Sufficient evidence for acquittal? Priceless….

Ffolkes,

“Putt knot yore trussed in spilling chequers.”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

August 14 2014 002 (2)

    Nor, for that matter, should it be placed anywhere in the vicinity of an elected official…. Your trust, that is…. You could say, I suppose, that trust, in any case, is too precious to be handed out to anything, or anyone, who doesn’t appreciate the privilege…. Y’know, that is so trite, and so obvious, I’m going to do a 180° turn here, and head off in a different direction, before I stifle myself….

How about that rose, eh? Isn’t she a beauty?…. and, I can honestly say, I took the picture myself…. did the fixing up, too, with a bit of cropping and a touch of contrast adjustment, to the point it came out quite nicely…. the color of yellow roses just does something for me; I always feel ‘brighter’ for having seen one, and taking a good picture of one makes me feel quite accomplished…. Of course, I’m pretty easily entertained….

Even if that is true, though, there is still the question of what to do today…. Yesterday was a complete loss, once the Pearl was done…. That process was hard enough, but, what came after turned into one of those days I’d just as soon forget….. After completing the tough roe to hoe that was yesterday’s Pearl, I went for a relatively short walk, for my daily exercise…. Within an hour of getting home, my entire skeleton seemed to catch fire, and every joint in my body began to ache, increasingly worse with each moment, until I felt as if every joint and bone in my body was screaming at me….

I started taking drugs, both legal and marginally so, including extra opiates, edible cannabinoids, topical cannabis creams and rubs, and smokables, continuing to do so for a couple of hours, until it all caught up to the pain, and I could actually think again…. Then I went to bed, & slept until I felt a bit more energetic than exhausted…. It was absolutely the worst day of pain I’ve ever had, I think, aside from one memorable toothache, and I have no desire to ever experience that again, if I can avoid it…. The trouble is, I don’t know why, or how it started, or what I can do to prevent it from happening again…..

SIGH…. Oh well, such is life in the big city, I suppose…. Not much I can do, of a prophylactic nature, (unless, of course, I can figure out how to stop aging….), so I’ll just have to make sure I’ve always got enough drugs on hand….. Well, that, or have my neighbors get used to the screaming…. Probably better to keep the former as the case; the latter would, no doubt, become troublesome, for all of us…. Speaking of taking breaks….

Now the tone for the day has been rejected, we can get on with the rest of this mess…. Have a care today, ffolkes…. I’m a little bit on edge. Big events happening today, so I’ll be wandering around the edges of what sanity I have stored up, just to see if there is any difference in how it looks from that side of reality….. In fact, it looks so promising, we’re going to submit our application for take-off, and get this slow on the rode….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Things don’t bug you if you don’t think about them.” — Calvin

Ooh, ooh, look! It’s a two-fer!….

“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity?   I WILL be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice.  On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation…I am in earnest – I will not equivocate – I will not excuse – I will not retreat a single inch – and I WILL BE HEARD.” — William Lloyd Garrison (1804-1879) — Salutatory of the Liberator, Jan. 1, 1831

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LAWYER, n.  One skilled in circumvention of the law. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Yesterday, I saved several links to articles on the Net, articles which were intended to stimulate my ranting mode; they mostly had to do with the mess of a situation going on in Missouri, where the latest evidence of the racist nature of our society is being rooted out for the whole world to observe…. The actions in Ferguson by the police, then by the public, then by the police, and so on, has played out in such a way as to highlight a couple of the most pernicious perversions of spirit that remain part of our national make-up, to wit: racism that permeates every branch of government, and the widening income gap that tends to exacerbate any interactions between the public and the police, who are more invested in protecting the property and safety of the rich than they are in protecting the rights of the poor….

However, when I thought about the issue this morning, I decided I am tired of ranting about this particular issue…. It’s one that just makes me crazy with rage, at the stupidity, and the insane, deliberate ignorance and selfishness of those in society who buy into the whole Judeo-Christian world-view, that places rich white Christians at the top of the social heap, at the expense of every other race on the planet, no matter how much they may purport to be Christians…. It makes me crazy when I see the assumption of entitlement they all share, as if they had the right to the self-centered, sociopathic dishonesty, and the sheer avarice that compels them to gather and hoard more wealth than they can possibly use….

Since I have now gone ahead and shouted out my complaints for a couple of paragraphs, I’m going to call that the rant for today, and finish this section with a nice, sharply pointed group of sticks to poke in the eyes of any Asininnies who may be in the vicinity, or even in the dimension we currently inhabit…. The quote from Ambrose Bierce that began this section should give you an idea of how this pearl will turn out; all of the entries I’ll be choosing will resemble that one as much as I can make it so….. Enjoy!….

“Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it … You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.” — Will Rogers

“Lust of power is the most flagrant of all the passions.’ — Tacitus (55?-120?)

“Bought And Sold…”– proposed new plaque to hang over the entrance to the Supreme Court, the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate….

“Politicians neither love nor hate.  Interest, not sentiment, directs them.” — Fourth Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773)

“Audemus jura nostra defendere…” – [Let us dare defend our rights.] — Smart Bee

“In what he called the ‘great tradition of warnings  in presidential farewells,’ Reagan reproached the movies, television and young parents for failing to indoctrinate American youth in 200-proof patriotism, the way they did in his day.  ‘If we forget what we did,’ said the man who still can’t remember trading arms for hostages, ‘we won’t know who we are.’  The section ended with this weird passage: ‘And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it.  That would be a very American thing to do.'” — Hendrik Hertzberg

“I am not a wimp.” — George Bush

I love the last one; it’s so perfectly shrubby….. Who but a wimp would need to say so?…. Okay, not a bad group, for a quickie…. The people who end up on the national stage in politics are certainly an entertaining bunch of idiots, aren’t they? Well, I think so…..

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While considering what to place in the poetry section today, I could feel at least two new poems percolating; they aren’t, sadly enough, ready to bleed out just yet. To sublimate the urge for now, here is a poem I wrote in September of 2012, that, somehow, feels as if it would fit in with the two that are still in the germination stage…. I hope you enjoy it….

Accentuated Lessons

Bold statements of calculated intent
Become common rule of the malcontent.
Avarice assumes such attractive wear
Beguiling deception, illusory and fair.

Grasping and pulling with ghostly hands
Legally proper in all the signatory lands.
Seeking and finding each vulnerable soul
Anguish as payment for exacting the toll.

Wraiths of commerce’s invisible dead guards
Still haunt the dreams left in sad empty yards.
While absentee nobles sit in stiffly elegant splendor
Served by sad-faced detainees in abject surrender.

Escape from reality is illusory at best
Often we falter and fail its daily test.
Only when focused on inner strength
Does peace stay with us for any length.

Peace lies within, always…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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Okay, well…. It seems fate has given me an out…. It’s getting late, due to some minor procrastination on my part (go figure….), so I went looking for an archive piece to put in here, and what did I find? A rant, from a couple of years ago, that goes perfectly with my originally intended rant in section one, regarding the ongoing militarization of the police forces in this country; obviously, it’s been going on for some time, as this piece was written almost two full years ago….

It isn’t too long, so, it shouldn’t strain your patience too much…. and, it has some valid points that retain their significance in today’s world… Enjoy…. please?…. Oh, and, I wouldn’t mind if you thought about it, and actually joined in any dialogue that could conceivably ensue….

From 12/6/2012:

“Who will protect the public when the police violate the law?” — Ramsey Clark

Here is a question that is particularly relevant in today’s society. In my time on this sad little ball of mud, I have studied the various parts that make up our culture, and the police, due to their ubiquitous nature, have always been right there at the forefront of my observations. We all have our stories of how we have had to deal with police in various circumstances, not all of which show them in their best light. In fact, next to lawyers, police officers are probably the most reviled members of society, as well as one of the most admired. There are good reasons to support both views….

I cannot say that my knowledge of ALL policemen is complete; I don’t know them all. But my observations over the years have clearly indicated, at least half of those who enter the field of law enforcement, do so out of a desire to have power over others, rather than an impulse to be of service. It is easy to spot these folks….

They’re the ones who never signal a turn in their cars, and are always moving at a speed greater than the posted limit. They assume that the laws that govern the populace are not applicable to them, and act accordingly. They enter any situation with the attitude that “might is right”, and attempt to intimidate anyone who tries to usurp or question their authority. They don’t serve as policemen to keep the peace, but to control the beasts…. two entirely different goals.

I find myself at this point to be in the beginning stages of a rant; this subject is one that frustrates me a lot, as I believe that the police should be offering themselves as an example of honorable, lawful behavior, not to set an example of how to bully one’s way through life. Many of them do so, but, sadly for the rest of us, a larger number have no more interest in serving and protecting, than they have in consuming donuts without those little colored sprinkles. Due to circumstances well within my control, I’m not in the mood for ranting this morning, so I’m going to let this go without further comment. Even about the donuts….

Suffice it to say that society needs to consider the question asked above by Mr. Clark; it needs desperately to take a hard, realistic look at the requirements needed to procure police officers who are of the proper frame of mind to assume the responsibilities involved in public protection.  It seems obvious to me that psychological testing of potential officers would be a good place to start; perhaps some of those who go into the field for their own purposes might not be given such power, if they could be winnowed out in the testing process….  Perhaps then we would begin to see the police set the example for the rest of society, rather than proving to be one of the problems we need to solve….

“The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.” — Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

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Note from the future: It occurred to me while editing this for grammar, etc., a large part of this problem can be described by using certain words to show the difference between how most of the police I’m referring to as, well, buttheads (sorry, but, it just gives the right “look and feel” to how a lot of cops come across, much of the time, when addressing the public….) (sorry, again….almost started re-ranting…. I must be getting tired & distracted… )…

Any who, those guys, the officers who use intimidation as their method of choice for public interaction probably tend to look at their work as “law enforcement”, when, in truth, we, and they, would be better off if they could, or would, learn to think of what they do as “public safety, with an emphasis on protection of individual rights”…. A simple difference, that would make ALL the difference in their approach, don’t you think?…..  I do….

“Therefore search and see if there is not some place where you may invest your humanity.” — Albert Schweitzer

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Since we all know how little it takes to amuse me, I won’t bother to mention that I’m pretty sure this is a good one…. It would be just a bit too self-serving, and I like to avoid that when possible…. Of course, saying so negates the good karma, but, the guilt feels so GOOD sometimes!

Now that I have the sheer psychotic breakdown in my sights, I think I should probably end this before it gets any closer to any actual reality…. and if you can translate that, you spend too much time here….. Just kidding…. I happen to know there are very few readers at all who are coming here very much…. There are several, about 10 ffolkes, who make it by a lot, and a lot of ffolkes who only come by when they are in the mood for my heavy-handed egotism, which I can’t describe as frequent, but, always appreciated….

I don’t do it to get readers, anyway, as you know…. I do it so I can still say I’m sane enough to do so…. But, it’s always nice to see that someone enjoyed it, and that keeps me content…. Now that I’ve put y’all back to sleep, I see we’ve landed, so, grab your stuff, & let’s head on out into the day…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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

Featured Image -- 2780

Hardly softened, barely covered, finally started, & completely unfinished….

Ffolkes,

“Darling!”, cried the woman at the next table, “You look fabulous! Where did you get your hair done?” As she continued to gush at her companion, I tuned out her voice, while looking toward the door, hoping to see my own appointment waiting there. No luck there, so I let my eyes scan the dining room of the very upscale restaurant in London’s East End, idly noting the few other early diners at tables around the room, several of which sat in front of windows overlooking the busy street below. Catching the eye of a roving waiter, I ordered a drink, and sat back to await the arrival of the man who was going to provide me with the means to destroy millions of people, over a very fine dinner…. I couldn’t wait….

Well, that’s quite enough of THAT….. I’m no more impressed than you probably are, or aren’t…. Not my best effort, to be sure, in spite of the copious amounts of blood that accompanied its creation…. That one HURT to get out, and, after reading it, I can see why…. My sub-conscious mind, having already made its judgment of this little piece of crap, tried to clue me in the entire time I was writing, but, I was determined to finish it, with the result, as you can see, that I’ve managed to completely waste my time, and possibly yours…

S’okay, though, we’re all good…. Even though my morning routines seem to have been wiped out, and I’m operating totally on instinct today, I’m sure I can fix this, and make it into what will someday be called an ordinary Pearl…. I say ‘ordinary’ because it will have 1500-3000 words, with some ranting, a poem, and some pearls of virtual wisdom to chew on…. The quality of that content is, as you know, subject to a wide range of both good and bad, and, since such judgments are entirely personal, anyway, I won’t even bother to consider that when performing the fix….

How, you may ask, am I going to save this? I’ll admit, it won’t be easy, or simple, and it may just leave me with a lot less blood than I started out with today…. But, I’m committed, and ready to make any sacrifices I must, to save this Pearl from becoming just another blog…. Of course, this may mean y’all will have to walk home, but, I don’t mind sacrificing the Reality-Mobile, if we can get this Pearl to breathe again….

Oh, wait, that’s right, I forgot…. Y’all could take the zip-lines back to the mainstream, if you have the cojones to zip five miles from the heights of reason down to the mundane flats of complacency….. The lines are free to all, they’ll supply y’all with free gloves, and there’s a shuttle to the top of the line from here…. it’s not far, only a couple of miles up the mountain….

There, with that taken care of, I can now concentrate on the delicate matter at hand…. While I do this, please stay back a few feet…. even the noise of your heartbeats can frighten the ‘puir wee beasties’, and they’re skittish enough today…. Okay, here we go…

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I don’t mind occasionally having to reinvent a wheel; I don’t even mind using someone’s reinvented wheel occasionally.   But it helps a lot if it is symmetric, contains no fewer than ten sides, and has the axle centered.  I do tire of trapezoidal wheels with offset axles” — Joseph M. Newcomer
_____________________________

“The truth is on the march and nothing will stop it.” — Emile Zola (1840-1902), “J’Accuse!”

I found the following article in the news a day or two ago, and set it here to form the nucleus of a rant I planned to write, on gun control, and the 2nd Amendment issue at large…. However, while waiting for today to arrive, I found the following rant from last year, and decided it says part of what I wish to say very well, so, I’ve put it immediately after, as a prelude to any fresh comments…. if I can find any in this less than completely cooperative text editor I call my mind….

For now, please read the article, keeping an open mind about both sides of what this implies…. If those sides aren’t clear to you, the key words to look for that will identify the players for each team are words such as “critics” or “supporters”, or more simply, “cops”, and “victims”….. (Sorry….. please,  DO try to keep an open mind, even if I tend NOT to practice that myself, quite so well as I may preach…. a perfectly human habit, I might add…)….

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/6-San-Francisco-police-officers-indicted-5273906.php

From April 20, 2013:

Quis custodiet ipsos Custodes? [Who guards the Guardians?] — Smart Bee

This is the perfect opening for a discussion of gun control, for me, as I believe strongly this is the bottom line issue for that particular subject…… Sure, taking guns out of the hands of people who are insane is a good thing; nobody, I think, can argue that. The problem lies in figuring out WHO gets to decide what sanity is, the same issue that comes up in discussing getting rid of firearms altogether.

You see, I’m sorry, but, I just can’t bring myself to trust the Beloved Ruling Class to decide who is sane, and who isn’t. Part of this stems from the fact that I don’t consider anyone in public office to have a very tight grip on sanity to begin with…. How effective can it be to have insane people making the rules for deciding who is insane? Not very, I suspect….

Yet, I read many articles that profess the belief that the police, and the army, who naturally would have to have guns (Why? If nobody is supposed to have them, why would they need them?), are more trustworthy than the common citizen. I’m sorry, but, just what planet did you say you came from? It certainly isn’t Earth, because, last time I looked,  here on Earth, all the police, and all the folks in the army, and the folks who tell them what to do, are all PEOPLE, just like anyone else…..

They’re all suffering the same fears, the same delusions or preconceptions, and the same lack of morality, as does the average joe on the streets. In fact, in light of my experience observing and identifying psychiatric symptoms common to the insane, I can honestly state I see a higher percentage of police and military personnel who display a distinct lack of a strong, internalized moral compass, based on  a rational compassion for others, than I see in the general public.

Part of the problem is exemplified by what I DO see, which is, police and military institutions, as they are organized and run, become attractive to the type of person who enjoys having power over others, whose self-image requires them to be in a position of authority, in order for them to be able to view themselves in a positive light, to see themselves as successful individuals. They equate money, and the power to control other people, with the concept of success, thus gravitating naturally to those sectors of society that deal in those commodities.

Normal, stable personality types seldom need to exercise power over others, and never do so out of a personal neurotic need, and so avoid such pastimes as bullying, or aggressive interactions as a rule of thumb…. To the selfish, and the sociopathic, however, the police and the army are seen as a path to what they term as success. If you see a flaw in this logic, please, enlighten me…. Until I see some evidence to the contrary, though, I find this to be a valuable, and accurate summation of the situation, thereby affording myself the opportunity to avoid the majority of their machinations, at least in a directly personal sense….

We all have to deal with them eventually though, so it’s good, I think, to be aware of the above arguments, as it will forewarn anyone who absorbs it, and takes it to heart, allowing them to defend themselves from the worst of the BRC’s attempts at repression, or oppression, if not all.  Maintain a high level of doubt when considering announcements and decrees, stay alert to the news, and the meaning behind what you see there, and be ready to jump when the balloon goes up.

Things out in the Big Blue Room are getting a little bit pretty damn serious in spots, with potentially disastrous possibilities being threatened on a lot of different fronts, so, for those of us who wish to survive, it would be a good thing to be ready for whatever may take place, no matter how insane…. And remember, guard yourself, against the Guardians themselves, if need be…..

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift; the rational mind is faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” — Albert Einstein
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We return now to the Consensual Reality currently in place today, March 1, 2014….. no better, and much worse off in general, than we were when this was first written, eleven months ago….. If I were to begin here, taking this rant to the places it conceivably could go, we’d all be here far longer than any of us wished…. Me, because I’d have to speak to the other implications of gun control, and I’m already burnt out for today…. and you, because you, too, have, no doubt, had quite enough of this, thank you very much…. One can only be serious so long before one requires a bit of a break, what?

Well, I do….. require a break, that is…. So, onward…. Stay alert, ffolkes, and keep your powder dry, because you just can’t trust ANYONE who SAYS they have YOUR best interests at heart…. unless, maybe, it’s your mum, dad, brother, or sister, or loyal lover….. and they could still get it wrong, right?…. Nobody’s perfect….

“We make so much sense around here it’s frightening!” — Smart Bee
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I’m afraid y’all have pulled my covers, but, only because I’m such a shameless egoist I encourage such humiliations; I consider it part of curmudgeon training, adding just the right tones of bitterness and resentment on my part, and righteous indignation and disgust on yours…. which hopefully does not also get on your shoes…. There, now you can’t say I never make myself look foolish….

Staying with that theme, I now present to you my entry for the 19th day of April last, during the National Month of Poetry Challenge, when writers all over WordPress, and other blogging sites on the Web, all committed to write and publish a poem a day for the entire 30 days…. I missed a day or two, but, managed to write a lot of not-too-shabby poems, and several excellent haiku, if I do say so myself…. which, obviously, I have just done…. duh…..   Enjoy, please….

From April 19 , 2013:

Haiku VIIThe sun has come up,
once more we rise, and then shine.
Standard issue day.

~~ gigoid ~~

Fatal Supplication

But what becomes of our deepest dangerous dreams?
Does fantasy rescue any part of life’s imperiled favor?
Reality becomes but silvery pairs of mismatched teams,
Dining with affable elegance, such diffident waste to savor.

Who decides what sorrows to carry bravely to term?
Will fragrant moments of sanity make hasty manifestation?
Only Time’s patient mutability sends messages so firm,
Yet salient impersonal vexation lends credence to ripe imagination.

Can folly bring out sadness and rampant visions of beauty?
What kindness can be found in distant open relations?
With countless faces the dead disturb with dire impunity,
From separate caches of wisdom come simple stylish privations.

Shall shallow emotion serve to provide such explanation?
When does avaricious intensity assume primary focus?
Plain answers slide softly through with multiple mitigation,
While conceptually indignant concepts engage a fatally personal locus.

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

The die is cast, and reality has taken the shape it will hold, until it changes again…. All we can do is go along with what the universe has in store for us, helpless to make changes anywhere but in our own minds, to our own character…. Reality itself, in spite of our delusions to the contrary, is NOT amenable to our desires, and only matches them randomly….

It’s best to learn to get along with that piece of information, because it is one that isn’t going to ever change…. In fact, our own inability to change reality may possibly be the only thing in the entire universe that is NOT subject to change… Hmm… That will take a bit of deeper thought, I think, before we can call that one a truism…

Philosophical, and/or metaphysical, or even metaphorical, considerations aside, it’s time for an old-school pearl, if for no other reason than my own wish to keep from having to rant overmuch…. I’m trying to cut down, for my health… so to speak…. For now, let it suffice to say, shall we dive for some pearls?…. I think it would be for the best….

“Within the oyster’s shell uncouth
The purest pearl may hide,
Trust me you’ll find a heart of truth
Within that rough inside.”

— Mrs. Osgood

“I don’t want to die! Existence is one of my stronger points!” — Ron Warren Evans

Remembrance and reflection how allied!
What thin partitions sense from thought divide!

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 225

“Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.” — Charlie Chaplin

It’s got to be the goin’,
Not the gettin’ there that’s good.

— Harry Chapin

“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” — Mark Twain

Are there not, dear Michal,
Two points in the adventure of the diver,–
One, when a beggar he prepares to plunge;
One, when a prince he rises with his pearl?
Festus, I plunge.

— Robert Browning (1812-1890) — Paracelsus, Part i

Perfect! A pearl, book ended by two pearls about pearls, creating a pearl of pearls, with the power to cause ecstatic cognitive trance states at the drop of a metaphor!…. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did….
_____________________________

Well, THAT was fun…. sort of…. Actually, I did have a bit of fun today, and nobody got hurt, that I can see…. I call that a good day of writing. Whether or not that is something that reality can agree with is, at this late point in the process, rather moot…. Which, convoluted as it may or may not be, is merely another way of saying, it’s done, and, I’m outta here…. See y’all tomorrow, most likely….

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

dozer3

Burdened by implications of impropriety….

Ffolkes,

Wow…. It’s been a LONG time since my head has been so empty in the morning….. I’m guessing it has something to do with getting an extra hour and a half of sleep, which has me up today rather later than is usual in the recent past….. Of course, my guesses are wrong as often as right, so that’s no guarantee that I’ve figured this out, or that trying to use my brain for any kind of cognitive tasks will have any positive results… In short, I’ve reached that momentous state so aptly described in the Grateful Dead song, Sugar Magnolia…. to wit: “Head’s all empty, and I don’t care….” I DO care, though, at least enough to feel some regret at my lack of alertness just now, if not any great depression, over not being able to write…. I mean, THAT is nothing new, right?….

Besides, the empty-headed state described in the song has more to do with the effect on the brain of a beautiful woman, not over-zealousness in pounding the pillow, so it doesn’t help explain anything… As is normal in these cases, I have absolutely no idea what to do about it, and intend to carry on in the usual way, as I am right now, wandering around in my head, blathering, until something, anything, I type strikes a chord, whether of humor, anger, outrage, or simply reminiscence…. SOMETHING has to pop up eventually, and when it does, I’ll be all over it, like a male dog chasing a female in heat….

Hmm, as is plain to see, I shouldn’t be allowed to make up any descriptive phrases until I have a better handle on things… I’m not sure that image is the one I was shooting for…. But, what is a daily blogger to do, eh? I ask you, is it fair to expect brilliance every day? Well, maybe it is, but, hey, not all of us can do that, okay? Some of us need to be average some days…. otherwise, those flashes of brilliance tend to get overlooked.

If I was brilliant all the time, it wouldn’t seem special when I do make some connection, or expose some nerve, or shout something out that makes people sit up and take notice. There has to be a degree of contrast, sort of like using a frame for a picture, to serve as a way to highlight what I’ve written, a dichotomy that tells the tale to be told….

Most days, I end up like today, trying to achieve perfect piffle, which, to me, is great fun, and funny, and, in some ways, the most honest way to start off these missives… Nothing else conveys the sense of nonsense that we try to achieve here, that sharp, sardonic wit and intelligent discourse to which I aspire in my writing…. Of course, not everyone appreciates piffle like me, but, that is NOT my problem; I can’t fix the whole world at once…. It does mean that I have to also write in such a way that those folks are included in the message’s recipient list, as they typically are in the direst need of such information as I impart in my ranting mode…. So be it….

Well, like it or not, I’ve done it again…. Four plus paragraphs of near-piffle, punctuated within an inch of its life, all with absolutely no meaning, or relevance to what is happening in reality…. What can I say? It’s a gift…. It also meets all the legal requirements for an introductory section, which means I can put down my quill, and start typing again…. That’s sort of what it feels like, even if it isn’t anything close to that…. Piffle takes me back to my youth, and I can’t help it…. nor would I, if I could…. I’m just a sentimental fool about that sort of thing, and there’s no changing that at this late date…. I suppose I’m starting to ramble beyond even the loose limits at play on this site, so, I’ll give it up now….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It is not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horseraces.” — Mark Twain, from Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar(1894)
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Over the past two and a bit more years, I’ve written an average of about 2000 words per day, and have posted them all here on this blog…. This is either very egotistical, or very neurotic, and I don’t really give a crap which, because it was my only defense against insanity, at the time when I began. It seems to have worked, at least from this side, so, whether or not it is, or was, necessary is, to me, a moot point…. There is one advantage to having written so much, which I am now able to better utilize, since WP has been referring us to various older posts of the same nature as the one being read; that advantage is having a large archive of material that I know is ready to use, for those times, such as today, when my brain is somewhat less than perfectly groomed, and not willing to come out to play just yet….

Hence, the following discussion, which I found in a Pearl first posted on December 15, 2012…. I hope you enjoy it….

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“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right actions arises by itself?” — Lao Tzu

Ever since being first exposed to the precepts of Taoism, back when I was in college in the late 60’s, it has always appealed to my sense of rightness, and makes the closest approach to what I personally believe about the Universe at large. Not the mystical parts, that cater to the religious order of the time it first was clarified by Lao Tzu, but the essence of the concept of reality, as being both within our perception, and unknown to us as beyond our understanding. We may not possess the necessary sense to be capable of receiving such information, whether about reality or fantasy, and if we assume the omnipotence of a god, then we would not be able to comprehend their existence, lacking the tools to perceive them with our five or six senses….

This knowledge, however, is tempered by the deduction that, as a physical part of the universe, we are connected to it, and to every other part, if only by sharing that existence. The connection, intuitively, is deeper than merely the physical; it extends somehow into the spiritual plane, which, though not tangible, is nonetheless a proven part of our mental reality. (What IS the mind?) It is this very lack of the ability to explain by which we may know the connection exists, as it echoes the nature of reality itself, which cannot be explained in words. Goodness knows why I’m trying, to be sure…. this is getting pretty esoteric, although, so far, it is consistently rational, if not entirely illuminating.

“Since everything in life is but an experience perfect in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may well burst out in laughter.” — Long Chen Pa

What better way to acknowledge and celebrate the perfection that we can see, or hear, feel, smell, taste, or imagine?…. It’s certainly preferable to a long, dusty discussion of esoteric concepts, and will encourage enlightenment just as efficiently, if not quite so verbally. In some way, I’m always looking for the perfect quote, the ultimate aphorism, that delivers that cosmic truth we are all seeking in one swell foop, and the above from Long Chen Pa comes very close to it, especially when considered in the light of what one concludes from considering the answers to the first two questions today. As a Westerner who has learned to appreciate what the East brings us, the following resonates very well….

“Somehow, in the midst of their horrid history, the best among the _gaijin_ learned a wonderful lesson.  They learned to distrust themselves, to doubt even what they were taught to believe or what their egos make them yearn to see.  To know that even truth must be scrutinized, it was a great discovery, almost as great as the treasure we of the East have to offer them in return, the gift of harmony.” — David Brin – Dr. Pak’s Preschool

There’s the key, ffolkes, right there in front of you…. Even truth must be scrutinized, or the universe will have its way with you, and you may never find the gift of harmony that is also there for the taking…. There, not so esoteric, after all….and, not too shabby at all, eh what?….

“The ancient Taoist sages were poised and alert….. like ice on the verge of melting.” — Taoist proverb
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In the same Pearl where I found the above short discussion, I found a very powerful poem, surprisingly… I was surprised because it was my own poem, and I had no recollection of writing it, or posting it…. But, there it was, and here it is….

Territorial imperative…

Beauty must define, as augment to existence,
as life must be more than mere subsistence.
Nature demands more.
Truth helps.

~~ gigoid ~~

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WARNING! FRESH RANT BELOW: Read it, or not, as you wish…. but, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you….      😆

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 1, 1791

I had thought, when I found this restatement of the First Amendment, to use it as the opening for a politirant.  It IS the perfect lead-in to such discussions, as each and every one of the issues addressed in this codicil to the Constitution is under attack, and, in essence, is no longer one of our guaranteed rights…. I’m not crying “foul!” without evidence; the sky actually IS falling, to use an obvious literary reference. So, I suppose I  will…. use it to lead in to a politirant, that is…. Let’s take this piece by piece….

Religion in this country IS free to carry on with, as long as the religion is a Christian sect…. Any other group is likely to suffer a lot of obstruction in the pursuit of their religion, both by law, and more significantly, by custom, and the power of peer pressure…. On the State level, as well as locally, laws have been, and are being passed that prevent Muslim women, and men, from wearing certain articles of clothing their faith demands they wear; other religious icons and dogmatic representations have been subjected to legal restriction as well, for many religions…. except Christian…. But, such laws are only the surface of the problem….

There are even Christian churches, or, well, allegedly, or peripherally Christian churches, that are discriminated against by their larger co-conspirators, just because they don’t have the same ideas about what their particular focus of worship is all about…. Just ask anyone from the Mormons… or ask anyone in The Tribe about antisemitism in the twenty-first century, and listen to them list all the various examples one can find, and not just in the news…. Ask just about any Southern Baptist what they think about Catholics, or Jews…. but, be prepared to get spewed upon with some nasty vulgarities…. Then, ask anyone from Texas what they call a Muslim when they aren’t calling them ragheads….

Okay, that’s the first section of the Amendment, on religion…. That’s gone, kaput, no longer in force; from a cultural point of view, it really never was in place, not very strongly…. The Christian sects have always been good at paying lip service to the principles of their dogma and creed, (the ones about tolerance, and compassion for others….). but, they’ve never been terribly good about actually living up to those principles, have they?…. That little episode during the Middle Ages, the one they called The Inquisition, now THAT was a pretty thing, wasn’t it?…. Now, of course, we have the plague of pedophilia, and/or outright bigotry that permeates so many church hierarchies, and not just the Catholics…. Even a simple, even Christ-like soul, such as the current Pope seems to be, won’t have a big effect on that degree of corruption of spirit….

Next is free speech…. Need I even say anything at all about this? How free is our speech, when telling the truth about the illegal activities being perpetrated by the government is looked on as treason? How free is our media, when they won’t print anything that exposes the lies told every day by the government, much less publish the stuff that Eric Snowden had to show? Oh, they enumerate the prevarications in spots; there are fact checking sites, and a lot of folks who claim to call BS on them everywhere…. The lies they tell are so obvious, that much exposure is unavoidable, given the internet, and the scope of modern technology….

But, those sites, articles, and shows that expose the lies don’t get anywhere near the publicity or exposure that the lies get, or the spin on the lies, or anything at all that the pundits and talking heads have to say in defense of their lies…. Hell, much of the time, the response by the government, regarding a particular instance of being caught lying, is handled most effectively by just ignoring it, making no statement at all…. and the media lets them do it! Every time!…. No follow-up outrage, no further mention of the lies told, just silence…. When was the last time we saw a public official actually tried in court for lying to the public?….. Nixon, maybe? Maybe so….

I can think of, at minimum, three instances in the past six years of this administration when huge lies were told, or exposed, and not a single politician or government official has been prosecuted for those lies, up to, and including the President…. This doesn’t even address the lies told by the Republican Party (the “loyal” opposition?….) on a daily basis by that entities representatives…. I’m not going to bother naming them, as all of them were covered extensively in the news, for all the good it did….

Okay, free speech, and freedom of the press, those are pretty much gone, too…. Let’s see, now, what’s next?…. The freedom to peacefully assemble, and petition for redress of grievances…. Have you tried to get a permit to have a protest lately? I understand there are now a bunch of requirements that are necessary to be allowed to assemble anywhere in a public venue, all laws passed on a local level, as a rule, and enforced by police departments with a huge sense of entitlement, legal backing, and guns they aren’t afraid to use on the public….

Those requirements that must now be met before assembling any group for protest in public, requirements which are, if one actually reads this Amendment, completely illegal according to the Constitution, have to do with protecting property, mostly, from the vagaries of mob actions….. The laws were put in place through the efforts (i.e. they spent a lot of money to make sure their politicians voted the “correct” way….) of corporate entities…. The landed gentry, or more accurately,  private interests, to protect THEIR profit margins, and THEIR rights, as opposed to the rights of the people… Can’t have those ignorant voters taking money out of their pockets in their dissatisfaction, now, can we?….

Oh, and by the way…. When was the last time we heard about a policeman getting arrested , ( Or women, though police women don’t seem to ever go as completely overboard in their zealousness as their male counterparts, at least not without first becoming more male than female in their attitudes about violence, and the use of it to control the public….), for being violent during a protest? Or actually being prosecuted, and convicted for those kinds of acts? Very, very seldom, as you are well aware, I’m sure…. That particular issue is generally taken in hand by many governments by passing laws making the police immune to prosecution for ANYTHING they do while on duty…. pretty slick, eh? Become a policeman, get a get-out-of-jail-free card to stick in your wallet….

Not bad work, if you’ve got the stomach for it, along with a very, very skewed and distorted sense of honor, and justice…. To my mind, in the current state of our society, it takes a pretty sick mind to want to take on the duties of a police officer…. Sadly, there just aren’t enough honest, honorable men to fill the empty spaces, and the need for them….

As a result, I’d estimate that at least half of the men, and, almost as many of the women, who try to become police officers are clinically insane, and should never be allowed to have that sort of power over others, for they WILL eventually, even consistently, use that power for their own ends, or use it in ways that are destructive to the public good…. It’s their nature to do so, and they WILL do so, if given the chance… As evidence, I will once more point to the news, and the many instances reported of dishonorable, destructive behavior by police officers….

It must be remembered, THOSE reports only tell of the ones who are caught, or prosecuted, or screw up so badly even their own mates turn on them…. How many instances of police bullying, or intimidation of citizens in the pursuit of their ends, actually show up in those reports?…. More significantly, how often do you see a news report, many months after an incident, that was investigated for wrong-doing, or illegalities on the part of the officers, that exonerates the officers of all wrong? Of course, the fact that these investigations are carried out by OTHER POLICE OFFICERS seems to forever lose its place among the reactions from the press….

SIGH, now, I’m a little bummed out…. Here it is, not quite 7 AM, I’ve got a dental appointment to live through at 10, and I’ve already put the hammer to the First Amendment…. Say BYE BYE, ffolkes, to that hallowed document, the Bill of Rights, otherwise known as the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, because the efforts of the past 235 years by the corporate masters to do away with that hallowed document, as predicted by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine, George Mason, and a number of other of our Founding Fathers, have almost reached their desired results….

Most, if not all, of the rights we were guaranteed in the Bill of Rights have now been abridged, in one way or another, and we can not depend on ANYONE in our government to give them back…. Not when we’ve already given them the keys to the treasury, by allowing them the right to vote their own salaries, their own health care system, their own retirement, all without ever realizing we were doing so….. The American people have cooperated fully in their own enslavement, ffolkes, and though the collars we wear are not yet such as to kill us outright with their fit, nonetheless have taught us to do without a lot of the freedoms our forefathers gave us, with our full, if sadly ignorant, consent….

Sorry to be the one to bring this out, but, hey, somebody has to, right? Right….. I may not be a small child, but, as far as I can see, the Emperor is NOT wearing any clothes, ffolkes…..  Now, let’s see how many ffolkes, and/or folks, out there will either admit to it, or reject my assertions…. nicely, of course…. I suppose this is a good place to bring this rant to a dignified close, though, given my history, that’s pretty much out of the question… the dignity, I mean…  I think I’m going to have to resort to a pearl to make my escape…. so, let’s see if Smart Bee can come up with just the right one…..

“What now if the sky were to fall?” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Heautontimoroumenos, Act iv, Sc. 3, 41, (719.)

“If you don’t make the rules, you don’t have to keep them. If you do make the rules, you won’t anyway.” — Smart Bee

How admirable, he who thinks not,
Life is fleeting,
When he sees the lightning!

— Basho

Well, it took three, and that’s okay, too…. because they’re perfect….
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Without even going back over this, I can feel it is something of an epic Pearl…. I can only hope it can carry the weight of its own dimensions…. Let’s go see….  Yep, completely epic… I apologize if I have set the bar too high, and y’all don’t have the time to read it all, or to comment… It’s a lot… But, if you should have a thought, or even two, about any of it, feel free to chime in…. Meantime, it’s started raining here, so I’m going out in it to soak up some moisture, first-hand…. 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,
and sometimes
I just sits.

gigoid

dozer3

Save all the cliches, we can recycle them….

Ffolkes,
Is it now merely habit that brings me here each morn? Where lies my purpose in writing these missives of murky thought? Why am I asking you? And what’s with all the questions? Since, out of four, I don’t know the answer to any, maybe I should reconsider my original format, as it doesn’t show a lot of promise at getting me much of anywhere. Of course, it is getting me there fast…..

Where’s my towel? Now there is a question to which I can always respond, thanks, of course, to Douglas Adams. His “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” has reached what I’d call the iconic stage, where phrases and ideas from the book have become societal standards, among them, the proper use and care of your towel. Perhaps it was prescience, or perhaps just lucky genetics, but I’ve always known about the importance of towels, and that one should always have one handy. My expertise in this area has been with me my entire life, whereas Doug, and the Guide, have not. Maybe I am the result of a sordid liaison with an alien, covered up by my shamed parental units, my lifelong interest in space is a repressed urge to return home, and my intimate knowledge of towels is an innate part of my heritage….

Whatever it is, my towel is always clean, and right here in my…. hey! Who took my towel?….. Nimrods…. Ah well…. um….. good morning, ffolkes…. As you know, I am subject to being taken this way, so fear not; this may seem to be a bit odd, but it’s not unusual, so there is nothing to worry about…. or maybe that was unusual, but not odd. Ah well, no matter…. The daily Pearl is now officially under construction, and any, and all, anomalous events are not only normal, but sought after for their warm fur…. Just kidding, we wouldn’t shoot an innocent anomaly….. We might make tease it unmercifully, or feed it oatmeal laced with Ex-Lax (ouch!), but we wouldn’t shoot it….. makes a huge mess on the floor, especially if we hit it…. Of course, so does the oatmeal….

The only real, pertinent question at hand just now is this: how the hell do I find my way back into the pearling mode, after such an explosion of nonsense? This is FUN, and ridiculously easy to write! Sober thoughts and portentous phrases can’t compete with such levity and good, clean fun…. I could, I suppose, try to make an entire Pearl out of humorous material, but, I don’t know if I am THAT funny….. I do try to maintain SOME degree of lightheartedness, even in the most sober of pieces, enough at least to laugh at myself, if not at humanity. But, I am easily entertained, having been caught previously having a great time just sitting around, watching my fingernails grow; other ffolkes probably have a bit more sophistication…..

Well, if I’m ever to get into the meat of today’s meal, I should draw this intro section to a close. Four full paragraphs of sheer tom-foolery (or, in this case, ned-foolery) is plenty for one day, and certainly enough for an introductory section. I only wish that the ease of effort that this took would carry over into the rest of the Pearl…. It would be nice not to sweat over it for once…. Ah well, the creative process is supposed to hurt, so I’ll quit whining, and get on with it now….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.” — Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”
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Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?”  The Master said, “Is not Reciprocity such a word?  What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” — Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

Ah yes, the Golden Rule…. For how long have the sages of our species been reiterating this rule? Years? Centuries? Millennia? Yes, all of the above. Yet, in today’s society, there is ample proof that a large portion of humanity totally ignores this rule, instead operating under a different rule, to wit: “I’m going to get mine first, and do unto others, first, before they can do unto me” This rule has never been precisely stated, unlike the Golden Rule, which has been stated in any number of ways over time. But, those who live by this rule are just as committed to their own self-interests as sages are to the interests of all…..

The struggle for the Soul of Man has been raging since the beginning of history, for though we now drive cars, and wear ties, and use telephones, our emotions and desires are the same ones we had when we lived in caves and ate unrefrigerated foods on a daily basis, if we were lucky. To this date, no one has been able to discover why some people just won’t go along with the program, but insist on making their own rules, to the detriment of everyone else. I suppose if we did discover the reason, it wouldn’t be a problem any more, but it is still frustrating to know that we are, as a species, still fighting the same old ignorances and cupidities that we had in the beginning of history, and are still losing far too often…..

I believe in the inherent goodness of people, but, at my age, I also must qualify that belief to include the very significant number of folks who choose to act against that part of their nature, giving rein to that beast in all of us that yearns to take, and to destroy. Yes, we have goodness in our makeup, but we also have evil, and there are a lot of people who choose to dwell on that side of their own nature, and basically don’t give a crap about what it means to other people. As long as they meet their own needs and desires, everyone else can just go to hell…. I don’t much like it, but it is true nonetheless….

So, I say this…. If one sees a person who is harming others by their actions, and you can determine that they are doing so deliberately, then I believe it is within the boundaries of the Golden Rule to destroy them on sight (or, at minimum, administer a sound thrashing)…. for this reason: if I were acting in such a manner, I would wish that the rest of rational society would judge me, and bring me under control, for the good of all. If that necessitated destruction, so be it; it is a final solution, if a bit harsh. I also do not believe that anyone who deliberately acts to harm others has the right to exist as part of society, and it is perfectly sensible to remove them….

I know, this sounds as if I’m speaking in favor of the death penalty, and in one sense, I am. Unfortunately, the one problem with the death penalty is that nobody can agree on who is capable of making the correct, rational, and honorable decision in such cases. Myself, I’m a bit more of a curmudgeon, and believe in personal responsibility…. so I’m not going to fret over killing a rapist, or a child molester, or a senior abuser, as long as their guilt is clear. They made their choice when they acted against the rules and morals of society, so my choice makes perfect sense in response, according to that same Golden Rule.

A bit different view of that rule, eh? Well, nobody claimed this would be a smooth, level flight, or a soft landing….

“I stared into the abyss. The abyss stared into me. Neither of us liked what we saw.” — Brother Theodore

Google says that this particular phrase is attributed to Brother Theodore (whoever he was….) Nietzsche gave a very similar expression, when he said , “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” Either one of these is a fitting closer for this section….
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Emily’s Letter to the World

As I  mentioned yesterday, I found a treasure trove, a book with all of the collected poems of Emily Dickinson. I’ve been perusing it, randomly sampling from different parts of the book, and I am enchanted with her talent all over again. Her ability to put simple words together to form incredibly complex ideas regarding life and nature is astounding, one that leaves me in awe as a writer. Today, I’m including two of her short pieces, which I discovered by letting the book fall open where it would…. and there these were, just waiting to be shared….. During her lifetime, she only published four poems; these are from the first of the collections of her work published posthumously…..

The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
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The mountain sat upon the plain
In his eternal chair,
His observation manifold,
His inquest everywhere.

The seasons prayed around his knees,
Like children round a sire:
Grandfather of the days is he,
Of dawn the ancestor.

~~ Emily Dickinson
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“Who will protect the public when the police violate the law?” — Ramsey Clark

Here is a question that is particularly relevant in today’s society. In my time on this sad little ball of mud, I have studied the various parts that make up our culture, and the police, due to their ubiquitous nature, have always been right there at the forefront of my observations. We all have our stories of how we have had to deal with police in various circumstances, not all of which show them in their best light. In fact, next to lawyers, police officers are probably the most reviled members of society, as well as one of the most admired. There are good reasons to support both views…..

I cannot say that my knowledge of ALL policemen is complete; I don’t know them all. But my observations over the years have indicated that at least half of those who enter the field do so out of a desire to have power over others, rather than an impulse to be of service. It is easy to spot these folks…. They’re the ones who never signal a turn in their cars, and are always moving at a speed greater than the posted limit. They assume that the laws that govern the populace are not applicable to them, and act accordingly. They enter any situation with the attitude that “might is right”, and attempt to intimidate anyone who tries to usurp or question their authority. They don’t serve as policemen to keep the peace, but to control the beasts….. two entirely different goals.

I find myself at this point to be in the beginning stages of a rant; this subject is one that frustrates me a lot, as I believe that the police should be offering themselves as an example of honorable, lawful behavior. Many of them do so, but a large number are no more concerned with serving and protecting than they are in consuming donuts without sprinkles. Due to circumstances well within my control, I’m not in the mood for ranting this morning, so I’m going to let this go without further comment.

Suffice it to say that society needs to consider the question asked above by Mr. Clark, and take a hard, realistic look at the requirements needed to procure police officers who are of the proper frame of mind to assume the responsibilities involved in public protection. It seems to me that psychological testing of potential officers would be a good place to start; perhaps some of those who go into the field for their own purposes might not be given such power, if they could be winnowed out in the testing process…… Perhaps then we would begin to see the police set the example for the rest of society, rather than proving to be one of the problems we need to solve…..

“The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.” — Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)
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All I can say is, well, it’s done…. I may have crossed the line a bit, going over into crusader mode; some mornings I support the death penalty, others I don’t…. It’s a tough concept to cover in a few words, and a coherent discussion can be time-consuming, as well as emotionally trying. If what I’ve said prompts any comments, well, that’s a good thing, and I’m always ready to look at new information and opinions. If not, well, there’s always tomorrow…. I may be a bit more lucid then….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

In the humble palace of the Gopher King…..

Ffolkes,
One never knows, do one? We are told that feast follows famine, and joy follows pain; but they were wrong when they told us that. Reality is more like a cat than a dog; it really doesn’t give a crap for what we think we know, and is quite happy to let us know that, right upside the head, whenever we are feeling like taking things for granted. Personally, I wish it would just leave those of us, who AREN’T trying to aggrandize ourselves, alone a bit more often. It’s no fun learning lessons we already know….. and I’m tired of the price of tuition…..

That being said, I will leave the semi-whine behind. Reality doesn’t give a crap…. So Be It. I can adjust to most of what is thrown at me, and I’ll adjust to this, too, whatever it may be. (I’m trying to be discreet, without falling all the way into inscrutability…..) Most likely, the best idea is to just ignore the whole issue, and get on with pearling. This particular activity has been my salvation for over a year now, so I’ll take advantage of that right now…..

Hmm…. I could rant, I suppose. I saw some police in action last night, and what I observed only confirmed my opinion of most of them I’ve seen lately….. All of the officers I’ve seen in action in this town seem to be more concerned with maintaining their image, and exercising their sense of entitlement, than they are with public safety. I’m standing out front, watching the rush hour traffic, when a police car goes down the hill toward the signal to my left. As it comes up behind the second car in line at the signal, a little white car shoots up the hill, going a bit fast, but less so than much of the normal traffic flow, which tends to speed along this section. Well, the noise of the little car sounded like it was going bat crazy for hell leather fast, but, as I said, not as fast as I’ve seen many times, including MOST of the police cruisers going up the hill…. it was just a bit loud…..

Well, the two cowboys in the cruiser decided they would save us all from the massive danger of a tiny car going fast. So, as the little car slowed down, signaled, and turned right at the next block, the police cruiser performed a hasty, wide, badly executed 3 point turn to get turned around, then punched it and raced up the hill after the miscreant. From what I could hear, the little car had either slowed way down after going around the corner, or it had parked immediately, as I could no longer hear its little sewing machine engine. The cops raced to the corner, took it in a wide, fast turn, and raced away, hell-bent on doing their duty, and making the owner of the little white car have a miserable, and probably expensive, night.

Now, I might not get so upset at police doing their duty, if it were a matter of just that. But, I see cars flying up that hill all day and night, with never a cruiser in sight. Indeed, 98% of the cruisers go by at such a speed that I wonder how they can even SEE what is happening on the sidewalks. They certainly never slow down for any of it, as I’d estimate the average speed of a police car up the hill is about 50-55 mph, when the speed limit is posted at either 30 or 35 mph…. it IS a residential district. Plus, after living in this city for a bit over two years now, I can truthfully say that I have NEVER ONCE seen a police car give a turn signal. Not once….

That is annoying to me, as they are SUPPOSED to set a good example when they are in public.  Plus, there is the way I see the few of them who are actually out of their cars, walking up to people on the street. They walk like they are John Wayne on his way to kick some bad guy ass; big and ponderous, with an expression of disdain in place before they even speak. The couple of times I heard their conversations, they sounded as if they were being pretty antagonistic toward the person they were questioning, which to me looked like some random homeless guy, poorly dressed and groomed, with a very scared face…..

Okay, so there isn’t much I can do about it right now, except little rants like this to let off steam. One of these days, though, I think I’ll toddle over to a city council meeting, and drop a dime or two on the police, and give them the observations I’ve made over the last couple of years of watching them operate. In those two years, in this small town, there have been more than 10 officer involved shooting deaths, with the greatest number of them involving people who were either not armed, or armed with toys, rather than real weapons. Those numbers alone give an indication that the officers are not well-trained, and the other items that I have noted definitely support that theory….. They need more officers, and they need to take away their sense of entitlement, and replace it with some genuine public concern….

Rant over, thank goodness…. the police here in Vallejo probably aren’t much worse than other places. But, I have to point out that the city of Berkeley has, for many, many years now, required that all of their officers have a college degree, without exception. They then train those well-educated young men in how to deal with the extremely varied population of a world-famous University town, with intelligence, and dignity for all concerned, public and officers alike. It seems to be a good policy; you very seldom hear of a problem between the BPD and the public, and any shootings are completely justified by the review boards. Perhaps other cities could learn from that decades long record of exemplary police work…. and it certainly couldn’t hurt…..

While we’re waiting for reality to catch up to what we need from it (like THAT will ever happen….) I think it’s time….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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In keeping with our long-held belief in public spirit, I have included below for your perusal and enjoyment a series of statements, made at various times, in various situations, by our beloved, most Uncarved Block, Pooh Bear…. who, as you will come to see, has a darker side that many in the world do not know…. It is sinister, indeed, how many different ways Pooh has explored the Dark Side, but, as you will see, he is quite adept at navigating his way there, and isn’t afraid to involve himself in things unsuitable for a Bear with Very Little Brain…. He seems to like it though, so how can we deny him his illicit pleasures?…. it’s got to be hard to maintain that saccharine attitude all the time…. I’m surprised he hasn’t gone off on Barney before this…. ah well, it’s all good to know, so, here are some of his less known adventures, summarized, so to speak…..

— Bother! said Pooh, as they clear cut the Hundred Acre Wood.

— Bother! said Pooh, as the firing squad took aim.

— Bother! said Pooh, as his lock-on indicator wailed.

— Bother! said Pooh, as he stomped Barney’s butt to Jello.

— Bother! said Pooh, as Rabbit pushed him off the speeding train.

— Bother! said Pooh, as he assembled the Grand Grimoire.

— Bother! said Pooh, as he denied paternity.

and finally, for his latest adventure, in two parts…..

— Bother! said Pooh, as he crashed through the police road block.

— Bother! said Pooh, We’d better nuke ’em from orbit.

Okay, so I’m weird…. but, I gotta admit, I like this Pooh much better than the one who gets so worked up over honey….
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Tuesday’s Child, from an Oblique Angle

When I really stop to think, it isn’t too much to expect
a warm bed, a bite of food, a loving smile to reflect.
We all need such comfort and supportive attention,
so basic to our soul, there is no real need to mention.

Life often offers us opportunities disguised very well,
illusions are rampant, what is real can be hard to tell.
To honor old ties may seem like the only thing one can do,
but evidence is real, despite one’s wish it were untrue.

Those who love us truly, without thought of any gain,
hate for us to experience life’s portions of pain.
They also know we each must follow our own chosen way,
for the lessons we learn, we all have our own price to pay.

Still, wishing and hoping can’t do any true harm
and wishing good things to friends feels welcome, and warm.
The pageant of society will pass on to the next day
what surprises it will bring me, thankfully, I can’t say.

~~ gigoid
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It’s not every day I’m compelled to write about religion, politics, philosophy, and the Unified Field Theory, unless in separate pearls…. Taking them all on together might seem a bit egocentric of me, but I’ve never been one to dismiss a challenge, unless it was one that didn’t interest me… this one definitely hits all the high points of my particular bent, or bents, so what the hell, let’s see what happens…..

“Each religion, by the help of more or less myth which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny.” — George Santayana

This idea is one that makes it possible for me to get through a lot of days without becoming homicidal toward a lot of people who bandy their religious beliefs about as if I were at all interested in them. I am aware that there have been a lot of good people throughout history, including current times, who are devout believers in one religion or another, and are sincere in their beliefs, and in their efforts to live their lives according to the precepts of their religions.

Some of them are even preachers, or priests of one sort or another, but the percentage in those categories of sincere belief is most certainly smaller than in the general public…. Let’s face it, most of those who go into the business do it because they aren’t any good at anything else, and the work is pretty easy…. Being a preacher is only hard if it gets taken seriously enough to try to help other folks, but most of the ones I’ve met are more concerned with convincing everyone of their piety to worry about actually helping…. and to most of them, the process of proving their own piety is accomplished by challenging everyone else’s beliefs, and sticking their noses into other people’s business….

One of the most insidious attractions of religion to many people, sad to say, is that it provides such a convenient vehicle for going through life without ever having to come up with an original thought or feeling. Every system of religious dogma, from no matter what cult, or division, or schism, or whatever it may be called, is designed to give people answers to their questions about life and all the things that happen that they don’t understand, thus creating a sense of dependency. This is very convenient for political pundits, who manage to take advantage every time the preachers pull another scam on the public….

“The mockingbird can change its tune eighty-seven times in seven minutes. Politicians regard this interesting fact with envy.” — Smart Bee

Unfortunately, those answers, comforting as they may be, seldom reflect reality very well, but are based rather on how that particular sect views the issue at hand…. and you can rest assured that those answers are designed to benefit the sect, and the preacher, in rather more ways than they will benefit the person with the questions…. But, I’m sure it is very comforting to know that if you just go along with what they say, you are somehow guaranteed something….. I never could understand that part very well, as there was nobody who could tell me just what was being promised…. other than I’d have to wait until I was dead in order to see it…. (The politicians like this one as well, because it gets people used to being promised something,  i.e. campaign promises, then having those promises unfulfilled…. )

“There are so many ways that we sabotage our own divinity, our own possibilities. and the mythologies of race and gender may well head the list.” — Callan Williams

Ah yes, the mythologies of race and gender…. Consider this…. each of us who are of the genus homo sapiens is a unique individual, no matter what color our skin, or whether we are male or female. Unique in our own right, beginning with the pattern of DNA that dictates and defines the characteristics of the organism that is each one of us. Unique. This is indisputable scientific fact. And yet, there are still people who choose to believe that there are characteristics shared by certain groups of homo sapiens that make them somehow superior or inferior to another group. Which of those characteristics they claim as exclusive is always based on articles of faith, and never on any physical evidence. The basis for these articles of faith are outlined in the myths, myths that ignorance breeds, born out of fear of the unknown….

These fears are pretty formless, as the people who have them don’t like to think about them. First, because then they feel uncomfortable, and being comfortable is preferable to thinking, no matter how much it may alleviate the fear.  Second, it is also hard to clearly define something that one rejects all evidence of knowing about; the fear is a known factor, and knowledge is not. These behaviors are a very childish reaction to serious adult issues, but then, a large number of people never learn to deal with life after a certain age; the techniques of denial and avoidance that children rely on are hard for some to give up, especially in matters of emotional or psychological import.

“The ability to accept responsibility is the measure of the man.”  — Roy L. Smith

This is very true, and actually would be claimed as their own by many folks who make a habit of refusing to even consider being responsible for anything outside their own little world. The flaw in their world-view is that they firmly hold that what they perceive is the only true way that the world CAN be perceived; they seem to be constitutionally unable to entertain any idea to the contrary. It makes compromise with them somewhat of a difficult proposition, as their belief in their own rightness gives them a feeling of entitlement, of believing that they can lie and cheat others without consequence, because the “others” are, as unbelievers, not worthy of honorable treatment. (Hmm, I can’t decide if this sounds more like a fundamentalist Christian, a ruthless rich business man (is there another kind?), or a politician….. since it fits all three, I guess it fits Romney like a second skin…..)

“It is a great advantage for a system of philosophy to be substantially true.” — George Santayana

This second quote from Mssr. Santayana points out another flaw in the philosophy held by those who follow many religions, under their own interpretations of the scriptures that are used by them. This flaw is obviously based on the relatively inarguable fact that all of them are faith-based philosophies…. grand, and grandiose, well considered, beautifully constructed philosophies, whose basic premise is an entity whose existence cannot be evidenced in the physical world.

There are innumerable thoughtful and elegant “proofs” of the existence of these entities, all of which, again, are constructed entirely of words and ideas. Some use logic, some history, some use hope, some use delusion, and some use an amorphous idea that cannot be pinned down…. none of them have actual pieces of physical evidence that incontrovertibly points to the existence of such an entity. If anyone knows of one, or two, or more, please let me know of it/them; I would be very interested in the information, and its provenance, to be sure….

I have wandered far afield indeed in the realms of human thought today, and I’ll bet you thought I’d forget about the Unified Field Theory…. For those unfamiliar with the phrase, let me explain as succinctly as I can; this has gone on a long time, and I’m sure we all have better stuff to do, but, hey, I’m here, you’re here, so…. Any who, the Unified Field theory is a mathematical model of the universe that, in essence, explains and describes all the different types of energy that we know to exist in the Universe; Gravitational energy, Magnetic energy, Electric energy, Electromagnetic energy, Kinetic energy, Biochemical energy, life energy….

All are known to us, but we do not understand, even minimally, how they all interact, and how they are all inter-related as part of the Universe at large…. hence the unified theory. It hasn’t been written yet; it is still just a concept for the future of scientific endeavor, though Stephen Hawking is said to be working on coming up with one before he dies…. if anyone can, it is him.

In short, one theory to explain how it all works…. There are many, including Mr. Hawking, who believe that knowing this can possibly lead us to a closer idea of the answer to the Why it all works the way it does…. by design, or by chance? Did God lose a bet, or win one? Or is there some as yet unknown reason beyond our current ability to understand? Being able to SEE and KNOW how it all works can only give us clues about the origins of it all.  Even if it doesn’t give us all the answers we seek, we will have a better understanding of the Universe, and ourselves, and thus, perhaps, a better idea of our true place in all of what we see…..

Whew! If you made it to here, you are indeed worthy…. and probably tired, confused, and a bit troubled, with doubts as to my sanity. S’okay, I understand…. and I don’t blame you. I should have handed out warning notices at the beginning…. Ah well, t’was fun for me, and that will do….. Stop me, please, I can’t seem to shut up….. wait, don’t pull that pl……
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Well, it’s really too bad I’m not charging by the word, now, isn’t it? I could retire with ease in a couple of weeks at this rate….. I’m not sure where it all came from, or how long it has been percolating in there, but it’s obviously been a while now…. You know how I feel about it, though…. better out than in, at least from my standpoint…. everyone else is on their own, in this respect…..  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!