Measuring infinitesimal increments may take a while….

Ffolkes,

I’m tired….. in my head…. I’m tired of writing, tired of sitting, tired of not being able to do enough to keep my mind from chewing on itself. I have a mind that requires rather a lot of stimulation, to feel as if it is being utilized in a way that maximizes its qualities, which are extensive, to be sure, although never as much so as could be wished…. In other words, I’m smart enough to have a strong need to keep busy, but, not so smart as to have all the answers I’d like to have…. Just smart enough to know how much there is still to learn, is the way I like to think of it….

My tiredness is, I think, a result of having written this blog each morning, with only a few minor failures, every single day for almost three years…. In that time, I’ve made some changes to the structure, and tweaked it until I pretty much have it how I like it….. and, according to the WP stat bots, I keep getting new followers…. Just yesterday, two new names showed up as new followers of our blog here at ECR, one of which is an old blogging friend, who just now followed, after almost 3 years of visiting the site, and leaving an occasional ‘Like’….. So, I know that there are at least a few ffolkes who read it every day…. Out of the 375 ffolkes who have hit the button to follow, at least a few MUST come by each day, right?….

In addition, I send the Daily Pearl out via my own email to 47 others who have been receiving them now for over a dozen years…. When I worked for the State, it was sent out each day for about six years to almost 400 employees at NSH, all of whom were addicted to receiving them in their morning email, to start their day….. Conceivably, I could still send them to those people…. but, it annoys their IT folks, as 400 emails sent in a group tends to burn up a lot of bandwidth, causing a spike in their traffic, and the possibility of a network slow-down…. Of course, I figure that’s their own damn fault for not spending enough on infrastructure to handle the traffic, but, hey, they’re friends, so I don’t fuss with them….

All in all, I’ve been writing A LOT for the last couple of years, since retiring…. which, in the ultimate sense, is a good thing…. But, I’m tired of the frustration of constantly feeling as if what I have to say is extremely important for mankind at large to be aware of, but, never having that message heard by anyone who NEEDS to hear it….

If we are to have any real chance at surviving the upcoming events in the environmental arena, all of which are a result of our own foolish asininity, (speaking from the viewpoint of one who knows quite well what NEEDS to be done, but, has no clue as to how to get people to get off their asses to do it….) well, if we ARE to survive, we’ll need to first admit the need to do so…

As you are well aware, if you’ve been here previously, I write a lot of such “gadfly” rants, exhorting the public to wake up, to pay attention to what the corporate assholes, political assholes, and religious assholes have been up to, because what they’ve gone and done is going to kill all of us if we don’t put a stop to it, NOW….

It needed to be done yesterday, and, it certainly won’t help to do it tomorrow; tomorrow, (metaphorically) we’ll be DEAD (literally).

We, as a species, need to get off our collective asses and kick the stupid, selfish, ignorant bullies, who are busily killing us all, straight into the ocean, where their sorry, no-doubt bitter-tasting carcases can at least provide the sea life with some little bit of extra protein…. which would comprise the FIRST useful, unselfish act of their lives….

These rants are generally justified with evidence, or, if nothing else, a link to where such evidence may be found; I try not to make assertions without some sort of proof, as I’m unwilling to base them merely on articles of faith…. a habit of writing and communicating which, I may point out, is more than you’ll ever get from a political pundit, a preacher, or some corporate asshole….

THEY will all expect you to believe whatever comes out of their mouths, without ANY sort of proof, other than their version of the Bible, or, hilariously enough, their “word” as to it’s veracity…. We’ve all heard a pundit on TV, saying “Trust me!”, with the obvious sub-text of, “I’d never lie to you!”…. which, of course, is the first lie….

My rants, however, in spite of the number of followers who evidently stop by only now and then, are not getting into the mainstream consciousness of society, which is where the need for them is strongest…. The message I’m putting out is one that isn’t going to help much unless it is seen or heard by a very large number of people, who would then, hopefully, use the information and stimulus contained therein to form the nucleus of a movement, that eventually would lead to the eradication of the centuries-long oppression of mankind by the slave masters, and our eventual survival on this beautiful planet….

Or, the message will be lost, as are, thus far, ALL the other common sense messages that might be of help to us, buried in the cacophony of noise that is always roaring in the background of TV, radio, and the internet, never to be of any help, or aid us to survive beyond the next hundred years or so that are left to us….. all because of the insane blindness of those who have usurped human culture for their own purposes….

I’d rather there was a greater chance for us to survive, but, there’s not a lot I can do about it…. People are gonna do what they WANT to do…… That seldom means anything intelligent…. and, sadly, that’s just the way it is….

Shall we Pearl?…. We may as well, we’ve got nothing better to do…..

“Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy,and it isn’t original sin. He’s born with the tragedy that he has to grow up. A lot of people don’t have the courage to do it.” — Helen Hayes
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Obviously, the intro section this morning fulfills any ranting requirements that may be in place, anywhere…. So, that means I can go bananas in this section…. Well, maybe not fruit, but, perhaps, a rutabaga, or other vegetable would do?….. As you can see, my bozo wants to come out to play, and, it’s best all around if I don’t get in the way of that…. So, I’ll give that side of me the reins, and we’ll see what SB can do for us today, in the way of a group of pearls to start us off in the proper direction to get us where we need to go….. where it will, hopefully, come to a halt….

“Quemadmoeum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.” [A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killers hands.] — Lucius Annaeus Seneca “the younger” ca. 4 BC – 65 AD

“A student brings something to discuss, saying, “I don’t know whether this is really good, or whether I should throw it in the wastebasket.” The assumption is that one or the other choice is the right move.  No.  Almost everything we say or think or do  — or write — comes in that spacious human area bounded by something this side of the sublime and something above the unforgivable.” — William Stafford

“Actions lie louder than words.” — Carolyn Wells

“I never understood why God decided to endow the military man with His big brain when bone and marrow are all that he needs to execute his purpose.” — A. Einstein – Ideas and Opinions

“I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.” — HAL 9000

“Do you think there’s a God?” “Well, SOMEbody’s out to get me!” — Calvin & Hobbes

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

Well, it’s a tough one, I’ll admit, but, those are always the best kind, you see, because, hey, challenge?….. Believe it or not, it IS a good one…. just a trifle abstruse…. In fact, upon reflection, it’s a lot like that word, abstruse….
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In truth, I suppose, the translator of this poem is the one who deserves a lot of the credit for the power, and the clarity, of the images and language that make this so compelling a poem…. Whomever is responsible, it is one of my all time favorite poems, and I include it today, again, with great pleasure….

Shui Tiao Ko Tou

Will a moon so bright ever arise again?
Drink a cupful of wine and ask of the sky.
I don’t know where the palace gate of heaven is,
Or even the year in which tonight slips by.
I want to return riding the whirl-wind! But I
Feel afraid that this heaven of jasper and jade
Lets in the cold, its palaces rear so high.
I shall get up and dance with my own shadow.
From life endured among men how far a cry!

Round the red pavilion
Slanting through the lattices
Onto every wakeful eye,
Moon, why should you bear a grudge, O why
Insist in time of separation so th fill the sky?
Men know joy and sorrow, parting and reunion;
The moon lacks luster, brightly shines; is all, is less.
Perfection was never easily come by.
Though miles apart, could men but live for ever
Dreaming they shared this moonlight endlessly!

~~ Su Tung-p’o ~~

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This was already an old rant last time I posted it, in June of 2013…. and, since I spent all of my fresh angst in the intro section today, this will have to suffice, to fulfill any other legal standards that may apply…. I think it will do, just fine, as it remains as valid today as the day I first wrote it….

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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, and for that matter, anyone in the world, who had access to a TV was informed of what had occurred….

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, thus, ensuring that no rational, dispassionate examination of the events would 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 months and years, whenever the politicians have wanted to distract the nation from what they were actually doing, all they needed to do was mention the words “terrorism”, or “national security”, to immediately pull the attention off of them, pointing it firmly at the pitiful  group of fanatical Muslims they blamed for the attacks (completely ignoring all the valid reasons those same politicians had provided those fanatics  in the first place, reasons specifically designed to stimulate an attack….). Thus, the Hunt for Osama bin Laden was on! (“We’ll get him, by God”… We did, of course…)

In this country, as a result of those attacks, approximately 5000 American lives were lost (that figure is larger, by quite a lot, than the actual number, purposely…. it is near enough to correct to make the point…). At this time, in the quest to find Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, over 50,000 Afghan civilians 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 civilians have died to soothe our national pride.

(Note from 2014; the number of casualties in both arenas has, naturally, grown on all sides, with the greatest number of deaths, by far, having been suffered by the Afghan and Iraqi civilian populations, just as the number of our American casualties remains, by many thousands of deaths, the smallest of any of the participants…. This amounts to, literally, millions of Afghan and Iraqi deaths, and fewer than 10,000 Americans…. go look at them yourself if you don’t accept my figures….)

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 (June, 2013 — Now authorized by what is so laughingly called the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012…. signed by President Obama on New Year’s Eve of 2011, while everyone was partying, not paying any attention to their so-called “rights”…..)

“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, of people THEY considered to be the enemy, than they had ever been able to kill, one time….. ONCE….. Since that one time, our country has killed more than 300,000 civilians in retaliation (amendment from 2014: make that >1 million…).

You can call it what you like, I call it nothing more than schoolyard revenge by bullies. The events of that day provided every politician in this country the opportunity to wrap 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 Qaeda,  or from any other splinter faction terrorist group, nor have we ever been in any real danger.  We never really WERE in MUCH danger….

Oh, sure, they may be able to pull off stunts such as this 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. Most times, their piteous efforts kill a handful of people, and destroy a building or two, and that is the extent of it….

No, the pathetic, desperate people who become terrorists, in direct concatenation of intent, action, and responsibility, are actually created by those same political pundits, who, after bombing their villages, killing their families, and destroying their homes, are now reviling them as monsters, using all their bloated resources in hunting them down.

The terrorists I see in the news are not a real threat to anyone; 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 (in THEIR twisted minds….) 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 the 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; the 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, and many more not available to them, because of the depth of their resources, and their lack of morality. (Note from 2014: See, Eric Snowden, NSA, “US Cyber-Security Forces”, etc….) No, we need more security from our own pundits, who have utilized these tragic events for their own benefit, to the everlasting regret of every true patriot….. Bloody fucking 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

So be it…. gigoid has spoken….

3/8/2014: This rant has been updated and edited to conform with the most current version of Reality, including, but not limited to parenthetical comments, and actual textual edits to improve the flow of thoughts… I also have to say, with this one, I hit the nail right on the fucking head, so, I can say, without any doubt whatsoever…

So be it…. gigoid has spoken, again….
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I’d suppose it’s a function of having done this repeatedly for a relatively long time, but, gosh, Wilbur, I think I’m getting the hang of this…. Even if not, it feels as if I am, so, I’ll take comfort in axiom #1, to wit: “I think I am. That’s close enough.”….. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes, if YOU’RE lucky….

Just kidding…..          :-)

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
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 the dubious

dozer3

You always remember the first time….

Ffolkes,

So much for the best laid plans…. I’d intended to NOT write this morning, but, Vicki wants her first Pearl, so, I have to make one for her today, or, I’ll never hear the end of it….  :-)   Just kidding, of course, but, only a little…. After getting to spend time with her and Carolyn yesterday, I’m happy to oblige…. Besides, y’all should know by now it’s hard to shut me up once I get started….

We met over Carole’s grave at the Templeton Cemetery yesterday, and got to do a lot of catching up to the last 23 years since our last meeting….Actually, much longer in C’s case, as she missed the 20 year reunion that V and I got to in 1988 or so…. It was an embarrassingly large number of years since our last sight of each other at our HS graduation, large enough we won’t mention it…. We talked of Carole, and our lives since then, having a great time reestablishing some of the bond of friendship left from so long ago….

Both of them are now the newest members of the group who receives the email version of the Pearls each day I send them out…. I used to call them the Pearl Drops; now they are the Pearly Gates, which seems more fitting, given our advanced ages…. though I must admit that both of them have borne the weight of the years far better than I; they looked great!….. I don’t know how this will go over, but, hey, that’s never stopped me before, has it?…

Rather than turn them off with an immediate blathering session, I’ll make this intro short, and get into the pearls right away, as I am still on the road, technically… It’s about 0545, I still have 150 or so miles to go to get home, and I can feel the cold hovering, just waiting to suck up my energy…. So, I’m going to create one old-school pearl, pick a poem, and find an old rant to include, to give them an idea of a typical Pearl that goes out… and I’d best get to it, or I won’t have the energy to do any of what I need to do today, like drive home…. Too bad, actually, the internet at this motel is the fastest I’ve ever encountered; they’re running at 144 Mbs download, which is incredibly fast… Got to watch a movie online last night with no skips or buffering problems…

Any who…. Shall we Pearl?….

“Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.” — Aldous Huxley
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So, this is an old-school pearl… The parameters I used to pick these delightful morsels of thought were a bit loose, but, in general, they all were to direct our attention to the nature of Man… just to see what is up with that…..

For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate’er is best administer’d is best.
For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
His can’t be wrong whose life is in the right.
In faith and hope the world will disagree,
But all mankind’s concern is charity.

– Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle iii, Line 303

“Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years.” — R. D. Laing

“It is well to remember, my son, that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others.” — John Andrew Holmes

“I give up, what is the meaning of life?” — Smart Bee

“‘Forty-two,’ said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.” — Douglas Adams (Life, The Universe, and Everything)

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” — Nietzsche

See? Perfect…. It’s all in the wrist….
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Normally, I’d spend time finding a good poem, but we’ll go with one of mine, instead….   :-)

Piraeus calls me, silently.

Sizzle, sizzle, crash, bang, boom.
Intellect burning with subsequent doom.
Lingering long over decisive style,
Whistling up chaos all the while.

Such frozen thoughts may shatter,
Should we infer, but, no matter.
Firing blanks is children at play
Blooded sages all gasp in dismay.

Nonsense is good sense at times
Mundane objectives trip lightly in rhymes.
Fallen angels dance on a pin
Until each sinner enters within.

Fast moments with natural rain
Bring ashes, yet still must remain.
Final thoughts clamor for more
Find them only on a far distant shore.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Not too bad, so far…. I’ll be back in a moment of two, with a rant from an archived Pearl to substitute for the one I DON’T have in me today…. This is from sometime in the middle of 2012….

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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 entity 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….

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 Afghani civilians 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 civilians 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, once. Once. Since that one time, our country has killed over 300,000 civilians 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. And that truth is: we are in no real danger from Al Qaida, or from any other splinter faction terrorist group. They may be able to pull of 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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Not bad… not bad…. Maybe, if I repeat it long enough, it will become true…. That seems to be the policy that works for political pundits, and quite well, given the gullibility of the average American…. Oops, sorry, forgot, the rant is done…. Any who, I think that’s enough for one day, and hopefully, a fine first Pearl for my friends…. I can’t say right now if there will be a Pearl tomorrow morning; we’ll see how I feel when I get up then…. meantime, see ya….

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

Consequently, she didn’t moult that year….

Ffolkes,
Pixies were pulling at my hair, but my head was pounding like a hammer on an anvil, and I didn’t want to sit up. I opened my eyes, to be greeted by the sight of the ugliest little person I’d ever seen. He (that’s right, he….apparently, there are male pixies, too) wasn’t real happy, if his expression was any indication. Hovering about two feet away, ragged old-grey wings flapping, with a mop of fly-away hair and an ill fitting tunic, chewing on the stub of a nasty smelling cigar, he looked like a miniature punk leprechaun with a bad attitude, and sounded like a manic frog…..

“You great lout! Get your bloody arse off my front door, you bleeding idjit!” I looked around, and saw that I had ended my previous night’s drunken stroll through the Irish countryside at the foot of a great old oak, inadvertently blocking the entrance to the angry imp’s house in the base of the tree. My befuddled brain finally kicked in, and I realized I was in a very unstable position, and had best be careful…. Pixies are not known for the sweetness of their disposition, and can be vengeful when crossed. I tried out a tentative smile, and clearing my throat, rumbled out, “Top o’the morning to you, kind sir!”  The pixie folded his arms, tapped his foot, and just glared at me….. I got the feeling he wasn’t in a particularly friendly mood…. a feeling that was justified, as he proceeded to turn me into a donkey…..

Enough of that…. he deserves whatever happens to him, the bozo, for getting so drunk he didn’t watch what he was up to.  Never a good policy in pixie country…… but it got me through the initial stages of today’s Pearl, so that is a good thing. Theoretically, anyway….. Now that the nonsense has had its moment, we can get on with our scheduled dive….. shall we Pearl?…..
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There is always a second right answer.  Look beyond the obvious. — Smart Bee

I am glad that I found this quote this morning. I was looking for something to go with a discussion around the events that took place in Colorado yesterday, wherein a young man shot and killed 12 people, and injured many others, before being subdued and arrested. I have not engaged in reading any of the stories about it, as they all follow the same pattern, and repeat the same cliches trying to describe the horror of the scenario, and to describe the terror felt by the victims. The news coverage of events of this nature vary little from one to the next; the only difference lies in the number of victims, and the place it occurred.

I don’t watch the stories, but the headlines always give enough information to satisfy my level of curiosity. The part of these events that interests me is always the amount of outrage and dismay that is expressed by those who are not even involved. People from all over the world will write articles condemning guns, or lamenting the victims, or expressing sorrow, or otherwise giving their reaction to the story. One of the reactions that is common after an event such as this is from the people who would like to see ALL guns taken off the streets, and make it illegal for citizens to even own a gun.

This to me is the reaction of a scared child. Yes, terrible things happen, and sometimes those terrible things are perpetrated by some idiot who has managed to get his hands on guns. But, it is folly to blame the guns themselves for the deaths of those people. The person is responsible, not the guns. But, to these frightened children, the very idea of guns is too scary to deal with, and they would like to see reality changed to suit their fears. It’s kind of like saying that “oh my, cars cause over a million deaths a year. Let’s get them off the streets!” It is an over-reaction, common to those who typically refuse to stand up for their own rights, preferring to allow the government to tell them what to think.

I agree that it is tragic that events like this should happen, and I feel bad for the victims. I also feel bad for the idiot, because only a soul that is in extreme distress could ever consider such actions. If it were to happen in front of me, I would not hesitate take him down, and put him down, like a sick dog, but I would do so in sorrow, knowing that he is a broken man. This event will mark a moment in time that none of the victims will ever forget, and it will change their lives in some way, for certain. But, to let these events cause us to make poor decisions about guns is an error in thinking, and can lead to the loss of more rights than we have already lost to the fear-mongers.

Living involves risk. This is a truism, and is not subject to debate. One may prepare for that risk by making themselves strong and educated regarding the extent of the risks, and dealing with those risks in an adult fashion. Or, one can retreat to their childhood, and give over the handling of risk to the authority figures in our lives, and feel snug and safe in their little delusional bubble. 

What these people fail to understand is this: prohibiting guns, or making them illegal, is NOT going to make guns go away. It will just drive them underground, and make it harder to keep track of them. The risk will be even greater, because NOW there is nothing to stop criminals from victimizing others, other than the police, and we can see already how little effectiveness the police have in stopping events like this.

This shit is going to happen, whether guns are legal or not. I am personally unwilling to trust the government of this country, or of any other, to protect me and my interests. If they have guns, I want mine, because otherwise there will be no reason at all for them to keep from taking from me whatever they want. Police in this country are NOT to be trusted; most of the time they have a poor opinion of the public, and a sense of entitlement that puts them above the law. The same goes for politicians; I’m not going to trust them any further than I am the police. Probably even less, as they have shown time after time that they are not to be trusted. If they can’t be trusted with my money, I’m certainly not going to trust them with my guns….

Attitudes adjusted, while you wait. — L.A. Police Car Bumper Sticker

I’m not overly concerned whether or not anyone agrees with me on this; everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Some will say that I am calloused and indifferent to the pain those people felt. Well, they are free to say whatever they like…. The simple truth is that I feel very sorry for all the victims, and their families, knowing full well that they are now looking at years of therapy and healing before they will ever be comfortable again. But it is also the simple truth that I am not going to get all worked up over something that happens all the time, and will continue to happen as long as the world remains so overpopulated that we are like rats in a cage, fighting and biting each other over the limited resources.

“Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” — Oscar Wilde

If one wants to get outraged over needless deaths, then let’s begin a dialog about the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who continue to die for no good reason. We were told that the wars in those two countries were started to “get Osama bin Laden” and put an end to  terrorism. Ten years and trillions of dollars later, bin Laden is dead, and terrorism is NOT ended. Probably, more than 12 soldiers are killed every day in both countries, but there is no outrage that I see….

So, let us not engage in the orgy of feelings, and outpouring of outrage, over an event that, while not normal or desirable, should nonetheless not be a surprise. And, let us not thrash about in fear, and center our anger on the wrong target. Guns are not the problem; people who are broken are the problem, whether they are shooting people in a theater in the mountains, or passing laws in a building in Washington D.C.  The answer is not to get rid of guns; that is never going to happen. The answer is to fix the broken people…. and you can take that to the bank….

“Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an ‘inconvenience.’   We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy.  We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and then wonder how all those assholes got in there.” —   Frank Zappa
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A Drunken Man’s Praise Of Sobriety

Come swish around, my pretty punk,
And keep me dancing still
That I may stay a sober man
Although I drink my fill.

Sobriety is a jewel
That I do much adore;
And therefore keep me dancing
Though drunkards lie and snore.
O mind your feet, O mind your feet,
Keep dancing like a wave,
And under every dancer
A dead man in his grave.
No ups and downs, my pretty,
A mermaid, not a punk;
A drunkard is a dead man,
And all dead men are drunk.

William Butler Yeats

The sober nature of what I’ve written so far today demands a bit of relief…. who better for that than Yeats?….. Enjoy!
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“All through human history, tyrannies have tried to enforce obedience by prohibiting disrespect for the symbols of their power. The swastika is only one example of many in recent history.” — American Bar Association task force on flag burning

Where did we get lost? When did my country lose the not just the feeling, but the meaning of freedom? The above statement is an indication of how far we have come from the basic ideas that the founding fathers originally fought for in the late 1700’s. The very fact that we must even consider the issue shows how many people have come to believe differently. In today’s society, it is becoming politically incorrect to speak of these subjects, to question the motivations of those who seek to gain office, or to question those in office. If one speaks out to question anyone in a position of authority, one is labeled as “un-American” or “Communist”, or “Socialist”. Or, even worse, “un-Christian”….

The separation of church and state was one of the bottom line reasons for the American Revolutionary War. I’m not an idiot, so I realize that money motivates as much, or more, than does idealism, and the OTHER bottom line reason was just that, the bottom line. Taxes, of course…. Our founding fathers, as tired of losing money as they were of being told to worship only one way, decided that it was enough reason to set up a system of government that kept them separate. They realized that the churches and the banks were the greatest threats to a free society, so they made an effort to keep them from influencing government…..

“In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.” — Thomas Jefferson

But, 200 years of chipping away at laws and social mores, and we now see that many of those freedoms are threatened, by the forces of Evil, otherwise known as ‘corporate bidness’ and ‘da priesthood’….. Now, set up in opposition to the current President, who has shown his commitment to change, we have a candidate who combines the worst (or best, depending on your view….) of those two groups, Mitt the Twitt, the richest, sneakiest Mormon mouthpiece you will ever see. This man has already, before even becoming the official candidate of his party, shown himself to be in favor of big business, racism and bigotry, and completely against any sort of reforms that would benefit the average joe…. yet there are millions of “average joes” who blindly follow what he says with open mouth, closed mind, and bated breath, just because he isn’t black….

The election of 2012 may go down in history as a pivotal moment in the history of this nation. This election will clearly indicate the state of mind of this country, as the two ostensible candidates represent extreme poles of opposite beliefs, only one of which remains true to the principles upon which this country was founded. We now will see what direction we will take in the next years…. either onward to a brighter future, or downward toward extinction…. Each of us will need to make a decision about which one we are willing to fight for…. because a fight will surely be coming…. and the sides will be hard to tell apart, as both will call themselves Americans…. Only one side will be right….

“After a time, you may find that ‘having’ is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as ‘wanting.’  It is not logical, but it is often true.” — Spock, “Amok Time,” stardate 3372.7.
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As a chef, I know that sometimes the best stuff comes when you just throw stuff in as you go, never knowing what you’ll end up with, but knowing it will be delicious. Today’s Pearl may, or may not, reach that level, to be worthy of the definition of “good stuff”. Time will tell, as somebody said recently….    :-)     Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

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!