It figures, of course, that the first day in ages I arise, having slept well, and, with all sorts of ideas streaming out of my head, I am beset by physical complaints that keep me from sitting in front of the computer for much longer than it takes to boot up (this comp is getting old, so the boot sequence takes a few moments these days…. a lot of software under the old download bridge, each one wanting a bit of the sequence….). Nothing particularly egregiously dangerous, or more than normally painful, but, enough to make me uncomfortable, & unable to sit, or stand, for very long…. Ah well…. lots of breaks forthcoming, but, we’ll get to the end eventually…
Today’s rant is again pointed at the POTUS, and his seemingly endless willingness to lie to the public….. Written yesterday, it revolves around the latest political cartoon from Mark Fiore, social critic extraordinaire, and, most-excellent gadfly of unparalleled wit…..Currently, according to the chatty little emails I get from the White House, Barry is scampering around the West Wing today, with a bunch of writers and staff researchers, putting the State of the Union address into final shape. It will be interesting this year for me, to see just how far off the rails this president has gone….
You may note the lack of a capital letter when referring to the POTUS, as is generally considered correct; it indicates one is respectful of the office, and its occupant…. Fuck that, dudes & dudettes….. In my world, respect has to be earned, and I haven’t seen enough from Obama to warrant any such thing, much less prompt me to hand out any unqualified respect; in fact, he has lost a lot of the respect I did have for him when he was first elected…. He’s spent almost six years now, since first being elevated out of the Senate in 2008, disappointing the American public time after time, by revealing lie after lie after lie, in the process of completely ignoring everything he said to get elected…..
Out of Iraq & Afghanistan? Hmm… well, MOSTLY we are out of Iraq, but, we still have a lot of “police & security trainers” and “training personnel” there; we are still fully engaged in the illegal war in Afghanistan ( …. which is a country, by the way, that has NEVER been successfully conquered, or controlled, in ALL of history, by ANY nation…. Our country is merely the latest to try, since the Russians pulled out of there in the 1990’s, giving up their long-time occupation, as too expensive, in terms of lives, equipment, and money….). We still have foreign nationals, and possibly some of our own citizens (Who knows who is actually in there?…. They aren’t required to tell anyone….), being detained in the Guantanamo detention facility, though he promised to close that in his FIRST election run-up…..
So, don’t tell me to capitalize his title when using it to point at him; he has definitely NOT earned the respect….. I do NOT have any of that to hand out, especially not to someone who lies to me on a regular, ongoing basis…. I don’t give a shit who they are, or who they THINK they are, or how much they believe what they say…. I don’t respect anyone who will deliberately tell a falsehood to achieve their purposes, and justify it in the name of patriotism, when it really more resembles repression…..
Oops, did it again, didn’t I? Ah well, such is life here in ECR; when I’m in ranting mode, nothing will stop me….. I guess we ought to go do something a bit more relevant, or, at least more entertaining than my gripes about the liars in Washington…. So, we will….
Shall we Pearl?….
“All men thirst to confess their crimes more than tired beasts thirst for water; but they naturally object to confessing them while other people, who have also committed the same crimes, sit by and laugh at them.” — G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, 3/14/08
“A picture is worth a thousand words….” — Universal wisdom, common to every culture on Earth, to my knowledge…. — gigoid
By that yardstick, a video is worth about 25,000 words, or so, depending on the subject matter, and the length….There’s probably an equation…. Any who, a few days ago, after the POTUS gave his speech on the reforms he “intends” to make at the NSA, I wrote a couple of thousand words about my take on his alleged changes….
I should have waited, to let Mr. Fiore do the same, in his own, Pulitzer-winning fashion…. Here is his take on that speech, and on this administration’s biggest failure, to wit: the transparency that was promised in every campaign speech…. but, then, as Mr. F. points out, the Guantanamo detainment facility IS still open, isn’t it? Why, yes, I believe it is….
When I wrote the above sectional opening, I hadn’t watched the video; now that I have, once again, the only possible adjectives I can think of as appropriate are in the nature of “excellent”, “brilliant”, or “superlatively perceptive”. I love the last twenty or so seconds of the speech, where Mr. Fiore has the POTUS utter six little power words, his “talking points”, strung together without any connecting words to get in the way of what they want us to think about, the six significant words he wants us to remember…. “democracy, progress, together, change, reform, believe!”….. This brilliant brainwashing technique is then followed by a brilliant statement of the administration’s true intent, when Obama says, “I have welcomed this debate, and this discussion makes us stronger, as a nation… which looks forward to…. imprisoning the person who started this debate in the first place. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless this database.”
Casual, condescending, arrogant, the president’s original speech was a sharp, insulting slap in the face to the American public, not just for the extremely smug disdain portrayed by his demeanor, one of supercilious, superior, omniscience, but, also by his complete refusal to even address any of the public’s real concerns, brushing them off as not important enough to even mention.
This accusation, by the way, is based on the speech, as I heard it, when it happened on Monday, not Mr. Fiore’s absolutely brilliant parody, which was very accurately paraphrased, serving well to clarify the meaning and intent, in contrast to that which was offered up by the POTUS with deliberate vagueness… Fortunately, it was clearly evidenced in his own words, if one is able to examine them objectively, with a critical mind, to see through the screen of words, to the implied meaning.
This assessment doesn’t even include the so-obvious, outrageously bald LIE he told, with a straight face, as a casual, off the cuff remark in the speech somewhere, when he so casually chided us, the American public, for believing they would actually stoop so low as to read our emails…. an event he failed to mention that has already been proven to occur….by their own records….
No, ffolkes, my crap detector went on full alert, as soon as I heard he was going to make the speech…. It then went off consistently at each assertion he made, continuing to go off frequently at double volume, which it is set to do, every time he said, or implied, “trust me”, whether intended literally, or metaphorically, from beginning to end.
My crap detector again went crazy, the next day, when Senator Feinstein, the most powerful legislative member of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, issued her office’s blind, unreasoning support of the POTUS’s message, (the article this came from said the Senator admitted the public was against them on the issue, but dismissed that as not worthy of consideration….).
The article made it clear that the Senator’s views on the matter were being held in the face of continued strong opposition for them by her own constituents…. She KNOWS the people who elected her are against what she is doing, but, she is committed to doing it anyway, claiming “special knowledge” not held by the public, thus completely ignoring the public’s wishes.
Like clockwork, on the following day, Congressman Mike Rogers, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, (a definite, registered oxymoron….) issued an out-of-nowhere, never-before-considered, or mentioned, accusation during a press conference…. He strongly suggested that Eric Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the administration’s outrageous abuse of civil rights, was aided by Soviet intelligence agency spies, making this accusation “ipse dixit”, or, just on his own authority (meaning, he just made it up….)….
“The conservation movement is a breeding ground of Communists and other subversives. We intend to clean them out, even if it means rounding up every bird watcher in the country.” — John Mitchell, Atty. General 1969-1972
(Sorry, couldn’t help it…. I heard this statement when it first hit the news back in the day…. It sure looks like the politicians are still using the same methods of dirty in-fighting to accomplish their paranoid goals…. Making up egregious lies as accusations, labeling average American citizens as enemies, to manipulate public opinion for their own purposes….. it’s all still going on, right here in River City, ffolkes….)
The political strategists who instructed Mikey-boy to make the obviously false accusations tried to make it look as if it had some actual juice to it, by trotting out some obscure, uninvolved CIA agent to give a supportive quote…. This person, brought in, I’m guessing, to show how the intelligence community is behind the administration’s view, was very careful to have the first words out of his mouth be, “Well, there’s no direct evidence of that….”…. But, he then went on to say, “but, it COULD be true….”
Very reassuring, don’t you think? Strong proof…. The idiot politician made the accusation that he had help, “because he did things beyond his technical abilities…”, of which, of course, as we all know, every politician is competent to make a judgment, due to their own technical experti….. wait a minute! They don’t HAVE any such expertise, do they? Aha….
Chairman Rogers, (which title is capitalized ONLY because it starts a sentence…) also, by making his statements, implied that the NSA was hiring, or had hired, employees to program computers, or operate computers, for them, who were NOT trained well enough to understand what they were doing….. otherwise, (according to genius congressman Mikey-boy Rogers…) “he wouldn’t have needed the Soviet, or maybe the South American’s help to get away with it….”
“Or, or,” he didn’t fantasize further, though he could have, “maybe the Chinese were involved…. They let him hang around their airport, didn’t they?….” After making his outrageous, paranoid, completely fabricated accusations to smear the reputation of Mr. Snowden as much as possible, planting false seeds in the fertile gullibility of the public mind, he then bowed out of the limelight, and hasn’t been heard from since….
I expect the strategists in the White House have put, or will, even more pressure on the Justice Department now…. It’s their turn to come up with a way to justify the administration’s anger at Mr. Snowden for pulling their covers, and there will be, sometime in the near future, an opinion expressed by some federal judge or other, about the case, with some elaborately constructed legal reason to continue the legal persecution the administration so desperately wants, and, in truth, needs, in order for them to be able to a) show a victory, of any kind, to shore up their image, and b) shut off the debate, so they can go back to their chosen task, which, by all evidence, is one of complete domination of the world internet, and control over every computer that connects to any network, anywhere in the world….
And, if you don’t believe THAT is their goal, then, ffolkes, you just aren’t paying very close attention, are you?…..
“When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.” — Max Lerner
P.S. I found the following pearl after finishing the rant above…. but, it’s perfect for this rant as an addendum, with this to say about it…. Sometimes, when I’m chastising the president, and his cohorts, for their tendency to lie, I forget about one of their most well-used and practiced maneuvers to get the public to go along with whatever they are saying…. I refer, of course, to what the literary world calls “deus ex machina”, and, to what I call encouraging delusional behavior, to wit: blame it all on God…. If you don’t think it’s true, well, don’t take my word for it; the idea didn’t start with me….
“In truth, there never was any remarkable lawgiver amongst any people who did not resort to divine authority, as otherwise his laws would not have been accepted by the people; for there are many good laws, the importance of which is known to be the sagacious lawgiver, but the reasons for which are not sufficiently evident to enable him to persuade others to submit to them; and therefore do wise men, for the purpose of removing this difficulty, resort to divine authority.” — Niccolo Machiavelli
The pearl in section three went well, and so did my search for a suitable poem….The poem below by Walt Whitman is an excellent one, well worthy of inclusion here any time. It is, however, somewhat lengthy, so, in the interest of saving electrons, rather than copying the entire piece here, I’ve provided a link to the Bartleby’s copy of the poem, where you’ll find it, complete with annotations and discussion, if you so desire. I’m being a bit lazy today, because this is all the poetry you get, but, hey, it could have been something with less panache, so, buck up….
It’s probably a mistake, but, I’m going to work here, in section three, before picking a poem…. Most days, I use the poem-search-process to decompress from whatever rant I’ve written in section one, and/or the intro. I don’t care if it is misguided, I don’t quite feel up to poetry today, yet…. it requires a certain affability on my part that I’m currently having a hard time finding in me, due to body parts/systems in revolt….
Fortunately for us all, picking out an old-school pearl isn’t taxing, to either the body, or the psyche, so, I should be able to live through it without any further complaints…. If not, well, just stick you fingers in your ears, screw up your eyes, and go, “nyah, nyah, nyah! THPPPT!” , like I do in such instances…. That should take care of it….
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” — George Orwell (1903-1950), “1984”, 1948
“There is great beauty in going through life without anxiety or fear. Half our fears are baseless, and the other half discreditable.” — Bovee
“That life is long which answers life’s great end.” — Edward Young (1684-1765) – Night Thoughts, Night v, Line 773
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” — Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)
“The fight is what’s important. Doing what is good and right is why we’re here. The end is variable and relative. A person can only do what his heart tells him and break away from the terrible things around him. We do what we can … and live with the consequences.” — Marc Zanoni
“Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.” — Isaac Asimov — Salvor Hardin, Foundation
It seems my misgivings were premature; this is an excellent pearl, for all its innocent arrogance…. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it together…..
Well, it has certainly been an adventure this morning…. I think my subject matter has sent a lot of readers packing; my site traffic seems to have dropped off a bit, with only a few regular readers showing up…. either that, or a LOT of people are coming by, DON’T like it, and so leave without any indication they were there…. Nah, I don’t think so….
Any who, no matter who may have been driven away by the somberness and vitriol in the last few Pearls, I’ll just say this…. I gotta write what is in there, lest it rot between my ears, causing me great discomfort, which I duly pass on the world at large…. Better all around for me to just keep typing, and hope for the best….. With that caveat spoken, I’m outta here…. See ya….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.