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Jun 27, 2021
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mouse potato
rat race

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AWADmail Issue 991

A Compendium of Feedback on the Words in A.Word.A.Day and Other Tidbits about Words and Language

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From: Dave Wilkinson (dswilkinson1954 gmail.com)
Subject: Landmines

Landmines are not currently produced in the US by Karen or anybody else. In 2014, the Pentagon disclosed that the US had an “active stockpile of just over 3 million anti-personnel mines in the inventory.” These mines have a shelf-life of about 36 years and are expected to expire by the early 2030s.

On Jan 31, 2020, Trump reversed the US prohibition on landmines. Karen may be back to work in the foreseeable future.

Dave Wilkinson, Selkirk, Canada

From: Fred F. Perri (f.b1 verizon.net)
Subject: Rodents

A few years ago I would have laughed at the suggestion that ordinary rodents are smarter than some human beings.

Fred Perri, Scituate, Rhode Island

From: David Bryant (david davidcbryant.net)
Subject: landmines

You know, this entire rant is patently offensive to those of us who love the United States of America. If you don’t like it here, you are free to leave. Take your commie ideas to Venezuela. Or Cuba. Or even Cambodia.

David Bryant, Canyon Lake, Texas

I have to give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume you didn’t mean what you wrote above. I take it you hit the SEND button in the heat of the moment without giving it much thought.

I assume your friends and family are not replicas of you who think exactly as you in every way. When they have a differing opinion, I assume you don’t mean that they should leave the country. You probably don’t agree with yourself of five or ten years earlier.

I assume you don’t believe loving someone or loving one’s country means agreeing with them in everything. You yourself probably don’t agree with the current US government and policies in many ways.

I assume you don’t think that opposing the killing of innocent civilians is Communism. I assume you don’t believe that capitalism means randomly killing and maiming people going about their daily lives.

I assume you wouldn’t want your own children stepping on a landmine and perhaps would have half as much compassion for others’.

The only thing offensive in what I wrote was landmines. Also, see the next message.

-Anu Garg

Email of the Week -- Brought to you by Just Do Wit. -- “The Holy Trinity of wisdom, knowledge, fun and games.”

From: Mike Boddington (mbodd laotel.la)
Subject: landmines

I was involved for many years in repairing bodies that had been broken by landmines, in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Mozambique, and Nicaragua. The experience has turned me into a pacifist. Earlier this year, I wrote this.

I came to Laos by way of Cambodia. Getting involved in the rehabilitation of landmine survivors in that country was harrowing -- as it has proved in any country where I have met with the victims of those devices personally. What follows is from my experience in post-conflict countries -- not in countries that are involved in active warfare.

There has been war. It is over. Now we are in conflict-recovery mode. But the wounding and killing goes on -- not amongst the combatants, the armed forces, but almost entirely amongst the civilian population. Not just the civilian population but very often the civilian population that was not even born at the time that the conflict was active.

Peter Kim, Laos
This is my Lao friend Phongsavath, otherwise known as Peter Kim. On his 16th birthday, he had an accident with a bombie (a cluster submunition) which left him blind and without hands. Think that one through: living your life, from 16, without hands and blind. I personally know three people in Laos who are blind and handless because of bombie accidents.
Those people had lost their limbs as a result of an encounter with an unexploded device of some sort. Here is a scenario for you, dear reader.

You are a farmer in a low-income country. For these purposes, understand that you live in a one-roomed bamboo hut with an earth floor and a grass-thatched roof. You have a wife and five children all below 10 years of age and the youngest is not yet two. You have rights over a small area of land upon which you can grow rice during the rainy season, which lasts four months. The rice that you harvest is just able to support your family through the year and you supplement this with fish that you catch in the nearby river. You also have a few chickens which produce eggs and meat, and you keep a pig which you fatten for slaughter for home use.

This lifestyle is timeless. Your ancestors have lived in much the same way as this for centuries. It is the way things are. You know everyone in your community, and they all know you. You know their forebears and their children. It is a village, a society. It is tightly knit; it hangs together as it always has done.

It is the beginning of the rains and you are preparing your land to plant rice. You have borrowed a buffalo and plough from a neighbour and you will return the favour by giving him some of the produce from your farm.

As you plough your land, ready for the rains, the unthinkable happens. The plough strikes an explosive device left over from some long-past conflict, and it detonates and turns the steel ploughshare and some of its wood frame into shrapnel which joins the shattered casing of the device to smash both of your legs and embed themselves in your stomach and chest. They likewise render the buffalo’s rear legs non-operational.

Alerted by the sound, villagers come running. They find you on the ground with red mush where your lower legs should be and blood pouring from numerous wounds in your upper legs and torso. The buffalo is bellowing in pain and wallowing on the ground, unable, despite continuous attempts, to stand on its lacerated rear legs.

I can show you actual photographs of victims, but you would not be able to tolerate seeing them. If you insist, Google landmine injuries or landmine wounds. Also see Getty Images.

Here are some further facts. Medical skills in the village are severely limited -- effectively non-existent. There is a clinic 12 km away. It has almost no medicines at all, and it is generally unstaffed. If the staff are there, they have skills to deal with the commonest ailments but not with traumatic wounds of this nature. The nearest district hospital is a further 10 km from the clinic. It does not have any orthopaedic surgery skills. It may have saline drip solution; it will certainly not have blood or plasma. It may have painkillers.

The nearest hospital qualified to deal with this emergency is the provincial hospital which is 67 km distant. There are no ambulances. The most probable journey from the village to the provincial hospital is in a two-wheeled, unsprung trailer pulled by a two-wheeled tractor or tok-tok. There is no such conveyance in your village and someone has to go by bicycle to the neighbouring village, 5 km distant, to recruit one.

The owner is dubious. He wants to know how badly injured you are. If you die en route to the hospital, your ghost will haunt his tok-tok and trailer for all eternity. You are in luck! He decides to come and collect you, but he needs to know that you can pay. For your family, it will mean selling the pig.

The pig is trussed and loaded onto the trailer -- the tok-tok owner will sell it for the best price he can get in the provincial capital to secure the hire charge. Maximum speed 20 km per hour -- once you are rescued from the field and brought to the village, the tok-tok will take four or five hours to get to the provincial hospital.

Except that he is not aware that the local medical centre is unable to handle this wound and goes there first. He is not aware that the district hospital is incapable of treating you at all, so he goes there next. It takes not four hours but seven hours to get you to the provincial hospital. You can be grateful that the last 25% of the journey you fall into unconsciousness for loss of blood.

During that journey, your life will depend upon anyone in your village having at least minimal understanding of how to stem the flow of blood. The future of your shattered limbs will depend upon whether or not the villagers use a tourniquet. If they do, the limb below the tourniquet will probably all have to be amputated.

You may have passed out at the site of the explosion. You will come to, possibly in the village, possibly on the journey to the hospital. You will be in excruciating pain and will have no other choice but to bear it until you arrive at the hospital. Even there, there may be no anaesthetic or painkillers. In the hospital, your legs will have to be amputated -- at what level will depend upon the damage done by the blast and the treatment that you have received from your helpers. The amputation may be done without the benefit of anaesthetic.

It is possible that the surgeon who operates upon you will not really understand his vital role in the process between explosion and a rehabilitating survivor. He may not know that, for you to be able to walk again, at all, you will need a pad of healthy muscle beneath the sawn-off bone in your legs. That pad is vital to receive a prosthesis. If the surgeon simply cuts off your legs from one side to the other, going straight through the bone on the way, then you will need what is called rectification surgery, which will further shorten your legs, but will allow those all-important pads of muscle to be placed underneath the bones, to act as cushions between your stumps and the prostheses.

After any traumatic wound, the body reacts in various ways. The damaged flesh will initially swell. As the wound heals, scar tissue will be produced. Both will tend to be bigger than the original tissue and it will take many months for that swelling and scarring to subside. Until the wound has completely healed, no prosthesis can be manufactured and applied. Well, it can, but it will need to be replaced very soon and there are not sufficient resources in countries like this one to provide more than one prosthesis.

And you have no money to pay for that sort of luxury. During your period of initial recovery, the muscles in your residual limbs -- your stumps -- will shrink from lack of use. Once you have your prostheses and start to exercise, those muscles will start to grow again. During these early days, following all these processes, you are continually battling with ill-fitting devices.

If you survive, you will spend three weeks in the hospital. Your wife will have to find money to pay for the operation and your accommodation. She has already sacrificed the pig to pay for the tok-tok. She has to borrow the money from a moneylender to pay all the hospital charges, $375. The moneylender charges 2% interest, per month, compound. You are lucky: it could be much more than that. You will be out of action for at least six months -- possibly more than a year. You are unable to perform any economic activity of benefit to your family and you are deeply in debt.

And getting deeper -- that loan from the moneylender is gathering interest with every passing month -- $375 becomes $382.50 after one month, $390.15 after two, and so on. Where are you going to find the money even to pay the interest? When you have recovered, as far as may be, your ability to carry out your function as the main provider for your family will be significantly constrained. And just remember this: when you had the accident, you were preparing your land for planting.

By the time you get out of hospital and rehabilitation, the rains have long gone, all your neighbours got on with the planting, tending and harvesting their rice. What happened to your land? If you are incredibly lucky, your community will have got together and finished the ploughing, planted the rice, tended it and harvested it. If not ... Back in the village, at the time of the accident, your wife was immensely overwrought. Her husband has just experienced the most appalling accident and she needs to be with him.

What to do about the children. She has to be with them. Because the village is a tightly-knit community, it is probable that relatives and neighbours will rally round and take care of the kids, one of which has not yet reached two. It is fortunate that the youngest has been weaned, otherwise the mother would have had to take her along to the hospital in the tok-tok trailer with her hugely afflicted husband and the trussed pig.

Can you imagine that experience for such a young person? You, her father, her tower of strength, laid low with your body mangled and bleeding, stretched out on the bed of the trailer, your life ebbing away, continually moaning, crying, screaming during the journey. She would be traumatized for the rest of her life. The buffalo was slaughtered in the field, butchered and the villagers shared in the bounty. That buffalo is to your account.

Add to the pig and the loan from the moneylender, another $150 that you owe for that buffalo. Now, that was you, in that predicament. In these sorts of societies, people have no choices. When they wake up in the morning, there is but one route through the day. Nature and the universe might forgive them on odd occasions when malaria comes along and two or three days must be taken away from the daily routine. But the tolerance is very limited.

If you cannot perform your duties for a week, then the chances are that you and your family will die. It is that tight. And it is that tight today for, possibly, three billion people on this earth -- that was the total population of the world in 1960, when I was already 19 years old! No matter the Millennium Development Goals or the Sustainable Development Goals.

Be aware that, at the time of writing, the total population of this world is almost 8 billion. A big proportion of that number live very close to the edge. Small deviations in their lives and ecologies can push them and their loved ones over the edge and into the abyss.

Every hour of every day something like the above happens somewhere in the world. Every hour. Every day. Innocent people encounter an unexploded device, left behind by conflict, a conflict in which they were not involved. This hour today, as you read this, it was your turn. Tough.

In the foregoing, I have touched upon a small proportion -- a very small proportion -- of the horror and misery that war brings. Here’s the deal.

War is barbaric. FDR wrote a message to national leaders, at the start of WWII, using the expression “this form of inhuman barbarism” in referring to bombing civilians. Those pursuing war, promoting war, generating war are barbarians.

Just think about this: there are people who work for organisations like:

United Technologies:
(now merged with Raytheon)
240,000 employees
Raytheon:195,000 employees
Boeing:141,000 employees
Lockheed Martin:110,000 employees
General Dynamics:104,000 employees
Northrup Grumman:95,000 employees
BAE Systems:86,000 employees
Harris Corp:48,000 employees
Huntingdon Ingalls:45,000 employees

In those companies, that are over one million people working. Not all of them work on defence contracts. Imagine this. You live in a comfortable home with a beautiful garden. Your kids go to a good educational institution. Your wife or husband has an excellent job or spends their time doing good works.

You are a designer. You design arms. Things that go bang. Kill people. Or you manufacture the arms that other people have designed. Or you have some sort of managerial control of an outfit that makes armaments.

You go home to your wife and kids each night and say “Hi, honey, great day at work.” Over the other side of the world, a man ploughing his field is blown up. Possibly ten, twenty, thirty, forty years after the conflict. The devastating impact on him and his dependents is incalculable.
You had a hand in it. Are you OK with that?
You earned a good salary: your company earned a profit.
What’s wrong with all you folk? Can’t find a career option that doesn’t involve killing people?

Michael A. B. Boddington, MBE, Vientiane, Laos

From: Jim Keller (kellerjb10 aol.com)
Subject: landmines

Visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia in 2000, I saw a man with one leg balancing on a homemade crutch leaning down to pick weeds by hand from the lawn of the temple. He had been an inadvertent mine detector. Now he helped to clean the temple grounds to make them more pleasant for tourists like me.

Jim Keller, Golden, Colorado

From: Sue Cotter (via website comments)
Subject: landmines

Your commentary on landmines reminds me of this poem by Wendell Berry:

How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy

In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

Sue Cotter

From: Janine Harris-Wheatley (janinehw20 gmail.com)
Subject: Landmines

Thank you for casting your satirical eye on landmine production. Many of us may question how someone could own or work in a company which shows no regard for the deadly consequences of its products for others. But at the same time many of us may have our retirement savings in funds that invest in munitions or fossil fuel production. It isn’t only our governments that need to commit to ethical and green investments, it’s time we all began to ask questions.

Janine Harris-Wheatley, Tottenham, Canada

From: Robert Simmons (atropo pobox.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--myology

When I was in junior high school, boys accepting a dare would reluctantly allow other boys to punch their biceps muscle with a fist that had the knuckle of the middle finger extended so as to make a sharp point. It was painful, and a bump which we called a “mouse” arose at the site of the attack.

Robert Simmons, Houston, Texas

From: Jim Tang (mauijt aol.com)
Subject: Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Him that I love, I wish to be free -- even from me. -Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author and aviator (22 Jun 1906-2001)

What a bittersweet quotation. Her famous husband, Charles Lindbergh, had at least two additional families in Europe, and those children only revealed themselves publicly after Anne’s death in Vermont in 2001. But you have to wonder if she knew. Charles is buried out here on the east side of Maui, where he died in 1974, in a large plot with room for two. Like his legendary flight across the Atlantic, though, he’s still the Lone Eagle on a solo journey. AML’s ashes were instead scattered -- in a sense, free of him.

Jim Tang, Kula, Hawaii

From: Ken Dunn (kvdunn2011 aol.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--rat race

A great line from Lilly Tomlin regarding the rat race:

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

Ken Dunn, Tyler, Texas

From: Robert Berend (tactile8888 yahoo.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--rat race

It’s a song by Bob Marley. Sample lyrics: “Rasta don’t work for no CIA” and
Don’t forget your history.
Know your destiny.
In the abundance of water,
the fool is thirsty.
Rat race, rat race ... Oh, it is a disgrace ... to see the human race ...

You can find lectures I’ve given on The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and my interview with the two surviving members of The Firesign Theater, on YouTube.

Robert Berend, Beverly Hills, California

From: Elizabeth Bell (obispa sbcglobal.net)
Subject: Rat race

The French expression “métro, boulot, dodo” makes its point about the sameness of it all partly because the three words dully rhyme. My translation for it is “Subway, workday, hit the hay.”

Elizabeth Bell, San Francisco, California

From: Andrew Pressburger (andpress sympatico.ca)
Subject: mousy

Surely there must exist nicer rodents than this week’s featured ones: mice and rats. As a proud Canadian, may I offer the beaver, for example?

The only mouse I ever had an appreciation for was Algernon, invented by Daniel Keyes, but unfortunately he died too young. And in any case, he was fictional.

Andrew Pressburger, Toronto, Canada

From: Phyllis Charnyllis (charnyllis nyc.rr.com)
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--mousy

Remember Helen Gurley Brown, creature/editor of Cosmopolitan magazine? She passed almost 10 years ago at the age of 90. She also took “mousey” to another level by coining “mouseburger”! See this 1982 The New York Times article.

Phyllis Charney, New York, New York

From: Robert Sturtevant (robertmacs gmail.com)
Subject: Dan Piraro

I love that you use Bizarro cartoons. I’m a huge fan.

Have you seen Peyote Cowboy, the graphic novel serial he is doing?

Robert Sturtevant, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Mighty Mouse
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Myology and mousy

In light of our word myology from the Greek mys (mouse, muscle), I’m reminded of Terrytoons Studios’ mini superhero, Mighty Mouse (earliest aka Super Mouse), conceived as the murine version of Superman. Mighty Mouse starred in 80 theatrical shorts from 1944-1961. Curiously, in August of 2005, Apple introduced a computer mouse called “The Apple Mighty Mouse”. Another computer enterprise, Man and Machine, had trademarked “Mighty Mouse”, and contested Apple’s use of the appellation, ultimately winning their case. Ever since, it’s been known as simply the Apple Mouse. Squeak! Squeak!... Click! Click!

Plain Jane's Office Crush
Here, in this office scenario, a mousy, painfully shy brainiac IT programmer is caught up in a wishful reverie, secretly having the hots for her dreamboat coworker. Office romances can be a bit of a risk. I, for one, can speak from personal experience. No sordid details provided.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California


The mousy oval office occupant was himself oval and would have not been much use in a myology class since he got most of his activity from Twitter clicktivism to convince his followers that their rat race existence could be blamed on the “other”, and not on people exactly like him.
-Ray Wiss, Vancouver, Canada (portray vianet.ca)


Theme: rodents
1. myology
2. mouse potato
3. rat race
4. mousy
5. clicktivism
= 1. motor anatomy
2. computer geek
3. tedious activity
4. shy
5. scroll memos
     Anu’s theme this week: Rodents
1. myology
2. mouse potato
3. rat race
4. mousy
4. clicktivism
= We get:
1. has muscle study
2. slacker
3. monotony
4. timorous, meek, hair type too
5. activism
     This week’s theme: Rodents
1. myology
2. mouse potato
3. rat race
4. mousey
5. clicktivism
= 1. some study pecs
2. cosy gamer
3. hamster wheel (it’s too ‘city’)
4. meek
5. virtual motion ok
-Dharam Khalsa, Burlington, North Carolina (dharamkk2 gmail.com) -Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz) -Robert Jordan, Lampang, Thailand (alfiesdad ymail.com)

Magawa the hero rat retires from job detecting landmines
Magawa the hero rat retires from job detecting landmines = He is more jewel than rodent after test in Cambodia, Mr Garg
-Julian Lofts, Auckland, New Zealand (jalofts xtra.co.nz)

Make your own anagrams and animations.


“A student, you say?” “Of myology.”
“Oh, mushrooms!” “No, no, that’s mycology.”
“Not fungi?” “No, muscles.”
“Oh, bivalves.” “That’s mussels.”
“I’m very confused.” “That’s psychology.”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

Says cook to the prof of biology,
“Mistaken, I thought that myology
would be about mussels,
and not about muscles.
I’m dropping your class. My apology!”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

If mushrooms you like, take mycology;
To learn about muscles: myology.
But if you’re inclined
To study the mind,
A course you must find in psychology.
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Little Anu one day whimpered, “Papaji,
I’m no athlete; I lack the myology.
And don’t call me a nerd
For the use of that word;
As it’s language I love, please acknowledge me.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Addicted to email? Not me!
For reading my time has been free.
I’ve read all of Plato.
I’m no mouse potato,
Just a featherless biped like he.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

“You spend too much time in this room.
It’s dirty, and dark as a tomb!
A terrible state o’
affairs, mouse potato!”
says mom, as she hands him a broom.
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

A true mouse potato is Ray,
Caught up in his video play.
Those games are attractive
And so interactive,
He’s virtually carried away!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“For the Air Force and sometimes for NATO,
Al Qaeda and ISIS I kayo,”
Said the pilot. “My drones
Are controlled by iPhones;
I’m a warrior god mouse potato.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

As a misguided youth, I sought power,
Pursuing it hour by hour.
But I tired of the chase,
So, I quit the rat race.
And abandoned, “All Me!” for, “All Our!”
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

You say you’ve a great looking wife
Who gives you much grief and much strife?
You struggle to please her
But cannot appease her;
You’re caught in a rat race for life.
-Rudy Landesman, New York, New York (ydur36 hotmail.com)

When request for a raise was denied,
he suffered a blow to his pride.
Said he, “Well, in that case,
I’m quitting this rat race.
Just when, I have yet to decide.”
-Anne Thomas, Sedona, Arizona (antom earthlink.net)

The rat race was driving him mad;
He hated the job that he had.
“I’m done with this folly!
I’m heading for Bali --
I hear that the beaches are rad!”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

When my friend decided to embrace
Buddhism, he quit the rat race.
His new obsession,
was a Q&A session
with the master himself face-to-face.
-Shyamal Mukherji, Mumbai, India (mukherjis hotmail.com)

Said the lab rat, “It’s a disgrace
Since I have been sent to this place.
To run a maze, jeez,
For a small chunk of cheese.
A sad prize to win the rat race.”
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Said Dick Cheney, “This job is a rat race;
I’m so bored that it’s really a sad case.
All the weapons I forge
Sit unused. I’ll tell George
That It’s time to Saddam from Iraq chase.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Her shy affect to many seemed mousy,
In her dress she was frumpy and frowzy.
Though she did have a style,
She could be oh-so-vile,
In her presence one felt kind of lousy.
-Judith Marks-White, Westport, Connecticut (joodthmw gmail.com)

The look I am sporting now rocks;
No more am I dyeing my locks.
I’m not mousy gray;
Instead one could say
I’m simply a silvery fox!
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

“This voyage is not for the mousy,”
Said Magellan as storms churned the South Sea.
“As we go ‘round the world
With our sails all unfurled,
I get sick when the ship is this bouncy.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Me -- political? Sure, I opine.
I protest every day, but online.
With each vote, I so rule!
Clicktivism is cool.
I don’t lobby, or march, I recline.
-Tony Holmes, Launceston, UK (tony_holmes btconnect.com)

The clicktivist “signed” a petition,
Hit send, and completed her mission.
She then said out loud,
“I really feel proud
I’m taking this noble position.”
-Marion Wolf, Bergenfield, New Jersey (marionewolf yahoo.com)

Some people who like to protest
Think going on marches is best.
For some activism
Is by clicktivism.
Both hope that change does manifest.
-Joan Perrin, Port Jefferson Station, New York (perrinjoan aol.com)

Victor Hugo would hate clicktivism;
He’d say it was self-hypnotism.
“It’s better to throw
A book, movie, and show
At oppressors,” he said; “I’ll Les Miz ‘em.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)


“There are many areas one can study,” said Anu, “but word origins are myology.”
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“As we failed to poison Castro’s cigar, in China we’ll try mouse potato,” said the CIA chief.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

A tuber that wishes to remain secretive is an anony-mouse potato.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

“In Subsequent Moviefilm, me and my dad Bo-rat race all over America,” said Ms. Bakalova.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

The 5K run/walk fundraiser for the card-playing enthusiasts was called a bacca-rat race.
-Jim Ertner, Greensboro, North Carolina (jde31459 gmail.com)

“In the new China, cheese will be shared equally,” proclaimed Mousy Tung.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

“Nerds deserve friends too! High school clicktivism must be stopped!” shouted the protester.
-Steve Benko, New York, New York (stevebenko1 gmail.com)

Joe vs Joe
From: Alex McCrae (ajmccrae277 gmail.com)
Subject: Joe vs Joe

In a 50/50-seat, dysfunctional Senate where the Democrats hold the slimmest of majorities, with the tie-breaking vote of VP/Pres. of the Senate, Kamala Harris, giving the Dems the slight edge, West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has become a stumbling block in Pres. Biden’s efforts to pass new ease-and-fairness-in-voting legislation while the Dems try to eliminate the arcane filibuster, which, if still in place, would require any bill to pass by a supermajority (60 votes). Manchin argues that a simple majority passage (50 votes) would be viewed as a strictly partisan measure. Hardly a bipartisan exercise.

UPDATE: Perchance there is light at the end of the tunnel, with Senator Manchin now on the same page as his fellow Dem Senate legislators, who have persuaded a bloc of Republican senators to agree on a compromise, bipartisan infrastructure bill.

Alex McCrae, Van Nuys, California

There is no greater fallacy than the belief that aims and purposes are one thing, while methods and tactics are another. -Emma Goldman, social activist (27 Jun 1869-1940)

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