Sir! Curb your cellulite!….

Ffolkes,

“Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.”

 — Muad’dib, from Dune, by Frank Herbert

Muad d'ib

    It was a tough choice, but, I’m sticking with the mouse…. This wee beastie is a Kangaroo mouse. Some photographer captured the image & sent it to the London Daily Yell (Telegraph), where it was included in their series of Weekly Animal Pictures. There are, no doubt, a number of people who, at this point, are thinking to themselves, “Why is he prattling on about a mouse, cute though it may be?” Pay them no mind; they are impatient, and deserve to wait. Instead, listen up….

The quote above, from Dune, was uttered by the character Muad’dib, which, in Fremen, the language of the people who gave him the name, means, approximately “Little old man of the desert” or “Teacher of boys”; it was the Fremen word/name for the type of mouse you see here, a co-denizen of the desert planet, Dune…. They called him that because the creatures were considered by them to be the ultimate survivors, able to thrive on the surface of Dune, in an environment that challenged the adaptability of every creature who lived there…. To survive, Fremen children were taught to emulate the habits of the mice, and to respect them as the teachers they were…

Why am I going with the mouse, rather than the brilliant quote, which would, obviously, make a perfect opening for a sober philosophical discussion of reality, and our manner of regarding it, or any number of related subjects? Easy….. which would YOU rather read? Yet another rant in the intro section, detailing one of the many horribly depressing issues we face as humans in a sick society, or a fluff piece about a terminally cute mouse? See, no-brainer, right? Right….

Now, the only question that remains is how to turn this fluff piece into an intro…. I had a few ideas originally, but, as usual with my planning ahead, it is now useless, as I can’t remember a single one of them…. Plus, the newest issue with my hands is surfacing, causing my left hand to go numb as I type… Oh, thrilling…

Oh, well, another little reminder from my abused body, of my poor decision at age 8, to become skilled at sports, at least as much as learning in classes, thus determining the course of my athletic involvement, which eventually led me into the martial arts…. and, a lifetime of physical activity, much of which stressed my body to its personal limits on a daily basis…. Which is what I am now paying for, in early onset of age-related conditions, and, quite simply, a world of hurt….

Ah well, I have drugs, and more drugs, and a long-time habit of being able to ignore much of the pain, by focusing intensely on whatever my mind is chewing on at the moment….There are times, of course, when the pain is stronger than my focus and will, but, fortunately, they are, thus far, not too frequent….. and, it passes off, eventually… As long as that remains true, I’ll be content to go on as I am, in pain, but, not debilitated to the point it interferes with my wants and desires…. It IS causing a bit of adjustment, and flexibility of planning, but, hey, that’s a piece of cake for a retired executive assistant….

I see now I’ve managed to whine, and meander in my head to a point where we can jump off this bandwagon, and get on with the rest of this mess… I am thinking, as well, it’s probably a good thing, because I can’t see me winding my way to anything particularly gripping by continuing in this vein…. So, I think it’s time to boogie on down…. whatever that means these days…

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”

 — The Litany Against Fear, a Bene-Gesserit lesson, from Dune, by Frank Herbert


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“Do not be angry with me if I tell you the truth.” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.)

Yesterday, I found quite a lot of material about which I would normally rant; in keeping with my new policy, instead, I’ve gathered some of the links to the articles that stimulated either my outrage, my sorrow, my pity, or whatever rantable material was found… Think of this as, sort of, a  RSS feed, without having to set up any connections…. and with parameters that are only known to my subconscious mind…. Trust me, it’ll be better than a rant, even IF I end up having to throw in a comment or two, as is my wont with this type of pearl…. I’m also working on avoiding typos, which have been annoying me no end of late….

For now, forget all that, just read, and think, and, if necessary, or just desired, feel free to comment on any of them… I’ll get to a response within a few hours or so, hopefully; and, always, eventually…. Enjoy!….

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/09/towards-internet-nation

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/09/senators-and-other-experts-appeals-court-nsas-phone-records-program-massive

At the time of the inclusion of the following list in this pearl, these were the most popular stories being read by the SFGATE readers on 8/11/2014 at their home page, at http://www.sfgate.com/….. where, if you like, you can find all of the links to the stories in the list…. It’s just a bit pathetic, wouldn’t you agree, in re: what the subject matter, as the headlines denote, implies about the taste, and the intelligence, of the average readers on the site? I’d say that is patently obvious, without my usual dose of doubt, but, then, we all know I’m a cynic…. This list, though, is pretty compelling evidence, to my mind….

    49ers suspend announcer Ted Robinson two games for…
    ‘Scarf Guy’ steals show at Apple keynote
    Bay Area boasts top counties in California
    What was that mystery mega-yacht in San Francisco Bay?
    Frank Gore and Bruce Miller believe running game can improve
    Best and worst of New York Fashion Week
    La Taqueria in San Francisco named America’s Best Burrito


Below, I’ve placed a trio of the more “serious” pieces of journalism than those on the list, from the same site, which show well the prejudices and flaws in the media moguls who run the site; they always take a very obvious company line when talking about any political or foreign policy subjects, parroting and supporting whatever the administration is trying to get the public to believe….

This site also tends to get into the old “yellow journalism” sensationalism crap, with headlines screaming of danger from this, that, or the other, labeling them with hyperbolic adjectives, screaming of extreme dangers, only to read the actual statements made, and learn it’s no big deal at all, and is unlikely to cause any real problems… Apparently, though, the SFGATE news director felt that wouldn’t draw any readers, so they “pumped it up” so it could create feelings of panic in the gullible…. The link to which I refer is the first one; check it out, and realize, if you will, this sort of thing happens all the time, everywhere, whenever they feel they can get away with it….

www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Scientists-Extreme-solar-storm-heading-to-Earth-5746629.php

There…. Do you see what it says on the link? “Scientists: Extreme solar storm heading to Earth”  Once you’ve clicked over to the article, the following excerpt is what you will find, after a couple of paragraphs of basic information stretching….

“New calculations from satellite data show that the worst of the energetic particles streaming from the sun likely will go north or above Earth this time, Berger said late Wednesday…..So while the power grid may see fluctuations because the storm will cause changes in Earth’s magnetic field, it won’t knock power systems off line, Berger said. It may cause slight disturbances in satellites and radio transmissions but nothing major…..”We’re not scared of this one,” Berger said.”

Did you catch that?  Headline: reason for panic trumpeted… and, the supporting quote?  “We’re not scared of this one,” Berger said. ‘

Brilliant, eh?

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Ferguson-reforms-met-with-rancor-at-city-meeting-5745305.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Changes-surround-9-11-anniversary-commemoration-5747443.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

I often find it instructive to compare the news coverage by the media from different countries; my favorite site to visit overseas is the UK Guardian, which is the agency responsible for publishing the revelations regarding spying by the NSA, leaked to them by the patriot, Edward Snowden, to bring the illegal activities out into the public arena…. Below are two links, which cover two of the subjects from above…

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/10/nipplegate-dethroned-net-neutrality-fcc-public-comments

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/10/ferguson-courts-system-fines-residents-council

Differences found? Yes, a few, just on the surface… In the Guardian, there were four links on the front page to stories connected to the Net Neutrality issue, of which this link was one. There were two other articles, and one op/ed piece on that one subject IN A FOREIGN NEWSPAPER!…. On SFGATE, there was one fluff piece on it…. EFF is one of the organizations leading the legal battle against the corporations in that battle, so, they are very involved in that, and many other areas involving computers and the internet….

Another difference is in the 911 coverage; the American article is emotionally manipulative, and attempts to re-establish the fear generated by the original act, by, in the same sentence, the first one in the article, by reporting the celebration in NYC, then, at once, adding in a mention of the newest terrorist threats, from the newest acronym for a terrorist group, ISIL,  and our president’s intention to intensify the illegal bombing in Syria, ostensibly as part of his stated campaign to, well, essentially, kill them all…. thereby, as noted, parroting the administration’s talking points and lies…. The Guardian’s article takes an entirely different tone and approach to the very same subject….

Also, the front page story on SFGATE, about the non-existent solar flare danger, was nowhere to be found on the UK site; apparently, it wasn’t important enough to print, as there wasn’t any danger involved, or, anything out of the ordinary to report….

Okay, so it turned into a rant anyway…. I won’t say, sue me, because, damn it, somebody would take that personally, and try to do so…. but, otherwise, all I can say is too bad, so sad. You’re all done now, anyway, so quit complaining, and just go read the poem, okay?

“And don’t think any more.  I do the thinking around here.” — Sark

One last word, that came to me… well, later… but, in spite of what some may think, it fits with the overall conclusions to be made from the above diatribe…. plus, it’s such an appropriate indictment of today’s culture, of cruelly, and dangerously, asinine inanity that characterizes modern life in this country, from a historical sense, if no other,  I had to throw it out here… I’m just crazy that way, I suppose…

“The late rebellion in Massachusetts has given more alarm than I think it should have done.  Calculate that one rebellion in 13 states in the course of 11 years, is but one for each state in a century and a half. No country should be so long without one.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), in letter to James Madison, 20 December 1787

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It’s a day….. I’m not sure, at this point, that I would like to commit myself further than that…. Such being the case, it is clearly best if I use a poem of my own, to keep from having anyone else’s reputation tarnished by association…. I’ll see if I can find one that either fits, or will give a break to your sensibilities, which are doubtlessly being given a workout today…. Enjoy, please…. Oh, technical note: reading this in a Missouri accent helps the comprehension level, as well as making it sound more genuine, more true-to-life…. Well, I think so…. and, I wrote it, so, you might show a bit of respect for my feelings on my own blog…. Now, I’m hurt…. just kidding, enjoy the poem…

Ah Ain’t Sho, but Mebbe So….

Fried eggs got nuthin’ on me
Ah’m not even sure of mah name,
or how Ah come to be;
no idea from where Ah came.

Ah does like a mystery tho’,
puzzlin’ things out so’s Ah knows,
good from bad fo sho,
Ah sho don’t want no rock pillows.

If’n Ah cain’t figure out what’s best,
Ah just falls back on mah Daddy’s words,
seems he knowed just whut’d stand the test,
‘n how to gentle the scaredest birds.

‘Course, he’d lived a good long time,
‘n had lots of stuff go on by;
Went to a war, n’ lost a piece or two,
never once used it fer an alibi.

He tol’ me once Ah’d best learn to learn,
school’s only cool if ya ain’t already a fool.
Yer own good measure you can earn,
by startin’ yer learnin’ with the Golden Rule.

Always seemed to me as Ah growed up,
he mostly only spoke if it wuz true,
‘n by doin’ that clued me to what’s up,
kept me from stuff that’d a made me blue.

Without ever sayin’ the word itself,
Ah learned ’bout honor, ‘n helpin’ others
not some fake stuff from some shelf,
but, knowin’ whut’s right, ‘n that we’re all brothers.

Ah’ve been around long enough now, Ah think
to get around the block at least two times.
I s’pose long as my head don’t shrink
Ah’ll keep on doin’ right, ‘n makin’ these rhymes…..

~~ gigoid ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SATAN, n.  One of the Creator’s lamentable mistakes, repented in sashcloth and axes.  Being instated as an archangel, Satan made himself multifariously objectionable and was finally expelled from Heaven.  Halfway in his descent he paused, bent his head in thought a moment and at last went back.

“There is one favor that I should like to ask,” said he.
“Name it.”
“Man, I understand, is about to be created.  He will need laws.”
“What, wretch! you his appointed adversary, charged from the dawn of eternity with hatred of his soul — you ask for the right to make his laws?”
“Pardon; what I have to ask is that he be permitted to make them himself.”

It was so ordered.

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

While lamenting the necessity, I must acknowledge, and, take advantage of this opportunity to state the obvious, in light of the above entry from Bierce’s masterpiece, to wit:

And, the rest is history…..

Sorry, couldn’t resist…. it isn’t often such a perfect opening for a pun…. Since this section is now useless for anything else, I’ll just throw together a pearl, with the key word, with qualifier, “*fun*”, which should give us the results I’m seeking, after such a shameful start…. Besides, count your blessings; with that opening, I COULD have easily fallen into a religirant, but, refrained, to, no doubt, your immense relief… Mine, too, if you want to know the truth, and, since you’re here at ECR, I’m assuming you do, or, if not, can take it anyway….

Basta! Abondanza! Have fun, in any and/or all its conjugations, definitions, adjectival or adverbial status changes, stages, and permutations….. Y’all should be able to find something to enjoy from that list….

“When choosing between two evils I always like to take the one I’ve never tried before.” — Mae West, in “Klondike Annie” 1936

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams” — Willy Wonka, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”

“I do not know myself, and God forbid that I should.’ — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Each generation has its sages.  Ancient Greece had Socrates. We have bumper stickers.” — Smart Bee, chiming right in….

“Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time.” — H. L. Mencken

“This is the Nineties, Bubba, and there is no such thing as Paranoia.  It’s all true.” — Hunter S Thompson

“If nothing went wrong today, you’re probably dead.” — Murphy’s Last Law

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I am, patently, a Bozo. This we know. I am, also, done. Go figure…. And, in the interests of practicing the promised brevity, I’ll now bid thee adieu for another day, with the caveat, warning, and disclaimer, as required by law, to wit: see y’all tomorrow, 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

Kowabunga!


 

Improbably imbued with ponderous value….

Ffolkes,

Vague flutters, as tiny wings not seen, but heard on the very edge of awareness, fall obscurely upon the dark shadows, soullessly inhabiting these empty halls. A terrible, heavy silence grips the night by the throat, quelling any thought of outcry, any hope of warning, as minute by minute, the hour of fate approaches unbidden, unwanted, unknown…. Baleful denizens of darkness cower, shivering in the cold of a terror so great, so powerfully evil, all hope died, screaming, before it was ever born…..

Then, of course, I woke up, and all was well…. or, as well as things can be, all things considered…. At least we’re not in the evil grip of some kind of Steven King-like novel, like the poor sap in the first paragraph, eh? I’d hate to go there every day, even if only in my head…. Having been blessed once more by 10 solid hours of sleep, I feel GREAT! Well, I feel pretty good, anyway; I don’t think I’ll be climbing any mountains anytime soon, but, I may be able to make it past 2 PM without a nap, if I’m lucky, so, that’s a good thing, right? Right….

In the last week, other than two trips out of the house to take care of some business out in  the BBR, we’ve been stuck in the house ever since getting back from the cruise from hell, me with bronchitis, and my lady with a cold she managed to pick up inadvertently upon arriving home…. For the past five days, we have been alternating sitting, taking meds, and sleeping, pretty much, with some minor writing on my part in the early mornings, while my brain is actually functioning at a relatively normal level…. Part of what has kept us in the house, aside from illness, is the weather here in California, which has been reminiscent of Alaska in the early winter…. seriously…

It has been well below freezing point for five nights running, with temps here last night down to 21 degrees F…. For a town right on the water of a bay, on the Pacific Ocean, at around the 37th parallel, that is COLD!…. Especially here in this part of the state, where ‘mild’ is the word we use most often to describe our weather patterns…. This year, 2013, the area has had approximately five to six inches of rain, with only twenty-one days left in the year,  whereas, the annual average is close to 24 inches…. But, there’s no such thing as global warming, so, hey, not to worry, eh?….

Okay, that’s enough… Some fictional musings, some personal patter, a bit of weather, a mini-mini-environmental rant…. It will suffice for our purposes here….  I think we’re good to go for a dive… If things turn out to make that an erroneous decision, well, hey, we’ve been wrong before, haven’t we? Yes, yes, we have….

Shall we Pearl?…..

That ‘s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture.

— Robert Browning (1812-1890) — Home-Thoughts from Abroad, ii
_____________________________

“Whenever, therefore, the profession of arms becomes a distinct order in the state….the end of the social compact is defeated… No free government was ever founded, or ever preserved its liberty without uniting the characters of the citizen and soldier in those destined for the defense of the state…Such are a well regulated militia, composed of the freeholders, citizen and husbandman, who take up arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.” — Richard Henry Lee

I mentioned a few days ago that I’d found a good quote for the beginning of a rant, and I was right, wasn’t I?….. Specifically, for a politirant, concerning gun control, and the misguided attempts to alter the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, if not wholly, at least by abridging its intent. This, I believe, is a HUGE mistake, even though it was fully expected by those who first made the law, to wit: Jefferson, Franklin, Mason, Paine, Hamilton, etc…. our founding fathers, in short. All of them believed very strongly that this amendment was the very backbone of what made our freedoms possible, and were leery of ANY changes to this law….

“Liberty cannot be guaranteed by law. Nor by any thing else except the resolution of free citizens to defend their liberties.” — Edward Abbey

Those fears were expressed, verbally and in writing, many times, before and after the Constitution’s approval, and all the available evidence shows how little these men trusted the monied, or titled, elite in society… More than once, in correspondence with each other, they discussed their mistrust, of the bankers, the corporations, the aristocrats, the professional politicians, the professional soldiers, and all who support those categories of society. They knew that, as soon as the laws were passed, these special influences would begin using their money, and their influence, to try to abrogate the intent of the laws, limiting them, altering them until they no longer were capable of protecting our rights….

“Freedom isn’t cheap and it never goes on sale.” — Smart Bee

That assault on the Bill of Rights, especially those of the First and Second Amendments, has been continuous since 1786, as can be seen by the Congressional logs of bills that were brought forth at one time or another throughout our history, bills attempting to limit the power of the amendments; some were successful, some were not….. and the assault is not over; it continues to this day, as the special interest groups all clamor to fill the public’s attention with unreasoning fears, by making a huge hullabaloo over EVERY shooting that occurs in this country….

Well, as long as it suits them, of course…. They don’t make a big deal out of one of their police or paramilitary types blowing away some ‘perp’, (…. kind of a demeaning term, don’t you think?…. As well as prejudicial… A ‘perpetrator’ is one who is considered guilty of an act, by connotation, if not denotation….), who is robbing a store because he needs food, or drugs…. Even the shooting of some little kid playing with a toy gun brings no particular outrage from the governors, or even the media, in response to that lack…. No, those types of shootings get little attention past the first report; the only investigations into THOSE incidents are internal, and never find any blame, or file any charges….

No, it is the incidents where some crazy asshole, most likely some private citizen with a long time internal struggle to be normal, gets hold of a gun, goes to some public area, and proceeds to blow away a bunch of other innocents…. These events, relatively isolated in comparison with other types of shootings, of any kind, are the incidents that are brought into the limelight, so that every detail of the agony of the victims is expressed, fanning the public’s outrage, making them afraid for their own safety…. This makes them much more malleable when the talking heads propose their newest limits to the guns that the people can have…. Don’t worry, they’ll get them all, it will just take them more time…

As I’ve stated before, I’m a warrior, raised by a man of honor, and have studied the Art of War, (both the book by Sun Tzu, and the actual Art itself….), for almost my entire life…. and though I don’t, as a rule, use guns (They’re too loud, too complicated to maintain in the field, & hard to use with stealth…. heavy, too….. Knives, and sticks, of many shapes, are quieter, simple to use, & much easier to conceal…. Ropes are pretty useful, too….), I do know how to use them….

If I should ever need one, why, then, I’ll acquire one, from someone who has more than they need, to use as I so require. Then I’ll put it away again, or give it back to the owner, if that individual happened to loan it to me…. If the gun I end up using was pointed at me, well, they won’t be needing it back, anyway….. So far in life, I’ve been smart enough to avoid the necessity of dealing with that, and have had no need for one, so, I’m content with that, for the time being….

But, no matter what the talking heads may do, or say, or how they may change the laws, our founding fathers already GAVE me the rights I have, and I won’t be giving them up, no matter how many legal sounding words they may send through their lips…. It will all be just noise, as far as I am concerned…. There is no rationalization that is, to my mind, conceivable, that could persuade me to give up those rights, because I’ve already heard them all…. After all, in addition to my book/day from 1961 onward, I HAVE been watching TV since the early 1950’s, (I remember the Republican convention in 1954 that nominated Eisenhower, watching it on a small B&W console TV…. “I LIKE IKE!”….), so, I’ve seen or heard just about every political lie there is to perceive…. They just recycle the same old BS every time, anyway….

I’m tired of ranting about this, because, to me, it’s already a settled issue in my mind…. so, let’s see if I can find some pearls to lighten up the tone, and still deliver a few shots to the midsection of the pundits and preachers out there, who deserve as many shots as we can give them….

“War is a matter of vital importance to the State; the province of life or death; the road to survival or ruin. It is mandatory that it be thoroughly studied.” — Sun Tzu

(Which is why I sincerely urge each and every one of you to PAY ATTENTION!….)

“The devil can quote Shakespeare for his own purpose.” — George Bernard Shaw

(And, too often, does so, right on TV, wearing a dark blue suit with a power red tie and a flag pin….)

“The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone expects to live at the expense of everyone else.” — Frederic Bastiat

“To use power is to make yourself infinitely vulnerable to greater powers.” — Bene Gesserit

“A promise must never be broken.” — Alexander Hamilton

(Wait! How did THAT get in here?…. Oh, okay, it’s alright, he’s not a pundit, just a founding father…. If a bit of a prude in some ways…. Smart, but a bit anal, y’know?….)

“The Bill of Rights goes too far–it should have stopped at “Congress shall make no law” — Smart Bee

“The man who finds a truth lights a torch.” — Robert G. Ingersoll, _The Truth_

“In the midst of this sublime and terrible storm [at Sidmouth], Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her mop, squeezing out the sea-water, and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused; Mrs. Partington’s spirit was up. But I need not tell you that the contest was unequal; the Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs. Partington.” — Sydney Smith (1769-1845) — Speech at Taunton, 1813
_____________________________

I like this, not merely because it is beautiful in its execution, but for what it says, as well…. Exquisitely romantic, and powerfully emotional, it is indeed what I consider the BEST kind of poetry…. to wit: it affects the reader, engaging and enlightening at once…. Enjoy!

Sonnet 14 – If thou must love me, let it be for nought

XIV

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
‘I love her for her smile — her look — her way
Of speaking gently, — for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day’—
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,— and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity’s wiping my cheeks dry,—
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort long, and lose thy love thereby!
But love me for love’s sake, that evermore
Thou mayst love on, through love’s eternity.

~~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning ~~

_____________________________

“One of the most difficult of the philosopher’s tasks is to find out where the shoe pinches.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

But, other times, the fools make it easy to show just where the pinch is biting…. such as when this fool opens his mouth…. You MUST read this, please… I know it is a hard one to believe, but, it was reported with a straight face by the news outlet, just as if it were real news, so we owe it the respect of doing the same, no matter how egregiously insane it may be…..

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2013/12/07/santorum-mandelas-fight-for-freedom-like-the-fight-against-obamacare/

Can you believe the sheer, blind selfishness of this man? No matter what his issues, he was asked to comment on the life of someone who died, and regardless of his own position, he could not put aside his own personal foibles long enough to make a statement of compassion for the family, or the loss to the world…. No, he attempted to equate the works of one of the last century’s most well-loved, and universally respected figures, trying to turn the moment to his own political advantage, with possibly the weakest, most illogical, most ill-informed argument I have heard outside a second-grade classroom, when the teacher asked the little boy why he ate his neighbor’s cookie….

“People become educated, as against trained, insofar as they achieve a grasp of certain critical principles, and the passion to choose, organize and shape their own ideas by means of them. Education is not a mere piling up of more and more bits and pieces of information. It is a process of deciding for ourselves what we believe. It implies a self-motivated action upon our own mental nature and a process in which we learn to open our mind, to correct and refine it, to enable it rationally to learn; thus to empower it to analyze and digest its own knowledge, to gain command over its own faculties, to achieve flexibility, fair-mindedness, and critical exactness. More and more students should have assignments that challenge their minds to think for themselves.

This requires, of course, that they are encouraged to question what is presented to them for belief, not only in the various subject areas, but on TV programs and movies, in news broadcasts, in the talk of their peers and others, in political speeches and personal discussions, in everyday decisions and ways of living. And they should do this not to discover that everything is relative and arbitrary or a matter of opinion, but that all beliefs and points of view are subject to rational analysis and assessment. Ideally the process will come to pervade the school climate and be reflected in the deepest structures of school life. By this means, schools can perhaps become, as they should be, leading institutions in society, paradigms of rationality, helping an irrational society to become what itself has said is its own highest goal: a free society of free and autonomous persons.” — Richard Paul

Rick Santorum is a perfect example of the kind of first type of education described in this quote, with a lot of well-memorized factoids running around in his head, which he is able to regurgitate in various formats on demand, all without ever having to apply a single moment’s actual thought, or use them to reason with for any purpose…. When one reasons, one might come up with a conclusion, which is a risk for a pundit….. He is a well-programmed autobot for the Republican right, which, for me, is a continual delight, as he also has an almost Romney-esque ability to keep his foot planted firmly between his teeth for long periods of time, and still talk around it…. This was a perfect example of that skill, along with a display of callous ignorance and lack of compassion that is merely astounding, rather than particularly surprising.

In a way, though, he is also a frightening phenomenon, for there are actually people in this country who take what he says as gospel, who dote on his unpopular opinions, mostly because they tend to fall into misogynistic, racist, bigoted, fundamentalist Christian guidelines,…. a group of characteristics, you will note, that purportedly have NOTHING to do with government, other than as things to fight against inclusion in that process…. Yet, there he is, the darling of the fascistic fundies, just like that hive of bees in my head that, in spite of telling them of all the flowers that are in other locations, remains ensconced in the eaves under the roof of my mind…. and, well, there they are, so what do I do with them?….

“Annoy a Fundamentalist: Tell him the truth!” — Smart Bee

Hmm, that’s good advice…. To get back to Rick’s case, at least there are times like this one, when he provides me with at least a few moments of hilarity, at the breadth and depth of his stupidity, until, saddened by the same sheer ignorance in one in a position to do so much harm, I become depressed again, when I think of how many idiots are out there taking him seriously….. SIGH….. That thought is SO depressing, I’m going to quit this rant, and go find something fun to do, just so I don’t have to think about him any more….. Wish me luck, and I’ll wish it back at ya…. And remember, ffolkes, I may not be right, but I make up for it by being sure…..

“For the love of God, folks, don’t do this at home.” — David Letterman, CBS Late Show, demonstrating the Donut-o-pult, 1995
_____________________________

I’m not entirely certain just how it happened, but, I think I’ve done it…. Let’s go see…. Well…. I’m still not sure, but, now, at least, I know it did happen, so…. I guess I’m outta here for today…. See ya….

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

dozer3