We’ve used all the available penguins…

Ffolkes,

“If you’re going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.”

~~ Whimsical Fatalist Bee ~~

By any other name

By any other name….


Konichiwa, gospodin, a phrase which makes more sense than is apparent, not to mention combining two languages from two countries, neither of which is the one I currently inhabit…. Not too shabby for relatively early morning, what? After all, it DOES, technically, mean “Good morning, ffolkes”, (Japanese/Russian, for those curious enough to care….); as such, it fulfills the obligatory initial greeting for the day, thereby freeing us to proceed, onward, to more lucrative, if less structured, and, thus, less debilitating to creativity, activities of the literary process, known as ‘blogging’. Otherwise, there’d be no excuse for such a display of chutzpah, sans shame, or any overt evidence of conscience….

The good news is, I will have internet service again at home as of the coming Tuesday, the 3rd. The bad news, AT&T is taking over the ISP business, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The only service I could find ends up having to use AT&T lines, and is busily trying to assume the same corporate persona and practices of that behemoth. Ah, well, food for more ranting, I suppose, but, I should no doubt, cease my introductory bitching, and get on with the pearl for today, since I still must go find a place to post it…. Probably lose fewer readers that way.

In fact, it sounds like a plan. Luigi, take it away, and don’t spare the horses…. I’m in a strange, unpredictable mood, and don’t wish to begin the killing too early in the day. Too much clean-up that way…. Off we go, then….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Do not confuse ‘duty’ with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.” — Lazarus Long

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marley

Image from Google Free Images


I don’t think this artist requires an introduction; just enjoy….


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Bob Marley

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Dont keep calm

Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:

  Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
  Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
  Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
  Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
  Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
  Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.

~~ Cicero ~~


I’m often amazed at how wise our ancient ancestors were, compared to the current age. It seems to me there are any number of ancient sages, whose words, like Cicero’s, above, have showed us how to avoid making the same mistakes mankind has been engaged in making for, oh, about the last 10,000 years or so. From all I can gather, by record and by deduction, we haven’t made a single millimeter of progress over the civilizations which existed 4 to 5,000 years in our past. We continue to make ALL of the above mistakes, and have learned to make even more of our own…. Now, with the aid of computers, we can make them faster than ever….

“Religion is a crutch, but that’s okay… humanity is a cripple.” — Moral of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, via Smart Bee

Throughout history, most of mankind has fallen prey to the myth of religion, much like the populace of the kingdom where they needed a child to see the truth about the Emperor…. Sadly, there is also a significant portion of humanity which not only KNOWS this, but, uses it to their advantage at every opportunity, though not always in the guise of religion. The ability, or rather, the obtuseness, to fall for anything that will soothe their fear of the unknown, without the bother of actually thinking, or being brave enough to go and FIND OUT about what frightens them. Men assume, to their everlasting regret, the Universe reflects their own state of being, and MUST have been made by a supernatural being….

“Men freely believe that what they wish to desire.” — Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.)

Sorry, folks, ‘taint so, by a long piece. There is NOTHING that actually indicates any such thing, anywhere to be found, outside our own imagination. If anyone can point any out, feel free; I’ll wait until I understand, without the need to blame it on someone else…. It’s just another way to avoid the responsibility of one’s own actions, as far as I’m concerned…. Unfortunately, there is a direct correlation between the state of the society, and humanity’s lack of courage and will, which we are now observing in action, as the weight of more than seven billion people stretch the total resources of the planet to its limits….

“The other planets are laughing at us.” — Futurist Bee

If we WERE so fortunate as to belong to a Galactic Federation, it is my firm belief they WOULD be laughing at us. ‘Hoomans’ would become a caricature of one of our OWN iconic prejudices, a product of our own bigotry, for we would be known as the “pink trash” of the infinitely diverse galactic panoply of species, all of the rest of whom will, no doubt, be free of such failures of perception of reality, pitying us for the suffering we cause each other, through our own ignorance and fear….

Unfortunately, a small portion of mankind seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to prey upon their species mates, regardless of how any such behavior affects anyone else. They believe they are entitled to any sort of resource or power they can steal or take, and are willing to resort to any means to obtain their desires…. Even our American cartoon art reflects this attitude, thereby legitimizing the lack of honor by making it laughable…. What do I mean by that? Well, take note of this, from the ’50’s….

“Consequences, Schmonsequences, as long as I’m rich.” — Daffy Duck, from Looney Tunes Ali Baba Bunny (1957, Chuck Jones)

These corporate snakeheads, bankers, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and the ilk, don’t care at all about other people; they live completely without compassion, having no soul themselves. They deliberately lie, creating outlandish situations so they can cry “danger!” to the populace, making them believe they are unsafe, thereby turning them aside from their democratic duty to educate themselves…. Instead, the average American accepts as gospel all they read in the media (which only repeats the lies told by the leaders, as if they were true….), and all they hear from the pulpit, where their sycophantic corporate shills preach obedience to temporal authority, in exchange for a dubious promise of immortality, completely unfounded on any evidence…

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.” — Thomas Jefferson

Fuck it. Tom would be angry, almost as angry as I am. Moreover, I still believe there are a LOT of people in this country who are unhappy with the way things are going. The Powers That Be are making a big mistake by assuming their new technological toys will make the difference, and protect them from the rage that will be their only legacy, when the rest of humanity comes to realize how they’ve been duped…. It won’t matter, because it will be over seven billion to a handful, and the odds won’t be affected by any such nonsense as technology…..

Revolution is coming, ffolkes. Call it treason if you like, but, you and I both know Thomas Jefferson would have been at the head of the columns in the streets, along with Tom Paine, George Mason & Washington, and Patrick Henry, none of whom were afraid to be called traitor….. Another word for it is Patriot….

“Caesar had his Brutus; Charles the First, his Cromwell; and George the Third [“Treason!” cried the Speaker]–may profit by their example. If this be treason, make the most of it.” — Patrick Henry (1736-1799) — Speech in the Virginia Convention, 1765

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Comedy_Tragedy

    Here is a poem I wrote back in 2013, when I still retained a small piece of hope for our nation. I have since come to some rather more harsh conclusions, but, that’s for another day, and another poem…. I hope you enjoy it….

Destiny’s Vote


It was a special day, written on tablets of stone
with fanfare, and crepe paper, a symphony of lies,
played with verve, but discordant, and alone,
never more the grand parade, no more apple pies.

Heated dialog full of prejudice, hatred, and fears,
fills up the airwaves, a cacophony of callow untruth,
playing up to ignorance, bringing anguish, and fearful tears,
while Nero’s fiddler sits down, in the only open booth.

Watchful and afraid, I see the coming conflict
clouds of ignorance and intellect, preparing to fight,
one to fight with darkness, and abject fear to depict
opposed at the base, banishing fear with truth, and light.

Seeds of anger and bigotry are planted very deep,
growing best in darkness, hiding in shame and fear,
waiting for moments of trouble, its destiny to keep,
looking for weakness, seeking to draw its victim near.

Sing not yet a funeral dirge for tolerance,
that particular die is not yet cast,
there still remains a very good and honest chance,
our common dream of freedom may yet hold fast…..

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 8/18/2013.

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ankh

    Yep, it’s another pearl about Life, in this case, with some pretty solid advice on how to do it right, or, at least, do it with some style to go with the virtue…. Enjoy!…. I particularly like the closing pearl; it’s pretty deep….

“Reality is in the mind of the beholder.” — Reality Bee

1. ” Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully. ” — Instructions for life”

“As you go the way of life you will see a great chasm. Jump. It is not as wide as you think.” — Native American advice

“Discontent is the want of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Kindness is my true religion.” — The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

“If you are out of trouble, watch for danger.” — Sophocles

“Do not look for all the answers at once. A path is formed by placing stones one in front of the other.” — The Giant from Twin Peaks

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So be it. Pearls of late have been a bit choppy, for which I apologize, and lay the blame at my own feet, for allowing the uncertainty in my Life at Large to leak over into the process. Hopefully, a greater degree of consistency of quality can be achieved once I don’t have to worry about access to the internet; it seems to have become a more important part of life today than can be abrogated. Before I get started again, let’s take our leave, and try again another day…. See y’all next time, whenever it may be….. It WILL be, I assure you….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Dozer


À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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Typewriters, elevators, and beer; heaven on Earth….

Ffolkes,

This is my simple religion.
There is no need for temples;
no need for complicated philosophy.
Our own brain, our own heart is our temple;
the philosophy is kindness.

~~ H.H. the Dalai Lama ~~

7-31-2015 043

The road goes ever on….


Good morning….

As I put my eye to the scope, it occurred to me I had neglected to blacken the barrel of the long sniper’s rifle before leaving base; hoping no random glare would give me away, I centered the cross-hairs on the head of the Minister of Defense, now striding out of the restaurant across the street. As he paused to wait for his car at the curb, I gently tightened my finger around the trigger, until a quiet “whoosh” sent the tiny needle, soaked in a mixture of atropine and cyanide, speeding through the air, embedding itself in the exposed neck just below the ear. Instantly, as he dropped to the sidewalk, dead, I was moving out of the room, down the hall, down the stairs, and out the door, easing through the shadows of the dark alleyway, to the next assignment, far away in a distant city….

We’ll let that die a natural death right there, I think…. It ain’t Ian Fleming, but, it’ll do for a Sunday blog, I guess. It got us this far, where we’re now, again, stuck for anything worthwhile to talk about. I was going to discuss a bit of philosophy, but, decided to go with the random fictional opening instead…. Now, I’m not sure that was the correct thing to do; I DO have a delete button, but I hate to throw away a good ten minutes of relatively sweaty writing, just because it’s bad…. I mean, that’s never stopped me before, has it? No, indeed…. But, I think, maybe, it would be best to fall back on what I probably should have done in the first place, which is best demonstrated by a moment of….

[dignified silence]


There…. That should keep the intro-nazis out of my hair…. and, yours, too. Perhaps, in the interest of sanity, and the preservation thereof in our customer base, we should go…. Luigi, do your thing…. The rest of you, look busy….

Shall we Pearl?….

“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.” — Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

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bette_midler-770x437

The Divine Miss M

Image from bmi.com via Google Images


It took a while, but, I finally found a good video selection for today. The Divine Miss M has been one of my favorites since she burst onto the music scene back in the 70’s. Brash, funny, with a voice like a laser, and a heart as big as the Moon, she is indeed, one of the divas of my generation…. Enjoy, ffolkes; this is a live show, so, it’ll be hard NOT to do so….

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Bette Midler Live

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We the People...

“I believe the moral losses of expediency always far outweigh the temporary gains.” — Wendell L. Willkie

I am repeatedly reminded of the usefulness of aphorisms, particularly to demonstrate a point much larger than what the words actually say…. This statement by Mr. Wilkie is an excellent, honorable, ethical statement, and, if true, explains in one short sentence why he was never able to get elected to the Presidency. With those sort of ethical standards, he was completely and obviously over-qualified. It also implies, once again, if true, he doesn’t lie, for such is the natural way of the who choose such a self-indulgent path, and he who only speaks truth is no match in a political contest with one who has no such compunctions. This much has been proven, 47 of 49 times in the past 240 years…. (The two exceptions? J. Carter, by direct observation, and George Washington, by tradition….)

As all of us are aware, our world has a great many problems facing us, many of which are a result of our own inability to get along with each other. We live in an increasingly dangerous world, where men of no honor, and no compassion, follow their agendas of avarice for power, in a mad rush to enslave the rest of humanity…. This group is historically ensconced in the halls of government, and in the halls of finance, where those shadowy corporate predators plot to control every drop of resources and currency in the world to sate their insane need for absolute power, while, at the opposite end of the ethical scale we find the small group of people who understand what is going on, and works to mitigate the pain and misery caused amongst the mass of ignorant, malleable slaves comprising 98% of the world’s population, people who have very little say over how their lives will proceed….

A bit over 200 years ago, a small group of such intellectuals banded together to form a nation, dedicated to principles which were actively in opposition to historical forces, placing the bulk of political power in the hands of the populace, rather than in the hands of the landed aristocracy, or professional political pundits and bureaucrats…. They had a dream, one they KNEW would be actively opposed by those who would prey on their fellow man…. They all left us warnings, to try to make us all aware of what might happen, should we fall victim to their subtle manipulations….

Each of our founding fathers, in writings they made to each other, and to the public in essays, and other publications, such as the Almanac, gave warning against big business and those who would usurp the halls of government for their own purposes. Rather than preach to the choir for what could easily turn out to be several thousand words, I’ve collected some of those statements of warning, to help us to remember the liberties we have been given, and, hopefully, provide the impetus to stand up, to speak up, to defend those rights…. for, as it has been said, with perfect clarity and truth, we only have those rights we can defend…..

Here are some of what our founding fathers said to sound the warning, as best they could…..

“Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but ave different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness *positively*,  by uniting our affections, the latter *negatively*, by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last is a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one….” — Thomas Paine, opening lines of _Common Sense_ 1776 — *asterisks denote Paine’s use of italics*

“A monied aristocracy in our country … has already set the government at defiance.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

“Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.” — Thomas Jefferson

“To disarm the people – that was the best and most effective way to enslave them ….” — George Mason

“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have …a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the character and conduct of their rulers.” — John Adams

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” — Thomas Paine

“If a Nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be … If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.” — Thomas Jefferson

Using Winston Churchill’s method of making a point, we will now proceed to whack it good, a third time….

Every one of the above warnings made by one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence has been shown to be a valid danger, for every single issue mentioned has come to pass in our society today. The wealth gap between the richest and poorest has grown to a point never before reached in history. Banks and corporations have bought and paid for the courts of this country, with the resultant laws protecting business and the pillaging of the poor. A constant barrage of news articles, from a media fully controlled by those in power, detail shootings and incidents of violence to frighten the ignorant, legislating more and more regulations preventing private citizens from adequately arming themselves for protection.

The police have become an arm of the corporations, and feel a sense of separation from the very public they are supposed to serve, treating them as criminals and “potential terrorists”. Our students can’t even find their own state on a map of their own country, and cannot state more than two of the 10 entries in the US Bill of Rights….

And they wonder why life is so hard….. Well, ffolkes, apparently, not enough of us listened to our forefathers, and y’all know what they say about history, right? Those who do not study it are doomed to repeat it…. As far as I can see, the history of our race is little more than a constant fight against our own nature, with the predators among us winning out far more often than the rest…. I guess we like it that way….

So be it.
    gigoid has spoken.


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Comedy_Tragedy

    One poem that was percolating got deleted; fortunately, I can feel another one in there, swirling and circling, waiting to coalesce into rhyme…. For the nonce, we’ll retreat once again to the archives….. I hope you enjoy 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 ~~

Written 4/17/2013

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ankh

    Our final entry today is another random pearl speaking about Life at Large…. Life can be a formidable proposition, and it behooves all of us to gather to our bosoms as much wisdom regarding the living of it as we can find…. Not that the answers aren’t all right there inside us, but, we humans have a tendency to look outside ourselves for those things we forget we already possess, such as peace, courage, compassion, and, well, everything we need…

He took his vorpal sword in hand
 Long time the manxom foe he sought
 Till rested he by the tumtum tree
 And stood awhile in thought

~~ Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson) ~~


“You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.” — Malcolm Forbes

“A person is not given integrity. It results from the relentless pursuit of honesty at all times.” — Anonymous, most ancient human sage

“Life without music would be an intolerable insult.” — Edward Abbey

“He conquers who endures.” — Perseus

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about p eople’s approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

~~ Tao Te Ching ~~


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Well, if nothing else, insomnia sure does make it easy to get stuff done…. Now it IS done, I’m unsure of what to do until the rest of the world wakes up…. I think I’ll go find some shit to disturb today…. In the meantime, I suppose it’s time to close this down for another day. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, provided the implacable forces of history don’t reach a crisis point, and, the unavoidable, imminent revolution toward which our society is rushing, headlong, holds off a little while longer….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Selling icons to Philistines…

Ffolkes,

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.”

~~ from “Manual of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan ~~

~~ From “Dune” by Frank Herbert ~~

odd group 019


This picture, together with the two previous pictures here at the top, were taken in Templeton, CA, at the cemetery where my friend Carol was laid to rest. This particular shot shows the very spot where her remains were buried, straight ahead in the exact center of the photo…. It was only a couple of weeks after the service, so no headstone had been placed as yet…. It’s a nice quiet spot, and suits Carol’s simple, beautiful soul. It is where she always wished to be, home in Templeton, where we grew up….

Beginning a Pearl with a reminiscence is always dangerous, as it can so easily bring me to tears; since it is a nice, quiet picture of a soothing scene, as well, we’ll just let it rest…. perfectly appropriate, under the circumstances, and go on to the rest of today’s effort. As the opening quote says, beginnings are delicate times; we will now proceed to be delicate, as far as we are able….

I should probably give a small warning, and disclaimer. Today’s Pearl is a long one, as I found some very relevant material for the rant section, so much so, it grew to be HUGE…. but, as it states, it’s important material, to me, and to everyone else, too, even if they don’t know it… Since it IS so long, I’ll show more of my ruthlessness, a lesson learned hard, to send us on to the rest of the mess…. In fact, I’ll take the advice from Tom J. at the end of this section, and do that now…

Shall we Pearl?……

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” — Thomas Jefferson

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I found this GREAT concert video from a performer, and band, popular for a long time, though now neither is as prominent now…. It’s some great music, and some funny dialog, as the band members, and Allison, spend a lot of time sharing funny stories and affectionate tales of each other’s talents and personalities…. a very intimate concert, lasting over two hours…. Also, the link has more examples of their work, along with some similar artists…Enjoy!

 

Alison Krauss & Union Station Live Louisville 2002

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Today’s Pearl is a special one, and, to my chagrin, one of the longest I’ve ever put together…. But, it’s all material that is important to me to convey to the world, whether or not they ever make up their minds to listen to it… I last posted today’s rant(s)  in 2012, as a Pearl with three sections, of the variety that had a rant/poem/old school pearl format. At the time, I didn’t think it would be all that valuable in the future, but, with the way things are going, the next election for the major offices in 2016 will be a replay of the 2012 fiasco….

The most likely scenario I see coming up, in this period of time leading up to the next national election, in 2016 shows us we will probably end up making a decision between a pair of Republican Über-Conservative candidates, competing against a Woman of Destiny/Charming Liberal ticket on the Democratic side, with a severely confused, polarized, mostly ignorant and/or gullible, amorphously diverse mob of adult-sized naked apes, making up the congregation of more than a hundred and twenty million voters, all of whom will be under the (false) impression they are to decide who will be responsible for the rapine and pillaging of the public treasury for the next four to eight years…..

Trust me, ffolkes, it’s going to be a disgusting mass of extreme vituperation, rampant sleaze, thinly veiled misogyny, sycophantic pandering to special interest groups, and, simply, sheer insanity, with an overall circus-like atmosphere, replete with high drama, and low comedy…. which makes the following all that much more relevant…. Now, isn’t that the saddest damn thing you’ve ever heard?…. I think so….

From 9/26/2012:

SIGH…. the only reason I did not write this in 1988 is that I did not see the article from which it was taken until today, when I found it in some dark, nearly invisible, obscure corridor of the Internet….. I firmly believe it is never a good policy to suffer a fool gladly, thus, my code of honor demands a response…. Today’s missive begins the tale, but, by no means ends it….. Be warned, and be nervous, if not terrified…..

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they  be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” — George Bush in Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 1988

The depths of ignorance displayed by this statement, by a man formerly holding the highest office in this country, is, quite simply, appalling…. The only response possible, for anyone who has actually read the Constitution of the United States, would run something like this….

Actually, George, if you weren’t a complete horse’s ass, you would already know, the Pledge of Allegiance has no legal standing, in relation to the Constitution of this country, or for that matter, in relation to what our forefathers were thinking when they founded the nation. In fact, what yoi said here, as such an upstanding Constitutional scholarly type, is, in reality, completely contrary to everything that makes a true patriot, or, for that matter, an American citizen, whose duty requires them to study and know what the Constitution says, and means.

The part in the pledge, which was originally written in the early twentieth century, (and, which no one at all is legally required to take, or state…), with the words, “under God”, was only added in the middle of the twentieth century, by the same Congressional idiots who perpetrated McCarthyism, and the Red Scare, on the American public. Before that time, it read, “one nation, indivisible… etc.”, not “one nation, under God, indivisible…” as it is now (unjustifiably) reads…

The pledge itself is not legally required by the Constitution, and in fact, could be construed as a Constitutionally illegal statement, considering the intended separation of church and state that is the backbone of what our forefathers wished us to have as our legacy…. That consists of true freedom, not the Christian usurpation of freedom…..

A person’s religious belief, or lack thereof, is protected by the Constitution, and a patriot is one who supports the Constitution, not a church, or a corporation, and doesn’t require statement of loyalty to a symbol….. Thus, logically, and legally, a true patriot is one who objects to such usurpation, and believes in the meaning of the document, not the false image of loyalty implied by the pledge…

And if his name be George, I ‘ll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men’s names.

 — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King John — Act i, Sc. 1


(I know, I don’t much like Will’s stuff, but, law of averages, remember?….. Give me a break, it was the only George quote I could find….)

This kind of thinking from the Shrub, whichever one it was, Junior or Senior, is the same kind of narrow-minded fundamentalism that the colonists were escaping from in England back in the 16-1700’s when they came to the New World. The churches and corporations, both of which were singled out as dangerous to the republic by Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Adams, Hamilton, and many of the other founding fathers, have tried to usurp the Constitution ever since it was ratified. Numerous letters and communications amongst our founding fathers, from one to another, as well as in public venues and statements, were filled with precautionary admonitions about allowing corporations and preachers to have access to, or influence over, members of government.

Their fears were well justified, as we now are facing just the situations they predicted….. Corporations/bankers, and the ilk, (along with their strongest supporters. the religious leadership of the world’s religions), have been, and currently are manipulating our “professional thieves”, otherwise known as politicians, to vote for laws that favor them (Really, “corporations are people?”… I don’t think so…). It is very telling, to me, to observe how the ranks of our “leaders” are rife with fundamentalists, and religious nuts of all varieties.

“Men tend to have the beliefs that suit their passions. Cruel men believe in a cruel God and use their belief to excuse their cruelty.  Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

It’s difficult sometimes to tell which ones are more dangerous, or more disgusting: the corporations who buy votes from those who fit the definition of “good politicians” (…. a good politician is one who stays bought…..), or the religious demagogues who want to oppress everyone who doesn’t believe the same set of dogmatic constraints as they do. Neither one is particularly hard to spot, but they are protected by their tame dogs in Congress, who will do and say anything to make sure the cash keeps flowing…. right into their pockets.

“Some men rob you with a six-gun — others with a fountain pen.” — Woodie Guthrie

As indicated by the almost 500 words yesterday, and again today, you can see that the Romney/Ryan ticket disturbs me; I have no problem ranting without end right off the top of my head about the lies and distortions of reality that continuously fall from their lips. As I mentioned yesterday, a lot of people are catching on to this, as Ryan was roundly booed offstage at the AARP meeting he attended, where he tried to sell their rape of Social Security (Smart? No. Arrogant? Completely.).

Even this is disturbing to me, as it shows me just how little they care, that they are showing themselves to be only interested in lining their own pockets, and the pockets of those who own them. They aren’t even trying to hide their lies anymore; they just keep repeating them, even after having been shown to be false, believing that if they repeat the lies long and often enough, people will buy it…. even if only to shut them up….

“Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book iii, Chap. xi

Unfortunately, they are right, to a large extent. Millions of people in this country, who have hung on to their prejudices and bigotry with desperation, as the minorities have become majorities, are supporting these assholes, merely because they are white. They don’t realize, or seemingly care, that these are the same assholes who will be screwing them over completely as soon as they get sworn in, preferring to trust in the lies, because it soothes their fears of having a black President.

“Beware of the half truth.  You may have gotten hold of the wrong half.” — Smart Bee

This is why I keep reiterating this point…. this election is bringing this country to a crossroads. The outcome will show whether we intend, as a nation, to continue to fight all attempts to curtail the freedoms that were bought and paid for by our forefathers, with blood, sweat, and tears, or will become just another religious, corporate-controlled entity, with a nation consisting solely of slaves, numbering in the hundreds of millions of people, and their masters, whose number is, at most, no more than five figures….

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll be at the polls as soon as they open, and will urge everyone I know to do the same…. Vote early, and vote often (just joking…), but vote. We need to send a message to these fools, that there are still patriots and citizens of this country who believe in the vision embraced and established by the men and women who began this noble experiment in self-government…..

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” — Aldous Huxley
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Note from 2014: This is another rant, hence it’s position here in the second section of today’s Pearl…. Today, it goes here, to supplement the above arguments…. When first posted, it made up the third section of the Pearl on 9/26/2012:

“Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence…  From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to ensure peace, security, and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable….  The very atmosphere of firearms every- where restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.” — George Washington (Bogus?)(Who cares? I don’t, it doesn’t make it any less true if it was said by someone else…. I know for certain, Tom Jefferson would have said it, if he’d thought of it first; for all we know now, he might have done so….)

I am constantly hearing people these days spouting off about gun control, and how guns should be outlawed. This is a viewpoint that I have never understood, because it makes a totally unwarranted assumption, (more than one actually, but this one is, I believe, the most important….), to wit: guns cause violent behavior, and if people couldn’t legally own them, violence would stop.

This, patently, is incredibly naive, and, at minimum, severely unreasonable, given that there is absolutely no evidence to support such a contention. There is no evidence whatsoever that violence is NOT part of human nature; this is a psychological/psychiatrically proven FACT, not subject to debate. People have violent tendencies, especially when influenced by strong emotion….

Moreover, violence is the primary response of a great many people. to almost anything they don’t understand, and, who have never learned how to use their reason to control their emotions. Thus, the majority of humans never understand the violence within themselves, allowing their fears, very strong emotions, indeed, to control their behavior, for it is our naturally induced response to cover fear with anger, with its ever-present danger of slipping over into violence….

In short, many people, when afraid, simply strike out in response; this simple fact carries over into other, more complex situational behavior, without those involved ever even being aware of the process within themselves…. and, this tendency extends into every level of human societal interaction; our political pundits, though they speak of violence often, have no clue as to how their own fears control them, any more than do religious leaders, or the average joe on the street who buys into all their BS…. Hence, we have politics, and religion, and sports, and, advertising, and, racism, and bigotry, and misogyny, and, eternal, unending war between men….

Though I’ve never owned or carried a gun, I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment to the US Constitution, in its most literal sense. Without the right to bear arms in our own defense, we, as citizens, would be at the mercy of whomever was in office at the time, and would have no recourse at all to any redress of grievance against those officials, since they could not be forced to comply with law.

I do NOT trust any elected official to act in MY best interests; human nature also decrees that they will act in their OWN interests first, with no compulsion to even consider anything else. Making it a law that only police and government lackeys could legally be armed is a sure way to guarantee that the average citizen would be at the mercy of these so-called leaders, mercy being a quality they have never, heretofore, demonstrated in any fashion.

In fact, here’s an example, straight from a horse’s mouth, as to how many of today’s ‘officers of the law’ feel about the citizenry they are supposedly there to protect and serve, to wit:

“In our society, sometimes you have to penalize (innocent) people for the good of everybody else.” — A Pittsburgh Cop 10/16/93

As I said, I don’t own or carry guns…. However, I’ve trained myself to be dangerous without the use of them, and feel no fear that I cannot deal with an armed man to my benefit; this is simply because it is the person holding the gun that is the danger, not the gun itself. Speed, power, and accuracy are the key elements to controlling a violent situation, along with even more valuable assets, forethought and preparation, added to the ability to keep a clear mind under duress.

When a person is holding a gun, they feel ten feet tall and invincible, but they remain human, and humans can be controlled with superior strategy and tactics. It does no good to hold a gun, when the target won’t sit still, or even remain visible….. To an experienced warrior, that sense of invincibility becomes a liability to the gun-wielder.

However, most Americans do not have this sort of skill set, nor the state of mind that makes it work. In the hands of a skilled warrior, a gun becomes a dangerous weapon indeed, for it will be used to achieve the warrior’s goals, as any weapon would, not employed to merely bully others into doing what is desired, which is the usual use of these kinds of weapons in the hands of the ignorant and deceitful. And, it should be noted, politicians, by the very nature of their sociopathy, do get rather deceitful in the pursuit of their self-centered ends. The desire to be in public office, to me, is a sure sign of a sick mind, as a healthy one has no need to assume power over others, being content to be in control of themselves.

So, I would say to those who would get rid of, or, in any way, alter the intent of the Second Amendment…. “Get a grip on reality, and shut the fuck up….. Truly, your lack of sophistication and knowledge of human nature gives you no right. or reason, to speak……”

“When you’re a child, you pledge allegiance to the flag.   When you grow up, you swear to uphold the Constitution.  Compare and contrast to the President’s current actions.” — Larry Wake (lkw@csun.edu) (He was referring, of course, to one of the Shrubs….)
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Well, that turned into quite a little rant…. I guess I needed to get that out. In reading back over it, I have nothing to regret, for it is all the plain and simple truth. So, I’ll send it out there, with the ever-present invitation to come back at me with any thoughts you that may occur to you….. Arguments, for or against, are welcome and appreciated. Constructive criticism is also welcome, wherever it is deemed to be warranted; ignorance will be ignored if harmless, or ruthlessly exposed for what it is if not, at my discretion. But, please don’t get upset if I don’t answer a comment; I intend to answer all comments, and try to get to all of them, but my internet time just now is limited, and I’m probably missing some comments.

Flaming, or fanaticism, or personal attacks will be either cheerfully deleted, or prosecuted/persecuted, depending on the severity of the idiocy therein….       🙂       Oh, and keep always in mind that I pay little attention to my attempts at humor, other than as an artistic tool; making fun of it can only improve it, I’m sure…..       😉

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In looking for another poem, I found this; it’s great…. Nothing more needs to be added, except, I’ve added the link to where I found the poem, so that, if you wish, you can see some of this poet’s other works…. Enjoy!

Dog Eat Dog

It’s a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.
Live like a dog die like a dog, as the old saying goes,
The plant you water is the plant that grows, everybody knows,
Give blows, get blows
Down’s how the water flows
Live like a dog die like a dog
It’s a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.

Dog bites matty dog for a piece of meat,
Child hits matty child for a taste of sweet,
Woman claws her matty because she looks so neat,
Man robs his matty man because he wants to eat,
Policeman kicks his matty thief because he likes to beat.
It’s a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.
Live like a dog die like a dog, as the old saying goes,
The plant you water is the plant that grows, as everybody knows,
Give blows, get blows
Down’s how the water flows
Live like a dog die like a dog
It’s a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.

Preacher lies to the congregation cos that comes naturally,
Shopman cheats his customer for maximum profitability,
Politician takes all the bribes he can, constitutionally,
Lawyer robs you with a pen completely legally
Country bombs its matty land nationalistically.
It’s a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog world, a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.
Live like a dog die like a dog, as the old saying goes,
The plant you water is the plant that grows, everybody knows,
Give blows, get blows
Down’s how the water flows
Live like a dog die like a dog
It’s a dog eat dog eat dog eat dog world.

~~ Nim Lee ~~

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/dog-eat-dog-4/


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This may be one of the oddest, yet most powerful pearls I’ve ever created…. It has a symmetrical structure, augmented by the balanced us of quotes from our friend Zippy, and that font of wisdom, Smart Bee, with only two entries from flesh and blood contributors, both of whom are pretty well known as men of more than the common degree of intelligence, if not precisely one of wisdom….

In all, it makes a fine set of descriptive images for those individuals purportedly in charge of society, along with some rather cogent and accurate indictments of evil, and a bit of advice on how to spot the demons in human disguise…. Enjoy!…. Weird as it is, it will create an echoing sense of justice, and righteous indignation, in those who are paying attention….

“Concentrate on th’cute, li’l CARTOON GUYS!  Remember the SERIAL NUMBERS!!  Follow the WHIPPLE AVE EXIT!! Have a FREE PEPSI!!  Turn LEFT at th’HOLIDAY INN!! JOIN the CREDIT WORLD!!  MAKE me an OFFER!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Morality is learned, not legislated.” — Smart Bee, with gigoid’s full agreement

“At twenty, a man is full of fight and hope. He wants to reform the world. When he’s seventy, he still wants to reform the world, but he knows he can”t.
— Clarence Darrow

“The only way you can protect your rights is to protect those of others!” — Smart Bee

“If you really want to do something new, the good won’t help you with it. Let me have men about me that are arrant knaves.  The wicked, who have something on their conscience, are obliging, quick to hear threats, because they know how it’s done, and for booty.  You can offer them things because they will take them.  Because they have no hesitations.  You can hang them if they get out of step.  Let me have men about me that are utter villains.” — provided that I have the power, the absolute power, over life and death.” — Hermann Goering

“Ambition is in fact the avarice of power.” — Smart Bee

“Now I’m being INVOLUNTARILY shuffled closer to the CLAM DIP with the BROKEN PLASTIC FORKS in it!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Well, there you go…. I keep telling y’all, it’s all in the twist of the wrist….

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I’ve gone bonkers, stark, raving mad…. but, with dignity, so, all is well…. I’ve also created a humongous Pearl today, so, rather than try to be funny or profound, I’ll merely say, ta then, and be on my way, so you can get on with your day as well, having been so long delayed here…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

Man the focs’l! Avast me hearties! Yar!….

Ffolkes,

“A man can only do what he can do.  But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.” — Albert Schweitzer
Second shots 013    The pub pictured above, is, as can be noted by the mirror over the bar, the The Old Swan, in Kensington, just around the corner from the B&B where I stayed in London, in Abbey Court, quite near Portobello Road. It could be considered as my neighborhood pub for when I am in that city, as it felt like home from the first time I walked in…. During the three days I spent in London, I was in here four times, for three meals, and a night out, once I’d gotten over my jet lag. It was everything an English pub was advertised to be; comfortable, friendly, and bursting with tradition, from the dark wooden walls, to the pretty barmaids, and the warm fire in the hearth….

For three years now, damn near, I’ve been trying to create an environment here, on this blog, that would make ffolkes feel the same about coming here as I did about going to the Swan, with the same sort of welcoming atmosphere, sans food and drink….. Instead, here, we serve dishes of a more intellectually fulfilling nature, rather than those of a savory, aromatic, stomach-filling sort…. The intent is a bit different, too…. The pub’s focus is on providing a place to relax and socialize, rather than one designed to stimulate thought, and to illuminate that which is kept deliberately dark, thereby arousing the passion to make changes…. all in the hope of helping the world to make the changes needed to save our ignorant asses….

That goal, of course, is probably not realistic, but, it’s the only one I find to be worthwhile, since, if we don’t manage to make the aforementioned necessary alterations in how we approach living, we, as a species, are certainly going to die…. I hate being so pessimistic; it really isn’t my nature to lose hope, or to give up…. but, between the intransigence of those in power, the ignorance of the great unwashed masses, historical inertia, and the unfortunate tendency of our species to express the violence in our nature rather than the compassion that exists within us as well, I don’t see the necessary changes as having much chance of being made in time to fix what we have made of our nest….

That lack of hope doesn’t keep me from trying though, and, if the last three years is any indication, my efforts are, if nothing else, prodigious…. I guess it wouldn’t be out of line to say I must have had something to say, because I’ve certainly said something, to the tune of about four thousand PAGES, holding more than three million words that have been inside me for years, waiting for their chance to come out to play…. I’m not sure how many are left in there, but, as you can see, there doesn’t seem to be any lack of them to pick from…. thank goodness…..

In fact, I’m pretty sure we’ve put enough of them together so far today to have reached one of our potential points of entry into the later sections…. Yep, there’s the ending of this intro coming up right there, up there a few lines ahead of us…. Probably a good thing, too, as this was beginning to unravel, or, as we like to say around here, it was “preparing for burn”, or “damn, what the hell was that?”….. I’m sure you know whereof I speak, as it tends to happen here on an almost daily basis…. I’m not going to bother naming it, or trying to define it, but, y’all know exactly what I mean, don’t you?…. I know you do, but, if it embarrasses you to admit it, that’s okay…. We all know, so, it’s cool….

Oh look, it’s the ending I saw….. Good, the water looks inviting today….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Scilurus on his death-bed, being about to leave four-score sons surviving, offered a bundle of darts to each of them, and bade them break them. When all refused, drawing out one by one, he easily broke them,–thus teaching them that if they held together, they would continue strong; but if they fell out and were divided, they would become weak.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Apophthegms of Kings and Great Commanders

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“All men profess honesty as long as they can. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse.” — John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

In the course of this blog, I’ve ranted many times about how the Asininnies, or, at least, those in that group who speak to the public, consistently lie about their actions, as well as their motivation for those acts. Moreover, I’ve tried to relate how the ignorance of those who listen to those lies, believing them implicitly, is as much the underlying cause as the lies themselves….. In support of that opinion, I offer the results of the presidential election in November of 2012, when 55 million Americans voted for a man who lied to them more than 50% of the time, a figure corroborated by more than just two fact-checking organizations….

Yes, you read that correctly…. 55 million Americans chose to vote for a man who was a proven liar, just so they wouldn’t have to consider the idea of having a black man as President for another four years…. Not that the established conservative political coalition would allow him, or his political allies, to actually DO anything for the people; the GOP has managed to throw up a roadblock on EVERY piece of legislation designed to help the public for the last six and a half years, becoming in the process the champion “do-nothing” Congress of all…. This Congressional group has considered fewer bills than ANY other of its predecessors, and has passed even less of it, thus earning their championship with a truly monumental, record-breaking LACK of work…. or, progress….

“A long tradition has regarded low self-esteem as a powerful and dangerous cause of violence. Our review has indicated, however, that it is threatened egotism rather than low self-esteem that leads to violence.” — Case Western Reserve University psychology study as quoted in Thomas C. Palmer, Jr.’s Boston Globe article (3-31-96), — Self-Esteem Self-Threatening?

I ask you, sincerely, as an experienced, retired mental health professional, what is legislative obstruction other than passive-aggressive violence to the public, like a spiteful child complaining of a lost entitlement?…. As far as I can see, the House of Representatives Republican majority has done NOTHING other than act like spoiled children for the last seven years, since BEFORE the ’08 election, when the threat of a black president first surfaced…. and, in the process of their throwing their series of legislative tantrums, have managed to slow the process of healing so needed by the economy, and the national psyche….

In spite of their efforts, the economy has improved, a LOT; unemployment and inflation are at their lowest rates since the first Shrub started raiding the public coffers, the banks are fat and happy, and even the middle class has seen an improvement in their overall economic picture…. It’s looking as if the American economy is finally starting to recover, a little bit, from the disaster of the Reagan years, and the complete catastrophe that was the legacy of the Shrubs, both Senior and Junior, each of which created their own particular mess in the money world, giving new meaning to words such as nepotism, corruption, and cronyism….

I’m going to give y’all a break today; I’ll end this rant here, & finish off this section with some appropriate pearls…. I’ve made the point I wanted to make, if only minimally…. but, I feel myself approaching a level of anger at such immorality which could potentially affect the quality of the argument, so, I’ll let it go, and just reinforce my point with pearls…. Remember, ffolkes, you have to listen closely to what they say, and make the effort to determine its veracity, or lack thereof, before buying into anything that comes out of a politician’s, or a preacher’s, or a banker’s mouth…. They don’t have a good track record at truth-telling…. nor, as far as can be seen, do they have any interest, or investment, in learning to do so

“The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” — Winston Churchill

“What one fool can do, another can.” — Ancient Simian Proverb

“What we wish, that we readily believe.” — Demosthenes

“Men of power have no time to read, yet the men who do not read are unfit for power.” — Michael Foot

ARTHUR:  I am your king!
WOMAN:   Well, I didn’t vote for you.
ARTHUR:  You don’t vote for kings.
WOMAN:   Well, ‘ow did you become king then?

— Monty Python and the Holy Grail

“POLITICIANS do it, but they stay in too long and make you pay for it afterwards.” — Smart Bee

“What is it not to sin? Do not ask much; go, the silent flowers will tell you.” — Angelus Silesia ne Johannes Scheffler (1624-1677)

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Hang on…. I just finished section one, and don’t have a clue as to a poem for this section…. yet. I’ll be back… I won’t be Arnold, but, I’ll be back…. Uh oh, stand back, ffolkes, I feel a poem bleeding out….

A Few Words of Note

In place of ranting and raving about assholes every day
maybe I’ll try something more fun.
Rather than throwing words at all the assholes on public pay
I’ll switch to shooting at them, with a gun….

Should I actually hit one, purely by mistake,
maybe it would wake them up.
Maybe, if they had to think, or actually cut us a break,
we’d see a chance to win at life, to take a step up.

Our nation, such as it is today, was founded by men who told the truth;
that morality disappeared long ago.
Simple ethical strength so bright, so prevalent in our country’s youth
was soon corrupted, corporate interests now run the show.

Nothing would please me more than to fire off some rounds,
if only to gain their attention.
But, I can no longer run, I’ve gained too many pounds;
so, my keyboard and intellect must serve to fulfill my intention.

I won’t stop, of that you may be sure
I love my freedoms, and the philosophy from which it springs.
Tom, and Ben, and John, and Pat, those patriots pure
gave me their example, and the inner peace it brings.

If bullets won’t persuade our elected liars to toe the ethical line,
I’ll throw my most powerful words…..
If nothing else, it will make them wriggle to escape, or voice their pitiful whine,
thus exposing themselves for what they are…. plain and simple turds.

~~ gigoid ~~


Well, they can’t ALL be great…. It rhymes, and it’s a good message… I like it, but, then, I DID write it, so…. It will do, for now; it could conceivably get some editing done on it in the future, but, for the moment, I have to go stop the bleeding, so I can get all this posted…. Now, where did I put that gauze?….

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Time for some more old-school pearling, ffolkes…. Smart Bee has been pretty cooperative so far, so, I’m going to push my luck, & see if we can come up with another pearl of virtual wisdom to finish off today’s effort….. Go, SB!….

“When ideas fail, words come in very handy.” — Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

“A guilty conscience never feels secure.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 617

“Christ believed in hell. I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.” — Bertrand Russell

“If you have had your attention directed to the novelties in thought in your own lifetime, you will have observed that almost all really new ideas have a certain aspect of foolishness when they are first produced.” — Alfred North Whitehead

“You must turn and face the tiger to learn it is made of paper.” — Smart Bee

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

“..  I think I’d better go back to my DESK and toy with a few common MISAPPREHENSIONS…” — Zippy the Pinhead

I rest my case…. The most cogent of the above aphorisms came from SB itself, which, obviously, goes to prove my assertion….. I hope you enjoyed this one, it’s pretty good….

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When I awoke this morning, I had no idea this would all flow out before I was done…. It’s all fresh, and all punctuated, so, I’m going to take my chances with it as it is, sans any further perusal, and trusting to my basic skills to protect me from the grammar Nazis out there…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…. I feel lighter, for sure…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

Four coconut-periwinkle macaroon omelets, please, to go….

Ffolkes,

Save for the hour, I’d be happy to be up and writing; that’s on the one hand….. On the other hand, given the hour, I’m happy to be retired, without the need to get going to get ready for work (when you see those 4 letters arranged into that word, imagine it spoken aloud with Maynard G. Kreb’s pronunciation, sort of a high-pitched squeaking, with a heavy note of fear, and a querulous, wavering tone…. WUURK?!….). In fact, I’m up at what seems to be my new normal time, between 0330 and 0400, in time to beat the coffee, but, not the cat….

Not that I’d actually BEAT the wee thing; she’s annoying, but I’m not a species chauvinist, and would never allow myself to treat an animal like I would a human…. they deserve far better than that…. To a human, I can justify almost ANY sort of cruelty or antagonism, as they are, at least, my peers, and whatever I can do to them, they can do to me (if they dare….)…. With animals, that does not hold true; to abuse ANY animal, in my mind, is about as low on the morality scale as one can go….

My own moments of regret over immoral behavior, and, the time spent flogging myself in the lower levels of my personal hell, all have their origin in those few times in my life when I’ve forgotten that, and have been inadvertently cruel to an animal…. Whatever I’ve done to any human has already been returned to me, tenfold, so I don’t fret at all about whatever happens with them…. Animals, by nature, do not have the same sort of cruelty in them, so it isn’t cricket to put the onus of our own nature on them; nothing they’ve ever done deserves that kind of dark, evil response…

Hmm…. How the hell did I end up there? That has to be one of the oddest little mind-trips I’ve ever taken, all the more so for having done it right out here in the relative open, where anyone & everyone can witness the strange manner in which my mind “does its thing”…. so to speak. I haven’t the foggiest why I felt compelled to take that little journey into the dark side of Man’s nature, but, it must have had something to do with the cat…. She’s gotten used to me being up early, & now feels entitled to my company when SHE wants to get up…. Hence, early morning mischief, to get my attention….

Ah well, being up early seems to work better for me, anyway…. and the wee furry beast has at least stopped trying to wake up milady Pat, so that’s a good thing, I suppose….. Now, if only there were some way to sync the hours that Pat and I sleep, maybe we could spend a bit of time together, while actually awake and aware, rather than being on the same schedule as two people working opposite shifts to save on babysitting, like when we were young, raising kids….

Ah well, one can’t have everything, I suppose…. I complain about our BRC’s false sense of entitlement so often, I feel as if I should keep from exhibiting it in my own life, as far as possible…. I take what reality gives me, and try to be happy with that…. It also gives me the chance to practice the wisdom of Lao Tzu, as related in yesterday’s Pearl, who reminds us…. “He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.”

Shall we Pearl?…..

“OK, so you’ve got a Ph.D.  Now, don’t touch anything.” — Smart Bee
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Back in the early days of this thought experiment gone rogue, which WordPress, and the forces of peer pressure insist I call a blog, the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom were shaped differently…. Originally, back in the time before the word “blog” existed, in the original email format, Pearls consisted of a short, hopefully powerful intro, followed by three to five pearls, which comprised the majority of the material under consideration.

By the time the Daily Pearl was posted on 3/12/2012, it had grown to include five sections, each of which began with a single pearl, followed by my thoughts, which, in that period, constituted the larval stage of the politirants and religirants you see in today’s version of P’sOVW…. Here are two entries from that date, one of each…. (Minor changes made to reflect the passage of time, blended “so’s you’d never know’t”…. I hope….)

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From 3/12/2012:

“I don’t make jokes.  I just watch the government and report the facts.” — Will Rogers

I was going to use this as a springboard for another rant on our beloved ruling class….. But, the more I thought about it, the longer it percolated in my brain, the sadder I grew….

I used to feel a lot of love for my country, if for nothing else, because of the dream of liberty and human empowerment that our system of government was envisioned, and intended, to create, and maintain. The founding fathers had a vision, of a country where every man and woman had the same opportunities, to live their lives as they chose, as every other person, without censure, and without the fear of being persecuted for their beliefs, no matter how different they were from everyone else’s.

A dream of a place where children could grow up without the fear of hunger, or abuse, or death from the skies. A place where a man, or a woman, was respected for just being human, without having to prove their worth to some ignorant asshole who is afraid of any color skin but their own.

Instead, we live in a society whose diverse segments have an extreme, and sadly justified, mistrust of each other, where the rich and powerful, instead of uplifting their fellow man, use their influence and wealth to divide and discriminate, always with the intention of keeping the less fortunate in a powerless state, too downtrodden to even hope for better.

We live in a society that ignores its elderly, and abuses its children; a society where people are starving amidst mountains of food.  We have a produced a culture that glorifies war, and sees peaceful coexistence as weakness; a culture where it is a crime for a man to kill another for honor, but is praised for being part of an army of professional killers.

This country has reached the sad point in its history where the twin concepts of honor and duty have been supplanted as the basis of our national character, replaced by the glaring presence of avarice, false entitlement, and expediency.

Yes, I am saddened by Will’s joke, because it cuts far too close to reality, and home…..

From today, 3/28/2014:

“They scream into my ears,
But what they say will only make me deaf.”

— Claus Larsen
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“It’s hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” — Calvin, Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes

Jimmy Swaggert, and the other 5 or  6 televangelists who regularly get caught literally with their pants down come immediately to mind for a list of potential recipients of divine extermination intervention…….

Newt Gingrich, along with a large number of his cohorts in Congress, obviously, for congenital lying, and excessive sliminess….

Rick Santorum, because I can’t imagine an entity as smart as God is reputed to be to let this ….. person…. (I believe using the word “person” is being kind, but, we’ll give the benefit of doubt for the time being, for expedience… See, even I fall prey to that failure of ethics…), well, I don’t think He will let him speak in his Name for long, not without exacting some price….. (I’ve heard that divine price-tag can be a bit heavy….)….

Twitt Romney, that elitist asshole…..

…. and, finally, as Yul Brynner stated so beautifully in his only attempt to sing on film: “Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…..” to which I would add, “and a cast of thousands, ad nauseam infinitum…..”

I suppose it also says something less than admirable about the media to note that much, or even MOST of the crap to which we are exposed, by the members of the (supposed) fifth column, consists, in the main, of reports on the activities of the LEAST admirable examples of our species, who, unfortunately, are the ones who make for salable news…. These newsworthy individuals provide the material that will pay for the advertising costs, so the shadowy corporate masters are satisfied that we will hear about the latest, greatest new products, each of which fills some previously unknown manufactured need.

The most lucrative subject matter, the stories that sell the most papers, or which comprise the material for the most successful TV shows is, as it turns out, an endless variety of dramatic fantasies, describing in minute, intimate detail, all of the stupidest, most egregious examples of the (verifiably…) insane antics of a (seemingly) limitless number of the WORST of humanity….

Loud, perverted, fanatic religious zealots (aka. preachers….), unprosecuted criminals wearing power suits and ties, (aka, politicians….), and a parade of sports and entertainment figures with an average IQ of 77 (actors, actresses, ball players, and police/military myrmidons)…. These are the current examples of “famous celebrities” we are supposed to fawn over, to use as our idols, for emulation…. at least, if we are to believe what we see on the TV (total vacuum)….

I often feel a sense of despair after reading the news…. fortunately, I have WordPress to alleviate any dangerous build-up of bile….. but, all too often, it sure makes me wish for a few well-placed bolts of lightning to provide some comic relief, at least…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From today, 3/28/2014:

“Of all the animals, the boy is the most unmanageable.” — Plato (428-348? B.C.)

Well, that was certainly confusing, eh? Maybe, just maybe, evolution is a good thing…. ya think?….
_____________________________

Today’s poetry section is the last to be completed before finishing; I don’t know if that means anything, or not, nor do I particularly care, at this point…. I’m getting tired…. I’ve written fresh, I’ve ranted a bit, I’ve edited a lot, and I’ve tried to maintain an even keel, all of which can be exhausting, given my standards for myself….

Since so much of this post comes from my tortured mind, I’m thinking I should include a poem of my own, and in fact, will do so, twice, if only to save the energy of looking on the web for someone else’s work…. First, a haiku about poetry, which I wrote on 3/12/2012, finding it only yesterday… followed by another by yours truly, from whenever…. sometime last year, I think….

POETRY

Flashing, bright words create
inevitable images;
truth consumes.

~~ gigoid ~~


Here is a poem from last year, with many of the same protagonists under discussion as in the rants below, and above…. Enjoy….

Accentuated Lessons

Bold statements of calculated intent
Become common rule of the malcontent.
Avarice assumes such attractive wear
Beguiling deception, illusory and fair.

Grasping and pulling with ghostly hands
Legally proper in all the signatory lands.
Seeking and finding each vulnerable soul
Anguish as payment for exacting the toll.

Wraiths of commerce’s invisible dead guards
Still haunt the dreams left in sad empty yards.
While absentee nobles sit in stiffly elegant splendor
Served by sad-faced detainees in abject surrender.

Escape from reality is illusory at best
Often we falter and fail its daily test.
Only when focused on inner strength
Does peace stay with us for any length.

Peace lies within, always…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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WARNING: Fresh rant ahead…..

Say first, of God above or man below,
What can we reason but from what we know?

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 17

At this point, I am still unsure whether or not I have a rant in me this morning…. However, I read these two articles yesterday, whereupon I set them aside to form the basis for discussion today….. so I guess I’ll discuss them…. The first is another fine treatise from the pen of Jon Carroll, on the responsibility and failure of the mainstream media in today’s complex world, written by a card-carrying, professional member of that media, written with excellent insight, and brave honesty…. not unusual for Jon, who has a long-standing habit of doing just that in his semi-daily column…. Please read this, then we’ll go on….

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/carroll/article/What-is-the-legacy-of-legacy-media-5352083.php

The next article gives a perfect example of the problem related above, as the media perfectly parrots some(any)thing told to one of them by the administration…. Read this one, too, please, and we’ll go on with our examination of the issues involved….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Obama-End-collection-of-Americans-phone-records-5353850.php

You may recall two or three days ago, when I made some predictions following another announcement by the White House, regarding, in general, the public outrage over Eric Snowden’s revelations of the ILLEGAL and UNWELCOME actions of the NSA, wherein it was proven, by their own documentation, they had been spying on the American people, right along with their spying on the rest of the world….

Barry got the picture, that folks were more than just a little pissed off about what they’d been caught doing, so he decided to do the dance, the “diddling the truth dance”, to distract the public from the real issues, thereby setting the stage to remove this subject from the public eye….. as is their common technique for dealing with unwanted publicity….

Keep that in mind, ffolkes, in looking at ANY of the statements from the pundits…. Their purpose, in whatever they say, is to soothe the outrage, and get the subject off the table…. They have absolutely no interest in, nor any intention of actually ceasing their illegal acts, but, they don’t want the public watching them over the shoulder, as they continue to illegally gather information that is none of their fucking business, ostensibly as part of their insane, paranoid efforts to remove the threat of terrorism…. which, one can see with the most cursory examination, is not an issue subject to dismissal quite so simply….

In their chaotic bumbling around in fear, they are willing to forgo any and all morality in the name of security…. Nor is it their ONLY purpose in collecting all the information they can on private citizens…. In today’s world, control of information is control of perception, and they’re well aware of this….

This attempt to remove terrorism from possibility is, of course, at best a silly notion, without any real chance of happening in today’s world; it merely provides further strong evidence of their own insanity…. Acting as they do, aggressively and antagonistically, as a way to achieve security is, not even arguably, but, most certainly, completely counter-productive for that purpose….. Actually, if looked at logically, such behavior is far less secure than learning to live with one’s neighbors without arguing…. But, in order to be able to follow THAT path, they would first have to give up their false sense of entitlement, their bigotry, and their fear of the “other”, defined as anyone different than themselves, by THEIR definition….

As I said yesterday, I hate being right about this kind of stuff…. but, I am right, so, that’s the way it is…. (If you disagree, feel free to join in the discussion… I’d LOVE to hear the justifications anyone might have for this type of insanity….) The administration has, thus far, come out with exactly what I expected, and what I’ve predicted they would do, by publicly shuffling the responsibility off to Congress, knowing that will waste tons of time, while Congress postures, spews BS, produces paper, and generally blunders about like a blind bull, without ever coming to any conclusive decisions…. This has the long term effect of sending the entire issue to the back halls, and back burners, to be forgotten, because this Congress cannot agree on bathroom breaks, much less any cogent legislation….

Any more bets? Boy, if they keep this up, and I can keep finding suckers to take my odds, I could get rich, well before any legislation on this is ever passed, and certainly before the White House condescends to act at all…. It’s almost too easy…. but, I suppose, that’s what all of our beloved leaders say, every day, when they see how easy it is to lie to the public…. It’s important, in today’s world, to remember the following piece of REAL wisdom….

“Cheese food is not cheese.” — Mom’s Hint #052
_____________________________

Well…. contrary to popular belief, and despite all evidence to the contrary, I’m speechless…. I’ve been up, and typing, almost continuously since arising, with only the breaks needed to keep from getting into a worse-case pain configuration….

(Side note: A pain configuration is my own term for a postural setting for my body… When I can manage to find a position, sitting, standing, or lying down, that is reasonably comfortable…. defined as “the least painful” position…. I try to remember it for future use, and to stay in it for as long as I can…. Then, of course, I have to move, and find another setting…. with a new postural configuration, and new time limits to explore…. SIGH…. It’s a silly way to have to live, but, it’s better than the alternative…)

Now that I’ve come this far, only to fall right back into an intimate TMI episode, I’ve probably bored you senseless, enough so…. Shit, you can’t even bring this into focus, can you…. WHOA!!!…. Wait, I’ll catch them with the auto-hammock…. Whew!…. Okay, that was close…. I’m glad it worked…

C’mon, wake up…. There you are….. Okay, breathe, in, out, in, out….

Alright now? Sorry, I’ll try to keep it moving along enough keep you from seizing up again…… Well, no, I won’t, because, hey, we’re done here, aren’t we?…. Yep, I’m sure of it…. So, see ya…. Y’all look a bit pale, you might want to get some water, and lie down for a while when you get home…. Ta then…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

Consequently, she didn’t moult that year….

Ffolkes,
Pixies were pulling at my hair, but my head was pounding like a hammer on an anvil, and I didn’t want to sit up. I opened my eyes, to be greeted by the sight of the ugliest little person I’d ever seen. He (that’s right, he….apparently, there are male pixies, too) wasn’t real happy, if his expression was any indication. Hovering about two feet away, ragged old-grey wings flapping, with a mop of fly-away hair and an ill fitting tunic, chewing on the stub of a nasty smelling cigar, he looked like a miniature punk leprechaun with a bad attitude, and sounded like a manic frog…..

“You great lout! Get your bloody arse off my front door, you bleeding idjit!” I looked around, and saw that I had ended my previous night’s drunken stroll through the Irish countryside at the foot of a great old oak, inadvertently blocking the entrance to the angry imp’s house in the base of the tree. My befuddled brain finally kicked in, and I realized I was in a very unstable position, and had best be careful…. Pixies are not known for the sweetness of their disposition, and can be vengeful when crossed. I tried out a tentative smile, and clearing my throat, rumbled out, “Top o’the morning to you, kind sir!”  The pixie folded his arms, tapped his foot, and just glared at me….. I got the feeling he wasn’t in a particularly friendly mood…. a feeling that was justified, as he proceeded to turn me into a donkey…..

Enough of that…. he deserves whatever happens to him, the bozo, for getting so drunk he didn’t watch what he was up to.  Never a good policy in pixie country…… but it got me through the initial stages of today’s Pearl, so that is a good thing. Theoretically, anyway….. Now that the nonsense has had its moment, we can get on with our scheduled dive….. shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

There is always a second right answer.  Look beyond the obvious. — Smart Bee

I am glad that I found this quote this morning. I was looking for something to go with a discussion around the events that took place in Colorado yesterday, wherein a young man shot and killed 12 people, and injured many others, before being subdued and arrested. I have not engaged in reading any of the stories about it, as they all follow the same pattern, and repeat the same cliches trying to describe the horror of the scenario, and to describe the terror felt by the victims. The news coverage of events of this nature vary little from one to the next; the only difference lies in the number of victims, and the place it occurred.

I don’t watch the stories, but the headlines always give enough information to satisfy my level of curiosity. The part of these events that interests me is always the amount of outrage and dismay that is expressed by those who are not even involved. People from all over the world will write articles condemning guns, or lamenting the victims, or expressing sorrow, or otherwise giving their reaction to the story. One of the reactions that is common after an event such as this is from the people who would like to see ALL guns taken off the streets, and make it illegal for citizens to even own a gun.

This to me is the reaction of a scared child. Yes, terrible things happen, and sometimes those terrible things are perpetrated by some idiot who has managed to get his hands on guns. But, it is folly to blame the guns themselves for the deaths of those people. The person is responsible, not the guns. But, to these frightened children, the very idea of guns is too scary to deal with, and they would like to see reality changed to suit their fears. It’s kind of like saying that “oh my, cars cause over a million deaths a year. Let’s get them off the streets!” It is an over-reaction, common to those who typically refuse to stand up for their own rights, preferring to allow the government to tell them what to think.

I agree that it is tragic that events like this should happen, and I feel bad for the victims. I also feel bad for the idiot, because only a soul that is in extreme distress could ever consider such actions. If it were to happen in front of me, I would not hesitate take him down, and put him down, like a sick dog, but I would do so in sorrow, knowing that he is a broken man. This event will mark a moment in time that none of the victims will ever forget, and it will change their lives in some way, for certain. But, to let these events cause us to make poor decisions about guns is an error in thinking, and can lead to the loss of more rights than we have already lost to the fear-mongers.

Living involves risk. This is a truism, and is not subject to debate. One may prepare for that risk by making themselves strong and educated regarding the extent of the risks, and dealing with those risks in an adult fashion. Or, one can retreat to their childhood, and give over the handling of risk to the authority figures in our lives, and feel snug and safe in their little delusional bubble. 

What these people fail to understand is this: prohibiting guns, or making them illegal, is NOT going to make guns go away. It will just drive them underground, and make it harder to keep track of them. The risk will be even greater, because NOW there is nothing to stop criminals from victimizing others, other than the police, and we can see already how little effectiveness the police have in stopping events like this.

This shit is going to happen, whether guns are legal or not. I am personally unwilling to trust the government of this country, or of any other, to protect me and my interests. If they have guns, I want mine, because otherwise there will be no reason at all for them to keep from taking from me whatever they want. Police in this country are NOT to be trusted; most of the time they have a poor opinion of the public, and a sense of entitlement that puts them above the law. The same goes for politicians; I’m not going to trust them any further than I am the police. Probably even less, as they have shown time after time that they are not to be trusted. If they can’t be trusted with my money, I’m certainly not going to trust them with my guns….

Attitudes adjusted, while you wait. — L.A. Police Car Bumper Sticker

I’m not overly concerned whether or not anyone agrees with me on this; everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Some will say that I am calloused and indifferent to the pain those people felt. Well, they are free to say whatever they like…. The simple truth is that I feel very sorry for all the victims, and their families, knowing full well that they are now looking at years of therapy and healing before they will ever be comfortable again. But it is also the simple truth that I am not going to get all worked up over something that happens all the time, and will continue to happen as long as the world remains so overpopulated that we are like rats in a cage, fighting and biting each other over the limited resources.

“Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” — Oscar Wilde

If one wants to get outraged over needless deaths, then let’s begin a dialog about the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq who continue to die for no good reason. We were told that the wars in those two countries were started to “get Osama bin Laden” and put an end to  terrorism. Ten years and trillions of dollars later, bin Laden is dead, and terrorism is NOT ended. Probably, more than 12 soldiers are killed every day in both countries, but there is no outrage that I see….

So, let us not engage in the orgy of feelings, and outpouring of outrage, over an event that, while not normal or desirable, should nonetheless not be a surprise. And, let us not thrash about in fear, and center our anger on the wrong target. Guns are not the problem; people who are broken are the problem, whether they are shooting people in a theater in the mountains, or passing laws in a building in Washington D.C.  The answer is not to get rid of guns; that is never going to happen. The answer is to fix the broken people…. and you can take that to the bank….

“Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an ‘inconvenience.’   We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy.  We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and then wonder how all those assholes got in there.” —   Frank Zappa
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A Drunken Man’s Praise Of Sobriety

Come swish around, my pretty punk,
And keep me dancing still
That I may stay a sober man
Although I drink my fill.

Sobriety is a jewel
That I do much adore;
And therefore keep me dancing
Though drunkards lie and snore.
O mind your feet, O mind your feet,
Keep dancing like a wave,
And under every dancer
A dead man in his grave.
No ups and downs, my pretty,
A mermaid, not a punk;
A drunkard is a dead man,
And all dead men are drunk.

William Butler Yeats

The sober nature of what I’ve written so far today demands a bit of relief…. who better for that than Yeats?….. Enjoy!
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“All through human history, tyrannies have tried to enforce obedience by prohibiting disrespect for the symbols of their power. The swastika is only one example of many in recent history.” — American Bar Association task force on flag burning

Where did we get lost? When did my country lose the not just the feeling, but the meaning of freedom? The above statement is an indication of how far we have come from the basic ideas that the founding fathers originally fought for in the late 1700’s. The very fact that we must even consider the issue shows how many people have come to believe differently. In today’s society, it is becoming politically incorrect to speak of these subjects, to question the motivations of those who seek to gain office, or to question those in office. If one speaks out to question anyone in a position of authority, one is labeled as “un-American” or “Communist”, or “Socialist”. Or, even worse, “un-Christian”….

The separation of church and state was one of the bottom line reasons for the American Revolutionary War. I’m not an idiot, so I realize that money motivates as much, or more, than does idealism, and the OTHER bottom line reason was just that, the bottom line. Taxes, of course…. Our founding fathers, as tired of losing money as they were of being told to worship only one way, decided that it was enough reason to set up a system of government that kept them separate. They realized that the churches and the banks were the greatest threats to a free society, so they made an effort to keep them from influencing government…..

“In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.” — Thomas Jefferson

But, 200 years of chipping away at laws and social mores, and we now see that many of those freedoms are threatened, by the forces of Evil, otherwise known as ‘corporate bidness’ and ‘da priesthood’….. Now, set up in opposition to the current President, who has shown his commitment to change, we have a candidate who combines the worst (or best, depending on your view….) of those two groups, Mitt the Twitt, the richest, sneakiest Mormon mouthpiece you will ever see. This man has already, before even becoming the official candidate of his party, shown himself to be in favor of big business, racism and bigotry, and completely against any sort of reforms that would benefit the average joe…. yet there are millions of “average joes” who blindly follow what he says with open mouth, closed mind, and bated breath, just because he isn’t black….

The election of 2012 may go down in history as a pivotal moment in the history of this nation. This election will clearly indicate the state of mind of this country, as the two ostensible candidates represent extreme poles of opposite beliefs, only one of which remains true to the principles upon which this country was founded. We now will see what direction we will take in the next years…. either onward to a brighter future, or downward toward extinction…. Each of us will need to make a decision about which one we are willing to fight for…. because a fight will surely be coming…. and the sides will be hard to tell apart, as both will call themselves Americans…. Only one side will be right….

“After a time, you may find that ‘having’ is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as ‘wanting.’  It is not logical, but it is often true.” — Spock, “Amok Time,” stardate 3372.7.
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As a chef, I know that sometimes the best stuff comes when you just throw stuff in as you go, never knowing what you’ll end up with, but knowing it will be delicious. Today’s Pearl may, or may not, reach that level, to be worthy of the definition of “good stuff”. Time will tell, as somebody said recently….    🙂     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!

Plain, old-fashioned articles of modern design….

Ffolkes,
Malaise. An innocuous word, wouldn’t you say? Almost sounds like one of those drinks you get on a cruise ship, in a colorful plastic cup with a bamboo umbrella sticking up from the top….. Makes me thirsty just thinking about it, until I think about what the drink inside those cups usually taste like, to wit: six fruits, sugar, and a bunch of cheap rum, with bubbles. This is also only until I remember what the word actually means, and its relevance this morning…..

In the psychiatric healthcare industry, malaise refers to a certain set of symptoms experienced by people who suffer a wide range of mental issues; it is common in depression, neurosis of several types, schizophrenia, and a number of other diagnoses. Malaise is generally reported as a vague, unsettled feeling, centered in the abdomen, much like a low-grade fear, but without any specific cause or stimulus that the sufferer is aware of. All that unfortunately afflicted individual knows is that they are accompanied by a constant sense of impending doom, of dread at what may happen; they cannot tell you why they feel that way, they just do so.

I am here to tell you, it isn’t fun. As a man who has in the past suffered from the deleterious effects of long-term exposure to violence, i.e., post traumatic stress disorder/syndrome, I experience this on an irregular, unwelcome basis. This morning is one of those unwelcome times. I awoke, no earlier or later than usual, and from sleep not troubled by uncomfortable dreams, or excessive pain, either of which are common.

But, as I sat up to begin the morning routine, I was washed over completely, like an unexpected wave at the beach, by a feeling of trepidation and mild fear; sort of anticipation of disaster, much akin to the first moments before wading in to physically control a raging psychopath bent on ripping my head from my shoulders, an event with which I am all-too-familiar.

As a result of all the years I spent doing just that, it is a feeling I know well, and recognize easily. What isn’t so easy is convincing my conscious mind that all that fear does not require any action on its part; the fear is accompanied, you see, by a good strong jolt of adrenaline, which kind of takes over the metabolism, preparing the body for fight or flight. No fight, no flight, just the adrenaline coursing through my system, looking for a convenient asshole, or a plane ticket….

So, here I sit, vibrating lightly in every muscle, determined to ignore this feeling that I should be up searching for the danger so obviously present, according to the feelings of malaise I’m trying to ignore.  It will pass, after a time; it always does. It resembles Murphy in that respect; you never know or expect it when he might show up, and can never be sure he’s really gone, just because you don’t see him anymore. Patience, and will power, are the keys to handling this without ill effects, and needless to say, I’ve had lots of practice at this particular process.

So, we’ll just gather up our belongings, and get back on the bus, which will take us directly to the jumping off point for the day….. Shall we go Pearling? I say we must….. or I’m doomed to spend the rest of the day in a medicated haze, in order to keep from running around naked, throwing rocks at the seagulls, and scaring the neighbors….. Shall we be off, then? Let’s do………
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Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of Heaven: a happiness
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature’s favourites: a wealth
That never encumbers, nor can be transferred.
— John Armstrong (1709-1779)

Virtue is the subject of this poem, and justly so, as it is a key element in the make-up of an evolved Man, by my definition of such. In my mind, one of the most important of these virtues is Duty, which could also be said to possess the same qualities as ascribed to virtue in this beautiful piece, in that it “never encumbers, nor can be transferred.”  In fact, Duty is unique among the most important virtues, as it is completely a matter of choice. One must choose Duty; it cannot be thrust upon us by others, unless we consent. It may not be our first, or best choice to assume a Duty, but it is OUR choice, not that of society, or of other people, or of Fate, whatever that means to you.

For the first ten years of my life, my family spent most of those years living on US Army bases. Fort Lewis, Fort Ord, off-base housing in San Pedro, all were what we called home until my father mustered out in 1961. As a result, my upbringing was a bit different from that of most of my civilian classmates. By the time I started school at age 4.8 (November birthday), I had already been to Japan with the family, was well able to perform such tasks as making a bed on which you could bounce a quarter, sweeping and vacuuming, mowing lawns, raking leaves, minding my younger siblings, and a bunch of other stuff that a family with five kids tends to outsource to the young’uns for completion.  And, most significantly, I could perfectly address my seniors with well-rehearsed protocols of politeness, as well as give a pretty fair definition of what the term Duty meant……

Duty has remained as one of the most important elements of my life; to this day there are certain things I must do before I can go to sleep at night, all related to a chosen duty of some sort. And that is the point of this little discussion (at last, they cried!)….. Duty is chosen, not given. It may be accepted if offered, but the choice still remains. If we do not choose a Duty, then we will not be invested in fulfilling it, other than for how we wish others to see us, a very poor way to structure one’s actions. Only by choosing our Duty do we feel the responsibility for completing it; only the choice determines our investment. But, the reward for making that choice, and for meeting the demands Duty places upon us, is being able to sleep at night, with a clear conscience, and an easy heart…..

Self-respect . . . is a question of recognizing that anything worth having has its price. — Anonymous, but true nonetheless….
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“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.” — Thomas Paine

The Founding Fathers had a strong, and justifiable, lack of trust in organized religion, and that mistrust is exemplified in this statement from Thomas Paine. It is a sentiment shared by a significant number of those men who left us our legacy of freedom, as evidenced by similar statements seen in correspondence written by, and/or to, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, among others. All these men had direct experience with how organized faiths fall into corruption and oppression, and how those organizations attempt to force non-believers into submission to their dogmatic influence. This corruption and oppression was, after all, the driving force behind their journey to the New World in the first place…..

If we look around society today, the picture that organized religions present is very similar to what was seen back then, only on a much grander scale. The leaders of those religions continue to pervert the teachings of Christ, changing them around to suit their own agenda and purposes, until what they say is completely unrecognizable by any true Christian, and would most likely have Jesus blushing down to his toes at the thought of them using his name to justify their perversions. The only difference in today’s world is in how many different sects of Christianity have surfaced over the intervening 240 years. When the US Constitution was signed, there were maybe eight or ten sects among the populace; now there are literally thousands of different interpretations of what the Bible, and the New Testament, say about life. This doesn’t even address or count the presence of at least five other major religions that the American populace embraces. And each one is thoroughly convinced of their own rightness, that all the others are wrong, and will go straight to hell when they die…..

SIGH…. all I can say at this point is, a) I am VERY, VERY glad that our forefathers had the good sense to build a solid wall between church and state, and b) I am equally as happy that I have not bought into the lies, perversions, or dogma that ANY of these charlatans in priestly robes are handing out, even when they make the offer with candy, or cakes, or sacramental wine, not even a nice Chianti, with some fava beans….. otherwise, I’d feel worse about it all than I already do…..

“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Bertrand Russell
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Truckin’, like the do-dah man
Once told me “Gotta play your hand.
Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a damn
If you don’t lay’em down.”
Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me
What a long, strange trip it’s been.
— Truckin’ by Garcia, Weir, Lesh, Hunter

I’m pulling my covers again, though I’ve never really worn them very tightly. I’m a hippie. I became a hippie in 1968, when I decided to attend the University of California at Berkeley, and entered into a world so different from that I had heretofore experienced that I am still seeing, and feeling, the effects, both good and ill. This verse from an iconic tune from those halcyon days is a very good expression of how I feel today, some 44 years later…..

I’ve met the do-dah man, even played a few gigs with him back in the day. I’ve played enough poker to know he was giving me the straight skinny on that; it’s good advice, as evidenced by my lifetime record of breaking even at the game that isn’t a game. I’ve been in the light, and found my way out of the darkness on more than one occasion. And I am completely convinced that my long, strange trip is not yet done, and that there are strangeness’s and wondrous beauty still to be seen and experienced before I pass into the great unknown that awaits us all.

I’m not ashamed of being a hippie. We, as a group of American citizens, were directly and indirectly responsible for a great many societal changes, and the activism we espoused back in the day has not mellowed with age. I’d guess that a significant number of us are active in such organizations as MoveOn.org, the Occupy Protests, the push for equality between the sexes, and those that seek justice for the victimized and oppressed, that are active today, as has been true since the 60’s. Just because I’m getting older doesn’t mean I’m going to cut my hair, stop playing poker, or reduce my sense of outrage at the atrocities I see in our society.

In fact, just the opposite is true. Though much thinner these days, my hair still reaches half-way down my back, and there has been no less outrage in my responses to the news, not that I can see. (I do play less poker, but that is due to lack of available playing partners and a stake, not lack of want-to….)  I can only hope now to provide an example for the youth of this time, to continue to show that honor, duty, and and the journey toward justice for all (Free our sisters, free ourselves!) are not out of favor, but continue to be key elements of right behavior, and right action, for a large number of citizens, past their prime or not…. hell, it just makes us meaner and tougher, not weaker. The PTB and the beloved ruling class might do well to remember that…..

“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.” — little known, but apt, advice from Merlin the Wise, the most influential wizard in the history of Mankind….
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This beautiful example of ASCII art will hopefully translate from where I found it to this post and still retain its clarity. To be certain, and to segue into the discussion I’m planning, allow me to say that you SHOULD see here a picture of a magnificently plumed Tom Turkey, as envisioned in the mind of J. Random Hacker.

Now, when I saw this, after my initial response (“Perfect!”, I thought….), a second, slightly more wicked thought struck me, and I thought I should share it. I have a proposed change to suggest for both, or hell, all of the political parties in the US today. Republicans,Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, Whackos (the Santorum/Romney/Gingrich contingent….    …. sometimes called the Tea Party), they all need to consider taking this image as one to replace the elephant, the donkey, the cartoon characters, etc. that they now use to represent their party line, and how they wish to be viewed. A turkey is very American, much more native here than the majority of political hacks on parade.

Turkeys are survivors, and are considered to be one of the toughest birds to hunt and kill, as they are fast fliers, hyper-alert, and smart as hell in their own environment. Of course, none of these characteristics are common to these political groups as they exist now, but hey, maybe by changing their icons, they can take on some of these virtues…. it couldn’t hurt, and just might make them more palatable to the rest of us……. What do you think? Think they’ll go for it?…. They might just earn my vote, if they should all of a sudden show some common sense, and go along with this novel idea…. Probably not going to happen, but I can dream, can’t I?……
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Limericks are art forms complex,
Their topics run chiefly to sex.
They usually have virgins,
And masculine urgin’s,
And other erotic effects.
— Anonymous

Haiku are always
calmly directing our eyes
pointing to the way.
–gigoid

So, it occurred to me, after writing the above haiku, to ask myself, “Self, which came first, the limerick or the haiku?”  At first, I thought I was just being silly. Then I realized I really wanted to know, but I’m too lazy to Google right now. So, here is the deal…..

I’d appreciate a response from anyone who has any ideas or reactions on this, either by commenting, or by posting a reply; if I follow your blog, I’ll be notified of either method of response, and be able to reply in turn. No prizes will be awarded, though I will mention your name, and your answer to this time-honored query, in a future Pearl. (Well, it’s been honored for the two or three minutes since I asked it, and by the time you answer, it will be more, so….) So, join in the fun, and the challenge, and send me a response today! You won’t regret it, much…..

It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don’t be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit, it’s so easy to quit:
It’s the keeping-your-chin-up that’s hard.
It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten–and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight–
Why, that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each grueling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try–it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.
— Robert W. Service — The Quitter
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Got ahead of myself there for a moment. I was so excited at being done, I started to copy and paste to the appropriate destination files, and only then noticed I had not quite finished. So, here I am, to compose one more witty ending to another meandering journey through the labyrinth I call my mind…. easy money, as they say.

Well, the meandering and the ending parts are easy; the witty part is, as always, a notably arguable characteristic of what I write for publication. Ah well, I suppose it is well to remember that the journey is the lesson, not the destination…. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!