Empty spaces should be filled with tokens or mangoes….

I know it’s going to be an Interesting Day when I sit down here to write, and the first thing that pops into my head is, “Whew!”….. Here it is, 5:01 AM, and I’ve already written about oh, 800 or so words in reply to comments made while I was asleep. The comments, from some of my readers with the most stimulating responses to my work, tend to kick in my muse at a moment’s notice, and I have now spent 40 minutes at it, before I even get this started…. hence, interesting day ahead…..

There’s a lot going down out there in Meat Space today; sometimes I think we are approaching Heinlein’s “Crazy Years”, but then I realize that we’ve been there already since the late 1960’s. If you don’t believe me, or him, just go back over the headlines of the world’s newspapers in that period, and see if you don’t agree…. it’s pretty fucking crazy out there, and that is NOT an exaggeration, nor is the vulgarity misplaced. It is more than merely crazy, and less than an End Game Scenario, (though not by much), hence the euphemism for Very Crazy…. any who, there is enough and more to find something about which to rant, er, write this morning. Hell, I could be done before sunrise, if I can get to it…. so let’s Pearl, shall we….? Aye, indeed….

I find myself beside a stream of empty thought…… let’s fill it up!

Guns don’t kill people… bullets do.

Of late I have been reading a number of articles, news items, and posts about gun control, and/or the concept of nullifying the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. The main argument seems to be centered on the obvious fact that society has changed since the Founding Fathers wrote the amendment, and the conditions that prompted its inclusion among the other basic rights they wished to secure are, supposedly, no longer present, or are no longer valid reasons for leaving it intact. Their arguments point to the number of killings and crimes that involve guns, and how much of a plague on society the guns are, how we’d all be better off, and somehow safer, if we took away all the guns from the American citizenry.

I could easily scoff at such naivete, were it not so dangerous. Dangerous to me, and whether they wish to acknowledge it or not, dangerous for them. So, rather than scoff, I will first acknowledge the presence, if not the accuracy, of their statistics on how much guns contribute to crime. These statistics are, in and of themselves, fairly scary, but, they fail to take in to account a couple of very important considerations that tend to skew, or even nullify, the accuracy of their claims.

For one, they never seem to include in these statistics the number of deaths and injuries caused by guns IN THE HANDS of POLICE; they only seem to account for the civilians who use guns to commit crimes. I’d say the numbers would increase dramatically, if the times the police use their weapons inappropriately are included…. second, the statistics do not compare the number of incidents to the total number of guns that are owned by citizens.

I would, in the absence of hard figures, estimate that the number of incidents of crime involving guns is a very, very low percentage of the number of guns that are actually out there in the hands of private citizens. All the quoted figures are bloated to make them seem larger than they really are in comparison to the whole; the by-far largest majority of gun owners do not use them at all, unless threatened. Most never use them at all, at all, keeping them only for home protection, and most of those have neighbors who probably don’t even know the guns are there.

Then, after addressing these two key issues that are not accounted for in their quoted numbers, I would ask a simple, but key question of those who believe we, as American citizens in a modern society, should not own guns. That question, simply put, is this: Do you honestly believe that the people to whom we would be entrusting our safety are going to give up their guns? Do you really trust those of our beloved ruling class to, all of a sudden, out of some irresistible urge to altruism, heretofore absent from their nature, stop lying to us? Do you believe, even for an instant, that they would not be laughing all the way to the bank, at you, me and the rest of the American general public?

Should your answer be yes to any of these questions, I would say to you, as gently as I can, that you are then ready to put on your collar, and admit that you are willing to be their slave, because that is exactly what will happen….

Our beloved ruling class is NOT going to give up their guns. They aren’t; if you don’t believe me, ask them; it’s one of the few queries to which they’ll give an honest answer.  And I don’t care how much you may argue to the contrary, I don’t believe for a nanosecond that anyone in our government, and that includes Saint Barack, can be trusted to hold my best interests in their lying, cheating, sociopathic hands.

Nope, I’m 61 years old, and have sufficient experience in these matters that I can honestly say, with every assurance of being correct, that those who either seek office, or are in office, in this country, or in any other, are NOT people to whom I would give that kind power over me; not for anything, If you want to label me a NRA Nazi, well, feel free; it’s still a free country, for the present.

But, if you convince enough citizens of this asininity that the guns are actually made illegal for citizens to own, it’s not going to be a free country for long. And if you are naive enough to believe the lies that the Powers That Be are handing out re: their trustworthiness, well, then, you will deserve the consequences of that belief, which I would term blind faith…… but don’t expect, for even a second, that I will ever consent to give up my right to own a gun, as I will dispute that to the death. Yours, mine, that is immaterial; if we play that game, it’s to the finish.

I’ve never been a member of the NRA, nor do I feel I have a lot in common with its vocal proponents, but I agree with one of their statements of purpose, to wit: you can take my guns, alright, when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers, but no other way….. I’m NOT giving up my guns, knives, rocks, words, or wit, or the right to bear arms in my own defense, and letting the assholes in charge of this government keep theirs…. uh uh, nope, ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime…. believe it or not, at your discretion….

Hollow point ammo – the ultimate in feminine protection. — Smart Bee

“A society that lacks the patience to read, and loses the ability to do so, is rendered defenseless against its most profound stupidities.  As an example, consider the ease with which Americans came to regard a president known for his inaccuracy and imprecision as the great communicator, and by the tendency of American elections to give victory to the candidate who can afford the greatest number of 30-second TV spots.” — Mike Schmoker  (THESE are the people I’m supposed to allow to hold me at gunpoint?  Snort!….pathetic….)

Who could imagine
That they could freak out in Kansas
Who could imagine
That they could freak out in Washington D.C.
Everybody’s clean, it can’t happen here, no, no
And they thought it couldn’t happen here
They were so sure it couldn’t happen here
It can’t happen here
— Frank Zappa

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it,
Time in hours, days, years,
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.
— Henry Vaughan — The World

No comment here; this just caught my eye, and my interest, so I put it here, just as a little break from the seriousness of the previous discussion. Balance shall ever be sought herein….

“Honor isn’t about making the right choices.  It’s about dealing with the consequences.” — Midori Koto

Honor, and all of its implications in human society, is in serious danger of becoming atrophic, and of disappearing altogether from sight; not only is its presence seldom felt by society at large, it seems to have fallen out of favor as even a topic of discussion or inquiry. I see very few, if any discussions of honor when reading the news. There is ample evidence therein to indicate it absence, for sure, but none I can see to indicate that it might be hidden somewhere on the back pages. Even the reports of good things happening are spun with humorous disdain clear in the author’s style of reportage; they’re only writing about it so people will think well of them, not of what they are reporting. Hypocrisy in action, as it were…..

But of honor, I see, and hear, nowhere nearly enough, though I keep a sharp look out for it everywhere. There are occasional nuggets of such activity one sees; in the compassion and support given by some people to the victims of abuse, of any species, and of any type (the sheer number of types of abuse common in the human herd is astounding, without even counting how we treat other species on the planet!)

One sees honor in the actions of those who serve their countries out of their sense of honor, and duty, for sure and for certain.  But, I am compelled to ask, how much honor may we attach to the purpose behind the actions they are asked to perform, and to the choice of to whom they are to commit those acts? How much honor is shown by the old men who choose where and against whom these honorable men are to fight, for the personal agendas of the leaders, not for that of the country?

One sees honor in the men and women who love and guide their children, and do all they can to provide them with a loving, secure life. One sees honor in many areas of normal human existence. But, one seldom sees any evidence of honor among those who are in power and authority in the world. One seldom sees any evidence of honor in the news at all; it doesn’t sell well, except as contrast or “comic relief.”

Therein, perhaps lies the problem…. it’s hard to say what the root cause may be, or what solution might exist. What I can say is that though not dead, the concept of honor among men is in serious danger of becoming not only uncommon, but unfashionable…… and then Hell Night begins….

“Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross an infinite sea and so make it finite… The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” — G. K. Chesterton “Orthodoxy”

This is so nicely phrased and written that when I found it, all scrunched up in justified lines, I thought it was a poem. Then I noted the author’s name, recognizing it as one whose poetry I had never seen, and never thought that he wrote.  Lots of prose, quick wit, and handy with a finely turned phrase, but no poetry. So, I re-formatted the lines, and, voilá, instant prose! But, nonetheless poetic, for all that, too.

Even before I had reworked its structure, the names and icons of about a dozen or more poetesses, to whose work I’ve been so pleasantly introduced since joining the WordPress World, sprang into my mind, as being perfectly described thus: “The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens.”

I started to list the names that sprang up, but then felt guilty, for fear that I would forget to include one or more, only to hurt their feelings without intent. Plus, there are a couple three or four poets whose work I’ve enjoyed as well. So, to avoid any such unintended circumstance, let me just say this, and you may consider it as gospel truth to me: if you see that I follow your blog, and you write poetry, you may rest assured that I think it is wonderful, even if I don’t always have time to go to the site and click the Like button. I read really, really fast, and I do so with all of what I see in my email, if not at the blog sites, so I see all of it….

Some, of course, is better than others, all in turn, it seems to me. Everybody hits the nail squarely sometimes; other times, not so much. But, since I don’t do it well at all, it’s all admirable in my mind, and in my less-than-humble opinion, much superior to a lot of what passes for classical poetry (call me crazy, but I’ve always thought Shakespeare was over-rated…).

I’ve seen poets here whose work will, in my belief, stand up eventually, and proudly, next to that of Emily Dickinson, ee cummings, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and other such luminaries of the poetic literary pantheon. No shit…..

“Be comforted, that in the face of all aridity and disillusionment, and despite the changing fortunes of time, there is always a big future in computer maintenance.” — Anonymous

I would say this is proof positive that not even Anonymous gets it right every time out of the gate. While this was perfectly valid say, oh, ten years ago, the state of computer technology has progressed beyond this stage, to the point where computer maintenance has become only a minor sector of the industry, thanks to simple economics. It is already the case that one can now purchase a new, improved model of one’s computer for less than it would cost to find someone to fix the old one.

In probably close to 50% of these cases, I’d guess, it’s just easier,  now that they can take the old, even broken, machine, and pull all of your data out of it, and put it in the new one for you, for about the same price as saving the old one. Only physical destruction of the hard drive can make that impossible with current technology. Fasten your safety harnesses, ffolkes, because the future is now here….. break out the party hats and kazoos!…..

Well, I think I have stretched the boundaries of eclecticism enough for one day; I don’t know about you, but I’m dazed and confused, so my work here is done….. “It promises to be an Interesting Day”, as Pooh might have said, but didn’t…… Y’all take care out there…..

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



16 thoughts on “Empty spaces should be filled with tokens or mangoes….

  1. Only two punctuation errors, well hidden… one comma where a period should be, and one period absent from its intended position at the end of a sentence…. not too bad, all things considered… bonus points if you can spot them…. but, no worries, they won’t be on the Quiz…..

  2. Now not wanting to give you any cause for indigestion, I will that, as usual we pick up your habits. It should be the other way around us being the older , but as usual things are base about apex! Our gun crime is rocketing and like in your huge country so are the incidents where our ( non armed police ) are becoming armed much more often.
    Sadly the evidence of gun and knife crime are daily found in our newspapers and on our TVs. Our police are not what they used to be they were called ” the police force” and we could usually expect them to be a force for good. They are now referred to as “the police service” ..they do not serve they have lost their way. As have our youth, displaced disillusioned and disgruntled. No work to be had, to respect or manners taught in schools and in some cases not even at home.We have lost two generations to ignorance and what hope do the next generation have with these lost souls as parents.
    Honour? what happened to honour as you say our youth is sent out to fight wars , the dead are honoured, sadly not those who survive . Lads and lassies come back to no help with TDS , no help if they need to have changes made to their homes due to horrific injuries! There is no work, young returned soldiers are found work washing walls and floors in hall ways of blocks of flats or similar work and that is if they are lucky. Large numbers are lost, alcohol, drugs suicide is this a land fit for heroes……….. was after any war ..the answer stays the same no!
    Why is life falling apart. We need more honour , more manners, more schooling and better parenting. I could go on but…………………………

    • Well said, indeed, lass, no matter how long you choose to vent; I didn’t see anything I would argue with in what you commented…. but, we may as well let anyone one else who wishes to chime in, as we are happily preaching to the same choir here…. which is fine with me… it all needs as much time in the light as possible… too long in the dark…. 🙂

  3. i always wanted to do literature but ended up as an economist… when i read your posts , i wish I could do a Ph. D in literature… reigniting that love for writing and reading….thank you so much…

    • Doc…. 🙂 Thanks, that is high praise indeed. I must confess that, though I was valedictorian in high school, and I did make it through two years at UC Berkeley, circumstance and lack of money brought my official education to a halt at that time.

      But, I had already developed a taste for a wide range of learning, studying many diverse subjects, and a deep love for the written word, from reading a book every day, without fail, in or out of school (mostly out), since the age of 10. That is an average; I can do more, and have, on lazy Sundays….

      I continued to read voraciously, books, magazines, prose, poetry, newspapers, and eventually, the Internet, from then right up to today, (reading a Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb mystery today, just light reading) and consider THAT habit to be what gives me any claim to erudition I might possess. As well, writing an average of 1500-2000 words per day here on this blog has made a clear difference in my writing, in both content and style. Practice, practice, practice…I once had a martial arts sensei who told me, “Practice doesn’t make perfect; but constant practice makes for constant improvement…” It’s always worked for me.

      I guess I’m trying to say, besides thanks, that it’s never to late to learn to love reading, and learning new things. I discovered the word ‘polymath’ and found its meaning to be a worthy goal for any human, and one I can relate to very much, to wit: “”A polymath is a person to whom EVERYTHING is interesting….”

      I hope you continue to enjoy the Daily Pearls…. you take care, & Blessed Be….

  4. RE: Gun control… Well said Ned! I figure a government that has some fear of their constituents is a government more inclined to treat all with a better measure of decency.
    Statistics are always suspect for me. There are a great many ways to lie and deceive with stats that require very little outright dishonesty. In the same way that spreading rumors is not dishonest.
    So about the world being crazy… you made me think of one of my favorite phrases recently that looks more at the individual craziness that abounds… bat-shit crazy.
    Now I go off to my adventures in the world with that thought in mind. 🙂

    • Liz… thanks! Glad you enjoyed today’s rant; it has, as I expected once I realized what I’d written, produced quite a bit of comment, which is great…. and more of it is in support of what I’ve said than has been querulous about discussing such a volatile issue… And I’m all about keeping the government afraid of us; damn skippy…

      “Statistics define the parameters and limits of what we don’t know, not what we do know” I don’t know who said it, but it sure is true. One can prove any point at all, with statistics to show the way… one merely has to believe the statistics…. but like any other form of data, it is subject to both human error and Murphy’s law….

      Bat-shit crazy is good… I hate to date myself, but it was a fairly common term in the early 1970’s at Berkeley…. I think it may have been coined in Odds Bodkins; it sounds like something Fred Bird might have said…. but it is perfectly suited as an adjective for the current political circus, for sure and for certain….


  5. I’m not an NRA member either, but I vote, and I have a big assed pistol that I’m not giving up. Folks have their heads in their asses if they think government gun control will make our country free of violence. Jenn’s gun control law, on the other hand, may be a touch more effective: hit what you aim at. I dangled that preposition to give you something fun for target practice…

    • Okay… just make it a poem…

      Jenn’s gun control law says that
      you should hit what you aim at.

      How’s that? Still grammatically incorrect, but as a poem, gets the pass due to artistic license…. not bad for an old fart with flatulence and flat feet, eh?

        • I appreciate that, but feel compelled to point out that the target WAS only 18 inches away, on the screen, and I did cheat a little by making the font bigger, too…. 🙂 But, it was clever, wasn’t it… pardon me, I just sprained my shoulder with that pat on the back…. I’m going back to bed now…

  6. The fact that you can buy a new computer for less than it would cost to repair an old one begs the question… are we living in a disposable society? I was going to write a post about it, but the answer seemed so obvious it seemed like a waste of time.

    As for gun rights, that’s a tough one. I just get uncomfortable around guns and wish no one owned them. I mean no one: not individuals, not armies, not government. And then I woke up. I think it all boils down to a question of trust. The trust that we don’t have on our neighbor, our government, or other human being in the global sphere. I doubt that’ll change and so, I doubt anyone will successfully argue for U.S. citizens to be disarmed.

    • Nothing here I can disagree with at all… it is a tough issue, and hey, I’d love to be able to trust as much as the next guy. I’ve just had too much experience with human nature, for too many years, to believe that will ever be safe to do…. and I can only hope your last thought remains true….

      For me, the seriousness of the issue can be illustrated in the fact that for my entire life, I have avoided owning or using guns. I chose instead to study martial arts, thus first learning to BE a weapon, then learning to use weapons (knives, swords, staff, etc.)

      But even though I learned to use guns very early in life (my dad was in the US Army, and we were all taught basic gun safety), I never felt the need to keep any around. Like Quigley said, in the movie Quigley Down Under, “I never had much use for pistols…”

      But, I now see the need to increase my firepower, in response to this threat from my own society, and can only be glad I can also say, like Quigley, “I said I didn’t have much use for ’em…. never said I didn’t know how to use ’em….”

      Take care…

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