Belatedly, he removed the tags….

Ffolkes,

“What pretty lights!”

~~ Any deer, any highway, late at night ~~

hummingbird warriors

    Halloween. All Hallows Eve. Hmph…. Okay…. I suppose y’all would like me to make some comment, or acknowledgment of the day…. Well, if I must….

    BOO!….


There…. No one can say I didn’t acknowledge the holiday. And, just so it’s done, the picture came from the Animal Pictures of the Week in the London Daily Telegraph, last week. I am seriously hoping I don’t see any kids in costumes tonight, as my inner curmudgeon isn’t in the mood for frivolity just now…. An episode of SS/b (Screaming skeleton/bones…. severe arthritic pain in my hips shoulders, joints, and neck…. i.e., everywhere there is a bone, it hurts….), which built up yesterday, near the end of the day, stimulated the inner curmudgeon sufficiently, he was able to take over the wheel of this bus…

In fact, it was a miserable night, and the day promises to be a long one. The pain is better, but, still above normal, so, I’ll be spending the day doing all I can to avoid making it worse, and, essentially, trying to drug meself into oblivion…. the only place to hide. There are times when it gets harder than usual, and, in spite of reconnecting yesterday with a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while, gives today’s hope for some peace a grim visage….

Ah well, I can’t spend the entire day whining, so, I may as well get on with the rest of this, which promises to be a relatively short Pearl…. Aren’t you lucky?…. Yep…. Oh, look, it’s a way out…. We’re taking it; hold on tight….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Think of doubt as an invitation to think.” — Genius Bee

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It’s been a long time since I even THOUGHT about Chicago…. the city OR the band…. I found this a week or two ago, but, I’ve waited to listen to this, so I could use it sort of as a birthday present to myself, but, I’m gonna listen to it today, a day early…. I can’t wait…. Enjoy, ffolkes…. this band was a part of many people’s youth, a big part, mine included, because they had, and have, a unique style of music, all their own….

Chicago – Live at Tanglewood (07/21/1970) [Full Concert]

 

 

 

 

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“But the greatest of all reformers of the depraved religion of his own country was Jesus of Nazareth.  Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separable as the diamond from the dunghill, we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man; outlines which it is lamentable he did not live to fill up…  The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent moralist, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems*, invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him, is a most desirable object…  *eg.  The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of Hierarchy, etc.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Short, October 31 (Halloween), 1819

Note the date on the quoted letter, and you’ll understand its presence here in the ranting section today…. As indicated, I’m not in much of a place to write well just now, so, I’m going with something I had done for tomorrow, a birthday present designed for this section of tomorrow’s Pearl…. It goes along with what I started here, as it pokes fun at the Asininnies, of which the clergy are card-carrying members…. I’ll even leave in the introductory remarks, which relates the original, intended publication date…. It’s a good pearl, so, enjoy, and please excuse my disorganization today….

From tomorrow’s Pearl…..

Since today IS my birthday, I’ll give y’all a present, as is the custom of Hobbits…. Not to say I’m a Hobbit; I just like their customs regarding  birthdays…. Here is an old-school pearl, in lieu of a rant, just for y’all….

I have sublimated the urge to rant by setting the parameters for SB, or any searches, at a flexible level designed to scoop up any, and/or all comments I can find, to either stimulate thought in my Gentle Readers, or cause actual bleeding to any Asininny who happens to read it…. If nothing else, such a search is fun for me… All I have to do is click the button, and make a decision about how vulgar, or pointed, or downright cruel we should allow ourselves to be…. which, in the case of the latter, is pretty cruel, given the chosen field of targets…. Have fun, ffolkes, I intend to….

SIGH…. Since it’s my day, I may make a comment or two between pearls, if I think it’s warranted…. I’m allowed to indulge my whimsy today, without fear of penalty…. It’s in the rule book, I’ve seen it….

“The tax which will be paid for the purpose of education is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if the people are in ignorance.” — Thomas Jefferson

(It seems the intention was good, but the application was flawed… The American public is woefully ignorant….)

“If the King’s English was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!” — Ma Ferguson, Governor of Texas (circa 1920)

(It’s like Mama Gump says… Stupid is as stupid does…..)

“Gun Control – the belief that government, with its great wisdom and moral superiority, can be trusted with a monopoly on deadly force.” — Smart Bee, as pointed out by gigoid

“The treacherous are ever distrustful.” — Gandalf

(Which explains the NSA, FBI, CIA, etc….)

“Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.” — The Beatles

“As war and government prove, insanity is the most contagious of diseases.” — Edward Abbey

“Demosthenes told Phocion, “The Athenians will kill you some day when they once are in a rage.” “And you,” said he, “if they are once in their senses.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Phocion

I could do this forever, but, I’m being nice today…. I even refrained from adding TOO many of my thoughts to the above group, comprised of an elegantly balanced collection of not-too-shabby darts, which we have dutifully thrown in the direction of the top of the societal heap…..

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I wrote this poem in 2011, I believe, after retiring, but before I had even applied for my Social Security…. My head was in a deep funk those days, which is reflected, if a bit murkily, in this poem….

A Failure to Germinate

Marking the days in elements of sad disarray
only holds me thrall, as I laugh while I may.
With cold, hard hands so impatient and cruel
pulling me to this vale of tears, a pathetic old fool.

Feelings sit silent, cast in shadows and light
breaking forth to implicate such vengeful might.
Just below the surface they patiently hide
to sally forth bravely, colors bright as they ride.

Tears and pain transform valued assets in hand
while comfort and serenity retreat to a far land.
Bold, bright patterns of hope garnish my ruinous state
until reality enters, full of disdainful portions of hate.

I sort out the illustrious measures of vision gone mild
only to find them transformed, now vicious and wild.
In my deepest desires I find myself calloused and cold
with faithless advocates whose souls have been sold.

My search finds little to support any hope of relief
far too much time has passed to bolster such belief.
The sad becomes real, and real becomes unfounded
until flights of such fancy are all dead, and grounded.

Nature has informed me of the newly hatched crime
of which reality boasted, proudly, time after time.
The last answer we think of is always the best
as we come to terms with fate, our hope at rest.

~~ gigoid ~~


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I am writing this at the point in time at which I found two of the quotes included in the pearl you see below, several days prior to writing this Pearl…. Those two quotes, the first and the last, consist of two of our society’s most well-known ideas, in the actual prose/poetry structure they were first expressed; if not first, then, the best, for sure…. How the middle will come out has yet to be determined, but, if it continues in this vein, it will end up as one of the all-time best ever pearls of virtual wisdom…. Let’s see what we can come up with to make that happen…. with some help from SB, of course….

The subject upon which we are expounding, is one of my personal favorite subjects for a pearl, to wit: A Life Well-Lived…..

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.  With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Essays: First Series (1841) “Self-Reliance”

“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.” — Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin

“Let everything be allowed to do what it naturally does, so that its nature will be satisfied.” — Chuang Tzu

“It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.” — Margaret Mead

“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no
way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.” — Lao-Tzu

“Hmph! Seriousness.  Hmph! Sobriety.  A Jedi craves them not.” — Yoda

For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate’er is best administer’d is best.
For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
His can’t be wrong whose life is in the right.
In faith and hope the world will disagree,
But all mankind’s concern is charity.

~~ Alexander Pope (1688-1744)~~

~~ Essay on Man, Epistle iii, Line 303 ~~


Perfect!

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Well, that went fairly well, and it’s a damn good thing; that’s all I’ve got to say on the matter. In fact, given my handicap today, and my status, I have nothing more to say on any matter…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, hopefully in a bit better state of mind….

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….


			

These brass monkeys were stolen!….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Butler Yeats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These statements are truth. They can all be proven, if necessary, using documentation that is available to anyone in public archives. What you decide to do with that truth is up to you, as it always is…. What will you do with it?…..
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Hmm…. I guess I had some political angst built up in there, & needed to get it out. “Better out than in”, for sure…. Remember, ffolkes, the above is my stuff, and is not intended to mess with anybody else’s stuff…. Remember also what Albert said….

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

I guess that will serve as an adequate disclaimer….. good enough for government work, anyway…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Strike the tent! We’ve been pacified!

Ffolkes,
Possessing a passionate nature is not always a blessing. There are many times that my passion is so great that I feel as if I will burst if I cannot do something that will fulfill it somehow; to soothe it, or calm it so that I don’t feel as if I am trying to hold the leash of a rhinoceros who really, really wants to walk, NOW! The hard part of that is that taking the walk, or even slipping the leash off and letting it run, does not necessarily soothe the beast, or release the pent up energy. But, if it’s the only thing to do, or that CAN be done, well, we just have to try it, and hope for the best.

The other hard part of having unresolved passionate feelings is knowing that the event or issue that prompted the feelings is often something for which we have no solution, at least not in the short term. The reasons  behind that failure of solution are not important, other than to point out that reality can often not be changed to suit our desires. But the fact of the matter is that our, or my, passion is thus being controlled by factors in the world over which I have little or no control, and that is a hard pill to swallow, especially for someone who feels responsibility for their own feelings and action. I HATE knowing that there are things going on in the world over which I have no control, and that those things are evil.

This line of thought was prompted by a couple of comments made by a reader who had been taking in some of the articles on human trafficking, sexual abuse, and sex trade practices that I have re-blogged,  articles written by survivors, who know first-hand the evil of which I spoke above. The comment was a plaintive lament, expressing sorrow and astonishment at the extent and Medusa-nature of the trade in modern society, referencing a recent shut-down of a sex trade operation nearby, with the subsequent appearance of three new operations in the same area.

Her lament, naturally, struck a deep chord in me, for it echoes the hollow feelings of my passion over this issue, feelings so deep I weep, even now, as I think of the pain and degradation of my sisters who are trapped by those WOS assholes (I know, pretty lame insult for such evil; I’m still searching for words powerful enough to really show the level of hatred and disdain that I feel) (I don’t engage in hatred very much, it is generally an unproductive emotion. But, in the case of these people, a term I use in lieu of anything more accurate, I am making a deliberate exception to that policy, allowing myself to hate them without reservation…. damn straight I am…..)  who engage in the sex trade.

Sometimes, the only way I can stop myself from crying is to envision myself walking into a place like the Mustang Ranch, or some other brothel in any random city, and methodically assassinating any male figure that stepped into my sight, customer or staff, preferably with some sort of hollowpoint ammunition that would make a real mess when I shoot them in the head. That vision will usually make me feel better, if only for a moment or two.

For now, though, all I can do is try to help these women, who have survived and moved on, but have the compassion in them to want to share their strength with the other women, and children, still enslaved, to tell their story to the world, painful as that is for them. And all I can do to help, until I can get more ammunition anyway, is to help them to spread that story, to engage as many people in society as possible, who may then be pushed to add their voices, and their energies, to stopping this plague, this blight on society.

Since this issue has been present in society for many thousands of years, the eradication of it in its entirety will be a nasty, time-consuming job, not unlike getting rid of an insect infestation in a house or community. But it is a job that is long overdue for completion, so I’ll be doing whatever I can to help, for as long as I am well enough to type, and move a mouse around. (Or pull a trigger, but that is another story, yet to be written…. rest assured, before I die, I will personally take a significant number of assholes down….. one bullet for each asshole, one asshole for each sister I find there…..)

Well, that was a pleasant start to the day, wasn’t it? To be honest, I was torn up pretty well by the emotional storm this created within me…. but those last couple of lines had the beneficial effect of lifting my spirits quite nicely. I’m not sure what that says about me, getting my serenity from thinking about killing assholes, but, hey, too bad, so sad…. I refuse to feel any guilt over my intended future acts. The only guilt I intend to suffer over any of them will be if I miss with my first shot, and have to waste another round to put them down like the dirty, evil dogs they are…… karma be damned, in this case… I’ll take the risk.

“I must do something” will always solve more problems than, “Something must be done.” — Anonymous

There, that said, we can now go on to something a bit less dark and dreary…. well, we can if I can find an appropriate pearl to stimulate said lightness. Let’s go see what we can see, shall we?….. After you……
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“The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.” — Eugene V. Debs, US labor leader.

(Note: Debs received one million votes in 1920 as candidate for US President, while serving a 10-year jail sentence for having said in June 1918: “Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder…the master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.” Since we were at war, or just done with one, the beloved ruling class was able to label him a traitor for his words, thus hoodwinking the public, again….)

This pearl is another that doesn’t really need embellishment or long discussion, as I placed it here merely as a warning. Society today is no less tolerant of those who question those in power than it was just after WW I when Mr. Debs was cast down for dissing the beloved ruling class while they were in the middle of their victory dance. Though it is encouraging to note the number of intellectuals that were alert and active in 1920 at the polling booths, it must also be noted that, by virtue of force (i.e., shutting Debs up by locking him away on some trumped up charge) all million of those votes were effectively nullified, and made useless, except as a statement.

I think that all of us today who consider ourselves to be intellectuals, with responsibility to stay alert and speak out against the madness, would be well-advised to keep the example of Eugene Debs in mind, and be ready to repel any attempts to shut us up, by force, or by stealth, or by lying and cheating, all of which have been tried and true methods used by those in power…… Be alert, folks, the world needs more lerts, and that is NOT a joke, but a warning…..
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Just jiggle it a little, it’ll open. — Smart Bee  Wisdom for the ages…. known only to those with the soul of a true engineer…

As a rule, I didn’t, and don’t, write about men/women relationships in a serious vein, a practice most likely left over from my years as a thoroughly married man, one who was, of course, subject to the rules and unwritten laws that go with any such social contract (and, if you are paying attention today, you’ll see I’m not about to start now….). Talking about the relationship seriously is DANGEROUS TERRITORY for a man alone, as such things are more in the purview of women, at least in my experience. I mean, regardless of how honestly, or sincerely, or logically, or reasonably I have approached discussions of a serious nature with a women in relationship, what I said had absolutely no impact at all on the outcome. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Not a damn thing.

What I discovered in my years of experiencing the phenomenon is that the outcome of all such conversations is a foregone conclusion; whatever reason the woman had for initiating the conversation was irrelevant, as were any thoughts on the matter I might entertain. What was key was to learn to understand that they didn’t need or want any input from me, because their mind, and feelings, were already set in stone; the discussion was merely some kind of ritual formality, necessary to show that they were trying to discuss things with you, or in this case, me….. and my thoughts and feelings on the matter were not merely irrelevant, but counter-productive in their eyes. (Echoes of past cliches are resounding in my mind, but I’m far too polite to include them….   🙂    …… )

One of the less emotional, but still potentially volatile, subjects that might prompt such discussion in a marriage involves chores, or tasks that come up in any household. For example, “Honey, the car is making a funny noise. Would you fix it, please?”  Questions such as this are pretty common, from woman to man, wouldn’t you say? Common enough at my house for the fact to have surfaced that hey, I’m not a mechanic! The one class in school that I ever got less than a B was auto shop, and she KNOWS this. I’m not an ignoramus in the engineering field, but it is NOT my field of expertise by any stretch of the imagination.

Yet my wife would continually assign tasks to me for completion that a man who had worked for 30 years on cars would scratch his head at (not an exaggeration. I took a cars to my VW guru more than once, asking him to track down whatever it was she heard, and he would frequently give it back with no charge, because he couldn’t find anything wrong with it…. not once, not twice, but…. more than that….. at least four times I can remember…. not hard to remember as it was really embarrassing, every time….)

But it didn’t matter to her; she wanted it fixed, and that was my job, regardless of whether or not I had an engineering degree or not, and that was all she wanted to hear on the subject….. SIGH, it was tough living up to those kind of delusions, er, standards, when she obviously believed the following to be a natural law, and expected me to be able, or even willing, to obey it…..

“Anything can be made to work if you fiddle with it long enough.” — Wyszkowski’s Second Law

By God, for a moment there, it all made sense…
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“It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions. I believe it was Magellan who said, “The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the Church.” On the prow of his ship were disobedience, defiance, scorn, and success.” — Robert G. Ingersoll, quoted in _The Great Quotations_

And, on that note, we offer the following…..

1. Politics without principle
2. Wealth without work
3. Commerce without morality
4. Pleasure without conscience
5. Education without character
6. Science without humanity
7. Worship without sacrifice
— Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins

Of these principles, I can fully support 6 of 7, which is the best percentage of belief I’ve admitted to for ANY system of philosophy, so, good for Mahatma…. These two short statements don’t really need my comments, so I’m not going to give any, other than to say that both are very good meditation focus tools, with just a bit of practical editing to put them in the right form, as mindful questions to answer during our meditations…… enjoy!….
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Ingredients: vodka, tomato juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, A-1 steak sauce, ice, salt, pepper, celery.
Fill a large tumbler with vodka.
Throw all the other ingredients away.

— The Real Man’s Bloody Mary

Having been a bartender for a time, I rather enjoyed making Bloody Mary’s for the club members. As a chef, too, I played with recipe a bit, and came up with a pretty good set of proportions that made the list of classical ingredients able to be brought together into a “perfect” Bloody Mary, by the reports of the members. So, knowing those ingredients, upon reading the above, I was able, and happy, to burst into guffaws of laughter at the last line. Funny, funny, funny shit!  My recipe, which, classically, contains no A-1 sauce (an abomination!), and does contain both celery salt and fresh, strong horseradish, (along with my secret, a half teaspoon of chopped garlic) was popular with a number of the early golfers. But there WAS one member, who came in to play 18 holes just about every day, who would come in and ask for his personal Bloody Mary, (which he told his wife was what he drank while playing each morning).

This gentleman’s (he was no duffer, for sure….) version of the classic drink called for a 32 ounce opaque white cold cup, ice to 2/3 filled, then filled to the top of the cup with straight vodka from the well, a decent, but cheap plonk (it worked out to about 8 or 9 shots of vodka per drink). He’d slap a lid on it, take a huge swallow, grin, ask me to replace the swallow, and hit the course, both of us fully aware that regardless of his score on the front nine, he would be picking up an identical refill on the turn. 

Now, that was a drinking man! Can’t say I admired him, particularly, as a man, because he had a son and daughter, and no doubt spent too much time wasted to be of much use as a father.  But I did stand in amazement at how well he could play golf in that condition (he maintained an honestly earned handicap of 4; he was very, very good, according to his partners, all damn good golfers themselves…..), and at his liver, which hadn’t killed him by the time I left…..
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“It has been said that trees are imperfect men, and seem to bemoan their imprisonment rooted in the ground. But they never seem so to me. I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do. They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!” — John Muir, American Naturalist (1838-1914)

John Muir probably did as much, and more, to ensure the preservation of much of the American wilds as any man who ever lived; his lifelong love affair with Mother Nature was not a front. His passion and sheer joy at being out of doors, almost anywhere, but especially in his beloved Yosemite, was obvious in every one of the thousands and thousands of words he wrote, trying to describe what he saw and felt when he was connected to Nature (always capitalized in his mind). He was a good writer, with excellent observational skills, and an engaging style. But, when waxing poetic about the wonders of his love for Nature, he tended to well, gush….. and since he had a very extensive, powerful vocabulary, his is not just gushing, but major gushing….. it can get everywhere if it spills…..   🙂

It’s okay, that is not a complaint, or intended to disparage. It’s just a personal opinion, from a curmudgeon in training, who gets a bit weary after a while of all the hyperbole Mr. Muir uses in his descriptions …. but THIS quote is perfect, to me, and I like it a lot. The image of Man and Tree walking the earth together, side by side as we ride our planetary roller coaster through space, is a lovely one, bringing a smile to my face upon first reading it. I was reminded of the scenes in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy where the hobbits, Pippin and Merry, are introduced to, and learn to appreciate, Greybeard, the Ent, the last and oldest tree in Middle Earth, the remaining guardian of all the less-sentient trees…. a truly wonderful vision of the inter-connecting lines of life force that are common to all the creatures and plants who inhabit Earth….. and not a gush to be seen….. lovely.
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Wow. 0711 and I’m done. Not bad, even if I did start before 0500 by a good half hour….. I’ll take it. Maybe today, I can actually get a jump on the day’s email, before it has a chance to bury me again. Yesterday evening, I found myself still going through emails I had not gotten to yet, from 4/3/12, three days ago last night.

It is getting discouraging; I had it down to only 20 unread, and about 85 read but not yet site-visited, for those posts I wanted to acknowledge, or read more fully. Now this morning when I finish this, I flip over to email and find…… yup, as I suspected, 45 new emails to read….. SIGH… the price of fame, or in my case, an equal amount of folly, I suppose.

No es importa, es una problema personal, verdad? Si….  Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!