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Cat turns up dead after gobbling dinner party food; guests are rushed to hospital.?

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La'Resa Brunson. Badass Husband. Stone Andrews. Plausible Denial. Jason Maurer. Speak English. Are You There, God? Of Machines and Men. Richard Lee. Kenneth Guthrie. This Atmosphere of Love. Franklin Bass Jr. Fair, cold, and faithless wert thou, my own! For that I love Thy heart of stone! From the heights above To the depths below, Where dread things move,. There is naught can show A life so trustless! Proud be thy crown!

Ruthless, like none, save the Sea, alone! And pray that a wreath like a rainbow May slip from the beautiful past, And Crown me again with the sweet, strong love And keep me, and hold me fast. The light came through the window, Straight from the sun above, And so inside my little room There plunged the rays of Love.

The daily actions of religious people have accomplished uncounted good deeds throughout history, alleviating suffering, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick. Religions have brought the comfort of belonging and companionship to many who would otherwise have passed through this life all alone, without glory or adventure.

They have not just provided first aid, in effect, for people in difficulties; they have provided the means for changing the world in ways that remove those difficulties. As Alan Wolfe says, "Religion can lead people out of cycles of poverty and dependency just as it led Moses out of Egypt".

There is much for religion lovers to be proud of in their traditions, and much for all of us to be grateful for. The fact that so many people love their religions as much as, or more than, anything else in their lives is a weighty fact indeed. I am inclined to think that nothing could matter more than what people love. At any rate, I can think of no value that I would place higher.

I would not want to live in a world without love. Would a world with peace, but without love, be a better world? Not if the peace was achieved by drugging the love and hate out of us, or by suppression.


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Would a world with justice and freedom, but without love, be a better world? Not if it was achieved by somehow turning us all into loveless law-abiders with none of the yearnings or envies or hatreds that are wellsprings of injustice and subjugation. It is hard to consider such hypotheticals, and I doubt if we should trust our first intuitions about them, but, for what it is worth, I surmise that we almost all want a world in which love, justice, freedom, and peace are all present, as much as possible, but if we had to give up one of these, it wouldn't — and shouldn't — be love.

But, sad to say, even if it is true that nothing could matter more than love, it wouldn't follow from this that we don't have reason to question the things that we, and others, love. Love is blind, as they say, and because love is blind, it often leads to tragedy: to conflicts in which one love is pitted against another love, and something has to give, with suffering guaranteed in any resolution. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

There's nothing you can do that can't be done Nothing you can sing that can't be sung Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. We all been playing those mind games forever Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil. Across the water from where the Skripals parked their car, a sundial had been engraved with the adage: Time speeds up until it is nothing, therefore use it before it is gone. At the pub, Sergei and Yulia had a quick drink. When father and daughter were together, they sometimes posed for pictures, raising toasts. The pub was a converted mill that had a display of photographs on the wall, one of these a close-up of a pocket watch, its crystal broken, hands frozen at what appeared to be P.

Next they went to an Italian restaurant to eat. An hour passed. Finally, walking back to their car at around P. Passersby assumed they were high. At a quarter to four, the cathedral clock sounded again.

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'Resentment Is Like Taking Poison And Waiting For The Other Person To Die'

The Skripals' pupils had shrunk, and they were sweating. They were foaming at the mouth. An off-duty nurse was the first to attend them, and a small crowd gathered. At P. Investigators in hazmat suits try to contain any poison lingering on the bench where the Skripals were discovered. Doctors at Salisbury District Hospital guessed that this was opioids, that the Skripals had overdosed. They were taken to the intensive-care ward and put on breathing support. Shortly before sunrise on March 5, doctors received new information from London: that Sergei Skripal was not just any patient; he was an old, blown spy.

Police arrived at the hospital to watch over the critical pair. North Korea, conceivably? But they don't necessarily have the means or the motives, and we've never had the intel they've even tried. In figuring out where to cast blame, many found the who-else rationale attractive. Sergei Skripal had once been a member of the GRU, the Russian military-intelligence unit now best known for hacking into the servers of the Democratic National Committee, before he was caught selling secrets to the British, in , and imprisoned.

But two obvious points argued against Russia's involvement: First, Skripal had been pardoned by Moscow for his crimes, part of the swap deal that got him out of a wintry prison and over to Salisbury to begin with. And, second, there was an internationally adhered-to rule of espionage that forbade the murder of re-settled spies.

Kill them, after all, and it risked future swaps.

Forgiveness: How to let go of grudges and bitterness

After assembling intelligence reports they believed put culpability for the Skripal hit beyond reasonable doubt, the British went busily around Europe and America, persuading allies to join them in sanctioning Russia. President Trump was so convinced by what he learned that he somehow overcame his curious reluctance to find fault in the Kremlin's actions—even the most senior members of the British government were surprised by this, I was told.

The president signed off on the expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats, after which Russia expelled 60 Americans in reply. London and Moscow swap-expelled 46 of their people. Blood samples from the Skripals were sent to the UK's main chemical-weapons research facility, a campus not far from Salisbury known as Porton Down. Light-headedness turns to grogginess, to strained breathing and collapse. Up until March, there'd been few documented human exposures to novichoks, but back in the s, Andrei Zheleznyakov, a lab engineer in Moscow whose job it was to test the toxicity of this nascent weapon for the Soviet military, inadvertently breathed some in.

He later said that straight away he felt his brain had emptied. Colors swam. Before Zheleznyakov lost consciousness, he was taken for a walk out in Moscow, where he experienced a hallucination in which a nearby cathedral began to glow and crumble apart. The military-research program that Zheleznyakov was a part of was so secretive that when he was eventually taken to the hospital, doctors were told nothing of the novichok , only that he'd had a bad meal.

Getting To Know The Neighbor Part I

The firm conclusion of Porton Down's scientists, that it was a novichok deployed in Salisbury, was later ratified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons OPCW , a state group run out of The Hague, after it sent out samples of its own to be checked in the labs of neutral countries. The evidence was there in its chemical structure: This was a novichok —the new kid in middle age. On March 14, the U. Security Council held a special meeting to discuss the attack, and it was there that the Russian ambassador asked the lingering question: But why?

That the Skripal hit was meant to sow confusion and panic abroad or, no, at home in Russia. That this was really about geopolitics, some sort of coded message about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. That it was about domestic politics, closely timed and meant to rouse support for the incumbent regime ahead of Russia's elections that month. Persuading other Russians, in other systems, to be careful?

That's a valuable aim. What connected these theories was the idea that Sergei Skripal was secondary—collateral damage in his own attempted murder.

After all, the reasoning went, he was a spy out to pasture, living obscurely in old England. What could he have done to bring assassins to Salisbury? They called it Pryzhki S Vyshki —the tower jump—and when Sergei Skripal was a recruit into the airborne division of the Soviet army, it was the most dreaded part of basic training. He was in his early 20s, an engineering graduate who'd grown up on the western tip of the Soviet Union, near the Baltic Sea. He was squarely handsome, boxer-nosed, necessarily gutsy. When it was your turn to tower-jump, you strapped on an open parachute and went to the edge of a platform, 80 feet up.

You were taught to ignore every last nerve-ending warning, that this was insane, like readying to step off the roof of a building. Then you stepped off. One airborne recruit told me that no subsequent leap from a plane, no later reckless life risk, ever felt as chancy as that first fucking tower jump. It emboldened you. And they liked you to be bold if you were to ultimately graduate, as Skripal did, into the GRU.

He had with him his wife, Liudmila, and their two young children, Alexander and Yulia. He had since become a leading expert on prominent exiled Russians and their habit of dying in unusual ways on foreign soil. Skripal had diplomatic cover, and he rose in this capacity to become the director of the department of personnel. And knowing the names of operatives? Skripal was posted in Spain when, in , he started working with British intelligence. Skripal stayed in contact with his British handlers for nine years, through his return to Moscow and his elevation to colonel, before he was exposed and arrested.

His name had allegedly been passed on by another spy in the system.

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Tried in , at age 55, Skripal was stripped of his rank and sentenced to 13 years, a relatively short term that, the judge said, took into account Skripal's cooperation with investigators. Most of his term would be served in Mordovia, in a miserable network of barbed-wire compounds in the flatlands southeast of Moscow. Thirty-below temperatures. Guards with Alsatians. Even so, this wasn't a furnace, and to Skripal's old colleagues in the GRU, those 13 years might have looked light.

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He was out early, too, in —a fluky beneficiary of the discovery of the so-called Illegals Program, an operation that had placed several Russians undercover on the East Coast of the United States. When, in the summer of , Skripal was flown to Vienna for the exchange, Boris Volodarsky, the intelligence historian, was there at the airport to watch a stage-managed swap for the media.

Quickly he was out of the public eye, living in Salisbury with Liudmila. The British government managed their security and gave Skripal a pension. In he bought a semidetached home—No. A real estate agent who oversaw the deal showed me the sales brochure: power shower, heated towel rail, all of it a long way from Mordovia and the weekly wash in a communal hut.

The Skripals hung a lucky horseshoe on their front door, though if this was a time of good fortune for them, it did not last. Liudmila died of cancer in Their son, Alexander, who'd grown to be a bearish and amiable man like his father, died young in