Fast Pan Soft Toe Shoe Affairs….

Ffolkes,
Legal requirements are such that I must inform you that today’s Pearl may exceed the normal limits on acceptable behavior for blogs whose content consists primarily of personal observations and opinions. I got eight hours sleep last night, if the clock isn’t lying to me, and I don’t know just what effect that will have on what goes in here. So, I figure I’d best give y’all a head’s up….

HEY! LOOK OUT!  Reading this may be hazardous. Not to you health, per se, but to your state of mind, which, it is acknowledged, MAY affect one’s health. But, there is really no worries, mates….. if you take a few basic precautions, you’ll be just fine.

First, try to suspend your beliefs for a bit…. I know, it’s hard, and they complain so much. But, if they aren’t lending their usual degree of panicky, tearful insecurity nonsense to the mix, you will be able to enjoy the show more.

Second, I’m afraid you’ll need to leave your prejudices outside the theater; you can leave them in your car, if you wish, Security officers are on patrol (somewhere…. not near your car, but somewhere…). In the rarefied atmosphere that today’s missive is likely to produce, they would constitute a severe moral hazard, and I cannot allow other patrons to be at risk for anyone’s misguided preconceptions of that nature. So, just leave them in the trunk of your car, please, for everyone’s safety, including your own.

Last, and most importantly, remember that this is all a process of finding and creating Pearls of VIRTUAL Wisdom…  Virtual. Not solid, not tangible. Not necessarily real, though at times they appear identical to actual wisdom. Maintaining a certain degree of disbelief will come in handy for you in absorbing and processing the material with which you will be presented during the festivities this morning. In short, have a little Doubt handy in case you are having trouble with what you are reading….. a little doubt is a powerful tool for sanity, believe me….. now, shall we Pearl?…. Let’s do that…..
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“We, the people, are not free.  Our democracy is but a name.  We vote? What does that mean?  We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.” — Helen Keller

Odd, don’t you think, that the most insightful views of society are often presented by those who have no sight at all? Helen Keller was, obviously, an intelligent woman; no matter how patient the teacher, a stupid person could not have become the woman Ms. Keller became, without at least a modicum of basic ability to think. To think well, one must learn to observe well, and she has definitely got that down, for in no other way could this statement have been made. And that, to me, is the point. She is(was) a smart woman, and if this observation can be considered to be true, (differences of opinion on that point may be presented, and welcome, but for another discussion…. for now, lets discuss this….) why isn’t anyone else saying or doing anything to address the issue?

Well, I’ll tell ya, pardner, it’s like this…. Tweedledum and Tweedledee already fixed the election, and nobody noticed. Yup. It’s true. I would say that the voting process in this country has been a sham for oh, about 49 years, give or take a month or two. It got shot to hell, right about the same moment the rifle bullet struck the back of Jack Kennedy’s neck on that fateful day in 1963 when he was assassinated, and the last hope of the American people died with him……

When LBJ took office, it was the end of democracy as we know it. From that time to now, there has been NO candidate for the Presidency of this country who would have been, or ever again will be,  allowed to run, if the true rulers of the nation did not, or do not approve.

Our true rulers have been underground, in the background, for a long time; they don’t like the public’s eye turned upon them, for they know that if the light falls on them, it won’t take long for all their evil to start to show. These men (there are no women in the group, other than those who become even more male than their counterparts, in their vicious disregard for the rest of humanity) have been in effective control of the political process for even longer; it just became more obvious at the time of Kennedy’s demise, and has been harder to cover up ever since.

I find it disturbing to see Mitt Romney out there, seemingly with their approval, as he is far too close to what one of their inner circle looks like, and they aren’t shutting him up. This implies they no longer care if anyone sees their manipulations, and that they believe they don’t need to hide as much as before, because there is NOTHING anyone can do to change the outcome that they have already decided on. Or, it could be a sort of sleight of hand…. present Romney for people to watch, then get Obama safely elected, and settle right back into the process of eliminating the Bill of Rights, a project they’ve been working on for some time now.

I feel I must point out to all the folks out there who believe our current President to be a new hope, that this is the same man who signed the National Defense Authorization Act into effect on New Year’s Eve, while the American public was busy drinking and celebrating the new year, completely unaware that their oh-so-liberal president had just handed the Bill of Rights over to the National Security Agency, and its myrmidons, to do with as it pleased….. If you doubt me on this, check the news from that day…. it’s a fact, it happened, and it is now too late…. officially.

The first and middle rounds are done folks. It is now the final rounds, and we are now officially at war, at least at the ballot box,  with our own government, by their own decree. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m stocking up on ammunition, food, water, and body armor…… because the day of the final showdown is not far away. One of these days, and it is not far off, the gloves are going to come off all the way, and you will see the government of this country firing weapons at its own citizens, in the name of “public security”….

I’d think about this, if I were y’all, and think seriously. Try not to believe whatever they tell you, just because a guy on TV said it; examine everything with a critical eye, and speak up. But, be ready to duck, because I have a feeling they are no longer going to even give a warning shot, or yell, before they fire at us….. If you look at them, you will see that the ‘executive orders’ in the NDAA say they are not required to do so….

Don’t be distracted, folks, by all the yammering going on about taxes, or healthcare, or racism, or any of the other bullshite that is currently touted as “what the American people care about”, and being spewed out of every media orifice in the land.  I care about my rights. I care about being able to live my life as I choose. I care about human dignity, and freedom, and compassion for others. But this election isn’t about any of those things, it’s not what is in the papers, and it’s not what is in the people’s hearts. It is about control over society, and money. That’s it.

It has been about that for a long time now. Unless the American public comes to its senses, it isn’t going to change, either, until Mama Nature steps in, and sends us all back to the drawing board as another failed biological experiment. That is Reality folks, and is not subject to our manipulation. We can control what we see of Reality, but we can’t change its nature, and it will end us as surely as the sun comes up every morning, if we don’t make some drastic changes. And, unfortunately, none of those changes will be allowed by the beloved ruling class, so….. end game…… Deal with it….

Once you’ve tried to change the world you find it’s a whole bunch easier to change your mind. — Smart Bee
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Morality is learned, not legislated. — Smart Bee

This will be a very short section. The above is something I believe to have the force of natural law behind it; as such it is not susceptible to our ability or desire to change it. It’s just the way it is. And I wish, for all of our sakes, that all the idiots in government, liberals, conservatives, libertarians, independents, and the churches in this country, of ALL denominations, would get this into their heads, and learn to accept the fact that there is NOTHING THEY CAN DO TO CHANGE THIS….. no matter how strongly they wish it weren’t so, it is so.

No matter how many laws they make and/or pass to try to legislate what they believe to be moral into law, each and every one of them will fail. History has proved this beyond any shadow of possible doubt,  literally thousands and thousands of times, and it is no longer a subject for serious debate. It hasn’t been for three thousand years, though people seem to act differently, and continue to complain, and try to “make it so”…..

So, please, those of you who wish that the rest of society would just be like you, forget it. Not going to happen, and you can’t pass a law to make it so…. Get over it…….please. All the noise and crap you subject the rest of us to is getting tiresome….

Horatio: O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
Hamlet: And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
— W. Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene V

(I know, it’s from Willie, but when it fits, I use it, no matter whose it is…..)
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“A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” — Ronald Reagan

I’m a fair person; it says so right here on the label, and I think an examination of my record in that arena would indicate the truth of that statement. So, when I find myself to be in the wrong about something, I am willing to admit it, if for no other reason, so we can just get on with things. So, mostly, when I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. After finding and reading the above, though it galls me no end, I have to admit to being wrong about Ronald Reagan. Yes, I know, a shocking thought isn’t it?

Well, calm yourselves, it isn’t what you may think. In toto, I still think that Ronnie was perhaps the absolute worst President this country has seen in its 200+ year history. We are still, as a society, trying to crawl out of the hole his Reaganomics dug for us, and his war-mongering, rich fat cat, elitist sycophants and admirers are still entrenched throughout the legislative system and the Supreme Court, causing no end of problems with their conservative lack of compassion for the common man. No, no, I’m no fool, and the evidence of his sheer evil intent remains just as valid as it ever was.

But, the above statement, if he actually said it, and actually believed it, must be acknowledged as being not just true, but as eminently sensible. In that case, it deserves mention, if only for the fact that, for once in his life, he made a statement that indicates there might be a tiny little part of him that thinks about other people and what might be good for them.

More likely, however, given his prior track record, he believes that because of the danger to HIMSELF, the risk is too great; he doesn’t like for things to not yield to his control. I would have a hard time accepting that, all of a sudden, out of nowhere, he grew a conscience…. Not bloody likely…… I don’t like to resort to calling names, when English suits itself so well to cursing and vilifying without depending on their no-doubt cathartic use, but I’m afraid Ronnie was an elitist asshole, plain and simple.

Have you taunted a Conservative today?– Smart Bee

(Smarter than usual, too… Cute….. Conservatives, just like Liberals, turn all sorts of neat colors when you question their basic beliefs, or show disrespect for their heroes, especially Saint Ronnie the Raygun…. or, Bishop Barry, the New Hope….NOT!)

(Sorry, but, I think, therefore I am… dangerous, that is… it’s a gift…..)
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“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.” — Yun-Men

This is good advice. Think about it a while. It will grow on you….. and grow…. and grow…. and grow….. then you can stop. And wobble no more…
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“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.” — Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

Though I’m not entirely convinced of physical reality of the entire Heaven/Hell scenario, I do like to believe that some sort of Universal justice is carried out, and after death is certainly a good time for it. When I let myself imagine such fine examples of that justice promised by almost every religion in the afterlife, my tendency is to agree fully with the above. But, I would also like to add that I like to believe that there are quite a few little doors on the lowest levels of Hell (if it’s as bad as it should be, it should be capitalized), and each leads to a room for a number of folks who absolutely deserve to be there for all eternity…..

There would be, in my version of Hell, a room for those who deliberately abuse women, children, animals of any kind, or any form of life at all; it is a genetic defect and the species would be better off without them altogether. This room is a good response by Reality, if we MUST suffer their existence.

Another room would be reserved for those who seek power over other people, for any reason. Those in that category who use that power to harm, abuse, and kill others in the search for that power will be given priority admission.

A fourth room would welcome those who engaged in human trafficking of any type. All of them. Every single fucking one of them. And the tortures and pain waiting for them in that room would be the cruelest, most agonizing that the Master Torturer’s demons could think up for them.

Right next door to this room would be those who dealt drugs for profit and power, dealing directly with, as both cause and effect, the despair and weakness of human poverty, and the vulnerability caused by that, by illness, or by developmental challenges. In short, those who made money trading in human misery.

I think that’s all the doors I would need; but, humans are inventive, and I like to think that there are still doors available, for any other crimes that humans can think up to perpetrate on one another that I may have inadvertently passed over…. I’m sure, as a professional, Beelzebub has learned to plan for the future, and for unseen contingencies…..

Well, even if it’s all a fantasy, which I have to admit is quite likely (even my most optimistic side will only admit to a 50/50 chance of this resembling reality, much as I’d like it to happen this way…..), it’s fun to think about, for our own sanity…..
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As I suspected when I awoke this morning, after eight unexpected but thoroughly welcome and appreciated hours of sleep, today’s content got rather…. expansive is a good word, I guess. I thought it might; getting that much rest tends to give me a boost of energy, which will naturally end up in what I write, as it is the first real call for it during the day. I don’t, however, always know just what may be produced by all that energy; if it taps into my outrage, it can tie me to the keyboard for a long time, ranting. Or, it can turn to fantasy, and get a bit strange even for me. No way to tell ahead of time, what with the way I carry out this process…..

All seems to have gone well today, though, so, no worries…. the Helen Keller rant gave me a thousand words that I’ll probably trim to post as an article on Triond or somewhere, so that’s a good thing. And it all looks solid to me, cognitively speaking. So, I’m going to let if fly on its own, and let the consequences begin; I seem to have been indiscriminate in my choice of targets, and didn’t leave out very many……. Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

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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!

Not all pundits are bellicose….

Ffolkes,
If it hadn’t been for Nosy’s dog, the aliens might have enslaved us all. He (Nosy, not the dog) always said that Useless wasn’t a normal dog, but we figured he was just saying that to make Useless feel better. And who’d a’thought a dog that wouldn’t even chase cats could be a hero? Goes to show, I guess, you can’t never take nothing for granted…..

It was one of them days in the desert when even the wind was too hot to blow. Shimmering waves of heat were coming off the packed dirt surrounding the old shack that housed the only gas station and general store for 100 miles in any direction. Pop Doolan and Bill Watson were in their standard positions, perched on chairs that were old & battered when they were boys, puffing away on a pipe and a cigarette, respectively. As I strolled up toward the door, Pop hailed me, “Hey, boy! When you goin’ to start shaving?” Since he knew as well as me I’d never have to worry about that (long story), I just grinned, waved, & stepped on inside the screen door…..

Hmm….. and interesting little opening. I wonder if it will go anywhere? We’ll find out another time; right now it’s time to rein in the horses, and buckle down to work….. seems a shame though; I was kind of interested to see how Useless saves the world…..
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Amor, ch’al cor gentil ratto s’apprende,
prese costui de la bella persona
che mi fu tolta; e ‘l modo ancor m’offende.
Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,
mi prese del costui piacer si` forte,
che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona.
Amor condusse noi ad una morte.

Love, which is quickly kindled in a gentle heart,
seized this one for the fair form
that was taken from me-and the way of it affects me still.
Love, which absolves no loved one from loving,
seized me so strongly with delight in him,
that, as you see, it does not leave me even now.
Love brought us to one death.
— Dante, La Divina Commedia: Inferno V, vv. 100-106

I’ve never taken the time to delve deeply into The Divine Comedy; there were always reasons not to read it whenever it crossed my path, usually taking the form of books more in tune with my tastes. It may be the subject matter, or maybe the style, I don’t know, or much care. But I can recognize quality and talent when I see it, even if it doesn’t appeal to me particularly. I get the same reaction to William F. Buckley and Ayn Rand when I try to read their work. It’s okay though, there are plenty of other reads out there, and I can thus enjoy and appreciate snippets from these works for their artistic flair, or their relevance to reality.

In this case, I included this excerpt for the sheer beauty of form and content it exhibits; the Italian poem reads so well it engenders an audio image of great power and majesty. It is also impressive how well the translation of this piece, and of the others I have seen, mimics the original so closely, in both tone and grandeur. It almost makes me want to go pick up a copy and dive in….. nah! Too much work….. but, it’s a good one to remember for the next time I’m hard up for something to read….. that’s the nice thing about the Classics. There are so many of them, you can always find one you’ve never tried before, and be virtually guaranteed that it will be a good read……
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“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” — Edward Abbey

Sad, but true. And even more relevant in today’s political climate, which often resembles a carnival sideshow on Mental Health Day. As an American patriot, I have become inured to the constant lies and grasping avarice common to the current species of candidates. Don’t get me wrong, now; I mistrust the Democrats just as much as I do the Republicans. It’s just that the news and media is always full of the GOP right now, due to the feeding frenzy they call the caucuses, or some such euphemism for circus.

Every day, we are assaulted with reports of the latest gaffes, misstatements, outlandish claims, prophesies, and the random reasoned response (usually from some man-on-the-street), all of which are examined, re-examined, and speculated on endlessly. By the time the relevant election gets here, in November, I, and every patriot with a lick of common sense, will probably either boycott the election altogether, or find an empathetic psychiatrist to deal with the rage, one who can persuade them (us) not to shoot at the poor little candidates, at least not with live ammo…..

“It is of some small consolation for you to know that we have survived every President the electorate has thrust upon us.” — Anonymous

“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.” — Gore Vidal
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Some days, pearl diving is an occupation fraught with frustration; other days, like today, quotes on a particular subject just keep jumping into my lap. I had intended to write about the Bill of Rights, and how it is under attack by the PTB, otherwise known as our beloved ruling class, so I had that as a thought in the back of my mind when I dove in. Et voila’, quotes galore…. now I don’t need to write about it, because these say all I needed to say….

“Are we at last brought to such a humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our own defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in our own possession and under our own direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the _real_ object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?” — Patrick Henry

“…it is hard for me to see how one can argue that circumstances have so changed as to make mass disarmament constitutionally unproblematic.” — Professor Sanford Levinson, — The Embarrassing Second Amendment, — The Yale Law Journal, Vol 99, No 3, December 1989, p637.

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” — The Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment 2, 1791 (That pesky Second Amendment….)

“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear — kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor — with the cry of grave national emergency… Always there has been some terrible evil to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant sums demanded.  Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.” — General Douglas MacArthur, 1957

“Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Avert misunderstanding by calm, poise, and a .44 magnum.

I think that about covers it….. stay alert, ffolkes, the world needs more lerts…..
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“People are divided into two groups – the righteous and the unrighteous – and the righteous do the dividing.” — Lord Cohen

People are funny, aren’t they? Lord Cohen (another royal I’ve never heard of…) has hit squarely upon one of the more perverse qualities common to the human spirit. It always struck me as pretty hilarious (as well as hypocritical) that the people in the world who make the most noise and trouble over insignificant cultural or ideological differences are the same people who lay claim to being the only true devotees of the Great Redeemer, the only ones who really see the light.

It says right there in every translation of the Bible, even theirs, that the core of Jesus’ message is “Love thy brother as thyself”; he spent his whole time on this planet teaching compassion and encouraging diversity. But that’s not good enough for them, so they just pay lip service to that part of the Bible, and base their fundamental cruelty on interpretations of the Old Testament that serve their bigotry and ignorance. Too bad…. the world could use a few more good Christians, to help offset the karmic imbalance created by those who choose to fear the unknown, rather than embracing and understanding it…..
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politics, n:  From the Latin ‘poly’, meaning many, and ‘tic’, meaning little bloodsucking insects.

I think this is self-explanatory. It’s here merely because it fits in so well with my raison d’etre, my modus operandi, my….. my very real and unrelentingly hostile opinion of the type of human who enters the political arena in today’s society. I make no secret of my repugnance for those who seek power over other people, on any level, but especially in the political level, whether local, state, federal, or foreign, Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever. Doesn’t matter to me, they’re all certifiably insane.

Even those who retain even the slightest shred of human decency are made irrelevant by the sheer weight of numbers. The corporate thieves, the sociopathic manipulators, and the deluded fundamentalists outnumber any such foolish milquetoasts to a degree that makes them ( the altruistic idealists) completely meaningless, and effectively powerless.

The picture is bleak enough that I, who swore never to own a gun, have decided to arm myself as soon as possible. The Second Amendment, one of the branches on the Tree of Liberty, may need to be protected and nourished, by the blood of patriots, and tyrants…..
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Having thus purged myself of a large buildup of angst, I can now face the rest of the day with a more cheerful mien. So, that’s what I’m gonna go do…. Y’all take care out there……

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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!