Omnes stultos*
By R. D. Flavin

2-13-2015

ROBIN:
Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth, mistook by me,
Pleading for a lover’s fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!
From A Midsummer Night's Dream (Act 3, Scene 2) by Billy Shakespeare

  
Measles, Pres. Obama's birth certificate, and a tea bag.

     Anti-vaxxers, birthers, Tea Baggers, fools all! I'm not liking ongoing discussions about the Keystone Pipeline, as it's too large to adequately protect from saboteurs, outrageously dangerous to the environment, and ...running across Native American graveyards and sacred land is just plain wrong. Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), who is considering a run for the presidency, has declared he doesn't believe in evolution – I hadn't realized there are that many fools in Wisconsin. Creationism and pseudoscience has a strong foothold in our education system, and here I was under the impression SCOTUS ruled any school which receives federal money better leave their crackpot theories out of the classroom. Where are the Discordians when you need them? Probably laughing their butts off at the epidemic of foolishness which seems to be spreading across America.

     A week and a half ago last week, on Wednesday, 2-4-2015, I was at Copley Square on Boylston Street at 11AM when the New England Patriots Tribute Parade was supposed to start. I had a 1PM doctor's appointment, but figured I'd plenty of time to snap a few pics and be on my way. Ah, I was wrong... The parade didn't start until noon, I took my pics, and when I asked a cop if I could cross the street to get on public transportation, I got a look which I interpreted as, “No, and if you attempt to move into the street you will be beaten with batons and arrested...” I said I was late for my Ebola Support Group Therapy meeting... Another look, even meaner than the first... It took me an hour to get across the street and take public transportation OUTBOUND rather than INBOUND. Boston police officers are not generally known for appreciating a good joke and I felt like a FOOL for even attempting humor given the circumstances...

     The Welsh writer, Robert Owen (1771-1858), is justly famous for his sarcastic line, “All the world old is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer.” Substituting “foolish” for “queer” would work as well. We are a foolish lot, though some more than others. News of Putin declaring a ceasefire in the Eastern Ukraine region is fine, though a tad difficult to process as Putin has long denied ANY Russian troops in the Ukraine. That Germany's Merkel and France's Hollande were present, I have to wonder where Britain's Cameron or a representative was... I contend ANYTHING Putin says is foolish to believe. Henry Kissinger commented: "For the West, the demonetization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one." Others simply refer to him as a ruthless dictator. We are foolish to abide by and trust ANYTHING this ex-KGB megalomaniac has to say. And. poor Ukraine, giving up nearly 200 nuclear weapons with a promise from the West to protect them. Shame on us for making Ukraine look like fools because no one has the honor and courage to stand against Putin and his new Russia.

 
Rubber Ducky of Death... and tracking "Friendly Floatees."

     The United Nations Environment Program estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic. Once discarded, plastics are weathered and eroded into very small fragments known as micro-plastics. These together with plastic pellets are already found in most beaches around the world. Once discarded, plastics are weathered and eroded into very small fragments known as micro-plastics. These together with plastic pellets are already found in most beaches around the world. Plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals. Plastic materials and other litter can become concentrated in certain areas called gyres (rotating ocean currents centered in a particular location) as a result of marine pollution gathered by oceanic currents. There are now 5 gyres in our ocean(s). The North Pacific Gyre, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, occupies a relatively stationary area that is twice the size of Texas. Waste material from across the North Pacific Ocean, including coastal waters off North America and Japan, are drawn together. We're killing the oceans with plastic... Okay, keeping with the theme of this column, I'd have to describe that as being “foolish.” Actually, it's stupid as all get-out, speaking in the vernacular I'm most often comfortable with... Oh, BTW, ...it takes 500-1000 years for most plastics to even begin to break down.

     Our so-called scriptures, those words which claim to be “divinely” inspired, discuss fools and foolishness as well:

Proverbs 26:4 (KJ) “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”
1 Corinthians 3:18 “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.”
Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #13 “And when it is said to them: Believe as the people believe, they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they themselves are the fools, but they do not know.”
Bhagavata Purana 11:18.29 “Let a wise man play like a child and let a clever man act like a fool. Let a learned man speak like a lunatic, and let a Vedic scholar act like a cow.”
and then there's
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do.”

     Shall I continue the theme and metaphorically disclaim that: “We're all fools in our own ways, though some, IMO, are far more foolish than others? Rhetorical can be a wicked let down, but we're only ...mortal.

*Fools all

Not all 13s are unlucky (remember Bilbo),,
Rick

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