palestinians , and the theft of their heritage in place.
    I think it is entirely appropriate for her to alter her arrangements in the light of these changed circumstances. It does not to my mind show inconsistency on her part. The situation has changed.
    D J S

  8. Historian Pete says:

    I was about to make a comment Frank but I found that you have brilliantly rebutted the pro-Zionist sentiment here, making my contribution redundant. Well done!!

  9. mary_a says:

    Although I am pleased Lorde has taken the stand not to play in Israel, I’d like to see her make public the reasons for doing so. Such as condemning the brutality Israel has inflicted on Palestinian people, since the apartheid state was formed almost 70 years ago, in its quest to virtually annihilate Palestine, through excessive violent force!

    If she did that, then that would make her case for pulling out of performing in Israel much stronger, giving a powerful message, not only to her fans, but to the world.

  10. Donna Miles says:

    The Lorde of courage.

  11. Miles says:

    comment deleted? free speech not. Do u think I really lose sleep over that? Just the typical non tolerant left.