Dark days are coming, ffolkes, there’s no denying it. Hard as I tried to work WITH the humongous bureaucracy that constitutes my HMO, the intransigence so natural to such a beast has dictated, once again, that we must do battle…. This time, I may even need a lawyer to help me, to find and use the part of the law that will MAKE them pay attention to my humanity, instead of ignoring it in favor of their own corporate greed, and their own corporate cowardice…. But, it’s okay, cuz I’m ready to take them on this time…. This time we’re going down to the wire, where I will find a way to force them into compliance with what is best for ME, not for them…. If it kills me, well, then, so be it, I’ll be a martyr for the cause of freedom in our bodies, as opposed to having our medical needs abrogated and altered according to the whims of bureaucratic avarice, and corporate selfishness….
That all sounds pretty highfalutin’, doesn’t it? I thought so, mainly because that’s how I tried to write it…. Now that I see it on the screen, I see that it says a lot, with a lot of force, without really giving any clue as to what the hell I’m talking about…. and that’s okay, too. I’m not really going into it now, as it concerns matters best kept, to some degree, private… In addition, it’s not the right time, or place, for this rant; a better choice for that process is to wait until it is done, and I know the outcome of the battle, or at least the projected, most likely outcome…. At that point, I’ll have a better idea of exactly what to rant about, and for how long I should rant, given the level of built-up angst that is sure to accompany such an event…..
Suffice it to say, now, that this battle will be a major one, with consequences that are potentially far-reaching, that could conceivably have a ripple effect on other aspects of modern culture, and how healthcare organizations are allowed to operate…. I’m hoping, anyway…. If not, if I am crushed under the heel of the uncaring corporate machine, then nothing will change, and the HMO’s of our world will be able to continue to operate as they wish, without any consideration for anything other than their own profit line… Of course, that’s the way it is now, so, you might not notice any difference, except for the fact of my non-existence….
As is normal for me, I am, of course, blowing this up, somewhat out of proportion; it’s a natural tendency to do that when one is trying to pump up one’s own confidence, trying to build up the necessary courage to take on one of the behemoths of our society. I’ve been tilting at society’s windmills for a long time now, off and on ever since my college years, so I have at least a modicum of experience in these matters….. Corporations are not like other kinds of living creatures, even though the law gives them the same rights…. Actually, corporations have MORE rights than the average Joe, since THEY have been given the right to make a profit, which is NOT one of the rights of any other live, flesh and blood citizen….
In addition, it’s a hard thing to fight a corporation, because they’re so amorphous….. Their shape shifts each time one looks at them, to serve whatever purpose they currently pursue…. This makes them appear shapeless, always changing in aspect; the net result of this is, they don’t offer a lot of target area at which to aim and fire…. Also, since they are not really alive, killing, crushing, or otherwise destroying, or, simply excising one part of it barely draws its attention, as it has a million of those parts, easily sacrificed, that it can give up without suffering any real, lasting damage…. The trick is to get their hold on a certain law to loosen, so that society can wrest back some of the control that is seized by such entities when laws are written in their favor….
Ah well, I’m starting to rant, if I haven’t already done so, and I hadn’t intended to do that today…. I’ve got other stuff to rant about, and now I’ll have to review that, to see if it will hold to another day…. Damn! Sometimes, I wish I could learn to shut myself up…. but, that just causes other difficulties, when the angst and dross sits in my mind and festers…. NOBODY likes what happens then, so, I try to get this stuff out of my head, and on screen, as soon as I can…. For now, though, I think I’ll bring this once again meandering stroll through my early morning brain to a screeching halt, and call it an intro for today…..
Shall we Pearl?….
“It is not so much what you believe in that matters, as the way in which you believe it and proceed to translate that belief into action.” — Lin Yutang
So, there I was, cruising through the news site I frequent most often, when I saw the first article listed below, regarding a new public surveillance center being constructed in Oakland…. Apparently, the police forces in that city, who have been losing the battle with criminals in that city for many years, due to the complete and utter ignorance of the leaders of the city, and, a factor completely unknown to the police, their own misplaced, intransigent sense of entitlement, have decided they need to be able to spy on the public much more effectively….
They haven’t a clue as to how to deal with any of the issues that cause the level of discontent in the city, as they are clueless as to their own part in creating those issues, so they figure they’ll just tighten down the screws even tighter…. never realizing that their own actions are the biggest part of the problem….
(Gee, does that sound suspiciously like the foreign policy attitudes displayed by the US federal government?… Why, yes, yes it does…. Why is it so hard for these idiots to understand, when you treat others like dirt, they aren’t going to like you?…..)
So, anyway, the police asked for a center where they could coordinate all the technological data they have been collecting, from publicly placed cameras, license plate readers, gun-shot detectors, radio dispatch calls, car cameras, and whatever else they can figure out to beg, borrow, or steal from the NSA… Apparently, encouraged by the success of the NSA programs at invading the privacy of normal citizens, the embattled officers have asked the city supervisors permission to build this center, so they can increase their data intake, and collaborate to join forces with other police agencies around the bay area, as well as make best use of all the surveillance they are now allowed to use….
It is a chilling story, all in all, not only in its bare tale of truth, but because of the reactions by the city supervisors, who have completely ignored all the public outcry against the new center, completely removing its construction from the public venue, and accepting no public input as to whether it should or should not be instituted as policy for the future… They just DID it, with no public input at all…. THAT, to me, is the most frightening part, and one that should immediately provoke a number of lawsuits against the city, the police, and whomever else will take the suit for consideration…. In addition, if they won’t change anything, then start actions against the courts and legislature themselves…. But, that’s just me, and the way I would deal with such effrontery…. I’m not one to tolerate a fool for long….
The revelations from Eric Snowden regarding the extent of the spying being done by the NSA are reaching well beyond our borders now…. A number of countries around the world have registered strong protests regarding the privacy invasions by our government, with a number of European countries demanding changes from President Obama in the wake of the news that they had been targets of the spying…. Australia, which has used the same data produced by our agency, and applied the spying techniques and data found by our agencies for their own clandestine spying, have so insulted their neighboring countries that one of them has severed all diplomatic relations with them, at least temporarily, in response to the reported breaches of privacy….
Below you’ll find a number of articles describing the extent of the hullabaloo around the world, which will give you an idea of how the rest of the world’s outrage matches our own here in ‘Amurrica’…..
No apologies, no tolerance, no way they’re going to change what they’re doing…. Sound like someone else? Someone, say, from THIS country?….
Oops, caught again…. and still no apology, and no indication of any intent to either stop, or alter what they’re doing…
So, how do our police forces respond to all this talk of spying on the public, and to the huge public outcry AGAINST such spying? Well, apparently, they ask for more ways to invade our privacy….
Sick, just plain sick…. To protect their OWN asses, they are going to film ALL public interactions…. Can you say ‘paranoia’? Sure you can…
Oh, and what does our government DO with the data they get from their spying? Here is an example…..
It’s the day before the anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination…. do you know what YOUR government is up to?….
Mining old Pearls is bringing me in touch with a lot of my own old poetry…. Here is another of which I’m fairly proud….
The value of wit is often said to cause harm,
for those who think, such is its greatest charm.
The new and the bold cannot be fulfilled
if innovation and change is left unwilled.
Society behaves at its base as a mob
conformity and submission its primary job.
Any sign of rebellion against the mob’s rule
is met with resentment, naming such rebel the fool.
Intellect and talent are mostly viewed askance,
expressing artistry stands nary a chance.
To stand out from the rest of mankind
is fraught with danger, for body and mind.
Often I stand to watch in solemn dismay
as beauty and joy are left by the way,
ignored and reviled by the unwashed masses
who prefer darkness, and acting like asses.
With shouts of derision the normals make known
their fear of intelligence, greater than their own.
They hope to stop all semblance of progress;
for thoughts and ideas, they couldn’t care less.
The world struggles on in spite of all opposition,
managing to maintain its advanced position.
Pulling the foolish along in spite of reluctance,
helping each to learn the survival dance.
Hard though it may be to keep up with the future
genius manages its plans to develop and nurture.
In the final analysis, those who live by reason
enjoy life the most, season to season.
~~ gigoid ~~
I’ve done my ranting for the day, so now I get to let Smart Bee help me pick out a group of pearls, that will make a statement of some sort, in the old-school style we’ve all come to know and love…. I have a feeling I know what kind of statement it will make today…. but, I’ve been wrong before… in this century, too! Any who, let’s see what happens when I give SB the reins…..
“Annual drug deaths: tobacco: 395,000, alcohol: 125,000, ‘legal’ drugs: 38,000, illegal drug overdoses: 5,200, marijuana: 0. Considering government subsidies of tobacco, just what is our government protecting us from in the drug war?” — William A. Turnbow
“Political truth is libel; religious truth, blasphemy.” — William Hazlitt (1778-1830)
(The battle, begun long ago, goes on today, does it not?…..)
“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” — Henry David Thoreau
“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.” — Mark Twain
“Soap, Ballot, Jury & Cartridge.” — The Four Boxes of Freedom
“The higher we soar, the smaller we seem to those who cannot fly” — Friedrich Nietzsche
“Let’s all face the facts. This world, in which many, if not most of us live, will never be a better place, until such time as it is occupied by a better class of tenants.” — Smart Bee
This last quote stimulated a thought, which I want to share…. I rant here, a lot, about politics, and religion, and how the people who engage in those particular pastimes are, essentially, sick puppies, and mostly just need to be put out of their misery, before they cause any further harm…. What occurred to me on reading the quote above is this: the real culprit responsible for our problems on this planet is not those who engage in those activities, precisely, though they are the outward manifestation of the problem…. The fatal characteristic that is guiding our downfall is a particular flaw in human nature, one that allows us to pursue those activities, but doesn’t give us, or make us use, the most important quality that makes them viable…
This flaw, which is a lack, (of restraint, a lack of ethics, or morals….) more than an actual flaw, is one that each of us, good and bad, possess, and display, at various times; I identify it as that part of us that can determine that we, as individuals, have the right to work our will on others, to seek and use power and resources to make other people follow what we wish to believe, to manipulate others so as to make what we want to happen the only outcome, to the exclusion of whatever others want, or need, or even think…. This power-hunger is all too prevalent in those who take up politics, as well as those who “are called by God” to enter the church (sorry, but being “called” by supernatural entities is deserving of medication and at best, compassion, not worship, or indulgence…) In the quote below, a wise man gives a short explanation of this flaw, and how it can affect all of us….
“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert Heinlein
Until our species can manage to root out this particular part of our nature, or at minimum, achieve enough control of it so that those who display it cannot affect the rest of us, we, as a species, will never be able to really get any further down the evolutionary road, since the path we are currently following, thanks to this flaw in our nature, which allows the predators to prey on the the rest of us, will only lead us into extinction… and THAT will be sooner than most ffolkes, or folks, believe it will be….
“A certain monk had a habit of pestering the Grand Tortue (the only one who had ever reached the Enlightenment ‘Yond Enlightenment), by asking whether various objects had Buddha-nature or not. To such a question Tortue invariably sat silent. The monk had already asked about a bean, a lake, and a moonlit night. One day he brought to Tortue a piece of string, and asked the same question. In reply, the Grand Tortue grasped the loop between his feet and, with a few simple manipulations, created a complex string which he proffered wordlessly to the monk. At that moment, the monk was enlightened.
From then on, the monk did not bother Tortue. Instead, he made string after string by Tortue’s method; and he passed the method on to his own disciples, who passed it on to theirs.” — Smart Bee
Sadly, neither Tortue, nor his disciple, ever made a copy of the string, and no one now is alive who remembers what it looked like…. SIGH… If nothing else, it might have kept the predatory among us all so busy, (See, that part’s easy… we’d just tell them there was a treasure for them, if they could make the string correctly assume the shape of enlightenment….), they wouldn’t have time to fuck with anyone else….
Well, that was certainly a Pearl, if the way I’m huffing and puffing, and trying to blow down walls is any indication… Of course, the wall is fine, but I’m definitely huffed and puffed out, so I’d best go see just what I’ve done here….. Have some toast and butter, and I’ll be right back….
Once again I’ve created something that is a little bigger than intended, and, in this case, almost up to snuff, conceptually….. It’s certainly fresh, and real, so, if nothing else, it’s probably healthy for you…. or for me, whichever comes first… Let me guess, ah, that would be……. me, of course…. but, I think, if you consume all of this one, it might just healthy for you, too…. Regardless, it’s done, so it’s good to go…. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes, if my luck holds….
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,
I just sits.