In numerous past editions of the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, of the Daily variety, you will have noted that I refer often to our old pal, Murphy, the iconic force of nature, whose effect on reality and humanity has been thoroughly, if reluctantly, recorded on innumerable occasions, by those he has favored with his kind attention.
I, of course, am one of those favored souls, sadly, and have repeatedly offered my own take on this….. this….. this ENTITY (for lack of a more descriptive epithet….), after his efforts have screwed me over, one way or another…. I am, naturally, not his ONLY target, merely one of his favorites….
This morning, however, I’ve been presented with an idea that refutes his entire existence, with a pretty persuasive argument as evidence….. It’s logical, and tautological, and doesn’t seem to have any flaws in its reasoning…. I cannot say for certain who made this observation; I found it in Smart Bee without attribution…. which is odd, as I can’t believe anyone in their right mind would object to taking credit for this…. It could conceivably make their reputation, in one short statement that would, in time, become universally known, having to do, as it does, with something that touches the lives of EVERYONE…. That statement is:
“If Murphy’s Law were true, whenever you tried to take a breath, all the air would be on the other side of the room.” — Smart Bee
Now, isn’t that a heartening thought? Doesn’t that just make you feel like there is hope for the future? No? Oh….. Well, it does all of that, and more, for me…. I don’t know if I have suffered more than others from the machinations he has performed throughout my life to get my goat…. I just know that he could start a fucking goat farm, with a huge herd of goats, just from how many times he’s fucked with me…. I’m sure everyone else has their own tales of woe that he caused in their lives, so, a statement like this provides me with a bit of hope that….. Wait a minute!….
Damn!….. I just realized, this CAN’T be a true statement….. It doesn’t take into account the physical laws that govern our universe, regarding the behavior of gases in a gravity field…. No matter how much influence over reality Murphy has, he can’t create vacuums whenever he wants, just to fuck with people…. If the physical laws, such as this one, are subject to that sort of mishandling by the off-shoot forces of nature, nothing could be counted on to be the same from one minute to the next, a state of affairs which, I’m sure, even Murphy wouldn’t enjoy….
Oh well, it was, for a moment there, about to be a more beautiful universe, but, once again, Reality, and that asshole Murphy, find us completely at their mercy, with no real, effective way to either avoid the ministrations of such forces on nature, or to contemplate any breaks from his assholishness…. a word I just made up which perfectly describes not only Murphy, but the state of mind, or of personality, if you will, of many of our beloved ruling class…. In fact, it may as well just get added to those adjectives that best describe human nature…. Assholishness…..yep, that’s us, ffolkes, for sure….
On that note, shall we Pearl?….
“Few people have the imagination for reality.” — Goethe
Originally this morning, in this section, you would have found a very long rant (double the normal, as it is part fresh, and part archive material…. Sorry, it got away from me…. Talking about the NSA will do that to me…. ), which, had I left it here, would probably have eliminated a significant number of my readers, causing them, possibly, to NOT want to finish today’s effort, due to the extreme length….
In order to better emulate our Beloved Ruling Class, I’m cheating…. I moved the rant to the last section, where, if you insist, you may skip over it to the concluding remarks, after consuming this old-school pearl (What ELSE would be going here?….)….. See? I can be nice….. Here is a pearl of pearls, with no parameters at all, just whimsy…..
“You don’t learn anything the second time you’re kicked by a mule.” — Smart Bee
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway
“[Freedom is] the power to live as you will. Who then lives as he wills?” — Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.)
“There are two ways of teaching people: You can teach them how to think, or you can teach them what to think. Socrates taught people how to think, Jesus taught people what to think…. and look what happened to them.” — Smart Bee
“Cheshire-Puss,” she began, “would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t care much where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re quite sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
— Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.” — Thomas Jefferson
“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.” — Albert Einstein
Hmm…. Even my whimsy is becoming eclectic in my old age…. I kind of like it, don’t you?…..
This particular poem is not what I first intended to include…. I DID go looking for a poem by Yeats; there are days, such as today, when no one else will do…. This, however, wasn’t what I was looking for…. It is, however, one that appeals to me, in such a way that I don’t wish to examine my reasons for that reaction…. Whatever the reason, here ’tis, such as it is…. I like it, and, that’s all that matters, in the final analysis….. I hope it suits your fancy, as well….. Hmm… Come to think of it, I’ll bet it was the title that drew me….
Another Song Of A Fool
This great purple butterfly,
In the prison of my hands,
Has a learning in his eye
Not a poor fool understands.
Once he lived a schoolmaster
With a stark, denying look;
A string of scholars went in fear
Of his great birch and his great book.
Like the clangour of a bell,
Sweet and harsh, harsh and sweet.
That is how he learnt so well
To take the roses for his meat.
~~ William Butler Yeats ~~
“There is a very real and critical danger that unrestrained public discussion of cryptologic matters will seriously damage the ability of this government to conduct signals intelligence and the ability of this government to carry out its mission of protecting national security information from hostile exploitation.” — Admiral Bobby Ray Inman (then Director of the NSA) — in a public speech in March 1979
You know, what I found almost as disturbing about this as the words he stated, which, obviously, are completely and diametrically opposed to any sort of democratic society that has a Bill of Rights…. (In any such society, “unrestrained public discussion”, of ANY subject, is never out of place, no matter what sort of ridiculous, paranoid reasoning one might apply to convince anyone else…. Thus, it becomes clear, what is wrong with this statement is the fact that ANY part of our government’s leading officials, elected or, as in this case, hired as a career professional soldier, would have the asininity to make such a statement….)
But, to return to my original statement, what disturbed me almost as much as that, is the date the statement was made…. I hadn’t realized the NSA had been around as long as it had, to have had its head making speeches in 1979…. 1979? Oh, right…. Let’s see, that was when Reagan was president, right? Let me check…. Nope, that was right after Nixon, so it had to be Gerald Ford…. So, let’s see when the NSA came into being, shall we? Hang on….
Okay, wow…. the agency first began during WWI, first established sometime around 1917, but was strengthened in purpose in 1947 with the passage of the National Security Act, which can now be seen as one of the first examples of the BRC hiding information from the public…. and the logical forerunner for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011….
How many of y’all were aware that the NSA started its clandestine work in 1917? How many of y’all were taught in school about the National Security Act of 1947, passed after WWII to ensure the funding and continued existence of the government’s primary spy agency (the official euphemism for that is “encrypted signals intelligence gathering”), in its first centralized form…. Paranoia strikes deep, does it not?….
I know I wasn’t taught in school about the NSA…. A lot of the spying and clandestine war stories from WWII were discouraged, at least, outside Hollywood, where the government had its own spies in place, to let them know if the movies coming out were propaganda from their opponents, intended to school the public in matters they didn’t want public, or, if they were propaganda from our own side (called, of course, by another euphemism, to wit: “educational information”, or, sometimes, even more euphemistically, “public service announcements”…),….. or if they were entertainment, or just plain fiction, and thus, not seen as harmful to their secret existence….
As I recall from growing up at the time, (I was born in 1950….) Congress and much of the Hollywood community were at odds for most of the 1950’s, and into the 60’s, with the government winning the most important battles, behind the scenes…. Hence, the media support for the Vietnam War, etc., that continued unabated until the Internet came along, at which point, the NSA turned their expertise to gaining control of that new communication tool…. The fight for that control is still raging, currently the score is even, thanks to people like Eric Snowden…. but, it is far from over….(Insert dramatic epithet here, please…)
So, it seems, if the agency’s own historical documents are accurate, ( http://www.nsa.gov/about/_files/cryptologic_heritage/publications/misc/origins_of_nsa.pdf ) our government has been lying to us for even longer than I had realized…. I probably should have guessed it; I grew up during the 1950’s, and I can tell you for sure, this country, at that time, was very paranoid….
This public paranoia was a direct result of the way the BRC of the time portrayed “Commies”, as being the Anti-Christ, or, at minimum, evil incarnate, keeping the public in a constant state of paranoid fear, of having an “H-bomb” dropped on their home city, by the godless communist regimes that were out to take away their freedoms….
Even though I was a kid, I heard the talk on TV, and in the news the adults all talked about (also, remember “current events” in school?…. It has always been a good way for the PTB to disseminate propaganda to the innocent school children….who have little defense against what they’re told at that age….
Of course, I had a different reaction than most kids, as my crap detector went off almost constantly during the fifties and sixties, whenever I heard about anything having to do with public affairs, as reported in the news, on TV, radio, magazines, and talk…. By the time the sixties came, my faith in anyone in public office was shattered forever when JFK was assassinated ( The responsibility for which is a subject for another time…. As flawed as he was, Jack Kennedy was the last, best hope we had for any kind of rational public discourse in this country….), then reinforced by all I heard re: the Free Speech movement in the early 1960’s
Now we come to the present day, when our BRC continues its policy of trusting NO ONE, not even its own citizenry….. Now, however, they have increased their power, not only, but primarily, in the form of a vastly expanded NSA, to the point where they are capable of monitoring EVERY aspect of the public’s daily affairs, including phone calls and private mail of all types….
What? You don’t believe they’ve been reading your snail-mail, as well as your E-mail?…… Boy, are YOU naive…. What is the name of the major snail mail operator in this country? Yep, the USPS….. And, where are the phone numbers for all their offices listed? Yep, right there under US Government in the phone books…. They may have gone private in one sense, but they are still the government’s lackey agency, not anyone else’s….. They (the police and government agencies…) have had access to our mail for a long time, ffolkes, and even will admit it, in the right circumstances….
Any time they wish, the laws are already in place for them to intercept ANY of your formerly private forms of communication…. The only way left we have to be totally private is to hand a personal letter, written by hand, in a close room swept for cameras and recorders, then handing it to someone we trust to personally carry it to its intended recipient, whom we also must trust to destroy the letter when read, and return any replies via the same method…. As far as I can see, that is the only way, now, that we can trust it to a completely private communique….
Thus, we can see that today, having ensured that they are able to access any and all data about those citizens, even though the greatest majority of them have ever broken any laws, they have become far more than merely an agency that protects us, in terms of how much control over our communications they possess, or how few restraints have been placed on them in their quest to control it ALL. No type of restraint matters to these profoundly paranoid assholes; they won’t be satisfied until they are able to monitor and control EVERYTHING they can, up to, and including, the most mundane and inane activities of our daily lives…..
I’m already tired of ranting today, probably because this is a subject that I’ve ranted about a lot, and partly just because I’m tired of ranting to little purpose…. This one was stimulated by the above quote, and the following link, which I read yesterday…. It’s an encouraging story in one way, in that it appears that the general run of public attitudes is running in favor of what Eric Snowden did for this country when he blew the whistle on the NSA last year…. It was, however, discouraging in another way, as it delineates a part of the applicable “whistleblower’s law” that seemingly classifies his act as one not covered by the law’s intent… a certain miscarriage of justice, if true….
Ffolkes, I’m going to say it right out…. What this man, Eric Snowden, did for the world, and the American people, cannot ever be repaid…. His was, in spite of any criticisms made, an act of supreme courage, and one of very sincere patriotism for his country…. Anyone at all who cannot see that is, in my mind, a fool, and an enemy of this country….
This would include, it seems, every one of the BRC who is currently entrenched in the halls of government, but, I’m not surprised about that much…. They, after all, are the ones he exposed as liars, charlatans, and thieves….. a fact they are NOT happy about, and are unlikely to give up their animosity toward the one honest man who pulled their covers….
Here then, is the latest word from the man who will, I’m sure, some day, be considered as one of the most heroic and important figures of the last 1000 years of history…. No shit, ffolkes, no shit at all….
“HEY CONGRESS! What ever happened to the Constitution?” — Smart Bee
My built-up quantity of angst and outrage is so large right now, I want to continue ranting…. an event which, I am positive, would completely drive away anyone remaining…. Instead, I’ll sublimate, with an older rant, that might go a ways toward explaining at least part of what is wrong with the picture we are being painted in Washington D.C. , and, on the canvas that is the world at large…..
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” — Vince Lombardi
I have spoken previously on this subject, of human will, and will no doubt do so again, as I believe it to be one of the key elements of finding the Truth in Life. It takes practice to be able to use it to full potential, practice that many people never take time for, to their regret. Without it, Life can be extremely difficult, as it will toss us about just like a small boat in a big storm at sea. But, when it is honed to a sharp edge, and tempered to a great strength, it can become one of our most powerful tools.
It can help to bring peace and serenity into our lives, if used with intelligence, guided by strong ethical intent. I mention the latter because it is equally important to the proper use of the will; it is an unfortunate truth that the will can also be used to pursue results that are NOT beneficial for everyone, but only for the one who uses it without ethical direction, i.e. to benefit themselves, only.
“One sits down first, one thinks afterwards.” — Smart Bee
A long time ago, I found out something about society, and those who are ostensibly in charge of running it, that has had a distinct influence on my thinking. I discovered that what I heard in school, from books, did not match what I observed in society, and that the people who were in the positions of authority were, for the most part, not telling the whole truth, or, often, telling bare-faced lies.
This had a profound effect on me, because I had always been inspired by the idea of a democracy, a system, and a society, where the people decided among themselves what was best for all; their consensual collective will was to be carried out by the individuals elected to office…. At least, I’m pretty certain that is what our founding fathers envisioned when they cut loose from the monarchical rule of England….
Unfortunately, soon after beginning this experimental Utopia, the bankers and merchant classes began their campaign to pervert the system, buying control of key officials to make laws that favored them. At the same time, the preachers started their campaign to make sure the government was composed of men and/or women who were under their control, ethically and morally, using the time-honored tools of divine entitlement and guilt so that their interests could be monitored and controlled.
Today, well over 90% of all elected officials in this country are of one major religion, and the lobbyists who represent the money-lenders and corporate entities are more influential in making laws than the electorates who elect those officials. The campaigns to control the government of this country have been quite effective, especially since nobody even notices most of the time, or says anything about it….
“To see the light at the end of the tunnel, you first have to be in a tunnel, then the correct tunnel and last, facing in the right direction…. What the heck are we doing in a tunnel anyway?” — Larry G. Smith
This is a pretty good description of modern society, I think. What the heck are we doing here, on the brink of extinction? The BRC, the 1%, whatever you choose to call them, have brought us to this dead-end tunnel, with no light at the end, because it is our own end we see. They, those in control, don’t choose to believe in the damage they have wrought to the environment, nor in the terminal nature of that damage, so, nothing is being done to counteract the suicidal policies our species continues to follow.
All the responsibility for this state may be laid at the feet of the ones I call Asininnies, the corporate assholes, the professional politicians, the lawyers, the police, the priests and preachers, and all who support their efforts, knowingly or not…. These are the people who have turned their will to the selfish pursuit of their own desires, with no thought to either the effect on others, or the potential danger of doing so. They don’t care, and the rest of us, because of our own lack of will, to work together in defending ourselves against them, are going to pay the price right along with them, unless we wake up to the danger, NOW….
I could rant about this all day, and have seemingly done so in the past…. but, I’ve made my point for today, and rather than bore you to death with more logical, but time-consuming evidence or argument, (note: more than I already have done….), I’ll leave it at that…. Well, almost…..
We are all in danger of species extinction, this is a FACT, not a supposition. We have the means to save ourselves, IF we can find it within ourselves to rise up and throw out the people who are causing the problem. They are NOT going to stop themselves; if we want to live, we, the people, will have to MAKE them do it, or we will all die. It’s that simple, and that urgent…. If it doesn’t happen in this next decade, it will be far too late, because the ice is already melting, ffolkes, and it isn’t going to stop or slow down… It will only get faster with time….
gigoid has spoken…..
“If you view your problem closely enough you will recognize yourself as part of the problem.” — Ducharm’s Axiom
Ah, how unjust to Nature and himself
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
— Edward Young (1684-1765) – Night Thoughts, Night ii, Line 112
This one got away from me, but, it’s all valid stuff, and needs to be said…. If not by me, then, who? The worst part of it is, practically no one who really NEEDS to hear this kind of information will ever see this, and that’s just too bad…. SIGH…. Ah well, life goes on, until it doesn’t….
Once again, I have gone to great lengths in my thus-far apparently futile attempt to save humanity from its own folly…. (I only use the qualifiers because, hey, we ARE still here…. I just don’t see how that can last….) SIGH…. At least, today, I put the rant LAST in line, which may have given my Gentle Readers enough advance notice to skip over much of the rant, much of which they have, no doubt, heard previously…. We can, and do, hope so…. See ya tomorrow, ffolkes…. I suppose it wouldn’t be out of place to wish ourselves luck in meeting that appointment….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious