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Yes, they wrote it. The Bee Gees wrote over one thousand songs. This one they wrote for Kenny Rogers but Kenny didn’t like singing it by himself. Then somebody said, “Hey, Dolly Parton’s somewhere around the studio. Let’s get her to sing along.”

And she did. And he did. And they did. And then Everybody sang along. You know it, my friends. Sing it. Sing it out. It will enhance your day in ways you cannot know yet, so sing it and go see what’s out there.  Sail away with me to another world and we rely on each other.   Ah ha.

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Opium

This must be the golden river
Of the hidden valley of Chang.

I can tell by the shape
of their arrowheads.

As the dance changes
The violet bird

Flashes in his orange forest,
And the Commandments are written

In Sanskrit on the teacups,
And the still trees
                        moving
                              glowing
                                      flaming…

We wait under a bloom of stars
set in geometric display.

We do not talk much
Until the birds cease.

Someone wanders
In through the window,

Standing stock-still,
Munching a piece of cheese.

My shoes are red.
I must complain.

[1967]

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once the needle goes in it never comes out


It’s not a “homeless” crisis, and it never has been. The world “homeless?” That’s sheer propaganda to keep the Fountain of Funding gravy flowing. It’s a junkie crisis. These people don’t live in a world without homes, they live in a world full of open-air drug markets. Most love it that way. Some say they want to leave but “It’s just not the right time for me.”

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“You would not think to look at him, but he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin on Desolation Row”

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Noted in Passing: Signing Off, Washington State

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Noted In Passing: Elon Musk’s Daily Message

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Regarding My “Walk-On Part in the War”


“Did you exchange
A walk-on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?”

I’ve been in a couple of bad riots. Riots so bad that yesterday’s tear gas shells are replaced by today’s shotguns where the first round is birdshot, the next two are double-ought buck, and the last round is a slug.

Then the shotguns are not pacifying enough so the next day it’s the National Guard.

You don’t want that. You do not want to be rioting in a city where the army is in the streets with fixed bayonets and full clips.

I remember those moments from my student days in Berkeley. Days that culminated in a little action called People’s Park. It was in my neighborhood just off Telegraph Avenue and it was a fine place to freak out in until it wasn’t. People’s Park was one of those things that “seemed like a good idea at the time”.

You had your standard cookie-cutter initial protests.

Then you had your standard cookie-cutter initial riots

…which were sort of fun since only the local cops were involved.

Then that changed. Quickly.

First, you had the Highway Patrol showing up who were not as gentle as the Berkeley Police. Then you had the Oakland Cops showing up. “Gentle” was not in their instruction manual. Instead, their first move was to open their trunks and take out their street-sweeping shotguns. Then they racked them and opened fire.

This resulted in a lot of loose buckshot wounds with one person blinded for life, and one person killed outright. (James Rector. I remember his name today after fifty years because he was shot on the roof right above me as I was running away from the shotguns at speed. )

James Rector, dying

After that, I went home for the night… [continue reading…]

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“When I was a lad I served a term…”…The New Neo reads about another zombie heading a DC Department and has a D’oily O’Carte flashback: “I’d wager that one reason she has been nominated is that she’s a woman. Another is that the Biden administration couldn’t care less about experience and the actual competent running of government.

And of course, the whole thing puts me in mind of Gilbert and Sullivan. Phillips was never “a lad” and she seems to have actually “gone to sea” (“once captained a Navy warship”) so it doesn’t quite fit, and yet it still seems rather apropos for our times.

I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament.
I always voted at my party’s call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.

I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee!

He thought so little, they rewarded he
By making him the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee!

I grew so rich that I was sent
By a pocket borough into Parliament.
I always voted at my party’s call,
And I never thought of thinking for myself at all.

I thought so little, they rewarded me
By making me the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee!

He thought so little, they rewarded he
By making him the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee!

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Strange (Video) Daze: On the (Lighter and) Dark Side



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Mars and the Two Churches of Life

There’s a hell of a nice universe next door. Let’s go.”

For the first time in decades, the realistic possibility of going to Mars has been brought forward and placed on the table for discussion and debate. I’ve been carrying on a conversation with a friend over the past few weeks about the immediate and future ramifications of mankind expanding beyond the moon to the planets… and then on.  Central to this discussion and all our spacefaring is the question: Is this a universe where Intelligent Life Is Everywhere (ILIE) or are we alone in the cold infinities? 

That question came to mind this morning when an email from the friend mentioned above said:

….if, indeed, life and intelligent life is as prevalent as we think it should be, why aren’t we (a) intercepting millions of alien broadcasts in the electromagnetic spectrum, and (b) positively inundated with alien landings?

One reason that is disturbing in a deep way is that we’re all wrong, and we’re all alone… What if, in all those billions of galaxies, we’re it. Gives me the shivers.

….Look at us, mankind. We’ve been given the gift of intelligence, and the ability to expand our ecosystem out into space, where, with some significant but not insurmountable effort, we could spread like a proverbial virus.

All we need do is figure out how to make an Ezekial’s wheel within a wheel to take us away to the middle of the air.

Still I suspect that we are, indeed, alone. Or, if not exactly alone, alone enough that it makes no practical difference.

Many years ago I read a  stirring and beautiful book by Guy Murchie called The Seven Mysteries of Life. It is a complicated bit of scientific romanticism and I won’t go into it here in detail. Besides I’m sure if I re-read it now it would seem antiquated, even quaint. But at some point in that book, Murchie began to take on the equation (Googlenumberofstars- XBadforintelligentlife stars=X Stars Supporting IntelligentLife) that forms the foundation for the Just One World of Intelligent Life (JOWOIL) Religion. A similar declension is known as The Fermi paradox. An argument encapsulated in Enrico Fermi’s famous question“Where is every­body?”

This Goldilocks style of argument removes stars from the board of intelligent life for being in too close to the center of galaxies, being multiple, being too big, too small, too young, too old, etcetera, etcetera, and turtles all the way down. This gets you a much smaller number of stars with (we hope) planets galore and then, through the application of other elements in Fermi’s paradox that reduces that number over and over until you arrive at 1 — the single planet on which we have discovered (semi)intelligent life –Earth.

On the other hand, we have the presently-popular religion currently professed by hundreds of millions of secular souls, The universe is vast hence Intelligent Life Is Everywhere (ILIE). Believe!

They are both still religions and we are returned, just when we thought we’d escaped into the one true faith of Intelligent Life Is Everywhere (ILIE), back to a situation of dueling faiths each playing a slightly different tune even if the underlying harmonic blends. But let’s boost the All-Alone track for now and dampen the ILIE part of the mix. Let’s say that we are all alone and that Murchie’s argument is correct. After all, the All-Aloners do have a planet to stand on. The ILIEs need at least two planets showing intelligent life to be persuasive.

If we are alone and we are in the “a fluke of the universe, a glitch” category, then what we do will hardly matter to anything other than ourselves. Hence, we need to take responsibility for our actions as a race. Mars is the next baby step.

If we are all that is we need to keep going — if only from the imperative that life must keep going even if it is to no purpose other than simple reproduction. To achieve that with any certainty we have to create, it seems to me — as it does to, but not because of, Elon Musk — a second planet just as an insurance policy, a safe haven. This is, to my mind, the most cogent argument for Mars. Mars is a backup.

Of course, in technical terms, going to Mars in the near future with the technology on hand will probably be similar to launching balsa log rafts into the Pacific in the Kon Tiki era, but that doesn’t mean we won’t do it. (The only real limits to this are 1) the vehicles cost a lot more than balsa rafts and 2) a foolish contemporary desire on our part to make sure that everyone gets there safe and sound. (We’ll get over that in the manner of the early Portuguese explorers whose motto was, “It is important to travel. It is not important to live”.)  It’s important to recall that in the beginning of the Age of Discovery, we were using the cutting edge 15th century technology of navigation, cartography, and maritime technology embodied in the caravel. Implicit in caravel was the lunar lander, it just took centuries to build it. But we got there and to Tranquility Base by and by. Mars is just another further destination, a port of call.

In the Home and Alone theory of intelligent life in the universe, Mars is key. If we can get there and establish ourselves then we will have transformed humanity from Fluke to Seed. This is especially stimulating to the ILIE Religion because it will seem to be something we’ve done all by ourselves without any help from metaphysical realms… that pesky something named God. And keeping God out of the new SETI religion is essential. A continued state of “No God Nowhere” is more essential to ILIE believers than finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Keeping God out preserves the ILIE religion as the one true faith of state-worship and any religion’s first imperative is that there can be only one.

I keep returning to the words God and Religion. The injection of these terms into a 21st-century discussion of things scientific always makes people very uncomfortable. Indeed, it makes me uncomfortable but that is just a post-mortem effect of that insidious state propaganda. Today, the ideological atmosphere of intellectual discussion has become so stultifying that one seems to have nothing to do with the other. Even though science originally derived from theologians and was the handmaiden of religion for centuries we did, at some time in the God-forsaken 20th century come to a tacit agreement to keep science and religion in separate spheres where,

Never the twain shall meet
Til Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat.

I am not a man of traditional religion. My church-going activities are sparse, to say the least. I’m what I call A Christian in Crisis Only. Make me fearful or make me terrified or make me hurt deeply on an emotional level, and you’ll find me on my knees praying in a church or even on a back lawn somewhere. Other times I go blithely about my business. But that’s not the state I’m talking about when I bring God into this discussion.

To my small mind, limited as it is, I’ve been noticing a tendency at the extreme reaches of physics and the observable universe to touch the metaphysical. This is the phenomenon that’s called A universe not only stranger than we imagine, but a universe stranger than we *can* imagine. Today the metaphysical heresy is found from string theory to the Webb telescope. The cathedral of physics/ astronomy/ biology/ mathematics has its high priests, and what they are preaching from their visions of the far edges of the microsphere and the macrosphere on a lot of levels boggles the minds of lesser mortals. But we take them on, well, faith. [continue reading…]

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DRY RUN: An enslaved lizard speaks to his reptile overloads about how easy it is to manipulate puny humans with fear. The overlords chortle with pleasure.

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“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolved, and the people recovering their true sight, restoring their government to its true principles. It is true, that in the meantime, we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war, and long oppressions of enormous public debt.”

—Thomas Jefferson, 1798, after the passage of the Sedition Act

It’s easy to imagine Dr. Mengelfauci as the prototypical Pinocchio, his dimpled nose jutting out another inch every time he spouts a new lie, but really he’s more like Mangiafuoco, the waffling puppet-master of the Great Marionette Theatre in Carlo Collodi’s 1883 The Adventures of Pinocchio.1 Or maybe he’s both, as no doubt his strings are being pulled by shadow puppet-masters whose names we may never know.

Pinocchio is a pathological prevaricator who is not only implausibly dense but an incompetent liar to boot. His lies are so transparent and contradictory as to be laughable. On those counts, Dr. Mengelfauci is a match.

Where he doesn’t align with both the original Italian and Disney versions is in the marionette’s genuine remorse for his wicked deeds and his ardent desire to reform, ultimately leading to his redemptive transformation into a human being—a metamorphosis unlikely to befall today’s wooden fabulist.

Spin Doctor Fauci is still clinging to his pedestal, his nose growing longer by the microsecond as he slings more lies to camouflage the festering heap of fetid falsehoods in the corner.

A Cabinet of Confabulations

We all know the flippety-floppety fabrications. Below is just a sampling:2

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They, 2021

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Noted in Passing: A Legacy Of Nothing — Bush in 2008

It is difficult not to conclude that an Obama regime would have been impossible without the Bush presidency preceding it. If someone had said in 2000 that electing Bush would result in a Chicago thug and Marxist becoming president in 2009 he would have been thought mad. But here we are.

Even as he prepares to turn out the lights of his presidency, he dabbles in bipartisan idiocy that go far to make laughable the reasons conservatives voted for him. Here is just one example of his recent gibberish.

I readily concede I chucked aside my free-market principles when I was told … the situation we were facing could be worse than the Great Depression.

Memo to Bush: Principles are not principles if you can so readily abandon them. They are then nothing but vague notions and feelings. Imagine Reagan saying something like that. Reagan knew that principles served as guiding lights behind every action, not as mere conveniences that one could abandon at whim.

Bush does not at all comprehend what Obama is.

President George W. Bush is offering some advice to his successor, when it comes to dealing with his critics. He says in the end, Barack Obama will have to “do what he thinks is right.”…Bush said he wishes Obama “all the very best.”

Obama desires to turn the nation into a socialist dependency wholly controlled by the Democrat Party. He plans to allow sodomites in the military. He has laid out plans to enlist the entire nation in his Marxist crusade. His fanaticism toward infanticide literally knows no bounds. And Bush wishes the creature “all the very best.”

Bush is kinder to Obama than he ever was to those conservatives who placed him in office.

FROM: A Legacy Of Nothing at the fondly remembered  “The Return of Scipio”

 

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