Echoes of apologetic mumbles….

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….

“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

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…..

“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!…..

“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.