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September 4, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Unbroken, beauty brushes aside

Above the daily sludge and grime, there to be seen. An oasis for the mind. An unscheduled flight to refocusing. Not one moment too soon.

last Atlas Moth of the summer in Cockrell Butterfly Center/Houston Museum of Natural Science Instagram/event promo

Living masterpiece. The last Atlas Moth of the summer in the Cockrell Butterfly Center. Hurry, they only live a few days! (HMNS)

Sometimes you need a bit of beauty to repair yourself from the ugliness of mankind.

As in yoga, where it’s important to exhale all the old, stale, spent air from the bottom of the lungs and draw in fresh revitalizing oxygen, brains and thoughts need a refreshing boost, too.

Weariness drags down body and soul from things like this:

Stenciled cop with gun to his head anti-law enforcement graffiti.(Screenshot ch2 news)

If this was a burning cross, DOJ, FBI, and Homeland Security would be crawling all over the place screaming “hate crime/hate group” But it’s just graffiti about law enforcement. So a pass. (click2houston)

This graffiti suddenly/immediately showed up after a local deputy was executed – shot in the back – while filling his car up with gas. (The shooter, a man with a history of violence and mental illness, has been arrested.)

“Anti-law enforcement graffiti in the Houston area” (Ch2 news. video)

Seeking for attention, trying to impress someone, or organized campaign?

Then there’s the “bright” one on Twitter:

SHSU junior (English major) Monica's rude, insensitive, and ignorant tweet about a slain officer/ Montgomery Police reporter

SHSU (Junior, English lit. major) Monica deleted this after getting slammed for insensitivity…that and after getting arrested/jailed on an outstanding warrant for assault causing bodily injury. Police had been looking for her. SHSU is appalled…especially as they offer a Criminal Justice degree and classes. Story here.

Here, we aren’t going to let these stand.

Everyone – the whole community – is outraged.

And people are doing something about it.

blue paint covering offensive anti-cop graffiti/FB FOX26houston)

People are painting over offensive graffiti.(FB.FOX26houston)

supporting law enforcement with decals. (screenshot click2houston)

Houston and the sprawl around it is the most diverse city in the nation – even more than NYC according to the newest studies. As of 2013, nearly 1 in 4 Houstonians had been born abroad.

We stand together even if we speak and cook differently. 

What are the 12 largest immigrant populations in Houston? Find out here in Houstonia’s “The Best of International Houston.”

You may be surprised.

There’s a lot of good people here. Most looking to do good.

decals supporting police/fundrazr screenshot

Order these on-line and support your local police.

Perhaps a good look around could provide a break from the often grim grind.

There’s beauty. Waiting. 

Beauty may be fragile – often short-lived. Maybe that’s a good thing.

It’s the journey – the searching – that creates greater appreciation.

Encouraging the desire to find more.

Find more wonder this weekend.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

And speaking of a beauty, meet the newest Masai giraffe at the Houston Zoo.

Watch her video here. Bet she makes you smile.

Always good.

Houston Zoo's new baby Masai giraffe(

Look at that face! (New baby Masai giraffe/












  1. dogear6 / Sep 4 2015 12:41 am

    There are a lot of good people in the world, but we’re getting stomped out and pretty fiercely too. Glad to hear that Houston is getting more assertive that they do support their cops – it’s a hard time for them right now. Thanks for writing it up. And that cute giraffe too!


    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 1:32 am

      What a week. People are tired of feeling like there is nothing they can do – and suddenly found a lot of others felt the same way and there were things that can be done. Hope is returning.
      We deserve that sweet faced giraffe! (Fingers crossed she lives long and is always just as happy) Thanks for stretching over to comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • dogear6 / Sep 4 2015 2:11 am

        I wondered how you’d find humor in my comment! I should have figured it would be the giraffe.


  2. Paul / Sep 4 2015 12:54 am

    Well said Phil. I’m a Canadian. That’s a problem. We have strong hate laws here that prohibit the public denigration or threatening of a group or class of people – be it a profession or a religion or sexual orientation or whatever. I have had this argument many times with Americans. They, in general believe that free speech trumps hate laws. Always. I have never believed that. In fact just in Dallas not that long ago there was show/session that promoted the cartoon degeneration of Mohammed. It was done in the name of free speech – when it was deliberately intended to irritate Muslims. And of course, surprise, surprise, it resulted in shootings. Just accidentally no deaths – but that was just a mistake, for it was obvious to anyone with two clues to rub together that it was specifically structured to result in the shooting deaths of Muslims – who would inevitably show up armed to protect their spiritual leader..Which they did.

    Now tell me why that bullshit is not only tolerated but encouraged and then everyone is surprised when hate driven pictures and prose of cops appears? There is no difference. If you allow the hateful treatment of any group. you have to be prepared to allow the hateful treatment of all groups. That’s free speech. Grow up America,

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 1:19 am

      Hey – quit badmouthing Canadians – I know lots of them!
      Not sure what wave length you’re on tonight.
      Not about hate speech at all.
      It’s about local general public’s reaction to violence against the police who are trying to enforce the law in order to protect society in general.This is supposed to be a country of laws.
      Here people are saying enough is enough. Simply saying people are getting up and doing things rather than just talking – positive actions – taking a stand for decency and letting the police (who are charged with enforcing the laws as written) and their families know they are appreciated (The deputy’s wife is a school teacher – 2 people being positive influences on society. Both paid very little considering the importance of their jobs)
      People-1, thugs 0.
      (PS the shooter is wanted in Austin for attacking a man over a dispute about the TV a Salvation Army shelter about 2 years ago.He stomped and beat a man with his fist almost to death…and spent 4 months in state mental institution until they said he was competent, sane, and able to be released into society….His mom is devastated. One again, there were signs of violent potential, but society wasn’t protected)
      Any sign of fall up there yet? Not much here yet. Thanks for rambling over to chat.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Paul / Sep 4 2015 1:40 am

        Yes, of course.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 1:33 pm

          There’s beauty in people uniting – choosing positive actions rather than reacting in knee jerk, emotional, lack of real information mode that drive wedges between groups. All lives matter. That’s true beauty. (Is it true that Nova Scotia is sometimes called “New Scotland”? Read that in a blog there was a log of Scots that immigrated there. Didn’t know) Hope you day has a bit of beauty waiting for you.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Paul / Sep 4 2015 2:20 pm

          Well, I really think that the tolerance of hate contributes greatly to the violence against police or religious groups or whatever. And of course mental illness is a large contributor to the violence. Add in the loose control of a massive number of weapons and the outcome is very bad for police and everyone else. I feel bad for the victims and I wish the situation was different but choices have been made and the outcome seems fixed.

          I’ve only ever heard Nova Scotia called New Scotland in jest.That is the literal meaning of the name though. There are a great deal of Scottish and Irish and British ancestors. In fact there are places in other maritime provinces where the Continental accent is so heavy that a non-local cannot understand the language.

          It’s a sunny and warm day about 75 degrees here this morning. I have dialysis later today but all is well. Thanks for the good wishes – we’ll make it a happy day. 😀


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 2:37 pm

          OK, Knew about the French and British (obviously), but not about the Scots.
          Hate of any sort is a negative destructive force. Incidents like this are disturbing:
          Beautiful to see that here all people are uniting rather than dividing and saying killing is wrong. All lives matter. But we’ve been diverse for a long time.(This was a black shooter and a white cop. With such a high profile case, I didn’t go into all the details.) And for the most part it’s live and let live (and ignore the disgruntled and trouble makers as there’s just too much other stuff to do to even bother with them)
          Life was a lot easier when people had a sense of humor and could laugh at themselves as well as others (and never laughed at the misfortune of others or at anything that was mean/hurt others). People need to lighten up a bit. That would be a beautiful choice.
          Beautiful choices every day, just like you say. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • heretherebespiders / Sep 4 2015 8:55 pm

      If people are going to show up armed to kill, with intent to kill, over a perceived insult to their God of choice – well. It isn’t the people showing the insulting images who are in the wrong. This crap needs to stop – there is so much to love in this world. Spending all your love and hate on faith-based insults… I can’t imagine. I don’t think the show was looking to get shot up, just looking to flood the world with the perceived insult so it would be too big for the offended to ‘go postal.’

      Liked by 1 person

      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 10:50 pm

        Tolerance is a two way street. All sides have to want to get along – with each going halfway to meet in the middle – to have any sort of peace. Agree to disagree, but still be friends. Some just can’t seem to do that. It’s not tolerance if only one thought path is allowed.
        Back to the drawing board.(Wait.Political satire can be found all the way back to ancient Egypt…an oldie but a goodie. Wit has been around since the beginning of time…a half-wit, you say?)
        Humans were given the ability to smile and laugh for a reason…Maybe it was so they wouldn’t take themselves too seriously and be able to get along with others who were different from themselves…Evolutionary skill HA HA.

        Liked by 1 person

        • heretherebespiders / Sep 4 2015 11:26 pm

          I wish we weren’t able to smile on one side and hate with the other. We are very much unique on this planet for that. Our furry ones might pretend they didn’t do it – but they’d never set up another to take the blame – just give that sheepish smile.

          Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 11:56 pm

          Oh, not sure about that not setting up another…the German and the Molly, they do have that “Oh, I’m the good dog , not that bad one who did that” down pretty good. And then there’s the sneaking and hiding of tennis balls..But dogs and animals do keep communications pretty simple and clear. Maybe they’d offer tutoring?

          Liked by 1 person

      • Paul / Sep 5 2015 5:33 am

        If that was their intention, then it was a sadly misinformed one as there are 1.57 billion Muslims in the world – about 4 times the population of the US.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 5 2015 3:53 pm

          Hi Paul. Hope you are feeling better! Yep hate is bad. Any group -especially a majority population group – that shows up with guns and intent to violently harm others because they hold differing beliefs might be classified as a hate group. Bullying happens all around the world. But then again, in many places minorities do not have any rights or expectations of protection by laws. Sad state of affairs. “Come on people, smile on your brothers. Everybody get together and love one another – right now”…sounds like a song doesn’t it? Would be beautiful if people could just smile and get along.


        • Paul / Sep 5 2015 4:16 pm

          Oh indeed, I wish it were so Phil – but I’m not holding my breath. Thank You.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 5 2015 4:52 pm

          One pebble, then another, and another – will turn a stream and change the course. Some say that is true even with a change in a single thought. History, though, is pretty daunting. Meanwhile find and share beauty that exists? Any distraction! (Oh, now for a bit of scheduled nagging….how’s the next story coming?)


        • Paul / Sep 5 2015 8:19 pm

          The next one is a true story about a friend and character I knew in trucking – Elroy. It publishes over at Barb Taub’s on Sunday (tomorrow). I think you’ll get a kick out of it – Elroy was hilarious. Thanks for asking! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

        • Paul / Sep 5 2015 8:20 pm

          Oh, and there’s an If we Were Having Coffee Sunday post over at Mark Bialczak’ tomorrow as well.

          Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 5 2015 9:41 pm



  3. shoreacres / Sep 4 2015 1:04 am

    The father of Monica Foy was interviewed on the Michael Berry show today. The father emailed, I believe, and Michael set up the interview. It was so sad, and so touching. I felt so bad for the father — and the mother, too. they said they had made plans to do something for Officer Goforth’s family, but felt now that they shouldn’t. it just was sad.

    Anyway, the interview will be up on the podcast, and it’s well worth listening to. The parents certainly have gotten a crash course in social media, and what it can do. People just have to start learning that those impulsive thoughts shouldn’t land on twitter the first second they flit through the mind. At least the whole famly, including Monica, are standing up, accepting responsibility, and apologizing. Sometimes the power of negative example can be useful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 1:28 am

      Will look for it. Those poor parents (just like the murderer’s mom: completely devastated) so not their fault. Kids make bad choices sometimes. Like you say, impulsive actions these days have much longer reach with social media. Remember when they used to say “Experience is the best teacher” or that old “open mouth and insert foot”? Yep, virtual stocks and pillory? Shame and humiliation as a learning experience. Thanks for adding the interview alert.

      Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres / Sep 4 2015 1:33 am

        Here you go. It’s got both the interview and the email Mr. Foy sent.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 1:47 pm

          Thanks for that. You almost expect college age kids to be naive, insensitive, and get into stuff uninformed, but whew, with social media now best to remember “Every thought that comes across your brain doesn’t have to come out your mouth.”
          This whole thing is bringing out several high profile people (CEOs of news/journalists/media) who are saying this is exactly why they do not have Twitter, FB, and social media accounts just to make sure they don’t accidentally blurt out something in anger or without thinking how it could be taken/twisted. It’s a policy in some companies, but doubt the younger career employees would consider that sensible.
          (OMG Mom was right. “Everyone IS watching and we will know if you do anything wrong. Do not do anything to embarrass the family.” I think I was told that every single day I walked out the door for school. At one time you couldn’t swing a cat in this school district without hitting a relative or a relative of a relative. It became quite annoying and excessive…especially when you consider I was not the one who set off a string of firecrackers in the courtyard of the Jr High school. The Perfect Child did that. Mom would love/hate social media. (Snort and giggles)


  4. RAB / Sep 4 2015 1:52 am

    A thoughtful post as ever, phil. But what about gun laws? Nobody wants to talk about that?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 1:29 pm

      Actually as soon as the story broke, the next breath was about gun laws – but that quietly slipped off as more information came out and – as in many other high profile murders all the way back to Gifford’s, the shooter had known mental issues and family/community knew about that instability, yet the individual was given/responding/accepting treatment, so society suffered. Yes, guns, hammers, machete, knives, cars, high heel shoes or fists and feet have been murder weapons locally in the past 2 years – all of those used by unstable individuals with histories of explosive anger/violence and mental issue – and people were well aware(Let someone else do it) – yet society was not protected from them. Unless something is done about mental healthcare, it will not stop. Families – some are doing what they can, some are simply ignoring the situation. Big problem – little help or hope. Speaking as one who has a relative diagnosed and currently uncooperatively drugged into comma practically – no real life, but society must be protected. He still wants the aluminum foil on the windows and some for a hat since THEY are listening. Not kidding. He isn’t around guns, but forks, fists, all sorts of heavy items …..
      Judging from the lack of success in Chicago and Mexico with their strict gun controls,I’m not seeing that as a real solution – and it is wrong to deny those who have violent stalkers and victims of abuse the last back against the wall chance to defend themselves against someone determined to kill them. PRotective orders are only paper and do nothing but enrage (another post, another time – have touched on this in past. If you haven’t been there, best to not go there.).
      We live close enough to Mexico and have friends who have fled. People in border states often have a different perspective probably. People best know what they themselves have actually experienced first hand.
      More beautiful see people here unifying in positive ways seeking to make an impact by positive methods rather than seeking to divide. All lives matter. Don’t kill. Pretty simple truths. It could be a beautiful world.
      Thanks for the opportunity to elaborate on what was bound to be an immediate thought. (Wish all states did have strict gun laws and background checks – stunned to find out many don’t. Know way too much about gun laws in multiple states…never wanted to be that person. Life little surprises are lessons waiting to be learned, right?) Hope your fall and new classes hold some excitement and promise! (They do not pay you enough)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. PiedType / Sep 4 2015 2:52 am

    If we don’t have their backs, who’s going to have ours?

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 2:09 pm

      Doesn’t seem too hard to figure out. Unity rather than letting a few divide. Now that’s beautiful. Thanks for taking a stand

      Liked by 1 person

  6. EllaDee / Sep 4 2015 10:47 am

    The moth is beautiful… don’t show HRH RC… my Baddy Cat loved [to eat big] moths. I’m unfashionable… while there was local graffiti bagging the law our experiences when my handbag was stolen from the apartment -on the right side of it- were positive. My friend’s hubby is a country cop. They have 3 kids. Compared to what I do for a job, I think him, just going to work, is a hero.
    Thank you for the baby giraffe. The world needs that kind of sweet 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 2:07 pm

      There are graffiti artists that create wonders. Then there’s the wanna be’s who are trying to start something. These images appeared within hours of the deputy’s death. Not only insensitive, but dangerous – there are unhappy, weak minded, unstable, angry, or disgruntled individuals who might see this as a sign from God or others that this is the instruction book/the path to take.
      This shooter (black) came up and shot the (white) deputy in the back of the head, then stood over him and shot 14-15 more times in the back as he lay on the ground. Witnesses. Camera. Then he got in his (mommy paid for) pickup and drove to where he lived with his mom in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. (Mom is devastated) He has a known history of mental illness – been institutionalized at least twice. The last time because he used his fist and almost stomped a man to death over the TV remote in the Austin Salvation Army shelter a couple of years ago. (That case is still open). He was declared incompetent so sent to state institution for 4 months where he was “treated” (medicated?) and declared fine and let loose back into society…to kill.
      Cops are heroes. They just want to serve and protect and then go home to their families. The public must have their backs. Some places are able to unit in a positive way. All lives matter. Not that’s beautiful.
      Giraffe’s stand tall! Somehow the universe knows we need some cute. Thanks for galloping by with a comment

      Liked by 3 people

  7. easyweimaraner / Sep 4 2015 11:24 am

    I agree with you… sometimes our eyes need a break from all that bad and sad things they saw…and it’s better to enjoy the beauty for a moment and to carry on than to close your eyes and to say: I want to see nothing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 1:54 pm

      If you only focus and dwell on the negative and bad, the brain can get stuck and attitude get dreary and dour….so you only find more dreadful stuff…(becoming an evil dust bunny magnet?) Child rearing experts used to say “Don’t pay attention to bad behavior. Ignore it and the child will find another way to get attention.” Maybe there should be a bit less media/camera frenzy covering the mean, disgruntled, disruptive, violent individuals. No need to make them heroes in some people’s eyes and their actions worthy of imitation/a training guide.
      Nothing wrong with seeing beauty. Like the beauty of people unifying towards positive actions.
      Paw waves – and may beauty touch you this weekend

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Ally Bean / Sep 4 2015 1:54 pm

    Conceptually I agree with the idea that we the people need to work together with the police, but I dislike the phrase “got your back.” I think that something like “walking side by side” would be a better turn of phrase, equally evocative. Of course, in the end what matters is that people and police feel safe. So if it works, it works.

    Also, AM IN LOVE with baby giraffe. That face! *smooches*

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 2:46 pm

      That phrase probably evolved into common usage from military/wild west to imply “don’t worry about being attacked from the rear where you can’t see”? Side by side is friendlier – and implies walking int he same direction, but not suggestion protection from danger. PEople here say it all the time – football players, bar wingmen…
      The fact that in this case, the shooter came up unseen, shot the deputy in the back of the head, then stood over him and shot him on the ground in the back 14-15 more times. So the fireman possibly thought the phrase suitable. Or maybe the shorter phrase was easier to fit on the decal. In any case most law enforcement officers are now being told to ride 2 in a car at this point. Takes a chunk out of the budgets, but these guys so deserve a measure of safety on the job. All lives matter is a beautiful concept. Hopefully the idea will take hold once again.
      THe universe knew we needed a beautiful smile. The baby is on the news shows again today. Happy Happy. Thanks for finding a grin and adding a comment

      Liked by 2 people

  9. heretherebespiders / Sep 4 2015 9:01 pm

    My bestie – she of Socks fame – had one of these in a chrysalis for a while. Wow! And I think I’ve spent the rest of my energy on a comment on a comment above. My dad is retired police. And while I do think all loves matter, I also support black lives matter. It’s just an uneven ratio of death. I’m not saying the police are the only problem – but they are part of it, regionally.
    I was thinking today about how Americans overseas are always sort of laughed at for being so polite (amongst other things). Well, when you know your neighbor or the lady in line next to you at Walmart might be armed – you learn to be polite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2015 10:37 pm

      These are such huge ornate moths. A few more are scheduled to hatch this month. Something to look forward to.
      Another thing to look forward to is a time when people realizing that behavior is a better measurement of an individual than any physical appearance – that’s what we were taught…an old fashion idea it seems.
      If everyone decided to just follow the basics – like “Don’t kill” and Don’t steal” it would really be beautiful. Things would surely be on more positive track – for every one. Thanks for painting such a lovely comment

      Liked by 2 people

  10. aFrankAngle / Sep 5 2015 12:05 pm

    Thanks for the Mouse Sandwich … the one with beauty serving as the bread with the meat between them. From a moth to supporting police to an art exhibition, that’s quite the sandwich. Good luck to the police and people of Houston.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 5 2015 3:43 pm

      Really beautiful to see people uniting and asking everyone to “Love thy neighbor”. Gotta take that first step. Thanks for leaving a nod to beauty

      Liked by 2 people

  11. kateshrewsday / Sep 5 2015 1:52 pm

    You are so right: beauty can brush so much ugliness aside, Mouse. Loved this, though it is hard to hear of all the strife….

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 5 2015 3:40 pm

      Ugliness can wrap, but never smoother beauty – it’s a survivor. It is beautiful to see people uniting and asking for everyone to once again “Love thy neighbor.” Thanks for sketching out a beautiful comment

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Kourtney Heintz / Sep 6 2015 11:25 pm

    I am so glad to hear that people are speaking up about that horrific murder of a cop. That graffiti is awful and wrong. That butterfly is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 7 2015 2:30 pm

      The museum has this amazing butterfly wing. A whole different life experience to wander around in there. That eco system is delicately balanced so it works. Society is a fragile system, too – seemingly endangered from predators. The keepers of both the butterfly wing and society are critical and must be protected and nurtured too. This deputy’s death has unified all segments of orderly society here. His wife is a teacher – a pair of productive individuals. The mortgage is being paid off. A college fund for the children is established and building, and money is still being raised by tshirts, bumper stickers ( “Back the Blue” and a “united” slogan – companies donating ink, equipment, people to produce those) and still donations coming in from neighborhood events – including those by local black leaders and activists. We all support those who protect and defend. Law enforcement cannot be targets. Hopefully this will spread to other places.
      Thanks for flying in and adding a beautiful comment.


  13. Erik / Sep 7 2015 6:22 am

    It was in interesting choice, to sandwich the news stories in between the Atlas Moth and a giraffe. But in the scheme of things, there is some poetry to it. The moth – with its beauty, fragility and brevity of life – seems a good reminder of the brevity of our own lives in the scheme of things, along with a reminder to focus on (and perpetuate) the good while we have our “season in the sun.”


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 7 2015 1:08 pm

      Carefully crafted and that was the basic concept, so nice you analyzed it. Sometimes you have to stick your neck out – when you do it’s beautiful: the baby giraffe is now named Gigi and is toddling around the outdoors posing for the crowds. Thanks for puzzling along

      Liked by 1 person

  14. marthaschaefer / Sep 7 2015 7:09 pm

    Moths and giraffes, short lived, long legged, a lesson for us here. Stand tall and be heard for our time is short!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 7 2015 7:40 pm

      They’ve let the new giraffe out with the herd. Despite the heat, crowds are at the zoo looking for Gigi, who is quite happy to pose. Life is short. Kick up your heels and go for the good. Thanks for galloping by

      Liked by 1 person


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