Tangerine silk scarves as compensation….

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?……

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….

“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

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….

“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?……


“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…..

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.



Tickets to Oz aren’t cheap…

Man, oh man! Sometimes that first sip of good coffee in the morning is almost like a small orgasm. As its warmth and flavor permeates my mouth and throat, every tight nerve and muscle seems to smooth out and relax, my eyes clear like the fog is burning off, and every part of me feels at one with the universe, if only for a split second. Or maybe that’s just me….. but it sure makes the task of flogging this old body to get up and move somewhat less of a challenge. Now, if I could only fall asleep easily, all would be well. Seems like my brain doesn’t want to shut down at night, unless I bludgeon my consciousness with 3 or 4 adult beverages. And who wants to do that every night? Not me….ah well, no sense in whining about it now; I’m up. So I guess I may as well get on with it…..

“I came here to chew bubble gum and kick ass…..and I’m all out of bubble gum.” — From THEY LIVE!

All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.
– Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
– Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 289

Mssr. Pope’s poetry may be regarded as one of the indications that mankind has gotten as far as we have toward being truly civilized (current idiocy not being counted; the world’s in a mess, ffolkes…). And such a poem as this one hardly needs my praise or discussion; how can one argue with the last line? Soon after finding it in the database, I found the one below by Emily, one of my all-time favorite poems. So, this section requires nothing but your kind attention. The lessons to be learned here today are in the words of the poets themselves…..

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you- Nobody- Too?
Then there’s a pair of us?
Don’t tell! they’d advertise-you know!
How dreary-to be- Somebody!
How public-like a Frog-
To tell one’s name-the livelong June-
To an admiring Bog!
– Emily Dickinson

“Faith is one of those words that connotes, however irrationally, some kind of virtue in itself.” — Louis J. Halle

This is a very subtle point, and highly insightful. How many times have we heard some religious fanatic use scripture to argue against what is real, or more often, against what is possible? And by using scripture, that person assumes that they are right, and stand on higher moral ground than the other person, merely by quoting the text they believe to be true according to their faith. The insight here involves the word ‘rational’, for that is where most fanatics tend to veer away from the truth, and charge off into faith-based assumption.

Myself, I’ve never understood it; I never saw ‘faith’ as virtuous; it always seemed more ‘put on’ or shallow to me. It seemed to me that most of the people who I saw that claimed to be faithful Christians only made that claim at times they were preparing to act in an un-Christian manner, or when their beliefs were challenged somehow. They didn’t wear the Jesus suit all the time, but instead, put it on when it is convenient, or when needed to keep from having to think. In my entire life, I don’t think I’ve met more than 3 real, actual Christians; people who lived by the same precepts as Jesus did, without trying to foist it on anyone else.

Instead of proselytizing, which the fanatics tend to do when confronted, these ffolkes ask themselves what Jesus would have done, and then do it. They don’t quote scripture, they provide an example of what is in the scripture by the way they live. Much more honest, and they make better neighbors than the ones who are always making the assumption that having faith is all they need to do to make it to heaven, never realizing that they’re actually on a different road, one paved with good intentions……and we all know where that road leads!

“In the greatest confusion there is still an open channel to the soul. It may be difficult to find because by midlife it is overgrown, and some of the wildest thickets that surround it grow out of what we describe as education. But the channel is always there, and it is our business to keep it open, to have access to the deepest part of ourselves — to that part of us which is conscious of a higher consciousness, by means of which we make final judgments and put everything together. The independence of this consciousness, which has the strength to be immune to the noise of history and the distractions of our immediate surroundings, is what the life struggle is all about. The soul has to find and hold its ground against hostile forces, sometimes embodied in ideas which frequently deny its very existence, and which indeed often seem to be trying to annul it altogether.” — Saul Bellow

This is why I love diving for pearls. Every once in a while one comes across a pearl that so closely parallels one’s own thoughts, it’s spooky.  The only words I would take issue with here (“higher consciousness”) can be considered as the single exception, which solidifies the evidence of the truth of the theorem, that each of us is unique, no matter how dissimilar we may appear to be. Other than that, I would tend to agree with every point of his statement, without any further qualifications. Naturally, there are points of discussion that are apparent; I’d be surprised if any statement on this subject didn’t present some anomaly to at least one other person with a different POV. But taken as a whole, with a gestalt viewpoint, it is a clear marker of the road that leads to higher consciousness, and right action…..and that is a pretty cool place to hang out, exploring our uniqueness in the playgrounds of the universe……

Under the old format of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, several individual pearls would be given, one after another, to make a certain philosophical point, or underline some particular concept suggested by the quotes, using differing and often contradictory elements to reach the objective. This is such a quiz, with the conclusion, as always, left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader, to wit: you….. oh, and just ask yourselves, “Which of these is not like the others?”….

“The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be _tremendous and irresistible_. Who are the militia? _are they not ourselves?_. Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms _each man against his own bosom?_. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are _the birth-right of an American_…the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the _federal or state governments_, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain,_in the hands of the people_.” — Tench Coxe 20 Feb. 1788

“Government is about coercion. Limiting government is the single most important instrument for guaranteeing liberty. We’re working on a third generation which has little in the way of education about what our Constitution means and why it was written. Thus, we’ve fallen easy prey to charlatans, quacks, and hustlers.” — Dr. Walter Williams

“”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

“No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), June 1

Where do you keep your gun?…..I keep mine at an undisclosed location, close and instantly accessible (note, I did not say how many I keep)…. Never thought I’d need one, until the Bill of Rights was ignominiously and stealthily terminated, whereupon it became obvious that in the future, one of our first concerns if we wish to continue living, is that we will need to have adequate ammunition, of a caliber appropriate to the weapons stored with our water, food, and books….the other necessities for survival in a world gone mad…..

“I expect to pass through this life but once. If, therefore, there be any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” — William Penn

Even if one believes that we come back to life multiple times, this suggests an excellent way to approach life in the Now. Who knows what our time is like when we are not here? Could be worse, could be better, and no direct evidence to tell us which, only speculation. So, we may as well optimize our chances of improving our lot; acting otherwise is for fools….and I do try so hard NOT to be a fool. Nature seems to have provided us with an ample supply of them, without otherwise adept people displaying their Bozoid Tendencies for all to see…. besides, I don’t know about y’all, but I sure feel better when I do something for someone else, especially if I don’t expect any reward; better than if I look away, and pretend I didn’t see the homeless vagrant begging for food, thinking to myself, “I can’t help Everyone.” My response to that idea is, “well, no, perhaps not, but you might be able to help one at a time…..” And the beat goes on….

Well, ’twas a bit of a struggle, but it has a chance to fly; I’ll go ahead and throw it up there and hope it manages to miss the ground for a time… :-) At any rate, it fits right in with the rest of the dross and drivel on this blog; I’m nothing if not cruelly honest, at least with my self. S’okay, I have thick skin, and a dull scalpel….. y’all take care out there…..

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