Brief moments of sanity aside….

Ffolkes,

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another;
there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”

~~ Carl Jung ~~

221B Baker St

221B Baker Street, London

Hajime…. I am not certain exactly when, but, I’m coming up on five years here at WordPress, sometime in July, or August, I think. I should check. At any rate, it’s been a while. I’ve attempted to post every day, at least once; though I haven’t quite made that goal, I’ve come pretty damn close, with well over 1500 posts to my credit. While I can regard that as a satisfying accomplishment, I must be honest enough to say, not all of it is what might be called fresh, as I’ve recycled a fair amount of what I’ve written for new posts. I call it cheating, though, with the caveat I’m only stealing from myself. So be it.

Today, I’m still busy, and without my usual sense of unease with not making the deadline I’ve set for myself each day. This has allowed me to fall completely into cheat mode. Below you’ll find a fresh pearl, composed of material previously posted, including my longest-ever rant. It’s all fairly standard stuff, for around here, so, no surprises there. I’ll even go so far as to let it speak for itself from this point on, as I intend to cut this short, Moreover, I’m doing that now, before I lose my nerve. I’ll just push this button, right here, and….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Education is about the only thing lying around loose the world, and it’s about the only thing a fellow can have as much of as he’s willing to haul away.” — George Lorimer

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George Carlin

Image from http://www.salon.com via Google Images

George needs no introduction; quite simply, he was the best. Ever. You can argue if you like, but, that would not be a stellar use of time…. Instead, just listen to the proof…..

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George Carlin
It’s Bad For Ya

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https://youtu.be/WuW93V4eH74

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One of my Gentle Readers complained of no rant yesterday, so, today, I’m making up for all the rants I’ve missed the past week or so. This may be the longest rant I’ve done, though that’s a guess. It is pretty long, and, though written early in 2014, it all remains perfectly valid, as far as I can see…. I hope you read it all, and pay attention, because it’s all about stuff that affects you directly…. Enjoy!….

From 10/18/2014:

“He must needes goe whom the devill doth drive.” ~~ John Heywood (c. 1565) — Proverbes, Part ii, Chap. vii ~~

“As you know, I planned a trip out there for some time, so it fits in very nicely.” ~~ president George Bush, on his trip to LA after the riots ~~

“Nobody goes to bed hungry in America” — R. Reagan

“Politicians aren’t born, they are excreted.” — Cicero

“That it should come to this!” ~~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act i, Sc. 2 ~~

The above five-star pearl is a lead-in group, mostly aimed at those with whom the following discussion is concerned. Below you’ll find two links to articles discussing two separate, but related issues from the news yesterday, found in the UK Guardian’s US edition online. They are both in-depth pieces, with a bit of egregiously egotistic back patting in the first one, but, both are more involved, in-depth, and in tune with the truth than any news organization from the US I can find, with the most important issues made clear, the culpability of the responsible parties made obvious, and the downright evil prevarication by the FBI director laid out for all to see….

After those first two articles, I’ve also included an excellent column on the same subject by one of the Guardian’s staff opinion writers, named Trevor Timm. He gives a good summary of the exact points I wish to cover in his opening paragraph, which I’ve included as an excerpt, below the link. After that, I’ll have a few comments, and we’ll see how it goes from there…. Hitch up your belts, & make sure your backpacks are secured ffolkes, this could take a while…. but, as Lord Peter has been known to say, “This ain’t a joke, Charles! It’s important. Damn important!”…..

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/16/-sp-revealed-whisper-app-tracking-users

“Whisper acknowledged that it researches the location of specific users it believes are posting newsworthy information, but emphasised it typically uses GPS data.

Whisper stressed the IP location data it uses for people who have asked not to be followed is rough and unreliable.

“We occasionally look at user IP addresses internally to determine very approximate location,” the company said. “User IP addresses may allow very coarse location to be determined to the city, state or country level.”

It added: “Whisper does not request or store any personally identifiable information from users, therefore there is never a breach of anonymity. From time to time, when a user makes a claim of a newsworthy nature, we review the user’s past activity to help determine veracity.”

The company strongly rejected any assertion of wrongdoing. “The Guardian’s assumptions that Whisper is gathering information about users and violating user’s privacy are false,” it said. “The privacy of our users is not violated in any of the circumstances suggested in the Guardian story.”

Four days later, Whisper rewrote large sections of its terms of service and introduced an entirely new privacy policy.

Whereas the previous terms and conditions described all of Whisper’s tracking of user location as “voluntary”, the new terms now warn users to “bear in mind that, even if you have disabled location services, we may still determine your city, state, and country location”.

Since becoming aware that the Guardian planned to publish its story, the anonymous app has also inserted a new line into its privacy policy.

It now warns users that turning on the app’s geolocation feature may “allow others, over time, to make a determination as to your identity”.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/16/fbi-director-attacks-tech-companies-encryption

“…he recognised their embrace of encryption responded to “perceive[d]” market pressures in the wake of Snowden’s disclosures. But Comey suggested that end-to-end mobile device encryption amounted to a safe haven for criminals.

“Are we no longer a country that is passionate both about the rule of law and about their being no zones in this country beyond the reach of that rule of law? Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?” he said.
Comey acknowledged that the Snowden disclosures caused “justifiable surprise” among the public about the breadth of government surveillance, but hoped to mitigate it through greater transparency and advocacy.

Yet the FBI keeps significant aspects of its surveillance reach hidden even from government oversight bodies. Intelligence officials said in a June letter to a US senator that the FBI does not tally how often it searches through NSA’s vast hoards of international communications, without warrants, for Americans’ identifying information.
Comey frequently described himself as being technologically unprepared to offer specific solutions, and said he meant to begin a conversation, even at the risk of putting American tech companies at a competitive disadvantage.

“Where we may get is to a place where the US, through its Congress, says, ‘You know what, we need to force this on American companies,’ and maybe they’ll take a hit. Someone in some other country will say, ‘Ah, we sell a phone that even with lawful authority people can’t get into.’ But that we as a society are willing to have American companies take that hit. That’s why we have to have this conversation,” Comey said

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/17/government-internet-backdoor-surveillance-fbi

“FBI director James Comey wants a US government-mandated backdoor into your iPhone and your Google account. But Comey doesn’t want to call his proposed privacy invasion a backdoor. He doesn’t understand how it would work. And he expects everyone who has been horrified by the NSA’s mass surveillance to just sit back, weaken their personal security and trust that the government will never abuse it.

Comey also claimed on Thursday that the “Post-Snowden pendulum” needs to swing back in favor of the government, neglecting to mention Congress has passed literally zero laws reigning in government surveillance. In fact, the main reason the major tech companies are pushing forward with encryption is because the government refuses to follow the will of the people and curtail the NSA’s powers at all. If Comey wanted a careful debate about the right balance of privacy and security before decisions like Apple’s are made, like he also said on Thursday night, maybe he should’ve advocated for that when the NSA was massively expanding their powers for years in complete secrecy.

Twitter tweet October 16, 2014: “Comey’s right: Deployment of strong crypto should be preceded by thoughtful debate. Which we had & correctly resolved 15 years ago.— Julian Sanchez (@normative)

So while we break out the world’s smallest violin as Jim Comey complains about the “Post-Snowden pendulum”, remember: the US government, through its own secret actions, brought this on themselves.”

“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” — Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Star Wars”

I can’t say, with any degree of accuracy, but, I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard such a load of pure bullshit, straight from the bull’s butt, in a very, very long time…. When Richard Nixon raised his peace sign fingers, and stated, “I am not a crook.”, was probably the last time…. I swear, this man, this Comey, who heads up the FBI, obviously has the lowest opinion of the American public’s intelligence of almost anyone I’ve ever seen…. The demon-spawn from hell, Newt Gargoyle, or Gribble, or Grinch, Grngich, or whatever his weird-ass name was, came close on a regular basis, as did that ghoul, Dick Cheney, but, this Über-cop, this gestapo at the head of our nation’s largest domestic police force has, I believe. taken the cake….

Moreover, he implies that anyone who doesn’t support his, and the government’s, grab for power over every aspect of our lives is unpatriotic, a cowardly enemy of American principles, which, according to HIM, start (and, by implication, end…) with submissive respect for the “rule of law”, suggesting that the American public should feel privileged to allow them to have access to ALL of their private information…. Of course, the implied insult here is that only criminals and other unsavory characters should have something to hide from them, and their oh-so-perfect moral position….

What a crock of shit! I can’t say it any plainer than that…. and, I’ve probably said enough by now, anyway…. I’ll leave you with one last wake-up pearl, to think about when you’re assigning blame for what is happening in today’s world….. The FBI director, in his remarks, asks what he considers a rhetorical question, to wit:

“Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad guys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?”

I can only answer with a resounding “Yes, we have! We have lost ALL trust in the police. and the government, with good reason. I wouldn’t trust you to tell me the correct time!”

Well, I might not say that last part to his face, maybe, but, I can assure you, I’d want to, very badly, and would have to exert significant effort of will to refrain from doing so…. though, why I would bother, I don’t know…..

“Who’s the more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?” — Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Star Wars”

I was going to leave it at that, but, as I finished, I received an email from EFF, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit activism organization made up of people, like me, and, hopefully, y’all, who are concerned with keeping the internet free of corporate influence and government oppression, to guarantee the open, free interchange of ideas and communication that characterizes how it is supposed to be, as intended by those who created it…. They are one of the entities who brought suit against the government about this issue, in a suit which is now about to be heard by the Supreme Court, along with several others they have supported, or helped to organize…

Below, I have included three links to articles on their home site, which speak to the information and issues of which we spoke above in this section. Each article clearly explains how the government and other entities are trying to subvert the internet, making it a tool for oppression, rather than a tool for expanding human knowledge and culture…. These explain how the government, and their myrmidons, the police, are working to take away the usefulness of having such a means to spread knowledge, wanting instead to keep it for their own use, which involves the control over our lives they so desperately desire….

Good info, ffolkes, well researched and written, very clearly presented…. I’ve donated to this one, which I don’t do, as a rule, but, they’re working hard to protect US, that is, YOU and ME, so, they deserve my support…. If nothing else, it will give you an idea of how the situation stands today….

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/even-golden-key-can-be-stolen-thieves-simple-facts-apples-encryption-decision

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/09/computercop-dangerous-internet-safety-software-hundreds-police-agencies

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/nsa-mind-bender-wont-tell-info-already-leaked-media/

“The best way to lose freedom is not to do anything.” — Smart Bee

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Comedy_Tragedy

A Dubiously Soft Morning

Idiosyncratic images, clamoring for regard,
fill up the white, white screen on which I view
my life, never seeing, nor invited to sup
ambrosial remnants of anything new.

Still, yet almost in motion, allegory sails away
bobbing gently, quick and easy to find,
signs of one happy child, seriously at play,
blissfully immersed, focused joy in mind.

Formidable cries of outraged simple justice
echo plaintive relevance, in half the time.
Maladaptive infants, destined for hospice
salvage an only child, daring to sing in rhyme.

Creativity equals unquestioning farce,
often reaching for absurdity, brazenly afire.
Instead, a blow is felt no joy will ever soften,
accepting the price, added to the cost of desire.

~~ gigoid ~~

7/26/2013

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About Hopi Indian Symbols
Since we’re cheating full out today, here is an old, old-school pearl, with a rather ironic beginning, just to keep things confusing, as if today’s effort here weren’t enough. It’s a good one, though, so, enjoy!….

From 9/18/2014:

In order to say there is at least one fresh section today, I offer for your consideration the following old-school pearl, a random, harlequin style, with no obvious parameters…. often, these turn out to be the very best kind, so, we can hope…..

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they cannot find them, make them.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

“Forgive me my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense.” — Robert Frost

“You can’t make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you’re doing is recording it.” — Art Buchwald

“Certum est quia impossibile est.” [It is certain because it is impossible.] — Tertullian (160-240 AD) — De Carne Christi, c. 5

“One truth stands firm. All that happens in world history rests on something spiritual. If the spiritual is strong, it creates world history. If it is weak, it suffers world history.” — Albert Schweitzer

“Destiny is but a phrase of the weak human heart – the dark apology for every error. The strong and virtuous admit no destiny. On earth conscience guides; in heaven God watches. And destiny is but the phantom we invoke to silence the one and dethrone the other.” — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“He declared that he knew nothing, except the fact of his ignorance.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Socrates, xvi

Works every time…..

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‘T is done, and, done to death, I’d say. I’ll skip the usual witty repartee, if such as this can be so labeled, and leave you to the rest of your day. I hope you enjoyed this little journey through the past. I’ll be back tomorrow, most likely, but, hopefully, with some material a bit fresher than today. In any case, we’re outta here, and now…. See ya, ffolkes. Count on it…..

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
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

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Image

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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Abject traces of bellicose faces….

Ffolkes,

“As men, we are all equal in the presence of death.”

~~ Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 1 ~~

pub cork

Different day, different pub ~~ Cork, Ireland

Note the perfect Guinness waiting at the tap….


Hajime…. Hmm… Where to begin? No doubt, the beginning would be best, so, let’s start there. Good morrow, I think. I can’t be entirely positive, but, saying so often sets the tone, so, we’ll go with that. I’d ask how y’all are doin’, but, that would be silly, since you’re not really here yet. A distinct possibility exists you will never be here, but, if I thought too hard about that, it would probably make me crazier than I already am; I don’t think that would be wise today, as the drive to crazy would be very short, indeed.

Ah, well, such is life as a retired dilettante, I suppose. I can’t really complain, as I have a roof, warmth, ample food, and a magic cat; many people don’t have any of that, even at my age…. and, isn’t THAT a proper indictment of our society? I’d say so, but, if I did, that would be ranting in the intro again, and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that any more. It would probably be a good idea for me to avoid ranting altogether today, I think; anything that came out would be suspect, for sure and for certain. In fact, I suspect we ought to leave this right here, and use this little button again, to get us down the page to the next section. Hold on, it can be a little bumpy with this one….

Shall we Pearl?….

“If one sticks too rigidly to one’s principles,
one would hardly see anybody.”

~~ Agatha Christie~~


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    Today’s video selection is a two hour compilation of classical music, combined with a screensaver slide-show of fine art photographs. I have yet to watch or listen, but, it sounds lovely, and the picture it displayed was certainly fine art…. Enjoy!….

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Classical Music

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    It may not seem like it, but, it’s been a tough morning. The current rant isn’t done yet, either, so, here is a lighter piece, an old-school pearl with comments, to take the place of anything fresh, or reasonably coherent…. Enjoy, ffolkes; this may be the best I’ve got today…. Too bad I wrote it almost four years ago….

From 9/12/2012:

This is an old school pearl for your reading pleasure, or nearest approximation of same…. a bit different, with some internal comments from yours truly (in parentheses for your convenience….), to give directional hints that may or may not lead you to the point being developed…. but, funny, at least, as much as I can make them….

“… But when he [the people’s champion] has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.” — Plato (428-348? B.C.), “The Republic”

(When I read this, or sentiments like it, I always get a picture in my head of the two Bushes…. GW and GHW, otherwise known as the Senior Shrub and the Junior Shrub, or vice versa…. The national mourning that took place yesterday is the best example of their work in this arena….)

“My first American ancestor, gentlemen, was an Indian-an early Indian.  Your ancestors skinned him alive, and I am an orphan.  All those Salem witches were ancestors of mine.  Your people made it tropical for them…. The first slave brought into New England out of Africa was an ancestor of mine-for I am a mixed breed, an infinitely shaded and exquisite Mongrel.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)

(Me too! I loved this when I first saw it, back in High School, a VERY LONG time ago… so long ago, it was hot off the press…… The best part is, every one of those folks who believe themselves to be blue-blooded Americans are exactly the same make-up… There are very few real pure-bloods left anywhere in the world, and certainly not in a country with the diverse population we have….. we’re all, technically speaking, close to being “mutts”, every one of us…..)

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” — Galbraith’s Law

(I am reminded of those folks who are busy trying to convince everyone that they aren’t against Obama because he’s black, and then turn around and support R&R, who have all but guaranteed to return racism and bigotry to government….. Hell, just look at one of their primary talking point slogans, the key part of which is, and I quote, “…we’ll take America back….” Take it back? From whom? From other Americans? Does this mean the current government aren’t real Americans? That sounds suspiciously of both racism, AND treason, to me…..)

“The clinching proof of my reasoning is that I will cut anyone who argues further into dog meat.” — Sir Geoffery de Tourneville (ca. 1350)

(Ah, the good old days…. sometimes, I wish we would see someone in the House, or the Senate, say this at the end of a speech, just to see if anyone is paying attention…)

“Somewhere in suburban Honolulu, an unemployed bellhop is whipping up a batch of illegal psilocybin chop suey!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

(Okay, I admit it… this one isn’t part of the message inherent in the other quotes…. I just like it….. Though, now that I think about it, the fact that it is entirely possible this is true, does say something about the subject at hand, to wit: society and government thereof…. What it says could be paraphrased as “If God is in charge here, I am angry; if He is not, I am frightened….” — Smart Bee)

No one ever made laws keeping people from making fools of themselves. — Smart Bee

(This is a wonderful end point for this discussion, or at least, it is such an ending for the discussion going on in my head….. I think this is very, very true, sadly…. Moreover, I believe that the laws we do pass actually are the proof of the pudding, in terms of people making fools of themselves…. especially when we try to legislate morality…..)

That’s enough mental torture for one day….. I hope the conclusion these quotes led to is clear…. if not, well, that’s okay, because I never hold quizzes…. and hopefully, you got a chuckle or two from reading it…. and if not, well, console yourself with the fact that it is done…..

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Comedy_Tragedy

Off the proverbial cuff….

I never meant to kill that period of time,
it didn’t give me any choice.
It tried to hem me in without reason, or rhyme,
refused me any vote, or any voice.

You have to admit, I buried it deep and fast,
just as if I cared.
I knew, though, it would never last,
or ever be fully repaired.

No news, no pictures can bring it back,
once is all we get.
No pleas of public good, or even public lack;
in stone the past is set.

Futuristic visions now occupy my dreams,
I’m ready to go on.
Look! It fills up the screen, and it gleams!
Where’s the moment I’m sitting on?

Now, I remembered, at long, long last,
is all we really can hold.
Every moment goes by so bloody fast,
we’d best fill them all with beauty, warm and bold.

~~ gigoid ~~

4/30/2013


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Naked Pearls

Random Notes On Being Human

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“Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled,–
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world.”

~~ Alexander Pope — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 13 ~~

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“Catch the wind, see it spin, sail away, live the day way up high in the sky.”

~~ Jimmy Page and Robert Plant ~~

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“It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider
that the limit of our power of perception
is also the limit of all there is to perceive.”

~~  C. W. Leadbeater ~~

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“Time will explain it all. He is a talker, and needs no questioning before he speaks.”

~~ Euripides ~~

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“All the magick of creation exists within a single, tiny seed.”

~~ Magi ~~

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“A truly wise man never plays leapfrog with a Unicorn.”

~~ Ancient Human proverb ~~

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“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change
and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate
is strength undefeatable.”

~~ Helen Keller ~~

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“Once you can accept the universe
as being something expanding
into an infinite nothing which is something,
wearing stripes with plaid is easy.”

~~ Albert Einstein ~~

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Whatever far-off world exists,
dearer to man than life itself,
 darkness keeps it in her arms,
and shrouds it in a cloud.

 No one has found a way beyond,
What lies beneath is unrevealed,
 Adrift upon a glittering stream,
We sigh for some still nameless thing.”

~~ Euripides, “Hippolytus” ~~


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I am fairly certain it’s done; I went over it all, and there is enough in each section to make the grade, even if it isn’t an A, or even a B, today. So be it. The mere fact it is done is a testament to the process of creating Pearls, which has evolved to the point of near independence. Sure it has. On that delusional note, I think it would be best if I just say, see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, when you’ll see yet another attempt to get this right. Don’t hold your breath, though; it could be late…. See ya….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
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

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


A period of swiftly diminishing returns….

Ffolkes,

“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”

~~ Marcus Aurelius ~~

Zack at Christmas 12-28-2012 003

    Gosh…. now that I really look at it, that’s a pretty nice picture, isn’t it? I put it there just because I had it, sort of; I took it a few days ago while on the way to visit with my grandson for Christmas…. a more memorable occasion than it sounds, as it is the first time I’d had the opportunity to see him at Christmas since he was born. I’m glad the picture turned out so nicely…. Now, when I get my printer up & running again, I can print a copy of this, as a reminder of the day….  The short video I shot will also be nice to have to look at when I think of him, or of my son, and our first holiday together as a family with three generations…. That’s a nice piece of serendipity….

Such a nice surprise helps; I’m still a bit unsteady, but, after a good talk with a friend, and a semi-successful battle yesterday, I feel somewhat more centered today…. There is more turbulence to come though, so, I’m not making any promises as to how much longer I’ll feel like doing this…. At the moment, I can see there is still too much inside me that will do better out than in (as almost everything is….), so, we’ll complete this Pearl before we make any binding decisions….

I can’t say for sure if that is good news, or bad news for y’all…. I suppose you’ll have to take Hobson’s choice, and be happy with it, won’t you? Besides, you’re stuck now…. We’ve already left the terminal, and are now 11,000 feet in the air…. Not a good time to head back to the ticket stand…

I won’t even bother to make any predictive statements as to whether or not I can pull this off…. I’m no politico, who will lie to you, straight-faced, without ever having any intention of doing what I say. Nor am I a bozo, (at the moment…. that may change at any time….), who will try to distract you with humor, or a mess, or a snack. I am, however, a realist, and a gentleman, so, that’s something, I suppose…. You can call me a fool, you can call me a radical, you can call me a cab, and that’s okay…. just don’t call me late for dinner….

“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” — Willie Wonka

It is an established fact that nonsense has saved my sanity on a number of occasions, too, so, we’re rather fond of it around here…. Not that we depend on it very often, but, it serves us well, and is always welcome…. In this particular case, it has saved us from the ignominious display of maudlin reminiscence, or otherwise mildly embarrassing emotionally-charged crap that might otherwise have ensued…. Whew! It may not be apparent, ffolkes, but, we just dodged a big bullet, I think…. So big, I think we’d best get on with this, if we have any hope of ever getting done…..

Shall we Pearl?

“He who knows does not speak, He who speaks does not know.” — Lao Tzu

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In an attempt to maintain some balance, let’s go with a bit more nonsense, okay?…. Okay!…. This is just about as much nonsense as can be found; these fools need no introduction, I should think…


The Three Stooges — Three Little Pirates (1946)

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“The one duty we owe to history is to rewrite it.” — Oscar Wilde, _Intentions_, “The Critic as Artist.”

I would bet that 99% of Americans alive today are completely unaware that they are at war, not with any foreign powers that wish to destroy our way of life, but, with various branches of their own government, which has been treating them as adversaries since the end of WWII, when the NSA first began its ongoing campaign to monitor ALL communications between ALL people in the ENTIRE world….

At this point, they have been approximately, (from what I can surmise from what information is available…) 75% effective in learning methods to intercept and utilize the information that is exchanged between people, via telephone, snail mail, email, internet data transfers, even private conversations, face to face, in almost any place, anywhere in the world, if they so desire…. It takes extreme measures to communicate with anyone without them having access to the information that is sent and received; a very few encrypted systems, and a very few physical places on the planet which are safe from their eyes, ears, and electronic surveillance technology….

Be afraid…. be very afraid..

Still not convinced?…. Try reading this, and some of what has come before in this saga….

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/26/aclu-nsa-documents-christmas-eve-lessens-impact

Well, duh! Of course they did…. After the article, there is a group of good articles summarizing timeline events in the ongoing saga of the NSA, and its ongoing war against the American public…. as well as the people of the entire world…. Nobody is safe from their prying, at all, and they continue to distract, hide, and fight any attempts to either rein them in, or shut them down…. But, then, what did we expect? Moral, ethical behavior? From the same people who have been doing this for over 65 years?…. I think it’s more than a bit naive to expect any such thing….

I wish I could come up with a solution that didn’t involve killing them all; that only plays into their strengths, and puts me at their level, karmically speaking…. Not going there, yet…. The day may come, but, for now, I’ll keep on shouting out whenever I see their chicanery, and encourage any and all trouble we can give them in return, without abrogating my own standards…. a tough row to hoe, but, been there, done that, so, oh well….

I had thought to let this go at this point, but, the following article caught my eye, as more proof of the lies, and the disregard for our rights that has been the hallmark of this “transparent” administration, under which we have lost more of our freedoms, than under any previous president…. and that, sadly, includes BOTH of the Shrubs…. This article describes how little they care anymore; they aren’t even bothering to pretend not to be hiding information….

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/the-nsas-ongoing-effort-to-hide-its-lawbreaking/384079/?single_page=true

Excerpted from the article:

“These actions do not represent mere violations of NSA policies… but willful violations of the law… If you, citizen, were caught illegally using an NSA database to check up on that girl you met on OkCupid, what do you think would happen?

Do you reckon that you’d get a cease-and-desist letter — or that you’d be scooped up by a team of thick-necked men with very short haircuts and dumped in the darkest oubliette Uncle Sam has available? …This is an inversion of the right order. In a sane society, people entrusted with state power — from NSA agents down to traffic cops — would be held to a higher standard rather than a lower one, and sanctioned more severely for wrongdoing rather than less.”

“The contest for ages has been to rescue liberty from the grasp of executive power.” — Daniel Webster

Unfortunately, ffolkes, it’s too late; this happened a few years ago, when the Supreme Court sided with Wall Street, and approved the formation of Super PAC’s as legitimate organizations, with full sanction to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the election process…. The Supremes, you see, were one of the first branches to fall under the influence of corporate money, back in the 1800’s when they first approved the laws that made corporations “people”, ensuring that corporate rights would be preserved over those of humans….

Oh well…. Since there’s nothing to be done now, unless I want to buy a gun, I guess I’ll just go have a whiskey, or twelve, and try to forget it for a while…. Well, that, or I’ll find more articles, and be back again to rail against the assholes who are killing us all, and don’t care, as long as they can get theirs….

“How many Kennedys does it take to change a light bulb? None, at least until we get some corroborating witnesses.”– Smart Bee

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is another of my own poems, recently rediscovered, so to speak…. I thought at first this was a different poem, but, the title is a metaphor, which I’d forgotten…. It refers to Asininnies, and their shenanigans on the public stage, not the weather….

From 9/18/2012:

November Dreams of Spring

Crass and cold, the beggar finds me swollen, so frail and fat
with painful stepping motions, running, like a Republicrat.
Building with straw and spittle, should artists come aground,
we all pay heavily, a billion for a bloody pound.

Too desperate, too ashamed to play such a part
We ask for belief, and sweet liberty, dressing up so smart.
It falls between the simple cracks, always in a hurry
To find a shrunken ego, ashen, swift, and full of worry.

Never there was a more penitent group, such a sterling way
To fast in luxury, making sure the guilty enter, but do not stay.
Forgotten gods can find their diffident suitors tonight
With dream-fitted convention, and a natural sense of delight.

For all the silken babies cried, to see the broken dreams of power
forgiven moments of certitude serve, filling up the maiden’s bower.
All the patient, loving veterans of ancient foreign time,
give up their first impressions, dying, dying for a rhyme.

~~ gigoid ~~


Odd, isn’t it, how we sometimes fall into a trance to write…. or, maybe that’s just me…. ah well, regardless, enjoy!….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The pearl you see below is one of the special ones… I know because it picked itself, so to speak…. It’s a bit hard to describe, sometimes, exactly how that works, but, the point to this one is pretty much made clear, if nowhere else, at the ending…. Enjoy, ffolkes, it’s all pretty good food for thought…. Personally, I like number five, too….

“Fear is strange soil. Mainly it grows obedience like corn, which grows in rows and makes weeding easy. But sometimes it  grows the potatoes of defiance, which flourish underground.” — Terry Pratchett, _Small Gods_

“Freedom is found in no form of government; it is in the heart of the free man. He takes it with him everywhere. — Smart Bee

“Alienation without must be accompanied by alienation within; that is the law for every social level, even individuals. To harm one’s fellows, even one’s enemies, harms you, takes away some essential element from your self-respect and self-image.” — Greg Bear

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“How prone to doubt, how cautious are the wise!” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xiii, Line 375

“Life is too short for grief. Or regret. Or bullshit.” — Edward Abbey

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s done, and, while it remains a surprise, I’m going to take my leave, post haste, stage left, taking my sanity, such as it is, with me…. Not that it is of much use out here in the Big Blue Room, but, at least it’s safe in my pocket…. If things continue to look up, I’ll see y’all tomorrow…

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

How much for the colorful ceramic penguins?…..

Ffolkes,

Thoughts and fears of many years are with me tonight; company for the lonely man. Yet nothing I’ve thought or felt is truly mine, for time wins all the small battles in life, and steals away even our youth…. Elegantly, the universe falls apart, with beauty, grace, tears, and blood…. We are all victims of entropy, still cowering at the noise of the Big Bang, unsure, even at this late date, that we are truly God, as intended from the first. If I didn’t know better, I’d believe it is too late; as it is, it will be our early out, sent to bed with no dinner, no cigar, and no hope…. Reality’s teeth are sharp…..

Well…. that’s…. well, that’s something, that is…. I can’t quite say just what that may be, but, that’s something, for sure…. I kind of like it; it’s a bit odd, but, consistent, and quite lovely in some respects…. It can stay, even if it doesn’t MEAN anything in particular… though, in looking at it, it COULD be a rather depressive view of Reality…. I think, instead, we’ll regard it as just another fantasy; it works a bit better that way, and won’t cause so much folderol if we use that as our basic premise…. Not that there is any penalty for being wrong, other than your confusion….

Now that has been made as clear as it can be, (not very, I admit…) we can get on with our usual affairs, such as they may be in this state of mind. What state is that? I’m not sure, but it might just be some sort of physical state, like ice on the verge of melting, a very poignant moment…. The air in here today is a little heady, I’m afraid; not sure why. I woke up rested, if not completely comfortable, and feel okay, all in all…. It’s my head that is feeling strange….. I suppose, one could say that is relatively normal, for me, but, if they did say that, I’d have to object, if only for form….

Objections aside, how do you think this is going? I’m sort of trying a new Joyceian-style stream of consciousness kind of writing…. It’s fun, and a real challenge to keep from going completely off the rails. I’m not entirely sure it’s what will be our final format for the intro, but, it’s working today, in a manner of speaking…. I’m already at the legal limit, so that’s good….. Now, if I can only figure out how to get us out of here with some style….

I know, we’ll just use method #4, the old standby…. It always works, just because it’s so damn ruthless…. Oh well, nobody’s ever been hurt, and what’s a few articles of clothing in the bigger picture, eh? Nothing important, I’m sure… In any case, I’m going to put it to work now, so, hang on….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Hurting yourself is not sinful — just stupid.” — Robert Heinlein

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I like the quote above by Heinlein; it’s a part of his philosophy of life with which I’ve always identified strongly. It actually has a piece that precedes this line, which makes it only more powerful as a guide to living…. that piece states, “Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other “sins” are invented nonsense.,” a statement that, to me, makes the whole thing perfect as a rule of thumb for being moral and ethical in one’s dealings with others…. It also places religious dogma in its proper place, i.e., identifying it as superfluous nonsense that has no actual counterpart in reality…..

I’m not going to start ranting on religious dogma now, though this has been a relatively perfect lead-in for such a discussion; instead I’ll refer you to my archives, where you can find any number of such rants…. For today, I’ve brought in some pictures, one I stole borrowed from a web site, and the others from my camera…. Let’s see what sort of mess Smart Bee and I can make of them, okay? Okay!…..

Picture: Xinhua /Landov / Barcroft Media / London Daily Telegraph

Picture: Xinhua /Landov / Barcroft Media / London Daily Telegraph

______________________________________________________

“There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know. So why fret about it?” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert Heinlein


Okay, so, I lied, a little…. I’m still not going to rant about this, but, this statement, to me, puts the lie to just about EVERYTHING the religious cults have tried to pummel into your brain ever since you were knee high to a duck, or, in this case, a really cute wolf pup. The pup seems to be saying something, or trying to make a point somehow, so why not imagine him making a really good point of philosophical realism, rather than some jokey little stuff to try to pull out a chuckle…. This, I think, is much classier, if a bit harder for some folks to swallow…. Oh well, I suppose you could say that about ALL of reality….

June 6-7 2014 003“I don’t like to commit myself about heaven and hell – you see, I have friends in both places.” — Mark Twain

Hmm…. We seem to be sticking to a theme today, and I don’t have anything to do with it; Smart Bee keeps throwing these up in front of me…. What else can I do, but, go along with the program…. The picture above was taken while riding one of the buses I must use to get around town these days…. It’s a picture that shows some of the land for sale here in this city, where the economic downturn in the last couple of decades, (for which we can thank our good ol’ buddy, Ronnie the Reagan….), has turned much of the area into a ghost town, at least by appearances….

Yep, ffolkes, we here in Amurrica are STILL trying to get over the application of “trickle down” theory that was his byword, a theory which did a real number on our economy, sending it straight down the tubes, as intended…. Thanks to the Reagan years, which were then augmented and made worse by the Bush years (16 years of financially ruinous insanity by the Shrubs has taken the last almost eight years to just get back to where we were in the 70’s….), the entire economic system we live under was usurped for the exclusive benefit of the rich and powerful, in a blatant period of not-so-covert manipulation of the world’s money markets, solely to benefit those at the top of the heap, and keep those at the bottom just where they are….

Ah, but he was such a great communicator, wasn’t he? Well, when he could stay awake long enough to remember his lines, I guess so…. I always thought he was more of a strict asshole than anything else; his smarm tended to get on my clothes, whenever I forced myself to listen to him, and I really hated that smug expression he’d get when he was manipulating the public…. He pulled the wool over so many eyes, I’m surprised anyone at all could even see him…. but, I guess that was the idea…. It kept attention on him, while his cronies were busy rifling the treasury….

It’s all commonly held knowledge, ffolkes, for anyone who can actually read…. The evidence of what I’ve just said is all there, in black and white; all it takes is for someone to look at it with clear, unprejudiced eyes, and mind…. Rather than the heroic icon he made himself out to be, Reagan was the worst political disaster of the twentieth century for the American people…. The rich folks loved him, as did the stupid…. and they still do…. If they admitted what he did, they would have to admit their own foolishness at being conned, and they would rather keep on being stupid, than admit to any such thing….

June 6-7 2014 004“Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love.” — Albert Einstein

Beauty needs no explanation, as with love, and the only reason this is here… This is one of those serendipity pictures, which I took while literally on the move…. I was waiting on a bus, & spotted this little flower bush in the center of the street, with some other plants…. I was taking the picture when the bus pulled up, and had to do it quickly, so as not to miss my ride…. It came out really well for such a hurried shot, so, I’m using it, just because they’re such pretty flowers… and I’m such a closet romantic….

June 6-7 2014 001 (2)“Look into my eyes and try to forget that you have a Macy’s charge card!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Sometimes, Zippy is more profound than anything I’ve ever seen in a King James Bible…. To my mind, this reeks of social irony, and could be the rallying cry for the revolution, when it comes…. Or, maybe not; it’s hard to tell with all the stuff we have to wade through, but, this isn’t any worse than any of the crap I hear on TV, or from the pulpits of this country…. and it’s certainly much more honest and forthright than anything we’ve heard out of Washington D.C. in the last eight years….

Okay, I’m done fooling around with this format…. besides, I’m out of pictures…. My back and hips have kept me from getting out and about for a few days now, so new pictures have been hard to come by, unless taken from the Net, like the wolf pup…. Ah well, such is life in the big city, and since I’m retired, I’m trying to cut back on my whining….. It’s not working, is it?…. Oh well….

Y’know, maybe there’s more to this blogging stuff than I thought…. Then again, who cares? It’s all a wash, when you consider that even though I publish for all to see who can access it, some of those who access it are people in windowless rooms, in a building somewhere in D.C., where faceless myrmidons of the government are listening to everything we write, and publish anywhere on the Net, over our phones, or, no doubt, on paper….

How many of you would care to wager the NSA can also read snail mail, at their demand? We all know that the government can intercept mail; it’s been happening for a long while, and is nothing new….. This whole NSA spying issue is merely an extension of that kind of activity, which governments will perform any time they feel threatened….

I’d better bring this to a close, before it begins to resemble an actual rant, rather than a disjointed effort to create a new format for pearls…. I’m guessing one more aphorism should do the trick…. Yeah, that’s the ticket….

“Cleverness is not wisdom.” — Euripides

Oops! We’d best go on; I’m pulling my covers here….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This poet needs little introduction; just make sure you are prepared to feel real…..

Are You Drinking?

washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook
out again
I write from the bed
as I did last
year.
will see the doctor,
Monday.
“yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-
aches and my back
hurts.”
“are you drinking?” he will ask.
“are you getting your
exercise, your
vitamins?”
I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
fluctuating
factors.
even at the track
I watch the horses run by
and it seems
meaningless.
I leave early after buying tickets on the
remaining races.
“taking off?” asks the motel
clerk.
“yes, it’s boring,”
I tell him.
“If you think it’s boring
out there,” he tells me, “you oughta be
back here.”
so here I am
propped up against my pillows
again
just an old guy
just an old writer
with a yellow
notebook.
something is
walking across the
floor
toward
me.
oh, it’s just
my cat
this
time.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Having ranted sufficiently, if not overly thoroughly, found a proper, fitting poem to accompany the work, my reward for such efficiency is an old-school pearl, naturally…. If I can just get this knife out of my hip for a little while, all would be very cool…. Ah well, maybe diving will make it ease off a bit; it’s worth a shot…. No set parameters here today; what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG, for those among you that speak geekish….)…. I’d brace myself, but, that’s just me…. Y’all can do what you want….

Liar, n.: A lawyer with a roving commission. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Cheese food is not cheese.” — Mom’s Hint #052

“Hope is nature’s veil for hiding truth’s nakedness.” — Alfred Bernhard Nobel (1833-1896)

“Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must  have somebody to divide it with.” — Mark Twain

“A new broom sweeps clean, but never trust an old saw.” — James Thurber

“Good God,” said Arthur, “it looks just like the sea front at Southend.”
“I’m relieved to hear you say that,” said Ford.
“Why”
“Because I thought I must be going mad.”
“Perhaps you are. Perhaps you only thought I said it.”
Ford thought about this. “Well, did you say it, or didn’t you?” he asked.
“I think so,” said Arthur.
“Well, perhaps we’re both going mad.”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “we’d be mad, all things considered, to think this was Southend.”
“Well, do you think this is Southend?”
“Oh, yes”
“So do I.”
“Therefore we must be mad.”
“Nice day for it.”
“Yes,” said a passing maniac.
“Who was that?” asked Arthur.
“Who–the man with the five heads and the elderberry bush full of kippers?”
“Yes.”
“I don’t know. Just someone.”
“Ah.”

— From The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

“Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess.” — Gandalf the Grey

Y’know, sometimes, this just works better than other times…. This is one of those times….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Well, my mind’s been goin’ through these changes,” he sang, blithely ignoring the time and space…. Then, realizing where he was, he came back from the edge of insanity, to bid his guests goodbye…. and with that little declension, I’m back…. to bid thee adieu until tomorrow, in the firm belief there will BE a tomorrow…. for now…. See ya, 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

Don’t fret, it’s only a faux-artichoke impression…..

Ffolkes,

Today is, of course, a day of infamy in this country, and though I’ve never really explored the events of that day in depth, I have expressed my thoughts to a small degree in previous posts on this blog. I suppose one could say that my view of the events is rather different than the normal run of reactions, since I firmly believe that, though it may or may not have been ordered by one of the shrubs (probably the senior, in defense of the junior, who was in serious trouble at the time of the attack, belabored by accusations of election fixing and general political malfeasance), was certainly used by them and their cronies to not only cement junior’s position, but to fan the flames of paranoid fear among the populace, in order to continue the assault on the Bill or Rights that has been raging for years….

I realize the intro section is not the place to rant, on ANY subject, but, the day’s significance to the public cannot be denied, and who am I to refrain from using it just like any other journalist or writer, to fuel my own production with emotionally charged material, taking advantage of the hullabaloo to add my voice to the cacophony that will assail our ears today? No, indeed, I’m as unprincipled as the best of them when it comes to using whatever is at hand to write about; I’m not so sanguine as to think what I have to say will sway any opinions, or cause any new conniptions amongst the elite, but, it does keep me off the streets, for the most part….

However, I have to say this…. Most folks, and even ffolkes, in this country, see the attacks that took place on 9/11/11 as military, or at minimum, terrorist attacks on the US, aimed at the people who live here, and seen as a battle in a war that is going on between us and much of the Muslim world….. I, however, see it as merely another example of the extremity of the human spirit, wherein insane, religious fanatics were manipulated by members of the BRC, (specifically one who was formerly head of the world’s most infamous spy agency), into performing what was actually a brilliant tactical maneuver (when viewed dispassionately, the attacks MUST be considered brilliant strategy, as the military objectives were reached with minimal expenditure of effort on the part of the executing team, utilizing materials at hand to cause major property damage, and significant casualties, even if those casualties were civilian, and not military….), all of which was carried out on the world’s stage for maximum effect.

Most of the people who reacted so strongly in the wake of the events of 9/11 did so without ever considering the larger picture. They only looked at what happened from the standpoint of being victimized, and, in the final analysis, are even more ignorant, and more easily manipulated now, than they were on that day. I am speaking of the public’s reaction; I don’t think that much of what we heard from the BRC has any real meaning, as any surprise they showed was pure method acting, and all of their rote responses were straight from the script they were provided when they became working members of the cultural elite.

Yes, ffolkes, I believe the whole thing was a conspiracy, and though I cannot point any fingers at specific culprits, I can certainly identify the main group of them…. Since everything I write here is being scrutinized by the myrmidons employed by the NSA to protect the BRC’s investment in political and societal manipulation, I hesitate to actually name names; once I do that, they have ample reason to come and take me away, to see whether I am holding any real, solid, on-paper evidence, or if I am only relating the ideas my intelligence and reasoning have deduced from the visible evidence. If the latter, I’m no real danger to them; they pretty much have complete control of the routes of perception for most of society, and can shut me down anytime, should they wish to do so.

If, however, I have real evidence, such as that made public by Eric Snowden, the first patriotic martyr of the twenty-first century, who has essentially given up on ever having a life, for telling the truth about the NSA, and providing solid, provable evidence for the public to see, then I am, as he is, a real danger to them, and they WILL do all they can to shut me down, as they have attempted to do to him…. He MAY still be alive (I have no evidence of that one way or another, and don’t exactly trust the news to tell the whole tale….), but, his life is all-but-over, for the political beast never forgets, and never forgives, especially when guilty of what they are accused of doing.

So, if the Pearls of Daily Wisdom ever fail to get posted, and there is no word from me as to why not, y’all will know they’ve come to “discuss” my theories with me, with the full intent of convincing me to shut the hell up…. If they continue to ignore me, you will continue to hear my ideas about the Beloved Ruling Class, and their campaign to take away all the liberties, to which we are presumably entitled, by the sacrifices made by the founders of this country.

Now that I’ve completely screwed up the order of events here, we’ll go on to the rest of today’s effort, little as it may turn out to be…. Shall we Pearl?….

Be what you is, ’cause if you is what you ain’t, then you ain’t what you is.” — Satchel Paige

“We would like to apologize for the way in which politicians are represented in this programme.  It was never our intention to imply that politicians are weak-kneed, political time-servers who are more concerned with their personal vendettas and private power struggles than the problems of government, nor to suggest at any point that they sacrifice their credibility by denying free debate on vital matters in the mistaken impression that party unity comes before the well-being of the people they supposedly represent, nor to imply at any stage that they are squabbling little toadies without an ounce of concern for the vital social problems of today.  Nor indeed do we intend that viewers should consider them as crabby ulcerous little self-seeking vermin with furry legs and an excessive addiction to a alcohol and certain explicit sexual practices which some people might find offensive.  We are sorry if this impression has come across.” — Monty Python
____________________________

When I began to gather the pearls for this old-school version, I intended for it to point out more about the subjects discussed in the introductory rant…. During that process, it turned on me, into the shape and style you see below…. Though it doesn’t exactly match what I’ve said above, it does have a lot to say about the society in which we live, and some of the ideas that can help us to better understand it, and our own position within that structure….. I think….

No one can see their reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.” — Taoist Proverb

“He who has a WHY to live for can bear with almost any HOW.” — F. Nietzsche

“You were born into a society which spelled out with brutal clarity, and in as many ways as possible, that you were a worthless human being. You were not expected to aspire to excellence;you were expected to make peace with mediocrity. Wherever you have turned, you have been told where you could go and what you could do ( and _how_  you could do it) and where you could live and whom you could marry. I know your countrymen do not agree with me about this, and I hear them saying, “You exaggerate.” — James Baldwin,_The Fire Next Time_, 1964

“For himself doth a man work evil in working evils for another.” — Hesiod (c. 700 BC) — Works and Days, Line 265

“All history shows that every man who has authority is led to abuse it; he does not stop until he comes up against limitations…Things must be so arranged that one authority checks another.” — Montesquieu

“Authority has always attracted the lowest elements in the human race. All through history, mankind has been bullied by scum. Those who lord it over their fellows and toss commands in every direction and would boss the grass in the meadow about which way to bend in the wind are the most depraved kind of prostitutes. They will submit to any indignity, perform any vile act, do anything to achieve power. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a democracy the whores are us.” — P.J. O’Rourke, _Parliament of Whores_

“Muddy water let stand becomes clear.” — Lao Tzu
____________________________

For most of us, this poem needs no introduction…. It also fits in very nicely with today’s apparent theme….

The Hollow Men

Mistah Kurtz-he dead
            A penny for the Old Guy

I

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

II

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer-

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

III

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

IV

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

V

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
 Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the
   
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

~~ T.S. Eliot ~~
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“If you can see a thing whole… it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives…But close up, a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. You need distance, interval. The way to see how beautiful the earth is, is to see it as the moon. The way to see how beautiful a life is, is to see it from the vantage point of death.” — Ursula K. Le Guin, Dispossessed

Ursula LeGuin is indubitably one of the world’s greatest living writers, of ANY kind of literature…. That may be my opinion, but, it is shared by many in the Science Fiction genre, and anyone else who has read her work. This is such a beautiful sentiment that I’m not going to degrade it with any of my own thoughts on the same subject…. There is nothing I could possibly write to make this better, or to enhance it in any way…. it stands alone….
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Well, it’s certainly a Pearl, so let’s see if it holds up to initial scrutiny….. Wow…. It’s nothing, if not epic, to be sure…. Hopefully, it isn’t so much it will drive ffolkes away when they see what they’re getting into….. Hope springs eternal, does it not? In any case, it’s done, and it ain’t bad, so, it will now suffer the fate of each of the last 810+ Pearls, and get posted forthwith…. See ya tomorrow….. Well, if I’m still free and able to type, anyway…. Ta then…..

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole,
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

Isn’t he just the bee’s knees?….

Ffolkes,
What we have here, is a failure…. to cogitate. A scary one, too, since I can’t seem to get a handle on how to fire up the ol’ neurons this morning…. Dendrite, schmendrite, send me your nerve impulses…. Nope, not working, and the mojo I found yesterday has rolled into a corner again…. Okay, hang on, I’ll see if one of the fuses went out….  Oh, yeah, I don’t have the upgrade installed yet; I’m still on the old tube and knob wiring, so, no fuses….

Damn! Now I’m going to have to resort to emergency procedure # 4, which I haven’t employed since setting it up…. Since at least three of the stages it passes through on the way to getting my brain functioning are only marginally legal, please stand back, and put on the blindfolds that are conveniently located in your seat’s pocket, on the left side there…. got them? Okay, let ‘er rip, Biff!…. Oooh! That’s impressive!…..

Good morning….. Emergency procedure # 4 was apparently successful, though I will have to rely on you all to supply me with any evidence of that…. From this side of the procedure, there is a degree of amnesia produced, that lasts a few days, then passes away, leaving no scars or memories of the less than pleasant process involved in using #4…. Rather handy, all in all, as it gets things moving, but doesn’t waste any time on congratulations or other extraneous activities, but allows me to get right to work…. Of course, it can take several weeks to get all my memory back, but, hey, I don’t use it all at once anyway…. Some sacrifices must be made to pursue one’s art, you know…

Now that I have once again provided y’all with ample proof of my insanity, or at least enough to make it worth wagering on, I should, no doubt, move on to the main portion of today’s virtual circus. It’s getting more and more chancy here in the intro section, what with the weird hours I’ve been keeping in the mornings…. Again, today, I was up at 0430;  it is now 0522, and all I’ve been able to come up with is this detritus, even WITH coffee on board….. Hence my use of the word ‘scary’ above….. The fertile fields of my mind are becoming a trifle depleted, methinks, which, given my output, shouldn’t be a surprise….

Well, no matter how scary it is, the rest of today’s effort calls to me, so I suppose I’d best start diving. In the interests of full disclosure, shut your eyes…. I had to use my old dive suit today, and the pattern has been known to cause seizures if one gazes at it too long…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just keep your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.” — Frank Zappa Playboy Interview, April 1993

Hmm…. Frank’s take on matters are such that I generally find myself in complete agreement with what he says. Here, he has again put his finger on one of the more obvious facets of Christianity, one that defies all logical explanation in lieu of subservient belief, to wit: faith vs. knowledge, and the Christian’s unfortunate tendency to embrace the former, without any appeal to the latter….. To my way of thinking, that is not only foolish, but cowardly….. but, perhaps, that’s just me….

The fruit of the tree of knowledge gives mankind the go-ahead, to use the brain with which we were furnished at birth; the preachers would have us abrogate that use, having us, instead, give over all our power of belief into the hands of the faithful, who, naturally, have only our best interests at heart….. Sure they do…. NOT….. I’m sorry, but, no matter how many times these folks say so, I am not going to accept that they know better than I what is best for me…. Nope, not even if there were twenty Bibles out there, all proclaiming how true they are…. Oh wait, there are twenty of them, aren’t there?…. Oh, well, you know what I meant….

Why do people fall for this? I cannot understand how people, who are normally reasonably intelligent, will, by conscious choice, bury their heads in the sand to buy into this, without ever taking even one moment to examine any of it for truth, or even logical assumption. Is there some kind of mind-control drug in that incense? Maybe in the sacramental wine…. Whatever it is, it turns normally competent, intelligent people into mindless slaves, and does so with their complete agreement and approval….. To my mind, it is one of history’s saddest, most incomprehensible features, when I look at just how easily people fall for such egregious, and so obviously self-serving propaganda, as most of the dogmatic proclamations of the major religions tend to offer up.

“I hope I never get so old I get religious.” — Ingmar Bergman

I am compelled to add, “Me, too!” to this sentiment…. In the recent past, I’ve been taking a lot of shots at religions, and need to make clear that I do not hate Christians, or Buddhists, or Muslims, or the followers of any religion. I think they are being silly, deliberately and evilly so, at worst, or at best, misguided, but I don’t hate, or fear them, as is the case on their part whenever they consider me, or my criticisms of their beliefs. I don’t hold that against them, either, as it is logically consistent for them to do so, given the limitations of their dogmatic position. Since, however, the fervor with which they will often defend their position can reach a rather fevered pitch, I tend to treat many of them like a stinging insect; I move, and speak, slowly and carefully, so as not to frighten them more than they already are….

Ethical and moral behavior is not confined to those who follow the precepts of one religion or another, despite what any of the proponents of those religions will try to tell you.  In fact, if you look closely, the number of folks who are believers have a much higher percentage of failure in that area than do the non-believers, which only makes sense…. The believers all have a sense of entitlement that gives them the idea that the rules of behavior don’t always apply to them, in terms of how they treat people who are not of the same faith, so, to those who are not of their own sect, they don’t bother being truthful, or honest, or ethical, as those people don’t count, in their eyes. People who make their own moral codes tend to follow them, and are much more tolerant of those who do not share their beliefs.

Basic human nature dictates these responses in people, so one can see how dangerous it is to remain ignorant, in the Biblical sense. Those who choose to buy into the myth of the Garden of Eden, giving up all their personal independence of mind for the comfort and safety of dogma, will fail to act according to their own morality much of the time, out of their sense of entitlement, and the belief that all of their sins will be forgiven, merely by the act of confessing them. Only those who consciously choose their moral code have the courage to act it out, it seems, except for those few people who actually try to live according to the morality that is espoused, but seldom embraced, by their less ethical peers.

Having the strength of mind to make one’s own moral code implies the courage to act it out…. This is why I choose to deny the dogma I’ve been exposed to all my life, as being illogical, and, ultimately, immoral…. It makes more sense to me to make my own decisions on such matters, and tell the busybodies who assume they know best for all to go jump in a lake…. Even better, just shut the hell up, and get out of the way, so the rest of us can get something relevant done, without having to put up with all the nonsense from that quarter….

“What is a church? Our honest sexton tells, ‘Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.” — Crabbe
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Sometimes, I just gotta go with a classic…. if only for the patina of age that gives it such a shine…. Even reflected beauty is better than none, yes?….

Bright Star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art–
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature’s patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors–
No–yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever–or else swoon to death.

John Keats
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The following is a piece that I wrote just before the recent Presidential election, as section 1 of a Pearl I cannot find without more effort than I care to spend right now, even though it is still only 0633…. Tracking it down would mean scrolling through at least a month’s worth of old Pearls, from last year, and I’m not ready for that today…. However, I’ve re-read it, and consider it worth a second posting, as it covers a lot of things that remain relevant after the election, in spite of the fortunate outcome we saw…. Any who, without further ado, here is a pearl I entitled, “Considering the Etiquette of Ignorance”…….

SIGH…. the only reason I did not write this in 1988 is that I did not see it until today….. it is never a good policy to suffer a fool gladly, so my code of honor demands a response…. This begins the tale, but by no means ends it….. be warned, and be nervous, if not afraid…..

“I don’t know that atheists should be considered citizens, nor should they  be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” — George Bush in Free Inquiry magazine, Fall 1988

Actually, George, the Pledge of Allegiance has no legal standing, in relation to the Constitution of this country, or for that matter, in relation to what our forefathers were thinking when they founded the nation. In fact, what was said here by such an upstanding Constitutional scholarly type, is, in reality, completely contrary to everything that makes a true patriot, or an American citizen.

The part in the pledge, (which no one at all is legally required to take, or state…), that says “under God” was only added in the middle of the twentieth century, by the same Congressional idiots who perpetrated McCarthyism, and the Red Scare, on the American public. It has nothing to do with the Constitution, and in fact, could be construed as a Constitutionally illegal statement, considering the intended separation of church and state that is the backbone of what our forefathers wished us to have as our legacy…. True freedom, not Christian usurpation of freedom….. A person’s religious belief, or lack thereof, is protected by the Constitution, and a patriot is one who supports the Constitution, not a church, or a corporation…..

And if his name be George, I ‘ll call him Peter;
For new-made honour doth forget men’s names.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), King John — Act i, Sc. 1

This kind of thinking from the Shrub, whichever one it was, Junior or Senior, is the same kind of narrow-minded fundamentalism that the colonists were escaping from in England back in the 16-1700’s when they came to the New World. The churches and corporations, both of which were singled out as dangerous to the republic by Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Adams, Hamilton, and many of the other founding fathers, have tried to usurp the Constitution ever since it was ratified. Their writings, to each other, and in public venues, were filled with precautionary admonitions about allowing corporations and preachers to have access to, or influence over, members of government.

Ultimately, their fears were justified, as we now are facing just the situations they predicted….. corporations are manipulating our “professional thieves”, otherwise known as politicians, to vote for laws that favor them (really, “corporations are people?”… I don’t think so…), and the ranks of our leaders are rife with fundamentalists and religious nuts of all varieties.

“Men tend to have the beliefs that suit their passions. Cruel men believe in a cruel God and use their belief to excuse their cruelty.  Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case.” — Bertrand Russell (1872-1967)

It’s difficult sometimes to tell which ones are more dangerous, or more disgusting: the corporations who buy votes from those who fit the definition of “good politicians” (…. a good politician is one who stays bought…..), or the religious demagogues who want to oppress everyone who doesn’t believe the same set of dogmatic constraints as they do. Neither one is particularly hard to spot, but they are protected by their tame dogs in Congress, who will do and say anything to make sure the cash keeps flowing…. right into their pockets.

As may be extrapolated, if one is exceedingly clairvoyant, one may infer from the above that the 2012 Republican  Romney/Ryan ticket disturbs me; I have no problem ranting without end right off the top of my head about the lies and distortions of reality that continuously fall from their lips. As I mentioned in a separate post, a lot of people are catching on to this, as Ryan was roundly booed offstage at the AARP meeting he attended to try to sell their admitted intention to rape Social Security and Medicare (Smart? No. Arrogant? Completely.).

In retrospect, even this negative reception is disturbing to me, as it shows just how little they care, that they are showing themselves to be only interested in lining their own pockets, and the pockets of those who own them, without apparent shame or embarrassment. They aren’t even trying to hide their lies anymore; they just keep repeating them, even after having been shown to be false, believing that if they repeat the lies enough, people will buy them….

“Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book iii, Chap. xi

Unfortunately, they are right, to a large extent. Millions of people in this country, who have hung on to their prejudices and bigotry with desperation as the minorities have become majorities, are supporting these assholes, merely because they are white. They don’t realize, or seemingly care, that these are the same assholes who will be screwing them over completely as soon as they get sworn in, preferring to trust in the lies, because it soothes their fears of having a black President.

Beware of the half truth.  You may have gotten hold of the wrong half. — Smart Bee

This is why I have been repeatedly reiterating that this election is bringing this country to a crossroads. The outcome will show whether we intend, as a nation, to continue to fight all attempts to curtail the freedoms that were bought and paid for by our forefathers, with blood, sweat, and tears, or will become just another religious, corporate-controlled entity, in a nation consisting of slaves and their masters.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll be at the polls as soon as they open, and will urge everyone I know to do the same…. vote early, and vote often (just joking…), but vote. We need to send a message to these fools, that there are still patriots and citizens of this country who believe in the vision embraced and established by the men and women who began this noble experiment in self-government…..

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” — Aldous Huxley

As I said above, the election came out okay…. but, the rest of what is said here remains relevant, and always in need of being heard….
__________________________________

Well…. Getting up early seems to be working for me, Pearl-wise….. Even though part of this was already written, it all holds together well, and will stand in the future as one of my most complete Pearls, if nothing else…. A bit of nonsense to begin, some pointed sticks thrown around at demagoguery, a bit of classicism in the center, for balance, and a long dissertation haranguing the BRC and PTB, as well as most of the religious institutions in the world…. I’m a happy camper, you betcha….

Not just that, but, it’s DONE!  Yay!….. I think…… Hmm… it’s now 0650…… Now what the hell am I going to do? Ah, perfect!…… I’m going back to bed now, ffolkes, & see if I can fall back asleep…. I’ll be back later to see how many people I’ve managed to offend, or better yet, how many found a good laugh….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3