Stealing from politicians is not a crime, by definition….

Far into the night, I searched within, only to find….. nada…. No quotes. No ideas. No nothing. So I went to bed, and figured the morning would bring some inspiration…. fat chance! Now I’m stuck, writing off the top of my head, which is already complaining. I may have to retreat back to bed, just to get away from the drama, which I do not enjoy, and refuse to put up with in my life at all anymore. I have even considered putting my No Drama Allowed sign up on my front door, just so it is clear to all and sundry who approach….. I have yet to do that one, but it’s close, it’s close….

For the nonce though, we’ll have to come up with something for today’s Pearl, which is looking a bit thin at this juncture. Aha! I’ve got an idea, and it should work well…. let’s go see…..  Yep, I think it will work…. It may be disturbing to know, in this age of digital everything, but today’s quotes are all taken from books…. real, physical books, that I held in my hand and read by turning the pages….. It was fun….. and reassuring to know that even though my database of quotes is gone (until further notice), I still have a place to go to find what I need…. And it is a very fulfilling feeling to pull it out of the pages; I’ve always been a heavy reader, and it’s good to remember that real books are still the best source of, well, everything you want to know….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged few.” — Helen Keller

Being in my current position, it is natural to fall into the trap as described above by Ms. Keller. It reminds me in a way of the same thought from Socrates (I believe) who said, “If every man brought his troubles to a central place, where it was said that all men would bring theirs, and each would take away an equal amount, most would be happy to just take up their own troubles and go home.” I guess it has always been a natural tendency among us humans, to compare our own situation to that of others, and make a judgment about relative worth…. not an admirable trait, but understandable, given our ego-driven natures.

I do know for a fact that I am better off than most of the world; I am still overweight, and much of the world hasn’t enough food to ever get to that state. I also live indoors, with plumbing, and have enough clothing to cover myself in inclement weather. I have a steady, if currently small, source of income, even though retired. I have medical insurance, and even though the co-payments are hard to handle, I have no fear of not receiving medical care if needed. All of this is much more than probably 50% of the people alive on this planet have as resources, so I can hardly consider myself to be entirely poverty-stricken…. I’ve actually been there, or close to it, and this is not the same…..

One time, in my early twenties, I fell into an unemployed state for several months, and during the last month and a half, it got to the point where I was actually hungry a lot of the time. I was living in my truck, on the streets of Berkeley; the truck, fortunately, had a camper, so I did have a place to sleep and stay dry, but couldn’t ever get off the streets for long. I lived one entire month on a jar of peanut butter, some bread given to me by friends, and a jar of excellent multivitamins, which kept my teeth from falling out of my head from scurvy, and the like….. It was not a pleasant experience, at all, and I didn’t particularly enjoy the feelings of depression and despair that went along with it. At the end of the month of PB and vitamins, I was able to find a job, and have not been unemployed for long since then, for the most part.

Having felt at least some of what the folks who are stuck living in such poverty feel, I empathize with their situation completely. I also feel a great deal of disdain for the average American, who has no idea of how fortunate they are to be living in this country, where the opportunities to pull one’s self out of the hole of poverty are so much more available than in much of the rest of the world. I listen to these political pundits, screaming their outrage at how the poor are shiftless, and only want handouts, and to have society provide them with food and shelter, all at the expense of “hard-working Americans who pay taxes”, and I am completely filled with my own sense of outrage. These people have no idea of how lucky they are, or how little part they played in securing the resources they command, and have no idea at all of what it is like to not have those opportunities available to them.

These people are the same ones who spend so much time chasing the Devil, and spouting off about religion. They assume that the poor of the world are poor because God wants them to be that way, or that they are somehow responsible for their own poverty, having offended God. Ms. Keller also had something to say about them, which I believe completely, and share in her wish to see more of it in the world….

” It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.”

Pretty smart lady, that Helen Keller….. the world will never see her like again, and that is a shame, to be sure……

Children’s Rhymes

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

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

Langston Hughes

This poem gives voice to and defines the vast distance that still exists in this country between the folks who feel this way, and their opposite numbers on the other side of the issue. Racism is alive and all-too-well in this country, and this election is proof of that pudding. The Republican Party has adopted a platform that just barely avoids outright statement of such bigotry, but not by much. Their inner circle has already made public that the agenda of the GOP is to make Obama a one term President; there is no mention of taxes or the economy, jobs, medical insurance, war, or any other of the possible issues that are under the public eye. Their single goal is to get the black man out of the Oval Office; they don’t care, obviously, how many people they alienate in their efforts, either, as they chose the single most contentious candidate possible.

Yesterday, or the day before, I mentioned that this country is at a crossroads, which elicited some support among commenters, with good reason. This election is going to show exactly how many people are still out there ready to buy into any set of lies in order to maintain their own bigoted outlook. The Romney/Ryan team, and the GOP, has given up any hope of mainstream acceptance, and has sided with the fundamentalists and fanatics who believe that government should be secondary to religion. They have managed to alienate about 75-80% of the American public with their fascist, religion-based platform, while still garnering the support of millions of dim-witted people who are only concerned with their racist agendas. The campaign has already shown how racism has survived intact, and on election day, every bigot, every fanatic, and every religious nut in the country is going to vote to show their support for policies that will be the worst possible thing that could happen to them, all because they believe that a black man should not be President.

I am appalled, not only by the actual people who are voicing these asinine concepts, but by the media, who reports what the GOP candidates say, just as if it made any sense, thereby lending credence to the idiocy they espouse. But, I am also encouraged at the response to all of this, which appears to be swinging in favor of the incumbent President. All the most recent polls show the Democrats to be leading, in every issue, and the GOP campaign is scrambling around in terror, in absolute shock that their policies are being rejected by the majority of Americans. I am growing more hopeful of an outcome that we can live with, instead of one that promises to send society into chaos. It may be a slim hope, but it is a strong one, and I can only hold good thoughts for the ascendancy of reason over ignorance in our society in the years to come…..

I came upon a treasure trove of quotes in one of my copies of the Bathroom Reader’s Institute’s tomes, called Uncle John’s Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader…. If you are unfamiliar with these books, take the time to access their website, where you can get a good idea of what they are like…. fun, interesting, and chock full of both nonsense, and sense…. Here are a series of quotes from some modern and historical figures, all of which pertain to the current campaign for the Presidency in this country…. at least peripherally….. These all have a pointed remark that leads us to some disturbing conclusions about public life in America, but, what else is new?…..

“Fundamentalism isn’t about religion. It’s about power.” — Salman Rushdie

“In politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

“A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity for any people.” — Frederick Douglas

“The universe is an intelligence test.” — Timothy Leary

“There is no place in a fanatics head where reason can enter.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

“There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honor.” — Benjamin Disraeli

There, that should lead to the proper level of confusion and glassy eyes…. I’m just glad the polls are showing some progress in the number of folks who have come to realize that the Romney/Ryan ticket would be disastrous, for everyone, not just a few. Perhaps there is still a chance for common sense to assume a place in public life…. one can always hope…..

Another odd Pearl today, ffolkes…. it’s getting to be a habit. I can’t say it wasn’t fun, trying to figure out how to create material out of nothing much, but I think I’d rather try to get back to the old routine one of these days…. This waiting game is getting tedious, to be sure, and I will be very glad when something happens to change my situation….. It is said that having to wait for change leads to patience, but in this case, I wish they would just keep their bloody mouths shut…. I guess I’m getting cranky, which is understandable, if not desirable. So be it……. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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




3 thoughts on “Stealing from politicians is not a crime, by definition….

  1. Really enjoyed today’s pearl, Ned. Helen Keller was indeed an insightful woman, to be sure. I’ve had a few moments of poverty myself, and (because of that) I can safely say I’m very appreciative of today’s comparative affluence..!
    I’ve been reading a lot of Napoleon’s quotes of late (courtesy of Brad @ youjivenmeturkey.wordpress). I haven’t known very much about Napoleon to date, except for his military conquests, hand in jacket habit, etc. I’ve been very impressed by this man’s understanding of human nature. (I probably need to do a little research for a greater grasp.)
    Anyway Ned… (We Aussies tend to say ‘anyway’ where you guys (both Canadian & American) seem to say ‘anywho’)) good reading as usual…

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