Just the fax, Sam….

Ffolkes,

“Solitude makes a wonderful mistress but a terrible wife.”

~~ Emerson ~~

3 moons over Vqllejo

Three Moons over Vallejo


Hajime…. Over the course of time, Pearls of Virtual Wisdom/Exploring Consensual Reality, as a blog, has evolved in structure and appearance, as I became more accustomed to using the WP platform, until settling on the five-sections for each subject we use today. In the past two or three months, it’s shown itself to be flexible enough for me to use even when I am not completely whole, either physically, or mentally. Thus my luck with serendipity is made clear once again, as I chose better than I knew. Thanks, Me!

Oh! That hurt! I should know better than to pat myself on the back; with my shoulder’s arthritis, such a movement comes with a high price in pain…. Oops. Ah well, even the simplest literary trick can be, well, tricky, eh? That will teach me not to try those sorts of literary shenanigans before I’ve started on my second cuppa; I just don’t have the chops until then to make it work as it should. Now I’m stuck here, talking in real time, exposing my own ignorance, again…. As we who have lived on the street are fond of saying in such situations, FUCK!

Oh, well, sorry if I’ve offended anyone. That particular venting vessel is one that has probably kept me off the WP Freshly Pressed list ever since I began…. It seems even ONE word that MIGHT be offensive will keep a post off that page, so, I’ve never been there, even if I was ever nominated (a fact of which I have absolutely no clue…. especially as it doesn’t matter, since it’ll never happen…. I refuse to edit for PC in any form…). I don’t care, as I don’t write for fame, or money, merely for sanity…. or as close to it as I can get….

All that being said, in such honest, if boring fashion, I suppose we can just get on with today’s mess, and probably be better off for it. I won’t even pretend Luigi, or Guido is here today, nor that we are off to anywhere other than my imagination and ego trips. That’s okay, too…. at least it’s real, which I find to be always a good thing to observe…. really, I do…. So, without further ado, or adon’t, we’ll be off to the nether portions of the blog for today…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“”There’s nothing an agnostic can’t do if he really doesn’t know whether he believes in anything or not.” — Monty Python

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IrishRovers2010

The Irish Rovers in 2010

Image from kpbs.org via Google Images


I hesitate to pull the covers of anyone, but, I remember listening to these lads when I was a lad myself. My parents had an album they enjoyed playing sometimes when I was young; I remember specifically listening to them, often during Christmas when relatives were over…. I still enjoy their music, so, here they are, for your enjoyment as well… If you don’t enjoy traditional Irish music, perhaps you’re ready for the ranting section….. Fair warning; you’d best be so. Ready, that is…. Section three can be a bit of a challenge if you’re not ready for it…… Why don’t you listen to the music while reading; it might help….

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The Irish Rovers

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Dont keep calm

   

“The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be; all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.” — Socrates (BC 469-399)

In more modern language, the concepts Socrates has presented in this statement could be summarized thus: “The more you practice being honorable and real, the more real and honorable you become.” I’ve stated it thus, so simply, because, it seems to me, the modern person’s mind has not grasped the concept of virtue, or honor, or even reality, with any degree of actual understanding. This, of course, is just the way the people who govern the world, and those in their service, to wit: churches, politicians, lawyers, police, and military myrmidons, want the public to be, that is to say, as ignorant of their true nature as they can make them…..

Now, this sounds like a rant in the making, and, in the normal course of events, you’d be correct. But, I find myself exhausted, still, after my recent long physical ordeal; quite frankly, it’s all I can do in a day to write this blog. Any further activity is confined to keeping Leelu entertained, which takes up more time than one might think; she considers herself in training, and me to be her personal trainer. And, she’s really, really serious about it, so, whenever I pause in my typing, I find her sitting at my chair-side, mewling and crawling into my lap to ask me to play…. like right now….

Okay… I managed to distract her by opening her window, from where she can watch the birds and traffic on the street; it can keep her fascinated for a good twenty minutes, so, I’ll try to get this done before I’m once again summoned to throw crumpled paper about the house. We’ll sublimate my urge to purge my angst with a series of statements from various smart ffolkes, on the subject at hand, to wit, the Asininnies, and our Beloved Ruling Class, including the Dogma Dogs, the Highly Conditioned Uniformed Myrmidons, and the eternal butt of everyone’s favorite jokes, the scum of society, lawyers of practically every ilk…. Let’s see what Smart Bee comes up with today, shall we?…..

“The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an ‘equalizer’ Eqalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the  government — and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.” — Edward Abbey (1927-1989)

(On a personal note, me, too, Ed….)

“A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name of the Lord in vain, then have a heart attack at that moment and be damned for eternity. Is that the system?” — Robert A. Heinlein

“I honestly believe that the doctrine of hell was born in the glittering eyes  of snakes that run in frightful coils watching for their prey. I believe it was born with the yelping, howling, growling and snarling of wild beasts… I despise it, I defy it, and I hate it.” — Robert G. Ingersoll

“– Bother!”, said Pooh, as he found a politician in his honey pot.” — Twisted Bee

“A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.” — H.L. Mencken

“An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” — Simon Cameron (1799-1889)

CORSAIR, n.  A politician of the seas. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.” — Charles de Gaulle

“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1972)

“The doctor is to be feared more than the disease.” — Latin Proverb

Okay, so, it’s a little light on shots against Big Pharma, the AMA, etc…. the last one summarizes that issue quite well, I think…. Okay, off we go, to something a bit more entertaining…. Well, I think so….

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Comedy_Tragedy

    For those Gentle Readers from around the world, who may not know who Joe Friday is, allow me to explain…. Joe Friday was a character in a TV cop show, called Dragnet, which played here in the US in the 1950’s to 60’s. It was, I believe, the first cop show of its kind, fictional, but trying to portray true-to-life situations. The lead actor, whose name I forgot until now, was Jack Webb, and he had absolutely NO acting ability, at all. He played Joe Friday as an emotionless, flat-voiced asshole, (a rather prophetic portrayal, given that the biggest percentage of modern ‘cops’ are quite simply, ignorant assholes with a badge….), whose favorite and completely over-used phrase was “Just the facts, ma’am.”…. Hence, the title of today’s lament re: the illusion upon which Western society is based….

Joe Friday’s lament


Life is short, and though I’m odd, they say
it really doesn’t bother me
to realize there is no God, per se.

Though other folks will disagree
and tell me I’m wrong
I won’t believe it, with naught to see.

Liars called padre tell me, have humility,
and do as the authorities say,
then fondle little boys with facility.

They also tell me to share the wealth
and give them a 10% tithe
so they don’t have get it by stealth.

So spare me the delusions, please
don’t bother with such a tale;
I’m nobody that needs such a tease.

Keep your fantasies under your hat
and out of my face;
I don’t need them, they’ll make me fat….. headed.

~~ gigoid ~~

9/6/2012


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“So then, these are the foundations, as they call them,
of all mixt bodies, and of all wonderful operations:
and whatsoever experiments they proved,
the causes hereof rested
(as they supposed)
and were to be found
in the Elements and their qualities.”

~~ Giambattista Della Porta ~~

~~ Natural Magick ~~

pearls_3


Today’s final old-school pearl is special. Why? Hell, I don’t know. It’s just the way it turned out. Those who are at all familiar with pearls here on ECR received a clue; there is seldom a quote above the picture in this section. Today, the statement from Natural Magick serves perfectly as both warning, and disclaimer…. Enjoy ffolkes, this will take your mind and turn it around so it looks you right in the eyes…. Are you ready to see?….

“All that we see or seem, “

is but a dream within a dream.

~~ Edgar Allen Poe ~~

~~ from “A Dream Within a Dream” ~~

~~~~~~~

“Are you the dreamer or just the dream?” — Alan Edgar Bee

~~~~~~~

“I do not want to die…
until I have faithfully made the most of my talent
 and cultivated the seed that was placed in me
 until the last small twig has grown.”

~~ Kathe Kollwitz ~~

~~~~~~~

“If a pessimist is always right, is he a realist?”

~~ Cynical Bee ~~

~~~~~~~

“Fortune does not change men, it unmasks them.”

~~ Suzanne Necker ~~

~~~~~~~

“In this world, you have to be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.
I spent years being smart.
I recommend pleasant.”

~~ Elwood P. Dowd ~~

~~ played by James Stewart in “Harvey” ~~

~~~~~~~

“Silence is argument carried out by other means.”

~~ Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara (1928-1967) ~~

~~~~~~~

“Loosen up; the unaimed arrow never misses.”

~~- Zen Bee ~~

~~~~~~~

“Here pigs will fly, lightning will strike twice,

hell will freeze over, and eventually,

things will get really interesting…”

~~ Prophetic Bee ~~


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It’s done. Whew! Boy, Leelu will be glad; she’s been staring holes through me for twenty minutes. I’d best just close this out, and be off to make it up to her…. I shall see y’all tomorrow, I would hope in good spirits, as I am these days, much more often. True freedom is the release from pain…. believe it. I’ll be back, as Hollywood’s favorite assbite has said more than once…. but, I won’t try to eradicate the human race….. Ta, then, luvs…..

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

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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Aiming at center mass…..

Ffolkes,

 

“To love someone deeply gives you strength.

Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.”

~~ Lao Tzu ~~

 

potd-whale_3060891c

   

If one accepts the premise set forth above by Lao Tzu, then I am immensely strong, but, have yet to be able to define courage in myself…. a thought that occurred to me as I read it this morning…. Oh, that isn’t to say I am not loved; I do have children, both of whom still talk to me, so, I’m good to go there…. Also, I have friends, who have been so named for over 50 years; I know well the love that abides between us…. But, of the love he speaks about here, I am apparently unfamiliar…. and, to be honest, that hurts…. a lot.

Enough that it sent me into a deep hole of depression, for a time, until I managed to put a bit of distance between myself and the pain…. a process with which I am quite familiar, both physically and mentally…. Unfortunately, that distance isn’t enough to prevent the onset of the symptoms of PTSD, including the depression; my feelings, torn and bloodied as they are, tend to stay quite near the surface, so that the relief of weeping is always just a nanosecond away from release, whether I wish it or not…. Bit of a pisser, that, as it can, and does, strike at the LEAST     convenient moments….

Add in arthritis, heat enough to melt cheese on the sidewalk, and a touch of dizziness left over from vertigo, and you’ve got the makings of a very miserable day…. or three…. At least I have this to help me get it out, which a great many people do not possess; for three years now, being able to vent has kept me reasonably sane, or, enough so to avoid prosecution for any outlandish public behaviors…. But, it still doesn’t help me get an intro section done, which, really, is all I’d hoped for today…. Well, maybe it’s working… we ARE three paragraphs in, and, no blood yet, even though we’ve already had our whine, and some cheese…. or, a mention of cheese, anyway….

Ah well, such is life, I suppose…. The picture above is amazing, to me, not because of the rarity and beauty of the shot, but, for giving us a reminder of how much we don’t know about our own planet, and its denizens…. We see here the largest creature on the planet, jumping completely out of the water, for its own reasons, possibly connected to the large growth of barnacles on its underside, visible in the above photo… Some scientists believe the whales breech like this to try to remove those barnacles; if so, I can see how it might work,as several TONS of animal crush down on the growth, with a LOT of force…..

Regardless of why the animal jumped out of the water, (an incredible physical feat, to say the least, to lift that weight completely out of the depths, into the air….), the photo, (again taken from the London Daily Telegraph, in one of their photo features…) is a beautiful shot, and well worth the placement I gave it, as a small piece of “amazing” to start the day…. It also got us far enough into the day to declare this a legal intro, and allow us to take advantage of this little ending point…. Which one? This one….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Virtue is its own revenge.” — E. Y. Harburg

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REPORTER: “Senator, are you for or against the MX missile system?”

SENATOR: “Bob, the MX missile system reminds me of an old saying that the country folk in my state like to say.  It goes like this: “You can carry a pig for six miles, but if you set it down it might run away.” I have no idea why the country folk say this.  Maybe there’s some kind of chemical pollutant in their drinking water.  That is why I pledge to do all that I can to protect the environment of this great nation of ours, and put prayer back in the schools, where it belongs.  What we need is jobs, not empty promises.  I realize I’m risking my political career be being so outspoken on a sensitive issue such as the MX, but that’s just the kind of straight-talking honest person I am, and I can’t help it.” — Dave Barry, “On Presidential Politics”

It may seem as if I’m cheating, but, that’s okay; I’m in enough of a bad mood I don’t give much of a shit. The above, to me, is PERFECT. It is absolutely an accurate portrayal of the typical Bull Shit spewed out daily by our pundits and talking heads, on every conceivable subject. I’m not in the mood to rant, not effectively (when depressed, I tend to get vicious, & not always perfectly reasonable….), so, instead, I’ll furnish y’all with some links to more evidence of the kind of crap being pulled on us by our so-called leaders… then, a couple of questions, followed by some pearls to take a few satisfying shots at those assholes…. I will probably sublimate the need to rant by making short comments between pearls…. fair warning….

Why does our government feel it to be so important to develop all these new robotic weapons, and maintain such close surveillance on their own people? Do they, perhaps, expect some sort of revolution?

It’s worth thinking about…..

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/04/nsa-surveillance-reform-politicians-2015

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/oct/05/us-navy-unmanned-drone-boats

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/05/us-drone-strike-kills-five-pakistan-militants-north-west

“A man does not serve his country by canting, snuffling and marching in parades, he serves her by striving to make her clean, brave, just, intelligent and worthy of respect.” — H. L. Mencken, Baltimore _Evening Sun_, June 13, 1916

(1916, eh? This is a very uplifting thought, and, given the truth of the sixth pearl in this group, 1916 was apparently the LAST time anyone in this country voiced such an idea…. In today’s world, nobody at all buys into this….)

“An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” — Simon Cameron (1799-1889)

(Again, in today’s political world, this remains an inarguable truth….)

“This is not politics… it’s to protect the innocence of children.” — Sen. Bob Dole on the introduction of his new Protection of Children From Computer Pornography Act of 1995

(Sure, Bob…. we believe you….)

“There is no absurdity so palpable but that it may be firmly planted in the human head if only you begin to inoculate it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.” — Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

(Another truth from the past adopted as gospel by today’s pundits and preachers…. and, a very accurate description of just how the powers that be indoctrinate the public….)

“I’m all in favor of the democratic principle that one idiot is as good as one genius, but I draw the line when someone takes the next step and concludes that two idiots are better than one genius.” — Leo Szilard

(Too late, Leo…. our society adopted that belief back in the early twentieth century, and has strengthened the position with every law enacted since 1963….)

“You can’t crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by ignoring them.” — Ursula K. LeGuin

(Truth absolute…. see pearl # 1, above, for its typical application in Reality….. Also applicable to pearl #4 in this group….)

“I don’t vote.  It just encourages them.” — A Maine woman

(For sure…. and, I think I may just adopt this woman’s position, if only for the aggravation it will save ME…..)

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Today’s video shows off the talents of one of the finest voices of the previous century, in his final performance…. Brilliant!…. Okay, so I like simple, clean, pure voices…. sue me…. But, first, enjoy the video….

 

Roy Orbison – Black & White Night Live (Full Album)


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Yesterday’s poem was also from this author; as mentioned then, he is often underrated….. Hence, the relatively dubious honor of being twice-featured here….

The world is too much with us; late and soon

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

~~ William Wordsworth ~~


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I’ve said this before, but, it remains true: sometimes, this business of creating pearls works better than others…. and, again, this is one of those times… Just follow the bouncing ball, as it shows your mind what direction to follow, then, at the end, just let the point wash over you, like manna from heaven (well, hey, if the preachers can promise that sort of spiritual ecstasy, I can do the same, and have an equal chance at having it be true, right? Odds are…)…. Whatever…. this is a good one, ffolkes, so, you might want to have a pen and paper handy…. for notes…

“Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.” — Thomas Paine

“Ambition is in fact the avarice of power.” — Smart Bee

“The judge is condemned when the criminal is acquitted.’ — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 407

“To find a fault is easy; to do better may be difficult.’ — Plutarch (46 AD-120 AD)

“If any man can convince me and bring home to me that I do not think or act aright, gladly will I change; for I search after truth, by which man never yet was harmed. But he is harmed who abideth on still in his deception and ignorance.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, vi, 21

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

“…just when I had you wriggling in the crushing grip of reason, too…” — Calvin & Hobbes

 

A-laughing-girl-and-her-camel

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I am unsure of exactly how I got this done; if it weren’t so much of a routine, I wouldn’t have been able to do it, I think…. I suppose I’ve done this long enough, autopilot features have evolved; I certainly didn’t install them… Regardless, it’s done, and I’m thankful, because now I can go do whatever I need to do to work my way out of this hole I’ve dug… Like the old Cowboy said, “When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is… stop diggin’…..” Makes sense to me…. Until tomorrow, ffolkes, if I’m lucky…. I won’t comment on your luck….

 

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….

 

Echoes of apologetic mumbles….

Ffolkes,
This post was written yesterday, on Thanksgiving Day, but I was unable to post it, due to foreseen difficulties I was unable to resolve. So, for the second time in history, I missed a post. Much as I hate it, I am not overly upset, merely heavily confused, because my routine is now shot to shit…. So, this will get posted this morning, Friday, and we’ll pick up the thread at the appropriate time tomorrow…. Needless to say, I also have been unable to do much reading on other ffolke’s blogs, so please be patient with me…. I’ll be back eventually, full time, and will bug the hell out of y’all then, whenever I’m not on the road to somewhere I’ve never been….. Any who, here is what I spewed out yesterday….. enjoy!…..

Well….. That’s a pain, for sure…. I am up early, ready and able, hell, even enthused about writing today’s Pearl, and I just realized I might not be able to post it today. Both the library and the coffee shop where I go to connect to the Internet are closed today, due to the fact that it is Thanksgiving Day.

Kind of ironic, isn’t it, that on this, one of the most inherently social holidays, there is no social venue for people to gather, unless it has something to do with the holiday. Businesses other than restaurants will all close, so there is actually NO place for folks like me to go to hook up. I don’t have the money to eat out, nor to eat in, really…. I mean, I have food to last me the month, but I guarantee it’s no turkey dinner. That doesn’t bother me at all…. but knowing I may not be able to post this is quite upsetting, to say the least…. It is hard enough living in poverty, without it being shoved in my face like this…. No library until Saturday, so tomorrow’s post is looking like it won’t get online, either….. SIGH. Funny how our society turns away from the people who need the most help, especially on those days when it hurts the most.

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” — Ray Bradbury

The buses run only on a holiday schedule, greatly reduced, so all of us poor folks and seniors, who depend on the bus to get around, are stuck today, limited to where we can walk. Libraries and other government agencies are closed, so there is no place to go to get off the streets, if one has no home (I’m lucky in that regard, and in having food…..). But, if one has no family event to attend, or money to eat out, then this holiday is pretty well more of a depressive reminder of how tough things are, than it is a reason to be thankful…. Myself, I’m thankful enough, for what I have…. which is little enough, all things considered, but enough to be worth being thankful. But, I am also rather depressed, because I can see how hard it is for those who have less than I do, and I know that things would be much different, for me, as well as for those who suffer more, if the society in which we live made any real attempt to help those in need…..

Now, I don’t know how it is for others in this society who are living on the edge, but for me, going to a shelter to get food on a day like today would be kind of the last straw. It would be the final indicator that I have lost the ability, and the means, to take care of myself, a severe blow to the little bit of pride I have left. It is enough of a come-down to realize that I used to have a house, a couple of jobs, a family, a car, bills, the whole nine yards, and would most likely be planning a dinner myself, to cook when the kids came over to celebrate the holiday, had things worked out the way I wanted them to…. Alas, though, my ex-wife had other plans, as did the woman I thought loved me up until three years ago, and my dreams of a quiet retirement with my true love were destroyed by the reality of betrayal….. C’est la vie!….

I’ve managed to get over that, for the most part, (though, obviously, not completely….) as I try to obtain my just rewards for all the years I’ve poured money into the SS system. The system protects itself very well with layer upon layer of bureaucratic paper that stands between anyone attempting to obtain their benefits and the actual use of them, so the battle with them wages on in the midst of all the rest, aggravating my PTSD, and making it harder for me on days like today, when everything in the world is pointed toward letting us poor folks know just how badly we’ve screwed up by not having enough of the greed gene, and how little society really cares for those who don’t quite make the grade, financially, whatever the reason for that….

“A nation’s advance as a civilized society can be properly measured by the manner in which it treats the poor and the elderly – often the same people.” — Smart Bee

Once, many years ago, I took some business administration classes at the local JC, one of which was taught by a banker. In class, I once noted to the teacher that all of our reading, and all of what she had been relating to us, in toto, indicated that there was in our society only one actual form of discrimination taking place, and that was financial, or economic discrimination…. In other words, the Haves are all conspiring against the Have Nots, and all the laws are in the favor of the Haves. I asked if she thought that this would ever change, if society would ever really achieve any sort of social progress beyond what the dictates of the rich would like it to have…. She didn’t even pause to consider her response; she just said no…. She didn’t say as much, but it was obvious that she, and every other person who was on the side of the Haves, would be making sure of that….. Financial and economic discrimination is real, and is just the way they want it, so it isn’t going to change, ever…. You can take that to the bank, so to speak….

With one hand he put
A penny in the urn of poverty,
And with the other took a shilling out.

— Robert Pollok (1799-1827) — The Course of Time, Book viii, Line 632

I suppose that if society did make those kinds of effort, or if there was any social progress that was actually going to be allowed to happen by the beloved ruling class, then I’d have less to write about, as I do spend a lot of time railing at the members of that esteemed group. I doubt seriously that much change will occur, and I am certain that whatever does happen won’t be enough to change the overall structure of our culture, that allows, and even encourages, this kind of discrimination according to economic principles. Those who are in power have been there for a very long time, and they’re not about to give up their comforts, much less their profits, without a fight…. and any kind of fight at all will mean that we have lost our way, again…. Ah well, it’s enough to dishearten the most optimistic person alive, and it certainly causes me some distress, even as it promises no end to what I will have to write about….

Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus (Never Tickle a Sleeping Dragon) — Hogwarts School Motto

Shall we Pearl?….. Actually, I suppose you could say we already started, what with the nearly a thousand word rant above…. It IS more of a pearl than an intro, but, we must stick to our purpose and routine…. Oh, wait, no we mustn’t, necessarily…. I forgot I have no clue as to where to post this, so getting it done is a moot process, if not a altogether a moot occupation…. Ah, fuck it, I’m sticking with it, for the nonce…. if only for the chance to use the word “nonce”, one of my favorites…. Onward….
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“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them.  That only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality.” — Lao-Tzu

I’m not sure how to take this…. I found this quote from Lao Tzu AFTER writing the above intro, and AFTER writing the third section’s pearl below. As always, Lao Tzu makes obvious the reason why I am feeling my discomfort, and points out how to get past the pain, caused, as usual, by my own perceptions, and my reaction to them. But, at the same time, this time, it occurs to me that although we cannot force reality to do what we want it to do, there does seem to be a rather unbalanced percentage of results that favor the bad guys, rather than evidence that supports an even, or even random, set of chances. I mean, yes, this does parallel my own philosophy’s axiom #2, almost exactly, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to me when the universe does present us with natural and spontaneous changes.

And, really, it is not. But, from what I can see, objectively, it seems easier for the bad guys to take advantage of the system as it exists, and for them to achieve the results they desire. It seems that if the universe were truly a random deal, then those chances of success would be equal for both the rich and the poor; seems only fair to me…. But, then, I am not the universe, and most simply put, I care, and it doesn’t. That is what makes the difference, and is why the bad guys win so much more often…. If one is the kind of person who cares about others, then fairness becomes an issue. If one doesn’t care about others, then it is not an issue, and one can use all the advantages the universe offers to those who would lie, hurt others without compunction, and cheat their own mothers, (well, who knows… they MIGHT feel guilty about it, but they would still do it….) to achieve their own ends. This is why the world is like it is, quite frankly…. because there are two types of folks in the world, and one of them insists on playing fair….

You know what, though? I don’t care, ultimately, how unfair it is….. Each of us has to make a decision about how we are to approach life, and whether or not we will be the kind of person who will take advantage of others to get what we want. To do so is to give in to the Dark Side of the Force, in my mind, and I just won’t do it…. Yes, I could have a lot more, and be a lot more comfortable, physically…. I could be rich, if I didn’t care about other folks…. But, I do, and I also enjoy being able to look at myself in the mirror in the morning without any shame…. I mean, doing that is already a dangerous occupation, as my face is far from what I’d call pretty, or even handsome…. but, it is an honest face, and that is what I care about….

So be it…. Let reality  be reality, ffolkes, and let the chips fly where they may…. All we can do is all we can do, anyway, right? Right……

“You cannot believe in honor unless you have achieved it. Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” — George Bernard Shaw
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When asked for his own [favourite poem], Dylan [Thomas] slowly said, “This is the best poem in the English language,” and then repeated, gravely and with feeling, these lines:

I am
Thou art
He, she, it is
We are
You are
They are.

— Richard Burton (1577-1640), — quoted in Andrew Sinclair’s “No Man More Magical”

Strangely enough, that’s enough….. In my humble opinion, Mr. Thomas ought to know…..
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“Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations,– entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as the most competent administrations for our domestic concerns, and the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the general government in its whole constitutional vigour, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad;…freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected,–these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) — First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

Point by point, how are we doing with these “bright guiding principles”? Do they still provide us with, and hold us up as, the example to the world of a truly free people? Well, let’s just see, shall we?….

“Equal and exact justice to all men, etc.”  Well, as much as I’d like to say yes, I really can’t, you know. And you DO know, don’t you? The rich are treated much more leniently than are the poor, when it comes to the enforcement of just about any law, this is an accepted fact in society, and hardly needs any more documentation. Anyone who says otherwise is either a professional liar (i.e., one of those who get the preferred treatment….) or is from another planet, and just got into town….. Well, hmmm…. Also, political entities always assume immunity from the laws they create, and the record of the courts in both prosecuting, and convicting them of misdeeds, is simply atrocious.

“An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” — Simon Cameron (1799-1889)

And, please, don’t get me started on how the law favors religious groups…. To begin with, they don’t pay any taxes, and that is quite enough for me to swallow, thank you very much….. Sure, the cops are always happy to bust a preacher for drinking or whoring, but that is kind of like a sport for them, and how many ever end up in prison, anyway? Almost none…. Hell, when a preacher/priest/minister vouches for a criminal, it can mitigate their treatment to some degree…. Sorry, but I just don’t call that equal under the law, especially when a preacher will lie even faster than a politician will, and that is supposedly the fastest thing on Earth…. Don’t even try to tell me you don’t expect your politicians to lie…. and, if that is true, then preachers and priests are sure to follow their lead, or lead the way, take your pick….

‘Kay, number two…. “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations…. entangling alliances with none.” Well, this one is kind of hit and miss, I’d say…. Of course we DO have some rather embarrassing alliances (dictatorships, drug regimes, political tyrants whose country is in a strategic military space, etc.) but, those don’t count, as they are “clandestine” alliances that nobody is supposed to know of….. Our degree of honest friendship is rather limited, as well, to those countries who will vote with us in the UN, or those over whom we have some sort of economic control…. but, hey, everybody WANTS to be an American, right?…. Not any more, I should think….

“the support of the State governments in all their rights,” Well, the states get supported just as long as they follow Federal guidelines and political boundaries…. This one sort of got a bit messed up at the start, and has never really recovered since the early 1800’s, when corporate interests gained control of all three branches of the government, arranging the laws, and the courts’ decisions on those laws, so that corporate interests are always considered first, before those of individuals, or private, small businesses, or the states, or townships, or any entity except those few who have gathered all the strings into their grasping hands….. You can think otherwise as much as you’d like, but that is the simple truth, and will remain so until enough people realize it, and begin to act together to create change, as happens periodically throughout history.

Well, onward…. “freedom of religion; freedom of the press; freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected”   Freedom of religion…. as long as it doesn’t offend the Christians…. Freedom of the press…. as long as it doesn’t offend the churches or the corporations too much…. Freedom of person… well, not since the NDAA went into effect on 1/1/2012…. According to that evolutionary descendant of the Patriot Act passed by a Congress completely under the influence of panic back in 2001, an American citizen can be arrested and held, without any judicial review, or any oversight at all, for an undetermined amount of time, and the authorities do not have to explain why to anyone at all…. Not exactly the “writ of habeas corpus”, is it?….. “trial by juries”…. Well, only if one is ever charged…. under the NDAA, the citizen can be “disappeared”, without any trial, or explanation at all….. a bit scary, isn’t it?

My question, for all of us, is this….. Why are we not talking about all of this, as a matter of public discourse? Why are we allowing our government to suborn our legacy of freedom? Why do we accept that the government, and politicians, lie to us, and steal from us, and constantly act in their own interests rather than ours, seemingly with our complete approval……Why?….. Are we that stupid?….. According to Tom’s standards, we didn’t do very well on our report card.

But, then, the very enemies that Tom warned us of during his lifetime, the corporations and banks, have conspired to keep us from getting any better marks; they have in truth been winning the battle, ever since early in the 19th century, soon after Tom’s term as President….. The corporations and bankers are the true rulers of this society, world-wide, and have been for many thousands of years, mostly without the major part of society even being aware of their control over events. Nothing that happens, anywhere, is unplanned by them, or at least unknown to them; if something happens, you can be sure they made no effort to stop it. This is because it is entirely within their purposes to have the pirates, liars, and thieves of our society in charge of the governments, and they will do nothing to curtail any of their greed or ambition, as it serves their purposes perfectly, keeping the weak and poor kneeling before the rich and powerful.

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m getting just a bit upset about some of this stuff, and, well, to be honest, I’d like to see some of what has been usurped put back the way it should be, before I check out of this hotel…. More will follow, you can be sure…. I’ll be back with more evidence of the chicanery under which we are laboring to live….. Be alert, ffolkes, the world needs more lerts!…..
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“I appoint you ambassador to Fantasy Island!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” — Mark Twain

I’m not sure which of these two is the right choice…. either one seems to be appropriate, given the state of the rest of this Pearl. I’ve been fussing and farting around with it now for about four hours, give or take an hour or so of break and distraction time, so, there really isn’t much more I can do to it, or any further damage I could cause…. My hit points are about exhausted, and Godzilla is going to escape…. again….. So, I think, all in all, it would be best if I go with Mark Twain’s idea, and pause here for a breath or two, to greater effect than further twaddle would be…. You can thank me later…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Several handsome acolytes boarded the Pequod….

Ffolkes,
The gloves are coming off today; I can feel it already…. My curmudgeonly side is awake and eager to dive into today’s Pearl with a vengeance, and my radical side is right behind, goading him on.  Throw in my current lack of anything to lose, other than my life and dignity, and a dash of outrage, and it makes for a quite volatile package.  It promises to get interesting, for sure….

That being said, in fair warning, let us warm up with a bit of phantasm, eh?…..

As he moved up the steps from the street to the door of home, Samuel Beck could only feel relief and fatigue. Visions of a warm fire, a comfortable chair, and a bracing snifter of Napoleon’s finest merged happily in the forefront of his mind as he fit his key into the lock. Comforting visions vanished away, instantly, as the door slowly swung open before he turned the key, revealing a scene of such horror, of such vicious terror, that it would never fade completely from his memory.

A body, of a mid-sized man in all-over black clothing, lay about 10 feet from the door, obviously dead as a result of the neat bullet hole in his forehead. Whoever he was, he had not died easily, for furniture lay all around the foyer, and into the visible parlor, smashed and strewn about, just as if two or more men had fought a pitched battle in the rooms, destroying many of the less sturdy pieces. In the parlor, there was evidence of further mayhem, as blood was visible in several areas on the floor, enough to show that more than one person had been bleeding there.  Reddish-brown stains also showed in several places on the walls. Though apparent that more than one person had been there, only the one body remained…..

Not as shocked as might have been assumed, Samuel gazed at the destruction, both of his house, and of his daydreams of a comforting welcome home from what had been a very difficult journey. With a sigh of resignation, he stepped into the foyer, and remarked to himself, “Well, it looks as though they didn’t break the brandy bottle, anyway. I wonder if any of the glasses have survived.” On that note, he closed the door behind him, and prepared to deal with whatever had taken place while he was gone…. He was beginning to regret ever becoming an assassin…..

Aha! So, that’s where the assassin came from! Now we know his name, and that he likes Napoleon brandy…. I wonder where he stashed the little girl?  Ah well, no matter, we have other fish to fry, so to speak…. let us Pearl, shall we?….
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“It is the final proof of God’s omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us.” — Peter De Vries

“It is certain because it is impossible.” — Tertullias

The above two statements, each of which reflects the other, are commonly used as arguments in favor of the existence of God. Though tautological by nature, people seem to accept this type of argument readily, and clasp it tightly to their mental bosom, never to let go. I suppose this is a factor of that part of human nature that prefers to be lazy, and not have to think overmuch about anything, much less about such subtle, convoluted treatises on the existence of their chosen deity.

It has always seemed to me, since the age of 14 or so, when I first began to examine what I had been taught in a critical light, that the religious beliefs of most people are based on this factor. I noted as well, when one has accepted the premise of God’s omnipotence, then one’s own sense of responsibility becomes a moot point. No matter how egregiously immoral, no matter how unethical one’s actions may be, these folks have the ultimate get out of Hell card; divine forgiveness by the Son of God….  It is a quite convenient way to justify even the most insane, cruel, and viciously antisocial acts, when committed in the name of the Lord, or for the glory of the State.

Even the most immoral of acts of a personal nature, such as theft, infidelity, or casual cruelty to those weaker, are forgiven. Though all the Christian sects have some form of forgiveness in place, Catholics seem to have the most efficient system for relieving any possible guilt over such acts. They are given the opportunity each week, or even daily, to confess these “sins” and receive absolution that guarantees there will be no lasting or important consequences for their acts, other than having to recite some canonical platitudes they were made to memorize as a child, to help speed the process along…..

Ah, but I forget! Religion, along with almost every other subject of a complex nature that requires an expenditure of mental energy to comprehend, is not based on logical reason, or even structured thought of any kind… it is based on fear. Fear of the great unknown, Death. The folks who become preachers & priests are those who, in different circumstances, would be salesmen and shop clerks, selling their goods for the greatest amount of profit they could squeeze from an unsuspecting public, while maintaining that their shoddily made goods are of the finest cloth.

Instead, they offer relief from the ever present fear of Death, with a poorly constructed, but flashily dressed system of beliefs that offers not only (illogical) proof of victory over Death, but takes away all responsibility for one’s actions here on Earth. With an attractive hook like that, how else could people choose?….. They make it very easy to jump on the wagon, and only those who can think, and prefer to do so, can see the fallacies in what they are offering, and that the wheels of the wagon are about to fall off….

“It is possible to pray hard enough that water will run uphill. How hard? Why, hard enough to make water run uphill, of course!” — Lazarus Long (Robert Heinlein)
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“…I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of individuals…I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of democratic political institutions, and self-defeating in their purpose.” — Robert A. Heinlein, in a 1949 letter concerning “Red Planet”

“You cannot conquer a free man, the most you can do is kill him.” — Lazarus Long (Robert Heinlein)

“An armed society is a polite society.” — Robert A. Heinlein, ‘The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress’ (Think about it….)

“An hour’s perusal of our national charter makes it hard to understand what the argle-bargle is about. The First Amendment forbids infringements of the freedom of speech “except for commercials on children’s television” or “unless somebody says ‘****’ in a rap song or ‘chick’ on a college campus.”  The Second Amendment states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be  infringed,” period. There is no mention of magazine size, rate of fire, or to what extent those arms may resemble assault rifles.” — P. J. O’Rourke

“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed – unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” — James Madison

I’m sensing a theme here… I’m sure I could find and include a great many more such quotes from famous historical Americans, but there seems to be a consensus, so we’ll leave it at five for now. I’m also not going to discuss this further, at this time, as I believe I’ve already made my feelings and thoughts on this matter quite clear. These folks have all said it at least as well as I can, and in most cases, better. So, I will only ask you to consider what they say, and think about it….. if you have any thoughts to contribute, well, I am a firm believer in the power of dialogue, so please feel free to comment where appropriate….
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“An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” — Simon Cameron (1799-1889)

The mere presence of this quote in the literature of Man is disheartening, to say the least, for it implies that the condition it describes is so prevalent that it requires statement, and acknowledgment of its truth. It is sort of like all those strange laws one finds in the old archives of some of the states, like “There will be no sheep allowed to wear makeup”, or other such nonsense. The scary part is that one knows that the law was written because somebody was actually DOING that….. so we know, by deduction, that the statement about politicians exists only because it is already true…..

It is not only the mere existence of this concept that is annoying to me, and to all of society; it is the truth it proclaims that is so hard to accept. We, as a society, know this to be true, yet we continue to act as if it were not. We vote for the fools who parade their ignorance in front of the crowds who, for some reason unfathomable to me, flock to hear and see these sociopathic liars in person, to hear their outrageous claims and idiotic platforms straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

I sometimes wonder if they expect that the pundits and talking heads will tell the truth, if what they say is uttered right in front of them. Of course, there is no evidence that will support such belief, but, people believe all sorts of things that aren’t true, that is for sure…. As a matter of fact, I often feel as if people don’t WANT to hear the truth, because they never, ever make any attempt to ascertain whether or not they have. In fact, the more outrageous and false the claim, the quicker and more deeply it is believed, so it seems. I guess we should chalk that up to human perversity…. nothing else explains it, as it is a completely useless state of mind, from a survival standpoint….

I’m not sure that a solution to this issue is possible. There doesn’t seem to be any way to convince the general public to make any effort to rein in their elected officials.  Hell, sometimes the American people act as if they are enjoying their increasing slavery…. they certainly are making very little effort to stop any of its advances upon their rights and privileges as a free society.

But, that, I suppose, is just desserts, in a way…. and they will deserve whatever happens to them…. Unfortunately, it will happen to the rest of us as well, and that is unacceptable to me…. so I’ll just keep my powder dry, my head down, and my ears wide open to hear the sound of approaching tyranny…..

“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” — Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

“The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.” — Henry L. Mencken
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“It was a saying of the ancients, “Truth lies in a well;” and to carry on this metaphor, we may justly say that logic does supply us with steps, whereby we may go down to reach the water.” — Dr. I. Watts

That is to say, logic does do so, if it is used by a competent mind. In the hands of someone less perceptive, logic can be a WMD, in the vernacular of the 1990’s.  ‘Tis also unfortunate that the folks who fit the latter category tend to use it all too often, and having done so, look about them at the destruction they have wrought with a smug, self-satisfied air, totally ignorant of the increase in entropy they have engendered with their blundering about…..

On the other hand, when used well, logic can be a very powerful tool for finding Truth, even if buried at the bottom of a well. The trick is to use logic like a scalpel, to cut away extraneous facts to reveal Truth, not as a cudgel, to beat Truth into submission. If more of mankind were competent in the use of logic, and not of its abuse, perhaps we would not be facing quite so many difficulties as now exist…. It’s worth a try, in my opinion…. unfortunately, it is also my opinion that it’s never going to happen, because using logic takes mental effort, something the average American will avoid to the best of their ability…..

“Do not speak of what men deserve.   For we each of us deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead Kings, and we each  of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger.   Have we not eaten while another starved?  Will you punish us for that?  Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate?  No man earns punishment, no man earns reward.  Free your mind of the idea of *deserving*, of *earning*, and you will begin to be able to think.” — Odo, The Prison Letters (Ursula LeGuin, _The Dispossessed_)
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Look back on time with kindly eyes,
He doubtless did his best;
How softly sinks his trembling son
In human nature’s west!
— Emily Dickinson

Emily is included here for the intellectual version of comic relief. Compared to religion, politics, the Second Amendment, and the search for Truth, a discussion of time, or poetry, could be considered a bit tame. But, the power of Emily’s mad little rhymes can, in my estimation, stand up next to any subject and look them right in the eye.

This particular verse is one I’ve never seen before, and completely lives up to my expressed opinion. In four lines she expresses ideas and concepts that an hour-long lesson in a university classroom would be needed to cover if discussed in prose. Time, human nature, even compassion, all in such a compact little vessel; it makes one wonder what Emily would have done, had she ever applied her hand to Haiku…. Sheer beauty, incredible power, and deeply meaningful thoughts given in 17 syllables, would be my guess as to results. Ah well, what she did leave us is more than could be hoped for anyway….

And, if nothing else, reading this will banish most of the darkness that may have covered our eyes after reading and considering the previous sections…. so, enjoy!…..
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Well….. though serious enough, I suppose the gloves never came all the way off… My knuckles aren’t bloody and scraped up, so the blows I threw struck soft tissue, for the most part. But, a shot is a shot, and I got a few good licks in, so I am content for the nonce….. and I always enjoy having a chance to use the word “nonce” in a sentence… Such a fine word, and so seldom used I like to give it as much exposure as possible, lest it pass completely out of usage…. Now that you are completely convinced of my oddity, if not insanity, I will bring this to a close…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!