Early Morning Idle Talk

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It’s 6:00 am, and despite the fact that I’m on vacation I’m awake, have been since earlier than I normally get up on most work days. My wife and I just came back from the In-laws, and the cats, who boarded with our vet, we’re clearly not in the mood to let us sleep. So I’ve decided to run interference, for lack of a better term. I stay awake for a bit and they hang out with me so she can sleep. Later on, she’ll do the same for me.

Although, admittedly, she seems to now be awake and unhappy that I am awake. Do you see how decisions sometimes go awry? Lack of communication, though in this instance I think I have a legitimate excuse. She was asleep, or making the attempt to sleep well enough where I thought she was.

Which is fine.

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I love reading the news.

There’s a ton of stories out about fights breaking out all over America as retailers all across America became mosh pits for unruly shoppers. Which to me doesn’t sound like a bad thing, I’ve been known to jump in the occasional mosh pit after all. But apparently it was bad enough where in a number of cases the malls in question closed and some of the brawls may have been orchestrated in some fashion on social media. Or better put, anti-social asshole media.

And plus, you know, Capitalism. Life in America is all about the fight for the dollar, and where better to stage that fight then at your local Piggly Wiggly or Dollar General or Bed Bath and Beyond? Isn’t thirty percent off (and a lack of manners and social grace usually Wolverineassociated with feral wolverines) a reason to beat the crap out of a total stranger?

No? And you people wonder why Donald Trump won the Presidency. This is the America that we live in. Stupid, violent and prone to excess. This is what we are. As a nation. These are our future leaders.

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Wazzup wit dat, bruh?

It doesn’t bother me one bit either. Why? It points to where we are as a culture, what we deem important enough to fight over. It isn’t good government. It isn’t the rights of our brothers and sisters, regardless of what we may think of that. It’s a love of violence that is endemic to our species, even if many individuals decry the truth of that statement. It’s saving a few bucks on things that we have grown attached to. Base desires for material objects that are deemed socially desirable because of it’s cost-benefit on a personal level, despite our national dislike of math and the lack of money that goes along with that shameful dislike.

I’d prefer to have us show our true faces, so we can at least get a grip on who we are going forward, than mask it with some high minded bullshit and lie to ourselves about who and what we are. After all, a society is only as strong as it’s weakest link.

And America is filled with weak links.

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It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak. ~ Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind

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It’s more than an hour later, and all the piss and vinegar seems to have left the cats, and they are now peacefully asleep, or perhaps not so peacefully awaiting  their next chance to strike and steal our ham and cheese. All I want to do is go back to sleep.

Thankfully my wife is blissfully asleep. Something is going right.

But I still have things to do. Clothes to wash, food to buy, things to get for my wife for her birthday.

I’ll give them what they want later. Not sure what’ll happen next, aside from a few more words…

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Twelve dead, forty others wounded in Chicago this weekend. Christmas weekend.

Much of this is being attributed to gang violence, and most of the dead were gang bangers.

Gangs police themselves apparently. And like the police, they miss and shoot people who didn’t have jack to do with anything they were doing.

Reminds me of the Henry Rollins lyric ” I see you say you hate Pigs so much, so why the hell you act like one? Because you’re civilized.”

It’s a short, sad, hard life, and these Darwin award winners were out to prove that this weekend.

Glad I don’t live in that shithole…Which may otherwise be a nice city but…c’mon, really? How nice can it be if that much shit happens there during Christmas?

Clean your shit up, Chicago.

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Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. ~ Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers, 1959

Back to It

In this installment: Where the hell has the Rhino been? What’s the new plan? Is Donald Trump that big of an evil dumbass? (Short answers: Over there, doing shit; Agitate and make war on evil; and Is that even a fucking question?)

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Asshole-Elect

Bless me father for I have sinned.  It has been years since my last posting here. (Boy are you people in for it.)

It has been years for a variety of reasons, none of them very good, but all of them rationales, if not actual reasons. Work has been busy, first with one part-time job and a furious search for more work, then with two, three and at one time four different part time jobs. Then when I landed the full-time gig, after a search that seemed to last a lifetime, I was suddenly even busier than the busy that I had been.

On top of that I had been writing fiction, heaps and heaps of it. Never made a damn dime off of it. Didn’t mind. I write for me. Fuck money (If I ever bitch about funds, remind me I said that shit) But even that went by the wayside as busy become super busy became maddeningly, intensely, stupefyingly, beautifully, bellicosely busy. (I promise, no more shitty strings of adverbs after this… I hope.) So writing went by the wayside. I tried to keep up with it in any way possible. A testament to it is the fact that I have about twenty notebooks with short stories and plans for novels strewn about Rhino Hacienda in what can only be called a deliberately haphazard (That is today’s oxymoron of the day, btw) fashion.

That’s cute and all, but I hear you ask what’s up now and what’s with all the Latin up top?

Glad you asked! Kinda…

Life’d be better if I didn’t feel like I had to be here. After all, a bunch of you assholes voted for the orange haired devil, and now the rest of us adults with priorities and intellects that haven’t been skewed by evil, racism, and ravenous needy greedy bullshit masked as the capitalist urge are left to clean up the mess, and he hasn’t even begun to make it in earnest yet.

Donald Trump, one of the worst humans to disgrace the face of the Earth before he entered politics, is now the leader of the (Buy everything, get nothing) free world. I am going to, starting with my next post go over in exquisite detail every policy position of his, and tear it to pieces like Oliver Stone going over the Zabruder film (Back… and to the left.  Back… and to the left.) I may take a stab at his twitter ranting bullshit, which should go away after the inauguration, but if it doesn’t, keep your eyes here. But all things Politics are back on the table, and it should be…well…

…Trump’s presidency is going to be an exciting ride.

If by exciting you mean like riding an unsafe amusement park ride,

After the site has been condemned,

Closed for five years and allowed to rust,

Aaaaaaaand recently hit by a massive earthquake.

But we’re in this together, so strap in, and get ready for a screamfest!

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This ride will rip your face off…literally.

Oh, and the House and Senate are as stacked with fun every bit as interesting and wicked as the White house, and his Cabinet is crazier than Arkham asylum on LSD so stay tuned for all the fun.

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Quote of the day:  People want me to [run for president] all the time … I don’t like it. Can you imagine how controversial I’d be? You think about [Bill Clinton] and the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine? ~ Donald Trump, from an interview in the New York Post,  July 12th, 1999

The Scent Of Coffee Lingering

The old man wanted to take a day off but he knew there was no such thing as a day off.  There were days out of work, days where you did not make money, but no such thing as a day off, really.  Not for adults.  Something is always on, something always going that needs attention.  Bills to pay, work to do to make money, work to do around the house to make sure that the place looks the way he wants it to, cats to feed, a wife to work with…

Well, normally that last one is true but the old man’s old woman went out for a few days.  Business out of town, so he has the place to himself.  Which means the lights are lower, and the volume of things is lower slightly, but there is also less laughter and happiness.  No one to tell things to after a long day at work, no one there to ask how the day was, she is not there to tell him of the goings on in her world whilst he was away.

She is managing, so he will too.

He sat in the darkened room relaxing to the sound of Frank Sinatra, summer wind, the scent of coffee lingering around the house.  He hears the cats chasing each other around, and smiles.  Looks behind him, sees them fighting, gets a cat toy and tosses it at them, the small plush toy landing on the smaller, older cat, scattering the two of them.

He laughs at this, as the young fat one skitters past his chair and onto the top of the sofa, eyes ablaze.  The older cat, waits for the young cat to go, and then saunters off to eat in the kitchen, like he always does after these confrontations.  The old man sticks his hand out towards the younger cat.  “Rah daaah, Rah daaah, calmness Rah daaah!”  The cat sniffs his hand momentarily, hoping it might hold food.  It holds none, so he shakes his head, and runs off to cause trouble and make noise elsewhere.

As the music changed from Frank to Nat King Cole singing, of all things “Smile.”  The old man thought of his wife, and wondered what she was doing at that moment, and realized it didn’t really matter.  So long as she is happy and safe, that’s all he cared about…

The pain that was sitting in his ankle kicked in again and stopped him in mid-reverie.  He snarled a curt “Dammit!” to no one in particular and rubbed his sore ankle.  The younger cat, who had since calmed down for almost 10 entire seconds was startled by his exclamation, and the young fat cat skittered off of his perch on the couch that he had just gotten to, and careened into the hall.  The old man smiled at this, still rubbing his ankle “Calmness, Rah daaaah!  I didn’t mean to startle ya! calmness”  He wiggled his toes at the cat, who was instantly alert, ready to pounce on them.

But he wouldn’t do that, at least he didn’t think he would.  But his feet were also not in a position for the cat to easily get to them.

There might not be days off, the old man thought to himself, but there are moments, and that is enough for him.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

Seeker

Pic of the day: Portrait of Matsuo Basho by Katsushika Hokusai

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Breaking the silence
Of an ancient pond,
A frog jumped into water –
A deep resonance.

Matsuo Basho

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I am seeking after peace of mind. I don’t know that I will find it, but I am trying.

The peace of mind I seek is more a seeking after emotional contentedness, which has been deeply upset by the death of my father.

It is a regular thing for me to do to try to find some calmer state of mind in my life.

In doing so, I have on rare occasions read haiku.  Hence the U-kiyo-e drawing by Hatsushika Hokusai.

Read a few here, and here.

I also find that reading the Tao Te Ching and Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations helps.

I always carry a copy of one or the other on me whenever I travel to work, along with a copy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

But with a kindle in my possession, I may pick up a few books of haiku poetry.

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Viddy of the day: Matsuo Basho – How Haiku Became Popular.  No sound.  None necessary.

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I have work tomorrow, and since it is getting relatively late I have to get ready for work, make tomorrow’s lunch, get my clothes ready, etc,etc,etc.  It will be the first full day of work for me since December 23rd.  Can’t wait to get back to work.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

3:00 A.M. Thoughts

It’s 3 am on a Monday and I am awake, not something I normally am at 3:00am on a Monday.  Usually when working on a Monday I get up just prior to 5:00 am to go run.  Not today though, I’m working graveyard shift for one day late Monday to early Tuesday, so in order to acclimate myself to the shift, here I am awake when I should be snoozing.

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I dislike corporate greed, I think it is one of the major factors in the inability of the world to fix the problems that exist within it, and of the instability of markets.  If not for the insatiable chase for mammon, the mortgage crisis would never have come about, and as a consequence the great recession of 2007-2009 would probably never have happened, or even if it did, it’s strength and impact would have been greatly diminished.

The face of corporate greed is Hank Paulson.  He’s the #1 guy who lobbied the SEC to loosen the net income rule back in 2003, and he is by and large responsible for the underlying issues the mortgage mess made when all those sub-prime mortgages the relaxation of that rule created went bust.  I’ve written about this mess more than once, if need be I’ll rehash the story for you again at a later date.

Meaning the other guy you hang with this crime, with this sin, is Chris Cox, former head of the SEC .

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Selfishness and demagoguery take advantage of liberty. The selfish hand constantly seeks to control government, and every increase of governmental power, even to meet just needs, furnishes opportunity for abuse and stimulates the effort to bend it to improper uses.

Charles Evans Hughes, Conditions of Progress in Democratic Government

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Pic of the day:  Starry Night Over the Rhone, Vincent Van Gogh

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I’ve been reading those snippets of books, those samples that I mentioned a few days ago in the article titled “A Short List of Books”  and I have to tell you, I picked some real good ones.  Gotta tell you, Naomi Wolf makes me want to go out grab a weapon, and join an armed revolt against the ills of the world.  The Christopher Hitchens offering was, well, a bit too short, but it was….nice,  not really as strong as I was hoping.

I absolutely fell in love with the Fukayama book, the origins of political order.  It was exactly as I had hoped for, an anthropological look at how politics as we know it came to be.  Fascinating stuff.  I was a little underwhelmed by Zen in the art of Archery, kinda surprised me.

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‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem confidences or asides hidden from all else and unmistakenly meant for his ear.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude

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Viddy of the day:  “Ron Paul”  — A BLR Soundbite

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Don’t know what I’m happier about, The Giants pulling out a victory against the Cowboys to retake the lead in the NFC East, or the Rangers beating the CRAP out of the Florida Panthers.

Damn fine to see both victories today. Both teams really needed them.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

Silent Scream

I can’t look him in the eye.  I can’t.  It’s too painful.  The man is a shadow of his former self.  Tied down, hooked up to machines that poke and prod him everywhere, showing readings on every important thing his body does.

He is Gaunt.

Hollow.

Filled with fear and pain.

He twitches in time with some internal clock that beats an odd rhythm, and every once in a while the fear and pain completely take him.  Eyes wild with terror, his emaciated form twists wildly under thin blankets that seem incapable of keeping out even meager amounts of cold, fingers like talons grasp for a hold on anything, anything to push him away from the pain, from the abject fear.

He mouths words, but is incapable of speech.  Most of the words he mouths are incomprehensible, but a few get through.  “help me” “Help Me”  “HELP ME!”  His eyes burn with soul crushing agony.  His mouth becomes an inarticulate, silent scream.  My ears hear nothing from him, but my mind, knowing that ears lie, hears the scream.  The earth shakes with the thunder of his rage and pain and pounds incessantly in my skull. And he repeats the process, only the next one is stronger, more abject, more thunderous.

He sees, but does not comprehend, and his one reaction is one of primal fear.

And then just as suddenly as the fit comes, it goes. He is again resting.

Machines beep to themselves in the corner next to the bed.  His eyes half opened, half closed, showing no signs of life whatsoever.  If i didn’t see the slight movement of the sheets, and see the machine tell me he had a pulse, I’d think I was looking at a corpse.

And then a startled sounding breath. Movement.  His head moves slightly, but remains, as always, leaning to his left.  Tongue hanging out ever so slightly, with a tube stuck down his throat to help him breathe.

The doctors say it helps him breathe, but I hear in the same breathe that he breathes on his own. Makes me wonder after the sanity of people who can say such things.  Either he is breathing and needs no help, or he is really having a bad time, and needs a machine to do it for him. Right?

Right?

No human deserves that pain.  None.  But it exists, it is as real as darkness, as real as the night.

It had better be worth it.  He better make it.

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Pic of the day:  The Flagellation of our Lord Jesus Christ (1880), William- Adolphe Borguereau

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

Philip K Dick, Ben Franklin, and a Good Ol’ Slap In The Balls

Nothing today except a quote, a viddy and a pic.  Been busy running around, and frankly I have not had so much as a minute to devote to anything except that running around. I have to go get ready to go to work tomorrow, so read the quote, watch the viddy, enjoy the art, and have a good night.

And remember, if  you are so busy that you don’t have time to think, and don’t make enough money to get all the things you need to live the life you want, chances are you are one of the 99%.

Go slap a billionaire in the balls and go to sleep.

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Can any of us fix anything? No. None of us can do that. We’re specialized. Each one of us has his own line, his own work. I understand my work, you understand yours. The tendency in evolution is toward greater and greater specialization. Man’s society is an ecology that forces adaptation to it. Continued complexity makes it impossible for us to know anything outside our own personal field – I can’t follow the work of the man sitting at the next desk over from me. Too much knowledge has piled up in each field. And there are too many fields.

Philip K. Dick, The Variable Man (1952)

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Viddy of the day:  Fox News Vs. Muppets: Ana and Cenk, The Slippery Slope of Science.  More fun than a little here with my bro Cenk on his new gig on Current TV. And no surprise, Sheriff Joe from Maricopa county, Arizona is a dick.

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Pic of the day:  Benjamin Franklin

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.