“FICTIONAL CHARACTER?” Professor Plum asked as he walked into the mail room, “NO WAY! I’m in a BOARD GAME and I was in a MOVIE, and those are REAL!”

He read the mail…. (More)

Chef coughed. “You can turn off your all-caps.”

Professor Plum chuckled and winked, then left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor was muttering about follow-through. Chef opened with a raise, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor reraised with a pair of red Queens. The Squirrel folded and Chef called.

The flop brought the Jack and Ten of Diamonds, and the Six of Spades. The Professor of Astrology put in a pot-sized bet to protect his pair of Queens, but Chef called.

The Four of Clubs on the turn didn’t seem to change anything. Again, the Professor of Astrology Janitor put in a pot-sized bet, and again Chef called.

The Ace of Hearts on the river didn’t seem worrisome, unless Chef had been calling with a hand like Ace-Jack. Which she might have. The Professor of Astrology Janitor pondered his options. If he put in a large bet, Chef would only call with a hand that beat his Queens. If he put in a small bet, Chef might raise and leave him pot-stuck. Similarly, a check left him open to a bluff. He decided on a quarter-pot-sized bet, small enough that Chef might call with a weaker hand. And Chef put in a pot-sized raise.

Did she have Ace-Jack for two pair? Had she been trapping with pocket Jacks or Tens for three of a kind? Was she bluffing?

“I think I have to call,” he finally said.

“My flush missed,” Chef said, turning over the Ace and King of Diamonds, “but I caught an Ace.”

“That’s good enough,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said with a sigh.

He began his plaintive mewling and Chef went to the kitchen to make Puerto Rican Breakfast Custard, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

The President of the United States, Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, and Leader of the Free World

Dear God-King,

We concede it’s true that “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico.” It’s also true that the George Washington University research concluded that about 3000 more people died in Puerto Rico between September 2017 and February 2018 than would typically have died during that period … and their deaths are even more damning for you.

The 16-64 deaths “in the two hurricanes” were a tragedy of nature. Those people were killed by wind-blown debris, building collapses, or flooding. Similarly, the most current data show that Hurricane Florence has killed 13 people thus far. Better infrastructure and preparation might have reduced the immediate death tolls, both in Puerto Rico and South Carolina, but that is highly speculative.

But the other roughly 2940 excess deaths in Puerto Rico from September 2017 to February 2018 were due to hunger, dehydration, and health care failures related to the collapse of the island’s communication, transportation, and electrical systems. They died because federal and local government budget cuts left the island’s vital infrastructure far too vulnerable, and because your administration bungled the disaster response and recovery operations. The deaths in the months following the storm were not a tragedy of nature. They were a tragedy of bad government.

The GWU study and other reporting have been very clear on this, so we cannot excuse your false claims as misinformation or misunderstanding. You know, or should know, why those roughly 2940 people died. Thus, we can only conclude that your false claims are yet another example of gaslighting — an attempt to muddle the facts and deny responsibility for your malignantly incompetent response to this disaster.

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Dear Ms. Crissie,

Did Chef use the recipe at the bottom of this page to make her Puerto Rican Breakfast Custard? And is it safe for squirrels?

Cuss-tard-ing for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel,

Yes, Chef used that recipe to make her Puerto Rican Breakfast Custard. Alas, she says it’s probably too sweet for squirrels, so she set out an extra bowl of macadamias for you. Bon appétit!

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Image Credits — Gaslight Image: Adobe Stock; Illustration: Crissie Brown (BPICampus.com)

George Washington University study; Hurricane Florence has killed 13 people thus far.

Puerto Rican Breakfast Custard.

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Happy Sunday!