For this, we’ll need two laser-guided cats….

Ffolkes,

It was a saying of Demetrius Phalereus, that “Men having often abandoned what was visible for the sake of what was uncertain,
have not got what they expected, and have lost what they had,–being unfortunate by an enigmatical sort of calamity.”

 — Athenaeus (c. 200 AD) — The Deipnosophists, vi, 23

A-laughing-girl-and-her-camel

    I have to I agree with the camel and the little girl; that’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard. I’m certain the original phrase, which, going by the evidence in the name of the author, and the listed group of like minded oafs, had to be first written in ancient Greek…. It was also, unquestionably,  just as boringly pedantic, or pedantically boring, as the English translation you see here. As shown above, in English, the mere act of reading it damn near put me to sleep by the time I reached the word “sake” in the text. Athenaeus, whomever he was, was obviously a crushing bore, which may account for my never having heard of him…. Anyway, as far as I can tell, Mama Gump said the same thing, so, perhaps the translation should just read “Stupid is as stupid does….”

I love that picture…. It’s very old, I think. I found it on Facebook, a couple years ago, but I’m almost certain I saw this many years ago, either in a National Geographic magazine, or Life magazine, which often had pictures from around the world…. But, I do remember seeing it, somewhere; when I found it on FB, there was a strong feeling of “oh, there it is!”, sort of a welcoming back, right before I copied it to my computer…. The photographer who took it had an amazing bit of luck on the timing, but, then, perseverance is often accompanied by good luck…. I can only wish I could see whatever it is that caused the reaction in both of them….

Uh oh…. Now we have a problem….. Having discussed the picture, and the quote, my stimulation props are all used up, which puts us right back to the same difficulty we faced each morning BEFORE we started using them…. The pictures, with their accompanying quotes, have proved invaluable in this process, making me wonder why I hadn’t tried it previously…. Regardless, they’ve been very helpful in removing some of the awkwardness in the beginnings…. though not without trading it for other glitches. Those, however, are simple in comparison, involving only the difficulty in choosing a picture and/or a quote to use….

SIGH…. I suppose this means that I’m doomed…. Well, perhaps that’s a bit dramatic…. But, I’m definitely stuck with this, whatever it is, so, I suppose I’d best learn how to get along with whatever it requires of me…. After all, it’s my choice, right? Right….. Not that I have a lot of choices as to how to relieve all the shit that builds up in my head…. I could rob banks, I suppose, which would make for an even more comfortable lifestyle, but, what with my ethical upbringing, and all, I’d probably suffer a lot of guilt, so, no way…

I could try to sell my poetry….. Nope, not going there….

Ah, the hell with it, I’ll just go on with what I’m doing here, and hope for the best…. In the long run, that’s probably for the best, as I have a tendency to get even more curmudgeonly when I’m feeling guilty…. It doesn’t happen much, as I’m pretty guilt-resistant from a lifetime of blocking and rejecting it from Christians who attempt to lay it on everybody, but, when it does, it’s ugly….. and the bills I get for the property damage can get a bit high…. SIGH…. I sure feel better, though, after acing a couple of missionaries….. but, I don’t like to talk about that. At least, not until the statute of limitations has been reached….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“All time in all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all bugs in amber.” — Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Slaughter-House 5

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“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution,  nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the  people…”  To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” — Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1791

Yesterday, the president (Yes, I know it isn’t capitalized; that is because I no longer have the required amount of respect for the office that I once had; I refuse to give him that, as he has been far too dishonest, and exposed himself as just another cheap politician, in the pocket of corporate interests and conservative hawks….) went on TV to initiate the next round of the spin cycle regarding the spying going on right under our noses….

If you will please note, in this press conference, there is no mention of the fact that the spying, torture, and illegal activities spawned by the 9/11 paroxysms of paranoia continues unabated, while the focus is taken off that, and placed on this issue, which should merely be turned over to the courts for prosecution of the guilty parties, including both Bushes, Cheney, Rove, and that entire pantheon of assholes who took us to Iraq and Afghanistan for their own agendas…. Gee, can you tell I’m still a little pissed off about that?….

Read the article ffolkes, but, I’d suggest putting on something that won’t mind the splashes from all the crap flying around….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Obama-says-after-9-11-US-tortured-some-folks-5662988.php

I’m surprised the president showed no signs of the dizziness he must have felt at this press conference, which sounds like it was more of a statement, without any questions that weren’t vetted or part of the show…. Indeed, generally, when one spends that much time spinning so fast, they tend to fall over, or at east list a bit when they walk…. He must have a really strong middle ear, or spend a lot of time on the ocean or something, to be able to turn in circles that fast for so long….

I’m sorry, I just can’t buy the low-key, let’s all be friends, and not get upset at what happened in the past attitude he takes on this subject, advising us to all avoid being “sanctimonious”. Sanctimonious my ass…. The fuckheads who tortured, on the fucking orders of the fucking president, who stole the fucking election in the first place, by waterboarding and torturing, along with that president, committed acts that are defined by law as  felonies, and the attacks, and casualties we suffered, are NOT a sufficient excuse for any of it….  No more than it is an excuse for invading Afghanistan, or Iraq, or killing hundreds of thousands of civilian innocents in our brutal thrashing about, chasing all over the world looking for someone to blame, while ignoring all that our own laws proscribe….

I believe the word sanctimonious would more accurately be applied to anyone making fucking excuses for such behavior, no matter what the circumstances…. If one’s morals and ethics are not held strongly in the face of actions such as we experienced as a nation, then those morals and/or ethics are useless…. Expediency, anger, who cares? If you won’t be honorable in the face of dishonor, when will you? Will you become the very people whom you seek to destroy? And, most frustratingly dishonorable of all, the current president wants us to believe he has brought it to a stop, when he won’t even allow any investigation of the culprits, instead, wanting us to “put it all behind us”….

Fuck that…. Those people are guilty of war crimes on innocent people, to a far greater degree than Al-Qaida was able to manage in their one moment of glory…. Yet, we still wonder why they hate us so much…. just because we kill them when they do what they consider is fighting back against our imperialism…. This isn’t the time to go into all of the reasons the other people of the world have to dislike Americans, though it is most certainly a huge factor in the ongoing, chronic nature of the conflict between cultures….

It should be remembered that, although we, as a nation, suffered a grievous wound  on 9/11/2001, our responses and actions since that day have been egregiously overbalanced, and have served only to provide the rest of the world with further reason to hate us, for having exacted our measure of justice to the tune of over a half million people, compared to the approximately 4,000 Americans who died in the attacks.

Not only that, the majority of those we have killed, in our numerous conflicts in other countries since that day of infamy at home, have been innocent non-combatants, just normal folks going about their business, and their lives, just like you, and me…. until our planes dropped tons of explosives on them from 40,000 feet, so high they never heard the planes at all….

We lost 4000 of our countrymen; in response, we have killed over half a million, most of whom were no more involved in warfare than were any of our people…. I suppose you could say we’ve had our revenge; the question remains, has there been any justice? Anywhere in any of this?

Worst of all, it continues to haunt our national culture, with episodes such as this one, which grew out of the paranoia that was fanned into flames by the events of that day…. a paranoia ruthlessly exploited by fanatics like those in the Bush administrations, and in the CIA, NSA, and other clandestine organizations that were involved in the aftermath of the attacks…. They all were crazy with fear, and made sure the public was even more afraid, so they could justify any and all of their illegal activities, without ever having to worry about suffering any consequences for them….

I’m going to change directions now; I’ve taken enough shots at the BRC for the moment…. We’ll go on to bigger, better things, leaving you with this short, five star pearl as a memento of our time together….

“The fields were fruitful, and starving men moved on the roads.  The granaries were full and the children of the poor grew up rachitic, and the pustules of pellagra swelled on their side.  The great companies did not know that the line between hunger and anger is a thin line.” — John Steinbeck (1902-1968) “The Grapes of Wrath”

“The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.” — Ayn Rand

“Respect cannot be learned, purchased, or acquired….  it can only be earned.” — Smart Bee

“I don’t pick on politicians. They ain’t done nothin’.” — Red Skelton

“In the United States…politics is purged of all menace, all sinister quality, all genuine significance, and stuffed with such gorgeous humors, such inordinate farce that one comes to the end of a campaign with one’s ribs loose, and ready for “King Lear,” or a hanging, or a course of medical journals.” — H. L. Mencken

Or, as in my own case, one ends each new campaign with a vague feeling of nausea…..

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There are times when nothing will soothe my spirit like a piece of classic poetry; this is one of those times…. It really doesn’t fit in with the theme for today, but, it does help to ease the turmoil created by the rant…. Well, for me, it does…. I hope you enjoy it as well….

La Belle Dame Sans Merci

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Ah, what can ail thee, wretched wight,
So haggard and so woe-begone
The squirrel’s granary is full,
And the harvest’s done.

I see a lily on thy brow
With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on thy cheek a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful, a faery’s child:
Her hair was long, her foot was ligh,
And her eyes were wild.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long;
For sideways would she lean, and sing
A faery’s song.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna dew,
And sure in language strange she said,
“I love thee true!”

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she gazed and sighed deep,
And there I shut her wild, sad eyes—
So kissed to sleep.

And there we slumbered on the moss,
And there I dreamed, ah! woe betide,
The latest dream I ever dreamed
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings, and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
Who cried—“La belle Dame sans merci
Hath thee in thrall!”

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill side.

And that is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

~~ John Keats ~~

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I’m going to go with some Art today, and to save myself the trouble of attribution, they will all be my own pictures…. I went for a walk yesterday, and collected a number of pictures of some lovely flowers and plants…. I like them, but, when I really want to collect and view some really beautiful pictures of flowers, I always go to the web site of my blogging friend, Carol Welsh, who takes the most amazing flower photos I know of…. Here site is located here: http://radiatingblossom.wordpress.com/  Go on by, & check it out, & tell her I said “howdy”, okay?…. In the meantime, Enjoy these pix, please, for what they are, such as they are…..


August 1 2014 046August 1 2014 012August 1 2014 019August 1 2014 031 (2)August 1 2014 045August 1 2014 051August 1 2014 052

There you have it, ffolkes…. Now go see Carol’s flowers, to see how it should be done…. with style and elegance…..
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Well, that went pretty well, all things considered….. In fact, I’m going to go with my instincts, and let it go the way it is, sans any editing at this point…. I suppose tomorrow I’ll know if that was a mistake, but, for now, it’s good enough for me…. See y’all around the campus, ffolkes….

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

Featured Image -- 2780

Don’t push that envelope; stick a stamp on & mail it….

Ffolkes,

It took a while, but, I finally figured out a way to defeat the lack of creativity with which I awoke today….. It’s a busy day, with early appointments and lots of activity going on, so it’s not a good day for my head to take a break…. but, it doesn’t care about any of that, and has issued enough evidence to let me know it isn’t going to do any REAL work today…. So, I’m filling in from the archives today, shamelessly, as I found some good stuff, which will work for this Pearl nicely….

I’m so happy with what I’ve found, which is going to keep me from having to strain myself to come up with new material, I’m not even going to blather here in the intro any more than is necessary to get us on down the page a ways, so I can cut and paste the chosen archived material to my heart’s content…..

Some out there might think I’m being lazy, but, given the way I’ve felt for the last week or so, pain-wise, y’all are free to think anything you want; I simply don’t give a rat’s ass, and will do what I want anyway….. I’m not very likable sometimes, I suppose, when I’ve been in pain for several days…. and can’t bring meself to care much at all, at all…. I’m sure you’ll understand, and if not, oh well….

Hmm…. I hope I didn’t drive anyone off with that sort of curmudgeonry; if so, well, so much for honesty, eh? S’alright, I’m good with solitude, as long as I know I have been truthful, and not deliberately cruel…. I mean, I AM an American, and we can be real assholes, given half a chance, right? That is certainly our reputation over much of the rest of the world, a reputation that has been, I’m afraid, well-earned, though not by the average American…. No, our rep around the world is based strictly on what the assholes in our government do in their international relations, which is, mostly, bomb the shit out of little brown people….

Oops! Almost started in on the BRC there, and it won’t be necessary today, and certainly isn’t needed in the intro, much as it may fit in there sometimes…. Today, we’re looking for something a bit more rational, and, by golly, I think we’ve got what we need right here, right now… which is a damn good thing, as my wrists and fingers are beginning to become painful enough to cause some serious difficulties typing…. Thank goodness this is now legal…. even if not what could be called “good”…..

Shall we Pearl? Yes, yes, we shall…..

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I had intended to put something else here, but, I found this while looking for the one I’d chosen….  It’s equally appropriate, and more on point than the other, so, you get this, instead…. This diatribe was first included in the Pearl posted on 6/16/13:

“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, bulling their way through into becoming law, or even worse, 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 terrible 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 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 have 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  in the first place, with the justifiable reasons that were, in truth, actually designed just for that purpose, to stimulate an attack….). 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 Osama 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, not counting those allies we convinced to support us in our insane paranoia. And, as a side effect, the US Bill of Rights has been effectively eliminated, by Executive Order, disguised as Homeland Security (June, 2013 — Now, the abrogation of those rights are 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 Americans than they had ever been able to kill before, once…. yep, one time. Since that one time, our country has killed over 300,000 civilians in retaliation; you can call it what you like, I call it schoolyard revenge by bullies. It has caused every politician in this country 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 Qaida, or whatever, or from any other splinter faction terrorist group, nor have we ever been in any real danger from any of them. 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.

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

So be it…. gigoid has spoken….

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Since today’s material came from past Pearls, here is a poem of mine, one of the last I wrote in 2013…. I hope you enjoy it….

Fine and Good, Good and Fine

A pig in a poke’s got nothing on me,
cuz I’m as confused as a man can be.
This ol’ world’s got me spinnin’ around
cussin’ and spittin’, a penny for a pound.

Forty ‘leven times since I was a kid, well,
I’ve fallen in love, ‘least too close to tell.
Every damn time, it all went to crap,
Forty ‘leven times I’ve felt like a sap.

‘Course, each time it happens, I forget the last;
why not? I’m havin’ such a blast….
Livin’ in each moment, filled with joie de vivre,
’til it’s all gone away again, nothin’ left up my sleeve.

Don’t want y’all to think I’m sad or blue,
life’s full of sorrow, lots for me, and/or you..
T’other side of that coin, we can be glad,
is joyful love, and that ain’t at all bad.

My road’s been littered with parts o’my heart,
each one colored with trust, which ain’t always smart.
Yet, long as I don’t lose my connection to joy,
I’ll find my own true love, and be a happy boy.

It’s been some kinda fun, even when I’d take a fall,
and doin’ it over makes no sense at all, at all
Day after day, I keep on keepin’ on, as it’s said;
Guess I’ll keep on doin’ that ’til I’m dead.

‘Nuff said….

~~ gigoid ~~
 tongue firmly in cheek….

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Exactly a month after creating the above rant, in section one, I wrote this, a piece I re-post periodically, to keep things honest….. This was LAST posted on 7/16/2013:

I’m not feeling lazy, but, I AM feeling lazy, so I’m dipping into the past to come up with today’s third section…. It has been some time since I posted this, which I try to do at least once a year, to keep new ffolkes apprised of my history, and provide some background for the stuff I write here…. some of the back story, as it were…. So, here is my philosophy of Life, and some of the rationalizations that prompted its creation….. Though Peruaosophy originally was composed in the 1980’s, this article was posted on the site, GoodBlogs.com, sometime in early 2011, prior to starting this blog on WordPress….

Birds Do It, Bees Do It
So Do I…


In the dim, dark past, when I was, sort of, attending college at UC Berkeley, (1968-70) discussing philosophy was standard in many of the BS sessions in which I participated. In order to not be thought of as someone who was ignorant in the field, I naturally read the classic tomes by such philosophers as Friedrich Nietzsche, Soren Kierkegaard, Aristotle, Plutarch, Plato, Socrates, Epicurus, Solon, and Jung, as well as more modern folks, such as Bucky Fuller, Sartre, and John Lennon (yes, him too…his philosophy tends to lean way to the left…).

One day later on, sometime in the 80’s, I was involved in learning to raise kids, deal with a wife, and in general going quietly crazy trying to balance all the balls one must keep in the air to get by in today’s world. As I sat this particular day, it struck me how long it had been since I stretched my mind. It seemed as if I’d been buried in mundane details forever, and upon examination & reflection I decided I wanted to expand my consciousness, using the flight of imagination to lift me above the everyday cares and woes to which I had fallen prey. And I found, as well, that I had been unconsciously acting according to many of the precepts that I had learned in those halcyon days of my youth.

Encouraged by this revelation, I went one step further, and made the decision to codify my own personal philosophy, to put down in writing those things that I consider to be essential to becoming a well-grounded, well-rounded, productive and contented member of society. The process went more quickly than I had imagined, and I came up with seven basic concepts, all of which I hold to be an integral part of what I believe. Axiom #4 was added later as a necessary part of the whole, overlooked in the initial version, bringing the total number of axioms to eight.

The word I coined to describe this philosophy is Greek; “perua” means “pearl”, and of course, “osophy” is “the study of”.  Thus I give you Peruaosophy, the study of pearls of wisdom. Each axiom stands alone, and together they describe fairly well how I approach Life…..

Peruaosophy

The wisdom of pearls…
(The world is my oyster; which way to the pearls?)

Axioms

1)  I think I am; that’s close enough.

2) The nature of the Universe is Change.  Unpredictable, innovative 
   transformation of Reality is the Norm. If you have a problem with this, you’re in for a rough ride in Life.

3) Thou art God, you know.  Let’s do lunch.

4) Excellence is its own reward.

5) Girls think differently.  So do boys.  Don’t fight it.

6) Axiom #2 X axiom #5 = And God so loved the world, He said,
    “Quit whining!”

7) Do your Duty.   Respect Life.   Honor the Truth.   Share your Love.

8)  Go back.  Everything you need to know is in the first seven axioms.

~~ gigoid ~~


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Regardless of how it may seem from your side, this was NOT an easy Pearl to put together…. It’s done though, so, I’m content, if not happy. Enough so I will now post this, and be done with it…. The Big Blue Room is calling…. See ya, ffolkes…..

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

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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)
___________________________________

“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!