Burdened by implications of impropriety….


Wow…. It’s been a LONG time since my head has been so empty in the morning….. I’m guessing it has something to do with getting an extra hour and a half of sleep, which has me up today rather later than is usual in the recent past….. Of course, my guesses are wrong as often as right, so that’s no guarantee that I’ve figured this out, or that trying to use my brain for any kind of cognitive tasks will have any positive results… In short, I’ve reached that momentous state so aptly described in the Grateful Dead song, Sugar Magnolia…. to wit: “Head’s all empty, and I don’t care….” I DO care, though, at least enough to feel some regret at my lack of alertness just now, if not any great depression, over not being able to write…. I mean, THAT is nothing new, right?….

Besides, the empty-headed state described in the song has more to do with the effect on the brain of a beautiful woman, not over-zealousness in pounding the pillow, so it doesn’t help explain anything… As is normal in these cases, I have absolutely no idea what to do about it, and intend to carry on in the usual way, as I am right now, wandering around in my head, blathering, until something, anything, I type strikes a chord, whether of humor, anger, outrage, or simply reminiscence…. SOMETHING has to pop up eventually, and when it does, I’ll be all over it, like a male dog chasing a female in heat….

Hmm, as is plain to see, I shouldn’t be allowed to make up any descriptive phrases until I have a better handle on things… I’m not sure that image is the one I was shooting for…. But, what is a daily blogger to do, eh? I ask you, is it fair to expect brilliance every day? Well, maybe it is, but, hey, not all of us can do that, okay? Some of us need to be average some days…. otherwise, those flashes of brilliance tend to get overlooked.

If I was brilliant all the time, it wouldn’t seem special when I do make some connection, or expose some nerve, or shout something out that makes people sit up and take notice. There has to be a degree of contrast, sort of like using a frame for a picture, to serve as a way to highlight what I’ve written, a dichotomy that tells the tale to be told….

Most days, I end up like today, trying to achieve perfect piffle, which, to me, is great fun, and funny, and, in some ways, the most honest way to start off these missives… Nothing else conveys the sense of nonsense that we try to achieve here, that sharp, sardonic wit and intelligent discourse to which I aspire in my writing…. Of course, not everyone appreciates piffle like me, but, that is NOT my problem; I can’t fix the whole world at once…. It does mean that I have to also write in such a way that those folks are included in the message’s recipient list, as they typically are in the direst need of such information as I impart in my ranting mode…. So be it….

Well, like it or not, I’ve done it again…. Four plus paragraphs of near-piffle, punctuated within an inch of its life, all with absolutely no meaning, or relevance to what is happening in reality…. What can I say? It’s a gift…. It also meets all the legal requirements for an introductory section, which means I can put down my quill, and start typing again…. That’s sort of what it feels like, even if it isn’t anything close to that…. Piffle takes me back to my youth, and I can’t help it…. nor would I, if I could…. I’m just a sentimental fool about that sort of thing, and there’s no changing that at this late date…. I suppose I’m starting to ramble beyond even the loose limits at play on this site, so, I’ll give it up now….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It is not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horseraces.” — Mark Twain, from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar(1894)

Over the past two and a bit more years, I’ve written an average of about 2000 words per day, and have posted them all here on this blog…. This is either very egotistical, or very neurotic, and I don’t really give a crap which, because it was my only defense against insanity, at the time when I began. It seems to have worked, at least from this side, so, whether or not it is, or was, necessary is, to me, a moot point…. There is one advantage to having written so much, which I am now able to better utilize, since WP has been referring us to various older posts of the same nature as the one being read; that advantage is having a large archive of material that I know is ready to use, for those times, such as today, when my brain is somewhat less than perfectly groomed, and not willing to come out to play just yet….

Hence, the following discussion, which I found in a Pearl first posted on December 15, 2012…. I hope you enjoy it….


“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right actions arises by itself?” — Lao Tzu

Ever since being first exposed to the precepts of Taoism, back when I was in college in the late 60’s, it has always appealed to my sense of rightness, and makes the closest approach to what I personally believe about the Universe at large. Not the mystical parts, that cater to the religious order of the time it first was clarified by Lao Tzu, but the essence of the concept of reality, as being both within our perception, and unknown to us as beyond our understanding. We may not possess the necessary sense to be capable of receiving such information, whether about reality or fantasy, and if we assume the omnipotence of a god, then we would not be able to comprehend their existence, lacking the tools to perceive them with our five or six senses….

This knowledge, however, is tempered by the deduction that, as a physical part of the universe, we are connected to it, and to every other part, if only by sharing that existence. The connection, intuitively, is deeper than merely the physical; it extends somehow into the spiritual plane, which, though not tangible, is nonetheless a proven part of our mental reality. (What IS the mind?) It is this very lack of the ability to explain by which we may know the connection exists, as it echoes the nature of reality itself, which cannot be explained in words. Goodness knows why I’m trying, to be sure…. this is getting pretty esoteric, although, so far, it is consistently rational, if not entirely illuminating.

“Since everything in life is but an experience perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.” — Long Chen Pa

What better way to acknowledge and celebrate the perfection that we can see, or hear, feel, smell, taste, or imagine?…. It’s certainly preferable to a long, dusty discussion of esoteric concepts, and will encourage enlightenment just as efficiently, if not quite so verbally. In some way, I’m always looking for the perfect quote, the ultimate aphorism, that delivers that cosmic truth we are all seeking in one swell foop, and the above from Long Chen Pa comes very close to it, especially when considered in the light of what one concludes from considering the answers to the first two questions today. As a Westerner who has learned to appreciate what the East brings us, the following resonates very well….

“Somehow, in the midst of their horrid history, the best among the _gaijin_ learned a wonderful lesson.  They learned to distrust themselves, to doubt even what they were taught to believe or what their egos make them yearn to see.  To know that even truth must be scrutinized, it was a great discovery, almost as great as the treasure we of the East have to offer them in return, the gift of harmony.” — David Brin – Dr. Pak’s Preschool

There’s the key, ffolkes, right there in front of you…. Even truth must be scrutinized, or the universe will have its way with you, and you may never find the gift of harmony that is also there for the taking…. There, not so esoteric, after all….and, not too shabby at all, eh what?….

“The ancient Taoist sages were poised and alert….. like ice on the verge of melting.” — Taoist proverb

In the same Pearl where I found the above short discussion, I found a very powerful poem, surprisingly… I was surprised because it was my own poem, and I had no recollection of writing it, or posting it…. But, there it was, and here it is….

Territorial imperative…

Beauty must define, as augment to existence,
as life must be more than mere subsistence.
Nature demands more.
Truth helps.

~~ gigoid ~~


WARNING! FRESH RANT BELOW: Read it, or not, as you wish…. but, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you….      😆

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 1, 1791

I had thought, when I found this restatement of the First Amendment, to use it as the opening for a politirant.  It IS the perfect lead-in to such discussions, as each and every one of the issues addressed in this codicil to the Constitution is under attack, and, in essence, is no longer one of our guaranteed rights…. I’m not crying “foul!” without evidence; the sky actually IS falling, to use an obvious literary reference. So, I suppose I  will…. use it to lead in to a politirant, that is…. Let’s take this piece by piece….

Religion in this country IS free to carry on with, as long as the religion is a Christian sect…. Any other group is likely to suffer a lot of obstruction in the pursuit of their religion, both by law, and more significantly, by custom, and the power of peer pressure…. On the State level, as well as locally, laws have been, and are being passed that prevent Muslim women, and men, from wearing certain articles of clothing their faith demands they wear; other religious icons and dogmatic representations have been subjected to legal restriction as well, for many religions…. except Christian…. But, such laws are only the surface of the problem….

There are even Christian churches, or, well, allegedly, or peripherally Christian churches, that are discriminated against by their larger co-conspirators, just because they don’t have the same ideas about what their particular focus of worship is all about…. Just ask anyone from the Mormons… or ask anyone in The Tribe about antisemitism in the twenty-first century, and listen to them list all the various examples one can find, and not just in the news…. Ask just about any Southern Baptist what they think about Catholics, or Jews…. but, be prepared to get spewed upon with some nasty vulgarities…. Then, ask anyone from Texas what they call a Muslim when they aren’t calling them ragheads….

Okay, that’s the first section of the Amendment, on religion…. That’s gone, kaput, no longer in force; from a cultural point of view, it really never was in place, not very strongly…. The Christian sects have always been good at paying lip service to the principles of their dogma and creed, (the ones about tolerance, and compassion for others….). but, they’ve never been terribly good about actually living up to those principles, have they?…. That little episode during the Middle Ages, the one they called The Inquisition, now THAT was a pretty thing, wasn’t it?…. Now, of course, we have the plague of pedophilia, and/or outright bigotry that permeates so many church hierarchies, and not just the Catholics…. Even a simple, even Christ-like soul, such as the current Pope seems to be, won’t have a big effect on that degree of corruption of spirit….

Next is free speech…. Need I even say anything at all about this? How free is our speech, when telling the truth about the illegal activities being perpetrated by the government is looked on as treason? How free is our media, when they won’t print anything that exposes the lies told every day by the government, much less publish the stuff that Eric Snowden had to show? Oh, they enumerate the prevarications in spots; there are fact checking sites, and a lot of folks who claim to call BS on them everywhere…. The lies they tell are so obvious, that much exposure is unavoidable, given the internet, and the scope of modern technology….

But, those sites, articles, and shows that expose the lies don’t get anywhere near the publicity or exposure that the lies get, or the spin on the lies, or anything at all that the pundits and talking heads have to say in defense of their lies…. Hell, much of the time, the response by the government, regarding a particular instance of being caught lying, is handled most effectively by just ignoring it, making no statement at all…. and the media lets them do it! Every time!…. No follow-up outrage, no further mention of the lies told, just silence…. When was the last time we saw a public official actually tried in court for lying to the public?….. Nixon, maybe? Maybe so….

I can think of, at minimum, three instances in the past six years of this administration when huge lies were told, or exposed, and not a single politician or government official has been prosecuted for those lies, up to, and including the President…. This doesn’t even address the lies told by the Republican Party (the “loyal” opposition?….) on a daily basis by that entities representatives…. I’m not going to bother naming them, as all of them were covered extensively in the news, for all the good it did….

Okay, free speech, and freedom of the press, those are pretty much gone, too…. Let’s see, now, what’s next?…. The freedom to peacefully assemble, and petition for redress of grievances…. Have you tried to get a permit to have a protest lately? I understand there are now a bunch of requirements that are necessary to be allowed to assemble anywhere in a public venue, all laws passed on a local level, as a rule, and enforced by police departments with a huge sense of entitlement, legal backing, and guns they aren’t afraid to use on the public….

Those requirements that must now be met before assembling any group for protest in public, requirements which are, if one actually reads this Amendment, completely illegal according to the Constitution, have to do with protecting property, mostly, from the vagaries of mob actions….. The laws were put in place through the efforts (i.e. they spent a lot of money to make sure their politicians voted the “correct” way….) of corporate entities…. The landed gentry, or more accurately,  private interests, to protect THEIR profit margins, and THEIR rights, as opposed to the rights of the people… Can’t have those ignorant voters taking money out of their pockets in their dissatisfaction, now, can we?….

Oh, and by the way…. When was the last time we heard about a policeman getting arrested , ( Or women, though police women don’t seem to ever go as completely overboard in their zealousness as their male counterparts, at least not without first becoming more male than female in their attitudes about violence, and the use of it to control the public….), for being violent during a protest? Or actually being prosecuted, and convicted for those kinds of acts? Very, very seldom, as you are well aware, I’m sure…. That particular issue is generally taken in hand by many governments by passing laws making the police immune to prosecution for ANYTHING they do while on duty…. pretty slick, eh? Become a policeman, get a get-out-of-jail-free card to stick in your wallet….

Not bad work, if you’ve got the stomach for it, along with a very, very skewed and distorted sense of honor, and justice…. To my mind, in the current state of our society, it takes a pretty sick mind to want to take on the duties of a police officer…. Sadly, there just aren’t enough honest, honorable men to fill the empty spaces, and the need for them….

As a result, I’d estimate that at least half of the men, and, almost as many of the women, who try to become police officers are clinically insane, and should never be allowed to have that sort of power over others, for they WILL eventually, even consistently, use that power for their own ends, or use it in ways that are destructive to the public good…. It’s their nature to do so, and they WILL do so, if given the chance… As evidence, I will once more point to the news, and the many instances reported of dishonorable, destructive behavior by police officers….

It must be remembered, THOSE reports only tell of the ones who are caught, or prosecuted, or screw up so badly even their own mates turn on them…. How many instances of police bullying, or intimidation of citizens in the pursuit of their ends, actually show up in those reports?…. More significantly, how often do you see a news report, many months after an incident, that was investigated for wrong-doing, or illegalities on the part of the officers, that exonerates the officers of all wrong? Of course, the fact that these investigations are carried out by OTHER POLICE OFFICERS seems to forever lose its place among the reactions from the press….

SIGH, now, I’m a little bummed out…. Here it is, not quite 7 AM, I’ve got a dental appointment to live through at 10, and I’ve already put the hammer to the First Amendment…. Say BYE BYE, ffolkes, to that hallowed document, the Bill of Rights, otherwise known as the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, because the efforts of the past 235 years by the corporate masters to do away with that hallowed document, as predicted by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, George Mason, and a number of other of our Founding Fathers, have almost reached their desired results….

Most, if not all, of the rights we were guaranteed in the Bill of Rights have now been abridged, in one way or another, and we can not depend on ANYONE in our government to give them back…. Not when we’ve already given them the keys to the treasury, by allowing them the right to vote their own salaries, their own health care system, their own retirement, all without ever realizing we were doing so….. The American people have cooperated fully in their own enslavement, ffolkes, and though the collars we wear are not yet such as to kill us outright with their fit, nonetheless have taught us to do without a lot of the freedoms our forefathers gave us, with our full, if sadly ignorant, consent….

Sorry to be the one to bring this out, but, hey, somebody has to, right? Right….. I may not be a small child, but, as far as I can see, the Emperor is NOT wearing any clothes, ffolkes…..  Now, let’s see how many ffolkes, and/or folks, out there will either admit to it, or reject my assertions…. nicely, of course…. I suppose this is a good place to bring this rant to a dignified close, though, given my history, that’s pretty much out of the question… the dignity, I mean…  I think I’m going to have to resort to a pearl to make my escape…. so, let’s see if Smart Bee can come up with just the right one…..

“What now if the sky were to fall?” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Heautontimoroumenos, Act iv, Sc. 3, 41, (719.)

“If you don’t make the rules, you don’t have to keep them. If you do make the rules, you won’t anyway.” — Smart Bee

How admirable, he who thinks not,
Life is fleeting,
When he sees the lightning!

— Basho

Well, it took three, and that’s okay, too…. because they’re perfect….

Without even going back over this, I can feel it is something of an epic Pearl…. I can only hope it can carry the weight of its own dimensions…. Let’s go see….  Yep, completely epic… I apologize if I have set the bar too high, and y’all don’t have the time to read it all, or to comment… It’s a lot… But, if you should have a thought, or even two, about any of it, feel free to chime in…. Meantime, it’s started raining here, so I’m going out in it to soak up some moisture, first-hand…. 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.



Sovereign protocols might polish that up….

That was quite an experience…. I just sat here and wrote a poem, which you will find in the usual poetry section below….. It is without a doubt the most fluid piece of poetry I’ve ever written, as well as the fastest…. as I note below, it flowed out in about five minutes while I was waiting for my coffee this morning. Quite cathartic, and, if I do say so myself, just a little bit off the beaten path, in comparison with most of the stuff you will see here, or anywhere else…. My beliefs may not be the most crystal clear, but they are strongly held, and not lightly dismissed, as they tend to be based solely on facts (hence the title of the poem, which speaks to the iconic line from the show… “just the facts, ma’am”….)

Now, I know the poem isn’t main stream, by any stretch of the imagination…. and, if I were to look at it, (which I seem to be doing…) it isn’t designed, or likely, to convince a lot of folks to listen to me, as it goes against the grain of about, oh, 96% of the rest of humanity, and what they believe to be true about reality. You can call me controversial, you can call me a fool, you can call me Ishmael…. just don’t call me late for dinner, or call me to proselytize, because I HATE that….

I already know that what I’ve written there won’t be appreciated by a lot of folks, unless there are a few ffolkes out there who happen to agree, or at least are willing to hold two ideas in their heads at once without imploding, or needing to believe them both.

But, I’ve decided I don’t much care anymore…. at least, not to the extent of making me keep quiet. I’ve always  been hesitant to argue with religious folks, mainly because they tend to get so vehement in the defense of their dogma; I don’t like to be responsible for raising other folk’s blood pressure.

Now that I’m older, and beyond that sort of habit of avoidance, I don’t mind putting my own beliefs out there, so people can have something to talk about that will challenge their minds, instead of softening it into mush, as is the intent behind most dogma….. “Mental oatmeal’ is how I refer to dogma in my own head, because it’s chock full of delusional fiber that is a fast-acting stool softener for mental constipation, turning one’s mind right into soft crap….

“The more we are proud that the Bethlehem story is plain enough to be understood by the shepherds, and almost by the sheep, the more do we let ourselves go, in dark and gorgeous imaginative frescoes or pageants about the mystery and majesty of the Three Magian Kings.” — G. K. Chesterton, Christendom in Dublin, Ch.3

It seems that just trying to explain the poem is turning this into a mini-rant, and I’ve been trying to avoid that in the intro section, apparently without much success…. Ah well, what can I say? Ranting seems to just come naturally these days, and it certainly helps to keep the word count up…. It also seems to make the intro section grow into something more than a mere introduction each day, instead, becoming a wild growth of abundant verbiage that threatens to take over the entire blog….. and no weed-whacker in sight….

Well, you know what this means, don’t you? It means that I can no longer stretch out this section, and have to get to work… Sheesh, almost an hour, just to begin… oh well, I got a poem out of it, and even though it isn’t one that will win any literary prizes, it was enough to provide me with a bucket full of material to get started today…. I’ll take it…. Shall we Pearl?…..

From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part i, Line 152

“Yow!  I want to mail a bronzed artichoke to Nicaragua!” — Zippy the Pinhead

As previously noted, we like our nonsense around here…. This one from Zippy is particularly nonsensical, and will serve nicely as a segue into a discussion of the value there is in engaging in nonsensical behavior on occasion. A lot of folks, and even some ffolkes, might think there isn’t a lot to say on the subject, but, they don’t know me, do they? Having spent much of the last two years honing that very skill, to wit: propounding at length on subjects of little meaning, I think we can turn this into quite a nice little pearl, one that will shine even in the dark…. or maybe not… Why don’t we just go ahead, and see what happens, eh?….

Now, to begin, let me point out that the concept of nonsense, by the structure of the word itself, gives us a clue as to where its value lies… it is composed of two parts, “non” a prefix indicating negative state, and “sense”, in this form meaning perception, or ordered perception, more accurately (it makes good sense….). This tells us that the word ‘nonsense’, as the direct antonym for ‘sense’, supplies the balance that the universe demands from every part of its makeup….

“As a professional humorist, I often get letters from readers who are interested in the basic nature of humor.  “What kind of a sick perverted disgusting person are you,” these letters typically ask, “that you make jokes about setting fire to a goat?” … — Dave Barry, “Why Humor is Funny”

Everything in the universe exists in duality, as we have explored previously; this duality is directly related to our own set of perceptive abilities, which operate solely by noting the presence or absence of certain forms of matter, or energy manifestation (light, sound, etc….) We see because our eyes note the presence and absence of light waves. We hear the moments of sound between the moments of silence…. It all exists in duality, and that is how we perceive it, for that is what gives the universe its balance, and allows it to produce life, and matter, and all that we are a part of in this grand landscape of wonder….

But, the human mind is subtle, and recognizes the subtlety of the universe…. Thus, when we are confronted with seriousness for a long period of time, our nature demands something as balance, and we slip over into the nonsense mode in the privacy of our minds, to provide some relief from the somber nature of much of what is created by the hand of Man…. Goodness knows, after I am forced, or trapped, into listening to the prattling of fools about laws, or dogma, or some such asinine bureaucratic folderol, a bit of Zippy, or Wacko, or Pooh’s evil twin can always make me smile, and get through the boredom with greater equanimity….. or, as much as I ever can summon in those situations…..

“A little nonsense now and then,
is cherished by the wisest men.”

— Willie Wonka

Willie knew this little fact about the universe well, thanks to Roald Dahl, whom we can thank for his contribution to literature of quite a bit of nonsense, written with great style and verve, and not a little sarcasm. This little couplet springs up in my mind on many occasions when I am confronted by some piece of societal sobriety, and reminds me to take what I’m seeing or hearing with a big dose of salt, and maybe some Cholula’s hot sauce to spice it up. What the hell, it can’t hurt…. Can it? You tell me…..

“SANTA CLAUS comes down a FIRE ESCAPE wearing bright  blue LEG WARMERS..  He scrubs the POPE with a mild  soap or detergent for 15 minutes, starring JANE FONDA!! — Zippy the Pinhead

Before reading the following, I must ask anyone with strong religious faith to put on their thinking caps, turn off their sense of outrage, and turn up their tolerance a few notches….. It probably isn’t a justification, but as explanation, let me note that I wrote this in approximately five minutes this morning, while waiting for the coffee to finish brewing…. So, take it with a grain or two of salt, as it was created pre-consumption of life’s blood, and I can’t speak for it, other than to say it is mine…. and, as far as I can see, it’s consistent, if a bit grumpy….

Joe Friday’s lament

Life is short, and though I’m odd, they say
it really doesn’t bother me
to realize there is no God, per se.

Though other folks will disagree
and tell me I’m wrong
I won’t believe it, with naught to see.

Liars called padre tell me, have humility,
and do as the authorities say,
then fondle little boys with facility.

They also tell me to share the wealth
and give them a 10% tithe
so they don’t have get it by stealth.

So spare me the delusions, please
don’t bother with such a tale;
I’m nobody that needs such a tease.

Keep your fantasies under your hat
and out of my face;
I don’t need them, they’ll make me fat….. headed.

~~ gigoid

I started the day with oddness, so it seems appropriate to keep on the path I’ve chosen for the day…. The following pearls all dropped into my lap, so to speak, as I cruised through Smart Bee this morning…. As is my wont, I allowed my subconscious to choose which ones I should keep, and these five are what it picked…. For the life of me, I cannot see very much that ties it all together into a single idea, but, hey, I’m just the driver here…. I suppose, all in all, it could be considered another comment on oddness, or at least, learning to live in that state comfortably….

“The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth.” — Edith Sitwell

“The First Amendment does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the talk is not `dangerous’. It does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the utterance has no tendency to subvert. It does not put free speech and freedom of the press in the category of housing, sanitation, hours of work, factory conditions, and the like, and make it subject to regulation for the public good. Nor does it permit legislative restraint of freedom of expression so long as the regulation does not offend due process. All notions of regulation or restraint by government are absent from the First Amendment. For it says in words that are unambiguous, `Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.'” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, 1958

“Als das Kind noch Kind war, gab es diese Fragen: Warum bin ich mich, und warum nicht dich?  Warum bin ich hier, und warum nicht dort? — Rainer Maria Rilke
(“When the child was a child, there were these questions: Why am I me, and why not you? Why am I here, and why not there?”)

“Morality is simply the attitude we adopt to people we personally dislike.” — Oscar Wilde

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.” — Very Smart Bee

Now, THAT is a sentiment I can get behind…. even if I have to push….

Most days here on ECR, I would, at this point, comment on the day’s work…. Today has already proved to be odd in both structure and content, so I’m not going to bother with any critique…. I’ve read it through for typos and basic sense, but can’t quite grasp any piece of it solidly enough to begin to analyze it…. but, that might just be my normal state of confusion at this point in the day.

Whichever the case may be, I’m declaring it done, as I can’t see myself trying to do it over at this point…. Just as well, I suppose…. I’m going to toss it out there and see what happens, and hope that my strangeness isn’t so strong as to drive anyone away permanently…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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



Entropy is easy; it’s Chaos that’s tough….

I’m still deep in moving mode today, at least theoretically. The help I was told I was getting from my landlord seems to be morphing into no help, so I’ve had to,  so far, do it all myself. I’ve been lucky, and careful, and haven’t hurt my back yet, but much more, and I’m pushing the odds. Hopefully, he will come through today…..

I’m finding myself completely justified in my previously stated dislike for moving. One full day of it, and I’m emotionally, and physically exhausted. I remembered the worst part…. after one has finished getting stuff out of the old house, and taken it over to the new, then the work begins. All that stuff I’ve just moved has to find a new home in the new place, and I have no idea at this point what is going where, beyond knowing whether it’s kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, or other stuff. Plus, I’ll be moving it into a smaller total space, so it has to be ruthlessly organized, or it’s not going to fit…. Wouldn’t that be fun? Get everything over there and find out some of it has to go, because it won’t fit. Looking forward to that….. not!….

Okay, I done whining now. I’ll just finish up here with a Pearl, and get back to the drudgery to come….. Shall we Pearl?……

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human  mind to correlate all its contents.   We live on a placid island of ignorance  in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should  voyage far.  The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little;  but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” — H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

Sometimes, I think we have already arrived at this point in time….. but, if not, then we are not far away…… with this firmly in mind, please find the following, all of which lead one gently to an idea that may, or may not, make you feel better. Which, of course, is NOT the purpose…. nonetheless, the conclusion framed by these quotes is one you NEED to know……

“It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have  been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” — Dalai Lama

As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian (politician’s too!) can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose. — Bhagavad Gita

“Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience.” — Diogenes

“Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really know what’s going on.” — Edward R. Murrow

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” — Smart Bee

Buddha in Glory

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke is a poet fairly new to me; I first read one of his pieces a couple of years ago. I like most of what I’ve read; it seems very accessible, very personal, and quite insightful in places…. all of which make him a good poet, in my mind….. Enjoy!

[A small difference of opinion on the U.S. Supreme Court in ‘Texas v. Johnson’ 491 U.S. 397 (1989)

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” — Justice William J. Brennan, writing for the majority

“Surely one of the purposes of a democratic society is to legislate against conduct that is regarded as evil and profoundly offensive to the majority of people; whether it be murder, embezzlement, pollution or flag burning.” — Chief Justice William Rehnquist, dissenting

Yeah, that’s a bit of a difference in those positions, for sure. The second one, by Justice Rehnquist, is somewhat disturbing, in that it attempts to justify the Mrs. Grundys of the world, and gives the sense that the majority does not have to accommodate any minority. It is just another way of trying to legislate morality, a practice that has proven, through thousands of years of history, to be a futile pastime. Laws, and the threat of punishment for breaking them, have NEVER been effective in getting folks to act right, and they never will.

The dichotomy described by these two opinions on the Court reflects pretty well how society is breaking down in the upcoming election. The Democrats are trying to spend another four years cleaning up the mess left by the last Republican president, possibly the worst president we’ve ever had, in terms of both foreign policy and economics.

The incumbent president, Barack Obama, has spent four years trying to get us out of two wars, and trying to return some of the social aid for the poor and vulnerable, along with having to deal with economic policies from his predecessor that put a stranglehold on the middle class. He’s done fairly well, considering the Republican party has thrown up every obstacle they could to keep him from doing anything at all. They have not even come close to fitting the label of “loyal opposition” but have insisted on turning the issues into a social battleground at every turn.

The election in November will, I hope, sustain my image of my country’s basic intelligence. I am hoping that all the apathetic middle class voters who generally don’t vote, due to their feeling that it doesn’t matter who is elected, will pull their heads out of the sand (or their ass, wherever it resides when they are hiding from reality….) and come out and vote the liberal ticket…..

The Republican ticket wants to turn back the clock, and go back to giving all the perks and tax breaks to the rich, while reducing the services that are now available to seniors and the poor. This doesn’t even mention the all-out war they’ve declared on women’s rights regarding healthcare, and their right to vote. If they have their way, the only thing they want a woman to be is a brainwashed, barefoot, baby-making machine.

There are other issues. of course, but these are the main ones I see as being decided by the two separate poles of voters, and I would really like to see a good turnout, to let the conservative idiots see just how much of a minority they are. If they somehow manipulate matters so that the Romney/Ryan two headed beast is elected, they will work to consolidate and strengthen their hold over the rest of us, destroying the middle class, until all that is left is the 1% rich, powerful beloved ruling class, and the 99% poor, vulnerable, and disenfranchised in this country.

If that happens, there is no telling what may occur next….. We could easily see a period of assassinations, coups, and civil skirmishes, as the true patriots in this country are liable to take up arms against such deep encroachment on their rights. I know I am tempted to buy myself a rifle, and a scope, and go hunting….. and I wouldn’t be hunting squirrels, let me assure you…… Oh, and  forget trying to make me believe that violence never solves anything, because that is just delusional…. ask Alexander the Great, or Ghengis Khan whether violence worked for them….

Stay alert ffolkes, there are strange times ahead….. things are going to get interesting, in every sense of the word…..

Not a very uplifting Pearl, needless to say. I’m glad I put the poem re: Buddha in the middle…. kind of lessens the sting of the last political pearl. I guess it all reflects my own state, one of, shall we say, less than complete satisfaction with the world at large….. SIGH….. such is life….. Wish me luck getting a Pearl out tomorrow; it may not happen, if all does not go well today…… Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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




It can only be cannon fodder….

Light and dark chased each other through the night in my dreams, laughing and playing existential tag up and down the stairs. We watched, smiling, as they cavorted, pleased to see them together again, after so many ages of standing apart, ignoring the other. Reality had assumed a more pleasing configuration, and the stars smiled…..

Such is what dribbles out when I sit to type some days. It’s not bad, but a bit amorphous, and I’m not sure where it might go. Light, dark, Reality, it’s quite an eclectic group of characters, and could be interesting to develop, were I so inclined…. Fortunately for us all, I’m not so inclined at the moment. I say fortunate because I have the feeling that what would come out of it would not be something I’d care to write…. it could get pretty sappy, or even go romantic. Shudder….. not really, just being silly. But, still, not going there this early in the morning……. it could sour my coffee…..

I think I’m dithering, and that appalls me; I do try to maintain some slight degree of dignity, most of the time, when I’m not indulging in whimsy. If I’m not careful, I can see that this could easily get away from me today, so I think we’ll just dive in and get on with it… shall we Pearl?….

Ladies’ Sewing Circle And Terrorist Society — Smart Bee

I chuckled mildly when I saw this; it’s pretty good contrasting of two images in one phrase, producing a delightful little intellectual shock. Plus, I figured this way I can include the word “terrorist” as one of the tags, which will no doubt draw the attention of those NSA covert information gatherers who are now keeping track of all the terrorists’ communications on the internet. Of course, this is NOT a communication from one terrorist to another, not even in code. But I figure the more times I use the word in this section, and add it to the tag cloud, it should draw their attention like a moth to a bright lamp at night…..

Why, you may ask, do I wish to draw the attention of the covert assholes who are denying my right to privacy?  (Well, this is published, so maybe not privacy, but freedom of speech for sure….)  I’m not certain, actually. I’ve been a little bored lately, maybe that’s it…. Naw, I never get bored! I guess I’m just feeling a bit cranky after several days of fighting my own body, and I need something outside myself upon which to focus my angst and resentment. They seem to be a likely target for venting my spleen…. and if not, well, we’ll have a chance to see if my preparations for confrontations of this nature have been effective, eh?

In at least one respect, I’m baiting them, for sure…. I’ve not said anything particularly seditious here up to this point, though it would have been simple to do so; I’m trying to be careful not to cross the line over into the actual statement of action that would trigger their overreaction. It’s another test, of sorts, to see how much they will tolerate before taking some sort of action. I post every day, pain or no pain, so if you don’t see a post from me some morning, you’ll know the experiment had an unfortunate, if not unforeseen, result, and they’ve come to take me away for questioning and reconditioning…. a thinly disguised pair of euphemisms for torture, which is now an authorized tool in the tool bags issued to our police forces, and is now an interrogation technique cleared for use on US citizens, such as you, or me….

There, that should do it. Four paragraphs should be enough to draw their attention, and I’ve been careful not to say anything that is illegal, at least not under the Constitution I know. If it doesn’t suit their new ideas of what people are “allowed” to say in public (and when has THAT phrase ever applied in this country, I ask?), well, they’ll do what they do, I suppose… So keep your eyes on this space, and we’ll have at least one picture in a frame to indicate the current health of the First Amendment in our country…. or we’ll have a missing writer, disappeared into some federal enclave, never to be seen again…. but, you’ll know where to start looking, at least….

“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you “like hell. — Edna St. Vincent Millay

When my former wife decided to leave the family we had created, shortly before my daughter was to graduate high school, I was devastated, badly. There was also a sense of relief at not having to be confronted on a daily basis with all that was wrong in the relationship, but it was mostly overshadowed by the depression caused by failing in my duty. You see, to me, being married was not just a labor of love, it was a duty I had assumed, and I was taught that to fail in one’s duty is the worst thing that a man can do in life. Whether or not that failure was my own, or due to the efforts of others, is immaterial in the final analysis. Duty is duty. So, when I saw this from Ms. St. Vincent Millay (a favorite sf/fantasy author, as well as poetess) I felt an immediate connection to it, as it is a very accurate description of the form that my depression assumed.

“There is not so agonizing a feeling in the whole catalogue of human suffering, as the first conviction that the heart of the being whom we most tenderly love is estranged from us.” — Bulwer

And, in spite of the 12+ years that have passed, I feel this way still. She never believed me when I told her that my love for her was stronger every day; that may have been the source of the entire problem. I don’t know why, as I thought that 20+ years of faithful marriage was pretty good proof of my intentions. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the issue may have been; she did what she did, and we all know there is no going back in time.

So, I still spend some time every day walking around the hole that is still there in my world, and still spend time at night not sleeping because I have no one next to me to whom I can turn.

Though I had thought for a time that I had found another woman, an honest one, that also turned out to be not true, as she ended up removing me surgically from her life in two days, and never even bothered to give me a reason…. Though it hurt, it was so viciously dishonest that the pain of the betrayal hasn’t lasted as long.

We all have our holes to walk around, and fall into. Sometimes they never go away, and we just have to learn to make new pathways around them. But, it still hurts….. and that, too, is Life…. and in Life, Love can regrow, as it can be metaphorically equated to a Rose…. so there is always hope.

When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
— The Rose, sung by Bette Midler

“Duct Tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it  holds the universe together. The only difference is that “May The Force be  with you” sounds a lot nicer than “May you be covered in duct tape.” — Carl Swanzig

I love this! Not just because it is whimsical, which is a good thing, but because it is a good comparison. Best of all, it lends itself to a long series (6 movies worth) of images it can create using the dialog from those flicks.

Imagine this… Luke is barreling down the pathway on the Death Star, getting ready to fire the missile that will destroy it, when Darth Vader comes up behind to threaten him. Obi-wan says, “Use the Duct Tape, Luke!” So, Luke reaches back to Darth’s Tie-fighter and telekinetically causes a piece of Tape to detach itself from the dashboard (where it had been holding together a crack) and covers Darth Vader’s helmet, causing him to lose control of his ship, allowing Luke to fire his missile…. end of Death Star, thanks to Duct Tape….

Or, when Darth kills Obi-wan, the line would have been, “If you kill me Darth, I shall become stickier that you can possibly imagine!” The possibilities are endless, and think of how much money could have been saved on special effects using Duct Tape rather than movie magic to hold things in place, or move them about invisibly. Probably a LOT….

Ah well, maybe some day George Lucas will produce a comedy re-make using the idea…. It might not be the blockbuster that Star Wars was, but I’ll bet it would more than break even…. Hell, I’d pay good money to see it today…. I could use the laughs…..

Wake up all you citizens, hear your country’s call,
Not to arms and violence, But peace for one and all.
Crush out hate and prejudice, fear and greed and sin,
Help bring back her dignity, restore her faith again.

Work hard for a common cause, don’t let our country fall.
Make her proud and strong again, democracy for all.
Yes, make our country strong again, keep our flag unfurled.
Make our country well again, respected by the world.

Make her whole and beautiful, work from sun to sun.
Stand tall and labor side by side, because there’s so much to be done.
Yes, make her whole and beautiful, united strong and free,
Wake up, all you citizens, It’s up to you and me.
— Pansy Myers Schroeder

No comments from me here… this is not great poetry, but it is good. It is also a very clear statement of what this country needs, period. Enough said…. for now….

“Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking.” — Lao-Tze

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” — Sun Tzu

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. — Smart Bee

Although this didn’t have attribution, it sounds just like something the current Dalai Lama might say. It is certainly a truism, in my world, though possibly the most difficult thing for me to actually practice all the time. I tend to indulge my curmudgeon, and let my cynicism have its way with me while I’m typing, so it probably looks like I am a fairly judgmental person.

In reality, I am not. Fortunately for us all, life is not what I type, much as I try to get close to it when I do, so my darker impulses seldom get carried into practice in the world outside my computer. Besides, as I know just how dark that side of me is, I never go there, even in my writing; just being there makes me want to take a shower, and the hot water heater is on the fritz, so I’m reduced to sink baths for the nonce.

In truth, what is above is what I shoot for when I think of other people, and the world at large. Though not perfect, I am mostly successful, unless the object of my consideration is totally devoid of any reason to offer compassion, such as a politician. It is that compassion, actually, that prompts much of my outrage at what unprincipled people do to those who know them not for what they are.

Most people, as far as I can see, are just regular, nice folks who are trying to get by in a world where almost everything is set up to take advantage of regular, nice folks. As a result, over time, their own principles become degraded, as they try to cope with the cheating and greed that is the common practice in modern culture.

Our politicians lie to us; we expect it, and keep voting for them anyway. Banks cheat us, and we have no recourse in law, because the lawmakers are “honest politicians” and stay loyal to those who have bought them, those self-same banks. Lawyers, who should be a buffer between the average Joe and the law, instead use it to their own benefit, and are reviled, mostly, by those they are supposed to serve.

Doctors are in much the same condition; even those true healers among them still must go along with the system, charging such outrageous amounts, and surrendering so much power to the giant medical and pharmaceutical companies in order to be able to treat people, they can never effect any positive  changes. So, the field ends up attracting the worst sort of men and women, who are more interested in the money and fame to be attained than they are in helping other people, i.e., showing compassion….

Still, compassion is not dead in the world; there are still a lot of folks who not only feel it, but give it away freely. Many of them will read this piece, and I know this, because they all follow my blog here on WordPress, and I have proof of their existence, in their own writings, both on their blogs, and in their comments here….

A lot of compassion has been expressed to me for my pain, and for that I am truly grateful. Such is the power of compassion that receiving it like that only makes me want to show more of it in my life… and so I shall…. with the caveat that I will continue to withhold it from those who refuse to exhibit it themselves, whenever I encounter them….

Today’s Pearl just goes to show that one never knows when there is a rant lurking just near the exit door in my mind, just waiting to pop out and pontificate…. But, it’s all good, as I don’t think I can disagree at all with any of it, upon reflection. It will just have to fly as is, once again, fatalist that I am….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…. Don’t forget the Duct Tape, either, it’s always handy to have around….

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



Several handsome acolytes boarded the Pequod….

The gloves are coming off today; I can feel it already…. My curmudgeonly side is awake and eager to dive into today’s Pearl with a vengeance, and my radical side is right behind, goading him on.  Throw in my current lack of anything to lose, other than my life and dignity, and a dash of outrage, and it makes for a quite volatile package.  It promises to get interesting, for sure….

That being said, in fair warning, let us warm up with a bit of phantasm, eh?…..

As he moved up the steps from the street to the door of home, Samuel Beck could only feel relief and fatigue. Visions of a warm fire, a comfortable chair, and a bracing snifter of Napoleon’s finest merged happily in the forefront of his mind as he fit his key into the lock. Comforting visions vanished away, instantly, as the door slowly swung open before he turned the key, revealing a scene of such horror, of such vicious terror, that it would never fade completely from his memory.

A body, of a mid-sized man in all-over black clothing, lay about 10 feet from the door, obviously dead as a result of the neat bullet hole in his forehead. Whoever he was, he had not died easily, for furniture lay all around the foyer, and into the visible parlor, smashed and strewn about, just as if two or more men had fought a pitched battle in the rooms, destroying many of the less sturdy pieces. In the parlor, there was evidence of further mayhem, as blood was visible in several areas on the floor, enough to show that more than one person had been bleeding there.  Reddish-brown stains also showed in several places on the walls. Though apparent that more than one person had been there, only the one body remained…..

Not as shocked as might have been assumed, Samuel gazed at the destruction, both of his house, and of his daydreams of a comforting welcome home from what had been a very difficult journey. With a sigh of resignation, he stepped into the foyer, and remarked to himself, “Well, it looks as though they didn’t break the brandy bottle, anyway. I wonder if any of the glasses have survived.” On that note, he closed the door behind him, and prepared to deal with whatever had taken place while he was gone…. He was beginning to regret ever becoming an assassin…..

Aha! So, that’s where the assassin came from! Now we know his name, and that he likes Napoleon brandy…. I wonder where he stashed the little girl?  Ah well, no matter, we have other fish to fry, so to speak…. let us Pearl, shall we?….

“It is the final proof of God’s omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us.” — Peter De Vries

“It is certain because it is impossible.” — Tertullias

The above two statements, each of which reflects the other, are commonly used as arguments in favor of the existence of God. Though tautological by nature, people seem to accept this type of argument readily, and clasp it tightly to their mental bosom, never to let go. I suppose this is a factor of that part of human nature that prefers to be lazy, and not have to think overmuch about anything, much less about such subtle, convoluted treatises on the existence of their chosen deity.

It has always seemed to me, since the age of 14 or so, when I first began to examine what I had been taught in a critical light, that the religious beliefs of most people are based on this factor. I noted as well, when one has accepted the premise of God’s omnipotence, then one’s own sense of responsibility becomes a moot point. No matter how egregiously immoral, no matter how unethical one’s actions may be, these folks have the ultimate get out of Hell card; divine forgiveness by the Son of God….  It is a quite convenient way to justify even the most insane, cruel, and viciously antisocial acts, when committed in the name of the Lord, or for the glory of the State.

Even the most immoral of acts of a personal nature, such as theft, infidelity, or casual cruelty to those weaker, are forgiven. Though all the Christian sects have some form of forgiveness in place, Catholics seem to have the most efficient system for relieving any possible guilt over such acts. They are given the opportunity each week, or even daily, to confess these “sins” and receive absolution that guarantees there will be no lasting or important consequences for their acts, other than having to recite some canonical platitudes they were made to memorize as a child, to help speed the process along…..

Ah, but I forget! Religion, along with almost every other subject of a complex nature that requires an expenditure of mental energy to comprehend, is not based on logical reason, or even structured thought of any kind… it is based on fear. Fear of the great unknown, Death. The folks who become preachers & priests are those who, in different circumstances, would be salesmen and shop clerks, selling their goods for the greatest amount of profit they could squeeze from an unsuspecting public, while maintaining that their shoddily made goods are of the finest cloth.

Instead, they offer relief from the ever present fear of Death, with a poorly constructed, but flashily dressed system of beliefs that offers not only (illogical) proof of victory over Death, but takes away all responsibility for one’s actions here on Earth. With an attractive hook like that, how else could people choose?….. They make it very easy to jump on the wagon, and only those who can think, and prefer to do so, can see the fallacies in what they are offering, and that the wheels of the wagon are about to fall off….

“It is possible to pray hard enough that water will run uphill. How hard? Why, hard enough to make water run uphill, of course!” — Lazarus Long (Robert Heinlein)

“…I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of individuals…I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of democratic political institutions, and self-defeating in their purpose.” — Robert A. Heinlein, in a 1949 letter concerning “Red Planet”

“You cannot conquer a free man, the most you can do is kill him.” — Lazarus Long (Robert Heinlein)

“An armed society is a polite society.” — Robert A. Heinlein, ‘The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress’ (Think about it….)

“An hour’s perusal of our national charter makes it hard to understand what the argle-bargle is about. The First Amendment forbids infringements of the freedom of speech “except for commercials on children’s television” or “unless somebody says ‘****’ in a rap song or ‘chick’ on a college campus.”  The Second Amendment states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be  infringed,” period. There is no mention of magazine size, rate of fire, or to what extent those arms may resemble assault rifles.” — P. J. O’Rourke

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — James Madison

I’m sensing a theme here… I’m sure I could find and include a great many more such quotes from famous historical Americans, but there seems to be a consensus, so we’ll leave it at five for now. I’m also not going to discuss this further, at this time, as I believe I’ve already made my feelings and thoughts on this matter quite clear. These folks have all said it at least as well as I can, and in most cases, better. So, I will only ask you to consider what they say, and think about it….. if you have any thoughts to contribute, well, I am a firm believer in the power of dialogue, so please feel free to comment where appropriate….

“An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” — Simon Cameron (1799-1889)

The mere presence of this quote in the literature of Man is disheartening, to say the least, for it implies that the condition it describes is so prevalent that it requires statement, and acknowledgment of its truth. It is sort of like all those strange laws one finds in the old archives of some of the states, like “There will be no sheep allowed to wear makeup”, or other such nonsense. The scary part is that one knows that the law was written because somebody was actually DOING that….. so we know, by deduction, that the statement about politicians exists only because it is already true…..

It is not only the mere existence of this concept that is annoying to me, and to all of society; it is the truth it proclaims that is so hard to accept. We, as a society, know this to be true, yet we continue to act as if it were not. We vote for the fools who parade their ignorance in front of the crowds who, for some reason unfathomable to me, flock to hear and see these sociopathic liars in person, to hear their outrageous claims and idiotic platforms straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

I sometimes wonder if they expect that the pundits and talking heads will tell the truth, if what they say is uttered right in front of them. Of course, there is no evidence that will support such belief, but, people believe all sorts of things that aren’t true, that is for sure…. As a matter of fact, I often feel as if people don’t WANT to hear the truth, because they never, ever make any attempt to ascertain whether or not they have. In fact, the more outrageous and false the claim, the quicker and more deeply it is believed, so it seems. I guess we should chalk that up to human perversity…. nothing else explains it, as it is a completely useless state of mind, from a survival standpoint….

I’m not sure that a solution to this issue is possible. There doesn’t seem to be any way to convince the general public to make any effort to rein in their elected officials.  Hell, sometimes the American people act as if they are enjoying their increasing slavery…. they certainly are making very little effort to stop any of its advances upon their rights and privileges as a free society.

But, that, I suppose, is just desserts, in a way…. and they will deserve whatever happens to them…. Unfortunately, it will happen to the rest of us as well, and that is unacceptable to me…. so I’ll just keep my powder dry, my head down, and my ears wide open to hear the sound of approaching tyranny…..

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” — Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

“The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.” — Henry L. Mencken

“It was a saying of the ancients, “Truth lies in a well;” and to carry on this metaphor, we may justly say that logic does supply us with steps, whereby we may go down to reach the water.” — Dr. I. Watts

That is to say, logic does do so, if it is used by a competent mind. In the hands of someone less perceptive, logic can be a WMD, in the vernacular of the 1990’s.  ‘Tis also unfortunate that the folks who fit the latter category tend to use it all too often, and having done so, look about them at the destruction they have wrought with a smug, self-satisfied air, totally ignorant of the increase in entropy they have engendered with their blundering about…..

On the other hand, when used well, logic can be a very powerful tool for finding Truth, even if buried at the bottom of a well. The trick is to use logic like a scalpel, to cut away extraneous facts to reveal Truth, not as a cudgel, to beat Truth into submission. If more of mankind were competent in the use of logic, and not of its abuse, perhaps we would not be facing quite so many difficulties as now exist…. It’s worth a try, in my opinion…. unfortunately, it is also my opinion that it’s never going to happen, because using logic takes mental effort, something the average American will avoid to the best of their ability…..

“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_)

Look back on time with kindly eyes,
He doubtless did his best;
How softly sinks his trembling son
In human nature’s west!
— Emily Dickinson

Emily is included here for the intellectual version of comic relief. Compared to religion, politics, the Second Amendment, and the search for Truth, a discussion of time, or poetry, could be considered a bit tame. But, the power of Emily’s mad little rhymes can, in my estimation, stand up next to any subject and look them right in the eye.

This particular verse is one I’ve never seen before, and completely lives up to my expressed opinion. In four lines she expresses ideas and concepts that an hour-long lesson in a university classroom would be needed to cover if discussed in prose. Time, human nature, even compassion, all in such a compact little vessel; it makes one wonder what Emily would have done, had she ever applied her hand to Haiku…. Sheer beauty, incredible power, and deeply meaningful thoughts given in 17 syllables, would be my guess as to results. Ah well, what she did leave us is more than could be hoped for anyway….

And, if nothing else, reading this will banish most of the darkness that may have covered our eyes after reading and considering the previous sections…. so, enjoy!…..

Well….. though serious enough, I suppose the gloves never came all the way off… My knuckles aren’t bloody and scraped up, so the blows I threw struck soft tissue, for the most part. But, a shot is a shot, and I got a few good licks in, so I am content for the nonce….. and I always enjoy having a chance to use the word “nonce” in a sentence… Such a fine word, and so seldom used I like to give it as much exposure as possible, lest it pass completely out of usage…. Now that you are completely convinced of my oddity, if not insanity, I will bring this to a close…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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