Fabulous shoes, Matilda…. Going waltzing?

Ffolkes,

It figures, of course, that the first day in ages I arise, having slept well, and, with all sorts of ideas streaming out of my head, I am beset by physical complaints that keep me from sitting in front of the computer for much longer than it takes to boot up (this comp is getting old, so the boot sequence takes a few moments these days…. a lot of software under the old download bridge, each one wanting a bit of the sequence….). Nothing particularly egregiously dangerous, or more than normally painful, but, enough to make me uncomfortable, & unable to sit, or stand, for very long…. Ah well…. lots of breaks forthcoming, but, we’ll get to the end eventually…

Today’s rant is again pointed at the POTUS, and his seemingly endless willingness to lie to the public….. Written yesterday, it revolves around the latest political cartoon from Mark Fiore, social critic extraordinaire, and, most-excellent gadfly of unparalleled wit…..Currently, according to the chatty little emails I get from the White House, Barry is scampering around the West Wing today, with a bunch of writers and staff researchers, putting the State of the Union address into final shape. It will be interesting this year for me, to see just how far off the rails this president has gone….

You may note the lack of a capital letter when referring to the POTUS, as is generally considered correct; it indicates one is respectful of the office, and its occupant…. Fuck that, dudes & dudettes….. In my world, respect has to be earned, and I haven’t seen enough from Obama to warrant any such thing, much less prompt me to hand out any unqualified respect; in fact, he has lost a lot of the respect I did have for him when he was first elected…. He’s spent almost six years now, since first being elevated out of the Senate in 2008, disappointing the American public time after time, by revealing lie after lie after lie, in the process of completely ignoring everything he said to get elected…..

Out of Iraq & Afghanistan? Hmm… well, MOSTLY we are out of Iraq, but, we still have a lot of “police & security trainers” and “training personnel” there; we are still fully engaged in the illegal war in Afghanistan ( …. which is a country, by the way, that has NEVER been successfully conquered, or controlled, in ALL of history, by ANY nation…. Our country is merely the latest to try, since the Russians pulled out of there in the 1990’s, giving up their long-time occupation, as too expensive, in terms of lives, equipment, and money….). We still have foreign nationals, and possibly some of our own citizens (Who knows who is actually in there?…. They aren’t required to tell anyone….), being detained in the Guantanamo detention facility, though he promised to close that in his FIRST election run-up…..

So, don’t tell me to capitalize his title when using it to point at him; he has definitely NOT earned the respect….. I do NOT have any of that to hand out, especially not to someone who lies to me on a regular, ongoing basis…. I don’t give a shit who they are, or who they THINK they are, or how much they believe what they say…. I don’t respect anyone who will deliberately tell a falsehood to achieve their purposes, and justify it in the name of patriotism, when it really more resembles repression…..

Oops, did it again, didn’t I? Ah well, such is life here in ECR; when I’m in ranting mode, nothing will stop me….. I guess we ought to go do something a bit more relevant, or, at least more entertaining than my gripes about the liars in Washington…. So, we will….

Shall we Pearl?….

“All men thirst to confess their crimes more than tired beasts thirst for water; but they naturally object to confessing them while other people, who have also committed the same crimes, sit by and laugh at them.” — G. K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News, 3/14/08
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“A picture is worth a thousand words….” — Universal wisdom, common to every culture on Earth, to my knowledge…. — gigoid

By that yardstick, a video is worth about 25,000 words, or so, depending on the subject matter, and the length….There’s probably an equation….  Any who, a few days ago, after the POTUS gave his speech on the reforms he “intends” to make at the NSA, I wrote a couple of thousand words about my take on his alleged changes….

I should have waited, to let Mr. Fiore do the same, in his own, Pulitzer-winning fashion…. Here is his take on that speech, and on this administration’s biggest failure, to wit: the transparency that was promised in every campaign speech…. but, then, as Mr. F. points out, the Guantanamo detainment facility IS still open, isn’t it? Why, yes, I believe it is….

http://blog.sfgate.com/fiore/2014/01/22/obama-on-the-nsa-translated/

When I wrote the above sectional opening, I hadn’t watched the video; now that I have, once again, the only possible adjectives I can think of as appropriate are in the nature of “excellent”, “brilliant”, or “superlatively perceptive”. I love the last twenty or so seconds of the speech, where Mr. Fiore has the POTUS utter six little power words, his “talking points”, strung together without any connecting words to get in the way of what they want us to think about, the six significant words he wants us to remember…. “democracy, progress, together, change, reform, believe!”….. This brilliant brainwashing technique is then followed by a brilliant statement of the administration’s true intent, when Obama says, “I have welcomed this debate, and this discussion makes us stronger, as a nation… which looks forward to…. imprisoning the person who started this debate in the first place. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless this database.”

Casual, condescending, arrogant, the president’s original speech was a sharp, insulting slap in the face to the American public, not just for the extremely smug disdain portrayed by his demeanor, one of supercilious, superior, omniscience, but, also by his complete refusal to even address any of the public’s real concerns, brushing them off as not important enough to even mention.

This accusation, by the way, is based on the speech, as I heard it, when it happened on Monday, not Mr. Fiore’s absolutely brilliant parody, which was very accurately paraphrased, serving well to clarify the meaning and intent, in contrast to that which was offered up by the POTUS with deliberate vagueness… Fortunately, it was clearly evidenced in his own words, if one is able to examine them objectively, with a critical mind, to see through the screen of words, to the implied meaning.

This assessment doesn’t even include the so-obvious, outrageously bald LIE he told, with a straight face, as a casual, off the cuff remark in the speech somewhere, when he so casually chided us, the American public, for believing they would actually stoop so low as to read our emails…. an event he failed to mention that has already been proven to occur….by their own records….

No, ffolkes, my crap detector went on full alert, as soon as I heard he was going to make the speech…. It then went off consistently at each assertion he made, continuing to go off frequently at double volume, which it is set to do, every time he said, or implied, “trust me”, whether intended literally, or metaphorically, from beginning to end.

My crap detector again went crazy, the next day, when Senator Feinstein, the most powerful legislative member of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, issued her office’s blind, unreasoning support of the POTUS’s message, (the article this came from said the Senator admitted the public was against them on the issue, but dismissed that as not worthy of consideration….).

The article made it clear that the Senator’s views on the matter were being held in the face of continued strong opposition for them by her own constituents…. She KNOWS the people who elected her are against what she is doing, but, she is committed to doing it anyway, claiming “special knowledge” not held by the public, thus completely ignoring the public’s wishes.

Like clockwork, on the following day, Congressman Mike Rogers, the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, (a definite, registered oxymoron….) issued an out-of-nowhere, never-before-considered, or mentioned, accusation during a press conference…. He strongly suggested that Eric Snowden, the whistleblower who exposed the administration’s outrageous abuse of civil rights, was aided by Soviet intelligence agency spies, making this accusation “ipse dixit”, or, just on his own authority (meaning, he just made it up….)….

“The conservation movement is a breeding ground of Communists and other subversives.  We intend to clean them out, even if it means rounding up every bird watcher in the country.” — John Mitchell, Atty. General 1969-1972

(Sorry, couldn’t help it…. I heard this statement when it first hit the news back in the day…. It sure looks like the politicians are still using the same methods of dirty in-fighting to accomplish their paranoid goals…. Making up egregious lies as accusations, labeling average American citizens as enemies, to manipulate public opinion for their own purposes….. it’s all still going on, right here in River City, ffolkes….)

The political strategists who instructed Mikey-boy to make the obviously false accusations tried to make it look as if it had some actual juice to it, by trotting out some obscure, uninvolved CIA agent to give a supportive quote…. This person, brought in, I’m guessing, to show how the intelligence community is behind the administration’s view, was very careful to have the first words out of his mouth be, “Well, there’s no direct evidence of that….”…. But, he then went on to say, “but, it COULD be true….”

Very reassuring, don’t you think? Strong proof…. The idiot politician made the accusation that he had help, “because he did things beyond his technical abilities…”, of which, of course, as we all know, every politician is competent to make a judgment, due to their own technical experti….. wait a minute! They don’t HAVE any such expertise, do they? Aha….

Chairman Rogers, (which title is capitalized ONLY because it starts a sentence…) also, by making his statements, implied that the NSA was hiring, or had hired, employees to program computers, or operate computers, for them, who were NOT trained well enough to understand what they were doing….. otherwise, (according to genius congressman Mikey-boy Rogers…) “he wouldn’t have needed the Soviet, or maybe the South American’s help to get away with it….”  

“Or, or,” he didn’t fantasize further, though he could have, “maybe the Chinese were involved…. They let him hang around their airport, didn’t they?….” After making his outrageous, paranoid, completely fabricated accusations to smear the reputation of Mr. Snowden as much as possible, planting false seeds in the fertile gullibility of the public mind, he then bowed out of the limelight, and hasn’t been heard from since….

I expect the strategists in the White House have put, or will, even more pressure on the Justice Department now…. It’s their turn to come up with a way to justify the administration’s anger at Mr. Snowden for pulling their covers, and there will be, sometime in the near future, an opinion expressed by some federal judge or other, about the case, with some elaborately constructed legal reason to continue the legal persecution the administration so desperately wants, and, in truth, needs, in order for them to be able to a) show a victory, of any kind, to shore up their image, and b) shut off the debate, so they can go back to their chosen task, which, by all evidence, is one of complete domination of the world internet, and control over every computer that connects to any network, anywhere in the world….

And, if you don’t believe THAT is their goal, then, ffolkes, you just aren’t paying very close attention, are you?…..

“When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.” — Max Lerner

P.S. I found the following pearl after finishing the rant above…. but, it’s perfect for this rant as an addendum, with this to say about it…. Sometimes, when I’m chastising the president, and his cohorts, for their tendency to lie, I forget about one of their most well-used and practiced maneuvers to get the public to go along with whatever they are saying…. I refer, of course, to what the literary world calls “deus ex machina”, and, to what I call encouraging delusional behavior, to wit: blame it all on God…. If you don’t think it’s true, well, don’t take my word for it; the idea didn’t start with me….

“In truth, there never was any remarkable lawgiver amongst any people who did not resort to divine authority, as otherwise his laws would not have been accepted by the people; for there are many good laws, the importance of which is known to be the sagacious lawgiver, but the reasons for which are not sufficiently evident to enable him to persuade others to submit to them; and therefore do wise men, for the purpose of removing this difficulty, resort to divine authority.” — Niccolo Machiavelli
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The pearl in section three went well, and so did my search for a suitable poem….The poem below by Walt Whitman is an excellent one, well worthy of inclusion here any time. It is, however, somewhat lengthy, so, in the interest of saving electrons, rather than copying the entire piece here, I’ve provided a link to the Bartleby’s copy of the poem, where you’ll find it, complete with annotations and discussion, if you so desire. I’m being a bit lazy today, because this is all the poetry you get, but, hey, it could have been something with less panache, so, buck up….

I Sing The Body Electric

If anything is sacred the human body is sacred.

~~Walt Whitman ~~

http://www.bartleby.com/142/19.html

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It’s probably a mistake, but, I’m going to work here, in section three, before picking a poem…. Most days, I use the poem-search-process to decompress from whatever rant I’ve written in section one, and/or the intro. I don’t care if it is misguided, I don’t quite feel up to poetry today, yet…. it requires a certain affability on my part that I’m currently having a hard time finding in me, due to body parts/systems in revolt….

Fortunately for us all, picking out an old-school pearl isn’t taxing, to either the body, or the psyche, so, I should be able to live through it without any further complaints…. If not, well, just stick you fingers in your ears, screw up your eyes, and go, “nyah, nyah, nyah! THPPPT!” , like I do in such instances…. That should take care of it….

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” — George Orwell (1903-1950), “1984”, 1948

“There is great beauty in going through life without anxiety or fear. Half our fears are baseless, and the other half discreditable.” — Bovee

“That life is long which answers life’s great end.” — Edward Young (1684-1765) – Night Thoughts, Night v, Line 773

“Never let the future disturb you.  You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” — Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

“The fight is what’s important.   Doing what is good and right is why we’re here. The end is variable and relative.  A person can only do what his heart tells him and break away from the terrible things around him.  We do what we can … and live with the consequences.” — Marc Zanoni

“Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.” — Isaac Asimov — Salvor Hardin, Foundation

It seems my misgivings were premature; this is an excellent pearl, for all its innocent arrogance…. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did putting it together…..
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Well, it has certainly been an adventure this morning…. I think my subject matter has sent a lot of readers packing; my site traffic seems to have dropped off a bit, with only a few regular readers showing up…. either that, or a LOT of people are coming by, DON’T like it, and so leave without any indication they were there…. Nah, I don’t think so….

Any who, no matter who may have been driven away by the somberness and vitriol in the last few Pearls, I’ll just say this…. I gotta write what is in there, lest it rot between my ears, causing me great discomfort, which I duly pass on the world at large…. Better all around for me to just keep typing, and hope for the best….. With that caveat spoken, I’m outta here…. See ya….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Just sittin’ around….

Ffolkes,
“Living here in limbo”….. I know just how that feels, even if I can’t remember the song that line came from; I’ve only heard it in snatches on the radio, and may never have known…. but, I still know how it feels. It feels cruddy…. Now, there’s a word you don’t see too often. Short, precise, and descriptive, a perfect little adjective; gotta love that. Where would we be without our adjectives, eh?  Instead of knowing exactly, we’d only be able to tell in a general way… e.g. “up a creek without a paddle” instead of “up s___t creek without a paddle”.  The second just tells you more, doesn’t it? This works especially well to describe our emotional states, and “cruddy” is a scientifically acceptable term for such expressions…. I know, I’m a scientist…. really, I am…. No, really…..

Is this schizoid paranoia or just existential blues? — Smart Bee

I’m going to make a command decision here; this is existential blues, not schizoid paranoia. Though outwardly the difference may be difficult to ascertain, I’m convinced it’s the blues, if only because I don’t feel persecuted, just bluesy….. which may or may not be a word….. spell checker likes it, which makes me think I’ve used it before….. Any who, yesterday was a tough day, (which you will be able to see clearly in the second, poetry section below…), and I’m glad it’s a new day.

I can forget all about the massive pity party given in my head for me to wallow in, as well as the breakthrough pain I felt for much of the day. The pain is better this morning, and the rest of whatever it was my subconscious was chewing on is now just a memory. I don’t know if my subconscious resolved anything, but at least it’s not forefront in my brain, and I feel as if I can get through the day without bursting into tears periodically, as happened yesterday, for no apparent reason…. Damn this PTSD!….

Ah well, as I said, it seems to have passed on for now, so we’ll take small favors, and run with them…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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When I consider life, ‘t is all a cheat.
Yet fool’d with hope, men favour the deceit;
Trust on, and think to-morrow will repay.
To-morrow ‘s falser than the former day;
Lies worse, and while it says we shall be blest
With some new joys, cuts off what we possest.
Strange cozenage! none would live past years again,
Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain;
And from the dregs of life think to receive
What the first sprightly running could not give.

— John Dryden (1631-1700) — Aurengzebe, Act iv, Sc. 1

Strangely, as I read this, my immediate reaction was to comment to myself how much the first half of it reminded me of the political scene here in America, 59 or so days ahead of the Presidential election in November…. probably has to do with all the talk about lies, and men favoring deceit…. It fits right in with the Republican approach, which seems to center around picking something the President has done, or not done, and then making up a lie about it (like the whole “716 billion dollars” supposedly taken from Medicare by President Obama; this was pointed out as a lie the first time it was proposed….). It amazes me that even after being told that they are lying, they continue to repeat it, as if repetition will make it change from false to true. It’s almost shark-like in the lack of learning ability it displays…..

This isn’t to say the Democrats are totally absolved from the truth stretching behaviors; they just don’t need to do so right now, since the other party seems to be shooting itself in the foot with every statement either of the candidates releases. It’s almost as if both Romney and Ryan have this picture in their heads of how they’d like to run things, and assume that constant repetition of false information will make that vision come true.

It is true that they have fooled a lot of ignorant folks into believing that what they say has better chances than a snowball in Hell, but no matter how many times they repeat their nonsense, reality continues to refuse to change for them…. In a way, it is rather pathetic, as they try and try to convince enough people they are viable candidates, and fail miserably at every turn….

Ah well, it should be an interesting two months, to be sure…… Just be sure to pick a side and vote, ffolkes…. otherwise, you have no right to complain….  and, please, vote from your reasoning center, not your prejudice center…. if you know the difference….
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Gauges of Pain

Consciousness devolves in pools of gripping fears
holding hostage any hope of serenity,
sharp stabbing motions and greedy tears,
nary a moment passes without common calamity.

Always a surprise, nothing soothing ever found,
leaving only breathless clinging pain,
salvation seemingly absent, muffling all sound,
bringing ever more sadness and rain.

Solitude is ever present to claim my time,
lonely hours and relentlessly long days,
no radio plays such music in secular rhyme
happy, vibrant voices belong to elder ways.

Life can be justified it seems to say,
by hopeful favored moments of pleasure,
seemingly friendly, pointing out the only way,
to bring back happiness in minimal measure.

Days of horror and embarrassing tears
serve ever to drive wretched hours to withhold
promising naught but sorrow in coming years,
black, bitter memories that never grow old.

Cold, cold, the days fly by,
can it really be our only token?
Never to say, or know just why
the pain never stops, even when spoken…

~~ gigoid

(No, yesterday was NOT a good day…. why do you ask? Does it show?…..)
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“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)

I like this statement…. Even though I might use another descriptive adjective than the word “superior”, this gives one the correct idea about what I would term a righteous man, or a gentleman, or, most correctly, an ethical man. “He rises by lifting others”  What a beautiful sentiment, and one that has its roots firmly embedded in truth. Every philosophy and religious system of morals I’ve seen agrees with this; men are made better by giving of themselves to those less fortunate. Giving one’s own time and resources over to helping others is an action that not only improves our standing in the eyes of men and gods, but allows us to have a good enough opinion of ourselves to be able to sleep well at night, untroubled by regrets or fears.

Unfortunately, there are many men, and women, who only give lip service to this concept. Though they will parrot the words, they really have no intention of giving anything away without a price; not help, nor food, nor money, nor any other resource, and certainly not on their own time. In fact, these kinds of folks are part of the reason that so many people need help; the actions of selfish people against their peers becomes one of life’s worst dangers, as it mimics and mirrors all the harm that the indifferent universe gives everyone who lives. These people make it harder for others to deal with those moments in life, as everything they do sucks positive energy from the weak and helpless; enough bad things happen naturally, but these people make those events even worse, because they have the ability to help, and do not…..

One might ask why I bother to rant about these folks, as they are merely expressing one side of human nature, and one cannot change that nature from the outside. In that sense, I cannot really say why I continue to do so; I know there is little chance of what I’m saying will have a tangible positive effect on reality. I suppose it is my way of trying to counteract the negative impact of those people. They aren’t going to be reading this stuff anyway; most folks who act that way are NOT big readers, if you catch my drift.

But, I look at it like this…. other than verbally, there isn’t much I can do to help a lot of people having trouble. My current level of resources is severely limited…. but, I can write about it, and try to make other people aware, and maybe, just maybe, they will take a moment to help someone, or they will goad someone else into helping…. Anything positive helps the universe, if in no other way than acting as a counter-balance to the negativity of those who go through life taking from others, rather than giving of themselves…. All you can do is all you can do, so get going and do it!…..  🙂
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I just realized that today is supposed to be a big day in this country, as the anniversary of the terrorist attacks back in ’01… However, I don’t believe in giving any of my terror to terrorists, and only view that day as another example of the power of human cupidity, one more in a long series of such egregiously ignorant and selfish human acts of violence upon their fellow man. Paying it special attention is, to me, giving them more importance than they are due, so, I don’t….

Today’s effort isn’t one of my best, perhaps…. maybe it WAS schizoid paranoia, and not just the blues? Ah well, too late now; I’m not doing it over…. It will have to fly, ready or not…..  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!