Solid fuel burns longer, trust us….

Ffolkes,

“Hold the MAYO & pass the COSMIC AWARENESS…”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

Ensenada plus 035

Coastline south of La Bufadora, Ensenada, Baja Mexico


Those of y’all who have been here frequently, (a habit, anout which, I’m sure most of y’all are a bit ambivalent… of course…), know of my ongoing battle with the process of introducing these Pearls…. Having to come up with something new, and different each day, while still making it worthwhile reading, is rather a daunting challenge, about which I consistently whine in a piteous, pitiable fashion…. Well, I’ll tell ya, I’m as tired of it as you are….

So, I’m again going to exercise my powers as Administrator, and as a Time Lord (I’m late again..) to get us out of here. I think a judicious use of #4 will work nicely, and so do you…. Y’all know this routine by now; put down your cups, make sure you’ve swallowed, and hang on. Luigi, while a professional, isn’t the most comfortable pilot to ride with; something to do with his time in Vietnam, as a copter door-gunner…. He doesn’t much care about danger, you see, having burned out all his neuronic receptors for that in what is left of his mind…. But, no worries, he gets an odd look in his eyes, but, he hasn’t crashed yet….

Shall we Pearl?

“Do not speak of what men deserve.   For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead Kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger.   Have we not eaten while another starved?  Will you punish us for that?  Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate?  No man earns punishment, no man earns reward.  Free your mind of the idea of *deserving*, of *earning*, and you will begin to be able to think.” — Odo, The Prison Letters (Ursula LeGuin, _The Dispossessed_)

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A-laughing-girl-and-her-camel

    This movie selection may pull my covers as a closet romantic, but, I don’t care. It’s one of my favorite movies to watch, when I’m looking for some mindless, comfortable, funny relaxation…. Kevin Kline’s performance is brilliant, with Meg Ryan playing off him perfectly as the ditzy blond she probably is very much like in the real world…. but, who knows, and who cares? It’s fun, and that’s enough…. Enjoy, ffolkes…


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

French Kiss

Meg Ryan, Kevin Kline

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

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Dont keep calm

    I’m still unable to bring myself to ranting state, so, here’s one from last year about this time….

From 4/4/2014:

The shadowy corporate snakeheads, (“snakeheads” is my newest shortcut name for the 1%,the rich and powerful who control the money and resources of this planet…. I use it because it is the English translation of the Chinese word for “slaver”, human traffickers who who dupe, or kidnap men, women, and children selling them into prostitution and/or slavery…. Thus, it becomes the perfect word to come after “corporate” when referring to one of those assholes….), who control the world, in their campaign to secure their position as the rulers of humanity, influenced the Shrubs enough during their terms in office that the Supreme Court justices they picked to replace dead judges were all their conservative buddies, all of whom are comfortably in the pockets of those self-same corporations. This, of course, has allowed the assholes who bought them to make even further inroads on our rights as individual citizens, by establishing the rights of corporations as superior to the rights of an individual….

A couple years ago, this led to the Citizens United decision, which gave the money-grubbers the opportunity to spend even more money on influencing politicians and elections, by forming giant Political Action Committees, where they could funnel millions of dollars into holding organizations, where it could be used for influencing elections, and to bribe congressional lawmakers…. That decision is a big part of how the Republican Party has managed to pass so many conservative laws in states around the nation, such as anti-abortion laws, and voting regulations which allow them to manipulate themselves into office, by providing obstacles which prevent the supporters of those who oppose them from voting….

Yesterday that decision was reinforced by yet another decision eroding our protection against corruption, a decision which removed most of the limits on how much money an individual can contribute, thus giving rich, avaricious, corrupt billionaires more say in Congress than the average citizen can match, allowing even more money to find a direct route into the Congressional pockets…. Below are two articles, from two sources, to offer a slightly different viewpoint (insofar as the media CAN be even-handed in their reporting….), just so we’re not limiting ourselves to one view…. C’mon back when you’re done, for what discussion may follow….

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Supreme-Court-strikes-down-overall-political-5371989.php

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/04/02/supreme-court-campaign-finance/4481675/

I’m pissed…. I’m so pissed, all I feel like doing is sitting here typing obscene names to call those assholes, in Texas (where Jr. lives….), Maryland (I think that’s where Shrub, Sr. lives…), and Washington D.C, at the courthouse, (where the Supremes hang out….)…. My next feeling, which somehow reminds me very much of sheer, unadulterated rage, is one that may just prompt me to go out, find a gun store, giving in to the urge buy the guns I’ve been considering…. Don’t worry, I won’t forget the ammunition…. I may have been a practicing pacifist for a long time, but, mostly, at least in terms of personal survival, that was just a pose to get the draft board off my back…. I have no issue with the use of force in support of what I believe is right…

For today, though, I’ll give myself some slack, which will give you some relief, from having to listen to my ranting over stuff we can’t change…. At least, nothing will change without resorting to drastic measures, in which most ffolkes are unwilling to engage, lest they risk increasing their karmic burden…. I figure it this way…. If we DON’T give up our insistence on non-violence, we are all going to die….. that is for sure and for certain, if things don’t change very soon….

That means there won’t be any next reincarnation, not on this planet, because it won’t have us; we are being evicted from this plane of existence… So, I don’t have to worry about coming back as in a form with less karmic status, as we won’t be coming back HERE at all…. Our energy configuration will just have to find some other reality to inhabit, because Mother Earth isn’t likely to rent to us again…. We’re too hard on the property….

Ah, the hell with it…. I’m pissed…. or did I say that already? Okay, I’m done…. Since I’m not organized or coherent enough to produce a true rant (I don’t consider this loud complaint a rant…. not enough reasoning, or quite enough structure….), I’ll fall back on another old-school pearl to close this out for the day….. I’ll bet you’re cheering inside, right?…. Okay, then, here, have it your way….

“Ignorance doesn’t kill you, but it makes you sweat a lot.” — Haitian proverb

“Faboo!, Would you like to see me make  bubbles with my spit?” — Wakko Warner

OCCIDENT, n.  The part of the world lying west (or east) of the Orient.  It is largely inhabited by Christians, a powerful sub-tribe of the Hypocrites, whose principal industries are murder and cheating, which they are pleased to call “war” and “commerce.”  These, also, are the principal industries of the Orient. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“There’s nothing wrong with you a shotgun blast to the face couldn’t fix.” — Smart Bee, from gigoid’s political fantasy files

— Bother! said Pooh, as he rolled another joint for the President.

“And took for truth the test of ridicule.” — George Crabbe (1754-1832) — Tales of the Hall, Book viii, The Sisters

“Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

Perfect…. I have only one thing left to say, to wit:

“There are two intelligent responses to contemporary Western civilization: laughter and despair. You’ll note I’m not laughing.” — gigoid

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Comedy_Tragedy

“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.” — EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994

Unsolicited Gratitude
Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.

Still, a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.

Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.

Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.

Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.

~~ gigoid ~~


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lao

    Smart Bee is cooperating, but, reluctantly; it took a LONG time to put this one together, and I’m still not sure what it means…. Good food for thought, though, all of it….

“The field of consciousness is tiny.  It accepts only one problem at a time. Get into a fist fight, put your mind on the strategy of the fight, and you will not feel the other fellow’s punches.”– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“I do not distinguish by the eye, but by the mind, which is the proper judge of the man.” — Seneca (8 BC) — On a Happy Life, 2, (L’Estrange’s Abstract, Chap, i.)

“My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

“Anyone who has had a bull by the tail knows five or six more things than someone who hasn’t.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others; to be, not to seem.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xxxvii, — Of the Resemblance of Children to their Brothers

“In every affair consider what precedes and what follows, and then undertake it.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — That Everything is to be undertaken with Circumspection, — Discourses, Book iii, Chap. xv

“I grow old ever learning many things.” — Solon 630 – 555 BC

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I have fulfilled my vow, and may now take my leave. I shall do so forthwith, as I can’t seem to break out of this formality, much as it chokes me to experience…. SIGH…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, unless I come to my senses….

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

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

A hint of rosemary in the air….

Ffolkes,

“I bid him look into the lives of men as though into a mirror, and from others to take an example for himself.”

~~ Terence (185-159 BC) ~~

~~ Adelphoe, Act iii, Sc. 3, 61, (415.) ~~

August 14 2014 002 (2)

    Being normal isn’t one of my strengths. Never has been, so, I really never miss it, a fact I consider a boon, from what I observe about those who choose to accept it as their option of choice. Now, however, I am approaching fast the farthest end of my life, finding myself in an all-too-familiar sounding situation, where age-related issues become the focus of life, as we try to patch, or support, or remove, or somehow find a fix for all the different parts of our bodies that are showing signs of failing strength, and the approach of the final shut-down sequence….

Euphemisms aside, it’s a pisser, for sure and for certain; in my case, I am also feeling rather insulted…. Here I am, one who followed a path of healthy activity levels all my life, following the advice of doctors, and all the supposed experts on health, who recommend that we be active, eat well, and take care of our bodies by making them work hard…. I played every sport known to the American public, and a few they didn’t know; as soon as I got to college, I started studying martial arts, for which the conditioning goes well beyond what most sports require…. It only makes sense to me; one doesn’t wish to be in a middle of a fight, only to give in to feeling “tired”. The opposing fighter won’t care…. and, it could get you killed or seriously injured…

What all those “experts” forget to mention is the principle of moderation, a principle that overrides all the rest. Moderation is the key to successful living, in almost ALL areas of endeavor; even moderation itself is subject to this, as it is good for us to, occasionally, go beyond our limits, or not reach them. It seems to have a balancing effect necessary to full understanding and utilization; it also tends to soothe those feelings of rebelliousness in all of us, that fights against such restraints, allowing us the inner peace to make good choices as to how to live…. It’s actually simple, and not hard to follow….. it’s just not a well-enough known idea to be of complete use to all….

All of that being said, there isn’t a damn thing to do, at this point, about any of it; it’s now officially too late. All I can do now is deal with my systems as, one by one, they show their characteristics of impending failure… My latest revelation from my doctor indicates I have, as is all too normal, (for me, anyway) become a type 2 diabetic; my blood test over the last 3 years show a distinct climb into the red zone for my blood sugar. So, I now must watch my diet even more closely, start taking a new medication to help regulate the blood sugar, and, worst, I get to puncture a hole in one of my fingers 3 times a day to measure and monitor that blood sugar….. Oh, joy….

It doesn’t seem to help to know I don’t need insulin shots; the pill is now the initial treatment of choice. Having to check my blood 3 times a day is a PITA, which, as my fingers get tired of being poked, will become a chore of duty, which will, possibly, make it okay to maintain, but, will also tend to aggravate the angst, to know it could have been avoided, had I had the wherewithal to make some lifestyle changes a few years ago…. But, with all the confidence of an immortal, I did not, disbelieving that I could ever fall prey to such a NORMAL issue….

HONK!….. That’s my nose going off, by the way…. Oh well, enough whining for one day. I’m gonna go pick on some politicians and preachers for a while; that always makes me feel better…. Having poked my finger for the first time, I am free to do what I wish, and, right now, I wish to Pearl…. So, since I see one of our opportunities right ahead there, at the end of this paragraph, I’ll bid thee a temporary adieu…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“When I was younger, I could remember anything, whether it had happened or not; but my faculties are decaying now and soon I shall be so I cannot remember any but the things that never happened.  It is sad to go to pieces like this but we all have to do it.” — Mark Twain

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I have decided to put the daily video section here, in section one, from now on…. This way, you can start the morning’s reading, (or evening’s, I don’t care when…. as long as you stop by…. *grin*) while listening to the music I’ll provide…. Those times when I use a movie, or documentary, or other video genre, we’ll see; those may go even further down than section two… I wouldn’t want to write too much in stone; bad habit….. Any who, enjoy this one, as it was specifically designed by the site subscriber to accompany reading…. The daily rant will show up in section two today, and, if all goes according to plan, will be seen there from now on….

Music for Reading; Various Classical Artists/Composers

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“He must needes goe whom the devill doth drive.” ~~ John Heywood (c. 1565) — Proverbes, Part ii, Chap. vii ~~

“As you know, I planned a trip out there for some time, so it fits in very nicely.” ~~ president George Bush, on his trip to LA after the riots ~~

“Nobody goes to bed hungry in America” — R. Reagan

“Politicians aren’t born, they are excreted.” — Cicero

“That it should come to this!” ~~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act i, Sc. 2 ~~


The above five-star pearl is a lead-in group, mostly aimed at those with whom the following discussion is concerned. Below you’ll find two links to articles discussing two separate, but related issues from the news yesterday, found in the UK Guardian’s US edition online. They are both in-depth pieces, with a bit of egregiously egotistic back patting in the first one, but, both are more involved, in-depth, and in tune with the truth than any news organization from the US I can find, with the most important issues made clear, the culpability of the responsible parties made obvious, and the downright evil prevarication by the FBI director laid out for all to see…. An excerpt from each follows the article link, identifiable by quotation marks….

After those first two articles, I’ve also included an excellent column on the same subject by one of the Guardian’s staff opinion writers, named Trevor Timm. He gives a good summary of the exact points I wish to cover in his opening paragraph, which I’ve included as an excerpt, below the link. After that, I’ll have a few comments, and we’ll see how it goes from there…. Hitch up your belts, & make sure your backpacks are secured ffolkes, this could take a while…. but, as Lord Peter has been known to say, “This ain’t a joke, Charles! It’s important. Damn important!”…..

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/16/-sp-revealed-whisper-app-tracking-users

“Whisper acknowledged that it researches the location of specific users it believes are posting newsworthy information, but emphasised it typically uses GPS data.”

“Whisper stressed the IP location data it uses for people who have asked not to be followed is rough and unreliable.”

“We occasionally look at user IP addresses internally to determine very approximate location,” the company said. “User IP addresses may allow very coarse location to be determined to the city, state or country level.”

“It added: “Whisper does not request or store any personally identifiable information from users, therefore there is never a breach of anonymity. From time to time, when a user makes a claim of a newsworthy nature, we review the user’s past activity to help determine veracity.”

“The company strongly rejected any assertion of wrongdoing. “The Guardian’s assumptions that Whisper is gathering information about users and violating user’s privacy are false,” it said. “The privacy of our users is not violated in any of the circumstances suggested in the Guardian story.”

“Four days later, Whisper rewrote large sections of its terms of service and introduced an entirely new privacy policy.”

“Whereas the previous terms and conditions described all of Whisper’s tracking of user location as “voluntary”, the new terms now warn users to “bear in mind that, even if you have disabled location services, we may still determine your city, state, and country location”.

“Since becoming aware that the Guardian planned to publish its story, the anonymous app has also inserted a new line into its privacy policy.”

“It now warns users that turning on the app’s geolocation feature may “allow others, over time, to make a determination as to your identity”.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/16/fbi-director-attacks-tech-companies-encryption

“…he recognised their embrace of encryption responded to “perceive[d]” market pressures in the wake of Snowden’s disclosures. But Comey suggested that end-to-end mobile device encryption amounted to a safe haven for criminals.”

“Are we no longer a country that is passionate both about the rule of law and about their being no zones in this country beyond the reach of that rule of law? Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?” he said.”

“Comey acknowledged that the Snowden disclosures caused “justifiable surprise” among the public about the breadth of government surveillance, but hoped to mitigate it through greater transparency and advocacy.”

“Yet the FBI keeps significant aspects of its surveillance reach hidden even from government oversight bodies. Intelligence officials said in a June letter to a US senator that the FBI does not tally how often it searches “through NSA’s vast hoards of international communications, without warrants, for Americans’ identifying information.”

“Comey frequently described himself as being technologically unprepared to offer specific solutions, and said he meant to begin a conversation, even at the risk of putting American tech companies at a competitive disadvantage.”

“Where we may get is to a place where the US, through its Congress, says, ‘You know what, we need to force this on American companies,’ and maybe they’ll take a hit. Someone in some other country will say, ‘Ah, we sell a phone that even with lawful authority people can’t get into.’ But that we as a society are willing to have American companies take that hit. That’s why we have to have this conversation,” Comey said”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/17/government-internet-backdoor-surveillance-fbi

“FBI director James Comey wants a US government-mandated backdoor into your iPhone and your Google account. But Comey doesn’t want to call his proposed privacy invasion a backdoor. He doesn’t understand how it would work. And he expects everyone who has been horrified by the NSA’s mass surveillance to just sit back, weaken their personal security and trust that the government will never abuse it.”

“Comey also claimed on Thursday that the “Post-Snowden pendulum” needs to swing back in favor of the government, neglecting to mention Congress has passed literally zero laws reigning in government surveillance. In fact, the main reason the major tech companies are pushing forward with encryption is because the government refuses to follow the will of the people and curtail the NSA’s powers at all. If Comey wanted a careful debate about the right balance of privacy and security before decisions like Apple’s are made, like he also said on Thursday night, maybe he should’ve advocated for that when the NSA was massively expanding their powers for years in complete secrecy.”

“Twitter tweet October 16, 2014: “Comey’s right: Deployment of strong crypto should be preceded by thoughtful debate. Which we had & correctly resolved 15 years ago.— Julian Sanchez (@normative)”

“So while we break out the world’s smallest violin as Jim Comey complains about the “Post-Snowden pendulum”, remember: the US government, through its own secret actions, brought this on themselves.”


I can’t say, with any degree of accuracy, but, I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard such a load of pure bullshit, straight from the bull’s butt, in a very, very long time…. When Richard Nixon raised his peace sign fingers, and stated, “I am not a crook.”, was probably the last time…. I swear, this man, this Comey, who heads up the FBI, obviously has the lowest opinion of the American public’s intelligence of almost anyone I’ve ever seen…. The demon-spawn from hell, Newt Gargoyle, or Gribble, or Grinch, Grngich, or whatever his weird-ass name was, came close on a regular basis, as did that ghoul, Dick Cheney, but, this Über-cop, this gestapo at the head of our nation’s largest domestic police force has, I believe. taken the cake….

Moreover, he implies that anyone who doesn’t support his, and the government’s, grab for power over every aspect of our lives is unpatriotic, a cowardly enemy of American principles, which, according to HIM, start (and, by implication, end…) with submissive respect for the “rule of law”, suggesting that the American public should feel privileged to allow them to have access to ALL of their private information…. Of course, the implied insult here is that only criminals and other unsavory characters should have something to hide from them, and their oh-so-perfect moral position….

What a crock of shit! I can’t say it any plainer than that…. and, I’ve probably said enough by now, anyway…. I’ll leave you with one last wake-up pearl, to think about when you’re assigning blame for what is happening in today’s world….. The FBI director, in his remarks, asks what he considers a rhetorical question, to wit:

“Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?”

I can only answer with a resounding “Yes, we have! We have lost ALL trust in the police. and the government, with good reason. I wouldn’t trust you to tell me the correct time!”

Well, I might not say that last part to his face, maybe, but, I can assure you, I’d want to, very badly, and would have to exert significant effort of will to refrain from doing so…. though, why I would bother, I don’t know…..

“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” — Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Star Wars”


I was going to leave it at that, but, as I finished, I received an email from EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit activism organization made up of people, like me, and, hopefully, y’all, who are concerned with keeping the internet free of corporate influence and government oppression, to guarantee the open, free interchange of ideas and communication that characterizes how it is supposed to be, as intended by those who created it…. They are one of the entities who brought suit against the government about this issue, in a suit which is now about to be heard by the Supreme Court, along with several others they have supported, or helped to organize…

Below, I have included three links to articles on their home site, which speak to the information and issues of which we spoke above in this section. Each article clearly explains how the government and other entities are trying to subvert the internet, making it a tool for oppression, rather than a tool for expanding human knowledge and culture…. These explain how the government, and their myrmidons, the police, are working to take away the usefulness of having such a means to spread knowledge, wanting instead to keep it for their own use, which involves the control over our lives they so desperately desire….

Good info, ffolkes, well researched and written, very clearly presented…. I’ve donated to this one, which I don’t do, as a rule, but, they’re working hard to protect US, that is, YOU and ME, so, they deserve my support…. If nothing else, it will give you an idea of how the situation stands today….

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/even-golden-key-can-be-stolen-thieves-simple-facts-apples-encryption-decision

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/09/computercop-dangerous-internet-safety-software-hundreds-police-agencies

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/nsa-mind-bender-wont-tell-info-already-leaked-media/

“The best way to lose freedom is not to do anything.” — Smart Bee

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Once again, to avoid any possible litigation over any blame associated with what I write, we’ll stick to my stuff….. It may not come up to the relative value of one of the classics, but, it will do for our purposes…. I do hope you enjoy it…. that’s something, I guess….

Dreaming, I wait….

In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.

Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.

Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.

Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.

Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.

When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.

Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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George Carlin. What can I possibly add to all that has been said about this man….  His life spanned the period of time from May 12, 1937 to June 22, 2008…. Even though he lived to the age of 70, in my opinion, he shall ever remains an example of “only the good die young”. He WAS young, even at 70, for, right up to the day he died, his mind looked at the world with a child’s eyes, in a fresh, uncluttered way that allowed him to see through every piece of bullshit the world threw up…. and, as my blogs indicate, that is a LOT of bullshit….

George also had a unique way of making us laugh about all the bad things in life, making them, if not more comfortable, at least more palatable, thus giving us the chance at solving some of them…. I miss his wit, and his vision, which saw through every politician and preacher in the world, no matter what their allegiance… For that alone, I shall always honor his memory, and will always consider him my role model for literary activism, as far as possible for an old curmudgeon with too much time on his hands….

Why, you may ask, are we having another video today? Well, it’s simple…. Smart Bee is on hiatus, for a day or three; it’s been bad, and I had to punish it. For a while, I’ll try to replace any old-school pearls you may have found here in section five with whatever comes to mind…. and, George came to mind first…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. Use the link to find a great many You Tubes, with George, and other comedians, as well…


George Denis Patrick Carlin
 

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The process of creating these little gems has grown to resemble nothing so much as Joseph’s Coat of Many Colors; new methods, tacked up right alongside old ones, or patched over them, give it that apocalyptic look so fashionable now; I couldn’t be prouder if I had tried to make it look that way…. It’s also, at least for today, done, which is my favorite kind of Pearl….

Okay, brain gone, nothing left to use… Must go now, find new parts…. 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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Got them existential earthquake blues….

Ffolkes,

“When Darius offered him ten thousand talents, and to divide Asia equally with him, “I would accept it,” said Parmenio, “were I Alexander.” “And so truly would I,” said Alexander, “if I were Parmenio.” But he answered Darius that, “the earth could not bear two suns, nor Asia two kings.”

~~ Plutarch ~~

(46-120 AD)

— Alexander —

Burrowing Owls at Blair Drummond

    Above the most excellent face of the brooding owl**, you see the root origin of the modern phrase, and society-wide, commonly held, basic life philosophy, which is now stated, “My way, or the highway.”….. This simple concept has been the primary philosophical model for every dictator, conqueror, king, CEO, pope, shogun, emperor, capo, cardinal, prime minister, “reclusive billionaire”, drug kingpin, arms dealer, etc. that has lived since Alexander’s time….

Most likely, events that would lead historical philosophers, such as Plutarch, to make the observation he made about Alexander, happened well before that time, albeit, perhaps, with a lesser degree of cooperation, and acceptance of this concept as the norm for society, from such large numbers of the mundane members of society, the proletariat,the bourgeois, the little people of society who are now alive in such improbable numbers, exceeding seven billion individuals…. In short, Alexander’s example made it okay for all the other petty conquerors and those of a predatory nature toward their peers to entertain the idea of conquest and control with much greater enthusiasm, along with the approbation of most of society….

Since the advent of effective brainwashing techniques, that go by such average, unsuspecting names as religion, politics, public relations, advertising, and large sporting events (an institution to sublimate war, and the individual’s predilection for violence, evolved from the ancient Roman circus, as an excellent method of keeping society distracted by its own impulses), huge portions of humanity have been trained to passively go along with whatever they are told, quite docilely, even believing they are making up their own minds about how they live, and even what they think…

These unfortunate people never know, throughout their entire lives, that they are the victims of a historical force (farce?) that has dictated the structure and make-up of society for many thousands of years, all without most people even knowing they were being fooled into basing their entire existence on a set of delusions, taught to them by someone they trusted, before they had any chance to defend their mind from the lies…..

Whew…. Now, I’m out of breath, and haven’t even gotten to the pearls, or begun what might resemble an introduction….. SIGH…. I guess it’ll be alright…. No harm, no foul, right? Or, is that an offshoot of the brainwashing? Hmm, I’ll have to think about that one….

For now, let’s try something else, maybe even new…. I don’t know what that might be, and it will require using the Tardis, but, I’m not afraid…. Are you? Well, sorry, but, it’s too late now to do anything about it; we’ve been past Earth’s orbit for about five minutes now, and will just have to do the entire Great Circle of the Entire Universe, to get home again…. and that won’t happen until AFTER the pearls are done… I guess we’d best get to that, eh?

Shall we Pearl?….

“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.” — EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994

** The picture is from the London Daily Telegraph from a week ago; it came from a series they run each week, The Week in Animal Pictures….

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“Confronted with the choice, the American people would choose the policeman’s truncheon over the anarchist’s bomb.” — Spiro T. Agnew

Sure they would; you keep thinking that, Spiro…. Oh, right, you’re dead. Just as well, I would say; you didn’t help much when you were alive…. Sorry, but, Spiro’s comment was one of the first signs in this country of where the mindset of public policy was heading. In spite of the advances in other areas of society and culture, in terms of the humanizing effects of social changes that were prompted by the increasingly obvious ill effects of centuries of various types of oppression.

Vast social unrest spawned social revolution, starting rather abruptly in the late 1950’s to the early 1960’s…. “Movements” swept through the entire nation, ignited by the ideas coming out of the nation’s universities, movements such as the women’s right’s movement, the Free Speech movement, Free Love….. Black Panthers, Grey Panthers, Gay Pride, and all the other new ideas caused changes to society, and law, all caming out of the unrest in the last fifty years of the twentieth century, but had building during the entire first half….All of which is now seeing even more fruition, as LGBT rights,  immigrant’s rights, health care reform, etc. are all undergoing vast changes in social importance….

As is clear by now, though I can’t spend a long time at one sitting, there are several news subjects which will keep me at the computer, sometimes too long… but, mental activity is often sufficient distraction from pain to become the primary focus of attention, so I end up sitting until I get stiff & sore, & have to move for a while…. One of those subjects is the increasingly disturbing behavior of the police, in not just this country, but all over the world.

The issue is one I consider a weather vane of societal issues; what one sees in the news about it gives an overall idea of what is being said in many areas of concern, as well as providing clues, and obvious tells, that indicate what is being held back, by the media, by the police themselves, and by those who allegedly give them their orders, i.e., politicians… All of it, taken together, provides information regarding the overall health of the society…. I hate to say it, but, the prognosis doesn’t look good….

Of course, even that statement shows how society’s idea of what police SHOULD be, has changed, now colored by reality, which has evolved to show us how the very WORST human characteristics are, all-too-often, those qualities held to be what public officers of safety should have, in order to do the job well…. Large, aggressive, individuals who get a sense of self-satisfaction at controlling others, combined with a willingness to consider themselves not subject to those laws they are to uphold, have become the personality type that gravitates to police work, and we, the people of the world who are not interested in controlling anything but our own destiny, suffer the consequences of this process, i.e., the ongoing militarization of the entire public safety sector….

“Safety” is the key word, and another word whose meaning has altered, in terms of what is implied about WHOSE safety is being protected…. What the public police forces now work so hard to protect is not the set of individual rights, and the safety of the common citizen, but, rather, the protection of the property, (first), and rights, and safety, of the corporate interests who control the political process….

Protecting the rights of American citizens to protest has become secondary to “keeping the public peace”, a simple yet effective euphemism, which translates into reality as protecting property; police in this country now view the public as the enemy, from whom protection is needed, to keep property secure, to keep business operating, so the profit margin of the corporate snakeheads never falls below what is considered acceptable to them…. no matter who suffers in the process….

That’s enough ranting for one session, I think…. I’m going to let the news speak for itself, to show you whereof I speak…. I’ve grouped the articles I’ve been reading, with the occasional excerpt to highlight the appropriate key information in each one so treated, in groups of three, each group from different news outlets, to show two things…. One, how different parts of the world view the same issues, and two, how the reporting of the issues, no matter which outlet is reporting, is lacking in certain areas, areas that the people who control the news don’t want discussed. I find those absences to be just as telling as what is actually noted in the articles…. Any who, without further ramble or blather, here is a raft of evidence, of the sadly ubiquitous corruption of one of our most critical public institutions, taking place right in front of our eyes…..

“It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support.  If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man’s shoulders.  I must get off him first, that he may pursue his contemplations too.” — Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience

From SFGATE, 8/23/2014:

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Lawsuit-slams-S-F-police-shooting-of-man-with-5706410.php

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/National-Guard-to-withdraw-from-a-quieter-Ferguson-5705035.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Police-officer-accused-of-sex-assaults-on-patrol-5707388.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

“Nelson said Holtzclaw’s colleagues were upset at the allegations against a police officer.” “Most of us see it as a black eye to our profession and our department,” he said.

I hadn’t planned on reading all of the last one, but, ended up doing so; good thing, as the most telling words in the article came at the very end… these are the last two lines…. All I could think was, “Oh, poor babies! One of them is caught at a criminal act, and THEY feel like victims! What a world!

——————————-

From the UK Guardian, 8/23/2014:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/23/ferguson-michael-brown-blame-poverty-not-race

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/23/ferguson-officer-relieved-duty-video-racist-remarks

“John Moore, a radio presenter and fellow Vietnam veteran who said he had been friends with Page for 26 years, told the Guardian on Friday Page had served in the St Louis police for “more than 20 years” and had remained a military reservist until recently.” …. “He’s been up to his eyeballs in a riot for about two weeks, dealing with rioters in 100 degree humidity. It’s rough. It’s a warzone,” said Moore”

The italic and bold highlight is my own, to, well, highlight…. Again, my immediate thought was, “Oh, poor baby! His job is harder than he thought it was, or, perhaps merely harder than he thinks it should be; the response? Go to war with the protesters, automatically classifying, and objectifying them as the enemy in their attitude/mindset, thus, justifying, in their minds, at least, their illegal/immoral behavior….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/22/michael-brown-ferguson-residents-vote

“After what happened here I think it’s up to either our generation or our kids to step up and run for office. If none of us care to be on that council board then it’s always going to be a board full of white folks. It took something like this to happen to make people realise that,” he said.” ….”But Howard added that it may take a while and he is not confident the political reality will change. He said the protests of recent days have done more to draw attention to the situation in Ferguson than political campaigning.”…. “Without the looting, without the burning down stuff, without the tear gassing, nobody would even be interested. We tried it the old way and the old way didn’t work. The Martin Luther King way didn’t work. Being non-violent didn’t work. Once you bring a little violence, they pay attention,” he said.

Notice how, at the end, the man being quoted, a member of the public now at war, by police decree, has reached the point where the only remaining choice they leave themselves has to be some kind of revolution…. a word that means just means “change”, if one leaves out the connotation it suffers…. The public is beginning to see the futility of causing that change within the system, which only leaves change imposed on the system from without…. a euphemism for the application of physical force…. and, the harsher, more violent connotation of the word…. revolution….. If it happens, it won’t be a surprise; rather, it will be an example of the inevitability of violence begetting violence….

What also bothers me, a lot, is how the British news site has so much more coverage, and more thorough coverage, of the issue at hand, than does the American outlet, in spite of all of the seminal events happening smack in the middle of the American continent. I chose three from each venue, for balance, but, the choice was very much different; in the American site, I left out two articles I saw, the total being five in one day on this subject, i.e, police criminality and militarization.

In any of the Guardian articles, from the British outlet, just look at the page of any of the three articles, compared to the American page; there are a very large number of articles from today, as well as a number from their previous coverage, all of which delve more deeply into the issue than their counterpart’s efforts. And, I didn’t pick ANY commentary articles, op-eds, so to speak, from columnists or members of the reading public, from either site. But, there are none at the American site, anyway, except one of the two I didn’t include…. there are several to choose from on the Guardian…

I was going to go to another site, from somewhere else in the world, to see what kind of coverage could be found there, but, this is already long enough, and you still will have to read the articles, to decide for yourself how to feel about it all… Myself, I feel ragged out, pissed off, and a little nervous…. I’ve been ranting for an hour now on this (you can’t see the breaks I take….), hence ragged out. Pissed off, of course, at how things have deteriorated in this country I love….And, a little nervous….

I’m not afraid of much of anything, physically speaking. I’ve dealt with violence all of my life, having been raised from birth to age ten mostly on US Army bases around the US and the world. I’ve studied martial arts for many years, and know that I am capable of dealing with 99% of whatever violence happens in my immediate vicinity, as long as I am alert, and armed as usual (I carry several weapons, not visible to most people, and a couple that aren’t at all visible to the naked eye, unless one is equally skilled at martial arts, and has learned to observe the pertinent tell-tale signs, in the eyes, the stance, and, the general demeanor….).

Having personally been through over 800 altercations with persons in the throes of mental anguish, over the course of my career with the State of California, I can state unequivocally that fear is not an issue for me in such instances…. not any longer anyway…. My fear receptors got pretty well burned out there over those 11 years…. It taught me how to use my head to avoid such situations, though with the caveat that life can always surprise us, and usually when we least expect it, so, it’s a good policy to keep one’s hands free at all times…. and, to stay alert….

However, I am nervous now, because none of those weapons I carry is a gun….. but, I can foresee a future where I may be confronted with people in police uniforms who have one, and have no compunction about using it to force me to do something I really would rather not do…. When one adds a gun to any physical confrontation, the rules change, and the level of seriousness takes an immediate jump into the red zone…. Been there, done that, don’t want to go back….

But, if things go on the way they are, it may be necessary to start carrying at least the minimum firepower to meet any such confrontation without having to worry about disarming them; I’m not as fast as I used to be. Any such confrontational police officers are liable to be much younger than me, and trained, at least minimally, so, speed and power would be required to disarm them before using their superior weaponry. Since to do so would cause me to make a large payment to the gods of pain, I’d much rather think ahead, and start carrying adequate protection against such idiots….

Most likely though, I’ll just go on as I have, gunless, and use my head even more to stay away from potentially confrontational situations where the police might wish to intervene…. It’s fairly easy most of the time, because one of the glaring failures of every police hiring system in existence is the fact the candidates for the job never take a basic intelligence test, or any sort of psychological testing to determine their ability to think and act in acceptable patterns…. I’d think, for a job where the most critical factor is how the candidate will deal with the stress of the work, those would be some rather important basic things to know about any potential public servants…. but, then, I’m not a bureaucrat any more….

Here is one final article, to put a close to the discussion today…. It’s a good breakdown of the issues, and again, is from a British source, rather than an American…. It’s a good summary, and a good analysis… Naturally, there will be an appropriate pearl of virtual wisdom to bring a dignified close to such an epic discussion, of such serious nature, I’m not even going to apologize for becoming either pompous, nor for subjecting you to my pedantic tendencies…. I will, however, hope you will think about it, if only to add your own thoughts to the national dialogue in some fashion….

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/22/ferguson-black-community-justice-elusive-michael-brown

“It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Just how normal are we? Just who are the people we nod our hellos to as we pass on the street?  A rather good question to ask–particularly in the Twilight Zone.” — Rod Serling

Oops…. that doesn’t quite hit the right spot, though, it does have some points of congruency…. We’ll try again….

“Will the third world war keep “Bosom Buddies” off the air?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Oh, Zippy…. such a fine touch at finding the most irrelevant aspect of the big picture, & focusing right in on that! Tres chic, but, not quite what I’m looking for…. That means I get just one more try at this, or I give up, & take my lumps at embarrassment….

“To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

Hmm…. It’s a bit “nice” for my usual taste, but, it does work, and it does sort of fit, with the proper loosening of standards…. It will do, well enough to go on…. Looking back, I’m guessing there a huge sigh of relief passing around the cabin just now…..  Oh, well, I got carried away, what can I say?…. Don’t worry, I won’t start again, by answering that question….

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This is an older poem of mine, a sublimation of sorts, written after a rant I wrote in September of 2012, just prior to the election, when the GOP and Mitt, the Twit, Romney were not yet completely out of the race for the presidency; at that point, late in the race, it was still unclear if the GOP would be able to unseat the black man in the White House; fortunately for us all, they weren’t able to do so, although it was closer than even I had believed, when the incredibly scary number of 55 million voters voted for a man who would have sent us back to the dark ages….. This was the poem it drew out of me…. It’s a little pedantic, with a lot of obscure imagery and metaphor, but, also kind of powerful…. I like it, and, it rhymes, so it’s all good….

Fatal Supplication

But what becomes of our deepest dangerous dreams?
Does fantasy rescue any part of life’s imperiled favor?
Reality becomes but silvery pairs of mismatched teams,
Dining with affable elegance, such diffident waste to savor.

Who decides what sorrows to carry bravely to term?
Will fragrant moments of sanity make hasty manifestation?
Only Time’s patient mutability sends messages so firm,
Yet salient impersonal vexation lends credence to ripe imagination.

Can folly bring out sadness and rampant visions of beauty?
What kindness can be found in distant open relations?
With countless faces the dead disturb with dire impunity,
From separate caches of wisdom come simple stylish privations.

Shall shallow emotion serve to provide such explanations?
When does avaricious intensity assume primary focus?
Plain answers slide softly through with multiple mitigations,
While conceptually indignant concepts engage a fatally personal locus.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Either I’m spending too much time at this, or I’ve lost all sense of proportion…. The last few Pearls have been HUGE, as far word counts go…. This Pearl, being sufficiently long already, will now get truncated a small amount,  by making this last section an old-school, random parameter quickie…. though time isn’t an issue at this point. Size is…. But, then, sometimes, it’s the five-star pearls that seem to be the most compelling…..  Enjoy, ffolkes…

“Think on this doctrine,–that reasoning beings were created for one another’s sake; that to be patient is a branch of justice, and that men sin without intending it.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 3

“In shallow waters, shrimps make fools of dragons.” — Chinese Proverb

“If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, “Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number?” No.  “Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence?” No.  Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.” — David Hume

“In the bigger scheme of things, the universe is not asking us to do something, the universe is asking us to be something. And that’s a whole different thing.” — Lucille Clifton

Always we hope
Someone else has the answer
Some other place will be better
Some other time it will all work out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer
No other place will be better
And it has already turned out.
At the center of your being
You have the answer;
You know who you are and what you want.
There is no need to turn outside
For better seeing.
Rather abide at the center of your being
For the more you leave it
The less you learn.
Search your own heart and see
the way to do is to be.

~~  Lao Tzu ~~


There…. see what I mean?…..

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“What makes the universe so hard to comprehend is that there’s nothing to compare it with.” — Smart Bee

At 3:21 AM this morning, I was awakened from my dozing prior to getting up at 4, when a low rumble began to sound, growing in seconds to a loud roar, accompanied by the walls, floor, and world at large starting to shake, building up until several items fell to the floor from shelves around the house…. The earthquake lasted about 6-10 seconds, I’d say, which is confirmed by the first reports I saw online, which took a good 15 minutes to hit the news… I guess they were researching and checking sources to get details for a while before breaking it…

It was quite thrilling, all in all, though a bit worrying to wonder if the two-story house I live in would collapse, sending me and my bed into the garage below…. It didn’t, and from what I could tell, the 6.something quake didn’t move the building drastically enough to bust up any of the internal pipes, or crack the walls… The power stayed on, too, so, it seems the quake was far enough away to not damage anything in the immediate vicinity, at least, not badly enough to stop any services….  (okay, the latest report, as of 4:46 AM called it a 6.0, and much of the town I live in IS without power right now… guess I was far enough from the epicenter to avoid the darkness zone….)

It’s too bad it got me up this early; much of today’s Pearl was done yesterday, when the outrage was fresh for the ranting process, and I had the space from pain long enough to sit down to write…. It’s not yet 5, I’m wide awake, and almost done with this…. It will stretch my creativity to the max to come up with something distracting enough to help me keep from chewing on my hair until the rest of the world wakes up….

Oh, right, they’re probably up already, too! Yay! I’ll be able to find someone to harass talk to….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, providing mother Gaia doesn’t decide to throw us another, much bigger quake, that slides this town right into the Bay….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

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
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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

Honest, mister, I read the manual….

Ffolkes,

Before beginning to write today, I took a few moments playing solitaire, to calm my nerves, and to help me in beating back the urge to rant, here in the intro section. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with ranting; it’s just not the best place for it, in terms of structure and format. I prefer to wait, at least until section one, before jumping in with both feet, and haven’t been very adept of late at keeping myself from that form of premature ejaculation, an issue which hasn’t been a problem since, oh, before my marriage ended…. at least, not in a verbal sense…. The physical aspects of that descriptive phrase haven’t been a problem for some years, but one must be cautious, lest such things spread to one’s peripheral activities….

Now, I’m sure that, while you probably can appreciate my delicacy in discussing this matter with some discretion, it’s probably somewhat confusing, trying to figure out whether I’m talking about talking, writing, or making love (as opposed to ‘having sex’, a much less enjoyable sport….). In fact, I’m a bit confused myself, but, in this case, that may be an advantage. There are times when a certain degree of “plausible deniability” comes in handy…. just ask any President, or Presidential candidate about that…. Of course, they probably won’t discuss it, at least not on record, but, you can always say you asked; that has to count for something….

Oops, almost got caught up there…. I’ve got to remember to be careful, not to even MENTION a politician, or a preacher-type (even though, as Popes go, this one’s got a lot of class the others never showed….), or I start in on them with a vengeance…. I just don’t think I need to spend that much energy here in the beginning… I need to learn to pace myself, saving the best part for later on in the Pearl, where it will be highlighted by the brilliance of the material that surrounds and supports it…. Ah, yes, dreams..

We all have our dreams, don’t we? Me, I thought, hey, if I call Congress, maybe I can talk to Feinstein, or Pelosi, or one of my actual representatives in the House of Representatives…. They’ve got a lot of representatives there; maybe I can even find the one that is supposed to be representing ME, to ask him/her (I suppose I ought to know which it is, shouldn’t I?….) some of these pertinent questions I have, about the latest news coming down the pike…. I’d love to ask some of them the kind of questions that cause a deep silence on the other end of the phone, you know? The kind that tells me I’ve stumped them, or caught them without a prepared lie…

Whoa, hold on there…. almost went there again…. Oh well, I suppose I’ve blathered enough, and wandered around the edges of coherency without really saying anything, for what is most probably enough material to be able to call it an intro… If not, well, too bloody bad, ffolkes, because I’m done with it now, and no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to make me start over…. Not that I expect you’d be that silly, but, we’ve had some weird stuff happen, so, I try to cover all the bases in my preparations…. In the meantime….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Honor is the reward of virtue.” — Cicero (B.C. 106-43)

(If this is still true, we’re all in deep shit…. Just thought you should know…. )
_____________________________

Well, I waited until now to begin ranting, which is probably a good thing. Perhaps this will be a bit more effective as a call to action than in the usual position, or wherever it’s been of late that has kept it from at least making me feel a bit better for having ranted…. What a mouthful! And so on topic, too! Gotta love us amateurs, eh?….

At any rate, I found this article yesterday, buried back a few pages, probably because everyone is so tired of hearing of yet ANOTHER outrageous instance of the NSA breaking the law, by once again going far beyond the scope of their legal mandate, in the ever-widening quest by our own government to become the true Evil Empire…. I know, that’s some pretty high-powered language to use to in discussing an agency of our own government, but, as always, I believe in calling a spade a damn shovel, not an indigenous individual digging device, type 2…. and you may as well get used to it….

These assholes over at the NSA have gone completely bonkers; they assumed that because they got practically all they wanted in the way of legal coverage by the administration, they may as well just go ahead and do whatever else they wanted, believing that the people who set them loose on the trail of ostensible terrorists would protect them from any critical attention and/or interference by something as mundane as the law, or the will of the people….. and, for a long time, they were justified in that belief…. But, now that their clandestine activities are being brought to light by that national hero, Eric Snowden, the rats are deserting their ship, and leaving them to their fate without any real support….

Talk around Washington is that the President is going to, belatedly, stop spying on the leaders of our allies, and will move to put limits on what the agencies are allowed to access in the data that is generated by the general public. This is a complete reversal, and I can only hope it is in response to the pressure put on them by the public’s obvious displeasure, and not as a temporary measure to appease while they figure out a diversion in some other area of the public venue, where they can cause some problem that will draw our attention away from this issue, allowing them to continue their illegal, but, in their eyes, oh so necessary theft of the people’s identities….

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Report-NSA-broke-into-Yahoo-Google-data-centers-4939585.php

In the article, the most significant part of what is there, to my way of thinking, is that the companies involved say had no idea that they were being compromised, even though their own security measures are considered to be nearly impenetrable… Well, they SAY they had no idea; one must remember they ARE a corporation, and, thus, are very familiar with telling the public what they wish to hear….

However, it appears that the American and British spies went in, got their data, and left, without ever notifying Google, or Yahoo, of what they were taking, though such activities are still illegal, according to the laws in place…. (Not to mention rude… ) The spying mandate they have doesn’t extend to what they stole, theoretically…. Of course, they can say they didn’t KNOW that, but, then, lying is their entire purpose, and the single most critical part of their entire modus vivendi, is it not?…. Even in the Art of War, Sun Tzu acknowledged the importance of the spy in warfare, calling them the most powerful of all the various types of warriors…

Of course it is, just as lying and cheating come naturally to anyone in a nationally elected office; it’s part of their job description these days, even if it is written in invisible ink….. Since Google, and Yahoo, and the other agencies that were hacked, are all corporations, and have pretty much the same characteristics as shown by the BRC pundits, (i.e., a tendency to lie at the drop of a cliche…), it’s a bit hard to tell who is more guilty here….

Is it Google and/or Yahoo, who are gathering all sorts of data about its users without their knowledge or permission (I don’t regard those passive advertisements that one can “control” what data is gathered by adjusting their “preferences” as real permission…. they take whatever data they want, and tell you about it later, if at all….)….? Or, is it the government spy agencies, who are stealing that same stolen data from the corporations, that fit the bill as the villain?

It should make for an interesting contest, to see how this fake argument plays out….. I mean, I can’t really believe that the BRC, who is controlled and supported by the corporations (go ahead, disprove that!….), will continue to try to take data from them without their knowledge. It’s more likely they are playing out this faux-dispute in the public venue in order to confuse the public about who is on their side in this issue…

It seems to be working, as always, as the public is pretty much ignoring these latest revelations, and looking around for almost anything to take their minds elsewhere for a while… I’m almost interested, in a resigned, doubtful sort of way, to see just what they come up with next to draw the public’s attention off this issue…. Probably more to do with the recent roll-out of health care reform laws, which seems to be a hot button for a lot of people….

For me, all of it is dross and spittle…. I believe, absolutely, that if there is an official statement made by anyone in the government printed in the news, it needs to be examined in the light of what it is NOT saying, to ascertain about what it is lying, or what it is trying to hide by distraction, not merely for what it says…. Their motivation in making ANY public statement is manipulation of public attitudes; they’re not trying to make anything better.

They lie outright, they leave stuff out, they point us in all kinds of useless directions, but they almost NEVER tell us what is actually going on, unless we’ve already caught them at it… In those cases, we see all sorts of backing and filling, as they come up with all sorts of “plausible deniability” in order to convince the public that their lies are really the truth…

What a crock! If it wasn’t so damn sad and depressing, it would be amusing…. SIGH… Enough is enough…. Stay alert, ffolkes, because they’re lying to you every day, and doing all they can to improve THEIR lot in life, not yours…. Let them know you’re on to them, at every opportunity…. If nothing else, it will make them nervous, which they deserve….

“You can fool all of the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time; and that should be sufficient for most purposes.” — Smart Bee, quoting from the true bible, used by both politicians and preachers…..

“The ideal robot, after all, is simply a properly processed human being.” — Edward Abbey
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“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.” — EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994

Unsolicited Gratitude

Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.

Still, a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.

Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.

Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.

Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

Arguably, I could get away with not having a short introductory paragraph here, but, I hate stuff that isn’t either symmetric, or traditionally asymmetric. I’m funny that way, among others….. Nonetheless, it will help today if you just sort of skew your eyes off in another direction for a moment, while I just….. there. You didn’t see that, did you? I hope not, I’d have to kill you if you had….. But, now, we can get on with the rest of this pearl, and finish off this Pearl, thanks to the absence of the government agent I just offed and buried out back….

(For those of you reading this in a cubicle at the NSA, or at any of our fine nation’s other domestic or foreign spy agencies, such as the FBI, the CIA, or any of them…… that’s we we writers call a “joke”, and it has no connection with reality, other than the tenuous resemblance to one that exists only in your own tiny little mind…. in other words, PSYCHE!…. Hah!…. bloody assholes , who have nothing better to do than go around spying on regular folks, they get what they deserve….)

Since I have decided to NOT go without an intro here, well, this is what you get…. Sorry, but, it’s what I could come up with, and y’all will just have to deal with it… I think, though, the power of the following pearl will mitigate any possible discomfort, or discombobulation of any sort, that you may experience today, as it is turning out to be extremely cogent, as well as powerfully poignant…. I should know, I’m a sensitive guy….

“The Master doesn’t talk, he acts, when his work is done, the people say, “Amazing: We did it all by ourselves!”” — Tao Te Ching

“In writing, fidelity to fact leads eventually to the poetry of truth.” — Edward Abbey

“The comedy of man survives the tragedy of man.” — G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, 2-10-06

“A people who expect to be ignorant and free expect what never will, and never can, be.” — Thomas Jefferson

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. ” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“It is odd, is it not, that a person’s worth to society by is measured by their wealth, when instead their wealth should be measured by their worth to  society.” — A. Cygni

“Reality is a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.” — Lily Tomlin
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One never knows, do one? This may have turned out better than I’d realized, or even hoped…. let’s see what happened here…. Whatever that was, it seems to have worked fairly well…. Well enough that I’m calling it a done deal, and making my escape, stage left, right about…. now….. See ya….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Such fabulous shoes require spanking….

Ffolkes,
I should probably know better, by now, than to put fingers to keyboard during that period before the coffee is done. In spite of my advanced years, though, here I am, typing away, with nothing to say, just passing time until my brain decides to function…. Perhaps I should go first to perform my morning ablutions; yes, that is the right idea…. I go now, to worship at the porcelain throne, and contemplate my sins, myriad though they be….. according to the local preachers, anyway….. But, we don’t pay them any mind, as they are just jealous of my shirts…. I’ll be back, as Arnie is wont to say when in Terminator format….

Sorry ’bout that, ffolkes…. as I said, I should know better….. Well, here we are again, in a dangerous place. Why dangerous, you ask? It’s difficult to explain, but I’ll try…. It’s dangerous, for me, and consequently for you, because it’s too soon….. Too soon, you ask? Why, yes, I reply, too soon…. Well, what if we just waited a while? Hmm… not a bad suggestion, I think, but, probably destined to fail, as are almost any attempts to correct the situation, since I detect the hand of Murphy at work in this matter. As with almost everything he touches, waiting will only make things worse, as it gives him more time to turn his creativity to the punishment phase of his operation….

What now? Good question…. maybe I should look for a pearl for a moment or two, to see if there are any instructions or tips from my subconscious, or from the SB hackers….. be right back….

“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib.” — Old Testament — Isaiah i, 3

Well, that’s an interesting find….. I generally try to stay away from the Old Testament; the pressure of life back then was such that the people who wrote the books in that tome tend to be more than a little touched by the sun, or Son, as you desire….. So, their advice is often a bit out of date, like when it counsels one on proper care of their ass (donkey variety, not human  _ _ _ hole types….  Not too useful in changing the oil on your Toyota…. This one seems a bit more useful than most, though I’m really not absolutely certain what kind of metaphor they are trying to make…. maybe something to do with ownership rights; they were sticklers for the laws back then…. Let’s try again, since that one wasn’t quite sufficient….

“A good old man, sir; he will be talking: as they say, When the age is in the wit is out.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Much Ado about Nothing
— Act iii, Sc. 5

As you may have noted in past Pearls, I’m not overly impressed with Shakespeare, either, but have always admitted that he did write some fairly coherent, and majestically beautiful, prose, a category into which this one falls. It’s right on the money, in terms of its accurate take on human nature, in general, though it is a bit harsh on seniors, and does further the stereotype of seniors as being senile, a characteristic not all of us share.

I think this particular play, Much Ado About Nothing, is probably my favorite of all of his works, with the best cache of witty quotes and jokes, including a number of puns, and plays on words….. With Will, it’s kind of like Pearls…. there is a LOT of stuff written, but the gems are often buried in the crap surrounding it…..

And, on THAT note, one not completely inspiring, but true, I see we have reached that tenuous barrier that marks the boundaries of acceptable introductory sections…. In fact, it blew right past acceptable, and is now chasing after totally overboard…. Before it catches up to that, and the ensuing struggle tries to throw us all out of our seats, I think we’ll go for a dive…. now….. Shall we Pearl?
__________________________________

MORAL, adj.  Conforming to a local and mutable standard of right. Having the quality of general expediency.

“It is sayd there be a raunge of mountaynes in the Easte, on one syde of the which certayn conducts are immorall, yet on the other syde they are holden in good esteeme; wherebye the mountayneer is much conveenyenced, for it is given to him to goe downe eyther way and act as it shall suite his moode, withouten offence.  _Gooke’s Meditations_

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

A reader commented to me recently that my rants have gone soft; she enjoys it when I rake someone over the coals, figuratively speaking, and asked me when I was going to get back on my white horse, or my soapbox, as the cliché may be…. I told her it is most likely a result of having some of the pressure of living removed, by the acquisition of my SS benefits, so much so that I’m finding it hard to summon up the outrage needed to rant effectively…. Like Voldemort told Harry, when he tried to use the Cruciatus Curse against Bellatrix Lestrange, in HP5-The Order of the Phoenix, “You’ve got to MEAN it, Harry!”  Funny how not worrying about where the next meal is coming from takes some stress out of one’s life, isn’t it?….. Ha Ha…..

So, anyway, then I saw the above entry from the Devil’s Dictionary, and thought to myself, “AHA!”  (I do that a lot…), “Now, here’s a subject worthy of a rant!”…. This is absolutely true, even though morality is sort of like reality…. there are as many versions of what it means as there are people…. of which, each and every one believes that what they perceive is the only correct version, obviously…. Right….

So, you can see the problem right away…. As a society, we have an unfortunate tendency to try to legislate morality, so that everyone is compelled to behave according to a commonly accepted pattern of behavior…. Supposedly, this legislation is supposed act as some sort of magic bullet, that will stop all the bad things from happening, like stealing, killing, and general misbehavior that is upsetting to the rest of society…. It never works, at all, but, we keep on passing laws designed to enforce a common morality anyway….

Such a drama is now being played out on the national stage, as the Senate just defeated the new gun control reforms that 90% of the populace wants in place. Out of a hundred Senators, it only took 45 Republicans to bring the proposed law down, meaning that once again, a very small percentage of people have forced their views on the rest of the public, to suit their own morality, and, more importantly, to suit their own special interests, who paid good money for their votes, dammit!…. I am somewhat piqued about this, but see little in the way of anything to be done that will make any difference, in the big picture…. No matter how stringent the laws, people who want guns will get them, and use them on other people…. The new laws would have made that a bit more time-consuming, but no less possible, or even less probable….

Since I can’t thing of anything positive to suggest, other than to stay alert to what may end up as a critical issue, I will fill out what should normally be a rant, with a number of cogent pearls, to try to jab the stick into the appropriate eyes…. and my friend will have to wait a bit longer for a good, old-fashioned brouhaha, as I get nasty and vicious in my denouncement of the BRC, the churches, and the corporate masters….. I will say this to her….. have no fear, my outrage isn’t gone, just temporarily dormant, and I WILL be back to rant….. meanwhile, enjoy these tasty gems…..

“The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.” — Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Linear Model:  An assumption concerning the nature of reality applied unquestioningly to every relationship as though God had determined that truth must always run in straight lines. — Smart Bee

“The clinching proof of my reasoning is that I will cut anyone who argues further into dogmeat.” — Sir Geoffery de Tourneville (ca. 1350)

“Has history ever recorded a time when the majority was right?” — Lazarus Long

“He would be the finer gentleman that should leave the world without having tasted of lying or pretense of any sort, or of wantonness or conceit.” –Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 2

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” — Saul Bellow

“If you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other.” — Carl Schurz (1829-1906)
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I suppose, in a way, I’ve failed at the poetry challenge for the month, as I haven’t been creating one per day (except haiku, which I produce whenever I wish….. like today’s, which is fresh and clean….), and again today will need to use one from my archives, which, fortunately, have enough to choose from for all the days I’ve missed…. This one speaks to, and about, the friends who helped keep my hope alive when I was struggling, just to get enough to eat…..   As every day this month, these are being included as part of the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here:  http://www.napowrimo.net/    I hope you enjoy them…..

Haiku VII

Making it all up
I go merrily along;
waters of Lethe.

~~ gigoid ~~

“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.” — EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994

Unsolicited Gratitude

Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.

Still, a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.

Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.

Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.

Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.

~~ gigoid

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To attempt to soothe the ruffled feathers of my friend who wants me to rant, I give you now a rant from 2012, post-election category…. It kind of fits in with the morality play above…. sort of, maybe…. any who, enjoy…..
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“Integrity is when what you say, what you do, what you think, and who you ARE all come from the same place.” — Madelyn Griffith-Haynie

Okay, I know we are all probably sick to death of politics, and the election, and everyone would like to have a break from talking and thinking about it….. I know I am. So, I’ll try to make this fairly short, and make it the last political diatribe for at least a day or two. It may be possible, if nothing in the news jumps up to stimulate my outrage (which may be on a short vacation itself….. I hope. I could do with the emotional space….).

Any who…. here is what I was thinking when I came across this little gem…. What if we devised a test, that in some way would enable us, as voters, to determine the relative status of each of the candidates according to this rule? A way, as it were, to measure their degree of integrity, which is something I think we can all agree would be a good thing to see in a politician, unlikely as it may be. If we could, say, set up a scale of integrity, and make it law that a person had to score in the top 5% of the scale in order to merely be eligible for office, I think we might see a whole new set of politicians, who had never before been seen in public.

In fact, in thinking about the current crop of those in office, it is entirely possible that ALL of those in office now might not be eligible…. I am not excluding the President, out of fairness, though I personally believe he might score in the top 10%…. I still have questions about some of the stuff he has signed that didn’t seem to be very well publicized, as they didn’t exactly fit with his image….. The newest version of the Patriot Act, the NDAA, that he signed last New Year’s Day comes immediately to mind….

I don’t care if he did try to mitigate some of the deleterious effects of the law, he still signed the damn thing, thereby seriously endangering a number of the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. Plus, the method he used to keep it from the public awareness was rather suspect, in my mind, and reminiscent of the old days under Nixon, Johnson, Reagan, and the two Shrubs, may they all rot in whatever level of  Hell they are destined to occupy….. (I know, I know…. not being a Christian, that curse has little weight, but, hey, it’s a pretty clear indicator of my opinion of all of them….)

As I suspect it might, this grew to be somewhat more than I intended it to be, so I’ll cut it short here. But, my suggestion above, about the test for integrity that should be a given for political aspirants, is completely serious, and I wanted to get that out. Maybe by the next election, we can get the rest of the country to buy into it…. which should be interesting, and fun. I’ll be looking forward to the expressions on the faces of all the supporters of those now in office, when their people gloriously fail to pass the test…. and to the results it will have on society, should it ever be adopted…. I don’t see any way at all that it could do anything that wouldn’t improve the situation…..

And so I penned
It down, until at last it came to be,
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.
— John Bunyan (1628-1688) — Pilgrim’s Progress, Apology for his Book
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Well, that went fairly well, if somewhat less than totally creatively…. I’m still looking for that magic bullet, unfortunately; old habits die hard. Nonetheless, I’m done, so that has to count for something, doesn’t it?…. Let’s see how it flows…..  Okay, again, not too bad, all in all, so, it’s going out, as is…. gigoid has spoken. Also, gigoid is tired now, and wants to go back to sleep…. Say bye, bye, gigoid….   Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Hollandaise is a sauce, not a country….

Ffolkes,
Today’s watchword will be ‘sanity’, a word whose meaning is somewhat flexible around these parts…… It HAS to be, because my own level of that particular quality of mind is extremely variable, and depends on a number of factors, none of which are completely under my control. In fact, I long ago gave up hope of maintaining any real control over it, as my efforts, though competent enough, were not enough, by a long shot, to stem the tide of my insanity, which is incredibly powerful, if I do say so myself….

I picked this word, with such deep connection to my life, because I’m starting into a period of life when maintaining my hold on reality needs to remain strong. A lot of stuff is finally beginning to happen for  me in the Big Blue Room, from which I’ve been hiding, so to speak, while waiting for these events to arrive,transpire, and become part of current reality. All that long-winded rationalization is here to say, I won’t have as much time to write in the coming days, and the structure and content of these Pearls is liable to change once again….

I began this blog in August of 2010, or thereabouts, on another site, SFGATE, the SF Chronicle website. In 2011, I signed up on WordPress; subsequently, for a while, the amount of content grew dramatically, as I had a lot of time to fill up in the early days of my retirement (poverty didn’t catch up to me until 1/1/11, when my retirement came into effect, and my full pay income went down to the near starvation level at which it has hovered for the past two plus years…). I filled that time, after my mom left from visiting in early 2011, by writing, and the Pearls grew to comprise five sections, two or three of which were early rant-like diatribes…. It was a lot of stuff pouring out of my head….

In early 2012, the stuff leaking out trickled down to a lesser amount, though still pretty prolific…. At that time, I cut the number of sections in each Pearl down, from five to three, with at least one always dedicated to poetry, mine or someone else’s. That format has worked out very well; it has plenty of opportunity, and room, for ranting, and the poetry always manages to soothe my mind in between rants, or old-school pearls, which I use when my creative side is less active than my habitual, constant inner dialogue, which I express in the old-school format.

That brings us to today, and today’s intro section…. As you can see, I’ve once again fulfilled the intro requirements, by composing and executing (interesting choice of words to describe how I write….) a number of rather useless paragraphs. Today’s examples have something more than the usual amount of relevance, and real information, than is the case in the recent past, but, I can truthfully say that is both providential, and intentional.

Out in the Big Blue Room, I have to start coordinating my SS and State retirement benefits, so that I can maximize both for my future use and convenience of operation. I am pursuing a relationship with a wonderful woman I’ve met, and wish to spend more time on that particular phase; she’s a sweet lady, and we enjoy being together, so I want to do more of that, for certain….

Probably most significantly, I will soon have the resources to travel as I wish…. I’m going to need to sit down and do some serious planning, to, again, maximize the resources I’ll have to have them get me to all the places I want to see, and support the activities I’ll need to pursue during this latter part of my life…..

One of the most satisfying parts of finally getting some of the resources is the sweet feeling I know I’ll get when I walk into a certain store to complete the very first item on all my lists….. I’m going, first thing, into the hock shop and getting my guitar out of pawn, paying the entire loan amount off, knowing that I will never again have to put it in gaol to be able to afford to eat….

All of this will be good for my ‘sanity’, so, I’m rather looking forward to the coming months…. Today, being the 22nd, is the second day of Spring, 2013, and I’m ready to rock the house…..

Well…. that was interesting…. almost like a complete little essay, right here at the beginning, where it will probably bore everyone to death…. That seems to have happened yesterday, as my stats show only four Likes all day, from some regular visitors…. oh well, I’ve never worried about stats, and I’m not going to start now…. What I will do, in the interests of my ‘sanity, is try to keep the creative process under control, at least to the extent of not trying to compose anything particularly scholarly or precise, as I don’t think I’m quite up to either of those today…. I’m feeling pretty lazy, in fact, and want to go do other stuff, so I’ll probably end up cheating, and use a bunch of old stuff, from my archives of ALMOST FIFTEEN BLOODY YEARS of writing these Pearls…..

Sorry, didn’t mean to shout…. that has apparently been sitting in there for a while, waiting for a chance to come out….. My unconscious MAY be a little more in turmoil than I thought…. I’ll have to think about that…. Meanwhile, back here at ECR…..  Shall we Pearl?…..
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I’ve probably given ample demonstration in the past of my innate laziness; I always thought of it as being smart, figuring out the easy way to do things….. but, I also call a spade a spade, and it is a fact….. I’m lazy sometimes…… This, then, is one of those times…..

This is an old, old-school Pearl, written sometime in 2008, or so…. I never did date them, other than the date on the email that contained them, so it’s hard to figure out sometimes, just when they were first seen….. and I’m not so vain as to have kept all those emails…. Five years is old enough for our purposes; that’s our story, so, we’re going to stick with that for now…… As you can see, the process of creating pearls remains much as it was, a random, chaotic process full of fun, laughter, and despair for the author’s obvious lack of ‘sanity’…..

Another attempt at so-called levity…

Ffolkes,
Today’s offerings are more of our usual,  a subliminal array of choices; no conscious thought went into the selection process. But there does seem to be some sort of coherency, if only in attitude. (Hmph!)  So, without further ado, enjoy……

“In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.” — Friedrich Nietzsche (Unfortunately, this applies to most religions, not just Christianity…..nrm)

“Dear Lord, I’ve been asked, nay commanded, to thank Thee for the Christmas turkey before us… a turkey which was no doubt a lively, intelligent bird… a social being… capable of actual affection… nuzzling its young with almost human- like compassion.  Anyway, it’s dead and we’re gonna eat it. Please give our respects to its family…” — Berke Breathed, Bloom Country Babylon

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence. — Smart Bee

Beauty is skin deep. But how rich you are can last a long time. — On the role of beauty and handsomeness in love — Christine, age 9

“The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool.” — George Santayana (1863-1952)

Actually, my goal is to have a sandwich named after me. Or at least an ice cream sundae…. — Smart Bee

Y’all take care out there….

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

~~gigoid
__________________________________

I’m still lazy, so, deal…. but, I’m going to at least be honest, and use my own work to be lazy with…. Here is a poem I wrote last October, prompted by, and a response to, the quote that is given just before it…. I hope you enjoy it, it’s one I’m happy with, and it’s positive enough for today’s mood….

“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.” — EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994

Unsolicited Gratitude

Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.

Still, a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.

Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.

Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.

Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.

~~ gigoid

__________________________________

“Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” — Henry David Thoreau, “Walden”

I’ve always felt that a return to older ideas is not necessarily a counter-productive activity to pursue in seeking change in one’s own situation. Though there are hazards to adopting some ideas that are old, those can be mitigated to a degree with some care in choosing which ideas are considered for use. (Duh….) In other words, if we use ideas such as the one above, first heard about a century and a half ago, we have to take care to ascertain whether those ideas are effective or not when used…. This statement from Henry David can, I think, because of its very celebrity, and long-time inclusion in mankind’s treasury of wisdom, be considered one idea that is always true, no matter how much time has passed since it was spoken….

Choosing which ideas from the past that will be most helpful can be a daunting task, simply because when one is speaking of historical wisdom, there is a LOT of material from which to choose, much of which is considered to be very wise, while some others of which may not be such good advice…. One cannot always know with certainty what an idea will do, once adopted in a real sense, and used in a real-life situation…. Sometimes we win, and sometimes we lose, badly….. Of course, the latter events generally are very instructive, in the sense that they teach us what NOT to do in the future….

I suppose we could say that failing at experimenting with reality is most likely humanity’s preferred form of learning, to wit: sticking our finger in the fire to learn that it hurts to burn flesh…. Not terribly smart, but effective; most folks only need one lesson…. We dignify the process we go through in learning, by calling what we get from it ‘experience’, but, it remains a rather bozoid method of learning, depending as it does on our ability to survive the answers that Reality provides to some of our more volatile questions…. like finding out we can’t just do what we want to the planet, without suffering consequences that are incompatible with human survival.

This is approaching rant-like proportions, but, I think I can fix that…. What we’ll do at this point it to admit the truth of how we learn, and just realize we can improve our chances if we learn a bit faster, and more from using our imagination, than we do from subjecting ourselves to the lashes and bumps that experimentation can entail…. In light of that, I will now provide several pearls, all of which are good advice on how to learn, and how to live, and hopefully, do so with some dignity, some laughter, and a lot of joy…..

“If you want to go far in a decade you have to go far each year. If you want to go far each year, you have to make sure that you do something significant each day.” — Deng Ming-Dao

“We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.” — Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray

“Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.” — Emily Dickinson

“Be patriotic – question authority.” — Bumper Sticker

“The strong live off the weak, and the smart live off the strong.” — Smart Bee
(Well, not ALL of us….. but, most….)

“I’m sitting on my SPEED QUEEN..  To me, it’s ENJOYABLE..  I’m WARM..  I’m VIBRATORY..” — Zippy the Pinhead

I suppose one can never accuse me of failing to be eclectic, nor of taking Life too seriously…. It got away from me for a moment, but Zippy, as always, managed to put things into their proper perspective….. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of warm vibration to make life alright….
__________________________________

I’m a little afraid today…. yesterday’s Pearl seems to have fallen off the scales, stat-wise, but today’s effort may just drive everyone away for good…. Or not, and, I don’t really care one way or another, as this is still all about getting this crap, er, stuff, out of my head…. I’ll go look it over, and see how it came out….. Be right back….

See? That never takes long….  Okay, well, it isn’t quite as bad as I’d feared, so I’ll go with it…. I know, I’m easy…. But, I do get posted every day, so, that’s something, I guess….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Complex moods, painted in plaid….

Ffolkes,
Blast! And Damn! Damn and blast this fucking PTSD! I am so fucking tired of weeping, virtually at the drop of a hat, or, as is the case today, upon awaking and arising…. and no fucking reason at all! I’m just sitting here, sipping coffee, and my bloody emotions decide it is time to start leaking tears, just because the world isn’t perfect, or something. I don’t even know why I am sitting here in emotional distress, sobbing as if my dog died…. again.

All I know is my nose and sinuses are now full of fluid, which insists on rudely leaking from every orifice in my head, except the ears….. Who decides this stuff? Why does this happen to me? I’m a patient man, mostly, but I’m really tired of having my own psyche ambush me like this, without any clue as to why….

Oh, things are stressful, to be sure. It’s tough not to be when one lives so close to the edge of real poverty, but, for the moment, it is not an urgent issue, and I don’t see why my unconscious would be punishing me over that; the bills are paid, and I have food for a while, so it shouldn’t be a panic button state of affairs. Nor am I particularly suffering from social withdrawal…. I speak with my neighbors, and with the folks downtown at the coffee & Wi-fi spot, so I’m not completely without social interaction, all fairly comfortably….. with only the one neighbor acting like an childish ass, and his answer to the situation is to avoid me, so, no worries there…. No, I can’t figure out why I am in tears, and it is getting to be quite annoying, to say the least…..

“I was sane once… didn’t like it.” — Smart Bee

Maybe I’m feeling sorry for myself a bit…. because of lack of funding, I’m looking at quitting smoking, by force rather than choice. I can’t justify buying smokes when I don’t have enough food; that’s plain stupid….. but, I’ve been smoking tobacco for 46 years now, and perhaps my unconscious mind is punishing me in advance for having to quit when I don’t really want to do so. It’s possible, but if it is the case, then I am just as disappointed, because it’s a pretty childish way to treat my own self….. I had hoped that, at almost 62 years old, I’d have grown out of that sort of payback, at least against myself…..

Or, I suppose it could be the disappointment I feel at a friend’s decision, to get back together with a person who is not good for them. I always hate to see a friend waste their time with someone who doesn’t treat them well; I feel the pain right along with them. And, it is not good to say anything to them…. that isn’t a friend’s place, either, unless it can help.

But, I’ve said my piece, and assured them I’m won’t stop being a friend, even though it hurts to watch them let someone else hurt them…. so there is little I can do there, beyond what I’ve done….. except hope that soon they will realize how much better off they are without that other fool, and leave them where they should be, in the past….

Ah well, Life goes on, and all our efforts to make it the way we want it are irrelevant in the end; the universe will do what it will do, and people will make their decisions, even if they don’t make sense to us….. and we just have to live with it…. I just wish my own emotions weren’t so vulnerable to what is going on; it would be nice to not feel this down, without knowing the reason why, and having to guess…. SIGH…. one would think that at 62, I’d have a better handle on things, wouldn’t one?……

“Deem not life a thing of consequence. For look at the yawning void of the future, and at that other limitless space, the past.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 50

This leaves me with no choice but to go pearling….. it seems to be the only activity of late that keeps me from falling into the pits of despair, without a rope to pull myself out. So, having whined and complained my way through damn near six paragraphs of an intro, Shall we Pearl?…..

“Philosophizing is difficult, but not philosophizing is more difficult still.” — Eberhard Rogge
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“Does history repeat itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce?  No, that’s too grand, too considered a process.  History just burps, and we taste again that raw-onion sandwich it swallowed centuries ago.” — Julian Barnes

I’ve passed over this pearl numerous times, knowing it would eventually become relevant somehow to Reality as we know it… or, at least as it is reported by Fox News and the other corporate news sources (if such can be termed ‘sources’, as that usually implies that one may obtain something useful from accessing them…). The recent news from both sides of the information wars currently being perpetrated on our unwilling and unappreciative attention has been living up to this quote ever since the mash-up leading into the debates…..

Everyone writing for the public seems to be rushing around like the proverbial headless yard birds, and my tolerance for the amount of BS being flung about is getting pretty thin. It is indeed a fortunate thing, for me, and for them, that none of the principal protagonists in this dramaturgy (defined as regurgitating drama, repeatedly…) have ever come face to face with me, for I don’t think I could predict my reaction with any degree of certainty.

That which I could predict, would be that I would react negatively, if for no other reason than their presence is an affront to my sensibilities, and upsetting to my serenity. Assholes, the lot of them…. Sorry, but I spent many years trying to treat sociopaths, and it’s dirty, nasty business, because they don’t WANT to change. They are narcissistic, viciously vindictive, manipulative creatures, and I’ve had my fill of them, both in my work, and in being forced to watch the ones who are vying for the keys to the national treasury….

Don’t misunderstand me… I’ll be voting on November 6, and I’ll be voting my conscience. You can decide for yourself what you believe that to be, knowing that I’ll choose reason over ignorance every time. But, I don’t trust ANY of them, fully, because I don’t trust anyone who would wish to have that much power over others, no matter how pure their motives may be; just wanting the job is insane, in my book. So, I’ll vote, and hope that enough others have chosen as I have, so I don’t have to spend as much of my upcoming income on guns, right away, at least…. Should the forces of darkness hold sway, then I’ll be stocking up ASAP…. Just sayin’…..  I was a scout, and I try to be prepared…..

“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” — Robert Heinlein

Nearly four years ago, when the incumbent President was newly elected, one of the opposing party’s leading pundits made a very telling statement…. He said that his party had decided that their single primary focus for the next four years was to ensure that the new President was a one-term President. This national party, supposedly representative of the common American, made no bones about forgetting all about working for the common good, in favor of disrupting any possibility of making progress over the next four years, just because they lost the election. They have lived up to this, blocking all legislation from the White House attempting to improve the lot of the middle class, seniors, and the poor, with their negative efforts eventually culminating in the selection of a candidate to oppose the President who has repeatedly lied to the public for the last 20 years, and continues to do so on a daily basis.

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends…that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” — Adlai Stevenson

Now, to me, all of that sounds much like how a six year old would react at the news of a new baby brother or sister, fearing that his mother would love the baby more, i.e. jealous insecurity, in its most obvious form. It certainly doesn’t sound like the kind of illogic and insecurity that I want in the people who hold the national purse strings, and the keys to Armageddon in their sweaty little hands…. especially since I know they don’t care a whit about anyone other than themselves, as shown on TV every day, on both sides of the issues. Assholes, the lot of them…. oh, sorry, repeating myself….

“The trouble with this country is that there are too many politicians who believe, with a conviction based on experience, that you can fool all of the people all of the time.” — Franklin P. Adams

This election campaign is strong evidence in support of this idea…. We have one candidate who, all by himself, has become, by actual count, the all-time first place liar of all presidential candidates to ever toss their hat in the ring. Yep, from day one of his campaign in the primary elections, when he started the tax return lies, and the flip-flops on his past record, to the recent debate, where independent fact-checkers tallied 27 outright lies in 38 minutes, and he established a new record (though, it should be pointed out, he broke a record he already held….), the Republican candidate has proved to be a consummate liar, smiling his way through every denial of truth.

“A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” — Mark Twain

Yet some polls indicate many millions of Americans believe all of his perversions of the facts, and intend to vote for him…. Of course, these are the same folks who believe that global warming is a myth, creationism and a 5000 year human history are truth, as well as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the tooth fairy.  Sorry… SIGH….couldn’t help myself… It is so discouraging to realize just how many ignorant people there are in this country, especially when I hear of women who support this man and his party’s policies, which counts them as nothing more than chattels, owned by men, with no rights at all regarding how their own bodies are to be considered….. These guys would take away the vote for women, if they could….. and that isn’t a random accusation, I’ve seen them indicate as much in print….

Hell, I can’t stop myself, this just outrages me so……. The VP candidate on the Republican ticket is ON RECORD as being in favor of legislation that would make it a jailing offense for a woman to get pregnant when not married, as well as favoring a law that would make it illegal to have an abortion in cases of incestuous rape, or any other rape…. Don’t take my word for it, look it up…. it’s on public record, ffolkes….. and folks….  He is one sick fuck, trust me…. misogynistic and deathly afraid of women, and their sexuality…..

And…. if anyone should think that these remarks are harsh or libelous, well, I refer you back to the First Amendment to the US Constitution…. and would also advise you to examine the evidence as presented for truth…. It is only libelous if untrue, and I defy any competent psychiatrist to challenge my assertions as to the man’s fear of women, after examining him…. But, then, he has already said all of this on public record, so…..

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence the act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” — Thomas Jefferson, to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Association in 1802

Yesterday, I saw again some ignorant conservative posting the newest version of the Pledge of Allegiance on FB…. you know, the one where they inserted “under God” back in the 1950’s, during the Red Scare, and McCarthyism’s reign in Congress. This person posted it with a shouted invitation to join in with the crowd of uneducated masses, and lend their name in support of making this country an armed religious compound for white Christians, rather than a melting pot of diversity…. implying that anyone who didn’t Like and Share it was NOT an American…. Well, no, wait….. now that I recall, it wasn’t implied, it was stated outright….. oops, their bad….

I didn’t bother to comment, though I was sorely tempted to remind them of one simple fact; that kind of thinking was EXACTLY what our forefathers were attempting to avoid when writing the Constitution, as so clearly stated above by TJ…. Unfortunately, I never remember to file this piece from Tom Jefferson where I can find it quickly, so I just let it go.

But, that kind of idiocy, essentially, puts me in a rage, and it is a good thing that social networking is a virtual event… If it were actually live, and face to face, I’d have to slap that person….. Just to get their attention, mind you…. I know they will never change their spots, as they are completely resistant to reason, having obviously been in denial of reality for a long time….

Ah, c’est bon! C’est la vie…. Once again, I’ve talked meself into a corner, from which extraction in a graceful manner could conceivably get ugly. Therefore, I’m going to leave this treatise where it is…. Political tom foolery and nonsense is, as you know by now, a favorite subject of discussion here at Exploring Consensual Reality, and I’ll no doubt return to this fascinating discourse at a later date….

I’m a bit proud that I’ve managed to be so fair-minded today, at least in the sense of not naming names….  they’re all pundits, aren’t they? Some are merely the lesser of two evils…. As such they will get my vote, but never my complete trust…. The others, against whom I vote, and of whom I’ve spoken herein, can kiss my rosy ass, because it would be better for them than meeting me in person, and paying the ultimate price for their ignorance…. Exposure and embarrassment, followed, if I can swing it, by letting Reality pronounce, and carry out, the mandatory sentence for the crime of stupidity, and denial of the laws of the universe…..

“If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Hmm…. something about which to think, carefully, wouldn’t you say?……
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“But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having.” — EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow, “Cynthia Horner’s Eulogy”, Apr. 1994

Unsolicited Gratitude

Fear becomes familiar when reality bodes us ill
pain assumes first position, no matter our will.
Powerless, we founder, no strength to prevail
anguished and afraid, against unwanted Fate we rail.

Still a grain of hope deep inside, hidden well against need
gives us reason to survive, our starving souls to feed.
Failure of courage burdens time, of being bested,
until our souls, in submission, become foully infested.

Bitter tears wash through us each day, with little care,
no thought, no feeling, no wish, or need to be fair.
Rendered clueless, confusion falls upon us, as prey,
we surrender a piece of our soul, little as we may.

Yet, always, a bright beam of hope is seen from afar,
no matter how dreary, or dark, it may seem where we are.
None knows, nor would consent to tell, it seems
from whence it hails, or why it so brightly gleams.

Saving our sanity, absolving our unwanted fears,
dispelling the myths and lies that come with the years.
Each man has known the precious gift that hope may give
And gives glad thanks, as long as he may live.

~~ gigoid
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SATIRE, n.  An obsolete kind of literary composition in which the vices and follies of the author’s enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness.  In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humor that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic.  Moreover, although Americans are “endowed by their Creator” with abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a soul-spirited knave, and his every victim’s outcry for co-defendants evokes a national assent.

Hail Satire! be thy praises ever sung
In the dead language of a mummy’s tongue,
For thou thyself art dead, and damned as well —
Thy spirit (usefully employed) in Hell.
Had it been such as consecrates the Bible
Thou hadst not perished by the law of libel. — Barney Stims

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

This really doesn’t need any comments from me; it pretty well states its case unequivocally, with great clarity and charm. So, since I went a bit overboard above in the first section, I’ll let this stand alone, as a paean to perhaps my favorite, as well as one of my most trusted, tools for poking at the universe in all its glory and shame (most of the glory is the universe’s; most of the shame is ours, I’m sorry to say…..). Besides, good prose, and good poetry all in one pearl…. what more can a peruaosopher (one who loves and studies pearls….) hope for?
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Having forgotten to go over this at home, it will have to do, however it came out. I’ll proof, of course, but that doesn’t give a view of the big picture…. My impression is there are a lot of words today….  🙂   I know, a bit dim, duh! But, I’m going to trust my instincts, and let it fly without any censoring on my part, other than spelling and grammar issues…. I’ll take the heat later….. I hope all is well for all of you out there in the Big Blue Room….Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!