The Cloud of Darkness Versus Joie De Vivre

On the morning of my wedding in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on 1 December 1979, I heard a knock on my door at the Hilton Hotel in downtown.

Rising with the nervous energy one would expect on such a day, verifying it was just after six in the morning, I opened the door to find a courtly Southern gentleman (bride’s side of the family) standing there with a sweating six pack of beer. I wish I could recall the brand.

We shared a beer — meaning we each drank one. I believe he departed with the remaining four, but I cannot recall. I can only inform you that I did not drink them.

The man was wise and felt the need to arm me with his excess wisdom before I married his gorgeous niece.

Amongst the pearls he left behind was this:

“One cannot make oneself happy, but one can prevent oneself from being unhappy.”

The oddity 0f the circumstances under which it was delivered left a lasting impression more permanent than a tattoo.

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Tactics, Political Tactics

Outcomes in life are determined by the tactics you employ with which to grapple with it.

If you were spit out by a military school, as was I, you will learn basic infantry tactics like attacking a hill with a platoon of 50 men employing something called “fire and maneuver.”

Part of the platoon fires whilst the balance maneuvers, you reverse rolls until you are within hand grenade range whereat you fling a few grenades before closing with and killing the enemy.

It is delightfully simple when confronting the idea with pen and ink, but more troubling when done for real.

You will quickly learn that attacking a hill with a bunch of cadets who will have their turn soon enough is vastly different than doing the same thing when someone is shooting at you and your ranks are peopled with men who are having second thoughts about their career choice.

What you quickly learn is that tactics, successful tactics, require action. You will also want to know that the other guy has likely had a bit of instruction on defending a hill.

This will quickly devolve into a classic clash of wills as does much of life.

The one with the better tactics will win the encounter. Winning in the military racket is highly prized and there is actually no substitute for success.

So, now we turn to the issue of the COVID Relief Package and a lesson on tactics.

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In all the to-ing and fro-ing in the world, there are folks who want to abolish the police, defund the police, and to reorganize how law enforcement works.

Many of these folks feel a loving, patriarchal fondness for the Black community and speak for them whenever given a chance.

Turns out Black communities can speak for themselves.

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The Waning Ability To Hold Two Competing Thoughts At The Same Time

In my now post-COVID bliss, with my newly cleared mind, with my returning brain cells, I make bold to say that we are really getting stupid at a time that we need to be smart.

What pops to mind is our inability to hold competing thoughts inside our single brain.

We once debated the merits of Miller Lite thusly:

“Less filling.”

“Tastes great.”

The critical thinker of the time would whisper to his beloved, “Maybe it’s both?”

The beloved would respond, “Of course it is, you moron.”

Then, we would say to ourselves, “Well of course. It can be two ideas at the same time, those ideas are not really in conflict, they are not mutually exclusive, and my brain is large enough to hold both of them without exploding.”

Were we smarter in those simpler days?

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Major League Baseball and Dr Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci will throw out the first pitch tonight when the reigning World Series champs, the Washington Nationals, take on the New York Yankees in the first game of an abbreviated 60-game season.

Baseball is back, baby! Of course, there will be NO FANS. No heat in the seats.

Dr. Fauci is the Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and has had a prominent position in the ongoing COVID19 saga.

Some say he has not been pitching straight whilst others say he is throwing straight and hard.

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Cop Calculus — Minneapolis

“It’s hard out here for a cop, 

It’s hard out here for a cop.”

Imagine Terrence Howard and Taraji P Henson rapping the above (with liberties taken from their Hustle & Flow soundtrack). This rap won the 2005 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

So, Minneapolis is now in the throes of the aftermath of the George Floyd murder in which a Minneapolis cop, Derek Chauvin, knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and killed him.

This murder triggered violence, arson, looting, vandalism, riots, and subsumed what started out as peaceful Constitutional protests resulting in more than $500MM in property damage and calls to #DefundPolice.

Apartment project under construction for low income housing ablaze during Minneapolis riots.

Who gets hurt by this? Low income residents who now have no place to live.

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Instacart Is a Rip Off?

Now that a substantial portion of the world is using grocery delivery to delve into the food chain, I had a convo with a pal of mine who swears by Instacart.

I asked him, “Aren’t they more expensive?”

“Baloney,” he says. He also calls me a moron, but he often does that so no offense taken. We make a small bet.

So, we pick a mundane product, Hebrew National Beef Franks in the 12 oz size and compare prices.

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