The Watering Hole, Friday August 2, 2013: “Beyond The Edge”

There are times . . . like now, for example . . . when the temptation to leave the human sphere overwhelms and becomes the urge to escape, to banish the collective idiocy of politics, of fear, of irrational hatred(s), to visit somewhere ‘different’ . . . somewhere Beyond the Edge.

So, now that that’s all settled, a few photos and a few words — recollections of moments captured — which together speak of and describe that other reality, that other sphere where human is but the occasional visitor.  Out there . . .

Elk at HorseshoeBeyond The Edge
 of Wildness

There were voices –
Noisome human sounds which rose
With fragrant campfire smokes
To float amongst the trees in waning morning sun,
Above the Edge of Wildness.

There were voices –
Softer now, which spoke in wonder of surround
As trail led north along the wash
Through thick and tangled brush,
Past water tricklets in the sand –
Where more than silence thrived.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere were voices –
Silent voices, footprints in the sand
Which spoke of bear, of deer, of mountain lion
But not of man until we passed
And left our bootprints there.

Cougar printThere were voices –
Panting voices as we climbed above the spring
On rock-strewn slope to find a grassy meadow
Where solitary spruce and pines whispered through the wind –
Where spoke the buzz of locusts in a swarm,
Where sang both bird and bug.

There were voices –
As afterglow of day slipped slowly into night
And birdsong waned with sinking sun,
Cacophony began – the lovesongs of billions –
Each six-legged and far smaller
Than collective melody.

1018-Cicada-0537There were voices –
Across the blackened sky where starlight
Spoke of esoteric things –
Eternity and timelessness, with beams of light
A billion years of age and more –
Excepting newborn meteors.

Mystic Eye

There were voices –
To hail approaching dawn
Coyotes yapped and howled in unison as pack
Expressed both thoughts and memories
Which never cross the mind of man –
And likely never will.

There were voices –
Children at play, a wailing country song
Among the trees, between the tents and trucks
As we returned to more familiar ground –
But changed we were, for now we knew
That we had left our home behind –
Beyond the Edge of Wildness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANature’s voices softly speak to those who dare take the time to listen. The consequence remains invariable and constant, and it is both simple and profound. William Blake, in his poem Auguries of Innocence, offers the perfect summation:

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Indeed, indeed.

Open Thread.

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67 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Friday August 2, 2013: “Beyond The Edge”

    • And then there is this.
      Now why would the Virginia state retirement fund buy stock in a firm that has never made money and whose products are unproven “supplements” made from tobacco? Isn’t Diane Cantor, Sponge Bob appointed chair of VRS, too smart to purchase snake oil?

    • Well, Ken sees those bribes…. damn, …I mean “gifts” as part of a business transaction. He provided something in return. So, if he gave the money back it would be like he did work for free, and he didn’t get into politics to do work for free, or for the people, or for anyone else but himself. Like every other republikkkan.

  1. Bipartisan Crowd Funding Effort Raises Thousands To Pay Conservative (RedState) Blogger’s Hospital Bills

    Caleb Howe, a regular contributor to Erick Erickson’s conservative RedState site, is in the hospital with liver failure. Because Howe doesn’t have health insurance, he and his family are worried that they won’t be able to handle the impending bills — but the Internet has stepped in to help.

    Erickson promoted the fund on RedState with a short post entitled, “Please Consider Helping Caleb Howe’s Family.” And the left-leaning Daily Kos also picked up the story, encouraging its readers to help, too. “Allow me to ask you to do the Christian thing and donate to this young man’s fund,” DailyKos user SemDem writes. “He has two young, beautiful and innocent daughters who need him — and that is who the fund is for. He does not deserve to suffer, much less die.”

    I’m not sure I could bring myself to contribute money to his fund. The question that has to be thrown in the face of his ilk at RedState is whether his family should have to declare bankruptcy because he didn’t have the subsidized health insurance with no pre-existing conditions, no yearly caps, and no lifetime caps of the Obamacare they want to repeal.

    Who should have to be the last family to go into medical bankruptcy before Obamacare is fully implemented?

    • Crowd funding is helpful to some people, but how many do not get that help? How many need help, but not to a degree that crowd funding would work? Don’t you need a pretty good ‘story’ to make it work? And support from platforms (like blogs) can go a long way to assisting certain people that a blog takes a shine to. But how many others NEED help, but can’t get it?

      I would wager real money (something I don’t have myself) that Redstate (et. al.) is going to use this incident as some “proof” that we don’t need social safety nets – that if you get hit with big bills ‘all you have to do is go on the internet and ask for help and everyone will jump in and help you”. Instead of pointing out how broken the system is that people need to go begging on the internet – and isn’t that all that this crowd funding thing really is – “begging”?

      How many of those Redstaters would help out in a reverse situation (they like offering those ‘reverse situation” examples…)? I wager none.

      I don’t begrudge that the man received this aid (people gave of their own accord, for whatever reasons), but I don’t see this as a positive thing – it is just another example of the dysfunctional medical situation in America. You shouldn’t have to go in the public square and BEG for money to pay for life saving medical procedures. Society should be taking care of its own as a society.

      • Isn’t insurance itself a form of crowdsourcing? Maybe we should all be in a shared risk pool together.

      • Absolutely. Single payer, universal. Health care for EVERYONE. Period. A society which cares enough to help each and every person who needs assistance is step one toward becoming civilized. Amurka remains a long way from societal civility, and seems to be driving itself further away from any semblance of the ideal with each and every day.

        Thanks for nothing, wingnuts.

      • Cagey, I had the same reaction about what Erick Son of Erick would do with the story, along with Breitbart and the rest of the RW echo chamber. Your point about how it doesn’t work for everyone is also true. Ditto your comment about the reverse situation–a fund raiser for anyone on the Left would generate nothing but “fuck him I hope he dies” comments on the Right.

    • “Who should have to be the last family to go into medical bankruptcy before Obamacare is fully implemented?”

      The Romney family. It would be the epitomy of irony.

  2. 10 of the Worst Terror Attacks by Extreme Christians and Far-Right White Men

    Most of the terrorist activity in the U.S. in recent years has not come from Muslims, but from radical Christianists, white supremacists and far-right militia groups

    http://www.alternet.org/

      • That is an armed vigilante.
        Not a law enforcement officer.
        He has no pride in his profession and acts like he is above the law.

    • Still More on Kessler

      “You know why there’s not more residents here? The threats. That’s why. Because they’re afraid. They’re afraid they’re going to have their windows shot out.” – Lifelong Gilberton resident Rose McCarthy speaking about Police Chief Mark Kessler and his supporters on July 31, 2013

      • That’s probably true. Take a good look at the pictures of Kessler’s supporters and you will see the faces of gun toting teabaggers and fascists. They represent the real ugly of Pennsylvania. Fortunately, most of the state is not like this.

  3. When was Darrell Issa going to cover this in the hearings?

    CIA ‘running arms smuggling team in Benghazi when consulate was attacked’

    Up to 35 CIA operatives were working in the city during the attack last September on the US consulate that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, according to CNN.
    The circumstances of the attack are a subject of deep division in the US with some Congressional leaders pressing for a wide-ranging investigation into suspicions that the government has withheld details of its activities in the Libyan city.
    The television network said that a CIA team was working in an annex near the consulate on a project to supply missiles from Libyan armouries to Syrian rebels.

  4. Your wish is granted:

    A central Florida man angry at the President Barack Obama’s plan to overhaul health care has been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for threatening to kill the president.

    Christopher Castillo was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Orlando. He was convicted last February.

    Authorities say the 28-year-old Melbourne man made the threat on Facebook before the 2012 election. He said he would “hunt” the president down and kill him if he were re-elected.

    A witness told authorities that when Castillo was told it was a federal offense to threaten the president, he said “Let them come after me … Be more than happy to take a few of them with me.”

    At his trial, Castillo said he didn’t really mean he would kill the president.

  5. The always entertaining Bill Donohue:

    There are those who, like Republican gay activist David Lampo, think it is absurd to maintain that gay marriage threatens religious liberty. It would be instructive to know what in the world they think is going on in this case. The truth is that it has been known for years that gay rights and religious rights are on a collision course. Importantly, only one of those rights is enshrined in the First Amendment. Hint: it isn’t the one that deals with sex.

  6. Record Numbers of Ex-Gays Rally: Almost 10

    This number was just shy of the “thousands of ex-gays” they anticipated and even less than the “tens of thousands” of ex-gays that exist but are “in the closet because of fear, shame and threats from gay activists,” claims Christopher Doyle

  7. When a property owner reaches a settlement with an oil or gas driller, it’s not unusual for the company to demand that the plaintiffs in the case agree to a gag order that bars them from talking about the agreement. But a recent case in Pennsylvania is unusual. That’s because the gag order prohibited the 7- and 10-year-old children of a couple that sued several gas companies not only from talking about their specific settlement, but from mentioning fracking at all. Ever.

    http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/08/7-year-old-kid-fracking-gag-order

    • What will the driller do if the children speak out when they become adults? Technically, the children are not the receiver of the payoff. The check wasn’t in their names.

    • That can’t stand — a parent cannot give up their child’s rights in perpetuity as part of a contr… or under any other circumstances.

      And their lawyer — I didn’t like him in that bit of the transcript: sounded to me like he was badgering them.

  8. Islam is not a religion? Please go home and soil your own sheets and leave the discussion to adults.

    Perhaps these people aren’t actually insane and/or tremendously stupid but are using a brilliant strategy of constantly harassing Muslims (aka dark scary people) constantly so they finally succeed in driving them out entirely. But I doubt it.

    • Mosque opponents alleged that the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) would aid terrorists, establish Sharia law –

      hmm, TN xtians are already attempting to implement their own version of Sharia…

      Did you know that anti-choice lawmakers in Tennessee keep trying to restrict the right to have an abortion currently afforded by their state’s constitution?

      Tennessee has an unconstitutional and unenforceable criminal ban on abortion.

      Tennessee allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide women specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals.

      • Tennessee seems to also have a very substantial problem with inbreeding. Their “gene pool” wouldn’t dampen a sponge.

  9. QOTD:

    “What I need from you is to know what you can do, you and your fellow non-communist colleagues in the lower House, what you can do to stop these communist tyrannical executive orders laid down by this foreign-born, America-hating communist despot?” — an Alabama tea-party supporter to congresswoman Martha Roby at a town hall meeting.

    Roby did not refute the questioner’s lunatic question, and in fact followed up with a list of her oversight activities.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/08/house-republican-wont-push-back-tea-party-birther-calling-obama-communist-despot

  10. GOoPers are “lawful evil”. Here’s the description of the Arch Devil, Asmodeus, as defined in Dungeons and Dragons mythology.

    “Asmodeus is devoted to oppression and might through subversive action. He imposes strict rules and harsh punishments on his followers. The cult of Asmodeus urges its adherents to seek power over others, to repay evil with further evil (an eye for an eye), to exploit kindness for personal gain, and to show no compassion for the weak and downtrodden. All done in the most legal possible manner of course, and never overtly.

    Typical rhetoric from worshipers of Asmodeus will discuss “promoting personal excellence and independence,” “taking care of one’s own affairs” and “ridding oneself of weakness”. Sometimes one will hear of “ascending to godhood”, or “no gods, no masters”. When harming innocents, their actions are discussed as “providing motivation to succeed”. Most often, ritual practices are deeply secretive and not publicly discussed. Most followers will not publicly admit their worship of Asmodeus, as that would compromise their potential bargaining position for greater power over non-followers.”

    Spooky ain’t it?

    • I agree, but on different grounds, and only in the sense as a collective organizational alignment, as the other alignments would be identifiable throughout individual people.

      The alignments are comprised of two elements: lawful, neutral, or chaotic; and good, neutral, or evil. The first part of the alignment defines a character’s general outlook on social structures and rules, and the second part defines moral beliefs (in very general terms, of course – you got three options). They are not some kind of codes that are adhered to – they are a tool to help keep definition of the character one is currently playing: the alignments in the game are descriptions of the character’s basic general ‘character’.

      Lawful types exhibit a number of traits, and those that apply to the GOP: obedience to authority, close-mindedness, reactionary adherence to tradition, judgmentalness, and a lack of adaptability.

      Evil is, well, evil.

      And excerpt from the specific definition of Lawful Evil:

      Lawful Evil, “Dominator”
      A lawful evil villain methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts. He cares about tradition, loyalty, and order but not about freedom, dignity, or life. He plays by the rules but without mercy or compassion. He is comfortable in a hierarchy and would like to rule, but is willing to serve. He condemns others not according to their actions but according to race, religion, homeland, or social rank … he depends on order to protect himself from those who oppose him on moral grounds Some lawful evil villains have particular taboos, such as … not letting children come to harm (if it can be helped). They imagine that these compunctions put them above unprincipled villains.

      Cruel, vengeful, proud, callous, hostile, taciturn, malevolent, calculating, plotting, meciless, domineering, severe, tryrannical, commanding, organized, respectful of authority and power.

      Strict order is of the utmost importance, to further the ends of the deserving strong over the undeserving weak and worthless. “The strongest first and the weakest last.” He will respect the will of the group and the power of those in authority over him (unless he believes that the latter are undeserving), but will promote his own ends whenever possible.

      Lawful evil is sometimes called “diabolical,” because devils are the epitome of lawful evil.
      Lawful evil represents methodical, intentional, and frequently successful evil.

      Prolly too much information, huh?…..

      • I think you just defined the Koch Brothers, Limbaugh, and a substantial pile of other Lying and Evil Turds.

        Question: would it necessarily be a bad thing if the Koch Brothers were arrested for, say, ‘subversion’ or whatever, and dropped into, say, the same slammer in which Bradley Manning has been locked for how many years? Why is Manning more of a ‘criminal’ than the Kochs? Why is Snowden suddenly an ‘enemy’ when all he did was reveal NSA nastiness?

        I know, I speak of ‘surface’ opinions and attitudes, but still the question remains: WHY do asshole (rich) bastards get away with literally everything, and why are well-intentioned small people (see also Trayvon Martin) convicted in advance?

        • I don’t know that it would be fair to Manning to force him to share a prison with the Kochs. “Cruel and unusual punishment”… possibly even torture.

          The Kochs belong in a general prison population: they need to rub elbows with some people.

          • I’d say let Manning out, pardon him, and throw the Kochs in to pay for their crimes . . . maybe life plus ten thousand years, something like that. Oh, and redistribute their fifty billion$ to the people from whom they ripped it off. Us.

      • Despite my age I was actually involved with the beginning of D&D because I had young friends. I considered it to be a group effort at writing fantasy fiction. But? I just stumbled upon this bit about Asmodeus and was amazed at how closely it resembles the GOoPers.

        • I was very young when I started playing RPGs – at the time there was only the blue book version of D&D (max level = 3 because they hadn’t worked out the rules past that yet). You could still buy the quarterly war gamer’s magazine (I forget the name – it was a small tan pamphlet) where rules suggestions could be found for the very new RPG concept.

          It was actually the older wargamers (often model train set types) that made RPGs popular (D&D is the “big name” that non gamers know, but in those early days, Tunnels and Trolls (T&T) came out with a complete set of rules before D&D did).

          And Watership Down had a HUGE influence in creating RPGs (followed, and then overshadowed, by Tolkein… although the Tolkein estate were a bit of asses at one point with strange litigation…).

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