Implicit rules of engagement….

Ffolkes,

“Life is cruel? Compared to what?”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

first bloom of spring

First bloom of spring….

Hajime…. As spring approaches this part of the planet, the day’s are a bit warmer, & longer by a bit each time we revolve, & move around our sun. I find myself wanting to spend more time out of doors, as made clear by today’s image of a downtown tree coming into its seasonal growth. My recovery from last weekend’s difficult journey continues apace, albeit a slow one; any wisdom we may accrue as we grow older comes with a higher price than at any previous time, to be sure. Even though I never mind paying whatever price is required, it does bring a bit of frustration along, as the price takes longer to pay. Ah, well, such is life, with all its beauty and pain, each of which, if accepted as part of the overall balance in reality, brings its own sort of appreciation and joy…. beauty at its perception, & pain at its absence….

It’s probably a bit early for such deep philosophy; one cuppa coffee isn’t quite enough to achieve that sort of equanimity…. which reminds me, it’s time to refill. Be right back…. Okay, good to go. The only question remaining, then, is to figure out where to go. I have put together the basic elements of a pretty decent Pearl, rantless though it may be, so, it shouldn’t be too much effort to finish it off. Of course, that makes the, perhaps, erroneous assumption we know where to go & what to do in order to complete that task; assumptions, while necessary at times to continue to function, are tricky bastards, often ill-advised. Today, since we aren’t going to make any, it shouldn’t prolong our agony for longer than we can endure….

That being said, I suppose it would be best to go on, without further delay; this might ensure at least a modicum of dignity, which is often completely missing from these pages. It’s not as if we care, (we don’t) (and, neither do I, in the normal, non-royal persona….), but, according to the general rules of blogging, we are supposed to make an effort to LOOK as if we do. I’m not sure, at this point, just how to do that, so, I’m going to ignore that rule, & just get on with the rest of this mess. That, in and of itself, is easy enough. All we have to do to accomplish that, is this….

Shall we Pearl?

“Don’t take life so seriously… it’s only a temporary situation.”

~~ Humanity’s Ancient Sage, Anonymous ~~

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playing-for-change

I’m up quite late, so, naturally, we’re going with one of our default choices for music. This cut of Gimme Shelter is by the P4C Band, a live cut from one of their concerts…. It’s hot, as it should be…. Enjoy!….

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Playing For Change
Gimme Shelter

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Comedy_Tragedy

I came across these lines, from one of T. S. Eliot’s most famous poems, & decided to include the entire poem/song as today’s choice for this section. I’ve included a link, to a reproduction of the full poem on Bartleby.com, rather than taking up that space here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, every time I read it…..

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

~~ T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ~~

http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

“The more I learn, the more I have to learn….”

*******

“Inquiry is fatal to certainty.”

~~ Will and Ariel Durant ~~

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“What is the hardest task in the world? To think.”

~~ Emerson ~~

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“He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.”

~~ Ben Jonson ~~

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“The belief that there is only one truth
and that oneself is in possession of it
seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.”

~~ Max Born, physicist ~~

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“I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind.”

~~ Antoine de Saint Exupery ~~

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“Work is not an end in itself;
there must always be time enough for love.”

~~ Robert Heinlein ~~

*******

“After all,
to the well-organized mind,
death is but the next great adventure.”

~~ Albus Dumbledore ~~

*******

********************************

Given the handicaps, (periodic outbursts of sanity, chronic pain, bozoid tendencies, cynicism, to name just a few….), under which I normally operate, I can’t consider this one as shabby. Fortunately for us all, I CAN consider it done, as it has a completed section in each space provided, it flows fairly well, and, most importantly, I can’t think of anything to add. To avoid any further embarrassment or build-up of unduly authorized angst among the participating denizens of this reality, I think I’ll just end it here, before it gets away from me. I’ll be back, tomorrow, hopefully, to try to get it right, one more time…. Please join me then, as we explore yet another dark corner of my mind, as it attempts to deal with Consensual Reality, as best we may…. See ya, ffolkes…. As yet, nobody has come up with a reliable way to prevent me from doing so….

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

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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Massive portions of buttered peas….

Ffolkes,
And then I woke up…. Another day dawns, bringing me one step closer to Europe. Today and tomorrow will be spent on planning, to make sure I’m not going to forget anything important, and packing what little I have left to put in, having spent much of the last two weeks slowly filling up the bag I’m taking. I’m so jazzed, I’ve essentially been ready to go for weeks. If I weren’t relatively ancient, I’d feel like a kid two days before Christmas; as it is, it takes all I have to keep from dancing a jig, or otherwise making an old fool of myself…

This is also affecting my writing, as I can barely keep my mind focused on the task at hand…. it just wants to think about what’s coming up, and will focus in on what I want to do only with great reluctance. I find myself unable to get mad about it, as the rest of my head is also caught up in the frenzy of emotion that goes with this…. So, I’ve come up with a semi-practical solution, which should serve to get the job done for the today, tomorrow, and Wednesday, before I leave at 0800…..

As I did yesterday, I’ll be dipping into the archives for one section, then go with a poem, chosen from the list in my head, and one old-school pearl, of the short, quick, but pointed variety, followed by the usual ridiculously egotistical closing remarks. This should allow me to get posted, with decent material, but take the minimum amount of time to put together. That’s the plan, anyway….

We’ll see just how much of it Murphy lets go without a response…. He’s been quiet so far today, so I’m hoping he’s focused on some other poor fool for a day or two…. He will, no doubt, have a trick or two to show me on the trip, but, I’m hoping he lets me slide here at home before I go…. Cross your fingers, or legs, or knock on some wood, or somehow help to guarantee my desire…. It won’t help much, but, it makes him feel good, and sometimes it will make him a bit more lenient…..

Once I’m on my trip, look for some more changes, as I intend to write about what I’m seeing, and put up some pictures of where I’ve been that day, rather than trying to maintain the long, rambling politico-religious ranting habits heretofore exhibited so regularly. Other changes my be instituted as well, like posting in the evening, after the day’s events, rather than beforehand, like now. So, stay tuned, as we evolve into a mobile state, and I learn how to put all of my adventures online. Hopefully, it will be entertaining, for y’all as much as me…. For now, ’tis enough to know it’s time to dive….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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Here is an old-style Pearl, from September of 2011….

Ffolkes,

Taking pot shots at political figures is a time-honored pastime in this country, and though I try not to engage in doing so on a regular basis, I’m not above letting all my frustration drive me to rant. The current political scene certainly offers a multitude of opportunities, especially now that so many Republican candidates for the Presidential election next year have jumped out into the glare of public scrutiny.

Every day I can read any number of articles outlining the latest spate of nonsense that is uttered by one of them; the difficult part at this point is choosing only one about which to write. Got some rampant ignorance? Plenty of that going around. Want an outrageous claim or two? Step right up. Like to hear the real facts? We can help, it happens every day…..what is a body to do? There is so much to choose from, they all seem to blend together into one giant nightmare of avarice and ignorance.

I guess the part of all this that is most disturbing to me is just how clueless our beloved ruling class has become. Even the most honorable politicians these days must take part in the insanity, if only to maintain their position where they can do some good. The majority of people who have been elected in this country have no real understanding of the mainstream, whatever that may be.

The gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country has never been larger, and is growing every day. How can a person who makes $200,000 a year even conceive of what it is like to live on less than $10,000 a year?  Quite simply, they cannot. More importantly, they have no desire to even try, because their purpose is not to improve the lot of everyone, but to solidify and maintain their own position. They may feel momentary jabs in their atrophied consciences, but easily dismiss them in favor of enjoying the fruits of their public thievery.

The seeds of revolution have been sown, and are being nourished by the ongoing scenario in today’s world. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. The old saw about a watched pot is not entirely true; the pot will eventually come to a boil, given time and heat. I’ve been watching this pot for a long while, and note that the heat has been turned up. Whether I watch it or not, it WILL boil over…….

After that, I need some uplifting, so onward to the good stuff…..

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” — Krishnamurti   (Amen!)

“You can’t start worrying about what’s going to happen.  You get spastic enough worrying about what’s happening now.” — Lauren Bacall

“I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being  true.” — Carl Sagan, The Burden Of Skepticism, — The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 12, Fall 87

“What is beautiful is good and who is good will soon also be beautiful.” — Sappho

“Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” — Oscar Wilde (1856-1900)

“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.” — Albert Einstein

Alone I sit, waiting for the future to become now. When it does, I’m goin’ there…… y’all take care out there….

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No comments are necessary to introduce this, but I’ll just say that I wish I had learned of this woman’s poetry ages ago….

Medusa

Off that landspit of stony mouth-plugs,
Eyes rolled by white sticks,
Ears cupping the sea’s incoherences,
You house your unnerving head—God-ball,
Lens of mercies,
Your stooges
Plying their wild cells in my keel’s shadow,
Pushing by like hearts,
Red stigmata at the very center,
Riding the rip tide to the nearest point of
departure,

Dragging their Jesus hair.
Did I escape, I wonder?
My mind winds to you
Old barnacled umbilicus, Atlantic cable,
Keeping itself, it seems, in a state of miraculous
repair.

In any case, you are always there,
Tremulous breath at the end of my line,
Curve of water upleaping
To my water rod, dazzling and grateful,
Touching and sucking.
I didn’t call you.
I didn’t call you at all.
Nevertheless, nevertheless
You steamed to me over the sea,
Fat and red, a placenta

Paralyzing the kicking lovers.
Cobra light
Squeezing the breath from the blood bells
Of the fuchsia. I could draw no breath,
Dead and moneyless,

Overexposed, like an X-ray.
Who do you think you are?
A Communion wafer? Blubbery Mary?
I shall take no bite of your body,
Bottle in which I live,

Ghastly Vatican.
I am sick to death of hot salt.
Green as eunuchs, your wishes
Hiss at my sins.
Off, off, eely tentacle!
There is nothing between us.

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~

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As promised, or threatened, take it as you may, here is an old-school pearl, fresh as I can make it from my immense stash of Smart Bee’s best….. I hope you get the point of this one, it’s a doozy…. and fun, too! Well, it’s fun if one is used to stretching the limits of the mind…. if not, well, probably not so much….

“Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink Nor slumber nor a roof against the  rain; Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink And rise and sink and rise and  sink again; Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; Yet many a man is making friends with death  Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.  It well may be that in a difficult  hour, Pinned down by pain and moaning for release, Or nagged by want past resolution’s power, I might be driven to sell your love for peace, Or trade the memory of this night for food.  It well may be. I do not think I would.” — Edna St. Vincent Millay

“Hang sorrow! care ‘ll kill a cat.” — Ben Jonson (1573-1637) — Every Man in his Humour, Act i, Sc. 3

“Stop thinking, and end your problems.” — Lao Tzu

Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony.

— John Milton (1608-1674) — L’Allegro, Line 143

“The truly brave are soft of heart and eyes, And feel for what their duty bids them do.” — Byron

“Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.” — Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband

“All of a sudden, I want to THROW OVER my promising ACTING CAREER, grow a LONG BLACK BEARD and wear a BASEBALL HAT!!…  Although I don’t know WHY!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Alas, we never do really know why, do we?…..  TTFN….
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Well, I hope this works….. It does, at least as far as it goes…. I don’t believe I’ll need to worry about replying to the Pulitzer Committee anytime soon…. It’s done, though, and, at this point, that’s all that matters to me…. I’m outta here, ffolkes…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Layered in pugnacious pyjamas….

Ffolkes,
I’m beginning to think that my habit of writing an average of 1500 words every morning is depleting my store of inspiration; if not, it is at least getting weary, and hiding from me more often. I can’t really blame it, as I’ve asked it to perform miracles almost every day, turning pearls, and what is in my head, into something worth putting down on paper (note: that phrase is rapidly losing all meaning, as computers become more ubiquitous….). That’s a lot of miracles in just about 300 days.

“This writing business. Pencils and whatnot. Overrated, if you ask me.” — Winnie the Pooh

But, having set myself the goal of posting a Pearl every day (set long ago, and too late now to worry about changing…), I feel duty-bound to make the best effort I can to meet that goal. So, I carry on, in spite of the increasing difficulty. I suppose it has to do with how writing is not for the weak-minded, or for those with no staying power to their will. Since I’m now not a chef, or a psych tech, or an executive assistant, writing is what I do, so I’ve left myself with very little choice but to keep on keepin’ on, as Jerry and the boys would have said….

I see my life go drifting like a river
From change to change; I have been many things –
A green drop in the surge, a gleam of light
Upon a sword, a fir tree on a hill,
An old slave grinding at a heavy quern,
A king sitting upon a chair of gold –
And all these things were wonderful and great;
But now I have grown nothing, knowing all.
Ah! Druid, Druid, how great webs of sorrow
Lay hidden in that small slate-coloured thing!
— William Butler Yeats, “Fergus and the Druid”

What does that mean for this process? Well, nothing really…. but it got me two more paragraphs of semi-literate, if relatively meaningless discussion of a personal problem, and a great pearl from Yeats, and that ain’t nothing…. so, we’ll just use that as a very, very loose segue into today’s dive for pearls…. shall we Pearl, then?…..
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“I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round.” — John Lennon

Men are afraid of women… hence all the jokes about them taking over, over slyly ruling us without us knowing it. Men’s fears of just that thing are what cause him to hate women, because they do not understand them, and fear arises out of lack of understanding. Here are a few examples of such lies, the lies that perpetuate the war between the sexes…..

“My notion of a wife at 40 is that a man should be able to change her, like a bank note, for two twenties.” — Warren Beatty

A lady is one who only shows her underwear intentionally. — Smart Bee

— Yo momma……so fat she has to buy two airline tickets. — Smart Bee

“A beautiful woman is paradise for the eyes, hell for the soul, and purgatory for the purse.” — Smart Bee

“Passionate kiss like spider web, lead to undoing of fly.” — Confucius say (No, he didn’t, but liars don’t care….)

Really, really sexist, misogynistic, and paranoid, yes? Yes….

The mere existence of these jokes, and others like them, indicates clearly what men are afraid of in women, and that is their sexuality. We… well, men, not necessarily we men, because not all of us hate them… No I don’t understand them, but that doesn’t make them any less fascinating or wonderfully different. I am aware of my own self, and my own powers, and they have naught to do with what women can do; I feel no need to compare the two, or to assume one is stronger or better. They are just different, and what is different about women is not to be feared, even if not understood. It is just to be learned, and appreciated, that’s all….and the learning is a totally awesome trip, I assure you….

But, back to the sexuality that men fear. Their fear exists because these men have never learned to understand themselves, or their place in the scheme of things; that makes them unable to understand women, and turns their ignorance to fear, and from thence to hatred and abuse against them.

Men cannot stand the thought that a woman might be more important than him, and that is a certain sign of lack of confidence, and of ignorance.  Men who know their place in life, and who are confident of their own ability to cope with that place and its demands, have no need or desire to be more important than anyone; they are complete within themselves….

Too many men in this world don’t come anywhere close to this kind of self-knowledge; most go through life without exercising more than two neurons at once, and those tend to lose function whenever the blood goes elsewhere than the brain (such as during an erection). Most men are so afraid of women that they spend half their life telling jokes like the above, and spreading the nonsensical lies that perpetuate this atrocity.

Yes, atrocity, because it is this fear and loathing, of both themselves and women, that leads to issues such as domestic abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, and abuse of children. The only women who are actively engaged in these activities are those who have been brainwashed to believe the crap they’ve heard all their lives, and who have given up their own humanity; they are very few in number. Otherwise, it is men who perpetrate these vile actions on women…. all because of their own fear and ignorance…. I say, shame on them, for they are not men, in my world…. They are vicious, irredeemable beasts, and should be put down like the dangerous creatures they are…..

“In the dark colony of night, when I consider man’s magnificent capacity for malice, madness, folly, envy, rage, and destructiveness, and I wonder whether we shall not end up as breakfast for newts and polyps, I seem to hear the muffled cries of all the words in all the books with covers closed.” — Leo Rosten
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“The power of a bold idea uttered publicly in defiance of dominant opinion cannot be easily measured. Those people who speak out in such a way as to shake up not only the self-assurance of their enemies, but the complacency of their friends, are precious catalysts for change.” — Howard Zinn

I would like to take a moment here to acknowledge a very honorable, and brave, act by the President of this country, Barack Obama. Yesterday, in a press conference, the President put the power of his office behind the defense of human rights, by stating that his administration was fully convinced that legislation that denied marriage to gay couples, or to anyone else, was directly in opposition to the Constitution by which we live. He made this a national announcement, and set the stage for what is sure to be a fire-storm of protest from the political and religious factions that have made this issue their rallying cry.

The idea that marriage between people who are not male and female is acceptable is one whose time has obviously arrived. Current polls nationwide have borne out the fact that a large majority of the population agrees with that assessment. But it doesn’t detract from the bravery required to mount that horse at this time, for it had to be known that it would be a decision that would create a lot of noise from those who feel differently.

So, I am, for once, proud of what a President has done; it is something I cannot recall ever happening in the past, at all. Most of the time I am forced to shake my head and hide my face in shame, agreeing fully with the Dixie Chicks when they apologized for Bush to the rest of the world.

Let us all take this time to appreciate how this President has taken the reins of leadership firmly in hand, to direct our country toward a future where human rights are more important than living in fear and ignorance…. Yay, Barry!…. Good Job!

“A commitment to diversity is not a commitment to blacks or gays or any other group. A commitment to diversity is a commitment to respect and value each individual employee (person) for who they are, a commitment to help them become the best they can be by honoring their nature.” — Callan Williams
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OPERA
For centuries now, Opera has been the foremost method of humiliation available to the security forces. It began in the late 1600s, when peasant rebels were made to dress up as ridiculously fat people and get up on wooden planks in front of hundreds of their peers and shout the same things over and over and over, to a musical accompaniment. By the time the French Revolution came rolling along, it was the aristocrats who were forced to the stage to sing, gesticulate wildly and loudly perform plays devised to spread Revolutionary propaganda.  Nowadays, Opera has been driven underground, but is still carried out by the perverse, the deviant, and those with very big tits (both men and women), their audiences made up almost exclusively of establishment figures. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

That’s what I’m talking about! Opera, to me, seems like a perfect example of how a lot of folks get all worked up over something that everyone else says is cool, but really has nothing to justify that opinion. Sure, there is some good music that came out of opera, and a few cool songs (far fewer than any opera buff would have us believe…), but for the most part it is just a bunch of hype that normally smart folks seem to fall for on a regular basis, just because a consensus says they should. It seems to me that anything that anyone does because they ‘should’ gets exactly what they deserve, i.e., twaddle… and a good portion of it.

So, don’t fall for this nonsense folks. Remember, friends don’t let friends go to an opera… unless they’re mad at them….
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Underneath this sable hearse
Lies the subject of all verse,–
Sidney’s sister, Pembroke’s mother.
Death, ere thou hast slain another,
Learn’d and fair and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.
— Ben Jonson (1573-1637) — Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke

And as she looked around, she saw how Death the consoler,
Laying his hand upon many a heart, had healed it forever.
— Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — Evangeline, Part ii

“For good men but see death, the wicked taste it.” — Johnson

“Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead.” — Scottish Proverb

Mankind has always had a fascination with Death, which, I suppose, is natural, considering it is one of the few things in this universe that all of us will experience at the same time in our lives. It is the Great Equalizer, in its finest sense; no one escapes. There are probably more books and treatises on Death, or involving some manifestation of Death, than of any other subject, save perhaps Love, another subject that deeply affects us all.

My writing about it probably enters the realm of superfluousness, but I found these great pearls, so I couldn’t resist…. Besides which, as I move ever closer to my own time to have a face to face with the Reaper, I find myself turning my thoughts to the subject, somewhat morbidly I’m sure….

How each of us faces that particular moment is about as personal as things can be, for we are all ourselves, little as we may understand that phrase, and the things we have learned in our lives are what will determine whether we are able to greet Death with dignity, or pitch a fit of major proportions….

I’m not going to go any further into this at this time, as I’m not so close to my time as all that. But, I will say that I hope that I can approach my own demise with some aplomb; I really hate to make a scene. It’s so embarrassing to wash one’s dirty linen in public, and I hope I have more panache than that…. I guess we’ll see, won’t we…. like we had a choice in the matter….  🙂
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“Most people want security in this world, not liberty.” — H.L. Mencken

Mr. Mencken has put his finger firmly on what I see as wrong in our culture today, to wit: the average person in this country has assumed the “slave” mentality, and has adopted security as their preferred state over that of being free. Far too many of my countrymen, and women, have given up the right to think for themselves, opting instead to let the beloved ruling class decide for them what they may think, and what they may do.

They have given up this right for the illusion of security; I say illusion for the word ‘security’ has no meaning in Reality. One can never be completely secure; it just isn’t possible in a world where there are so many people devoted to taking advantage of one another.

Most folks who allow this degradation of their own liberty don’t realize that they have chosen an illusion. They believe that the people who have promised them security can not only give it to them, but are doing so because they care about what happens to their constituents. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth, for not only are they NOT doing it for their constituents, they are deliberately lying to them to get them to believe it.

The actual danger of being taken advantage of does not come from outside our country, but from those very folks who tell us we need to be secure, rather than free.  The very people who they think are helping them are the ones who are ripping them off with both hands….

“Any body of men who believe in hell will persecute whenever they have the power.” — Joseph M. McCabe (1867-1957)

It’s enough to make a man want to drink… a lot…. At least when I’m stone cold drunk I don’t feel so bad about it. Of course, in that state I don’t feel bad about anything, so it’s obviously not a solution, but it does offer some temporary relief from having to watch it happen. Ah well, so much for the American Dream, eh?…..
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Well, I must say, this has been one of the most interesting, and chaotic Pearls that I’ve ever composed. It seemed to go all over the map as I was writing, taking me from subject to subject willy-nilly, and having a grand time about it. On looking back over it all, it seems to have held together fairly well, so I’m going to go with it once again without trying to make any sense out of why…. 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!