Love


There once were Five Little Pigs.
Together they owned a party pavilion which stood at the end of the Santa Monica Pier.
It was very grand! Each week all the barnyard animals who liked to dance would dress up
in their finest glad rags and come to the Pigs’ Club Foot to dance!
The band was the swinging-est, most danceable, most absolutely Moo-rageous band in town!
They were called “Joyful Cow-tenence” and they specialized in Moo-sic that made you want to dance!
“Joyful Cow-tenence” was a ten piece band and they all played the Cow Bell. Exclusively Cow Bell.
Do you like to dance? Dancing makes me feel udder-ly amazing!

The Five Little Pigs were named Piggly Piggleton, Wiggly Tail, Oink-Oink, Super Pig, and Jeff.
They all loved to dance. They were very happy to see so many barnyard animals dancing happily
together. (We’ll come back to these five pigs in a bit so don’t forget them!)

Every week everyone would come to Club Foot for the best toe-tapping fun around!

One day, Ms. Chicken (who specialized in the Chicken Dance) brought a giant apple pie to share with
all the barnyard animals to celebrate Arbor Day. It was as big as a swimming pool and it smelled so good everyone wanted to
dive right in!

But some of the older animals hadn’t arrived yet!
“Wait!” Said Ms. Chicken. “This pie is for everyone to share! We should wait until all the barnyard animals
are here and then we can each share a piece.”
Everyone agreed that Ms. Chicken had a delicious idea and found her apple pie idea aPEELing!

Ms. Chicken set the pie on top of the Santa Monica roller coaster where it wouldn’t get danced on and the band played
beautiful MOOsic that the sheep said sounded ‘BLEATiful.’ And everyone had a great time.

Finally, the oldest horse from the barn, Mister Horseradish came slowly sauntering into Club Foot.
Everyone celebrated because they loved Mister Horseradish and also because they could now share the yummy smelling
apple pie!
Yum! Every dessert tastes better when it is shared with animals you love!

But when Ms. Chicken got to the top of the roller coaster to get the pie, she found a surprise!
This Arbor Day party had turned into a Surprise Arbor Day Party because someone….
(Can you guess what happened? What do you think happened?)

Someone had brought a whole buncha vanilla ice cream and put it right there next to the apple pie!
Wow!

And all the animals had their share and celebrated trees with Apple Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream.
Now, apple trees were of course especially celebrated, and vanilla bean plants were also greatly appreciated,
as well as sugar cane plants, wheat, and cinnamon trees. But all the animals loved all trees.

Mr. Horseradish had even brought some seeds to plant and little seedlings to give away!

Everyone was having a great party….except Sally Badger. Sally Badger was scratching her head.
There was a mystery afoot and she wanted to get to the bottom of it!

You see, mysteries abound all around us. Every time an inventor invents, or an artist arts, or a musician musics, mysteries are being solved. Math problems, questions, puzzles, riddles, unknowns….they’re all mysteries! And mysteries are fun to solve.

And Sally loved to solve them. She was a gumshoe, or detective. She loved to do math, learn science, build, create, study, read, play, explore! And during the Arbor Day Party she found a mystery as he dug a hole to plant a seedling Mr. Horseradish had given him.
As she dug into the dirt with his tough badger paws, she found that someone had buried their slice of apple pie!
How strange! How mysterious!
She used all the senses she knew to find clues: she looked, sniffed, touched, listened, and yes….tasted!
She needed more information so she began to ask the barnyard animals questions.

Sally heard it from a rooster that a “some mysterious figure had been seen near the spot where the apple pie had been buried.”
Sally knew that the Five Little Pigs that owned Club Foot always had their hooves on the pulse of Santa Monica and knew all the gossip. One of the Five Pigs would have to know!

Sally asked Piggly Piggleton if she knew who buried the piece of pie in the ground.
“I have used all my senses to figure it out but still I’m stumped! Piggly, is there any info that you can give me, any deets? Any data, any facts? I’m all ears, eyes, mouth, nose, and badger paws!”
Piggly snuffled.
“Well Sally have you used all your senses so far?”
“Yup!”
“Did you use your sense of balance? Your feeling of intuition? Your interior feelings of being full or hungry or having a headache? Did you use your sense of right and wrong?”
“Well…I guess I didn’t know we have so many senses Piggly!”
“I’m a gumshoe detective too Sally, and I’ve learned that there’s all kinds of ways to figure things out. I once tried to figure out if a flower was pretty by looking at it but it didn’t work. I needed to also use my sense of beauty.”
“I see,” Said Sally. “And was the flower pretty Piggly?”
“Yes. It was a beautiful rose. I can still see it in my memory.” Piggly snuffled again. “And as to that apple pie that had been so craftily and sneakily snuck away underground–I haven’t the foggiest. I wasn’t around at the time. I had gone to market.”
“Aha. I see. Well thank you Piggly!”

Sally Badger went off and found Wiggly Tail playing beach volleyball.
“Excuse me Wiggly, I was wondering if you knew who buried a piece of apple pie in the ground.”
“Ahhhhh. Yes. The apple pie!” Said Wiggly Tail as he put down his volleyball and wiggled his tail.
“So you know about the mysterious buried apple pie!”
“Well, I don’t know about any specific buried apple pie but I can use my imagination to see how it must have been. I can see it right now in my mind.” Wiggly wiggled and giggled.
“Well Wiggly, I want to know about a very specific piece of apple pie that someone strangely buried.”
“In my imagination I see someone burying it with a tiny spoon and they are wearing a bicycle for a hat and they are laughing butterflies.” Wiggly looked very serious as he said that last part. “My imagination surprises even myself sometimes.” And then he wiggled.
“So you didn’t see anything yourself with your eyes huh?”
“No, when the apple pie was being served I wasn’t there for I had stayed home.”
“Hmmm. Okay. Thanks Wiggly.”

Sally Badger was presently no closer to the answer but she never gave up! Sometimes solving problems was difficult, but Sally stuck with it!
She next found Oink-Oink and Super Pig standing atop a pile of rubble. Oink Oink was holding Super Pig in a cradling and loving sort of way.
“What’s all this? It looks like a storm has just come through here!” Sally gasped.
“This? Oh, this was the work of Doctor Haymem. A very villainous villain she is indeed!” Said Oink-Oink.
“Doctor who?”
“No, Doctor Haymem!” Oink Oink corrected. “She’s a meteorologist who always predicts tornadoes and if she’s wrong, she makes her own tornadoes. She’s a bit of a bother, really.”
“Yeah, a real bummer.” Groaned Super Pig.
“But we took care of all that nonsense, Sally. What can we do for you?” Said Oink Oink looking quite heroic.
“Well, you could tell me if you know anything about who might have buried a piece of apple pie?” Sally asked.
“Sally, you are ever the inquisitive badger!” Oink Oink yelled out , carrying Super Pig down off the pile of assorted crumbled buildings.
“I didn’t mean to badger you, I just wondered…I wanted to know…I so much like to solve mysteries, you see.” Sally said as she removed her detective hat and kneaded it in her paws.
“Sally, I love that about you! Love it!” Oink Oink exclaimed. “Super Pig here and I could not tell you a thing about that apple pie for we were out and about doing different things when the dessert was served.”
“Were you two together?”
“No, we were out to dinner at the time at the Tofu Hut.” Oink Oink set Super Pig safely down on the hood of a ’68 Ford. “I remember it well. One of us had forgotten to bring their money you see–” Oink Oink nodded in the direction of Super Pig “And so we could only afford a little bit of Tofu and Super Pig gave me all of it.”
“That is a bit strange isn’t it? I mean, that Super Pig gave you all the Tofu?”
“Tofu is no matter when love is involved, Sally. You see there is a sense of love that when one feels it, you just can’t help but give up Tofu for the Pig you love.”
“Wow. Super Pig. What a wonderful…strange…mysterious…”
“Oink Oink does the same for me!” Super Pig rustled up from the hood of the car, all wrapped up in a long bright red cape.
“That’s the way of love. Oink Oink gives me the Tofu just as often as not. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”
“And what’s good for the Pig is good for the Super Pig.” Oink Oink said softly with a gentle snout rub against Super Pig’s cape.
“So one had Tofu and the other had none…” Sally concluded.
She was no nearer an answer!

The day was winding down. The sun was setting over the part of the sky that Sally guessed was the West because that was where the Sun usually set, but she didn’t have her compass with her so she couldn’t be sure.
She found the last little piggy Jeff sitting on his porch, drinking a glass of Slop.
“Sally!” Jeff greeted. “I do hope you bear me the gift of your company!”
She could not decline him. She sidled up alongside him taking a seat in the rocking chair next to him.
“Have some Slop, Sally!” He handed her a glass.
“Thank you.” She said, being polite. “I have a question for you Jeff.”
“Shoot.”
“Do you know anything about who might have buried apple pie in the ground?”
Jeff stared off in the distance for a while.
“That sure is peculiar isn’t it?” He said. “Whoever did that sure was…creative.”
“I want to know! Who would do such a thing?!”
“Sally, sometimes there are questions that have no answers. Each evening I come out here to my porch and I see the sunset and I ask myself: ‘how could the simple act of the sun setting be so amazing?'”
“Actually Jeff, it’s not the Sun setting, it’s the Earth rotating.”
Jeff laughed. “Well that’s even more amazing!”
Sally was not laughing. “Who would bury apple pie!? That’s just plain silly!”
“Silly Sally? Silly is the best mystery of all. The strangeness that just gets you all wound up and frustrated until all you can do but laugh. That’s my kinda mystery!” And Jeff did start laughing.
And his laugh was just mysterious enough and….well silly enough to get Sally laughing too.
She had a second glass of Slop and said her goodnights to Jeff.
She set off down the path.
There, along the winding path where she had found the apple pie buried down in the ground earlier stood a giant Apple Pie Tree! It was as tall as the barn and it was sprouting slices of apple pie!
There were children and baby chickens nibbling at the delicious sprouts.
Some were holding their pie next to a knot in the tree that instead of oozing sap was oozing whipped cream.

Sally stood amazed. It was so…so…silly!
Sally started to laugh. It was a high ‘hee hee hee’ sounding laugh and it made her feel good.
And Sally went ‘hee hee hee’ all the way home.

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Here’s a great timeline found at Mother Jones detailing the failures of the Clinton and Bush administrations’ policies:
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/leadup-iraq-war-timeline

A few of the highlights you’ll find in there:
Condi Rice lying about aluminum tubes
The main Iraqi informant “Curveball” was widely suspected to be feeding the US crap
Five hours after 9/11 attacks Rumsfeld was seeking to begin military action against Saddam Hussein
Bush administration’s approval of torture (and subsequent torture of innocent civilians)
Fabricated tales of WMD by Condi Rice, Cheney, et al

All in all, the pattern of falsified intelligence and the marketing of an unwarranted war by the Bush administration is
nothing short of criminal.
Happy Holidays everyone!

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/leadup-iraq-war-timeline

Iraq and Afghanistan war spending and homeland security have comprised more than 25% of the Government debt increase since 2001.
Why?
We are covering the cost of the wars with borrowing.
Remember those Bush Tax Cuts? Yup.
George W slashed taxes in 2001 and 2003. And when government revenue is choked off while undertaking two new wars funded by borrowing, debt will pile on fast.

And where is the money going? Well…
The Pentagon has not once produced a clean financial audit since government auditing began twenty years ago. And from what we do know through congressional investigations it is estimated that 25% of wartime contractors is wasted or misspent.

On September 18th of 2011, Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote in the LA Times an essay titled “A Costly War Machine.” There they write,
“The invasion of Iraq and the resulting instability in the Persian Gulf were among the factors that pushed oil prices up from about $30 a barrel in 2003 to historic highs five years later…Higher oil prices threatened to depress U.S. economic activity, prompting the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates and loosen regulations. These policies were major contributors to the housing bubble and the financial collapse that followed.”

There are costs of war beyond any monetary evaluation. The human costs bore by our military service members and their families are great and as a nation and as individuals we must hold dear the honor and memory of each member of our Armed Forces that have given their lives.
Currently, an average of 18 veterans commit suicide every day and every month 1,000 veterans attempt suicide.
Since 2002 an estimated 200,000 service members have sustained traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

Over 12 percent of veterans deployed after 2001 are currently unemployed.

Since 2001, at least 20% of the US’ soldiers experience the symptoms of PTSD.
These symptoms include insomnia, depression, and bouts of rage.
Although women are twice as likely as men to develop combat related PTSD, currently that are less likely to seek medical treatment for it.

The face of the US’ human toll in war is often that of the soldiers but the repercussions of service in the armed forces also dramatically affects the veterans’ families.
Research suggests that children of service members are at higher risk of behavioral disorders, violent aggression, and learning disabilities.
The spouses of military service members are as adversely affected by drug and alcohol abuse as the veterans themselves.
The marriages of service members are twice as likely as their civilian peers to end in divorce.
Domestic violence surfaces in the relationships of veterans and their partners four times as often as their civilian peers.

As a nation, we have the power to choose how we conduct ourselves in the world.
We have the power to vote for political leadership who are committed to ending the US’ pattern of violent incursions around the world.
We have the power to demand from our leaders and corporations that war profiteering be made illegal.
We have the power to demand of our government that the VA be well funded and effectively run to ensure the best possible treatment of all our service members.
We can motivate and lead within our communities of faith to serve the veteran population.
We can tell our elected officials that we desire our taxes to support better lives for those at home in the US and those abroad.

*I want to recognize that this post does not include the costs to the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and elsewhere due to US military violence. The lives, cultures, and well being of all people are important and I sought to focus this post on the US perspective.
Challenges met by some in our Armed Forces–and source for some of this post’s information:
http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/11/veterans-challenges/

How the US’ militarism is damaging our nation’s economy and quality of life–and source for this post:
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/18/opinion/la-oe–bilmes-war-cost-20110918
By Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz
Veteran and Families
http://www.veteransandfamilies.org/home.html

Veterans For Peace
http://www.veteransforpeace.org/

National Domestic Violence Hotline:
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

 

Miss Virginia Nikki Poteet is innocent until proven guilty.
But sheesh.
When many people are confirming that you went on a drunken tirade breaking furniture and using homophobic slurs, a serious investigation is needed.
I encourage everyone to call requesting Miss USA investigate these allegations seriously.
(212) 373-4986
pr@missuniverse.com

About Nikki Poteet:
http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/11/01/358324/poteet-homophobic-slurs/
http://missvirginiausa.com/titleholders.php?id=2010110809525094586

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