“The Laramie Project”: Films and plays about Matthew Shepard

I have several legacy posts about the Moises Kaufman play “The Laramie Project“, about the homophobic murder of Matthew Shepard near Laramie, Wyoming in October 1998.

On Friday, Dec. 17 and Saturday Dec. 18, 2010, Langley High School in McLean, Virginia is presenting “The Laramie Project”, by Moises Kaufman, directed by Lauren Stewart and Phyliss Jafee, with members of the Tectonic Theater Project, on the Saxon Stage. I attended the performance this evening. I had substitute taught at Langley as recently as the spring of 2007, so there was a personal sense of déjà vu. The Matthew Shepard Foundation was conducting a silent auction. Thomas Howard, Program Director, conducted a QA. He started by asking the audience in what ways McLean as like Laramie. The audience was silent for a moment, before students started to respond. I mentioned the cloture vote in the Senate on “don’t ask don’t tell” due Saturday, with applause, and said that official attitudes of the Congress and the US military (and the Pope) affect attitudes in general. I may have mentioned here before that I passed through Laramie myself on Aug. 7, 1994 (before the tragedy), the day after I had made the personal decision to write my “Do Ask Do Tell” book and had spent the previous night in Cheyenne. The stage was extremely wide, with the 25 actors (many having multiple roles), spread out, giving very much a “dolby digital” effect. The centerpiece of the stagecraft was the notorious fencepost. The second half of the play was longer and more dramatic, ending with the “trials” (at which the “panic defense”, with some explicit language — “junk” — was brought up). The Fred Phelps demonstration as acted in the play came down the right aisle, and the angels came down the center.

The script mentions that Matthew was kept warm for a while by a female deer. Howard mentioned that Kaufman has a sequel script, “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” in which it seems many town residents have distanced themselves from the atrocity and see it as a Coen Brothers-movie-style drug deal gone bad. (See Nov. 14 posting for video.)The Laramie Project has this link. Tectonic Theater has this link’ The Matthew Shepard Foundation has this link. Howard said that Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church had “threatened” to picket Saturday night in the winter cold (23 F according to my car in the parking lot as I left), but he doubted they would show up.

Earlier in 2010: Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville MD performed the play The Laramie Project on Saturday Nov. 13, by Moises Kaufman. I saw the play in 2002 (I believe) at the Tectonic Theater Project at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis, directed by Michael H. Robbins. The play comprises a lot of recitations from townspeople exploring the social factors that led to the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard outside Laramie in October 1998. There are disturbing moments, such as a fear of HIV infection by the medical attendants. The play incorporates an anti-gay protest appearance by the group from Fred Phelps’s Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS. In fact, (and ironically) the group had threatened to protest the play last night but did not show up. Counter protests against Phelps had been planned. Cody Calamaio has a story in the Maryland Gazette. Phelps did not pickett the Minneapolis performance, but he did picket the All Gods Children Metropolitan Community Church in Minneapolis once, I think in 2003. The Tectonic Theater has a YouTube video clip from a more recent performance, from 2008. I visited Laramie in August 1994. There is a review of the film “Fall from Grace” about Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church on the movies blog Oct. 6, 2010.

(From Plays on doaskdotell.com):

A more recent effort play by Moises Kaufman is The Laramie Project, presented by the Tectonic Theater Project and recently performed in Minneapolis at the Illusion Theater on the rapidly renewing Hennepin Avenue. The director is Michael H. Robbins. Eight cast members take turns playing various Laramie, Wyoming residents in reliving the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard and the subsequent trial. Shepard himself is never portrayed (compared with the MTV film Anatomy of a Hate Crime). The stage is multi-furcated, with impressive backdrops of the Wyoming countryside (which I visited in 1994) projected as from a film strip. The script does tend to read a bit like a college recitation, with the various issues (homophobia, “live and let live,” smaller town sociology, capital punishment) are explored, and there is not a lot of plot-related tension among the characters as is usually expected in screen or play writing. The medical reports are particularly chilling. The fear of the attending policewoman that she could have become infected with HIV is explored and thoughtfully treated. (I was not aware that Shepard had been HIV+ but it appears that if so it likely would have remained dormant for many years and would have been treatable with the newer drugs.) The by Matthew Shepard’s father statement at the sentencing of the second defendant is most touching.

On Nov. 26, 2004 ABC “20/20” aired an interview by Elizabeth Vargas, in which Russell Henderson and Allen McKinney claim from prison that the murder was motivated more by drugs and money that homohatred, something hard to believe given the details

(From Plays on doaskdotell.com):

HBO (with Good Machine) first aired a film version of this play on March 9, 2002. The link is this. The cast included Dylan Baker, Clancy Brown, Tom Brewer, Steve Buscemi, Nestor Carbonell, Mark Webber (from Storytelling, as Aaron McKinney), Joshua Jackson, James Murtaugh. The film is very much like the play: it seems like a docudrama, a sequence of interviews and incidents, and does not have as much impact as the MTV film “Anatomy of a Hate Crime.” The ambivalence or negative perception of many of the townspeople to homosexuality comes across, even as they deplore the crime. The issue as to whether Matthew “hit on” the two perpetrators first is well covered by the bartender’s interview, when he describes how Matthew used to stake out his own territory. The anti-gay protests at the funeral are quite shocking.

(From Movies on doaskdotell.com):

The film “Anatomy of a Hate Crime“, directed by Tim Hunter and Max Ember:

MTV offered this film first on January 10, 2001, on a night dedicated to opposing discrimination. And right off the plate, the most compelling part of this film was Cy Carter’s performance, said by people who knew Matthew to be very true to life as to his demeanor, vocabulary, and personality. He comes across with tremendous charisma and intellectual precision in the first 45 minutes of the film, before the crime and tragedy. He is someone that I believe would have related to me. In fact, I believe that I met him once, about the time I was deciding to do my own book on gays in the military. The narration by Shepard as reincarnated or as a kindly “ghost” is effective in a manner that reminds one of American Beauty.

There are interesting details. For example, the girl-friend of one of the assailants testifies against the killer despite their having had a baby because they never got legally married. There is one scene where Matthew asks for HIV information (for asymptomatic disease), supposedly for a friend. There are a couple of scenes between Matthew and a friend that display an exciting, if reticent, tenderness. There is presentation of Matthew’s fluency in various languages and cultures.

The scenes regarding his two assassins are somewhat stereotyped, almost “heterophobic.” In truth, the film presents the crime as not so much a homo-hatred crime (even given the talk about “rolling queers”) as a “class warfare” crime. The two young men seemed to react like animals who will exert violence against those not only “different” but who also have what they “want” (money, finesse, and, believe or not even in Laramie, a certain sense of privilege and social esteem).

The actual assault scene is mercifully brief, but it contains the kind of chilling shots that marked USA’s re-release of Blood Simple – with the same kind of lower-class “hobo” characters. The last fifteen minutes, dealing with the Wyoming criminal justice system, were too telescoped to really be effective.

Of course, we want to see the studios able to invest in this kind of material on a larger scale, sufficient for a theater release. That is a goal I would like to work on some day.

As for hate crimes laws, I’ll say here that I think that they are a short-circuit or palliative to solving the real problems, which include government-sponsored discrimination, even if they appear in a practical sense to offer “relief” and a counterbalance to homophobia in the law enforcement and criminal justice system. We don’t want to send a message that the surest way to be protected by the law is to set yourself up as a class of “victims.” The law must apply equally to everyone. The law can consider malice and motive behind a crime at an individual level without hate crimes laws, and it did in Wyoming. Go back and read the words of the 14th Amendment, literally.

And, of course, the country has learned that anyone can be a victim of a hate crime.

(From Movies on doaskdotell.com):

NBC airs The Matthew Shepard Story on March 16, 2002. (NBC/Focus/Alliance Atlantis, dir. Roger Spottiswood) (Lifetime aired it on Jan. 2, 2007) The NBC movie starred Stockard Channing, Sam Waterson and (as Matthew) Canadian actor Shane Meier. The film was slightly longer (2 hours scheduled air time) than the other time, slightly more narrative in style and a bit less focused. The story presentation is layered, with the current time being the trial and sentencing of the two assassins. The defense attorney tries to bargain with the parents. Then the story of Matthew’s life is told in engaging flashbacks,

Matthew appears to have exuded an unusual charisma and interest in engaging people, especially those older than him, in many kinds of discussion. One incident of interest is when young Matthew quits a retail job after refusing to dupe an elderly customer. He is totally turned off by the greed that seems to drive job performance in the workplace (at least in selling) and his boss thinks he is too “gay.” The campfire scene where he comes out to his parents communicates well the idea that no one understands what it is like to be him, to be different. He would have been a good friend had I met him. Sometimes, as when he lived in Denver, he seemed to come unhinged.

Matthew Shepard foundation.

(Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT by John W. Boushka)

Twin Oaks Visit April 2012

Twin Oaks 2012-4 residences

This post is a re-post from Blogger on Saturday, April 7, 2012 of my 3-hour visit to Twin Oaks, a planned community in the Virginia Piedmont SW of Mineral about 12 miles.

Twin Oaks family residences

“Twin Oaks”, in the Virginia Piedmont, is an “Intentional Community” of shared living (with manufacturing businesses); report on my visit today.

Twin Oaks hammock factory

Today, I visited the Twin Oaks Intentional Community, about ten miles SW of Mineral, VA, about 40 miles NW or Richmond, in the Virginia Piedmont, about 500 feet above sea level. By chance, it is located fairly close to the epicenter of the Aug. 23 Virginia earthquake but sustained little damage. The website is (website url) here.

Twin Oaks factory

The Community is one of about a thousand “communities” in the United States built around group living.


From a “policy” viewpoint, these kinds of places are important because they represent a new effort toward local sustainability, and they could become very much a way of life if the whole country ever had a huge catastrophe. I must add here, that I think there is a trade-off or balance between local sustainability and individual innovation, when it comes to the progress and good of society as a whole.

Back in 1980 and again in 1984 I had visited the Lama Foundation in New Mexico, while living in Dallas. Lama is somewhat dedicated to spiritual practice that crosses all major faiths. I remember a leader there named Marigold who said, “she came here to come to the woods, not be away from something.” It is located at 8600 feet in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, north of Sante Fe and Taos. It had a huge wildfire fire in 1996 but has since rebuilt.

hammock factory

By comparison, Twin Oaks is entirely secular. It has about 95 members, including some children.

The three hour tour was conducted by “Wizard”, 60, who has actually lived at Lama and dropped out of “middle class” life in the 1990s. Visitor had to be there on time on a Saturday afternoon (as I recall you that was 1:30 PM EDT and the tour lasted until about 5 PM EDT).

The Community follows a principle of shared income, and allows residents a very modest allowance (in addition to room and board) for excursions outside the property. The medium of exchange is actually work hours, in “.1 hour” increments, almost as if they could be represented by a currency. An adult resident (up to a certain age) is required to put in somewhat more than 40 hours of work a week. Much of the work is performed in the Community’s main businesses, which largely comprise hammock manufacture, tofu preparation (from soy), and indexing academic books. The hammock and tofu “plants” are extensive, if relatively simple and straightforward in technology. They are quite impressive to see. Jobs in these plants tend to be repetitive and “hard” but are done equally by men and women. (Women outnumber men slightly, and there are some families with children, which get larger housing spaces.) Work credits are also given for cooking (in the common kitchen, which is large), cleaning, childcare (for others), etc. Some kids are home schooled and some go to college. Health care insurance (and even dental) is provided inexpensively through the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (about 35 miles away). That makes me wonder if there is something to learn from this in the health care debate. (The idea of work credit fits into the idea of a social credit system and also could be imagined as a kind of cryptocurrency to be stored on the block chain.)

There is even a hospice under construction. There are a couple of common recreational areas where DVD movies are shown and music is performed. There is Internet access. Use of media used to be frowned on as interfering with socialization (or “social capital”) but now is much more accepted.

Tofu factory

There is a solar panel facility in the fields, and some of the larger housing units have solar panels.

Tofu for store purchase

The property is large, almost a square mile, and the tour probably involves about two miles of “hiking” along many wooded trails on the property. Buildings, a mix of residences and factory spaces, appear at regular intervals, making the property seem like a “kingdom” as if it could be diagramed on a board game space.

old piano

Many of the residences have a rustic appearance. (One of the recreation rooms actually had a board game out called “class warfare” and I had never heard of it.) The tour imparts the feeling of “being on another planet” (but Lama conveyed that impression, too.)

woods on the Twin Oaks property near Louisa

It may come as a surprise to some people to find manufacturing done domestically by “intentional communities” where assets are shared in common. (No, the hammocks and tofu won’t be outsourced to China.)

There is a waiting list for residency, which is partly explained by the economy. Someone can do a “try out” visit for three weeks. The application and interview process is lengthy, with many questions.

The community says it is committed to the principals of absolute equality with respect to gender. There are or have been a few gay and transgendered residents in about the same proportion as the general population.
The community may have different ideas about modesty and appropriate appearance than the world at large. There is a common “lend library” for clothing.

When people live in the community, they surrender their vehicles. They must rent vehicles to leave the property. Many bicycles are also available.

Of course, it’s impossible to have a “moneyless” shared-living community without some kind of local political structure. There seems to be a lot of “bureaucracy” and a lot of “rules”, some of which are necessary because of the dilution of the use of money in a conventional sense.

Besides Lama, I also recall a quasi-community called Understanding, in Arizona and southern California, in the 1970s, which I have discussed in my blogs and books. It had been founded by Dan Fry. One of its concepts had been “The Area of Mutual Agreement”.

There is a similar group called Acorn about 15 miles away from Twin Oaks, much smaller.

Both groups have had to be closed to the public during the coronavirus pandemic. I hope they have all gotten well vaccinated.

(Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at 1 PM EDT by John W Boushka)

Reminder – this is a “non-commercial” site

When I logged on to the “non-content-managed” portion of the site tonight to add a legacy repost, I noticed a reminder from the webhost encouraging me to get an email address matching the domain so that visitors would know that this is a “real business and not spam.”

I am a little concerned about the implications of such a statement in context. This is supposed to be the non-commercial site for expressing personal views regardless of business in a personally branded manner outside of algorithmic “social media” (which I do use). I do use certain labels for business, that’s true.

I normally use my aol and gmail addresses only, mainly because it is much easier for me to consolidate the email into one or two places. I do agree that were I to start selling items directly it might be advisable to add a domainname email in the future. I also agree that it might be advisable to be accept to accept cryptocurrency in the future. I do have a coinbase account (etherium) but I was never able to get the printed wallet to work right (that was back in early 2019). Maybe I should try again.

Dangerous thought experiment

The video above, made April 1, 2018 as the Internet culture wars were starting (post-Charlottesville) and it needs to be pondered. I cannot let others speak for me as part of their tribe, and I cannot ask people for money for causes, without my own separate identity well-established. I cannot play the victimized-group identity card.

(Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 11 PM EST by John W. Boushka)

More about “Demands of Others”

OK, I have to walk back, or “walk away” (Dr. Karyln’s phrase) or around a couple of comments yesterday to delve deeper.

First, Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy makes “demands” of the west.  He is reported to be “demanding” that NATO take the nuclear risk of a no-fly zone.  (“You fly, you die.” It worked in 1991 against Saddam Hussein.)  In all honesty, CNN today has pointed out some ways to interpret this “concept” so that it would not be interpreted as actual military engagement by NATO and the US.  But the underlying idea is troubling, especially to those geographically farther from the conflict in stable democracies.  By the way, have we already forgotten already how close we came on January 6. 2021?  If you escalate, you risk nuclear or electromagnetic pulse attacks, and at least the destruction of many “innocent” lives for months or years. We all benefit from “liberal civilization”.  But it presents more risks to other individuals in more exposed parts of the world than we personally want to be accountable for. This is a moral debate that involves critical theory (not race, just in general).  By the way, Putin is saying that the “sanctions” are a form of warfare, so where does that go? 

Second, I compared the “relevance” of a “gray area” country to me like Ukraine to other more primitive countries.  For example, we wouldn’t go to war over China’s deprivation of independence to Tibet.  Taiwan (and Hong Kong) present more troubling questions.  And the risks may be other than military – like even more supply chain disruption.  (How about rare earth metals needed by high tech?) We just don’t make enough of our own stuff to “buy” our lifestyles forever.  There is some point to autarky.

But I then also said I am anti-tribal – I don’t have the feeling of belonging to a “people” – at least in the sense that this would penetrate my personal life (family life or even sexual commitments in relationships).  That does get into the population demographic winter thing that obsesses the political Right.   Yet, in my mind, there is a difference between, say, Tibet, and Ukraine.  Not morally, but practically.

But the biggest concern I have is the point of a lot of Internet speech, including mine, especially when it is gratuitous – that is, it doesn’t even earn money through algorithms and a hooked commercial audience, but it is simply found by search engines.  This approach was particularly effective with the “gays in the military” issue from the late 1990s well into the 2000’s (with the repeal in 2011 of “don’t ask don’t tell”).  I did, with the books and websites, focus attention to some aspects of the debate that many conventional activists find disquieting, such as the “privacy in the barracks” and “unit cohesion” problems, and directed attention away from ideas like intersectionality or minority groups.  I also connected the problem to the moral quandaries associated with a military draft (as in the Vietnam war) in a democratic society.   I have good reason to believe that I did influence the debate over the years, although I can’t prove it with analytics.  There is something logically troubling about a claim like this (and it logically contradicts “anti-tribalism”). I don’t have specific people to be accountable to where I have some “skin in the game” as to what the outcome really was.  I think it is good to be non-tribal and own your own work completely (rather than lose access to it, as when you quit a job) but the possibility that it may, in unusual circumstances, lead to unpredictable behavior by others should indeed be troubling.  I know of situations where both good things and where bad things happened because of other unusual connections that I had and perhaps didn’t even  know about.  This risk may be exacerbated when there is warfare and attempted access blackouts in some countries which many users will work around.   That general risk is unpredictable when someone publishes original interpretations of controversial problems without accountability to a group, perhaps due to accumulated or even inherited assets (and it may undermine established activism). One risk, that got discussed in the months after 9/11 and then publicly forgotten, could comprise hacking and steganography. All of this is one reason why I decided, in 2019, that I would eventually have to migrate back to a system where, when expressing my own views on something personally, it would have to be under my own legal name only.

I do want to insist on something however.  I cannot speak for a group or let it speak for me, or approach the public trying to raise money for a group (for example) without having my own voice independent voice first.  (Consider how the “anti-racism” debate plays into this.)  Facebook has tried to encourage users to run fundraisers for “established” charities, but beyond a small effort, my doing this is problematic.

One other sidekick observation: I’ve often make jokes about media visible content creator friends of mine running for office, even president (in the US). A few of them could do the job. Well, Ronald Reagan had been a Hollywood star, and so had Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA governor), as well as Jesse Ventura (MN). It’s ironic that Zelenskyy, a former actor and comedian, has inspired his people to resist under such unprecedented (in modern times) conditions.

But a bit of warning. Yes, in my circumstances, I do take some statements made my representatives of foreign adversaries or sometimes domestic, personally, sometimes. I have no choice.

(Posted: Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 6:45 PM EST)

The Demands of Others

I wrote my previous post on “personal agency” earlier on the first day Russia’s big invasion, not knowing it would happen (coincidence).

But the question comes up, when does a world-wide emergency and massive suffering by others place moral or even practical demands that someone in my course respond and change plans.  Personally, I see it as “’The Demands of Others’ Problem”.  You can’t play Ayn Rand forever.

I have seen tweets, from individuals I like and correspond with on this question, about staying on course, because there is really zero one can do about it anyway.

Let me first just reiterate my current course. I, for reasons I have discussed earlier and with changes that started late last year (but especially January 3, 2022) paring down my sites so there will be just two sites, a personal one based on my legal name with this blog, and a business one that retains “doaskdotell” as a name.  By late in June (at the very latest) 2022 there should be only this one WordPress blog, and all new posts will go on it, grouped by carefully chosen labels.  I will also work on the screenwriting opportunities (tied to the books and a pitch-fest in NYC in April, and to participating in a Facebook group). The work on the large novel “Angel’s Brother” is halted for now because actual events (the Covid pandemic and at least indirectly Russia’s invasion of Ukraine) hamper the integrity of the storyline.

Let me reiterate than in a practical sense, there are limits on what I, or probably most Americans in my situation, might feel obligated or inclined to personally respond to.  Generally, we don’t feel we need to respond to terrible events in authoritarian countries around the world.  These might include a long list, starting with North Korea (the Warmbier incident was horrible), Myanmar, various communist countries (like Venezuela) or countries where many conditions are primitive, and this includes much of central Asia and Africa and where horrible and brutal stuff for ordinary civilians happens (like Nigeria).  With Afghanistan (more so than there was a few years ago with Iraq and Syria) there seems to be considerable interest in helping refugees, as there has been (with controversy) with the Mexican border issue throughout the Trump years. I am protestant, and I have not become personally involved with the religious violence that occurs in the Middle East, or between Israel and Palestinians (and the settlements), for example.

There is also a constant churning about which enemies are most dangerous to our way of life (and this is outside the debate on climate change and some other threats like solar storms that we could all face).  After 9/11, it was radical Islam, and it stayed that way until the Trump candidacy.  Then it was North Korea, maybe with China’s help; then it was the far Right and white Supremacy in the United States and maybe parts of Europe and some other smaller nations, leading to January 6 (Antifa does pretty bad stuff to small businesses and some property owners and even the stability of some cities, but it is not quite the existential threat Trump became at the end).  Now quite suddenly (although we have had plenty of warning, if we think back about it, particularly to 2014) it’s Vladimir Putin.  I won’t elaborate further the crisis if Putin does move on to NATO allies (which include the three Baltic states, former Soviet republics).  To rephrase a friend. I have no “30 point plan”.

But it is true that the current crisis, as is, still lies within a part of the world I have perceived as authoritarian (essentially Communist) until recently, and not generally regarded as a personal concern.

But it does seem that in Europe right now, ordinary people are encouraged to house sudden refugees (or asylum seekers – the status is unclear) in their homes (especially in Poland, Germany, perhaps Romania).  If the crisis lasts, it would sound likely that some families (but that is normally only women and children) would come to the US and Canada.  Biden is likely to try to make it easier, and Canada already does (with advanced private sponsorship programs).  There would be a question as to whether the wives and children would return to Ukraine quickly if somehow peace is settled (no, again, no 30 point plan).  There are risks involved to the hosts now, including Covid (especially new strains).

Back in 2016-2017 considering the possibility of housing one or more LGBT asylum seekers.  The necessary discissions never quite happened.  I wound up selling the house in late 2017 and now live in a one bedroom condo, and I would not normally offer housing.

But if there were a push to house a large number of temporary “refugees” from Ukraine in North America, I could see supporting rental for them in apartments or housing units, not living with me.  This has already happened with Afghanistan (although I have not participated in that specific effort). 

A sizable portion of my assets were inherited (I discuss this monthly on my “DADTnotesblog” but that will end in April.  Moral logic would say I do have some responsibility to respond to sudden crises. In fact, I have made regular monthly organizations to a number of non-profits, some of which are legal beneficiaries of the trust and which participate in efforts to respond to crises. I try to make these steady and ample so I don’t have to make major changes in priorities when something happens, and respond to a flood of email and snail-mail requests.  With the Trust (especially the part with my mother’s name on it), there may be an opportunity to help, but it would require building a (“sponsorship”) bond with a specific refugee family (ies) who hopefully would be able to return home eventually. Trust disbursement is predicated on existing relationships, not abstract social causes.

I do like to speak with my own voice, as followers know.  I do not like to allow organizations to speak for me.  But that kind of attitude can sometimes interfere or dilute necessary social justice activism that others have started. 

Then there is the issue of volunteering time.  Yes, that is difficult as I have already set out my own priorities.  I have found that occasional piecemeal volunteering (which I did for a local community assistance at an Arlington church when I was in the “Drogheda” house) not very effective unless there is a minimum mass of commitment and engagement of other people somewhat personally. I do not see myself as belonging to a “people” or intersectional group

I often hear revanchist warnings of forceful destruction of our way of life, with the end of individualism, and a particularly shameful end for people with backgrounds like mine which may have been inappropriately “privileged”  (I won’t rehearse the details here, or how CRT — and demands for “proactive anti-racism” distorts them).  No, I am not going to become a doomsday prepper.   But I can think of situations where it would have been easier to volunteer if I also had more capability to defend myself personally than I do. 

(Posted: Friday, March 4, 2022 at 3 PM EST by John W. Boushka)