The cashews don’t usually complain….

So, the weather here is showing signs of the effects of global warming, by altering the normal pattern for this time of year. Yesterday was sweltering, relative to the past few weeks… not too hot, only around 90 or so, but it felt like descending to the upper levels of hell after all the mild weather of late. I still had the fan on when I went to bed last night. This morning, I had to get up & shut the windows, and turn on the heat for a bit to warm it up, as it was freezing inside and out. I looked outside and found a completely overcast sky, & chilly temperatures.

Now, that in itself is not unusual for Northern California’s SF Bay Area;  nightly fog acts as a sort of air conditioner most days, lasting until about 1100 before burning off for a normally warm summer day. But, prior to global warming, the switch from spring weather to summer generally took more than one day…..

“I’ve developed a new philosophy… I only dread one day at a time.” — Charlie Brown

Ah well, the intro is too early to rant about global warming, or anything else. I’m kind of getting a bit discouraged anyway; my ranting, while cathartic for me, and possibly enjoyable for those few who read it, isn’t having much of an effect.

It would be nice to wake up one day, and see that things have changed….. the government issued emission control guidelines strict enough to work, or a Republican came out for gay marriage, or General Motors announces it is converting to all electric vehicles running on solar power. You know, just some small token, to let me know that my rants are not just shouting into the wind.

“Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

Alas, I’m afraid that will never happen, unless by some fantastic turn of chance my blog goes viral, and the ranting I carry on reaches the ears of a significant number of people, a number large enough to be able to have a real effect on reality. I’m still waiting…..

Ah well, since that probably is out of the question as well, I suppose I’ll just get on with today’s effort…. shall we Pearl?…..

“Control of the dissemination of information (or misinformation) is one of the principal sources of political power. Political power is what the discussion of the Internet is really about, not home-made bombs or pornography.” — Michael Goldsby — Letter to Communications of the ACM, Nov 95

Mr. Goldsby has hit upon a very significant piece of information here, one that is completely accurate, and is sure to be the target of the beloved ruling class, as something to deny, and/or distract away from the attention of the public. The people who seek to hold political power have a lot of practice at hiding what they are doing from the public, and the Internet, because of its currently unregulated nature, is a distinct threat to that policy.

Numerous political talking heads have been introducing legislation to Congress in attempts to curtail the free flow of information on the Internet, seeking to prohibit all sorts of exchanges of files and information between people over which they have no control. They do, of course, hide their true intentions behind some other reason for wanting to control that flow….

The bills they will introduce will say that they want to protect intellectual property rights, they want to protect the rights of corporations to make a profit, they want to keep kids from having access to pornography, they want to protect National Security…. all these are the reasons they will give for the legislation, but the true purpose remains there, behind all the distracting BS…. They want to control ALL the information that is sent out; only then can they be sure that the public will only see what they want us to see….

Silence is the language of complicity. — Smart Bee

They won’t stop trying to establish their own controls on the flow of information; it is against their nature to allow the “sheep” to determine where they will go to pasture. If we are to continue to enjoy the Internet as it is, with no restrictions to the flow of information, we will need to be alert to the attempts by the beloved ruling class to take it away.

Recent attempts have been defeated, partly due to the power of the Internet itself, as millions of users emailed their legislators, or signed online petitions, urging them to vote against the legislated attempt at shackling the Net…. and it worked! The response was so strong that even the legislators who supported the bill were forced to vote against it, or face the wrath of their constituency….. It was a beautiful example of how the public can fight back….

The Internet is now the best tool the public has to maintain awareness of those threats to our liberty that are being carried out on a daily basis by those who would have us believe they are acting in our interests. It is also the best tool we have to make sure that those same narcissistic power-mongers can’t hide from us; when the information is flowing freely, there is no place for them to hide. They know this, and that is why they are working so hard to neutralize the Internet, to pull its fangs, so they will be free to continue their program of lying, cheating, and stealing from the public….. and I say FUCK ‘EM!…….

“Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,”
Said then the lost Archangel, “this the seat
That we must change for Heaven, this mournful gloom
For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
Who is now sovereign can dispose and bid
What shall be right: farthest from him is best,
Whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme
Above his equals. Farewell, happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells! Hail, horrors! hail,
Infernal World! and thou, profoundest Hell,
Receive thy new possessor – one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
A mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.
What matter where, if I be still the same,
And what should I be, all but less than he
Whom thunder hath made greater? Here at least
We shall be free; the Almighty hath not built
Here for his envy, will not drive us hence;
Here we may reign secure, and, in my choice,
To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”
— John Milton, “Paradise Lost”

Ironic, is it not? This is merely a piece of the epic poem by Milton, with its most famous line. The entire poem is one of the most revered pieces of literature in all of Mankind’s history, and the last line is indubitably one of the most well-known, and most often repeated, lines of all.

The irony, to me, is to note that, almost any priest/preacher would find the last line to be extreme heresy, yet it remains the favorite of all man’s works to date. This indicates to me that the inner spirit of most people knows crap when it hears it, and the dogma that most religions embrace most certainly falls into that category. Our innermost selves can see this, in spite of all the indoctrination into the dogma it may have endured, and can only agree with the sentiment, “Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven…..

SIGH…. I know that pieces such as this one tend to disappoint certain members of my family, on those rare occasions they actually read this many words at once; many of them are firmly ensnared in the dogmatic trap of born-again cultism. (I always have to wonder what was wrong with the first time they were born?….. I mean, it’s kind of disrespectful of our Mom to regret one’s birth…..)   But, that’s okay, they never understood me very well anyway, but they are family, so they make an attempt to love me, heretic that I am….they have to, they’re family…. But they don’t have to like it, and they don’t…. Así es la vida loca, si?

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

Richard Brautigan

Richard Brautigan wrote much of his poetry about, and during, the time when he, and I, lived in Berkeley, in the Sixties. (I know, but I’m atypical…. I was there, and I remember all of it, even though I partook of EVERY activity that characterized the time…..) He was a few years older, but what he wrote destroyed any differences that might have existed between our spirits; I recognized him at first read.

The title line of this poem produces an image in my mind that offers me a lot of solace, for it is an image that could only become real if Mankind manages to keep from devolving into extinction, as we seem hell-bent on doing. A lot of his poems are the same, with a very strong, real connection to the current world, to reality, colored by the mind of a genius….

Well, that was satisfying…. I remembered Richard at the last moment, just when I was getting discouraged at the lack of pearls to be found…. Serendipity strikes again….. I’m hoping the fog burns off this morning, as that will ensure a nice, comfortable afternoon; I’ve been trying to get a walk in each day in the afternoon, in hopes of conditioning myself well enough to stand up to the traveling I want to do…. Having to take a nap each day like a four-year old is fun, and feels good, but, as the Scots say, it’s time to be living, for I’ll be a long time dead…. I’ll have plenty of time then for naps…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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