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

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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!….

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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

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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….


			

Odd raptors, but honest…..

Ffolkes,
At this hour of the morning, I don’t need this kind of aggravation, not from my own physique. But, rather than fall into complaints about stuff there isn’t much I can do to fix, at least for the moment, we’ll turn in a different direction, and feel the wind of inspiration brushing seductively against our cheeks, whispering softly and sweetly, bringing us happily to…… a roll of duct tape?

Yup… that’s my inspirational vision for the morning. I leave myself open to possibility…. I close my eyes, and allow no negative thoughts to disturb me while absorbing, and tremble with anticipation for the glories to come…. and what I get is duct tape….. a big, partially used roll of silver duct tape…. Yes, duct tape…You know, “If it can’t be fixed with Vise-Grips & duct tape, it can’t be fixed.”… yeah, that stuff. I’m guessing here, but I think I’m supposed to use the tape as a metaphor, for something in life that my subconscious has been chewing on, and wants to express in a seriously light-hearted yet elegant treatment. It’s the only thing I can figure out, and since I’m not getting any stiff arguments from that sector of the organization, I must be on the right track with it…..

Well, that’s just too bad…. I’m not writing about duct tape, or turning it into anything, other than a way to keep the new glass in the old window frame (I told you, it was a tough night, what with the zombie attack at 2 AM, and the toilet explosion before that, and… well, forget it, another time…..). I’m not at all concerned about how my subconscious has spent all this time reflecting on such a ridiculous concept, nor do I intend to give in to it; I do have certain standards to maintain, (well, one, anyway…. I have vowed to publish no crap before it stinks just right…..), and duct tape just doesn’t hit the right notes to sing in that choir…. but, fortunately, it is moot, because we can always Pearl….. Shall we?…..
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WARNING: The following entry is not suitable for those with delicate sensibilities…. If you do not appreciate the humor in such historical genre classics as seen in editions of Punch, The National Lampoon, or Mad Magazine, or if you don’t grok the underlying metaphoric qualities of Curly Joe, and the Three Stooges, you may wish to skip down to the following section….

“Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you…..”  Well, you know the rest, I’m sure…..

This month, as a new chapter in the ongoing saga of a relative newbie to the world of poverty-level grocery buying, the pantry here at the old homestead has gotten a little sparse on variety. Most of what is left are the items that I keep for this very reason, i.e., it’s cheap and filling stuff, suitable for the stretch run to payday. Unfortunately, it also consists of items I rarely eat, for diverse reasons, mostly to do with preferences, but sometimes due to how they affect me physically. One such item, which all of us in this country have had exposure to, at one time or another, is a can of Boston Baked Beans; an off-brand that was on sale somewhere a while back, that has been moving around from corner to corner in there for months on end. Yesterday, on a whim, I decided to use them, having an urge for something I hadn’t had for a long time; they sounded as if they would fit the bill just right.

What I had forgotten was its status as one of the items I put off using because of its physical effect on me…. I ate about a third of the can for lunch, mixed with some risotto, added some chopped, seasoned hot dogs, & hotted up the whole mess in the microwave. Different, filling as all get out, and quite tasty for such an odd combination.  Then, I forgot about it, getting busy with answering emails and reading yesterday’s posts from fellow bloggers, followed by a visit from my friend of longest standing, whom I have known since age 10. About 3 hours after lunch, after he had left to meet his S.O., the concert began…..

The key element I’d overlooked in my hunger for something old, something new on which to chow down, was that these were baked BEANS…. and ever since I turned about 40 (quite some time ago now….), this particular type of beans invariably brings on a veritable storm of intestinal flatulence, and once started, continues to create increasing amounts of pressurized air bubbles, maximizing the output until reaching for a crescendo. This all happens over the course of about an hour and a half, with the uncomfortable, but fascinating, physical process producing some of the most melodious, certainly the loudest, and most versatile and compelling sounds ever produced by the human body…..from any orifice….

I count it as lucky that my friend had already left when the concert began; having known each other for over 50 years, I might never have been able to completely live it down before one of us kicks in the bucket, and would no doubt have spent hours trying to erase it from my Facebook timeline… of course, that realization wouldn’t have hit me until we had recovered from the impossible-to-stop insane laughter that the volume of the first note alone would have produced. Having been, sad to say, a captive audience for the complete performance, I can attest that the melody, and the tempo, would doubtless have produced an equally strong reaction of uncontrollable mirth and hilarity, which, at our age, could have been downright dangerous…. but it was kinda catchy, and had a beat you could dance to…. I gave it a 3 out of 5….

Ah yes, aging is indeed not for the weak of heart….. or the forgetful…. anybody want some leftover beans?…. gratis, they are… eating them again, I will not be…. even for Yoda, not….
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“If a million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Anatole France

As time goes by this election year, the evidence in support of this little observation is piling higher and higher, with each time another microphone catches the latest gaffe issuing from a random candidate’s speaking orifice. Surely, t’is a sign of impending doom to realize that for each of the bozos who are parading around, showing us theirs (did I ask to see that? No…. but, there it is….), somewhere out there in our midst, hiding in plain sight, are literally millions of people who are buying into their nonsense and vitriol. The bigotry, and hatred, and racism, and elitism that seem to be the qualifying characteristics of prospective candidates this elective cycle are not only being bought by masses of people, (to whom it is like manna from heaven to hear their brightest fantasies, of living in an all-white, all-Christian world, given voice, and, sadly, screen time), but are being given not only credence, but glorification. To be honest, it makes me want to puke….. and, make sure my ammo is dry…..

“When the going gets tough, the smart get an AR-15. And a shotgun. And…” — James P. Callison

And bear unmov’d the wrongs of base mankind,
The last and hardest conquest of the mind.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xiii, Line 353
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“Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarcely in that; for it is true, we may give advice, but we cannot give conduct. Remember this: They that will not be counseled cannot be helped. If you do not hear reason she will rap you over the knuckles.” — Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) — Maxims prefixed to Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1757

This is good…. and especially so for Ben; he had a tendency to be somewhat mundane and boring with most of his ‘Maxims’. Even here, his metaphor for reason could use a little punching up, as an editor might say. I usually prefer to state that particular idea as, “if you don’t give reality it’s proper attention, it will gleefully slap you upside the head until you do.”  It’s exactly the same lesson, but gives a clearer, and more accurate, picture of the consequences of not staying alert to reality’s protocols.

But, I also like this because it has another lesson, about those who deliberately choose to ignore this warning, and how we must allow them to experience the folly of their own choices, along with the resultant pain and indignity that comes with those choices, provided so generously by the dimension of reality we inhabit. The only thing in the entire universe that is subject to our control is ourselves; we cannot prevent their pain, nor should we, as we then deny them the opportunity to experience the lesson of how to succeed that comes with every instance of defeat. Tough to watch, sometimes, if we care for the person, but no less important for them for us to stay back, and let reality have it’s way…. it will anyway, no matter what we do, or think about it…..

And here, poor fool, with all my lore
I stand no wiser than before.
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
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Is it legal to advocate the long overdue overthrow of a corrupt government?”– Aloysius I.A. Anonymous

In light of the state of the union, official reports aside, this asks a pertinent, and possibly worthy question for consideration when offered in the sense of what I call juris prominence, or, in short, as being in support of the absolute arbitration right of the jury.  It is a well-documented point of Constitutional law that gives any jury in a case under trial the absolute right to declare innocence, even in the face of the letter of the law, if they believe the law is wrongly applied, or not germane to justice in the case under deliberation, OR even if they think the law is just wrong, morally or by custom…… that is, provided jury trials are still allowed in days to come, or rather, days that are already here…..

“If the jury feels the law is unjust, we recognize the undisputed power of the jury to acquit, even if its verdict is contrary to the law as given by a judge, and contrary to the evidence … and the courts must abide by that decision.” — US v Moylan, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, 1969, 417 F.2d at 1006

This archaic, but powerful, right of the American people may be the final protection we have in cases I can see in the future, now that the government has committed so many corrupt acts designed to circumvent the provisions of both the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These acts, though not the first, nor the most recent of their kind, still can be considered to be under one umbrella, that of the Executive Order Theory, the so-far unchallenged belief that the Executive Branch has the right to suspend the rights outlined in those documents under the deliberately vague guise of ‘threats to national security’, without any definition of what those threats may be, and no oversight as to the duration or extent of the suspension of rights to be erased, er, “suspended temporarily”.

They just make their own laws that say they can, and poof, Rights all gone….. no protesting, no gathering, no voicing objections, no printing exposures or criticisms, no recourse to the courts…. what is next? No right to bear arms?….. No voting?…… No term limits?…… No life, without submission to “registration”?   I guess the choice about all this is up to us….. for the moment….. but, let’s not wait too long, shall we?…… These “executive orders” have already been signed, and are now in effect in this country….. It’s all been “Authorized!”…. and you can bet it will be enforced at the point of a gun….

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this:  If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle.  We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth.  The bamboozle has captured us.  it is simply too painful to acknowledge — even to ourselves — that we’ve been so credulous.  (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new bamboozles rise.)” — Carl Sagan, “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Parade, February 1, 1987
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I couldn’t resist adding this today, as a bonus round, so to speak…. this has got to be considered as possibly the most creative haiku possible for a Westerner to write, though, to be truthful, I don’t know who wrote it. Perfect structure, suitably obscure, yet clear, it meets all the essential standards of classic haiku, but with the added fillip of a most Carlinesque observation…… priceless!…. enjoy…..

Haiku’s inventor
must have had seven fingers
on his middle hand.

Well, Murphy will have his say…. I had intended this to be extra today, but circumstances have forced my hand, aided by the ever-welcome presence of serendipity.  In a search to find the last quote for today’s lineup, the following presented itself, and fit this section so well, I decided to go with the flow…. thus, we have another poem in the haiku tradition, but by someone whose mastery is unquestionable… so, enjoy again!…

Around existence twine,
(Oh, bridge that hangs across the gorge!)
ropes of twisted vine.
— Basho
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I admit to a certain amount of relief at coming to an end to today’s offerings; it has had its moments of struggle, and has taken no small amount of effort to persevere….. but, there is always a touch of melancholy, too, in reaching an ending. This lasts only until I remember that it remains my choice as to whether this ending becomes yet another beginning…. then, I go take a nap….. It’s been nothing if not real, ffolkes…. y’all take care out there….

P.S.  I haven’t forgotten about my siege on WordPress; I wrote a long note yesterday to someone, and will give them the courtesy of a full day to reply…. more on this as matters progress…. Blessed Be, brothers and sisters….


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!