I’d like to be made fully cognizant, please….

Ffolkes,

“After all,” he said, with a small, sardonic smile, “it’s only a matter of time.”

“Of course it is,” she replied, smiling back in her sultry way, “but, whose time will tell the tale?”

Have you ever seen one of those big old, shuffling bears, with a red vest, and a silly top hat, that rides around on a unicycle, playing a squeeze box? No? Neither have I…. But, that’s probably alright, because I HAVE seen one of the other kind of bears, the kind that shits in the woods whenever the Pope’s existence gets confused with his own… Playground games have more solid effect on Reality than you knew, you know…. No soap, radio!…..

Now that we have established the proper tone for this morning’s episode of fun and frolic, otherwise known as pearling for dollars, not that we ever see any….. at least, not for this…. But, I do like to start with some nice, thick, obscure nonsense; it just gives something special to enhance the tenor of whatever comes out of my head, sort of like adding streusel to schnitzel. Plus, it makes for a better, more healthful start to the day, as all of what we’ve been so fortunate to offer up thus far has been organic in nature….

Yep, nothing but pure, 100%, government certified organic materials were used to construct the pearls you’ll see today…. It’s our newest product line, brought in to try to corner a piece of the vegan market, though the reason “why” escapes me completely. It has something to do with the diversification program the top management wants to put us through, to try to bring the bottom line up from 0, to some number that resides outside the negative realms where it typically stays…. I keep telling them, nobody will buy it, especially not here, but, hey, they’re committed to it…. probably, one of them married a vegan, and can’t get any at home unless he does this…

Now that we’ve prevaricated shamelessly (Silly readers, there’s no top management here at ECR…. there’s just ME!!….), I wonder what other kind of mischief I can get into before getting to the meat today…. I’m feeling a bit whimsical, as well as feeling like I want to bite someone (not sure as to WHY on that one…. just woke up with a stick in my ass, and SOMEBODY’s got to pay for that, right?….), or maybe dance a few steps of the Assholio on somebody’s head…. You know, the Assholio, those classic mambo-like moves guaranteed to take the skin off anyone… All I know is SOMEBODY is going to get an earful, before the day is done….

Shall we Pearl?…..

And through the spaces of the dark
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium

— T.S. Eliot
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“Gentlemen, listen to me slowly.” — Samuel Goldwyn

On first attempt this morning to fill in this section, I wrote what is now residing in section three…. My intended material, presumably located somewhere in the semi-intelligent haze of thoughts that hovers around in my head at all times, which concerned the recent SOU by our beloved POTUS, apparently got lost in the shuffle….

In truth, it’s just as well, because, from what I could gather on first impression, the State of the Union he described in his speech had very little to do with the actual Reality of that State, or, for that matter, that Union, since he managed to leave out some rather important issues altogether, concentrating only on what he wants people to focus on….

This technique is common among prestidigitators, showing a shiny, squirmy object, in one hand, with some kind of feathers, metaphoric, or real, (real is good, they never fail to pull in the eye….), that draws the attention, while the other hand is hiding the actual important issues, perhaps even off stage, never referring to them, so as to not plant any unwanted ideas….

Now, I have yet to peruse the content of the entire speech, but, I’ve seen a couple of articles that touched on his high points, and there were … are a couple of what I think should be called glaring omissions…. For example…. no, can’t do it… I’d better go research the speech fully before I pick at a specific…. Be back in a bit….

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obamas-2014-state-of-the-union-address-full-text/

Well…. That was educational, to be sure…. Yes, I just read the text of the whole speech; you can, too, using the link just above…. go ahead, I’ll wait….

In the speech, there were, as I mentioned, a couple of important issues that received only minimal mention, in passing…. (I know, I said they were omitted… I was wrong, they were merely minimized, and hidden in plain sight….). There was only one paragraph on gun control, wherein he promises to “try” to “stop more tragedies”, with one quick reference to Sandy Hook (gotta get those talking points in!… Shootings at elementary schools always bring out the tearful emotions, which is the intention…. such emotions are much more easily manipulated….).

This is an issue that has gripped the public attention all year, but, isn’t worth mentioning, except in passing…. Instead, the POTUS will deal with this “on his own”, through the use of the concept of the “Executive Order”, to limit assault weapon accessibility, along with other issues on his agenda, in which he is being blocked by Congress, or the Constitution….

There is also only one short, vague paragraph mentioning the issue of spying, prefaced, of course, by mentioning the illegal war in Afghanistan, reassuring us the number of troops there is decreasing, (We’re all gone from Iraq, he says….. Sure, sure we are….)…. while simultaneously fanning the embers of fear, by then stating “For while our relationship with Afghanistan will change, one thing will not: our resolve that terrorists do not launch attacks against our country……The fact is, that danger remains. ”

“In regard to disagreeable and formidable things, prudence does not consist in evasion, or in flight, but in courage. He who wishes to walk in the most peaceful parts of life with any serenity must screw himself up to resolution. Let him front the object of his worst apprehension, and his stoutness will commonly make his fear groundless” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, _Essays_, Prudence

This, of course, is the justification for the following complete wash on the clandestine spying issue that has been in the forefront of the news all year; he makes a passing, one-sentence statement on that…. ( The pertinent statement is in bold, and italicized….) ….”That’s why I’ve imposed prudent limits on the use of drones – for we will not be safer if people abroad believe we strike within their countries without regard for the consequence.  That’s why, working with this Congress, I will reform our surveillance programs – because the vital work of our intelligence community depends on public confidence, here and abroad, that the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated.”

That’s it…. That’s the sum total of what he had to say about the single most reported and discussed issue in the public arena in the entire year of 2013…. ONE sentence. Oh, the drones, too… They are another seriously disturbing factor in the clandestine activities they AREN’T talking about…. but, they’re nowhere near as critical for the public as the spying that continues to take place, in spite of the “welcome public debate” created by the actions that exposed the chicanery by the administration….

Oh, also, was that a crushing silence I heard on the subject of Eric Snowden, probably the most important character, definitely the most important of the last year in America, to enter the stage in the morality play that is our government? Why, yes, yes it was a crushing silence…. Maybe the president was still in shock; perhaps due to learning that Mr. Snowden had received his first nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday?…. That must be it….

His statements on climate change and global warming, while pointed in the right direction, still show no better willingness to face the true issues involved, as he said nothing that would disturb the bottom line of the corporate masters listening closely…. The entire speech, as far as I could see, had a very imbalanced viewpoint of Reality, much different, obviously, from a politician’s point of view than it is for the general public at large, and for me specifically…. His viewpoint paints a much rosier picture, of the past, the present, and the future, than the one I see, all without really making a single promise, or offering up a single detailed plan of action.

I guess I should have expected as much, seeing as this POTUS is one who is adept at painting pictures with words…. Unfortunately, the pictures he paints really don’t reflect Reality…. They’re very romanticized, vague, idealized, and lacking in clarity….. which, I believe, is a deliberate technique, designed to soothe the eyes and minds of the public at whom it is directed, distracting them from the harshness of the Reality that they can see whenever they look away from his pretty pictures…. Can’t have the natives getting too restless, now, can we?….

I think, given the evidence of this speech, along with some of the other issues that I’ve seen the POTUS take up, this is a far more dangerous individual than I had imagined, not because he is promoting reform, but, because he is using that pose, of being a reform politician, to cover up his much more egregiously oppressive policies, such as in the areas of intelligence, and executive power….. He has expanded the power of the office of the Presidency to an extent heretofore unseen, writing Executive Order after Executive Order, at times when Congress is out of session, or just to circumvent their blockage of what he is trying to accomplish….

This administration has brought suit against more journalists, for publishing leaked material, than any previous administration, by a factor of 10; they have aggressively and ruthlessly pursued any and all attempts by the media to obtain his vaunted, and non-existent “transparency”, which he so glibly promised in his first campaign for the office…

There are times I don’t blame him for some of it, because of all the actual, real reforms he, and every other president in the last 60 years, has tried to get past a divided Congress, and had blocked by their intransigent ignorance, and partisanship…. Except, that’s not how the Constitution says it is supposed to work….

He is writing LAWS, which is an act reserved for Congress…. He has issued orders on gun control that, according to the Second Amendment, he has no right to issue, for they restrict the public’s access to weapons of certain types altogether…. Not, I will admit, that they’re weapons they NEED, but, the Second Amendment doesn’t allow for any distinctions as to type or quantity of guns; change part of that, and it all changes, of that there can be no doubt…..

So, yes, I guess you could say that, once again, I’m disappointed in this POTUS’s assessment of Consensual Reality, or, at least, of his stated assessment, as well as in his lack of transparency, and willingness to lie to the public…. Oh, yes, ffolkes, lying by omission is still lying; just because he didn’t say anything about an issue, doesn’t mean he isn’t DOING anything illegal in that area… it just means he doesn’t want us to know about it…. You can be sure of that…. He’s already proven that transparency is just a word to him, one he is very glib and confident in using, but, one he has no intention of ever actually providing to the public….

In looking at the entire speech as a whole, what I see is a long, manipulative set of words and phrases designed to get the public, and his cronies, thinking about just those issues he wants to address, without giving any real information on any of it, beyond the necessary key phrases that identify his talking points.

He uses a lot of examples of what he calls typical Americans from the middle classes to illustrate his points, shamelessly using emotional stimuli to direct the people to the attitudes he desires to create in support of his agenda. In truth, he’s an adept, efficient speaker, never confusing the issues with facts, preferring to use insinuation and/or vague references to factoids….Sadly, none of what he said had any solid connection to what is actually real….. Ah well, I’m forced to admit, I wasn’t expecting to see anything better, and, I didn’t….

“Never be angry when a fool acts like a fool.  It’s better when fools identify themselves…it removes so much uncertainty.” — Lord Peace
_____________________________

Once again, I’m putting in one of my own poems, to maintain the level of personal responsibility that must be assumed for whatever one may call this entire mess…. So be it…

Unheralded Sagacity…

To many, who will not see beyond their nose
the world becomes a dangerous place,
a bullet in every gun, a thorn with every rose,
no magic comes to save us, reality leaves no trace.

Minds closed, wrapped tight in manufactured fears,
men become clay, easily molded into complacent form.
No chains needed, held in thrall for years,
lies become gospel, when dishonesty is the norm.

Shed the chains you wear in durance, in kind;
Oh, ye of little faith, and much doubt
Strength is found in an unfettered mind,
Cry “freedom” with a great shout.

No help from any gods can hinder so much
as our own lack of confidence;
finding the light within, knowing it as such
confirms us, becoming consequence.

Illumination…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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“We’re not into science fiction because it’s _good literature_, we’re into it because it’s _weird_. Follow your weird, ladies and gentlemen. Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace your nerditude. In the immortal words of Lafcadio Hearn, a geek of incredible obscurity whose work is still in print after a hundred years, “woo the muse of the odd”.”  — Bruce Sterling, addressing a convention of SF writers

A few days ago, I experienced an epiphany regarding the solutions we need to find to the issues of global warming and climate change…. This statement is one that, though not exactly what I’m talking about, is in the right ballpark…. Finding answers to what is happening in the real world has been part of what science fiction writers have done, peripherally, for many years, in the sense that the stories they write explore the concepts involved in ways that demonstrate the questions, and can, hopefully, point the way to finding the answers we now need…

There have been many, many stories…. full length novels, novellas, short stories… all written over the last two hundred years or so, that talk about the most critical issue we now face, to wit: the climate changes produced by our insane pollution of the atmosphere. There has also been a lot of speculation and talk among the people who do the writing, and those who write about them, all discussing possible scenarios for possible futures….. Somewhere among all that talk and discussion, there MUST be an idea that we can use to turn the tide that we have so foolishly turned against us…..

In other words, in a metaphorical sense, we need to go out into the realms of fantasy and imagination, to find the elves, so we can benefit from the wisdom of their counsel…. Even though I already know what they will tell us…. The elves always give the same counsel…. we will need to find a Hero, who can step forward to assume the Quest to save mankind from the folly of his own greed and ambition…. Metaphorically, this is absolutely correct…. what it will translate to in real terms is yet to be seen, but, something needs to be done to find an answer, and soon, for the time we have to accomplish anything that will work is growing smaller rapidly….

“There is something inside all of us that yearns not for reason but for mystery… not for penetrating clear thought but for the whisperings of the irrational… not for science but for wizardry disguised as science.. not for rationally founded influence but for magic.” — Karl Jaspers

In the meantime, rather than ranting at you to get out there and try to find an elf, who can then lead us to his where his people have gone, far over the Western Sea,…. I’ll put together an old-school pearl, with some good advice and/or some snarky comments about the assholes who got us to this point in the first place….

“For me, all I can do is spit in the eye of my fears by living each day with as much passion and commitment as possible  to what truly counts, such as love and justice. To give the into the fear and hopelessness would be to declare defeat, something I am not ready to do while there is still the will to struggle.” — Lawrence Paradis

“You shouldn’t think about *how* we’re doing this.   You should ask yourself, ‘why?'” — Penn Jillette

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

“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” — Agatha Christie

“A little folly is desirable in him that will not be guilty of stupidity.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Book iii, Chap. ix

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

“Must not all things at the last be swallowed up in death?” — Plato

See? There is a perfect example of why I seldom make precognitive assumptions about a particular pearl, especially BEFORE it is constructed…. This is a grand pearl, but, no snarky comments to be seen…. ‘S’okay, it doesn’t need them….
_____________________________

All things considered, this didn’t turn out so badly as I had feared…. As I said above, so be it…. 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

These brass monkeys were stolen!….

Ffolkes,
A shooting star flashed across the night sky, carving its bright path, until fading out near the horizon. Heartened by this hopeful sign, four silent figures moved quietly down the hillside, mere shadows moving through the night. With hours yet to first light, the forest through which they padded slept, unaware of the passage of the silent, nearly invisible group. No night birds sang their warning, only deep silence accompanied the group as they moved between the trees. As they reached the edge of the vast savanna which lay east of the forest, the group split, two finding cover on the ground, and two climbing swiftly up two trees overlooking the path leading back into the forest from the plain. They settled down to wait…..

Hmm… I kind of wonder what they are waiting for, or who they intend to ambush. But my curiosity is not so strong as to get me any further into the story, so we’ll just leave the group there, waiting, and go on to more dignified, if not more lucrative, pastimes…. whatever those may be…..

All things considered, it was a close call, but I’ve made it to the end of the month, alive, and that is definitely worth celebrating, given the effort it took to do so without committing mayhem, or biting someone, hard….. I think I’ll treat myself to breakfast, once I’ve tortured the language enough to put together a Pearl… It may or may not turn out well, only time will tell, and yes I rhymed on purpose…. I can’t help it, I’m a sick man….

Shall we Pearl?…..
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“It’s wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.” — Elrond

For those who don’t know, Elrond is the leader of the Elves of Rivendell, friend to Gandalf and hobbits, father of the elven beauty who becomes wife and queen of Aragon, King of Middle Earth. His age is unknown, but he remembers clearly the last time the Evil One, Sauron, made his bid for supremacy, thousands of years ago. How then, even if he is so wise, did he know how to best describe the state of American politics today?….. What he says above is what goes through my mind whenever I consider the possibility of Mitt the Twitt somehow being elected to the Presidency, as I make sure my rifle is clean and loaded, and my preparations complete for the upcoming target practice….

It’s kind of amusing actually. I have this image in my head, of how some true Americans might react if he is actually elected….. For example, when the Chief Justice tells the Twitt to put his hand on the Bible on Inauguration Day, 50 gunshots ring out, as the Marine color guards all open fire on the podium, with the first 50 rounds exploding Mitt’s head…. Then, when the confusion really starts, I’ll provide cover fire so the Marines can take off and get to their hiding spots, picked days before…..

I like either that scenario, or the other one, where, after the Marines put him down, the gathered crowd all surround the Marines, and pat them on the back, telling them , “good job.”  Whereupon the Sergeant in charge of the squad salutes and says, “No problem, ma’am, we are sworn to protect the country from all enemies, foreign or domestic”….. The crown applauds, they break up, and the country gets back to the business of reform…. Hey, we all have our fantasies, yes?….

It is unfortunate that these kinds of fantasies are necessary these days, to keep my blood pressure under control. It tends to spike whenever I think about the disastrous results should the Twitt get into the White House…. Of course, he’d probably live in one of his own houses…. the White House would be a a bit of a come-down for him, rich as he is…. No car elevator, or room for a dancing horse…. I suppose the Conservatory could be converted to a stable, and the rose garden could be taken out and turned into pasture….

You know, of course, how they teach those horses to do that dancing they do, right? They smack the horse on their forelegs to teach them to lift them up, then progress to both legs in sequence, producing the dancing motion…. which is actually a reaction to the pain of having a metal bat strike the shin, causing a short shot of agony…. I might pick my foot up, too, right before I planted it forcefully on the trainer’s nose… Nice folks, these Romneys….

Now, in most election years, I might not worry so much about an idiot in the White House. But, two factors have prompted me to keep plugging away at this subject…. One, Mitt Romney has clearly shown that should he be President, the United States would be in serious trouble. Every one of his stated goals is contrary to what I believe is needed, not just for stability in our country, but contrary to what is needed to keep us in the 21st century. Second, there are more racist, ignorant, frightened people in this country, who have been hoodwinked by this man’s lies and manipulations into giving him their support, and on election day, their votes, than I would have thought possible. Millions of them. It’s hard to swallow, I know, but it is true, nonetheless.

This is all a pretty long winded way to remind y’all to register and vote this November. You can bet that Romney’s supporters will be; they need to be notified, in no uncertain terms, that they are a minority in this country, and the rest of us will not sit by and watch this fool destroy all the progress we’ve made in the last twenty-five years…. Hell, for that matter, the last hundred and fifty years, because if he has his way, we all will be following the rules of his religion, in which the rights of women are completely ignored…. Believe it!
___________________________________

A Bronze Head

HERE at right of the entrance this bronze head,
Human, superhuman, a bird’s round eye,
Everything else withered and mummy-dead.
What great tomb-haunter sweeps the distant sky
(Something may linger there though all else die;)
And finds there nothing to make its terror less
{Hysterica passio} of its own emptiness?

No dark tomb-haunter once; her form all full
As though with magnanimity of light,
Yet a most gentle woman; who can tell
Which of her forms has shown her substance right?
Or maybe substance can be composite,
profound McTaggart thought so, and in a breath
A mouthful held the extreme of life and death.

But even at the starting-post, all sleek and new,
I saw the wildness in her and I thought
A vision of terror that it must live through
Had shattered her soul. Propinquity had brought
Imagination to that pitch where it casts out
All that is not itself: I had grown wild
And wandered murmuring everywhere, ‘My child, my
child! ‘

Or else I thought her supernatural;
As though a sterner eye looked through her eye
On this foul world in its decline and fall;
On gangling stocks grown great, great stocks run dry,
Ancestral pearls all pitched into a sty,
Heroic reverie mocked by clown and knave,
And wondered what was left for massacre to save.

William Butler Yeats

After writing the mini-rant above, I was in need of some poetry to smooth my ruffled feathers. What I got was this, which is not soothing, particularly, but is nonetheless perfectly and surprisingly apt…. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did just now….
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“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people…”  To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” — Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1791

I had intended to write here a sober, reasoned discussion of the above from my second favorite Founding Father (okay, George Mason is my fave….), but decided first to search a bit more to see if I could find something to accompany this, to lighten it up a bit…. this is what I found…..

“History records no more gallant struggle than that of humanity against the truth.” — Smart Bee

Now, while I might suggest that the word “epic” is more apt, ‘gallant” still gives it an adequate emotional index rating. With either word, it rather goes beyond the statement by T. J., into the deeper issue of basic truth. Personally, I don’t understand the issue that most of humanity seems to have regarding the truth…. I’m not afraid of it, even though it is painful more often than not. Unfortunately, much of the rest of mankind seems to not have that sort of reaction to the pain it often brings, and will go to incredible lengths to avoid having to experience that pain, even if it means putting up with another, lesser pain in the process….

You can see, of course, the immediate similarity between those folks who avoid pain, and those folks who vote conservative, or are supporting the accomplished liar, Mitt the Twitt….. Sometimes, many times, in fact, the stuff that is coming out of the mouths of Romney and his supporters is a dead giveaway, one that shows their stark, malignant fear, fear that is rooted in their racism and bigotry. Their worst nightmare came true in 2008, and a BLACK MAN (gasp!) was elected President….

Without ever considering, or even looking at, his record while in office, these ignorant throwbacks will go to ANY lengths to elect ANYONE else, even if that person is actively trying to harm them, as is the case with Romney…. They don’t care, he’s white, so they’ll be more comfortable with him in office…. or so they think…. Should it happen, it will be a rude awakening when he starts his campaign to get the rest of any money they have left, and cheerfully squashes any hope of a better life that they might have retained…..

In reality, this discussion does relate back to Tom’s statement re: the rights of the people vs. the rights of the government. We, the people, have not tried hard enough to maintain the rights we were given, and those rights continue to be eroded. More and more, government is seizing control of various aspects of our lives that formerly were our own issues to deal with. The rights in the Bill of Rights are now amended, and every amendment is another nail in the coffin of freedom….

So, here is the truth, and painful or not, it would be wise to pay attention…. like Jerry Garcia said, “Choosing between two evils is still choosing evil.”  There are no heroes on the ballot. No matter which party is in office, they will continue their assault on the freedoms that Tom says are ours, not theirs. Go with what your reason tells you to do, and don’t be distracted by the lies. Put aside the fear, and the bigotry, and the cowardice. Only one of the two choices is making any effort toward transparency, and you don’t need me to point out which one. Nor would I be so rude as to suggest which you might choose; I just lay out the truth, and you pick….

The truth is Obama lies at times, for expediency, just like any politician. But, he also is genuinely invested in making reforms that will actually help the middle class, and as far as I can tell, has not overly abused his powers (there are anomalous blips on that radar screen, but another time for that….).

Romney lies all the time; time after time after time, it has been documented that he lies just about every time he opens his mouth in the public arena. In addition, he is unapologetic about the lies, and indifferent to any claims of his doing so; he lies again by denying his lies, even when they are laid out in front of him. He has made it abundantly clear that has no interest in making things better for anyone but his own core group of friends, the rich and powerful who occupy Wall Street offices, seats in Congress, and the religious right. The fact is, he is so out there, his own party is starting to get nervous….

These statements are truth. They can all be proven, if necessary, using documentation that is available to anyone in public archives. What you decide to do with that truth is up to you, as it always is…. What will you do with it?…..
___________________________________

Hmm…. I guess I had some political angst built up in there, & needed to get it out. “Better out than in”, for sure…. Remember, ffolkes, the above is my stuff, and is not intended to mess with anybody else’s stuff…. Remember also what Albert said….

“I never thought that others would take them so much more seriously than I did.” — Albert Einstein, about his theories

I guess that will serve as an adequate disclaimer….. good enough for government work, anyway…. 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!