Though my morning hours are becoming more regular, my brain is not, and the fear, unwelcome, unwanted, yet remains…. Paralyzing, unreasonable, it strikes me each day, as I gaze in terror at the blank screen, wondering how the hell I’ll come up with something new and fresh, when every thought in my brain feels old and wilted, like a three day old salad…. I probably resemble that remark more than I realize…. I’m not green, yet, though…. I’m guessing that’s something about which to be encouraged…
Encouragement seems to be the only positive to be found just now, so, we’ll take it and run with it…. I’ll just keep repeating this affirmation to myself, “I’m not green yet!”…. I’m not green yet!”…. I’ll say that over and over to myself, and somehow, about an hour from now, I’ll believe it… Of course, I’m going by what I’ve been told by some New Agers, followers of some guy named Jack Handey, who’s supposed to be the newest guru of the self-enlightenment crowd…. Having achieved my own enlightenment many years ago, while sitting under a baobab tree, I …. wait, that wasn’t me, that was the Buddha!…. What was I thinking?….
Hah! I guess I fooled you this time, didn’t I? You thought I was going to take credit for the Buddha’s enlightened words, didn’t you? Hah! So there! You can’t catch me like that! I’ve been boasting, er, sharing, yeah, sharing, that’s it…. sharing my knowledge of enlightenment, for many years now, and you won’t catch me so easily as that! You may as well go look for some other lightweight, sucker….
Where were we? Oh, yeah, enlightenment…. Yes, many years ago, I found inner peace. I was actually looking for some aliens I heard had landed near there, but found it laying under a rock…. I sold that batch to a guy on Forty-seventh Avenue for forty bucks, which bought me some very nice ganja uptown. The next time I found it, I couldn’t find a buyer (it was during the Bush recession, the first one….), so I just tossed it in the river, as it wasn’t doing me any good there on the streets….
Sometimes, I actually feel as if a lot of people in today’s world would react the same way as I did, if they did happen to accidentally find inner peace…. Hey, many of them most likely wouldn’t be able to recognize it anyway…. Today’s modern person lives under such pressure, with so many mental distractions from the internet, TV, radio, and now smart phones, they would find it hard, first, just to know they were in need of some inner peace, and second, what to do with it if they found it….. But, not me…. I happen to know there’s a good market for it on the street… the hard part is finding a sucker, and one of those comes along every few minutes, especially in the parts of town where I hang….
For now, though, shall we Pearl?….
“An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured.” — Konrad Adenauer
Today’s Pearl was partially constructed ahead of time, due to an irresistible need to rant that snuck (that’s my new/old replacement for the just-plain-silly “sneaked”…..) up and struck me, right upside the head, of all places, all of a sudden, yesterday, just after noon…. Since the rant that spewed out onto the page at that time inarguably fulfills any possible requirements for length, by a factor of about, oh, three or four, I’ll just put together a bit of an old-school pearl here, of the random, harlequin style, which I’ve found to be the set of parameters that best fits the need for a fresh, yet well-balanced pearl that we have here today…. Balance, as we know, is the key, as is timing…. hence, I give you this fine little grouping, freshly picked from only the finest of oysters…..
“There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), “Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant”
“Truth and falsehood are both whatever, and simultaneously not so, rather than not.” — Tim Larkin, March 31, 1993
“Faith does not offer the least support for proof of truth.” — Nietzsche
“I am mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, the sale of a book can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too.” — Thomas Jefferson
“It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” — Agnes Repplier
“We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” — Albert Einstein
“There is the state religion of mindless consumerism, which is the real message of all advertisements. The state religion is more powerful than any other force; the wise person practices patience and stealth. The wise person creates images that can be unpacked to deliver other messages.” — Jon Carroll, S. F. Chronicle, March 7, 1996
Aha! I see that it turned out to be a Miss Manners pearl, giving advice on how to live with honor, dignity, and a bit of good, clean fun, taking pot shots at political and/or religious pundits at every opportunity….
There is just something charming and attractive to my mind about the image that Li Po presents, historically…. An amiable, brilliant, always drunk poet, wandering around the Chinese countryside, observing the world in his own inebriated way, composing poems from the depths of his genius, poems describing the beauty he saw, in all he saw, for the rest of us to enjoy…. which we have, for the past thirteen hundred years, or more…. Even if he lived a life completely different than the stories one hears, it wouldn’t matter, for his poetry is timeless….
Alone And Drinking Under The Moon
Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,
and my shadow goes emptily along
with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can
but use these two for company;
in the time of happiness, I
too must be happy with all
around me; I sit and sing
and it is as if the moon
accompanies me; then if I
dance, it is my shadow that
dances along with me; while
still not drunk, I am glad
to make the moon and my shadow
into friends, but then when
I have drunk too much, we
all part; yet these are
friends I can always count on
these who have no emotion
whatsoever; I hope that one day
we three will meet again,
deep in the Milky Way.
~~ Li Po ~~
I intended to write a rant about the following article (see link below….), about how the White House has been yanking the chain of the American people over this whole issue right from the start of the problem, when Eric Snowden first released the information he took from the NSA (an act of sublime courage, with full knowledge of how he was affecting his life, destined to be labeled a criminal by his own country, in turn itself engaged in criminal acts, on a much larger scale than his alleged theft……), thereby embarrassing the administration….. THAT is the offense for which they cannot forgive him, as it undermines their license to lie with impunity….
I like to follow up on any intentions that I believe to be righteous in nature, so, let’s rant….. Mr. Snowden’s release of information, reportedly taken from his former employer, the NSA, is, because of the nature of the information, in my mind, and the minds of many Americans, not an act of treason against the people of this country. Rather, it was an act I believe to have been one of high patriotism, based on his concern over what the government was doing to normal people like him…. I would love to see him get the civilian equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor, though I know it will never happen….
So, how does the administration respond when his act of courage brought on an outcry of indignation and anger, from the public, from Congress, from other countries and their leaders? They promised to form a committee, to “review the signals intelligence policies” that they have been using SINCE 2008! Ooh, boy, that’s going to resolve the issue, isn’t it? A committee…. Well, I suppose it COULD be considered a start toward a resolution… except that a committee, no matter what it finds, has no legal binding on the administration’s actions….
This committee was picked by that administration, no doubt with the intent of hearing a favorable report, but, instead, the group managed to come up with a report that showed, essentially, that A) they lied, and continue to lie B) they exceeded their authority and C) they need to consider stopping…. However, since the administration PICKED them, they aren’t bound by any law to follow their recommendations…. an event whose unlikeliness to have EVER occurred approaches the infinite…. Face it, ffolkes, they never meant to stop, or in any way discontinue what they’ve been doing without compunction for five years now….
Ffolkes, this administration, which promised to be the “most transparent ever” has been spying, much more than they want to admit, for the entire time they’ve been in office… This, despite the clear mandate by the American people that they wanted a “change” from the policies of clandestine activities and secrecy that characterized the previous administrations, run by a former CIA director, and his son….
Instead, they not only adopted the Bush policies on spying, they increased them tenfold, all by having the NDAA, the underlying authorizing document for the spying, signed as an executive order, on New Year’s Eve, with Congress recessed, and the nation drunk, at the behest of the retailers…. all without the authorization of Congress, or the courts, or the voters…. just the POTUS and the now unassailable, hidden commanders of the NSA, the Cyber Command, and the ever present CIA….
They won’t discuss any leniency or immunity for Snowden, not when they won’t even ADMIT they’ve done anything wrong…. see the language used by the White House yesterday, when it met with all the leaders of the tech giant companies who have been the biggest victims (in terms of amount of data stolen) of the spying…. There was no admission at all of any wrongdoing on their part, or that they may have gone too far…. none. They don’t intend to do anything but stonewall this, and hope the public will forget, as is the usual case…. Well, not this time, not if I can help it…. I’m really pissed off at all of this, and am really tired of having the people in whom I expect a high standard of behavior, as the recipient of my trust as indicated by my vote, essentially and regularly, piss on my trust….
By now, I suppose, I should know better than to place ANY trust in ANYONE running for an office, but, I had hopes during the last two elections, that perhaps things might just have a chance to change for the better…. I have to say, however, that hope has been pretty thoroughly dashed by the revelations of the past three or four years, more so by the reaction of the administration, than by any of the revelations themselves…. The denial, the refusal to accept responsibility, the repeated and ever-increasing lies, the stubborn refusal to see or accept the public’s displeasure and disgust at their actions, all of this has been more disturbing than the actual information presented…. because it is ALL making them look even guiltier than we know they are, yet they don’t seem to care….
There is a simple reason, ffolkes…. and I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell y’all…. It doesn’t matter… They will do what they will, and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it, because WE ALREADY GAVE THEM THE POWER…. and, guess what? They won’t be giving it back, that’s for sure and for certain…. not without a severe struggle…..
If y’all don’t see, from the tone and words used by the White House, that they know they’ve got the upper hand, then, I encourage you to go back to wherever you have the little piece of sand, where you have the hole in which you prefer to hide your head in the presence of danger, and put your head in there for a good long while…. Things out here in the real world aren’t bound to change, except to follow the course away from liberty, as it has been doing for some time now, all with the approval of the most ignorant set of voters to ever grace a planet…..
Okay, so, today, you get a two-fer…. The above rant was based on the article, but, the thoughts and some of the evidence isn’t new; it’s old, like I’m getting to be, with some reluctance, but hopefully, some dignified acceptance for the process, if not the end results…. where was I? Oh, right…. the following rant is constructed upon the same base, but using the thoughts going through my head in July of this year…. I had intended to use them to support the article, but, that seems to have stimulated its own support, so, just view this as “more thoughts on the same subject”….
“One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most charming form of government ever devised by man. The reason is not far to seek. It is based on propositions that are palpably not true — and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.” — H. L. Mencken
With this statement, Mr. Mencken has put his finger on the pulse of America, that is for certain. It goes a long way toward explaining why so many people in this country are so willing to believe the outright, egregious lies that are told to them every single day by the officials they elect every year at the polls that characterize our alleged republic…. They do lie, you know, with almost every statement that comes out of their mouths….
They begin with the most important lie they tell, from which all the others spring, and that is the lie they tell when they tell you that they want to be elected so they can work for YOU! Each and every politician learns early in their career, if they are at all to be successful, they MUST portray themselves as a public-spirited, honest, and tireless worker whose only purpose is to make life better for their constituents….
Of course, nothing could be further from the truth…. NONE of them are at all concerned with any of that nonsense; they are there to carry out their own agenda, which has very little to do with what is good for the general run of mankind…. No, they are there to serve the interests of the men and women who pay them, those lobbyists and special interest representatives who run the businesses of the corporate masters.
The people on the street cannot provide them with the perks, or the cash, that the clandestine rulers are able to come up with, other than peripherally, by electing them in the first place…. Once elected, their true colors come out into the light of day, and it can be easily seen how their actions are never congruent with what they have promised to the people who elected them….
It’s all about power and money to these folks, not service. In my entire life of observing politics around the world, I have yet to see a single elected official who could be shown to be honest, not at the national level. The one who came the closest was Jimmy Carter, and his presidency was marked by how little got done, because he was so honest that the true politicians in Congress blocked every reform he tried to institute during his time in office. His actions during that time showed him to be the exception to the usual rule for politicians, which is why, I believe, he was so ineffective as a legislator….
“Invest in America — Buy Japan!”– Smart Bee
Other than Carter, I have seen concrete proof that EVERY President of this country has lied to the American people, not just once or twice, but continuously, about nearly everything. Time and time again, public outcries are heard or seen in the news about some new revelation regarding something some politician lied about, just like it is breaking news or something, when it is actually the normal state of affairs….
I don’t know why it is, but if a man on a TV set, wearing a suit and tie, makes a statement to the public, the general public will believe it, sometimes fanatically, without ever examining it for whether or not it is true…. Then, when it turns out they were lied to, they get all upset and vocalize their displeasure, never once admitting it was their own cupidity that allowed the lie to occur in the first place…. It makes me wonder what happened to people in this country, to make them go soft in the head….
“Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.” — Anton Chekhov
Did you ever notice how many politicians were lawyers, first? Most of them, as it turns out, for the simple reason that learning to be a lawyer gives a politician two advantageous types of training…. One advantage is that law school teaches the student how to lie in every imaginable way, in order to ascertain which kinds of lies are legal…. The other advantage is their primary motivation….
If asked, a very large percentage of lawyers will tell you their reason for becoming a barrister in the first place is that it is a good way to get rich, (without mentioning, of course, that this is true only as long as one doesn’t give a shit about other people, and what that might do to them). In other words, they make their money by taking advantage of people’s misery, holding them as hostages against their own destiny, in order to gain resources, i.e. money, and its sidekick, power….
Then the lawyers realize that their training is perfect for politics…. The ability to lie with facility comes in very handy to anyone who wants to be in the public eye, as that is how one gets elected in the first place…. Tell people what they want to hear, and they will vote for you, every time, coming back to the same trough to eat, even though they get screwed, time after time…. Having the facility to ignore what happens to others, due to their own actions, is the other skill so important to the political set, and the training one receives as a lawyer fits right into that category….
“Watching the democratic party in a presidential contest is like watching a washing machine with a defective bearing: It starts up smoothly enough, but soon, it begins to wobble and shake, jumping violently from place to place, until it tears itself to pieces, spewing dirty laundry all over the room.” – Smart Bee
Some people will say that there ARE some good lawyers out there, and I won’t argue that…. but, they’re still lawyers, not politicians, aren’t they? They’re doing what they can to help ffolkes find their way through the morass of our legal system to get what they need, even occasionally finding some justice…. But, they aren’t going further, and going into public service, are they? They’re still in place, where they can help, but, they are so few and far between, they are hard to find, and so are very busy, seldom having the time or resources to work against their less honest colleagues. Plus, they really are very few in number, as altruists seldom become lawyers in the first place….
I can see that this has evolved into a full scale rant, and we’ve just begun the day, so I’ll call a halt here. I often feel as if I’m preaching to the choir, anyway, when I go through this stuff again…. It’s all familiar material around here, so it isn’t as if I’m presenting new ideas for your examination…. No, this is all old stuff, and, sadly, doesn’t seem to ever create the outrage that I feel in very many other ffolkes…. which is too bad…. I forget who said that “if you keep on doing things the same ways as you always have, things will always be the way they’ve always been….”, but, they were absolutely correct…. We are on a path to our own destruction, clearly, but, nobody seems to care.
Nobody, that is, who seems able to DO anything about it, and they are the ones who will need to make the changes…. The people in authority over the rest of us are wearing blinders in this respect…. The idea that what they are doing is wrong, and will eventually kill us all, doesn’t fit into their world-view, so they won’t believe it, and will continue to refuse to make any of the changes needed to re-direct our steps onto a path less dangerous.
It is up to the rest of us to get it done, and that may entail overthrowing the current crop of rulers, either by the vote, or by the less agreeable option of using the necessary force, while making sure the new crop will act in OUR best interests, rather than their own…. If it does happen, it will be the first time in history, which is fine with me…. just as long as it is not the LAST time in history….
“… democracy is not something you believe in, or a place you hang your hat, but it’s something you do. You participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles and falls apart.” — Abby Hoffman
Well, I seem to have a problem with stopping, once I get started on a rant, don’t I?…. Today, I even extended the guilty piece with an even longer supporting piece, that, despite its length, is of such good fit, I can’t bring myself to leave it out…. it just makes the whole thing complete. I can see, though, that some ffolkes may not get all the way through it, which is okay, just this once…. Next time, it will ALL be on the quiz….
Besides, what I wrote today is of the category that people really need to think more about, because if they don’t start paying attention to what I’m saying, they’re going to reap the rewards of the inattention they’ve been putting into their lives, in regards their beloved ruling class, and the degree to which they allow them to victimize the public without consequence….
And there I go, right back into the rant…. Let’s go proof, and see if this is ready to fly…. One thing is for sure…. nobody can accuse me of not getting it all out…. which, as we know, is exactly WHY I do this…. Better out than in, I always say…. But, they also say, say what you have to say, then, shut up… so, I’ll do that now, so nobody can say I can’t take advice…. 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.