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Friday, July 17, 2009

Themes and Memes

Themes and Memes

If i had to pick a "theme" for this blog...for what it is that I'm driving at...
I think it'd be the Myth/Reality thing..
This has, under it like it was an umbrella, things like Justice (as a Platonic Form)..
Honesty (ditto)...and finding a Model of Reality that fits better.(.my rants on Healthcare falls under there somewhere.)
And I can't help but see all of this through the filter of my own experience and thoughts.
I try to overcome this last part...I try for objectivity...but i am, in the end, merely human.
Civilisations are interesting creatures.
I adhere to the idea that they resemble life-forms.
As such, they have behaviour patterns and life-cycles, and are subject to stimuli and macro-psychology.
For instance, and pertinant to what I'm driving at;
Barzun and Toynbee's idea of Decadence...the decay of, not only Morality in a given civilisation, but a decay of that organism's Will to live and continue.
Not the petty "who's fucking who" tabloid idea of decadence.
It's bigger than that.
And not the narrow Morality of the Hypocrites who would rule us.
Barzun and Toynbee were referring to something like the Social Contract...the Glue that binds us together,into a Civilisation.
We are in a period, I think, of Global Decadence...we have a Global Civilisation, after all.
And we are a Civilisation in Decline...not because iof Peak Oil, or Queers, or whatever the Fearsome Thing is today...but because we have lost our desire to innovate, to reach and to better the world.
We have forgotten the reasons behind our being a Civilisation..
We have lost our Collective Soul.

One can argue that 9-11 brought to the surface a latent, Civilisational had been there since at least WW I...but had lain quiet, behind the scenes...beneath our common conciousness.
Longsword, over at Darkage Blog, calls it a Nietzchean sense.
(and he has much better grammer and spelling than I do..)
I'm getting at something a little different...I think Sociology, as currently practiced, is insufficient..
We must invent a Macropsychology.
(we may have, but it hasn't jumped up and bit me...)
Erich Fromm goes there...but that was a long time ago.
We are in such massive denial, about just about everything, that we are the folks in Plato's Cave....
Afraid to look outside our comfortable delusions....the Warm Herd...the Satisfying Myth.
As I've said, Cognitive Dissonance as every-day-go-to-work fare.
We are Insane....and confuse our insanity for sanity.
And as a drunk must see that there's a "problem", and then must WANT to fix we, collectively, must have the sight to see the problem, and then WANT to try and amend it.
There are many factions and forces that seek to prevent such soul-searching and repair...we call them TPTB...or the Illuminatii...or Corporate America...or just Government.
Many scapegoats..."it must be the Queers"...or "illegals"..or Satan.
But these things are merely symptoms of the overall disease.
Convenient things to lay blame on, and shelter our own fragile egos....for if we "go there", and open those doors just a crack, as i've said, Reality comes flooding in and all our Myths are washed away...leaving us Naked and Alone.
And we seem to be too fragile for that.

My all-time favorite TV show is the recent reworking of Battlestar Galactica.
Get past all the high-tech spacefaring Robots-who-look-like-us stuff...and there's a Philosophical motif...
(actually, I think there are more than a few...)
"Do we, as a Species ,"Deserve" to Survive"

Read that again.

Can you make the case for us?
I question whether the existence of an Einstein or a Michelangelo or Chris Cornell can justify all the damage we have done over the milennia.
For all our feats of Tech...our Higher Math and Microwave Ovens...the Goddamn Internet!!!
For all that we have accomplished, have we yet earned the right to survive?
And I'm not talking about God, or gods, or any of that stuff...
The Criteria should be Reason.
No superstition is needed (or wanted, by me at least)
We go around, as we have forever (in our timesense), doing as we please...and then justifying the damage the rapist saying, in all sincerity
"She was asking for it."
The European/JudeoXian Civilisational Branch is particularly odious...
God's chosen race, after taking that moniker from the Jews...we may do as we please.
We consider ourselves the Pinnacle of Progress...the Reason for the World...the Fulfillment of God's Plan.
What an arrogant creature Man is!!
What Hubris!
We have even secularised this idea.
Manifest Destiny!
But for all our prancing about, can we back it up with Reason...Objectively?
(can we BE objective? )
I question all of these assumptions.
The fact that we all aren't questioning them (and this is all a big bummer, I know)...the fact that we refuse to even consider these things means that we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes and atrocities, in different clothes, again and again...
Why is there still Genocide in the World?
I mean, after the Nazis?
Have we learned nothing at all?

And speaking of nazis...the Bush II "administration" brought us, arguably, Benevolent Fascism, shorn of Jack Boots and tanks in the street...but their Ideological Foundation rested on Fascism.(read Leo Strauss, "Natural Right and History")
And we allowed this...either because we actually supported it, or were too fearful to stand up or didn't notice or care, in the first place.
We continue to believe the Lie, and the Liars that push it...."it's too hard", we whine when confronted with an Evil that is obviously within our responsibility to set right.
That's what I'm driving at.
We persist in our Mythology...ignoring anything that contradicts it.
The Mythology is so vast and all-encompassing that we cannot just chip away at it.
We can't just "fix" a portion of the Evil...and leave the rest for another day...
The whole thing must be torn down.
Can't get rid of a fire-ant mound one ant at a time.
And this thing we've built, over milennia, is much more complex that that.
But before we can even contemplate it's dismantling, let alone what gets built in it's stead, we must recognise that there's a problem.
There's an aphorism on my door:

"Is God willing to prevent Evil,but unable?
Then He is Impotent.
Is God able but unwilling?
He is malevolent.
Willing and able?
Whence Evil?"
(I think it's from Epicuras)

We can no longer rely on Supernatural Saviours.
We simply cannot wait.
It is up to us, to fix our own mess.
And I fear that we won't, while there's time.
Entropy will beat us to it.

The War on Pain Management

So Michael Jackson kicks the bucket....presumeably due to prescription pain medicine abuse...and suddenly the old Crusade against pain management is roaring, once again...
I suffer from chronic pain...
Hip/anlke/knee are the main culprits, due to catastrophic injuries, near 20 years ago...
But I also have widespread, peripheral pain...every bone I've ever fractured...back, due to compensating for the other injuries..(Lift w/ yer knees...unless yer knees are hopelessly marred.)
When the weather changes, especially in the Fall and Spring,..or when I overdo some necessary activity...or, sometimes, for no apparent reason at all...I'm knocked flat by severe, debilitating pain.
Hurts to lie in bed.
I took all kind of NSAIDs for the first 15 years...till I connected them with the heartburn and other digestive difficulties.
This caused me to do a heap of research...find out all about the drugs I was taking.
Turns out, that Tylenol and other NSAIDs are some of the most dangerous drugs available.
There are, it seems, hundreds of varieties of NSAIDs readily available...the stronger they are, the more scary side effects are associated with them.
"Sudden Death", "Catastrophic, lower GI bleeds, without warning.." etc...
I realise, being terminally skeptical, that these side effects are "merely" statistical...coming out of clinical trials...
Perhaps .01% of the sample had these horrible symptoms...
Too, these drugs are well known Liver Killers.
Read the the PDR...
I began searching for alternatives...
However it, too, is a liver killer...and has other, undesireable, side effects...i.e. Drunkenness.
"Golly", I thought..."there sure aren't many choices"
Then I looked past the propaganda...and found the Panacaea.
Specifically, Vicodin.
Now, in the US, Hydrocodone only comes with the equivalent of an Extra Strength Tylenol attached to it.
This is, ostensibly, to prevent abuse.
Turns out that opiates, when closely monitored and managed, are some of the safest drugs on the planet.
The main side effects, constipation and addiction, are avoidable with careful management...
And the scary stuff associated with them, like CNS Depression, Coma and Death are really easily avoided...(Just don't take a shitload of them.)
So I acquired a Vicodin presription from my Doctor.
For more than a year, I've been taking 1/3 of the maximum dose allowed on the presciption...and only when the pain becomes unbearable...or preemptively, when I know I must walk the pasture to find lost baby goats, or whatever...
With a healthy respect for this drug, I've managed to cut down on drinking (the Tylenol portion made this necessary as much as the hydrocodone did...)...Ilve slept better...and ,overall, my quality of life has improved.
I still hurt all the damned time, and I'm sometimes knocked flat by pain,and I can't handle any of the jobs to be found out here, but things are mostly a lot better.
I have guarded against addiction...and, even more, guarded against developing tolerance for this drug.
The last thing I want is for hydrocodone to stop being effective.
The next steps up the ladder are things like Oxycontin...I don't want to go there.

Well, Michael Jackson died...and the issue of prescription pain killers is all over the news...
Stories about folks who "doctor shop"...folks who take a month's worth of Vicodin per day...etc.
Nowhere have I seen an examination of causes...why are these people doing this?
And even more frustrating, nowhere have I seen an examination of simple methods of preventing this kind of behaviour....i.e. Some kind of registry, that can be checked by a doctor to determine if the person seeking these drugs is a "shopper".
Now, my Doctor (who I have a great relationship with) has apparently caught the bug.
Is it media influence?A reminder from the DEA?
I've been cut off from the only medicine I've found that 2.doesn't mess up my belly and 3. doesn't scare the shit out of me when I read the info the Pharmacist icludes with every refill.
I've been reserving my last 3 pills (I only take a half at a time) for 4 days...Figger I might need them when the pain gets too terrible...
I haven;t licked the pill bottle...haven't sought out illicit supplies...I have felt no withdrawal symptoms, save increased pain...
I'm even willing to suffer for a month in order to prove that I'm not an they show on TV...

I hope this tactic works...Fall is approaching...
Along with Hurricane season...(I felt Katrina and Wilma like they were in my room, from 3000+ miles away..)

This whole thing is more a result of politics, and a Puritan outlook on suffering (Suffering is Good(!!?!)), than it is of science.
The Drug War...(Pot, by the way, helps a little, too...esp. for the depression that inevitably comes from not being able to fish or fuck or play with my kids...)
The Drug War IS a War on People.
Instead of taking a rational approach to mitigating the undesirable effects of many of these drugs, we demonise them...and anyone who uses them...and anyone who is thought likely to use them.(Hippies)
Consider pot, for a moment...
The Party Line of the Drug Warriors, for 80 years, has been that Pot is as bad or worse than Heroin...that it makes ya' violent and crazy...that it is a "Gateway Drug"(ie if you smoke Pot, you will ,as day follows night,end up shooting Heroin)...
All of this has been proven, scientifically and repeatedly, to be wholly untrue.
Information and studies (conducted, in many cases, by our own Government) is widely available...yet the lies persist.
The Mythology endures...and , again, trumps Objective Reality.
I can take $10,000 and clean out a liquor store...take it all home, and drink myself to death...and it's perfectly legal.
But heaven forbid I smoke a joint in the yard...or manage my pain with quasi-legal substances.

Being a long-haired hippie, I have been chased by cops my whole life...
Since i've been taking Vicodin, I must go to the only Pharmacy where the folks who work there actually know me...anywhere where I'm anonymous, I can't get the presciption filled due to my age and appearance..
Seems I fit some kind of "Profile"...which is of course rediculous and hopelessly outdated.
All the drug dealers I've known in my life have been clean cut Frat Boys...
They have NOT been long haired, bearded hippies in camo shorts, driving a garish, spray painted pick up truck,an walking with a stick and a noticeable limp...
Mythology trumps Reality.

I could, I guess, grow Opium...chew the sap, or whatever...
But I don't want to...
What I want is to take a relatively safe medication, with few side effects, and under doctor's order to have a reasonable facsimile of a Normal Life.
As it stands, I can't have the surgeries that would (hopefully) take care of the worst pain...and I can't have the medicine I need to mitigate that pain.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I first read Homer's Odyssy in 6th grade...and I was hooked on all things Greek.
Got into Bullfinch,soon after...and that led to Plato.
The Cave has stuck in my mind ever since.
A little later, I saw (then read) Kubrick/Clarke's 2001...and the theme (Alzo sprachen Zarathustra, by one of the Strauss' )became my favorite song..and led to my first involvment w/ Neitzche...
I know I probably come off as certain, when I'm ranting and raving....most of what I write is the same thing my family hears on of conciousness (thanks, Jack...)'s how I talk...and a good approximation of how i think...
However, for all the seeming certainty in my tone or manner, I am always anything but...
Everything is tentative.
Lots of things I've settled on, to my own satisfaction...many more I've either rejected as Magical Thinking or so reliant on unproveable assumptions, that they must be relegated to the overstuffed "Jury Is Still Out" drawer.
The things I've settled on are by no means set in data could come from nowhere...or a new interpretation of the foundational assumptions could be presented...and the whole damned thing will hafta be revisited, reworked...or put in the JISO drawer.
I've said a lot about my negative experience with Authority, and recieved Wisdom...and the Myriad Unexamined Assumptions we employ to get through the day...(I realise that the way I see the world cannot be the easiest
Socratic Perplexity is something I, somehow, took to heart...and incorporated into my being.
Just seems the most honest and Truthful way to approach things..even if it gets tedious and unwieldy.
This whole approach has made all kind of trouble for me in attempting to interact with folks.
Took a long time to realise that they were operating from Certainty...Built on a foundation of Unexamined Assumptions...and that whatever it was I was saying was built on my own, mostly, Examined assumptions. We were inhabiting much different worlds.
I had always wondered why it seemed every non-pothead I got to talking with would end up, sooner or later, looking at me askance.
(on a continuum...from "he must be having a stroke, or something"---to: "it's like he's masturbating in church!")

Small relief, this discovery...
When I must get something say talking to the Sheriff, or some cubical dweller in the machinery of government...I have to conciously (I don't want to say "Dumb Down"...some of these Models are quite sophisticated..)...I have to try to figger out what assumptions THEY are operating under...What their model of Reality is.
Makes my head hurt, sometimes...
I simply don't understand the reasoning behind Bureaucracy(hated word!)....I have never been able to navigate institutions...
So i don't know what to to approach.
If I make my approach in a way that makes sense to me...I'm met with blank stares...or,worse, a jungle of unintended fact-finding and questions about where I worked and for how long and everything else...15-20 years I keep those kinds of records.
So I endeavor to avoid "Imperial Entanglements"(Obi Wan) and do my own thing.
There's an analog that anyone can try...go to a small town in Texas...sit down and strike up a conversation w/ a local about the weather,etc...when they,inevitably, ask "So, what church do YOU go to?"...tell them you're an Atheist.
Watch their body language!
Does not compute!
You have just removed one of their Prime Foundational Assumptions!...and it'll take 'em a minute to reboot.
When they do, they'll prolly just move on to some other topic, like nothing happened.
This is how a LOT of my interactions with the world go.
It is unintentional....i swear.
Since I figured out the probable cause of the impasse, I usually just keep my mouth shut.
Sometimes , tho, I forget myself...
Then, I'm reminded of why I'm a hermit.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More on Moving

More on Moving

We decided on making the jump a coupla days ago, tho we had been contemplating it for a coupla years.
In between my constant struggle to get us as materially self-reliant as possible and the escalating Cold War at Mom's, and Wife's almost completed teaching degree and my lameness (thus her Breadwinner Status) we felt, but never made the cognitive leap, that the situation wouldn't last.
Mom will prolly "reconcile". if only to "gather evidence"...
And I can't stay where I'm Hated (?!) by the self-described "Owner" of the land.(Mom, technically ,Owns it)...
Kinda exciting, I guess.
I spent 4-6 years of my life "On the Road" in a van...playing music...partying....reading...and digging everything.All over Texas and the Deep South.
I guess those Wild Years have never really left my blood...although I had wished I could continue in my nice, stable (if not exactly safe) environs...
I happened to see a documentary on "Ovation" last week, about the Beats...Kerouac and all them dudes.
I haven't read any of that lot's, save Howl, since I moved here...too dangerous to read "On the Road" if i've got a family and a farm,etc.
Well, this last weekend, I had a Dad-Day...wife and kids were off looking at Tennis, or whatever...
And I'm naked in the Cowboy Pool with margharitas and time to read....105 degrees, and I'm reading On the Road" in a water trough!
As Mr. Ure says...perhaps it was the Universe tapping me on the shoulder...
Hey,'s time to go!

And circumstance builds momentum..and at critical mass of Serendpity, we both come to a conclusion....and things begin to fall into place...

The Ephemeral Nature of Life

ephemeral nature of life in america

15 years ago, I was living (barely) in Austin.
We had just purchased a Trailer House, to try and lower the cost of living...and were having great difficulty keeping things together...even with 3 jobs between the 2 of us.
My Step Dad called up, when he heard we were looking to move to the country.(I was looking at the bastrop area)
He begged and cajoled us to move out here with him and my Mom...he'd pay for moving the house, he said.

I took the bait...
The "understanding" was that we would all be in this together.
A unit...trying to make a go of it on the Farm
He's a Disabled VietNam Era Vet...and, thus, gets a whole lot of Jack from the Gooberment.
This would be the "Funding" for all our various endeavors to become like unto our own (20 acre) country...out here in the Wilderness.
This was the "Deal".

I had known this guy my whole life...he lived down the road back home...and when my Mom married him, it was alright.(I had a few misgivings, but kept them to myself)
I have known him to be a kind, if simple, man....generous and caring...wise in his simplicity.
I learned that first year that he had a Dark Side.
Every six weeks, or so, he'd go "On the Rag" (as the rest of us came to call it) and turn into his Daddy.
Vindictive, abusive and violent.He was easy to get away from...being in a after these storms passed (in a week, or so) he was forgiven....and we all moved on.
Me and Mom figgered it had to do with VietNam and his own Asshole Father(who is a real piece of work...may he burn in Hell!)
During these Phases, I became the Scapegoat...the (literal) Red Headded Stepchild...the percieved source of everything wrong with the World.
I accepted this with tolerance and understanding...he had been through a lot...and was my Mom's choice of mate...and was so kind and generous the rest of the time.
So I moved the whole kit and kaboodle to Mason, Texas..and set about working to improve the Farm. My Exwife got a job right off the bat.
Soon, during his Moontime, he was chewing me out because I didn't have a "real job"...and was thus lazy..a leech.
So I got a job at Pizza Hut.
Next Moontime, I was lazy and a leech because I didn't do "enough' work on the Farm and slept till 10am (I worked at night)...
I decided there was no pleasing Moontime Don...I learned to avoid him when I detected the Rag coming on.

Now, 15 years Mom's back home, 300+ miles away, helping my brother bring his 2nd daughter into the world...and Moontime Don comes to stay.
I am to leave.
Mom is "cut off" from any access to $$$...
and he is the Boss, Goddammit!( he hasn't considered that I will, actually, leave...and take "his" grandkids with me...or that Mom may have finally had enough, and will soon start divorce proceedings)
So me and my Wife and 2 little boys are left with the land cut from under us.
All the work I've done here was for naught...all the On Call handyman services I've provided, forgotten.
My getting out of bed at 2am to pick his drunk ass off the floor....forgotten.
For 15 years, I've been on call, 24/7; handyman, electrician,carpenter,plumber,vet, medic, shrink,confidant, security-agent,farmer, rancher,etc,etc..
For the 3 weeks my Mom has been gone, I've been sneaking over to Mom's to feed and care for the animals...
He lay in wait to holler at me the first few days, the belligerant I learned to vary my times and routes.
I snuck in when he was gone one day, and hid all the guns...unlocked a few windows he can't get to...etc...just seemed prudent.

So we're stuck...6 months till my wife finally gets her degree...a year (from now) till she gets a "real job"...(Teaching...they hire in late summer)
So in September, we're moving to her late Grandmother's little house in the Barrio.
My Real Dad has offered to "help" with a down payment to get us a coupla acres, wherever wife's job turns out to be...and there's always the possibility that Social Security will miraculously grow Sense and grant me Disability...fix my bones so I can get a job...hopefully.
And I'm left to dismantle all the porches, barn and addition to the house...the fences, my shop, etc etc and pack it all into my single wide...
21st Century Tom Joad...
15 years...gone...undone...
and so many aspects of our lives have become intertwined with his...
How many strands must simply be cut?
And is my body capable of all the work to be done?
I'm 40 years old, Broken and Broke, wife and 2 little kids...
And I have to start all the very time that it seems the economy is crashing and the world is trying to come undone...

Eat the Rich

eat the rich
"Oh Noes!!!The Socialists are Coming!!!"
And, since that tired old thing seems to have lost it's effectiveness...
"Oh No! They want to Tax The Rich to pay for Healthcare!!!"
It's entertaining to watch these whores and weasels contort to try and convince the People that taxing very wealthy people is a Bad Thing...and will ruin the Nation.
The rich have it so hard, after all...
Fox is all over this...flinging the Threat to Small Business onto the table...where it quivers mindlessly.
"Small business" is never defined, precisely, of course...that would put an end to it's usefulness.
Near as I can tell, "Small Business" means anything smaller than Raytheon and GE.
McDonalds is considered "small", due to the practice of Franchising.
This is dishonest , at best.
Rich = more than a third of a million dollars a year.
But they are not called "rich" the lexicon of Fox, they are called "Successful".
And it is implied that anyone (even you!!) can join these lofty ranks.
So, it follows, that it is "in your interest" to protect these very wealthy folks...since "you can be wealthy, too.."
This is all BS on so many levels, I'm hoarse from shouting at CSPAN.
American Dream.
Never mind the objective reality.
For that, see the "left wing" site:
The Rich, and their Corporations, have had enough lucky breaks at the expense of everyone else, me thinks.
The Richer one is, the fewer taxes one pays...the easier it is to get around regulation, oversight and even criminal law.
Yet, none of the Very Rich got there on their own.
Even if ya discount the Inheritance/Trust Fund Factor...they got there with enormous "help" from the rest of the world...Human and NonHuman.
Conventional Economics completely ignores "Environmental Services"....those "services" provided by the biosphere.Like air.
It also ignores the input of the worker.
I'm thinking of the Janitor at AIG...who cleans out the liquor bottles and used condoms from the boardrooms for minimum wage.
Or the Illegal Immigrant "Farm-Workers" who pick produce for pennies.
The Commons is discounted.
The Highways, that we all are supposed to pay for are never figured into the equation.
In fact, the taxes to pay for such vital "services" are avoided like a leper by the very rich.
Let the Proles pay.
Or, even better, let the proles pay and then get whatever it is (water system, highway,etc)handed to you to harvest Profits from.
Aerosmith had a song, in the 90's..."Eat the rich"...
That song plays in my mind whenever I see the Apologists for Wealth and Power and Priviledge get on their high horse in defence of the Rich Folk's Exceptionalism.I think of Guillotines lining Wall Street.Gallows on Madison Ave.
We might, rather, bar-b-q them in the ghetto.

Three Types of Folks

3 kinds of folks

My 7-year-old son asked me,yesterday,"Why did the Indians loose?" and then, "Why are there so few left?"
This served to launch into an Exigesis of the Lie that permeates Western Civilisation.
I told him that they "lost" for at least 3 reasons....Biology, Philosophy and Politics.
Biology, because of their inability to fight off European disease, and their low tolerance to alcohol.
Philosophy and Politics can best be explained as one topic....At the very beginning, Native Americans (and I'll call them "Indians", as I'm part Cherokee...fuck political correctness.)...Indians had no Philosophical Framework with which to understand the concept of "property".
Some smelly, pasty, obviously unhealthy wierdos come up out of the ocean in great canoes and want to "buy" Manhattan for a sack full of Shiny....they said "Yeah...OK...".
Same reaction I have to the rantings of streetcorner preachers and mentally ill street-people.
They thought the very Idea of "owning" the Earth was insane.
This, among other things, put them at a disadvantage.
The other big thing that disadvantaged them was that the Europeans were, almost to a man, fanatics...Manifest Destiny, and all that....even before they put a name to it, the Europeans thought that God was on their side...and that gave them leave to do whatever it took to take whatever they wanted.
This Exceptionalism allowed them to sleep the sound sleep of the Righteous...they were certain that they were doing God's work.
Indians couldn't compete with this, as they were, mostly, Democratic in Social structure...and they were Philosophically Egalitarian and Moral.
Europeans, as a result of this, were at an advantage...they could be ruthless, sneaky and dishonest....they could kill with impunity.
How does a Moral person compete with such Evil?
So time marches on....Europeans repeatedly break Treaties and Agreements (only one Treaty between White and Red was never Fredricksburg, Texas...)
Their Greed and lack of morality (under the color of "Morality") compelled and justified more and more taking...when the Indians resisted...waving Treaties or simply fighting back...they were massacred.
Their retaliations were labelled as uncalled-for violence...even to this day.
We live in a former "frontier" area....I know folks whose Great Great Grandaddy fought the Indians...and for all the talk about Free Speech, it is considered Heresy to take the Indian's side.
I told my son that these descendants of White Settlers and Soldiers must maintain the Myth, that what their Ancestors did was Good and Just....even if an objective case can be made that this is less than completely true.

They must maintain the myth, because if they allowed reflection, from an objective standpoint, regarding the Morality of what Grandaddy's Daddy did to intrude, the myth explodes.

Now, expand this Idea to modern day politics.
Consider Operation of my favorite examples of Imperial Meddling by a Superpower.
Iran elects a Populist Pesident...he sees the poverty of his people, sees the great wealth being exported from their country by British and American Oil Companies...and Nationalises the Oil.
Kicks out the Quasi-Imperialists....
The cry goes out...we must defend the "interests" of the American people...
We must defend "Democracy!"
We must help overthrow the Socialist Dictator!
So the CIA, in their fist big op, orchestrate the overthrow of the Iranian president, and install a puppet, Pahlavi, as Shah.
The Shah will do the Empire's bidding....he knows who butters his bread.
His Savak secret police/death squads are trained and armed by American and British dollars and quell the inevitable dissent at this hijacking of a once proud country.
he Shah immediately undoes the "Socialist" stuff and invites the Western Oil Interests back into Iran.

This is the very beginning of "our" "Problems" with Iran...which continue to this day.
Don't even need to mention Iran/Contra and the Hostages walking free the moment Saint Ronald's hand touched the bible on Inauguration Day....(surely Divine Providence...or mere coincidence...)
Just one instance out of many...of Meddling in other people's business...then creating gigantic lies about it to justify "our" actions.
Machine wants what you got?
It takes it, and at the same time, presents a smiling face to the world...twisting the facts, drumming up fears, justifying it's rapaciousness with tall tales of some "Great Enemy", an existential "THREAT" to all that is Good in the World.
The above tale of Operation Ajax is history.
It happened.
But make mention of it at the cafe in town, and one is likely to be shouted down as "Unamerican", "Traitor"....or simply beat up in the restroom.

The Great Edifice of Lies is so Gigantic, so all pervasive, that it's hard to discern wht the truth is.
It is possible, however.
Our Civilisation really can't "handle the Truth."
Let a little bit of it in, and the whole damned enterprise is laid bare, revealed for what it is.
Pseudo-Fascist Empire.
The Machine.

All of this is leading to my point....3 kinds of folks.
1; Those of us who value Truth...even when it's uncomfortable or embarassing or casts us in a bad light.
Little things like calling Republicans "racist, hypocritical, corporate whores."
I think that is Objectively True...just turn on the TV, and their own words and actions condemn them.
But almost noone says this in the Mainstream.
2; Those of us who are Afraid...of Everything....
Black people, Brown people, Hippies, Queers, Secular Humanists, "Socialists" ,"Commies"....all manner of the "Other".
These Fearful ones are even afraid of Knowledge, that would dispell their fears.
To these folks, the Mythology is all that counts...have evidence that Black Folks are NOT an Existential Threat to them?
Well, ya better keep that to yerself.
Can't abide honesty, might shatter our comfortable mythology.
Then we might have to Think...and thereby be compelled to revisit other predjudices and Myths...
Atheists and Scientists? Heresy....might have to consider that there might not be a Vicious but Helpful Bearded Invisible Dude sitting on our shoulders...ready to smite our enemies, and reward our suffering after we finally succumb.

The Fearful Herd calls itself, by turns, "liberal" and "conservative"...depending on what passes for the individual and on the times.

3; Those who use the Fearful for their own wealth and Power.
They are not Left or Right, Dem or Repub...although they DO "lean" to the Right, when viewed objectively, I think...
These are the ones who designed the Machine.
It serves their purpose:the maintenance of Wealth and Power.
These are the ones who have demonised and/or absorbed every percieved threat to their position...Socialism, Liberation Theology,Hippies,Independant Media...
"Conspiracy Theorists".
These are the REAL Enemies of mankind.
The 1st group, mostly, knows this...but their warnings get them killed or marginalised.
The 2nd group is too busy being Afraid of the Enemy Du Jour , and doing the dirty work of the 3rd, to notice.
Fear, and a concurrent dislike of Knowledge, make them willing coconspirators in their own enslavement.
They have come to love their chains...and will bite and claw and otherwise lash out at anyone who questions the Wisdom of wearing them.

(As an aside, many will say "but the existance of your diatribe, Amfortas, gives the lie to your' assertion that we have no Freedom..." To this i say, I am not a threat....I doubt many will read this, and if they do, and concur, they will not be threats, either.
The Machine can accomodate a number of "Lunatics" shouting down wells.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Llano River


For a time, till a coupla years ago, I was a river rat.
My Dad gave me a canoe,some fly-rods,etc...and away I went.
The Llano River flows through the lower half of Mason County Texas...
I had been fooling around the edges for years, but now I had a boat..and an excuse (fly-rod) become a modern day Lewis/Clark...and go explore this wild and somewhat pristine river.
The Llano was named after the Chana indians who lived here, up until the time of spanish incursion...
The name is a corruption, due to illiteracy, etc of their name.
One can find rock art, middens, all manner of artifacts...from these, and other, more well as more recent...denizens of this part of the Texas Hill Country.

(I'm attempting to upload pictures I took...on my ancient machine..using dialup)

"My" part of the river runs from White's Crossing down to the 87 Bridge...but especially from White's to Martin's Crossing..
The section between Martin's and 87 ends with a 2 mile long rockgarden..impenetrable maze of dead end pools and snakes and bullrushes...Real pretty, and full of fish, but too hard to drag if your' legs are giving in to a degenerative joint condition.
There are a few class 1 rapids...and a few of these are notorious for trees falling into them...but on the whole, one finds oneself floating through great pools of green water, under billion year old cliffs of sandstone, limestone and granite.
The river is mostly empty...only a coupla houses along my whole stretch...and one hardly ever sees another person.

You sometimes see evidence of Humans...beercans and whatnot...usually at the swimming-holes that are accessable by car.
I've seen coon, deer (swimming!), porcupine,bald and gold eagles,osprey,kingfisher,beaver,wild ducks,and a hundred other birds.
I've seen spoor of Mountain Lion...enough to convince me to carry a gun..along with wild hogs(which can be more dangerous..)Nutria...

It's a beautiful river...I miss those excursions.
Seems my days of exploration are over..(sigh.)
Sucks...just as I had the idea of becoming a legs finally gave out.
Mostly just give advice...and livery service to the few who find my ad.
Still fish some...just can't get to the really out of the way places...and it takes a lot out of me.
Hope the pics load...

Oklahoma Secede!

Oklahoma Secede!(Please!)

I had hoped that we were beyond this.
Guess not.
Several years ago, there was a pseudo-Libertarian movement called the Free State Project.
Members, all of a libertarian bent, would vote on a state, then move there.
The effect, it was hoped, would be to have a concentrated voting bloc of libertarian-leaning folks in a given area.
They hoped, long term, to overwhelm the indigenous voters with libertarian Ideals and thus, slowly, make the first Free State.
I thought it was a great idea!
If I had had more love of snow, I might have joined them.(the state that won the vote was either Vermont or New Hampshire.)
Few years later, a group of Right leaning Xians attempted the same thing....moving to one of the Carolinas...
Again, I thought it was great!
They hoped to eventually secede...thus providing an Xian Haven...God's Own Country...where nascent theocrats could go, and impose Xian Law on their fellows.
Presumeably, they would eventually kick the Godless Heathen out...Never saw any mention of stakes, or burnings.

One of my biggest fears, under the Bush II "administration", was it's cozy relationship with the Xian Right.
I'm as big a supporter of the First Amendment , and it's Religious Freedom, as the next guy...maybe even more so...since I am not an Xian...or a member of any organised religion.
I've studied religion (I call it Mythology) my whole life...
It is such an interesting subject, in part, due to it's diversity...
There are, really, Billions of for each human that has ever lived.
It's when religion is used as a political weapon that I get nervous.
I don't care if you worship my geese...just don't impose it on me..(or unduly irritate my geese).
Certainty about such things in Law is a recipe for disaster...and I refuse to live under Theocracy of any kind.
I won't do Loyalty Oaths...of any kind.
(this is why we don't do Boy Scouts...they turned into a pseudo Fascist,Theocratic organisation...and I won't lie to join.)

If Oklahoma is really and truly behind this nonsense, I will support their secession whole-heartedly...
Those who feel they need to live under Biblical Law need a place to that they may attempt it...and so that they may leave off attempting to impose such madness on the rest of us.
I think it would be a great test-case...that's what Federalism was for in the first have 13 (now 50) laboratories in which to try out new ideas.
I support the People of Oklahoma in trying out Theocracy...

Of course, the Border to God's Kingdom should be least for a while...
We must allow time for like minded Theocrats to migrate...and for any nontheocrats, now residing there, to get the hell out.

I read somewhere, a few years ago, when I was researching the Dominionist Movement, that they comprised only about 10-15% of the populace.
For such a small minority, they sure make a lot of noise!
(some 20% of Americans, including the President, still smoke, after all...and smokers have no political power to speak of.)
A lot of this noise has to do with the support given by the political Right, these last 30++ years...
The Fascists who would rule us saw a useful bunch in those Xians who were afraid of Freedom...Gay Agenda, and all that...
Money poured in to Right Leaning Superstitionists...from Mellon-Scaife, Coors, etc...
Same folks who were instigating the Conservative Revolution that has brought such goodness and Light to Our Fair Nation...(cough.)
Enough, already!
The USA was NOT founded as a Christian Nation!
That is merely revisionism...quotes by Deists, taken out of context, in much the same way as these same folks cherry-pick passages from the bible to support their misogeny, racism and bloodlust.
They seem to forget that some of the rest of us can read, as well...(evil, socialist public education, and all...)
Indeed, I have no fewer than 10 "versions" of their Bible, not 3 feet from where I sit.
Too long has this screeching minority held the rest of us in thrall...we dare not call them what they are (pseudoFascist Theocrats) lest they label us "Godless", or whine about how they are being persecuted.
Never mind that they would be quick to engage in their own persecutory crusades, if given the chance.
Let them go to Oklahoma...or wherever...and build their Xian Utopia.
I expect it will be a truly enlightening experiment to observe...from the outside.....with beer and pizza.