Aug 30, 2013

BEYOND WISHFUL THINKING, FANTASY (touches my heart): The French Home Of Legendary Artist Pablo Picasso Is For Sale

¨Mas de Notre-Dame du Vie, the home and studio where legendary artist Pablo Picasso spent the last 12 years of his life, has returned to market after a thorough renovation by a Belgian art dealer, who restored and expanded the historic structure. The dealer, who paid somewhere between $13M and $16M, but is now asking an astonishing $220M for the 35-room villa. That sky-high price includes ten bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a pair of swimming pools, a tennis court, expansive gardens, a guest house, and a guard house, but not nearly enough to justify the absurd markup. Unless, of course, a few of Picasso's multimillion-dollar masterpieces are also included.¨ REAL ESTATE: The French Home Of Legendary Artist Pablo Picasso Is For Sale

Aug 28, 2013

IT´S THE WAY THAT WE SEE THINGS THAT MAKES THE WORLD BE THINGS: Life in Maya Guatemala and inspirations from the past

Inspired by love (of every variety)*

 This is a 4´x 5´ painting. I did it over 16 years ago. It has a great deal of special meaning to me as it was painted at the time of my dear Jose's murder (he was about two weeks short of being 35 years old) and it had been commissioned by him for his new office. I remember the top right was completely done before his death and he saw it the weekend before his death and loved it. Everything else was painted afterward...there are tears on this painting and I remember I broke down often while pushing to finish it and I continued to work on it the day after his death. A wonderful friend, Kami, purchased the painting after it was finished. Kami has lived all over the world but was here for a visit recently and it was great seeing her -- a lovely woman and friend...she sent me these photos today of the commanding spot the painting holds at her A-Frame home on a island off Washington State. I am so happy she has the painting as it makes a great deal of difference to me who appreciates it.

For my blog friends/accomplices:I hope you enjoy it too. 

To Jose and Kami, I love you both for loving me, and my painting which was inspired by Life in Maya Guatemala and you...siempre, Leonardo Ricardo/Len  Sacatepequez

*pointillism/acrylic/watercolor and metallic paint

Aug 26, 2013

ATTENTION ANGLICAN PROVINCE OF THE SOUTHERN CONE: Marriage equality come to Uruguay, Argentina (and soon to Chile)

Same-Sex Couples Begin Marrying in Uruguay

Marriage equality in the South American country took effect on Friday, August 23 as same-sex couples we’re legally able to tie the knot for the first time.


With the 90-day waiting period since President Jose Mujica signed marriage equality into law now over, marriages for same-sex couples began taking place in Uruguay on Friday, reportsBlabbeando.
However, none of the happy newlyweds who tied the knot that day could claim they were the first same-sex couple to say “I do” in the South American country. That honor went to a couple who was able to forego the required waiting period and was legally wed on August 5 because one of the men was dying of cancer. However, the couple was not named because they wished to remain anonymous.
Addionally, Uruguay recognized the marriage of Omar Salsamendi and Federico Macerattini, who had wed last year in Argentina, on August 19.
Nevertheless, one of the most heartwarming stories of the day belonged to Ruben Lopez and Mario Bonilla who were finally able to make their union legal after being together 21 years. The occasion was made even more memorable because the couple was also able to register as the joint parents for their son Camilo, whom they adopted 17 years ago, for the first time.
See clips from the couple’s moving ceremony in the video below.

Aug 24, 2013

JULIAN BOND: Today, we are fighting for jobs, for economic opportunity, for a level playing field free of inequality and of discrimination. It's the same fight our LGBT brothers and sisters are waging – and together we have formed a national constituency for civil rights.

¨Thousands are in Washington, D.C. today to re-create something so powerful and so vivid that it still plays on loop in my mind. They're here for the 50th anniversary of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington.
We are returning amidst a newly reinvigorated fight for civil rights that has grown rapidly to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.
After all, LGBT rights are civil rights.
No parallel between movements is exact. But like race, our sexuality and gender identity aren't preferences. They are immutable, unchangeable – and the constitution protects us all against discrimination based on immutable differences.
Today, we are fighting for jobs, for economic opportunity, for a level playing field free of inequality and of discrimination. It's the same fight our LGBT brothers and sisters are waging – and together we have formed a national constituency for civil rights.
And while we haven't fully secured Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s most remarkable dream, we are getting closer every single day.
Julian Bond Then and Now
Julian Bond with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and more recently at an HRC event.
In August 1963, I was the Communications Director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), led at the time by John Lewis, the march's youngest speaker that day.
A gay black man by the name of Bayard Rustin was one of the chief organizers – an early embodiment of the unity and commonality that bonded the movement for LGBT equality with the fight for equal treatment of African-Americans.
In his honor, HRC will help lead a commemoration of Bayard's incredible contributions to the civil rights movement on Monday. And it was recently announced that President Obama will posthumously award Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian award in the United States.
Fifty years later, I can still feel the power of that noble, August day. Its weight is what drove me for years – from founding the Southern Poverty Law Center, to overseeing the NAACP as Chairman, not to mention the ten terms I served as a member of the Georgia legislature. And later, that exact same commitment to achieving equal rights is what convinced me to stand with the Human Rights Campaign in endorsing marriage equality
Together we have marched millions of miles to land on the right side of history, and today we stand firmly planted, hoping only that more will join us, one by one, until everyone in this nation is truly free and equal. I know you are with the marchers today – in spirit and in solidarity – and I hope you'll follow the news coverage of today's powerful events.
Thank you for being part of the historic struggle for civil rights.
Julian Bond
Chairman Emeritus, NAACP

Aug 19, 2013

¨MY LOVE¨ -- MUST READ - AMONGST MY MOST POPULAR POSTS: ¨Priests can´t defeat him with venomous rhetoric...¨ by Musa Okwonga

Musa Okwonga is an acclaimed poet, football writer, musician and promoter. A scholarship student at Eton College
Following the murder David Kato, Ugandan poet Musa Okwonga dedicated his poem "My Love" to David Kato and Eudy Simelane. LGBTI Activist David Kato was murdered in his home in Uganda in January and lesbian football player Eudy Simelane was gang-raped, beaten and stabbed to death in South Africa in 2008. Musa Okwonga has now turned "My Love" into a multimedia project.

My Love 

To some people

My love is somewhat alien;

When he comes up, they start subject-changing, and

In some states he’s seen as some contagion -

In those zones, he stays subterranean;

Some love my love; they run parades for him:

Liberal citizens lead the way for him…

But the same time as these people are embracing him,

Whole faiths and nations seem ashamed of him:

They’ve tried banning him,

God-damning him,

Toe-tagging him,

Praying that he stayed in the cabinet,

But my love kicked in the panelling and ran for it -

He’s my love! Can’t be trapping him in labyrinths! -

Maverick, my love is; he thwarts challenges;

The cleverest geneticists can’t fathom him,

Priests can’t defeat him with venomous rhetoric;

They’d better quit; my love’s too competitive…

He’s still here, despite the Taliban, the Vatican,

And rap, ragga in their anger and arrogance,

Who call on my love with lit matches and paraffin -

Despite the fistfights and midnight batterings,

My love’s still here and fiercely battling,

My love’s still here and fiercely battling;

Because my love comes through anything –

My love comes through anything.  HERE

*David KatoAnglican LGBT Activist, bludgeoned to death in Uganda, 2011, RIP
Lesbian football player Eudy Simelane was gang-raped, beaten and stabbed to death in South Africa in 2008, RIP

Aug 15, 2013

ANTI-HUMAN RIGHTS SHAME/DANGER ALERT - PLEASE CANCEL U.S. VISAS: Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi/Uganda, Archbishop Nicolas Okoh/Nigeria, Janet Museveni/First Lady of Uganda, Archbishop Peter Akinola/Nigeria and MP David ¨Kill all the Gays¨ Bahati/Uganda

For years, decades, lifetimes, LGBT people in both Africa and the United States and beyond have been insulted, slandered, demonized and treated like criminals simply for being alive. 

 Who are some of the voices that have engineered viscious campaigns against LGBTI people both inside and outside of churches?  

Many are from Africa. Many are Anglicans in Africa. 

Most hatemongers are from countries in Africa that are vertically corrupt. African countries where child sacrifices are still made, children are sold into slavery, big man politicians turn  into tyrants-for-life and sex, drugs and every form of heterosexual sexual pollution is accepted as normal, happily indulged in and/or plain ignored.  

Some of LGBT haters are religious people who intiate the marginalizing and outcasting of fellow human beings as they pass around the ¨offering plate¨ at fundamentalist churches.  Some are just plain thugs turned hysterical politicians  who suggest U.S. citizens ¨please donate¨ to stop Homosexuals from ¨converting¨ our children. 

Some LGBT homophobes regularly come to America and campaign against LGBT citizens, our families, our equality supporters and even our loved ones and dear friends.  Many African ¨religious people¨ come to the United States of America to demonstrate how holy they are by receiving funding to initiate  anti-LGBT pogroms in there home countries.  These kind of dangerous anti-human rights travel ¨junkets¨ must stop. Now.


Fall of Shame

Archbishop, emeritus, Henry Luke Orombi of Uganda

The Sad Tale of Bishop Henry Luke Orombi the scavenger from Uganda
Archbishop Nicolas Okoh of Nigeria

Homosexuality is¨intended to destroy the established standard of morality
First Lady and MP, Janet Museveni of Uganda

"In God's word, homosexuality attracts a curse, but now people are engaging in it and saying they are created that way. It is for money The devil is stoking fires to destroy our nation and those taking advantage are doing so because our people are poor,"
Archbishop, emeritus/purple, Peter Jasper Akinola and accomplices/Nigeria

Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Peter Jasper ¨Massacre at Yelwa¨ Akinola and accomplices pontificate that Gay people are ¨lower than PIGS¨ and ¨the children of LGBT people are HOOLIGANS¨ and he and his House of Bishops ·CANA/NIGERIA· endorse ¨brutal penalties¨ against anyone ¨advocating¨ for lesbian and gay people.
Anglican and MP David ¨Kill all the Gays¨ Bahati, Parliament of Uganda
Will there never be enough injustice directed toward LGBTI citizens to satiate the pride driven and blood thirsty sadistic monster MP David ¨kill all the Gays¨ Bahati (Anglican Archbishop Henry Orombi is his ¨spiritual advisor¨)?

Buzzards, all

Sexual Minorities Uganda vs. Scott Lively


Late last year, Ugandan parliamentary speaker Rebecca Kadaga, promised to swiftly pass the "kill the gays" bill as a "Christmas gift" to Ugandans. As you know, it (thankfully) never happened. 

UPDATED:   (the religious greedsters in action)


Aug 14, 2013

SEXUAL MINORITIES UGANDA vs SCOTT LIVELY: Judge allows landmark case against anti-gay religious leader

Poisoness fundamentalist pastor Scott Lively

Judge allows landmark case against anti-gay religious leader to proceed

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — In a first-of-its kind case brought by a Ugandan LGBTI advocacy organization against a prominent U.S. anti-gay extremist, a federal judge on Wednesday ruled that persecution on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is a crime against humanity and that the fundamental human rights of LGBTI people are protected under international law.
The ruling means that the case brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), a Uganda-based coalition of LGBTI rights and advocacy groups, can move forward over defendant Scott Livelys request to dismiss the it all,

Aug 12, 2013

PART TWO -- GUATEMALA - JUSTIN WELBY, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY: ¨Scripture, Reason and Tradition or we will destroy the Church¨

¨We work with what we have at hand¨  
The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury said the following things yesterday at the Cathedral of Santiago in Guatemala City, Central America  
(at least this is what I understood him to say during his sermon which was given in English and perfectly translated into Spanish - Leonardo/Len):
*  We must physically take action to love our enemies.  We must reach out to our enemies and interact with them.  We must ¨buy their bread¨ which will start a relationship so we can talk to one another to build a normal/everyday-like relationship.  (He used an example of two different groups in Africa who had been murdering each other for years and the priests were biter and tired full of anger/hate).  We must open the doors of resentments (justified resentments or not) and let them fade away.  We must offer kindness and love even in the face of desperation and terror.

*  We must persist together.  All of us together because we need to find a way to reach peace and reconcilliation as Anglicans always have.  Scripture, Tradition, Reason or we will destroy the Church.

* When injustice is normal we must resist it with the loving spirit of Christ.

*  We ought honor our belief differences by holding them in tension but tension covered in prayer.

*  The new road is reconcilliation in Christ.

*  God breaks down all barriers but we can only do what we can do but ought not do what we can not do.  Resolving our problems is Gods work through prayer to reconcilliation.

* Resolving our differences is in God´s hands.

(please remember these points are observations from my personal understanding of the sermon of the Archbishop of Canterbury are from my notes and may lack depth of understanding of his full intention)  Leonardo/Len

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury: ¨God breaks down all barriers, a Church seeking justice will find a way...¨

Su Gracia Rvdma. Justin Welby
Celebracion Eucaristica en ocasion de la visita del Arzobispo de Canterbury
Santiago Cathedral, 11 de Agosto, A.D. 2013, Ciudad de Guatemala with The Most Reverend Armando Guerra

photos by Elizabeth Bell
Yesterday, the 11th of August in Guatemala City, Central America, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury gave a sermon.  I listened as hard as I could.  I didn´t want to miss a word, or idea, or suggestion (I also wanted to know where/how the NEW ABC was growing from in terms of inclusivity, equality and justice, for all).

All ought mean all, at the Anglican Communion, but would Archbishop Justin OPENLY discuss OUR current state of  ¨some are holier than others¨  illusion within the international cluster of the Anglican faithful?  Must we look backward to more break-ups within our Anglican Communion partners because we/they will not accept differences amongst one another at home and abroad? 

Is it ok to note that we ARE different from one another and still open our doors, welcome each other and greet with genuine hospitality. Ought we not acknowledge differences amongst people/culture/tradition/reason or shall we simply play pretend that all is well?  Shall we continue to deceive (self and others?) within the Anglican Communion.

All is not well as some of our brothers and sisters are damned to hell by clergy conjuring up marginalizing, exclusion and hatred toward LGBT Christians.  Must we ignore real terror at Church?  Deceit?  What will you do, Archbishop Justin?  What do you think  be done in order to love one another?  All oneanothers and at ALL levels of Anglican Communion life.  Can you be entrusted with the spiritual care of ALL of us equally as well as morally? Will you strive to make everyone equally safe to worship God at Church? 

If I had been having a one-on-one conversation with Archbishop Justin, I would have been very direct.  I would have asked ++Justin why he can't seem to wrap his pre-announced ¨open mind¨ around LGBT equality at Church and beyond Church in England?  

I would have Archbishop Justin what he now thinks about the punitive Anglican Covenant (which was defeated by a solid majority in the dioceses at The Church of England but not his then diocese).  I would have asked Archbishop Justin what it is he planned to do to encourage ALL Anglicans to come to the alter together and celebrate Holy Eurcharist without fear of being humiliated or rejected entirely? 

ALL Anglicans. Anglicans like you, me, Presiding Bishop Armando, Presiding Bishop Katharine and the Global South, Gafcon folks?  What will you, the ABC do, about uniting us and reconcilling ALL of us to wholeness and spiritual good health at the body of Christ?  

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury said these things (at least this is what I understood him to say during his sermon which was given in English and perfectly translated into Spanish):

*  We must physically take action to love our enemies.  We must reach out to our enemies and interact with them.  We must ¨buy their bread¨ which will start a relationship so we can talk to one another.  (He used an example of two different groups in Africa who had been murdering each other for years and the priests were biter and tired full of anger/hate).  We must open the doors of resentments (justified resentments or not).

(to be continued, we are having a storm and I want to publish this first part)

Aug 7, 2013

GUATEMALA: Home again, home again (and the Archbishop Justin arriveth sooneth)

Let the festivities continue (a gift for Juan Carlos from a collection of Shaman Dancers at Casa de los Gigantes)
Here I am (not pictured).  Thanks to some of you for missing me and thank you for the personal notes wondering about my health.  I should have posted on facebook that I was unable to get into my blog from afar.  It seems that mischiefmakers screwed up my Google accounts...but, alas, all is well.

Every year I go to the good ol´ U.S.A. for a month.  This year I visited Reno, Nevada (worked there for a week) and then off to see my family (most all are North of San Francisco these days).  We had a great pool party at my nieces home in Citrus Heights and it was great fun meeting even a few of my greater (as in great/great) nephews and nieces I´d not met before.  We are a fabulous group and great personal diversity is one of our gifts...beautiful faces and graces to behold. SPECIAL ADDED ATTRACTION, Jenn and John Holden drove up for lunch from San Francisco...I love the Holdens braving the Summer heat to come and see me!  Thank you John and Jenn!

I was invited to visit Mike Glad and his wife Jeanne for an overnight visit at their main home in the San Joaquin valley.  Gorgeous.  Filled with art treasurers personally collected, by Mike, the well-known and Academy Award nominated photographer/producer and all-around fabulous personality.  Every room a new and dazzling decor delight.  Sometimes words are impossible to describe great beauty, this is one of those times.   I slept, with colorfilled dream, in the Latin American room. Jeanne, a published poet who graced me with a private and very inspirational reading of one of her heart-stopping poems.  Bold to the core of my being.  They presented me with the gift of their  talents and friendship close up....I will never forget my visit to their home.   They also have a beyond-lush and stunning home in Antigua.  A colonial style Spanish villa which I am very happy to report contains a few Leonardo Ricardos (large format paintings and painted furniture) along with great Latin American art treasurers from now and before now.   Their grounds are park-like and manicured to perfection both up Norte and here, South of las fronteras. Wow.

Then, it was off to visit my friend Kelsie and her son Sam in Orlando, Florida.   Kelsie owns one of the charming vintage homes on Lake Lancaster near downtown Orlando.  I love visiting Kelsie for lots of very good reasons, but primarily it is because we have become such dear and close friends/confidants since her time at the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala about two decades ago.  We never parted and kept our friendship alive and well through many changes/moves/happiness/sadness and acceptances´, personal, spiritual and physical.  I love my guest room at Kelsies house (it may have the all time best/comfy bed in the whole world).  Kelsie is a Unitarian (Universalist) so I visited her church with she and Sam on two Sundays this time!  What a welcoming and spiritual treat...may their candle burn brightly forever!

How happy I am.  I returned to Guatemala yesterday afternoon and arrived home to find all my loved ones, work associates and doggies thriving.  I like that. The Fuego Volcano says HOLA!  All is well but, yes, it is time for a diet as I was treated, really, really well (if you only knew the festive foods I enjoyed during a months time you would do a intervention and off I would go to fat boy camp for intensive ¨retraining¨).

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is arriving in Guatemala this weekend.  He will officiate along with Presiding Bishop Armando at Santiago Cathedral on Sunday morning.  They will be sitting on two original Leonardo Ricardo thrones (don´t you love it?). The Cathedral has borrowed two of my elaborately painted oversized arm chairs for the occassion.  Hopefully there will be photos.  I will be attending the ABC´s special visit/mass with Elizabeth Bell who is an Episcopalian and one of Guatemalas leading historians and award winning authors (proprietor of Antigua Tours as well)  and a longtime good friend.  Then, I will rush back to Antigua for a afternoon luncheon for Juan Carlos´ 37th birthday hosted by everyones favorite folk singing sisters, the Kossoy Sisters of New York, Boston, Antigua and all venues beyond. Viva everyone!

So, there you have it, I am back in Guatemala, full of joy, thanksgiving, good energy and happy to see YOU again and don´t tell anyone but I was gifted with a Turbo-Juicer and a IPad tablet too during my travels!  

 Happy Birthday to Juan Carlos  on Sunday. 

My 70th Birthday is coming real soon.  (may I hear a Oy Vey?)

Leonard Clark
Leonardo Ricardo
Sacatapeqez, Guatemala
Central America