ON BEING OUTLIERS: WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO RIGHT?

I am not pacifist, at least not in principle, though who knows? I’ve never killed anyone, nor am I likely to. Nonetheless, I have a serious issues with our “little wars” — and I sincerely hope this really IS a little war and not the start of a big one.


Wars don’t work.

They don’t solve any problems. When I lived in Israel, they were also under a brutal dictator. And before that, too. Syria has moved from brutal to brutal dictator with barely a pause in-between. We can bomb them. Send regiments. Whatever. It doesn’t change because somehow, that’s what the people want. It wouldn’t keep happening if there were a strong, national will for change.


Wars don’t fix problems.
Wars don’t make peace.
Wars don’t cure the internal socioeconomic issues of nations,
though we apparently believe they should.

It will not make them better. Cruel as it sounds, this is a country that has a bad attitude to the rest of the world — for a very long time. Does anyone really believe dropping bombs is going to make their situation better? That it will make Assad feel compelled to “have meaningful talks?” If such “talks” occurred, who thinks it would mean anything?

We have these little wars. Medium wars. Bigger wars. Again and again and again.

I keep hearing “this is a proportional response.” What does that mean?


“Mommy, Sally hit me,” says little Sarah.

And mom says: “How hard did she hit you? Did she draw blood? Do you need a hospital? Remember, sweetheart, you should only hit her back in direct proportion to how hard she whacked you. Never beat a friend harder or longer or using bigger bombs than he or she used on you. Okay, maybe a little bit bigger bomb because we want her to never forget that we can really make her hurt. PROPORTIONAL RESPONSE is our family standard.”

Mom pauses, looks around. “Here’s a  good sturdy stick. Go thump your friend. Just … not in the face.”


From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli. Guess where you might find “Tripoli?” We keep fighting the same battles. We never learn anything. Surely there is a better way to deal with other nations? Because this isn’t working. It didn’t work in the past, it will not work now. It will never work. Ever.

I know we think we are fixing the problem, putting bandages on the ills of the world. Someday we’ll recognize we can’t police the planet, especially since we seem to have quite enough trouble policing ourselves.

How many times will we fight the same wars yet believe we will get different results?

MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, PERSONALLY – GARRY ARMSTRONG

The following anecdote is not rigged by the crooked media — or the straight media.

I was exiting our local supermarket and noticed a young lad, maybe 10 or 11-years old staring at me. I know that look. Maybe you have to be a person of color to recognize that look.

Given my particular history, it means one of two things.

Someone thinks they recognize me and probably do, because I used to be someone. Or, they are wondering what this dark-skinned guy is doing here. In this case, I knew he couldn’t have seen me on TV because I retired before he was born. So, living as he does in our fair (and very white) town, probably he had never seen a real, live not white person.

I seized the awkward moment. I smiled and said: “Hi, How are you doing? Isn’t this a beautiful day?” The lad beamed at me.

I am personally on the road to making America great again.

Trust me.

A MOUSE’S TALE – BY TOM CURLEY

This is a tale of a mouse. A mighty mouse. No, not this one.

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More like this one.

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What makes a mighty mouse? What makes a mouse mighty? I say it’s by doing mighty deeds. But what motivates a mighty mouse to do mighty deeds?

A sense of duty? Honor?  Is it because he has the firm conviction to never give up? Never surrender?

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Or could it be because he is really, really, really stoned? Allow me to explain.

This is a true story. You can’t make this up. OK, I guess you could make it up. But that’s not the point!  I’m not making it up. It really happened.

We have a mouse problem at our house. The problem being that we have a mouse in our house. OK, to be honest, we probably have more than one mouse. They tend to hang out in groups. I don’t want to bring in an exterminator because, well they exterminate. I have no beef with the mice. I just don’t want them in the house. So I bought one of those “mice repelling noise generators” that’s supposed to drive the mice out of the house.

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I put it in the basement where all the mice are. Or were. The device worked. Sort of. It drove them out of the basement, but it didn’t drive them out of the house. It drove them upstairs. Well, at least it drove one of them upstairs.

Every night for the last month, between the hours of 9 PM and 10 PM, while we are watching television, Ellin would suddenly scream “Did you see that? A mouse came up from the basement and ran across the hall!”

Insert mouse running here.

I never would see it. It happened really fast. About a half hour later Ellin would see him running back down into the basement. This happened every night.  We soon surmised that the mouse was running into our mud room. Why?

We finally realized we had stored a bag of dog food in the mudroom. It had ripped open a few months back. Ellin thought she had cleaned up all the loose kibble. Obviously, she hadn’t. Our mouse was making a dinner run, then going home. Home. To our basement.

One of the rooms in our basement is our studio. I left a little plastic baggie on a table that contained three gummy fish candies.

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They weren’t regular gummy fish candies. They were “special” gummy fish candies. According to the label, they each contained 10% THC. Pot. They had been on the table for about a month. Then one day about a week ago, I went downstairs and noticed that the little plastic bag was still there, but the “candies” weren’t.

My first thought was. “Damn it! A mouse stole my stash!”

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But then my second thought was “Damn, a mouse ate all three of those candies? Wouldn’t that kill him?” Then I thought, “Well, maybe it was more than one mouse.”

I then imagined what the conversation must have been between them about 4 hours after they ate my stash.


MOUSE 1: Whoa …

MOUSE 2: Have you ever thought that maybe the whole universe is just a single atom in a single molecule of a single cell that is part of a really big, really huge mouse?

MOUSE 3: Whoa …

MOUSE 1: Have you ever looked at your paws? I mean, really looked at them?

MOUSE 3: Whoa …

MOUSE 2: What were we talking about?


I forgot about the whole incident until the next night. Ellin and I were again watching TV when we heard a really odd, loud scratching sound coming from the kitchen. I got up and walked into the kitchen.  I found our mouse trying to open the lid to the wooden bin where we store our dry dog food.

Actual dog food box.( Note the TiVo box. It becomes relevant later)

He was so intent on what he was doing I was almost able to catch him and put him outside. But at the last second, he saw me and ran away. I then realized that if anybody needed proof that you can’t overdose on pot, I was looking at it. I couldn’t help but hum a variation of that song “High Hopes”.

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Everyone knows a mouse can’t,
Raise the lid of that box.
But he had high hopes,
He had high hopes,
He had high apple pie in the sky hopes.

And laughing to myself I went upstairs to go to sleep. I was awakened early the next morning to Ellin downstairs screaming.

TOM! THERE’S A MOUSE IN THE DOG FOOD!!!

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I ran downstairs and looked in the box. No mouse.

“Are you sure he was in there?” I asked my wife.

“Yes, he ran over my hand!!”

So, as my wife freaked out and I couldn’t stop laughing, both of our dogs glowered at us. Basically saying “Mouse, schmouse. Where the hell is our breakfast?”

Uh, Hello? Two dogs waiting for breakfast sitting here!

So now we have to put an old unused TiVo box on the dog food bin. Why a TiVo box? It was there. (I told you it would become relevant to the story)

The mouse is still in the house. He hasn’t come back upstairs in days. Maybe he left.  Maybe he’s still full. Maybe he’s just looking at his paws.

So there you have it. The tale of a mouse.

A mighty mouse.

A mighty, stoned mouse.

IN THE VALLEY – WHICH WAY?

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Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – April 7, 2017


Welcome everyone to Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge.

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The snow is gone and it’s a brand new world!

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KAY AND EL – THE NEXT LETTERS IN LIVING BLACK & WHITE

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Letters K or L


Kitchen
Liquid aka water over the dam
Knives
More liquid flowing over the dam and down river
Kaity
Light!

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