Look, Mama! Billy’s nictating again!….

Ffolkes,

“Not all politicians should be shot.  One should be saved for the archives.”

~~ Smart Bee, nailing it in one, PERFECTLY ~~

Blue Marble past 2

Earth from near La Grange Point 1

NASA Image from NASA.gov


Good morning…. Today’s opening quote, for me, is perfect. In fact, I believe I described it that way in the attribution…. Why, yes, yes I did. How about that?

There, having set a tone of silly, we’ll proceed to a more sober beginning, which I found hiding in a Pearl from November of 2013… It’s rather a nice opening, if a bit long, so I think it will do nicely as a counterpoint to rest of today’s effort…. Let’s see what it says, eh?….

Written 11/23/2013:

We people are a funny lot, aren’t we? Funny, strange, that is, not funny, ha ha…. Okay, perhaps “odd” is a more accurate assessment, for the purposes of labeling, a practice which, now that I think of it, is not particularly productive when applied to humans, since we, as a species, tend to make the application of labels of little use….. This is mostly due to our inner nature, which reflects the principle of Peruaosophy’s axiom #2, to wit: “The nature of the Universe is Change. Unpredictable, innovative transformation of Reality is the Norm. If you have a hard time with this, you are in for a rough ride in Life. ”

My ride through Life has lived up to this principle, a factor which, arguably, contributed to its formation, as well as providing living proof of its veracity, and relevance….. It’s not that I have a hard time with Change; no, indeed, far from it. I’ve cultivated the acceptance of Change since I learned the importance of doing so, way back in my early teen years….. It just seems as if Change, at least much of what I’ve encountered in that respect, has come at me more quickly, and with more innovation (Is that the right word?…. Yes, yes, I think it must be…. It’s close enough to what actually happens, and no other candidates have stepped up….) than I seem able to cope with, at least at the same pace it arrives…. I always end up getting to the right place, in my mind, and in Reality, but, it’s often more of a struggle, and takes longer, than it seems like it should….

You may be asking yourself, at this point, exactly how does this apply to this morning’s Pearl?…. Well, it applies, sort of, and then, again, it doesn’t…. You see, I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, at least, not in terms of having a real, actual event over which I’ve been agonizing, waiting for it to change into something else perhaps less intimidating, or less complex….. Everything in my life, currently, is proceeding smoothly, with few bumps, and no really fast changes of direction…. So, nothing pressing is on my plate, nor am I particularly stressed over any other potential changes taking place….

Well, I THINK everything is okay…. I’ve been stoned a lot of late, augmenting my pain meds with some attitudinal adjustment, so I might have missed a few events that otherwise may have provided some challenge, but, I don’t believe I’ve missed out on anything significant, or important in a moral, or ethical sense…. If I did, it wasn’t important enough to have left me a note, or a summons, so, I think all is well in that respect….

No, I was just sitting there when I started today, staring again at a blank screen, and thought about how all of the above applied to me, and everyone else who lives on this old ball of mud….. whereupon, I had to laugh, because, otherwise, I’d cry…. I also experienced a small feeling of poignancy, and an appreciation for the strangeness of the human psyche, that can thrive on what seems to be chaos, and can learn to surf the wide ocean of Reality, riding on the edge of the changes that are constantly taking place, whether we notice them, or not….

I’m not really sure where this is taking us, which is NOT a good thing, given the fact we are still in the intro section, trapped here because, once more, I’ve written myself into a corner, and can’t find a dignified way out…. But, then, when has dignity entered into this equation, eh? Never, I say, nor will it…. While I DO try to maintain a relative degree of sobriety, and at least a modicum of respect for others, dignity has never been one of the key characteristics I’ve cultivated….

It’s just too hard to maintain any sort of dignified mien, when a large, glowing, red bulb is growing out of the middle of one’s face, a feature which tends to give off a loud, abrasive, “HONK!!!”, at the slightest provocation…. For us bozos, dignity isn’t part of the picture, nor will it ever be, especially given my own predilection for bozoid tendencies….

That’s okay, though…. Y’all may, or may not, have noticed that I’ve once again managed to get enough written to call this a legal introductory section…. I know, I cheated, but, I do that a lot here, anyway, in the quest to get this done each day, so, we’re going to act as if it never happened….. Call me “funny” if you wish….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“He’s a real Nowhere Man, sitting in his Nowhere Land, making all his Nowhere plans for nobody. Doesn’t have a point of view, knows not where he’s going to, isn’t he a bit like you and me?” — The Beatles, ‘Nowhere Man’

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bozo_0

    Today’s picture indicates the absence of a video section today. Something is up with my computer, making it impossible, so far, to access any videos online. It will require some investigative troubleshooting to find the issue, so, no video today. In fact, at this point, I’m not certain I’ll get posted at all. Time will tell, as we Time Lords say…. For now, we’ll go on….

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Dont keep calm
In yesterday’s post, (I think…. if not, well, I did sometime), I addressed the issue of gun control in this country, in re: the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution…. While perusing old Pearls again, I found an even better examination of the subject, one which is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s world, as violence spreads to every level and corner of society and the world…. It’s a long one, containing two rants, one from February of 2013, and one from November of the same year…. No quiz will follow, since it will take up some extra time to wend your way to the poetry section from here….

From 11/23/2013:

I wrote the following politirant in February of 2013, which, though it is not so long ago, being still in this year, nevertheless, seems like a very long time in the past…. At the time, I still had some time before the end of my ordeal of obtaining Social Security,  and, thus, living in a state of near poverty, not quite enough to become desperate, but challenging and humbling, to say the least…. a state which had been my lot for two-plus-a-little-bit-years, which found me living, as they would say in an English drawing room comedy, “in reduced conditions…”, Fortunately, I was not without more resources and support than many folks, and/or ffolkes, might have had; I did have medical insurance, which many do without….

It was definitely one of the most challenging periods of my life, and without my friends, I wouldn’t have made it as well as I did….. Now, nine months later, I’ve spent soon-to-be more than a month on board three, soon-to-be four, cruise ships; I’ve visited, or, traveled to and/or through four states, six countries, and the independent island of Guernsey, which is a bit confused as to their precise allegiance, other than to their cows, I guess… Any who, I’ve been busy, having also moved, into a house, of sorts…. not a long move, physically, but, still, a momentous event….

Nevertheless, what I wrote here remains as valid as the day I wrote it…. It’s good enough to use again, and this subject can’t be overdone, to my way of thinking. It is one I am passionate about, even though I have never owned a gun, after giving up the last air rifle of my youth,  when I was still a pre-teen.

As a life-long scientist, a life-long warrior, and a boy growing up in America, I knew of guns, of course, and how to use them, (I DID grow up on Army bases, and had been taught basic gun safety by my father, as every child should be, by the time I was five years old….). But, my MIND has always been my weapon of choice, followed closely by my own hands and feet…. If an intelligent man has failed to think ahead far enough to avoid any situation requiring the use of a weapon, and only then to defend a life, then that intelligence has failed him….

(This also applies to women, of course, but, I happen to be a man, so, to avoid confusion, at least in my own mind, I’ll just use whatever pronoun comes to hand, okay?…. Where was I?… Oh, yeah, okay….)

For a warrior, when weapons MUST be used, the weapon must be suited to the purpose, and the battle; when used for other purposes, they are merely dangerous toys, and not worthy of consideration, beyond the necessary preparations for dealing with the problem of defense against them…. In the final analysis, any interaction where a gun, or any weapon, is brought into play, the issue remains merely another test, a contest of will, between two minds…. The faster, more trained, more experienced mind will prevail in any such contest, whether that mind’s body is holding a gun, or not…. The gun is only the vehicle that manifests the will of the bearer; the will must be applied for a weapon to function at all….

As a warrior, I’m no fool, and if I’m faced with guns, then, I’ll get one, and use it…. More significantly, I’ll know to bring one, if needed, provided I use my mind correctly, ahead of any danger, to not be caught unprepared…. Heretofore, I’ve been both fortunate, and accomplished at foresight, as I’ve always been able to deal with whatever I’ve encountered, able to use my martial arts training to control the violence with my hands…. There have been only two occasions in sixty-three years where I found it necessary to employ a weapon, (NOT guns…. once a knife, and once a stick….). Both times, the weapon was only needed as a threat…. I figure, considering those two incidents are part of a statistical universe containing over 750 occasions of having to deal with violence, usually directed against me by a mentally ill person, I’m doing pretty well at not having to resort to using a weapon….

HOWEVER…. In spite of my own lack of need for guns, I recognize that they are an important tool for anyone who wishes to retain ANY level of freedom, in a world where there are a large number of people who have no morals, or restraint, who tend to attempt to use their own guns to force THEIR will upon those who will not, or cannot defend themselves…. This statement of human interaction is not a guess…. It is not an opinion…. It is not a question, or a suggestion…. It is a fact of life, and a quality of human nature; not admitting the presence and capabilities of such corrupted humans is not only foolish, but, in the long run, as well as the short, a very dangerous failure of intelligence….

Perhaps not so much, I suppose, if one is careful in their choice of parents, (hah!), but, there are times when Fate, in the guise of Entitlement, or Insanity, or Desperation, or some other iconic force of emotion that can drive a human to pick up a gun, and use it indiscriminately on innocent people…. well, Fate will act in spite of all our caution…. Believing schoolyard shootings, or mall attacks on shoppers, or shootings in work-places, or churches, will stop happening, if we only banned guns, is the dream of a child, with no understanding of reality…. It isn’t that simple, and giving up the right to defend yourself, for the promise of being protected, is naive, and, well, sorry, but, it’s stupid….

Any who, now that I’ve committed unconscionable rudeness, to rant within a rant,  here is what I noted about the issue earlier this year, before I got so busy with living….

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From February, 2013:

“The media are now the tool of tyrants and despots. Tyrants and despots encourage fear, because fearful people will accept extreme political solutions, will demand extreme political solutions.” — Jon Carroll, S. F. Chronicle, January 8, 1997

Jon Carroll, on the political scale, would be considered to be just a bit left of the center, maybe a foot or two, as he tends to side with liberal ideas more than conservative. Over the years, I’ve found his take on life and society to be, most of all, even-handed, and reasonable. He avoids the trap of becoming overly critical of conservative ideas, while at the same time showing absolute fearlessness in addressing difficult questions and issues. As a media member, for him to make this statement was most likely painful, in that he had to admit his own culpability to do so. He does that, quite well, without becoming overly pedantic or shrill about it, while still nailing the controversial point at which he is taking aim….

The recent hullabaloo over gun control is a perfect example of the process he describes, in action. Whenever a madman grabs a gun and starts shooting people randomly, or even targeting one group or another, the media immediately descends in hordes on the location of the shooting, giving out endless bulletins with the latest news on the events, interviewing police, victims, bystanders, and pundits to provide “balanced coverage” of events the public “has the right to know”…. regardless of how degrading, or painful, or ignorant, or insane, or stupid it may sound, or how much pain it may cause the victims. No stone is left unturned to examine and evaluate every emotional nuance for the viewing public, without any regard for morality, or justice, and definitely without any regard for compassion, or empathy.

After the event has ended, the media then turns to the “discussion” of the meaning of the events, which means it gives the Beloved Ruling Class a free source of advertisement for its agenda, which, allow me to reassure you, has nothing to do with what may be good for YOU. All the talk you hear from politicians after these shootings is aimed at increasing the fear of the public, to make them believe they are powerless in the face of a madman with a gun, and only if the people will allow ONLY the police and government to have guns, why, everything will be fine, and there would never be any more shootings at public schools.

I’m sorry, but, I’m afraid I can’t buy that…. There are over seven billion people on this planet, and there is nothing at all that is going to prevent some of them from going crazy, getting a gun, (or knife, or poison, or grenade, or dynamite, or…..) and using it on other folks. Believing such nonsense is, I’m sorry, just stupid….. It won’t stop, and there is nothing that will stop it, unless we figure out a way to change human nature…. a quest that, so far, has been completely unsuccessful, and isn’t likely to ever be otherwise…. People have violence in their nature, and thinking that the government, or any other entity, can change that is, well, not too bright….

But, fear is strong in most of society, and those folks have no clue, in general, that they are so easily manipulated. They tend to allow anyone who promises them to stop the fear to tell them what to do, just so they don’t have to think about it, or face it themselves. Governments have known this for centuries, as the quote below, from Hermann Goering, the Nazi general under Hitler, indicates clearly…. It’s a practice by no means uncommon among governments throughout history, up to and including the present day version….

“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.” — Gṏering at the Nuremberg Trials

Yep, ffolkes, that is indeed what it means…. most people are cowards. Combine that with their deliberate stupidity, and they are easily manipulable, plain and simple…. When it comes to their own fears, they won’t do much of anything in the way of conquering those fears themselves…. They would much rather let the politicians promise them to keep the streets safe, if only they will give up the right to defend themselves, or allow a preacher to tell them to submit to earthly authority in order to receive eternal life…… Or, in other words, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today….” — Wimpy, Popeye’s friend, and metaphorical common man….. The media, whether out of ignorance, or out of deliberate dispassion, will continue to give them a public platform from which to perform their manipulations, and never blink an eye in guilt….

Me? I’ll pass on the hamburger, thanks, and go make sure my powder is dry….

“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.” — Ronald W. Reagan

(Back in November now…..  My powder, had I any need of it, would still be dry…. I know for sure that my knives are sharp and numerous, as are the other not so obvious weapons that I tend to keep lying at hand, where they can be easily procured, when… er, ah, IF they’re ever needed…..    😉   …..)

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Final note from 2015:

Well, I now have powder, and, I assure you it’s dry…. I’ll leave y’all with three thoughts, two of which I found when looking for one closing pearl…. SB seemed to think they were appropriate, so, to finish it off in balance, I made one up to make the trio…. I think it’s rather strong, myself…. But, then, it’s mine, and, I’ve got my own share of ego, even if I do try to keep it from getting in the way…. After that, let’s go read a poem, okay?….

“Freedom is for everyone. Or no one.” — Smart Bee

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” — Alice Walker

“Security in life is nowhere to be found in reality; anyone who promises it to you is lying. We only have the rights we are willing to defend with our very lives.” — gigoid

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Comedy_Tragedy

    Maggie Mae has done it again; she’s written my soul, right out loud…. You can find her, and more of her poetry, here:

http://maggiemaeijustsaythis.com/2015/07/20/the-people/

The People

Starved out of politeness, cockroach-kicked feet
walk across a blue night.
My lungs are stuck together, breathing in
radiation from the hot air
blown in my face.
The people, the people glow
white teeth at every camera. I see
the teapot boiling,
steam rising,
whistle blowing….

my ears ring out electric chords,
far from the classic, ghostly shadow
that sprawl across my nerves
when they start to shiver.
They eat very little,
or a lot, or they drink
or not,
or they lie and mispronounce their own
names on purpose and move around mountains
blending in with the tones of the town.
These people seem largely designed, I
walk on needles. I am little and not
proportionate. I dream about
ages, and eggs and other meals
that are not enough on their own.
Is anyone? Enough with just their teeth and
their camera and light?
“She’s only crazy,” says my mother.
And the hills are long monsters leaking
into my brain. I’m dizzy
and distorted. This image.
This image set up in sanity, or not.

~~ Maggie Mae ~~

~~ maggiemaeijustsaythis ~~


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pearls_3

    All in all, this Pearl came out well; if it gets posted, it will be a triumph of Will over the power of Murphy’s Law…. If it does, or doesn’t, this is a good pearl; simple, clear instructions on how to find and keep track of yourself….

“This is living, not to live unto oneself alone.” — Menander

“You are not your opinion of yourself.” — John Lilly

“An ass is but an ass, though laden with gold.” — Romanian Proverb

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” — Scott Adams

“How glorious it is — and also how painful — to be an exception.” — Alfred de Musset

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” — Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter

“Always make room for the unexpected in yourself.” — Steve Martin

There is more to life than meets the mind.” — Smart Bee

Dharma: What is the greatest mystery of all?

Yudishthira: That each day, death walks the earth, and we continue to live as though we were immortal.

 ~~ The Bhagvad Gita ~~


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I was not, and, still am not certain this will be posted today. I’m about to go try; if you see it, it worked…. If that’s true, then I’ll just say, see you tomorrow, I hope….

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

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….

Paradox, paradise, or paranoia? You decide….

Ffolkes,

“Sure, understanding today’s complex world of the future

is a little like having bees live in your head. 

But, there they are . . . ”

~~ The Firesign Theater ~~

~~ “I Think We’re All Bozos On This Bus!” ~~

84408142

    I found this absolutely adorable picture on the blog site of my friend Lou, at http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/2015/01/06/ridiculously-photogenic-moments/; he had reblogged it from another site. You can find it, and others like it, at http://www.ebaumsworld.com/pictures/view/84408138/  The blog post is entitled 23 Ridiculously Photogenic Moments, and has some great shots of unlikely subjects, all looking good doing ridiculous stuff, like this goofy-looking pit but with the bemused smile…. Put the picture together with the great quote above it, which is from my all-time favorite comedy album, and you’ve got something…. The exact nature of what we have is, of course, left as an exercise for the gentle reader….

Now we have the housekeeping out of the way, what shall we say about this Pearl? It did not come to bury Caesar, but to praise him. Or something like that; I forget how it goes. It really didn’t apply, anyway, did it? I thought not. Just another failed attempt at early humor, when I know better. I should stick to either straight fantasy, or nonsense. Given the relevance of the opening lines today, by the Firesign Theater, perhaps it would be best if we made some effort to return there, to what we know best…. Let’s see what I can come up with along those lines…

Strangely enough, no strange, or funny, or even neutral fluff seems to be available for use today. That may be due to the spasms and level 6 pain I’ve had for the last, oh, 22-plus hours, much of which was spent in a supine position, with knees up on a bolster, and the music loud to drown out my groans…. I used a massive dose of several substances to get a couple hours sleep (making the average over the last three nights a total of about 8 or 9 hours…. yay. Every little bit helps, they say…. They’re wrong, but, that’s what they say…), but I can see now it’s a good thing most of this Pearl was already done before I got up today.

In fact, I’m dropping all pretense, and getting on with it, so I can go lay down again, until my lower back decides to stop complaining…. I don’t like to be a complainer, and find myself in that position far too often for my own comfort… Fuck it, let’s go find something else to think about….

Shall we Pearl?

“I read the news today, Oh boy…” — John Lennon

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In the upcoming weeks, you may see a number of videos like this one; the news of late out in the Big Blue Room is enough to make anybody want to relax, and take themselves to a happy place… Enjoy!


Celtic Music – Relaxing And Beautiful Mix

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On December 6 of 2012, the Pearl I wrote turned out pretty well, with two pretty good mini-rants on two subjects.  Given the recent spate of killings by police, in this country alone, this outburst is particularly relevant. I don’t think it’s necessary to reiterate my belief the world is over-militarized, whether by local police, or large national police organizations, or military institutions on a national level….

But, then, it is well to remember, the making and selling of arms, and all of the other weapons of war and destruction, IS the oldest, largest, most lucrative business on this planet, a fact of which all governments, all large religious institutions, and all multi-national corporations are fully aware, as evidenced by their uniform complicity, in allowing it to continue to furnish the means by which Man’s insane avarice for power is expressed, endlessly….

From 12/6/2012:

“Who will protect the public when the police violate the law?” — Ramsey Clark

Here is a question that is particularly relevant in today’s society. In my time on this sad little ball of mud, I have studied the various parts that make up our culture, and the police, due to their ubiquitous nature, have always been right there at the forefront of my observations. We all have our stories of how we have had to deal with police in various circumstances, not all of which show them in their best light. In fact, next to lawyers, police officers are probably the most reviled members of society, as well as one of the most admired. There are good reasons to support both views…..

I cannot say that my knowledge of ALL policemen is complete; I don’t know them all. But my observations over the years have indicated that at least half of those who enter the field do so out of a desire to have power over others, rather than an impulse to be of service. It is easy to spot these folks…. They’re the ones who never signal a turn in their cars, and are always moving at a speed greater than the posted limit. They assume that the laws that govern the populace are not applicable to them, and act accordingly. They enter any situation with the attitude that “might is right”, and attempt to intimidate anyone who tries to usurp or question their authority. They don’t serve as policemen to keep the peace, but to control the beasts….. two entirely different goals.

I find myself at this point to be in the beginning stages of a rant; this subject is one that frustrates me a lot, as I believe that the police should be offering themselves as an example of honorable, lawful behavior. Many of them do so, but a large number are no more concerned with serving and protecting than they are in consuming donuts without sprinkles. Due to circumstances well within my control, I’m not in the mood for ranting this morning, so I’m going to let this go without further comment.

Suffice it to say that society needs to consider the question asked above by Mr. Clark, and take a hard, realistic look at the requirements needed to procure police officers who are of the proper frame of mind to assume the responsibilities involved in public protection. It seems to me that psychological testing of potential officers would be a good place to start; perhaps some of those who go into the field for their own purposes might not be given such power, if they could be winnowed out in the testing process…… Perhaps then we would begin to see the police set the example for the rest of society, rather than proving to be one of the problems we need to solve…..

“The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.” — Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

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First written in September of 2012, this is a poem that arose out of my time spent waiting for Social Security to grind through its bureaucratic machinations to grant my retirement…. As I read it now, I can see the marks of depression I struggled with then, fighting to stay positive, while my mind waged war with itself, using every trick at its disposal to stay sane enough to survive, as well as to challenge my own will to do so… I hope you enjoy it….

Visible life

Forty-two days of pressure and internal rain,
leave marks of salvation, often in pain.
Such sharp reminders of yesterday’s remorse
fight heavily to keep a straight course.
Rash moments, bright, and routinely immense
Give us pleasure, bereft of common sense.

Still the night comes soft and eternally dear
to bring out wishful dreams so vitally clear.
Life’s myrmidons give freely in protest
lifting with skill, soul pieces first to infest,
Loudly brash, with no such voices to remain
Sealed in infamy, branded ugliness all too plain.

Now come brave signs of chapter and verse
Shielded by ignorance, irritable and terse.
Gravid portions of in-between retaliation
leave only pale marks of initial gestation
With hope even pallid warriors grow brave
Leading all humanity, to a warm, stale grave.

Hope never falters, nor leaves any trace
Yet lingers forever in a welcoming space.
Cheerful faces yet shine out of time
for tricking and fumbling sweet melody sublime.
Fill in the spaces with a long, strong retort
life is ever visible, if only as last resort.

~~ gigoid ~~


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(Note from gigoid: This was written ahead of time, and does not reflect current conditions. It is, however, done, which makes it perfect for today…. I’m just not feeling as silly as indicated….)

I’m feeling a bit silly today, along with the normal (!!!…) degree of angst over the news; Smart Bee was sympathetic enough to find the perfect group of pearls with which to address both emotional states at once…. Go figure, eh? This one is both fun, and quite pointed, with some sharp thorns adorning the roses…. There were a lot of them, so, brace yourselves, and for goodness sake, put down your adult beverages so you don’t spew on the keyboard….

“I drank what?” — Socrates

“The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward.” — John Maynard Keynes

“We have had no good comic operas of late, because the real world has been more comic than any possible opera.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Quotable Chesterton

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” — Hanlon’s Razor

“Good God,” said Arthur, “it looks just like the sea front at Southend.”
“I’m relieved to hear you say that,” said Ford.
“Why”
“Because I thought I must be going mad.”
“Perhaps you are. Perhaps you only thought I said it.”
Ford thought about this.
“Well, did you say it, or didn’t you?” he asked.
“I think so,” said Arthur.
“Well, perhaps we’re both going mad.”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “we’d be mad, all things considered, to think this was Southend.”
“Well, do you think this is Southend?”
“Oh, yes”
“So do I.”
“Therefore we must be mad.”
“Nice day for it.”
“Yes,” said a passing maniac.
“Who was that?” asked Arthur.
“Who–the man with the five heads and the elderberry bush full of kippers?”
“Yes.”
“I don’t know. Just someone.”
“Ah.”

— From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.” — Henry David Thoreau

“If you ever reach total enlightenment while you’re drinking a beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

“If a lawyer and an IRS agent were both drowning, and you could only save one of them, would you go to lunch or read the paper?” — Smart Bee

“When something irritates you, think of this:  How else would we get pearls?” — Smart Bee

“For to err in opinion, though it be not the part of wise men, is at least human.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Against Colotes

Finally, to finish off this nonsense, we move on to what good ol’ Socrates said, immediately after voicing his surprise, as related in the opening line of this pearl….

“Sure, everyone always said ‘Socrates what is the meaning of life?’ or ‘Socrates how can I find happiness?’…. Did anyone ever say ‘Socrates, hemlock is poison.’???????” — Socrates, minutes before death

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If I were the religious sort, I’d say ‘Thank God that’s done!”. Since I am not anything of the sort, I’ll just say, it’s done, and be done with it. That seems to fit in with my current state of mind better, anyway…. Right now, if God were here, I’d spit in his face, for being a butthead…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, I hope…

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


His interest is only subliminal…..

Ffolkes,

“Morality is the herd-instinct in the individual”. — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

test shotss 002


Normally the quote from Herr Nietzsche would stimulate comments here that would very easily turn into a rant…. But, with such a beautiful little garden to go with it, it seems a bit harsh, and unfeeling…. Somebody went to a lot of trouble to put in that garden, and keeps it looking quite pristine…. which is also quite a spot of work…. Far be it from me to detract from such effort, or beauty, with a spoiler such as a rant about the lack of morality in modern man…. even thought that lack is certainly a problem for us all….

But, we can rant later, because, right now, I’m in White Rabbit mode…. The meds I’m taking to combat the dizziness of vertigo adds an extra dose of sedative power to the meds I take already, for my pain; while I do appreciate the deep sleep I’ve been getting, for up to eight full hours, it has played hell with my routine, causing me to oversleep by two hours for the last three days, today included…. This means I’ve been getting up right about when I am usually posting the Pearl for the day, thus, feeling rushed to get done as quickly as I can….

For three days it didn’t matter, as I was able to get most of the Pearls done ahead of time, by taking sit-down breaks the day before to get parts of it done, as I had the chance during pain-free moments…. Yesterday, however, I was out a lot, paying bills, & didn’t get as much done ahead…. So, this morning, I’m rushing around, trying to figure out reasonable workarounds and fill-ins…. Since the vertigo INSISTS on reactivating each night, I’m doing so while my eyes lightly vibrate in protest, making the coffee sit a bit uncomfortably….

Rather than continue to whine about it, though, I’m going to employ the latest cool trick I have to bring these intros to a close…. I know it’s a bit ruthless for my style, but, it seems to have been helping a lot, at least in terms of getting on with the day…. In fact, I see the time for its insertion into the flow coming up right over….. there…. See ya down below….

Shall we Pearl?

“Too much of a good thing is WONDERFUL.” — Mae West

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Today, since I’m up so damn late, I’m cheating, shamelessly. Here’s a rant from last year, which, like most of my rants, remains as valid in today’s world, as it was more than eighteen months ago, when it was first written….

From 2/7/2013:

“The wise man’s eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all. Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise?  Then I said in my heart, that this is also vanity. For there is no remembrance of the wise more than of the fool for ever; seeing that which now is in the days to come shall all be forgotten.  And how dieth the wise man?  As the fool.” — Ecclesiastes 2:14-16

To look at this, one would tend to be persuaded of its veracity, or at least of its intention to be so. The latter part is the more accurate assessment, because, in truth, this is a complete and utter lie, a lie that I consider to be one of the most egregious of those told by the fanatics who wrote most of the Bible….. “And how dieth the wise man? As a fool.”  What a crock of shit!

Think about this for just a second, okay?…. A wise man approaches his death with equanimity and dignity, arranging matters so that he dies having lived a life filled with the joy of loving, and with compassion for his fellows. The fool dies badly, fearing what comes after, but more afraid to continue living in misery and fear….. Those are very simple observations, based on reality, and what I’ve observed of it in my time.

Vanity isn’t ALWAYS misplaced, you know, as long as it is not embraced as a lifestyle, but rather acknowledged as an amusing form of self-love, one that can serve to motivate toward improvement. Only when assumed as a faith, producing a sense of entitlement based on unreal expectations, does it become ill-conceived, and ugly. (Gee, and doesn’t that sound more like those who preach against vanity, with their sense of entitlement as one of God’s children?….)

It is much the same as with any human characteristic, or emotional state; moderation is the key to handling them with grace and common sense. When people make too much of ANY of their emotions, or their personal characteristics, they tend to go overboard, and act without restraint to achieve their wants…. SIGH…. In this way, as in many, most people are like children, with no control over their own inner self as yet….

But, given their way, the men (very, very few women fall so deeply into the religious BS to become preachers/priests) who want to control the rest of humanity through religion would have us remain children, at least in our emotional responses…. Children are much easier to control than adults, as they are conditioned to accept whatever they’re told by an adult…. If a person manages to get to adulthood without being so conditioned, well, they can kiss that constituent goodbye, because very few of us ever return after becoming aware of how the church is, and has been, fucking with us, from the first time we walked through their doors…..

Bah, humbug…. I’m a bit worked up now, and it’s getting hard to organize my thoughts enough to keep this on a logical track. I just get so mad, when I think about all the centuries humanity has wasted under the influence of all those who act for their own benefit, and screw the rest of us. I get SO angry, it takes all of my will to keep from getting up from my chair, grabbing some weapons, and going out to hunt…..

But, then I would have to give up my own philosophy, because, who will play God? If I go out and start eliminating those whom I believe need to be absent from reality, for the betterment of all, then I am making myself into God…. which kind of goes against all I believe. I hate them, those assholes, but, killing is THEIR method of choice for assuming or maintaining the status quo, and really doesn’t fit in with my own choices. I guess I’m just going to have to keep looking for the right way to bring their chicanery out where all can see it, and make fun of it enough to make it go away….

Not the most logical, or strategically or tactically practical plan I’ve come up with, but, for now, it’s the best I’ve got…. If y’all have any ideas, I’d be interested, for sure… We need to figure out some way to boot their asses out the door, before it’s too late…. though I suspect that moment may have passed yesterday…..

“So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.” — Bertrand Russell

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We can always use more brain power, right? Right. Here is a link to as much, and more, music to encourage the use of our brains as one could ever hope to find… Enjoy!… Lot’s of Mozart included, which is scientifically PROVEN to enhance mental activity….

Music For Brain Power

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To save time, and energy, here is an old one of mine…..

Roses for Noses

I have a bozoid personality, of the first degree;
 nobody, I mean nobody, knows that better than me.
I often wonder, as the world goes around, and around
 how many others have realized just what I’ve found….

I know for a fact, I’m not the only bozoid one;
 too many people laughing out there, having fun.
Is their laughter, though, at themselves first?
 Or is it some other impulse, like purple liverwurst”….

I’ve always loved to make others laugh and giggle,
 since my tender youth, when my ears began to wiggle.
 The world is full of humor,  but not always easy to find
  so laughing at myself I learned never to mind….

We bozos know each other, here, there, and everywhere
 there’s no hiding such joy, it just wouldn’t be fair.
We all have one feature, our great bulbous nose,
 and there’s no doubt at all, cuz it just grows….

There’s nothing like a good, big mistake, a disaster,
 to show us the folly of living life faster and faster.
Nothing in the world can ever take the place,
 of seeing in the mirror, a happy, smiling face….

Don’t be shy, just let it all hang out;
 we bozos have more fun, there’s no doubt.
Life’s too somber and gray if we let it get on top
 if we don’t stay loose, the pain won’t ever stop….

My advice to all of you, out there in the world,
 let noses grow round & red, keep hair tightly curled.
Find a way to let your spirit out often to play,
 you’ll never once regret any price you pay.

~~ gigoid ~~


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This section is the freshest of today’s offering, which, hopefully, will bring some balance to this mess….

“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

“We need a president who’s fluent in at least one language.” — Buck Henry, comedian, 1992

“By calling attention to ‘a well regulated militia’, the ‘security’ of the nation, and the right of each citizen ‘to keep and bear arms’, our founding fathers recognized the essentially civilian nature of our economy. Although it is extremely unlikely that the fears of governmental tyranny which gave rise to the Second Amendment will ever be a major danger to our nation, the Amendment still remains an important declaration of our basic civilian- military relationships, in which every citizen must be ready to participate in the defense of his country.  For that reason, I believe the Second Amendment will always be important.” — April, 1960 (Then) Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963)

“I deserve respect for the things I did not do.” — Vice President Dan Quayle

“If people behaved in the way nations do they would  all be put in straitjackets.” — Tennessee Williams

“For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.” — Lewis Carroll

“Blood is a cleansing and sanctifying thing, and the nation that regards it as the final horror has lost its manhood … there are many things more horrible than bloodshed, and slavery is one of them.” — Padraic Pearse

I keep telling you…. it’s all in the wrist!….

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I’m afraid this one, as together and smooth as it may look, is a bit of a mash-up, in re: very little of it is fresh, but, it’s all fairly nourishing, food-for-thought-wise…. and, that will do. I’m enough of a curmudgeon to be able to figure y’all are on your own, anyway, so, why should I make things any easier for you? Nobody does for me…. But, then, that attitude is what got us here in the first place, so, me apologia if any of the above seems too easy…. It is, no matter how it may appear, deeper, and more cruel than it may seem, to those who would be kings…. 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

“The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.”

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí.

 

We’ll need more coffee for this…..

Ffolkes,

I don’t know about y’all, but, I’m tired of staring at this blank screen…. Since that’s all I’ve done for the last 20 minutes or more, I’m guessing my creative juices have yet to become unblocked this morning…. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb, and guess that not only am I blocked, I’m impacted, in its truest sense…. In fact, the only blockage consistent with my mind’s right now is one I should be hesitant to discuss in public…

(Hmm…. I just noticed that word, ‘discuss’…. it’s very close, one letter off, of being the word ‘discus’, which is also something that gets tossed around…. sorry, got distracted…. t’was the only shiny object to be seen, in the vast featureless plain that is my mind in its current bloated state….)

Okay, I’d best take a vote here…. Do you think that paragraph is too much? I mean, is it too, too fractured, too flipped? I need to know, before I go much further in this direction…. Any voters out there? Well, it seems nobody wishes to give me any help yet (It IS early yet, not yet 5 AM….), so I’m on my own, as per usual…. I’m at a handicap here today, I think, between my foggy brain, my lack of preparation, and the usual degree of incipient terror I’m experiencing in the back of my mind, as my subconscious does it’s terrified child routine ahead of my dental visit later this morning….

I am an adult, and have learned to endure my visits to the dentist, as, intellectually, I know it is best for me; I have experienced the worst pain possible, an impacted molar, infected and throbbing just inches away from the brain….and know that visits to the dentist only help prevent that….

But, that knowledge has never been enough to completely overcome my experience as a six year old, when some gigantic Army dentist about scared me out of my skin, on a visit to have a tooth pulled…. The dentist, back in 1956 or so, was a huge, surly man, not pleased to be looking into the mouths of Army brats and soldiers, instead of his private rich folks, and his callousness and indifference to my fear managed to frighten me out of my wits…

To make a long story short, here it is, 58 years later, and I still get the serious yips before a visit…. even though my dentist now is a very talented, beautiful young woman, who has the gentlest hands I’ve ever known…. She has this trick she learned in dental school, where she does this little manipulation of the cheek while giving a shot, that, somehow, completely negates the pain of getting the needle inserted, which brings down the anxiety level like a charm…. But, no matter how often I tell myself it will be fine, I still get this rush of adrenaline, starting about six hours prior to whatever time I must be there for my torture session….

I had hoped the process of Pearling would alleviate some of my anxiety, but, it doesn’t seem to be working very well…. It’s a hard thing, to be this age, and still be suffering unreasonable fears rooted in childhood… but, it’s like those damn bees….

“YES! Living in today’s complex world of the future IS much like having a hive of bees live in your head! But…. there they are!” — Firesign Theater, “I think we’re all Bozos on this bus!”….

Since there isn’t anything I can do to remove the bees just now, I guess I’ll just ignore them, or put out some flowers as a distraction, and get on with the rest of this mess….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Remember what Simonides said,–that he never repented that he had held his tongue, but often that he had spoken.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Rules for the Preservation of Health, 7

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“… so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.” — Voltarine de Cleyre

The Wise Old Pine Cone is off somewhere today with his Paduan, doing whatever they do at these times…. This, of course, means I’m supposed to rant here, if I’m going to stick with what we usually do…. I can do that; there is plenty of stuff to get worked up over in the news, although most would say its rather a slow news time, in some respects….  At least, nothing is going on domestically at the moment; we seem to be in a limbo between random shootings….

Oh, there is plenty of other stuff going on I could talk about, if I was so inclined…. For example, because of the latest round of violence in Iraq, the potUS, Barry the Obama, is sending some of our military personnel back there, although I’m not sure exactly what 275 soldiers, even Special Forces, and a contingent of the ever-so-powerful ‘consultants’, can do in the face of the extent of the insurgency going on there…. But, then, we aren’t expected to be able to count, I guess, or be allowed to know exactly what is going on…… We’re supposed to accept whatever they tell us, no matter how suspiciously dumb, or egregiously immoral/unethical….

I think what frightens and annoys me the most is what is NOT being written or talked about much… The NSA, and all the other agencies that get data from them, continue to carry out their illegal, unethical, obscenely paranoid surveillance of the world’s population, ( I don’t think they are limiting themselves to just us….), without any sort of oversight, and without any restraint by any outside regulatory agencies…. much less Congressional, judicial or (gasp!) public oversight…. They haven’t stopped, or slowed their vacuuming up of every bit of data they can access; if you think they have, or have any evidence thereof, please, tell me…. I’d LOVE to hear of ANYTHING anyone might be doing to try to curb their insanity…. but, I don’t think you can, because they haven’t stopped at all….

They just keep coming up with new, outrageous justifications for doing what they plan to do anyway, in court, and in the public eye…. For example, the link below, from the UK Guardian (the same news outlet that first published the Eric Snowden revelations….), tells us about the latest bit of justifying bullshit being put out by the British spy agencies, to try to convince the public that a) they aren’t doing anything wrong, and b) they’re legally allowed to do wrong anyway…. For me, the most telling point is the sheer bold effrontery that gives them the chutzpah to even SAY this stuff… It’s all so outrageously DUMB, not to mention self-serving, reeking of false entitlement, and, essentially, giving the finger to the public….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/17/mass-surveillance-social-media-permitted-uk-law-charles-farr

Another part of this that bothers me is the lack of any coverage at all in the US news media; to find this kind of stuff, I have to go to overseas web sites, like the Guardian, to find out what my own government is up to, even if it’s only what they’re up to in England, by handing over all kinds of British metadata to their spy compatriots, and egging them on in their war against their own citizens….

A week or two ago, here in the USA, there were one or two articles, about some piece of legislation that passed the Senate, that was SUPPOSED to be the law designed to put the reins on the NSA…. Of course, the actual wording of the bill they passed does nothing of the sort; it didn’t even address about HALF the issues involved, and did NOTHING to halt any of the data collection… Mostly, it just dealt with what is to be done with the data once collected, none of which was actually restrictive to their activities….

Bah! Humbug! It all pisses me off, and what with the adrenaline already coursing through my system, I’ll be jacked up for hours now…. I’m going to halt this rant here… Y’all know it pisses me off, so I won’t dwell on it any more today…. I will, however, find a pearl or two to finish off what I’m trying to say, which essentially boils down to this….

Ffolkes, the government is lying to us, you know it, I know it, and so do they…. The only question remaining is, what are we going to do about it? I’ll leave that question hanging for the moment, to see if it garners any responses… and, in the meantime, go find a pearl or three to close the issue for the day….

“A statesman is a politician who places himself at the service of the nation.  A politician is a statesman who places the nation at his service.” — Georges Pompidou

“Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Twelfth Night — Act iii, Sc.

“A Lie is still a Lie, even if you believe it.” — Smart Bee

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When I’m in this mood, only one poem will do, and it’s mine…

Geezer to Congress, with Love

Politicos don’t care much ’bout seniors and their ilk,
except for their money, I thinks;
Though they talk as if they’d cozen them in silk,
what they actually do, it stinks.

“The banks are failing, we can’t allow that!”,
steal from the aged, that’s their plan.
“Their life’s ending, that’s plainly where they’re at,”
lie shamelessly, because they can.

Maybe just once, if we all act together,
it couldn’t miss.
Right on their shoes, no matter the weather,
take careful aim, and piss.

Why the hell not?
It’s worth a shot!

~~ gigoid ~~


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Y’all know what comes now….. I’m in a hurry now; my adrenaline level is rising, and I need to get up and going, to work some of it off…. If I don’t, I’m going to have to take the option at the dentist to have them put me completely under, if I hope to get anything done in my mouth…. At the moment, sitting still is NOT an option…. So, here’s the quickest, random pearl I can put together…. Wish me luck….

“Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, Prologue to the Satires, Line 333

“One who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” — Lao-tzu, _Tao Te Ching_

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” — Marcus Aurelius

“If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also.” — Russian Proverb

“Everything may happen. [Omnia fieri possunt.]” — Seneca, Epistulae ad Lucilium, Epis. LXX, 9

“Never be boastful; someone may come along who knew you as a child.” — Chinese Proverb

“For after all what is man in nature?  A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.  The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret.  He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.” — Blaise Pascal

Well!…. That went extremely well; quick, with an elegant, sturdy result…. I like it…..

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“Heisenberg was wrong, I know exactly where I am and where I’m going.” — Einstein

Sadly, me, too…. and, it’s somewhere I DON’T want to go…. But, I’m a big boy, and I can’t afford another cancellation fee, like the last three times I bailed at the last minute…. Star, unreasoning feelings of panic, when rooted in events over 50 years old, make for a fearsome challenge, which I tend to fail to meet as often as not…. SIGH…. But, I’ll make it today, and, hopefully, be back tomorrow, in less of an internal mess….. 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 the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Specializing in palatable solutions….

Ffolkes,

As I entered the room where my computer resides, I heard a low moaning sound coming from just outside the back door…. I went to see what was there, and, lo! Lying on my back porch, bleeding copiously from a number of ugly looking wounds, was the most disreputable looking person I’d ever seen….

Since I didn’t want them bleeding all over the house, I grabbed some towels and bandaging materials, and went to work, attempting to stem the flow of blood as best I could, right where he lay on the wooden floor by the steps…. I could see immediately it was a futile task, as at least two of the wounds were pumping blood out, indicating an arterial cut, and I had no way to shut them off…

However, since he was merely a figment of my imagination, it was acceptable for me to just let him die where he lay…. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out any way to gracefully carry that paragraph’s story on any further, without getting into a lot more detail…. Since there are no details to be had, it being the off-the-cuff, improvisational piece it is, I thought it would be best to just abandon it after the first few lines, mainly because it wasn’t going anywhere interesting, but, partly because it was starting to become too real…. My imagination can be pretty scary at times, especially when I let if off leash like that….

Actually, it’s kind of hard to say WHAT might have come out of that one…. I don’t often lead with blood, but, when I do, it can turn in a lot of directions, that potentially can lead to fairly exotic results….. but, I digress…. From what, you ask? Well, hell, you had to ask, didn’t you? I have no clue…. You see, I’ve finally done it, and done it about as well as it could be done….

Again with the questions! Sheesh! Okay, I’ll spill…. Listen, when this gets out, you won’t tell anyone where it came from, will you? If the authorities ever find out for sure, I’ll be in deep do-do, and might even have to move to another country, where they don’t know me so well…. Okay, here’s the deal… I’m lost…. completely lost, with no clue at all as to how to find my way back anywhere near the realm of intelligent discourse….

Fortunately for all of us, our driver knows the way home, and will bring us there in due course… Meanwhile, I guess we’ll all have to just “go with the flow”, and try to enjoy the scenery that we pass through…. Hey, it could be worse…. I could be driving today, which would mean we would NEVER have gotten home, not today, anyway….. Since we WILL be getting home, I think I’ll go hide my face for a while, at least until called upon to pull the next section’s material out of my proverbial hat…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“The old proverb was now made good, “the mountain had brought forth a mouse.”” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Agesilaus II
_____________________________

The following is a public service announcement, with which gigoid fully agrees…. I would liked to have put the banner up on my site, but, I couldn’t figure out how to do it using the WordPress widget they provided…. I’m a geek, but apparently not up to date on the way to do this task… But, this definitely needs to be spread around, and shared…. So, please do so…. I HAVE included a link to the main site for the protest, where you can go to sign the petition…. Please do that as well…. Let’s all join together to give the Asininnies the finger, and let them know we won’t stand for any fucking around with our Internet, or in our private lives….

“On Tuesday, February 11th, EFF (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) will join thousands of other websites in demanding an end to mass surveillance through an Internet-wide digital protest.

Visitors will be prompted to contact members of Congress or sign a global petition opposing mass surveillance with a banner that can be inserted into any site This is a critical moment in the NSA surveillance fight.

Worldwide outrage at NSA spying helped pressure the Obama administration into making a few key concessions toward reform. But Obama’s reform plan falls woefully short.

That’s why we’re turning the heat up on Congress to finish the job. Help us end NSA mass spying. Use your website to join the protest, and help us spread the word on February 11th through social media with the hashtag #StoptheNSA.”

https://thedaywefightback.org/?r=eff

This is an extra pearl today….. The obligatory three standard entries follow below….
_____________________________

The article below was found yesterday, on 2/10/2014, on the SFGATE news site. I also saw other versions of the same story on Yahoo, NY Times, and just about every other major and minor news site I perused in my morning searches…. probably since it was an Associated Press article to begin with, I suppose. I’m including it today because carries some implications for all of us that, to me, are VERY, VERY disturbing…. I’ll let you read the article first, after which, I’ve put some short excerpts from the content of the article, to act as markers of what I wish to point out to you…. Take your time, but, please, come back for the discussion, which will follow the quoted text….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/US-suspect-possibly-targeted-for-drone-attack-5220092.php

“An American citizen who is a member of al-Qaida is actively planning attacks against Americans overseas, U.S. officials say, and the Obama administration is wrestling with whether to kill him with a drone strike and how to do so legally under its new stricter targeting policy issued last year. ”

“….confirmed that the Justice Department was working to build a case for the president to review and decide the man’s fate. ”

“The Justice Department, the Pentagon and the CIA declined to comment. ”

… a professor of international law at the University of Notre Dame, said there is a school of thought that the Obama administration’s drone policy is “lawless.” “Why should the Justice Department issue the execution warrant for anyone abroad? The fact that they give extra scrutiny only because he’s an American exacerbates this negative impression,”

Online: Policy and procedures for the use of force in counterterrorism operations outside the U.S.:  http://1.usa.gov/1dy7de4

So…. My first question is, when did it become our national policy to kill individual citizens, including citizens of this country, anywhere in the world, if we decided they were guilty of a crime?…. Who decided, and when, that said decisions were to be left to a small set, of just a few individuals, all of  whom have a heavy investment in guilty verdicts, and no investment in verdicts of innocence. No courts, no legislative bodies are involved; now, if a person is labeled as a terrorist, they can be “terminated with prejudice” at the hands of the CIA, an agency that, I had thought, was still SUPPOSEDLY constrained from the long-used, never-acknowledged employment of “wet work”, aka, assassination,  as a means of protecting our national interests….

However, according to the information contained in this article, all that is now required, is for the president to define a person as a terrorist, whereupon Congress obligingly goes along with the charade, by docilely setting the legal classification of such terrorists as “enemy combatants”, which allows the president to act unilaterally, to wit: to kill them, using whatever tools are at hand in our clandestine arsenal of weaponry and/or technology, including the use of drones on American citizens, ostensibly overseas, not on US soil….. No, they wouldn’t do that, now, would they? Trust me, they say…. Now, where have we heard that phrase before?….

(Come to think of it, couldn’t that restriction be gotten around, by simply defining the soil on which an “enemy combatant” is standing as “enemy territory”, no matter where it is, in the US, or out?….. Thus, it would be legal to use drones to kill them, even in downtown Atlanta…. A bit paranoid, perhaps, but, how many legal arguments have you seen that are just as specious?….. Add to that, the obvious fact that the logic, pitiful as it may be, used in the administration’s current policy, is logic that matches this line of reasoning exactly…. Hence, it becomes clear, it is not a long stretch at all to imagine a time when we will be seeing drones pick off some poor sap in the bleachers at Fulton County Stadium….)

The point here, of course, that I’m dancing around so well with my sardonicism, is that we, as a nation, are now using the fine, ancient art of assassination, right out in the open, admitting to it publicly, with only the caveat that we should try to make it “legal” according to “US law and policies”, which, as might be guessed, are written by the very people who are using them as their legal defense…. That’s right, they’re not even hiding it anymore, so, let’s not miss the key operative word, and concept, here…. ASSASSINATION.

For this nation’s entire history, up to 9/11/01, when the American people were frightened to death because they got attacked on their own ground, we have never been considered a people that would use that particular political tool, (i.e., the deliberate murder of an individual, disguised as a political necessity), to pursue our national interests, either out in the open, or with discretion. It just doesn’t fit in with our self-proclaimed image as honest, fair-dealing, morally upright people, an image which, in a way, has always been the lynch pin of virtue that fit in the best with what my father taught me about honor, that which gave me a feeling of pride in this nation, as far as my meager nationalism allowed…. I liked the idea of this being an honorable country, that had no NEED to sink to that level of decadence, in order to feel safe in my own home….

“A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful interests, combined into one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks.” — Johann L. Uhland (1787-1862) — Speech, May 27, 1836

Then, along came (name withheld due to the probability of NSA surveillance…. There’s no need for them know ALL that I know, or think, now, is there?….), a former CIA wizard, to magically put together a spell to turn the minds of the average American into a quivering mass of fear, perfectly primed for manipulation, thus, easily fooled into accepting just about ANY sort of Bulls___t, if it made them feel safer….. All this, at the mere cost of about 3500 American lives on our own soil, a few buildings, and three airplanes….

That’s all it took for the shadowy masters of reality to be in position to destroy the US Bill of Rights completely, within 10 short years….. Plus, they got the bonus of using the incident to justify pursuing two wars in other countries, to the tune of another 20,000 lives on our part, along with a several hundred TRILLION dollar bill, all to be paid over time to the gun and war machine vendors, with whom we joined to fight those wars, at public expense…. What a bargain for them, eh?

They’ve done such a stellar job of this, they now are able to have their most clandestine crimes discussed in full public view (such as the assassination of a US citizen, by the government, without any oversight…. According to this article, that is an event which, please note, first took place over five years ago…. It is only now being discussed because they want to do it again…..

Since they, too, are human, and subject to the Theory of Bozoid Tendencies, they screwed their own pooch… To appease the public, trying to spin the image machine one more time, they changed one of the rules they made up, which apparently messed up one of their blankets, the one that allowed them to cover up the obvious use of the drones…. But, nobody is making a lot of noise about any of this, are they?

“The Justice Department, the Pentagon and the CIA declined to comment. ”

Well, of course they did!…. Was the reporter who wrote this story really expecting them to comment on this? This is, so far, the only article I’ve seen on this subject, (or, for that matter, on ANY subject near to this issue, ever since Obama announced his ghostly {ghastly?} reforms…. ghostly because they’re not really there, are they?), even though it was covered on several networks….

I will point out to you at this point, none of them, media, supporters, or opponents of the idea of us using this ancient political tool, are making any outcry, or expressing anything other than straight news reporting, just as if the issue. as to whether or not to use assassination as part of our national bag of tricks. had already been settled…. Well, it has, hasn’t it?   Yep, and they did it while you were watching, in plain sight, which patently indicates, to them, they do so with your tacit approval…..

I don’t know about y’all, but, the draconian nature of this pOTUS’s administration, with its smiling assurances of innocence on one hand, and obvious proof of evil intent on the other, is VERY disturbing to me…. and, I cannot but feel that my own reputation has been sullied by my government’s actions, both out in the world at large, and at home, in its manipulation of, and LYING to, its own citizenry…..

If you need proof, (my kind of person!) from another direction, if not a different news source, no worries…. there’s plenty of it….. Here is yet another article that addresses evidence of more obvious prevarication on the part of this president…. Read the article at this link, to see how another issue has received the old left hand/right hand treatment from Barry….  http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Obama-resists-using-his-power-to-ease-marijuana-5219705.php

Again, I don’t know about y’all, but, it kinda makes me feel….. I don’t know…. patriotically seditious? Yeah, that one….. and pissed off, too, that the assholes would think they can get away with trying to feed me this bullshite…. (Patriotic sedition is that condition that can best be stated as, “Let’s throw the lying bastards out!”….)

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) — Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759
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Once again, today’s effort is all fresh material, so, rather than spend time trying to find someone else’s work that fits in with my theme today, here is one of my own poems, which I KNOW will fall seamlessly in with the parade of nonsense that is today’s Pearl….

Random Exposure

If I only knew what I was doing here,
I could give others a clue.
Reality gets stranger every year,
and I’m not sure what I should do.

Singing happy old tunes, in an old, gravely voice,
gives me a lot of pleasure.
I’m only glad I can still make a choice,
to look at life, to take its measure.

Memorable moments keep passing by
gilded, framed in precious emotion.
I never have to ask anyone why,
no need for a stronger potion.

Everything in life is clear, to me
there is no doubt, no misunderstanding.
We’re all good, as you can see,
members of Life, in good standing.

Life can be hard, or it can be great fun;
the right path is there for each of us to take.
That choice is often a difficult one;
pay close attention to the choice you make.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Although I wrote the rant in section one yesterday, I went over it, editing and altering style points, so, it’s all quite fresh…. Originally, I’d planned to include here an older politirant, on gun control, from an archived Pearl…. but, then, the rant above grabbed me by the throat, made me sit down at the computer, and wouldn’t let me up until I had vented…..

So, rather than subject y’all to another 1500 words of my outrage, no matter how appropriately timed or well-written, we’ll go old-school, with parameters designed to help all of us find a bit of fun…. Hitting the funny bone… you know, that little spot on your elbow… hitting it in reality, hurts like hell….. but, when we strike it sharply on a corner of our imagination, the sharp pain could be considered as equivalent to electric joy….

Hmm…. I suppose, as a metaphor, or a euphemism, or even as a graphic example, that image leaves a bit to be desired…. Oh well, I’m sure Smart Bee can come up with enough distracting pieces of virtual wisdom to satisfy the most stringent appetite for coherency and grace…. or, not…. We’ll see, won’t we?….

“If only there were some indication the universe was doing it on purpose” — Smart Bee

“…[T]he lesson [comic books] taught children- or this child, at any rate- was perhaps the unintentionally radical truth that exceptionality was the greatest and most heroic of values; that those who were unlike the crowd were to be treasured the most lovingly; and that this exceptionality was a treasure so great that it had to be concealed, in ordinary life, beneath what the comic books called a ‘secret identity’.” — Salman Rushdie

“Gird your grid for a big one!” — random Bozo on the Bus

“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” — Will Rogers

I’m sorry…. Smart Bee has done it at last….. This group of pearls is SO esoteric, I can see no possible way to make it comprehensible in the time allowed… Oh, the pearls are hefty enough, but, they’re all so damn unconnected on the surface… Oh well, we’ll go with my instincts, which leads me to these final three pieces of wisdom that complement each other in a pretty obvious fashion…. I’m pretty sure that after reading all three, and assimilating the implications, you’ll agree with the thought that went through my head, to wit: “Hmm… I’m sensing a theme here….”

“God has no religion.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“Thou art God.” — Michael Valentine Smith – from Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert A. Heinlein

“Thou art God, you know. Let’s do Lunch.” — gigoid, Peruaosophy, Axiom # 3

Well, there you have it, ffolkes…. I suppose I should apologize for this one, but, I just can’t….  It’s too damn cute….
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Oops, poem…. be right back…..  Well…. It’s done, and I’m glad, even though it makes me a bit sad…. You see, this one is special…. It’s…. it’s…. well, it’s actually PRETTY DECENT!!

Now, I know, you’ll think me egotistical, and, you may be right, but, you know what… I had fun, and, if you’ve got a few functioning grey cells operating in there, you will, too…. See ya tomorrow….

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

A real live subject…..humility….

Ffolkes,
    Today’s posting(s) will be a bit odd….of course, there’s nothing new in that. But, for the first time, I will be writing for a defined purpose, and composing for two audiences….a bit of history is in order, I think….

    In 1997, as re-training after an industrial injury, I attended a school for the relatively new computer technician sciences; shortly after entering, I got my first home computer (a dinosaur by today’s standards–a 386 running Windows 3.0). Only a few of my friends owned one, so most of my email buddies were people I met at school. This was when I chose my user name…gigoid the dubious…. and started sending out Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. Through the intervening years the list of folks who received their daily Pearls grew to about 150 folks, mostly from where I worked, at a state mental hospital, mostly. This makes the Pearls about 15 years old now, as a process. When I retired, at the beginning of 2011 (long story there, too, for another time), I was without a computer for a couple of months before I got my current box, which, being state of the art, has more available memory that was present in the entire world when I first got my 386, and with a Gigabyte of RAM, is faster than well….it’s fast, believe me…..

    When I got back on the Net, in February of 2011, I started up the Pearls immediately, and have been sending them via email since then. I started posting them on my first blog site, as a user of SFGATE, a San Francisco Chronicle website, in March. Later that year, in August of 2011, I found WordPress, and have posted the Pearls here every day since then. Here at WordPress I have found a veritable treasure chest of new friends and writers, of poetry and prose, as well as other types of artists who post here. Every one has been very encouraging, and I’ve been exposed to a whole new world of writers; I have yet to find one I don’t like. People from all over the world I now consider to be my friends, and they enrich my life every day with their own vision of the reality we all share.

    Yesterday, and one day last week, three of those new friends surprised me, one by “Tagging” me, (Linda Vernon at lindavernonhumor.wordpress.com) one by nominating me for a Sunshine Award (by gr8listener.wordpress.com….that one’s a big surprise to me! I always thought I was a curmudgeon…..) and an Inspirational Blogger Award nomination (another surprise, from one of my favorites, Dolly, at allaboutlemon.wordpress.com). There are some rules that go along with these awards, and I’m cheating a bit, but will hit them all. First, thank the one who nominated you: Linda, Dolly, and gr8listener…..thank you, thank you, thank you. I am humbled, and very, very grateful, not only for these awards, but for all the encouragement and friendship you have offered me. All of your blogs amaze me, for what you write, for the technical expertise shown by your site, and your posts, all of which inspire me to learn more about how to use WordPress more effectively.

    Now this is where the cheating begins. The other part of the rules are to share some things about me that let folks know who I am and what I’m about, to show links back to my nominators, and to nominate a number of other bloggers to receive the awards, or tag, making them It…… I’m uncertain of just how to accomplish some of that, from a technical standpoint; since coming here to WP, I’ve concentrated mostly on writing, and have not figured out a lot of the tricks and functions available to bloggers; I have a hard time just getting a picture where I want it to go, and adding a bunch of links is going to take me a while. So, the cheat is this…..this intro to today’s Pearl serves as my Thank You to Linda, Dolly, and Gr8listener (though I will say it again, read on>>>), but the award logos, the revelations about me, and the nominations with the links, will all go into a post I’ll create later today. I know, it’s not kosher, but then, I’m not in the Tribe, and it’s my blog right? So I can change the rules if I want to (see yesterday’s blog, “Hidden behind a glass partition”….).

    So, I will post twice today, and the other will be the fulfillment of the rules of engagement here on WP. A big thank you, and another virtual hug to all three ladies who were so kind as to nominate me for these awards. In the meantime, we will now return to today’s regularly scheduled Pearl of Virtual Wisdom…….
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“There is no sin except stupidity.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), “The Critic as Artist”, 1891

    This is a sentiment that has been expressed by a great number of philosophers throughout history, each of which provides more evidence of its truth. It’s so true that it may be considered as a natural law, one that applies to every creature that exists. For millenia, the truth of this proposition was enforced with the death penalty; if you were stupid enough to ignore this law, you died. It was that simple. In today’s world, unfortunately, this has become less dangerous. Now, the world is much more tolerant of the less well endowed of society, and folks who are dirt dumb can survive to pass on their stupid genes to future generations. SIGH….. it’s too bad, really, for I doubt that all of humanity’s advances were not made with this intent, but they nonetheless have done so, to the everlasting chagrin of those who can see beyond the end of their own noses. But, I suppose that is part of our charm; we act from the highest principles, but end up face-down in the mud all too frequently. It’s all so frustrating…..so much so, I’m gonna go have a beer….. or at least another cup of coffee…..

“Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful — just stupid.)” –Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein 
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       JABBERWOCKY

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
   The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
   And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
   The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
   He went galumphing back.

“And thou hast slain the Jabberwock?
   Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
   He chortled in his joy.
 — Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking-Glass”

    No comments here, none needed. Just a daily dose of whimsy……enjoy!…..
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    I’m running out of taglines….I just spent 40 fruitless minutes searching my database for an appropriate subject to discuss. This is just a place marker….I’m going diving, and it will help me find my place when I get back with something to write about…..see you soon…..

This sentance has threee errors. — Unknown, the brother of Anonymous

    If you can identify all three errors above, then you have some experience with publishing posts. Nothing ticks me off at myself like reading through a post I’ve already posted, only to find typos I missed in my proofing. I’m sure it bothers all of us who post; I’ve heard the same complaint from others. Without outsourcing, I’m not sure there is a viable solution to the problem, and who has the time or money to hire someone to do what you can do yourself? I guess it comes down to this: “I think we’re all Bozos on this Bus!” –Firesign Theater from the album of the same name. That’s right, we all have big red noses, that often are so distracting, we cannot see over it to the errors in our work. But, it like it says later in the album, “Yes! Living in today’s complex world of the future IS much like having a hive of bees living in your head. But, there they are!”  Indeed, there they are….. this is where that vaunted patience and tolerance for our own frailties comes in. All you can do is all you can do, so relax and enjoy the ride. Nobody’s counting our mistakes except ourselves, and there will be no quiz…..
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Pluralitas non ponenda est sine necessitate.  (Multiplicity is not to be asserted when it is unnecessary.) — William of Occam [Occam’s Razor]

    I first encountered Occam’s Razor in my early teens, as a paraphrase of the accepted logical law seen here. It was in a Robert Heinlein book, which one I haven’t a clue, as that was oh, 48 or so years ago. The paraphrase, known as Hanlon’s Razor, is “Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity,” and is widely known and quoted in the computer world, especially by hacker culture. It is a logical tool whose relevance has been tested out many, many times, and is considered to be proven truth. It is a very useful tool for picking apart those lovely statements of nonsense we hear from talking heads every day (talking heads being defined as those fools who make pronouncements on the political stage, as if they were commandments sent down from Mount Olympus). And it also is a valuable everyday tool for discovering the truth of any proposition, when used correctly. It’s fairly obvious that this is not well-known outside the hard sciences; otherwise, we wouldn’t be burdened by all that nonsense. If it wasn’t so funny, it would be sad, and vice versa…..

Flee at once, all is discovered.
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“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory is a benediction.” — Bessie A. Stanley (b.1879), in Notes and Queries July 1976

    In my not so humble opinion, this is just about perfect. Ms. Stanley has hit upon virtually every good quality one can find in any human being, and hit upon them with a hard and precise blow. Love, humor, Duty, respect, humility, trust, inspiration, all are covered in her description of a live well-lived. One can only hope to come close to achieving all this in one lifetime; most of us would settle for half of it. But, as such, it provides us with a pretty good list of goals to add to our personal lives, goals that will not only make us better people, but will enrich all those with whom we come in contact throughout our lives….. better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, or even a dull one…..
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    Whew! Quite a struggle today, as I figured. Only one more posting to go, then I can start in on the 40 some emails this morning, letting me know that the 60-some blogs I follow have posted. It’s beginning to take a significant portion of my day, just to deal with emails and stay current with everyone’s blogs. I like staying busy though, it’s a good method of not dwelling too much on the negatives in my life, and I get to see and read a lot of good stuff. Any who, I’d best be about it, so until later today, y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

 

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