Category Archives: Adventure

The Ballad of the Corncob and the Lie, Archibald MacLeish circa 1960

Will Faulkner, Will Faulkner,
You are to blame my friend
Telling of a maiden
Brought to no good end,
Raped but with a corn-cob,
Raped but with a lie:
They’ve learned to rape the country
With a corn-cob and a lie.

They’ve learned to rape the country
Though rape is past their power,
They’ve learned to have her virtue
Though feeble to deflower:
To soil her lovely thinking,
The freedom of her mind —
They’ve learned to do it winking
With a corn-cob from behind.

Will Faulkner, Will Faulkner,
They’ve learned those lying arts:
They’ve had her in her freedom
And Oh, it breaks our hearts!
The impotent that could not —
That leered with letching eye,
They’ve learned to rape the country
With a corn-cob and a lie.

[For five years MacLeish was Librarian of Congress, a post he accepted at the urging of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[2] From 1949 to 1962, MacLeish was Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University. MacLeish was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes for his work.]

As nearly as I can find, this poem has never found its way to the Internet.   So, since I’m an admirer of MacLeish poetry, and since I’ve posted a number of his other [better] poems here, I add this to the mix.

 

 

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The thorny ethics of silence – Philosophy by limerick

This is Stormy. Her reputation was ruined when the president broke their non-disclosure agreement and gabbed to all his evangelist buddies. Now her phone rings day and night and she can’t get a moment of quiet rest.

The porn-star named Stormy was nice
And of course everything has its price
Including discretion
And public confession:
The ethics aren’t all that precise.

Old Jules

The Social Security Entitlement Adventure

What with the Congress and prez conducting a war against Social Security now in 2018, I was surprised to find this in my blog posted back during 2012. After reading through it I find my perspective hasn’t changed all that much, but my dependency on SS has. Old Jules

So Far From Heaven

Good morning readers. I’m obliged you came by for a read.

I got an email yesterday from an old acquaintance who’s carrying a serious chip on his shoulder about somebody calling the Social Security pension he lives on an ‘entitlement’. He raged on about how he paid into it fifty years, and his employers matched everything he paid. So, he says, it’s not an entitlement.

Sheeze. I wonder what else a person would call it. He’s entitled to it. What the hell is it but an entitlement?

But I think he’s concerned that because ‘entitlement’ has become a buzzword for something else he doesn’t like.  Namely a whole range of government payouts to bank owners, automobile companies, multi-national corporations, all manner of people bleeding the US budget dry with bailouts and payoffs.  I think he figures they might quit paying him his pension because they called it an entitlement.  Putting him down…

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Texas Ideaology: So Many Ideas, So Little Truck

Kansans aren’t as big on bumper stickers as a means of broadcasting what they consider important about themselves to the world. They’re more prone to mount a couple of flags in the sideboard wells in some fantasy they’re the US Cavalry coming to do meanness to the Injuns or other enemies of Christianity and democracy. But although I haven’t been in Texas since 2013, I’m betting the guy who owned that truck and thousands of others of like mind still advertise by bumper-sticker ….. Old Jules

So Far From Heaven

And too few handicapped spaces

But otherwise

It’s mostly complete.

When Americans use bumper stickers to tell everything about themselves worth knowing they usually don’t need so much vehicle to do it.  Bumper stickers to describe the depth and breadth of their thought processes, their tastes in literature and philosophy, everything important about themselves don’t take up a lot of space:

“Pro- Choice“:  a telegraphic way to say, “I don’t have a fetus inside me, but if you are unlucky enough to have one I’m rabidly enthusiastic about your right to kill it and flush it down the toilet.”

Right to Life – translates:  I think abortion’s a bad choice and I’d like to kill, or imprison anyone who believes differently. Knitting needles in the bathtub were good enough for grandma and they’re good enough for you.” 

“Support the Right to Keep and Bear Arms”  Translates:  “

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Philosophy by Limerick – Hot, Throbbing Democracy

I’m just rediscovering these old limericks and finding them surprisingly fresh.

So Far From Heaven

“Equine or a pachyderm style?”
Ms. Street Hooker asks with a smile.
“Trickle-down while I wail out
Snatch wallet and bail out!
You won’t want to vote for a while!”

Old Jules

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Back when the world was young

Lake Jeanette Soldiers Home Leavenworth, KSOriginal Hospital and LakeHere are a couple of historic postcards showing how this place looked sometime between 1895 and 1933 when the original hospital was torn down.   Those trees are either larger, or many have died and their remains stick up here and there from the lake like swords hoping for a King Arthur.

There used to be a group of ‘Christian Indians’ located here before the decision to build a soldiers home here.   But [according to the official history] they ‘left’.   They were called the Muncies.

So when the old hospital was torn down in 1933 and they began excavating to build something else on the location they discovered a number of graves containing Muncie Indians.   I suppose they pondered a while before deciding to bury them in a mass grave in the National Cemetery a quarter-mile away from here.    It’s the only mass grave in that cemetery, so you could say those Muncies got special treatment.

I’ll be posting more about the various buildings, the cemetery, the ghost stories and the current population of old vets here.    But first I wanted to convey that there really is a bit of a saga ……. it’s just not quite what a person might expect.

Thanks for the read.

Old Jules

That Old Blue Moon

I

Total Eclipse of the Moon of 2018 Jan. 31
Delta T: 69.7s

ks
Location: W 95°38’00.0″, N39°04’00.0″, 200m
(Longitude referred to Greenwich meridian)

Moon’s Position
UT1 Altitude Azimuth Angle
d h m ° ° °
Moon enters penumbra 31 10:49.8 29.1 268.5 89.3
Moon enters umbra 31 11:48.1 18.1 277.0 83.2
Moon enters totality 31 12:51.4 6.4 286.0 241.1
Maximum Eclipse 31 13:29.8 -0.4 291.6 10.4
Moonset 31 13:32 —- 292.0 —–

Penumbral Duration: 2h 42.6m
Umbral Duration: 1h 44.2m
Duration of Totality: 0h 41.0m
Magnitude: 1.321

Hi Readers…… Thanks for coming by for a read.

A while back I came across a vintage Meade 114mm EQ telescope still in the box, evidently never having been out of it.   Just the sort of thing I dreamed about down on Gale’s meadow down in Texas.    But now it’s here in my apartment complete with a multitude of eye-pieces, a motor drive, moon filters, and a complete lunar eclipse coming at me January 31.

I’ll confess to your I find it mildly annoying that a blue moon doesn’t have a dadgummed thing to do with the visual aspects …… it just means it’s the second full moon in a calendar month, which doesn’t happen all that often.   And while I’m being mildly annoyed moon-wise, I might as well wring it out further and say, what’s the deal with calling four total eclipses in a row a Blood Moon?   How unspectacular is that, anyway?   Blood moon Blue Moon and all we get is just another plain old ordinary full lunar eclipse.

Yawn.

But you have to admit there have been a number of really good songs about blue moons….. Sinatra, Billie Holliday, the Marcels, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis, Dean Martin, Jo Stafford, Greta Keller, Ritchie Valens, and even Sam Cooke sang about it.    So whatever it lacks in spectacular out-of-the-ordinary-eclipse visuals, you have to admit there’s plenty of fine background music.

I don’t know about you, but if I can stay awake and if it isn’t too frigid I’m going to be looking at that blue moon this time around.    And maybe have myself a little concert of dead singers harmonizing about it so’s I won’t forget how special it is.

Thanks for the visit.

Old Jules