Category Archives: Adventure

A Republican perspective

Jack posted this in August, 2005:

President, Former Commander in Chief, Allied Expeditionary Forces, Europe, WWII:

Dwight David Eisenhower

Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation
January 17, 1961

Good evening, my fellow Americans: First, I should like to express my gratitude to the radio and television networks for the opportunity they have given me over the years to bring reports and messages to our nation. My special thanks go to them for the opportunity of addressing you this evening.
Three days from now, after a half century of service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.

Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.

Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on questions of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the nation.

My own relations with Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and finally to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.

In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the nation well rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the nation should go forward. So my official relationship with Congress ends in a feeling on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.

We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Throughout America’s adventure in free government, such basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among peoples and among nations.

To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people.

Any failure traceable to arrogance or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us a grievous hurt, both at home and abroad.

Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger it poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle – with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.

Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in the newer elements of our defenses; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research – these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel. A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

But each proposal must be weighed in light of a broader consideration; the need to maintain balance in and among national programs – balance between the private and the public economy, balance between the cost and hoped for advantages – balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between the actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their Government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well in the face of threat and stress.

But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise.

Of these, I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system – ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war – as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years – I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

So – in this my last good night to you as your President – I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I – my fellow citizens – need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nations’ great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America’s prayerful and continuing aspiration:

We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.

Now, on Friday noon, I am to become a private citizen. I am proud to do so. I look forward to it.

Thank you, and good night.

Incidentally

Jack wrote this in June, 2005:

If you find the previous post here absurd, you can take comfort in knowing that your thinking is in concert with the finest scientific minds in my acquaintance.  A while back I told the story of the guy in the restaurant and about Big Loser to a physicist I have a lot of respect for.  His response was something stronger than a scoff.

“Hell,” he sputtered, “Do you honestly believe that if that was happening it would have been discovered by some dipstick in Kalamazoo or somewhere, instead of by a grad student at MIT?  They have the software and the hardware, and they have the intellects.  If something of that sort was possible they’d be getting rich and bragging about it to one another.

“Some yokel isn’t going to discover something that passes the notice of the mathematicians and physicists all over the world.”

So, you can be sure you’re own reasons for thinking it ain’t so are backed up by some other good thinkers.

On the other hand, I sort of like the idea of some yokel in Kalamazoo or somewhere putting one over on the physicists and mathematicians.  I also take some comfort in knowing it wasn’t long ago when Quantum was a word that had no meaning among those people.  Still doesn’t for a lot of them.

Jack

Getting back to some basics, number-wise

Jack wrote this in June, 2005:

 

Not many months ago I had about as much interest in the lottery and the numbers as I had about the mating habits of, say, dung beetles (tumble-bugs).  I’d occasionally play a number that came to me, or play a QP when I’d be in a convenience store and see someone buying a ticket to remind me the lotteries exist.

Then I ran into the guy I began the “A strange Experience” thread telling the story about a couple of months ago.

The guy, to make a long story short, was a chance encounter over a cup of coffee, began telling me he moved around all over playing various lotteries, making a living at it.  Naturally, I didn’t believe him.  But I passed a while listening across a table, him meandering on about how the numbers behaved, writing and making diagrams on napkins.  He made it clear what he was telling me was just a tiny piece of the methods he used, a short-course.  He said he spent several days working up his numbers for each draw.

When we parted he left me with that wad of napkins, which I intended to pursue out of curiosity, just to satisfy myself the guy was BSing me.  Eventually, I did and demonstrated to my own satisfaction that, at least, part of what he told me was true.  The numbers did seem to follow the patterns he said they did, that part of the ‘rules’ he’d explained appeared to work.

I started buying five tickets per draw with the power play option, breaking even over several months using his rudimentary methods.  But that got me interested enough to try to figure out what his other ‘rules’, the ones he told me he had, but didn’t explain, might be.

That brought me, eventually, to these forums.

Then, about the time I began trying to really get down to brass tacks understanding the numbers, I quit winning.  Partly, it was because the ‘rules’ he’d told me about appeared to cease to be rules for a while.  Partly, it was because, when they did begin to behave in those ways again, I’d lost faith in them and had become certain there were better ways to nail them down on all the corners.  Back testing those methods they generally looked good, but when it came to the coming draws they crashed and burned.

In fact, the kiss of death for a particular set frequently coincided with having posted that set on these forums.  Caused me to wonder aloud on the forums whether these numbers weren’t behaving somehow like subatomic particals when they get caught in the act of doing something they weren’t  supposed to… in this case, behaving in non-random patterns.  Which is to say, when they find themselves the focus of human attention, they hop back into the behavior humans have assigned as correct for them.

I’m still not convinced that isn’t happening, though I’m willing to believe it isn’t.

Meanwhile, this guy, Big Loser popped up and appeared to confirm what the guy had told me about over coffee…. that the numbers behave in understandable ways.  I still believe they do.

Anyway, lately I’ve observed those lotteries, MM and PB, seem to be doing the things the guy the guy in the restaurant told me about, doing them on a fairly consistent basis.  I’m backing off all my fancy methods I’ve been working at and feeling fairly smug and smart-alec about, going back to the first day after I unwadded those napkins and looked up number histories. The day I discovered what he’d said happens sometimes does.  Frequently does.

I still believe the numbers can be understood, but it’s clear to me I sure as hell don’t understand them with my current methodologies.

Here are some numbers, using his methods, that ought to stand a fair shot for MM tonight (numbers deleted as no longer relevant- Jeanne).

Maybe they’ll work for someone if the numbers don’t catch you looking at them. (I’m smiling as I write that).

Jack

Executive Privilege

Executive Privilege

Human brain Fido

Inside his chain-link fence

Joins full-moon sky concert

With Rufus, and Poochie

Down the block

On their chains,

Cock their ears

And wonder, wonder

Why the faint coyote calls,

Why a whiff of rotten elk-meat

In the garbage

Drives them wild.

From Poems of the New Old West

Copyright 2002, Jack Purcell

The skins we change

JackCDbackupJune03 111

Jack wrote this in June, 2005:

Out in the currently vacant chicken house I found a rattlesnake skin the other day.  It was in one of the layer boxes, so I don’t know how long it was there before I noticed it.  But it caused me to do some thinking about old brother rattler and what manner of nuisance he’s likely to make of himself if he’s still around.

I’m a man who holds rattlers in fairly high regard, but with a lot of respect for their clumsy bad manners when it comes to getting underfoot.  I usually try to keep enough of an eye on the places they like to show up unexpectedly to avoid offending them, and when I can corner them I’ll carry them off into some likely spot well away from humans.  Mostly they’re just minding their own business, trying to make a living the same as everyone else and don’t have the good sense to keep themselves out of harm’s way when humans are around.

This one looked a lot bigger last year (I’m assuming it’s the same one) when I lifted up a piece of plywood in a pile of debris in the corner of the lot and let out an involuntary yelp as I jumped backward in time to avoid his strike.  That skin shows him to be about two feet long, but I’d have called him an easy four from my brief look at him.

Rattlers are few at this altitude, and the one who slithered off into the cane leaving me to to decide whether to just breathe a while and let my pulse slow down, or take another tug at that plywood is almost certainly the previous owner of that skin in the chicken house.

Rattlers are lucky where it comes to changing their skins.  Happens year after year, but generally they don’t change much.  People aren’t so lucky in that regard.  We change our skins a lot of times in this life, and in a sense we leave the old ones lying around to be examined by everyone with an interest in who we are, making assumptions based on the old skin.

The other night I was down at the Range Cafe in Bernallilo …. met a bunch of old guys my age down there… retirees from the Los Alamos labs…. nuclear physicists who’ve shed their old skins and discovered they’ve let their lives slither off into the bush without doing a lot of things they wish they’d done.  Now they’re all off living other places, but decided to rendezvous down here for a hurrah into the mountains, looking for a lost gold mine.

I have a notion I’d have barely been able to tolerate those men in their younger days.  There’s a nuance about value judgements involving working on nuclear weapon development that would have influenced my thinking about them.

But these guys had left all that behind, shed that skin and now just wanting to slither off into the canyons, spend some time chewing the fat over a fire and stomp around looking for a lost mine and taking joy in being around one another again.

Strange place we’ve chosen to spend a reality, thinks I.

Jack

Long day’s journey into night- being a hermit

Jack wrote this in July, 2005:

This was the most recent of a long line of exchanges with an online friend, a man who’s had some success skrying numbers on pick 3/4s…..  This is the guy I sent 12 numbers to that were all the right ones for that night’s MM draw…. he bought one ticket…. been kicking himself every since.  Mostly he believes his life is a living hell out of habit, except when he reminds himself he’s blessed, which is only when I remind him to remind himself, thinks I.

Thought I’d share it with you blog readers.  I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned my brief life as a hermit on this blog.

Morning Pal:

I suppose you’re right.  You live a complicated life.  It would be complicated, just with your interpersonal relationships, even if you didn’t have a job that would be enough to satisfy most needs for complication.  Even if you didn’t have a piece of real estate that’s located in and part of a subtle war zone.  It’s relatively easy to imagine how you’d have some difficulties focusing, doing the necessary relaxing and tuning out that’s required for skrying numbers, or anything else.

A long time ago, when I had a complicated life, I used to wonder whether a stay in the sort of place where you work, an asylum, would do the trick as a means of getting me removed from the system of complications I’d built around myself to help make myself unhappy.  I concluded that it wouldn’t.

 I also gave some thought to whether prison life would do it, but unless it was one of those kinds of Federal prisons all the Watergate folks went to, I don’t think it could.

Thought about a Trappist monastary a bit, even.  That might do it.  I don’t know, but it seemed so otherwise out of sinc with my nature that I never tried it.

But I had the advantage over most people, because I knew what I was missing.  When I got booted out of the Peace Corps in 1964, after a bit of time trying to complicate my life in Honolulu the way a person will, I was contacted by the US Army Reserve telling me they wanted to know where I was in case they wanted to reactivate me for Vietnam if they needed people with my particular MOS.  In those early days of 1965 nobody knew where all that was going and reactivating the reserves was considered a real possibility.

My support for US military adventures overseas went away entirely during my tour in the Far East.  I was gonna have nothing to do with Vietnam.  I decided I was going to spend the remainder of my life as a hermit living in the jungle on the big island….. a place called Wiamono Valley on the drainage of the Kohala range…. used to be a village in there but it was wiped out by the tidal wave in 1947 and nobody laid claim on it since.  Nobody in there but a blind mule and me…. for six weeks that mule had company.

That six weeks with nobody to talk to but a blind mule changed my whole life.  It was a pivotal moment for me, one of the greatest blessings of my stay in this reality this time around.  In addition to a book full of other benefits, it gave me a realization of what’s possible for a human being, mind-wise, if he can succeed in either simplifying his life, or in (I didn’t know then) distancing himself from the web of values, properties, interpersonal relationships and other tangle we do our best to mire ourselves in so we can’t see or hear what we’re trying to keep from seeing and hearing…… the voice of what’s beneath.

I definitely understand what you’re saying, my friend.  Hang in there.

Jack

Here’s to 2021- a post from Jeanne

Harper, TX 2006

Hello to all friends of this blog, I hope this time of year is seeing you well and safe. I don’t want to write about this dumpster fire of a year, but want to mention that I’m gratified to see that there are regular readers here still, and those of you who hit the “like” button are much appreciated. There are even some new followers, which would have had Jack shaking his head in amazement. I don’t promote the blog or even use all the tools that WordPress offers to make it more visible, so it’s nice to see this. You readers feel like friends who share this one unique trait, an appreciation for Jack’s writing.
One of the nice results of this project (scheduling posts ahead for the next two years) is the fact that I have forgotten most of the writing that I looked at last spring and summer, and I’m enjoying all of it as a fresh experience, same as you. This is exactly what I was hoping for as I navigate months without seeing him… tricking myself into seeing new “communication.” It may be an odd way to handle things, but I’m fortunate to have so much material to help me through this. I also put all the files of posts in order for the first time… although they are not posted here in order of month and year, I now have back-up files of all the posts I scheduled and all the years of posts on this blog backed up in an orderly fashion. Because I prefer to do my reading from books instead of on the screen, I hope to someday put these into a book format using Lulu.com (print on demand) so I can browse through them easily. But that is a project for next year, if I’m still into it by then. I’ve got more projects in mind for when I retire than I can probably accomplish in one lifetime.
Jack liked making lists, and I’m looking over lists of his favorite movies and music. My plans for New Year’s Eve are to get carry out at a Mexican restaurant and watch The Rainmaker or Cabaret. Nothing is the same but there are pockets of peace here and there, and I will see the new year in with gratitude.
With appreciation and best wishes for your 2021,
Jeanne

Double ought five approaching climax

Jack wrote this New Year’s Eve, 2005:

Hi blogsters.

Been a fun day of not much going on.  Couldn’t bring myself to look another batch of numbers seriously in the eye so I just did a minimal workup and did the usual handstand, look-out-of-the-corner-of-my-eye while juggling and saying mantras backward routine.  Never fails in a pinch.

All the cats have been tricked or cajoled inside out of harms way.  Naiad, the long-haired black Reiki Master puss cat was the one had to be both, cajoled and tricked, indoors.  Hydrox came in easy and somewhat serene as should a cat who’s been attuned, both as a Reiki Master, and in a lot of other things cats most generally don’t get attuned for.

Tabby, second-level Reiki, nearly as I can figure, old Tabby really never spent much time outdoors today, so she wasn’t a problem in that regard.  Had to figure out other methodology problem wise.

Shiva, not really attuned to anything, but a cagey survivor, stayed in back closeted for the day.

I have before me my numbers, but I’m thinking I won’t even look until tomorrow morning, the New Year shining bright.  Or maybe pre-dawn.  But definitely not until double ought six come blaring down the pike horns fiery slobber slinging from its noostrils and mouth looking for a likely suspect to do a bit of spitting at noostril/mouthwise and hornwise both.

I’m not a drinking man, but did some serious contemplating earlier that I just might put together a Margarita and get a little buzz on, but I decided against it.  Decided is probably the wrong word.  Making it would have required me to make it, which I didn’t.  Default.  Ergo, no Margarita for the dying breath of 2005.

I suppose if I had something else I could snort it, or smoke it, or inject it, or shove it up suppository style, but I don’t do that, either, so I didn’t.

But weirdly enough, I feel somewhat as though I did.  Feeling pretty nigh on happy here…. downright ecstatic.  Not the spiritual state of grace ecstatic …. can’t do that one on demand….. but pretty damned fine.

Nice way to finish out a year.

Jack

Flight in Time

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Flight in Time

I glow
Residue of full moons past;
Faded sunburn beaches,
Shells worn thin by sand caressed
Rain storm remnants, snow storms,
Dust storms, hail storms, heart storms
Spirit flush with neon sheen
Soft radiance
Into waning years.

Smiling, youthful conceits
Bereft of engine roar
Propeller blur
Impending wingtip stall
The pattern fields and farms
Dust-plume roads of youth
No solace there:
No dead-stick landing
On that rocky patch,
Thank God.

From Poems of the New Old West
Copyright 2002, Jack Purcell

 

Q&A– Life in the 60’s

Old Jules, could you answer these questions about life in the 60’s?

What was something that you enjoyed doing?
Sex on a country road, rock and roll, heavy drinking.

Where was your favorite place to hang out?
Mac’s Drive In

Where did you live during the 60’s?
New Mexico and Texas

According to you, how was the economy?
Nobody had any money more than he made doing hard work but jobs were easy to find.

How did you dress?
Western boots, hat, Levis, same as now.

How was education back then?
I think better than now. You had to work to pass, work harder to get good grades.

What movies were really popular?
Hud, On the Waterfront, Cool Hand Luke, The Good The Bad and The Ugly

How were young people treated?
Adults expected a lot more from younger people and were less forgiving.

What was the most popular car?
I’d guess the ’49 Ford and the ’56 Ford Crown Victoria were the favorites, along with ’56 Chevys because that’s the first year GM came out with a V8. I had a ’40 Model Chevy I liked a lot. People liked ’58 Chevys pretty well except they were lousy cars, but pretty, and they liked the ’57 Plymouths because they had big fins. ’49 Mercurys were also popular.

Least popular cars were Nash, Hudson, Willys, ’52 Plymouth, DeSoto, ’46, ’47, ’48 Fords because they were so gawdawful ugly.

Did you like that era? Do you miss it?
I liked it fine so long as I don’t have to do it again.