Happy, carefree moments in subliminal advertising….

Ffolkes,

Lovely, simply lovely…. It’s always a joy to find myself in the throes of an emotional storm first thing upon arising, but, I’ll tell ya, it’s a joy I could do without, for, oh, say, the rest of my life….. I should know better than to do battle with an HMO bureaucracy before I’ve consumed at least two cups of coffee, but, nooooo, I had to call Kaiser right off this morning, to find out a piece of information about a medication I ordered…..

Little did I know when I dialed the number for the automatic system that I’d be getting into a fifteen minute quest to find a human voice…. Murphy must have been grinning maniacally, dancing in place and rubbing his hands together in glee, to see me trying to find a person to talk to so early in the day, on a system where the most you can hope for is to get out without more psychiatric damage….. SIGH….

Today’s Pearl may end up somewhat abbreviated, and, possibly, more than just a little strange, for a number of reasons, which I refuse to relate, they being none of your business…. No, honest, I didn’t mean that; just fooling around. But, it will be a bit less copious than usual, as my sleep seems to have become erratic again; I was up very late, getting up quite late as a consequence, and I just can’t seem to pull my head together enough to get going here…. It might surprise you to know that getting this far into today’s post, a mere one and a half paragraphs, has taken me over 50 minutes, of struggle and confusion, as I try to cudgel my brain into doing what I tell it to do…

Of course, I could go off into a discussion of why I think it’s necessary to post at all…. I mean, my sanity is intact, (technically), and the need for this kind of blather has become less critical in order for me to stay in a state of relative normality, or, as close to that state as I ever get….. This is giving me some minor motivational fits, as I try to talk myself into the mind-set needed to compose Pearls, which, though not far away, is rather subtle and complex, and doesn’t lend itself to “simple”, or “easy” in regards to ANYTHING to do with writing, or thinking…. I’m not sure, exactly, where this mind-set resides inside me, nor do I always know the right way to get it moving when I find it…. Today is a perfect example of that…..

I’m wandering around the intro section, saying absolutely nothing that has any real meaning, or relevance, for anyone but myself, and trying to make it look as if I am a writer, performing the actions that make up the process of writing…. How am I doin’? No? I didn’t think so…. Well, regardless of how it’s turning out, it’s how it’s going to be today, so, we’ll all just have to learn to deal with it, n’est pas? Oui….

Oh, and not only abbreviated (well, sort of….), but, probably, also pulled from the archives…. I’m not up to ranting, obviously, and I’m not sure if I can even get a normal, old-school pearl done….. we’ll see, I guess. But, if it doesn’t go well, I’m going straight to the archives, because I don’t have any patience at all today….

Any who, just wanted to let y’all know how it is today, and give you an opportunity to either bail, or buckle up…. Don’t worry, I’ll do my best to keep us out of any of the places where our survival becomes a question, at least for the first half of the trip…. Once the poem is in there, though, you’ll have to take your chances with the rest of us, because, by then, we’ll have gone too far to turn back….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Normal is boring.” — Fido Dido
_____________________________

Okay, so, not surprisingly, I was wrong…. It didn’t take long at all to put together an old-school pearl, so, that’s what you get…. The primary focus of this one should be pretty obvious, and if not, well, join the ranks of those about whom the pearl speaks…. This one is pretty straightforward, ffolkes…. don’t over think it, or it just slips away…. like trying to squeeze a fistful of sand…. And, yes, bracketing the five main pearls with two from Lazarus WAS intentional, and, yes, you can take that however you like….

“All men are created unequal.” — Lazarus Long

But evil is wrought by want of thought,
As well as want of heart.

– Thomas Hood (1798-1845) — The Lady’s Dream

“After enlightenment, do the laundry.” — Zen proverb

“Every man I meet is in some way my superior.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

How various his employments whom the world
Calls idle, and who justly in return
Esteems that busy world an idler too!

– William Cowper (1731-1800) — The Task, Book iii, The Garden, Line 352

“Baby, after considerable thought I’ve reached the conclusion that the only conceivable legitimate answer to the Universe as constituted is a peal of hysterical laughter.” — Keith Laumer, _Night of Delusions_

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” — Lazarus Long
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When I’m in a mood such as this one, only one poet will do for me….

I felt a funeral in my brain,
   And mourners, to and fro,
Kept treading, treading, till it seemed
   That sense was breaking through.

And when they all were seated,
   A service like a drum
Kept beating, beating, till I thought
   My mind was going numb

And then I heard them lift a box,
   And creak across my soul
With those same boots of lead, again.
   Then space began to toll

As all the heavens were a bell,
   And being, but an ear,
And I and Silence some strange Race
   Wrecked, solitary, here.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

_____________________________

Hard as it may be to believe, my mood is deteriorating, rapidly, and I can see that soon I’ll be unfit for human interaction…. So, in the interests of getting done, here is an old rant on gun control issues, just for fun…. The fact I can use the word ‘fun’ in the same sentence as the words ‘gun control’ goes to show just how far down in the dumps my mood has sunk….

“Gun control is not about guns. It is about control.” — Smart Bee

You had to know I couldn’t let this one go….. Yesterday, the POTUS signed several “Executive Orders” regarding the subject of gun control, addressing the issues that much of the American public is focused on directed to be focused on, by the BRC and the media….. Putting aside for the moment the issue of gun control itself, I wish to make it clear that the “Executive Orders” that were used to create the new regulations are a clear and obvious circumvention of the Constitution, and a direct attempt to bypass the checks and balances that our three-pronged government is supposed to be subject to thereby. It seems to be escaping everyone’s notice that the Executive Branch of the government is now MAKING LAWS, not just enforcing them.

The whole system that has grown up around the concept of Executive Orders is, as far as I can see, completely illegal, according to Constitutional law. The President does NOT have the right to make laws, no matter how much urgency is seen to be present, or how much expediency is needed to address a situation. Congress is the body that is supposed to make laws, and the enforcement of those laws is the responsibility of the Executive Branch, with the oversight of both to be accomplished by the Federal Courts….

That is the way it was designed, and that is the way it has worked, to protect our rights as citizens for over 200 years….Now, because of public fear, due mostly to the media frenzy at the behest of the BRC, and the manipulative dishonesty of the corporate masters of that same BRC, the rights we have enjoyed as Americans are now just about all gone.

The assholes who run this country, the corporate masters who pull all the strings from behind the curtains, have successfully created a climate of fear amongst the general populace, and have neatly manipulated events so that it is the public itself clamoring for protection….. from itself. The media have so effectively spread the fear and horror, that the people on the streets are actually asking to have their rights curtailed, “for the good of society”…… What a load of bilge!

I am amazed at times at how naive people can be. The world is a dangerous place, and always has been, as human nature is anything but civilized. Yet people expect the government to be able to eliminate all danger from the public venue. They expect there to never be people who go crazy, and start shooting at everything they see, or attacking their delusional enemies. They expect there to never be an instance where police shoot unarmed citizens, just because they can. They actually expect members of the Beloved Ruling Class to have concern for what is important to them, instead of blithely pursuing their own agendas….. Such naivete is sadly all too common, and is the reason the rest of us will be forced to go along with the repressive regulations that are surely coming….

Yesterday, in discussing the gun control issue with a neighbor, it became clear just how naive, and unwilling to think, the general populace is…. This person is, I’d say, a pretty average citizen, perhaps less educated than some, but with more innate intelligence than many I know of. She actually said “yes” when I asked her if she trusted the police to be more ethical than the average citizen….

When I pointed out the multitude of incidents that occur every day that show police officers to be much less moral than the average joe, she acknowledged the point, but still would not voice mistrust of the police over the citizenry. She actually believes that policemen and women are more capable of carrying a gun, and not using it unethically, than are average folks…. A very, very foolish assumption, to my way of thinking, based on faith, not facts…..

So, what we have now is a dual issue…

First, the government wants to limit the citizenry’s access to certain types of guns, a direct abrogation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. (Read it…. it says the right to bear arms will “not be abridged.” Period.)

Second, the executive branch of government is being allowed to make law, another direct abrogation of the Constitution, which assigns that function to Congress. If nothing else, these two subjects are going to provide the impetus for a shit-load of public discussion, for sure (Well, I can hope… I guess that’s my own form of naivete)….

The trickiest part of all this is to be able to winnow out the wheat from the chaff, for there will be a LOT of chaff thrown up, much of it by the BRC, as they do all they can to obfuscate the issues, and hide their own manipulative interactions.

You will, I’m sure, see and hear more on this, both here on this blog, and out there in the Big Blue Room. I’m not done ranting on either of these issues, you can count on that. For the moment, I’m going to go search out some pearls to use in the discussions, and leave you to chew on what I’ve already brought up. Don’t worry, I’ll be back, to chew on these bones some more…..

“I have the power to HALT PRODUCTION on all TEENAGE SEX COMEDIES!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Well, so I was wrong about the length, too… oh, well. Breaks my heart, it does, to be wrong, but, in this case, it works out okay, so, I’ll try not to let it ruin the day…  :-)   

Actually, given my state of mind and body when beginning this morning, this came out pretty well. I’m pretty sure nobody will suggest waking up the Pulitzer Committee to let them know it’s done, but, it makes me feel good to have gotten this far without any major blood loss, which is just as good, right? Right…. Before I say something I’ll regret, I’ll bid the adieu, until tomorrow…..

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole…
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

dozer3

Artichoke juice is an efficient lubricant….

Ffolkes,
Normally, streams of accidental tourists would be barging through the parlor, trying to see the latest version of Alice’s knickers, but the piano tuner forgot to shut down the coverlets, which caused the maids to neglect the silver. It might have been salvaged, had not the vicar arrived with the generalissimo in tow, hoping to be invited to tea. Since even Timmons, the tinker, was perplexed, Maggot, the farmer’s idiot son was sent to fetch the constable, to file a report for the insurance. Even the cats at the barn door paused in washing their whiskers to watch the ambulance pull away.  Farragut Towers had never seen such goings-on, in all its days….

Hmm…. the nonsense doesn’t seem to want to flow this morning. Generally, a paragraph such as the above can fly onto the screen in about two minutes, but I had to struggle a bit to get this one down, taking at least 15 to wind its way to where it faded out. Ah well, I guess it just isn’t an English drawing room kind of day…. It’s probably just a hangover from dreaming last night, or something; I often find myself in dreams, involved in long, drawn out conversations with Lord Peter Wimsey, or Sherlock Holmes, sitting around in a smoky Victorian parlor, with the street noises of Piccadilly Circus or Baker Street muttering outside the window……

Unfortunately, that didn’t translate well onto the screen today. I don’t suppose I can expect to be able to do that on command; none of my other types of writing rely on focus or discipline. I rely far more on impulse and imaginative speculation when I’m deciding what to write, and try very hard NOT to apply a lot of conscious direction to where the decision ends up. My talent, such as it is, seems to work better for me when I just let it flow, without any direction from my conscious mind, and allow it to find its own path down to the sea, in a metaphorical sense. Metaphor is, after all, pretty much what we do around here….

Ranting at the world, even using the power of metaphor, is getting to be somewhat more dangerous, as our BRC (Beloved Ruling Class) is having a lot of success in fooling the public into being afraid, and letting them pass laws against what they fear, or, more dangerously, allowing them to make “executive” decisions to make laws, without bothering Congress about it. They are also performing a lot of surveillance on their own public, and, I am certain, marking down the names of those who are critical of the government’s actions in what they write.

To think that they will allow this criticism to go on forever is naive; they will eventually take steps to curtail freedom of speech further than it has already been eroded, just the same as how they have eliminated the right to protest in public, to gather in groups to obtain redress for grievances against the government, and the right to a fair trial by their peers. We lost the right to public oversight of the police some time ago, when the Patriot Act made it legal for them to arrest people and put them in undisclosed locations, without any judicial review or oversight. Very few of the original Amendments to the Constitution, which provided many of the rights we counted on, remain as law in this country. Americans sat around and watched, as the BRC has methodically and calmly sliced the Bill of Rights into shreds over the last 12 years since 9/11, using that day of infamy to justify their rape of the Constitution.

Oops…. I started ranting too early; forgot I was still in the intro. The latest outrageous moves by the BRC have me all worked up in that respect, as they are now, predictably, coming after the right bear arms, the one amendment that actually gives us real protection from the real world. The slippery slope of gun control is now on the public table, and the show is getting pretty raucous, on both sides of the argument….. But, all this is moot, here in the intro, or should be, so we’ll save it for below, should the subject come up….  (I know, that’s cheating, since I’m the one who picks the subjects…. deal with it…. I don’t cheat much, and when I do, it is merely a time-saving device, and has no direct effect on reality…..)

Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“Gun control is not about guns. It is about control.” — Smart Bee

You had to know I couldn’t let this one go….. Yesterday, the POTUS signed several “Executive Orders” regarding the subject of gun control, addressing the issues that much of the American public is focused on (as directed to be by the BRC and the media….). Putting aside for the moment the issue of gun control itself, I wish to make it clear that the “Executive Orders” that were used to create the new regulations are a clear and obvious circumvention of the Constitution, and a direct attempt to bypass the checks and balances that our three pronged government is supposed to be subject to thereby. It seems to be escaping everyone’s notice that the Executive Branch of the government is now MAKING LAWS, not just enforcing them.

The whole system that has grown up around the concept of Executive Orders is, as far as I can see, completely illegal, according to Constitutional law. The President does NOT have the right to make laws, no matter how much urgency is seen to be present, or how much expediency is needed to address a situation. Congress is the body that is supposed to make laws, and the enforcement of those laws is the responsibility of the Executive Branch, with the oversight of both to be accomplished by the Federal Courts…. That is the way it was designed, and that is the way it has worked, to protect our rights as citizens for over 200 years….

Now, because of public fear, due mostly to the media frenzy at the behest of the BRC, and the manipulative dishonesty of the corporate masters of that same BRC, the rights we have enjoyed as Americans are now just about all gone. The assholes who run this country, the corporate masters who pull all the strings from behind the curtains, have successfully created a climate of fear amongst the general populace, and have neatly manipulated events so that it is the public itself clamoring for protection….. from itself. The media have so effectively spread the fear and horror, that the people on the streets are actually asking to have their rights curtailed, “for the good of society”…… What a load of bilge!

I am amazed at times at how naive people can be. The world is a dangerous place, and always has been, as human nature is anything but civilized. Yet people expect the government to be able to eliminate all danger from the public venue. They expect there to never be people who go crazy, and start shooting at everything they see, or attacking their delusional enemies. They expect there to never be an instance where police shoot unarmed citizens, just because they can. They actually expect members of the Beloved Ruling Class to have concern for what is important to them, instead of blithely pursuing their own agendas….. Such naivete is sadly all too common, and is the reason the rest of us will be forced to go along with the repressive regulations that are surely coming….

Yesterday, in discussing the gun control issue with a neighbor, it became clear just how naive, and unwilling to think, the general populace is…. This person is, I’d say, a pretty average citizen, perhaps less educated than some, but with more innate intelligence than many I know of. She actually said “yes” when I asked her if she trusted the police to be more ethical than the average citizen…. When I pointed out the multitude of incidents that occur every day that show police officers to be much less moral than the average joe, she acknowledged the point, but still would not voice mistrust of the police over the citizenry. She actually believes that policemen and women are more capable of carrying a gun, and not using it unethically, than are average folks…. A very, very foolish assumption, to my way of thinking…..

So, what we have now is a dual issue… First, the government wants to limit the citizenry’s access to guns, a direct abrogation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. (Read it…. it says the right to bear arms will “not be abridged.” Period.) Second, the executive branch of government is being allowed to make law, another direct abrogation of the Constitution, which assigns that function to Congress. If nothing else, these two subjects are going to provide the impetus for a shit-load of public discussion, for sure…. The trickiest part of that is to be able to winnow out the wheat from the chaff, for there will be a LOT of chaff thrown up, much of it by the BRC, as they do all they can to obfuscate the issues, and hide their own manipulative interactions.

You will, I’m sure, see and hear more on this, both here on this blog, and out there in the Big Blue Room. I’m not done ranting on either of these issues, you can count on that. For the moment, I’m going to go search out some pearls to use in the discussions, and leave you to chew on what I’ve already brought up. Don’t worry, I’ll be back, to chew on these bones some more…..

“I have the power to HALT PRODUCTION on all TEENAGE SEX COMEDIES!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Children’s Rhymes

By what sends
the white kids
I ain’t sent:
I know I can’t
be President.
What don’t bug
them white kids
sure bugs me:
We know everybody
ain’t free.

Lies written down
for white folks
ain’t for us a-tall:
Liberty And Justice–
Huh!–For All?

Langston Hughes
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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, and die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” — Robert A. Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

It would be difficult for me to try to describe just how influential this statement has been in my life. I first read it around 1965 or so, when it was first published as part of Lazarus’ first appearance, in “Methuselah’s Children”. This incarnation of the idea, which pretty well describes Lazarus himself, was published later, in The Notebooks, as part of Heinlein’s book, “Time Enough For Love”, his magnum opus in later years. When I first read it, I was, as with much of Heinlein’s work, impressed by its relevance, and by how much it appealed to my own view of the universe. To my way of thinking, this is a perfect definition of what a man should be, and how one should approach life in general…..

As humans, our ecological niche in the Earth’s environment is that of the animal that fits into all niches. Our ability to eat any kind of food, to cope with any kind of environment we encounter, are designed to act as characteristics that enhance our ability to survive, and reproduce, which is the genetic mandate of all species. I mean, think about it, anything other than focus on surviving, and reproducing in kind, is kind of counter-productive, isn’t it? So, having this kind of all-encompassing flexibility of talent would seem to be custom made to make us efficient at staying alive long enough to carry on the species by producing offspring.

One of the talents we possess that is an essential underlying factor for our flexibility is our imagination. This unique talent, seemingly absent in most other species, allows us to see into the future, into the realm of possible outcomes of real time actions and events, giving us the advantage of being able to prepare for dealing with such issues much more efficiently than we can by merely reacting to the immediacy of what is happening in front of us. It is a very, very powerful tool, and ultimately, it will be either our saving grace, or our own personal executioner……

You see, humans also have a flaw in their make-up, a flaw that is every bit as powerful as imagination in its effect on our existence. This flaw is part of our emotional make-up, our feelings about what we perceive in the real world, outside our minds and imagination. The flaw can manifest itself in a variety of ways, but the most harmful are when this basic crack in our armor assume the form of deliberate ignorance, exemplified by fearful bigotry, or in indifference to the feelings of others, as typified by the corporate masters of the world and the Beloved Ruling Class (not necessarily the same group of men….). The flaw is typically seen in those public events that are marked by a lack of morality, or ethical behavior, such as the common habitual lying to the public by the candidates during elections, or when the police murder another innocent citizen….

I’ve written myself into another corner here, so to speak….. This subject is one that is constantly in my thoughts of late, as I witness the historic battle that is being waged in today’s political arena, a battle that began the day after the signing of the Constitution. The unseen, hidden rulers of the world have been trying to tear apart the system of protective laws and concepts that our forefathers left as our legacy since that fateful day, and their efforts are coming to fruition now. We are watching every one of the ten rights in the Bill of Rights being eradicated, made moot, by the passage of illegal laws, executive orders, and manipulation of the public’s fear until the lost and ignorant are crying out for protection from the boogie man….

At this point, I don’t know what the answers may be, nor what they may entail…. History, and our place in that history, is about to come to a head, in a manner of speaking. A lot of very volatile issues are currently being played out on the world stage, and the outcome is still in question. I can only hope that there are enough of the people who fit the description above still alive and actively working to maintain human dignity and freedom, to make a difference in the final resolution. I’m not terribly confident of success, but, I haven’t quite given up hope…. I’m not sure why, because, damn it, the BRC and the corporate assholes are holding a lot of good cards, and have a lot of resources at hand that aren’t available to the rest of us.

Ah well, all you can do, is all you can do….. and this is all I can do for now….

“I know everything, but I’m sworn to secrecy.” — Smart Bee
__________________________________

Since I can’t ethically reveal any more secrets, it seems to be time to bring this….. whatever it is…. to a close. One can only beat one’s head against a wall for so long, before concussion sets in, and I’d like to get through a day without all the dizziness and nausea that daily events can produce. It would probably help if I didn’t go read the news every day, but, as I’ve said before, and will again, it’s good to keep track of what is going on, if only to be able to jump when necessary, and to know which way to jump…. makes the landing more comfortable…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Sad songs get put next to the Edsel…

Ffolkes,
Today is May Day…. I think I’ll be skipping my usual dance around the Maypole this morning, attractive as that sounds. Without giving TMI on the last two lost days, I’ll merely say that today is better…. not yet good, but better, and hopefully up to a Pearl. I may have to start making Pearls a bit shorter, as the 1000-2000 words I’ve been putting out on a daily basis may no longer be practical for me to get done in one morning, since I can’t sit for as long as has been my wont. Ah well, perhaps, perhaps not…. I’ll just have to see what the day brings, as far as pain goes, and make that decision when it becomes critical. For now, I intend to just Pearl, so let’s get started with no further delay…..

“Life is too short to be taken seriously.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
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“Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom.  It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” — William Pitt (1759-1806) speech on the India Bill, Nov. 18, 1783

I had not intended to start with a political rant, but this just came up, so here we go…. This is as true today as it was in 1783, perhaps even more so. Since 9/11/01, when those fanatic idiots carried out their insane delusions of grandeur on the world stage, the “necessity” for Homeland Security has been the watchword of the political pundits who unfortunately are in charge of the legislative and executive branches of our government. Bill after bill after bill keeps coming down the pike and bulling their way through into becoming law, or even worse, is created by executive order, without the benefit of review by Congress, useless as that may be.

The entire incident that happened that day was blown completely out of proportion by the media. Yes, it was a tragedy, in which something over 3000 American lives were lost, in three separate incidents. The videos of those planes hitting the buildings in New York must have been replayed a thousand times before noon, all over the country, until every American who had access to a TV was informed of what had occurred…. We, as a nation, are not accustomed to being attacked on our own ground, though why we should be any different than those we attack is unclear to me.

The American media, and the political machinery that manipulates it so effectively, then proceeded to flood every channel with the after effects, making sure that the sorrow and fear of every person they could find willing to speak of it on camera was put on the evening news, and ensuring that no rational, dispassionate examination of the events would ever take place.

Before the first day had passed, the national reaction had been whipped to a frenzy, stirring the fears of every paranoid in society, and making it seem as if the entire nation was filled with anger and vengeful righteousness. Though I didn’t join in the paranoia, I could feel it happening all around me, as normally intelligent people became so angry they lost all sense of proportion, or for that matter, all sense of truth.

In the ensuing years, whenever the politicians have wanted to distract the nation from what they were actually doing, all they needed to do was mention the word terrorism, or national security, to immediately put attention off of them, and onto the pitiful  group of fanatical Muslims they blamed for the attacks (completely ignoring all the reasons those same politicians had provided those fanatics with to attack in the first place….). And thus, the Hunt for Osama bin Laden was on!

In this country, as a result of those attacks, approximately 5000 American lives were lost (that figure is larger than the actual number, purposely…. it is near enough to correct to make the point…). At this time, in the quest to find bin Laden in Afghanistan, over 50,000 Afghanis have been killed. In Iraq, which we somehow decided to invade, even though they had nothing to do with 9/11, well over 250,000 have died to soothe our national pride. In that same period, we lost another 1000 or so soldiers in fighting and bombings. And, as a side effect, the US Bill of Rights has been effectively eliminated, by Executive Order, disguised as Homeland Security.

“Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated” — George Bernard Shaw

So, what is my point here? My point is this…. those pathetic fanatics killed more than they had ever been able to kill, one time. Since that one time, our country has killed over 300,000 civilians and military in retaliation (you call it what you like, I call it schoolyard revenge by bullies), and every politician in this country has wrapped themselves in the flag, not to proclaim their patriotism, but to manipulate the unreasonable fear they created in the public to keep them from realizing the truth of the matter.

That truth is this: we are in no real danger from Al Qaida, or from any other splinter faction terrorist group. They may be able to pull off stunts such as that one occasionally, but for the most part, the world has gotten pretty good at either catching them in hiding, or stopping their plots before they actually carry them out. Governments have a LOT more resources than terrorists, no matter how rich they may be personally.

No, the pathetic, desperate people who become terrorists are created by those same political pundits who are reviling them and hunting them down. They are not a real threat to anyone, as they don’t have the wherewithal to perform more than one act of violence at a time; they cannot wage a war, they can only try to act as guerrilla forces, at best. Mostly, they are just sad schemers, planning glorious deaths that ultimately have no meaning, other than to provide the Western politicos another unreasonable fear to use against the American public, in order to continue their raping and pillaging among their own people.

The entire issue is one that is repugnant to me; I have watched in horror, not as terrorists have been hunted, but as the rights of the American people have been taken away in the name of “security”. Security from what? We don’t need more security from terrorists; those techniques for dealing with it are well-established, and effective, as they employ the very same methods used by the fanatics to achieve their ends. No, we need more security from our own pundits, who have utilized this tragic events for their own benefit, to the everlasting regret of every true patriot….. bloody assholes, every one of them…..

“I have formed a very clear conception of patriotism. I have generally found it thrust into the foreground by some fellow who has something to hide in the background. I have seen a great deal of  patriotism; and I have generally found it the last refuge of the scoundrel.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Judgement of Dr. Johnson, Act III
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“Always store beer in a dark place.” — Lazarus Long

At first look, this does not seem like much, does it? A short statement that apparently has to do with beer, and how to best keep it. But, by applying just a tad of metaphor, it becomes much more…. Perhaps the easiest way to show this is to ask a simple question, to wit: Why? Why should beer be kept in the dark? Well, that is pretty simple to check out…. just put some beer in a bright place, and wait a while to see what happens….

So, what happens? Well, the results vary a bit, depending on just how much light we are dealing with. For just a little light, the effects are minor; just a slight change in the flavor of the beer, but a change that is NOT an improvement. Also, after time, in the light, the carbonation in the beer will tend to dissipate, making it flat, which, as we know, does NOT improve the beer. It’s the reason it comes in dark containers, to reduce the effects of light on the beer.

The most dramatic effect, though, can be seen by leaving the beer in the direct sunlight, whereupon, after a minimal amount of time, it blows up! Boom, the tops fly off, and the beer fizzes itself right out of the bottles, due to the too-rapid heating of the gas in bubble form. A tragedy, and a terrible waste of good beer….

Thus we can see that this little piece of home-spun wisdom is much deeper than it seems, especially when one uses the metaphor previously mentioned, likening human relations to beer. (I know, a bit of a stretch, but not so much as trying to believe that a small number of delusional fanatics are capable of seriously harming this country….) And if nothing else, it will help you to keep your beer safe, and stored correctly until you want it for your evening libation….. still in the bottle…
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Ode to an Indispensable Man

Sometime, when you’re feeling important,
Sometime, when your ego’s in bloom,
Sometime, when you take it for granted
You’re the best qualified in the room;
Sometime when you feel that your going
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow this simple instruction
And see how it humbles your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water;
Put your hand in it, up to the wrist.
Pull it out and the hole that’s remaining
Is the measure of how you’ll be missed.
You may splash all you please when you enter,
You can stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you’ll find in a minute
That it looks the same as before.
The moral in this quaint example
Is to do the best that you can.
Be proud of yourself, but remember -
There is no indispensable man.
— Smart Bee

I’ve also heard one that says, “If you are feeling important, try telling someone else’s dog to do something.”  This is here solely because it is good advice…. no embellishment needed, just pay heed…. it will save you a lot of grief in the long run….
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Always we hope
Someone else has the answer
Some other place will be better
Some other time it will all work out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer
No other place will be better
And it has already turned out.
At the center of your being
You have the answer;
You know who you are and what you want.
There is no need to turn outside
For better seeing.
Rather abide at the center of your being
For the more you leave it
The less you learn.
Search your own heart and see
the way to do is to be.
— Lao Tzu

This is another piece that needs no additional comment, as with many of the precepts in Taoism. The Way that can be known is not the true Way, is it?….
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“I wish to say what I think and feel today, with the proviso that tomorrow perhaps I shall contradict it all.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph hit a nail right on the head with this one…. It’s part of being human to change our minds, and this merely acknowledges that. I can relate, for sure, in at least one sense. Since our minds are the only thing in Reality that we have the power to change, then it behooves us to be aware of both the desirability and the danger of just that. In the end, all we really have is what we think; everything else is ephemeral, even more so than we are, and will pass away. Asi es la vida, si? Si….
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It is a strange morning, to be sure…. I’ve made it through to the end of this Pearl, and know not what I have done. Well, I know, but I don’t care… Shortening the Pearls may be a good idea, if only temporarily; I find myself fighting myself to get it done before I cannot sit any more, which distracts me from giving this my full attention. But, enough of my whining…

I’m going to let this fly, though in some ways it is not up to my usual standards. The rant is pretty good, though it could use a bit more filling. Or maybe some sauce. And it’s hard to beat Lao Tzu for providing food for thought. So, the rest of it will just have to do as it exists now, because, stick a fork in me, I’m done…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Tangerine silk scarves as compensation….

Ffolkes,
Sleep, having assumed an aspect more resembling a foe than a friend, played tag with me all night, refusing to just settle down and play nice, and let me get some rest. Instead, for about 7 hours, it kept me on the edge of falling into a deep enough sleep to count, then finding some way to wake me up, to go to the throne, to cough, to be too hot….. anything other than sleep. Ah well, c’est la vie, when one get to this age, I suppose, and since there isn’t a damn thing I can do about that, we’ll just move on to something more illuminating, or at least less depressing….

Yesterday’s Pearl had a rant that was long enough that I was able to turn it into another article for posting elsewhere on the web. Then I thought about where I had done so, and thought I should share that with all of my readers, as a number of you may be looking for a place to get published…. and the site to which I am referring is just such a place. It is called Triond.com, and is what may be called a brokerage site….

One signs up as a member of their writing community, free, thus becoming eligible to post articles. Once an article is submitted to Triond, they shop it around to a number of websites that publish articles. When it is accepted, the article is posted on the web site that accepted it, who provides advertising for the page, and for the article posted under your name. The best part of all this is that the articles earn money for you, according to the number of views and clicks on the ads on the page. Triond keeps track of how much is earned, and pays off monthly, once the minimum payment amount is earned.

There is no limit as to a minimum number of articles one must publish, nor a maximum. There is a community of writers, and one can build a fan base as well as make contact with other writers. It’s a pretty good deal, and a good way to both get your name out there to start building a readership, and to earn a little cash while you are at it….. a win-win as far as I can see…. So, feel free to go on over to their site and sign up…. it’s a good gig….  the site address is:   http://www.triond.com/     Enjoy!

Okay, altruism satisfied, we shall now proceed to Pearl…. let’s have at it, shall we?……
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Ralph & the Boss    I couldn’t help it. This picture is just too good to keep to myself. I’m pretty sure I found it on Facebook a couple weeks ago, but it possibly came from a WP site, No Ruff Days, that publishes pictures of dogs of all types…. but I don’t think it did come from them, as they seldom add any other animals to their photos….  This one appeals to me on a lot of levels, but mostly to the one that appreciates how the other animals on this planet besides humans all seem to be able to come to terms with one another, to achieve an understanding and respect that crosses the boundaries between their species, to acknowledge the little spark of life that is in each one of us.

Looking at this picture, once the laughter is under control, is a pure “Awww!”…. you know that that huge dog is just tickled to death at that little cat, and wouldn’t harm it for the world. And the cat obviously has adopted the big beast as its sibling. The caption perfectly states the most likely conversation between them, and is, to me, perfect!  I can almost hear the little voice…. “Okay, Ralph….”  Makes me smile just to type it… any who, not much of a lesson or big discussion here, just a great picture, and a warm heart to start the day….. you’ll likely need it to counteract my usual subject matter’s depressive nature….
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“In Germany, they came first for the communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I
didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.  Then they came for the trade unionists but I didn’t speak up because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.  Then they came for me, and by that time nobody was left to speak up.” — Martin Niemoeller, German Lutheran Pastor, Dachau, 1944

If one needs to ask why this is here, then I would suggest that one read the daily news with their eyes open rather than closed. One only needs to replace the word communist with terrorist, the word Jew with Muslim, trade unionist with political activist, and either Catholic or Protestant with Atheist.  Our society has taken on all of the characteristics of the Nazi government in the late 1930’s in Germany…. they preach fear of all outsiders, purity of faith and/or race, and obedience to authority. Any sort of argument with the demands of “national security” are met swiftly with scorn and/or ridicule, or worse, censorship, and now, with the newly signed Executive Orders, the powers that be may now just “disappear” anyone who becomes enough of a threat, in their estimation. Any day now I’m expecting to hear the announcement that the next election has been canceled due to “concerns over public safety.”

“We stand for the maintenance of private property…. We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible
economic order.” — Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), “Der Fuehrer” (Sounds a bit like the Supreme Court these days, doesn’t it?)

The saddest part of all this…. I don’t think there are enough real Americans left to fight for what they are taking away. I think there are a very large number of people in this country who will just go along with whatever the beloved ruling class is doing, as long as Wal-Mart stays open so they can get beer and plastic diapers….. So, if I were you, I’d start preparing to live in a world where none of the freedoms we now enjoy are part of life…. or, you can do as I intend to do, and make sure I am locked and loaded, well before they show up to take me away…..

“Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it….  While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.” — Learned Hand, jurist
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Who hath not proved how feebly words essay
To fix one spark of beauty’s heavenly ray?
Who doth not feel, until his failing sight
Faints into dimness with its own delight,
His changing cheek, his sinking heart, confess
The might, the majesty of loveliness?
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — The Bride of Abydos, Canto i, Stanza 6

I have no discussion here…. After writing, and thinking about, the previous section, I just needed a dose of beauty and grace, to counteract the bile that collected in my spleen….. so, enjoy, while I go find another pearl….
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“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency,
from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.” — Alexander Frazer Tyler (1748-1813), — The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic

This is a very scholarly, well-reasoned, and logically presented thesis, and has the added characteristic of being universal in its application to any Republic, not just the Athenian. As might be guessed, it can be accurately applied to describe modern American culture.

It would be my estimate that our culture has reached the penultimate stage of the given list; we have proceeded to a society-wide attitude of apathy, and are well on the way to becoming dependent. It is a short trip from there back to slavery…. and it doesn’t seem to me as if the majority of folks in this country are either aware of this, or if they are, they don’t seem to mind it so much, as long as the Simpson’s isn’t canceled, and they can afford to fill up the SUV….. where would YOU say our society lands on that scale?……

SIGH…….
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“If we are to survive, this nation must end its love affair with guns.” — U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno.

“If we are to survive, this nation must end its love affair with big brother government and individuals must relearn what it means to be free.”
— Jeff Chan, chan@shell.portal.com

I would have to say that the second line here is the more rational of the two statements…. Isn’t it funny how the folks who seem to want the right to bear arms to be given away (It is a right that can ONLY be given away…. ever try to TAKE a gun away from someone who has one? Not a good idea….), all seem to be those against whom they would most likely be used? The beloved ruling class now in charge of the government in America no longer trusts the American people to have guns, because they are deathly afraid (and rightly so!) that those guns might be turned on them. They seem to be constitutionally unable to see that such use against them would be righteous self-defense…..

Our forefathers, the men who formulated the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, fully recognized that a government that denies this right to its people is only interested in controlling them, not protecting them. In light of this FACT, (one equally true today) they determined that their descendants (Us…) would be safer if they kept that right in their own hands. Moreover, they believed fully that the average man, educated to appreciate the responsibilities of Liberty, as well as the benefits, was perfectly capable of having guns and only using them for defense.

Yes, there are bad people out there, and they will tend to use guns for other reasons, reasons that are completely self-serving. But I consider them to be less dangerous to me than those who would take away ALL guns from the public, leaving only themselves in possession of the power to control others by force.

To be completely honest, I have seen no evidence whatsoever that anyone in a position of power in this country has any of MY interests in mind, nor are they interested in improving anyone’s lot but their own. They most certainly are not at all concerned with my safety, especially from them. But I am supposed to give up my right to defend myself, and give over to these avaricious thieves the power to tell me what I should think, and what I may do?

Well, guess what? It ain’t gonna happen….. count on it…..
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As might have been expected, given my lack of sleep, my subject matter today turned a bit dark…. occupational hazard for us free thinkers, I guess. S’okay, I’ve said worse in my time, and this one, though it takes some pretty good shots at the beloved ruling class, isn’t quite as peripatetic as some of my rants. Or, maybe that’s just me…. It matters little now, as it’s going to fly as is….. Hopefully, I haven’t brought anyone down enough to spoil the day completely….

Ah well, time will tell, as it always does….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


Sometimes I sits and thinks,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

Kowabunga!