Blog Archive

Friday, April 30, 2010

Inconsistencies in Arizona

My, what a shitstorm.
The Right has finally found a Gooberment who will do what they have longed for...
I predict that, at some point, Arizona will be the first state to secede.
But that's not what I'm on about.
I'm on about Inconsistencies!
Long has "Down with Big Government!" been a rallying cry for the Right. "Drown it in the Bathtub", "Get it Off Our Backs!"...
This Meme was, of course, stolen from the Libertarians...who naively believed that simply getting rid of Government would Magically solve all the problems in the world. (I know, as I used to count myself among them...)
The Right took this Meme and, starting with Reagan, used it as a Stealth Weapon against their enemies, who are Legion:Po' Folks, Black, Brown, Yellow and Red Folks, "Commies", "Socialists" and Secular Humanists....all of whom were believed to be either hanging from the Teat of Government, or Deploying that Teat in ways meant to benefit these Unamerrcans. (to the great disadvantage of "Real Amerrcans".
Now, at least for a brief time, we can watch the Laboratory of Federalism (State's Rights) work it's magic...the Law mandates that cops ask for Papers from anyone who doesn't look sufficiently Amerrcan.
From long practice with our Litigious Civilisation, the cops will err on the side of Caution...and stop Everybody, just to be sure.
The Inconsistency is this: How is this NOT Big Government?
How does this NOT intrude into our Lives in an unwholesome way?
Even disregarding the obvious parallels in recent history ("Papers, please...(Nazi Germany, USSR,etc...))this Law sets a course, necessarily, for More Government Intrusion! ...with it's inevitable bureaucracy!
The other glaring inconsistency is what this Law hopes to remedy: "Illegal Immigration"....hordes of "undocumented workers", sneaking across the porous border, to "steal our jobs!"...
It occurs to me that these folks embody the much vaunted Free Market....more so than the sham of Corporate Capitalism, fer sure!
They have identified a Need, and risk Life and Limb, and Illegality, to Fill that Need. The right should be embracing these Paragons of Entrepreneurship!
The Free Market at Work!
...of course these folks would probably rather stay home, but nafta took care of any glimmers of an economy back home...messing with the Free Market caused this Immigration. There's a Lesson for the

What a bunch of Maroons!
And! to boot! after all the shouting, "Drill ,Baby, Drill!", accompanied by Secret Fantasies of Nailin' Palin, I'm sure...the growing Environmental Catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, not a month after the Evil One (Obama)(!??) handed them what they wanted, will expose the unfortunate Fact that all us Bleeding Heart Liberals, Hippies and assorted Godless Treehuggers were right, after all...250,000 oil spills since the 70's, and they thought opening up the Coastal Shelf for Rapacious Oil Giants was nothing to worry about.
So Louisiana will lose it's Barrier of Wetlands, as well as most of it's tourist and Fish economy, for oil that wouldn't last us a year, and would take at least 10 years to get out of the seabed.
When will a sufficient portion of the mouthbreathers on the Right finally peer out from their Colons and get right with Reality?


(and a caveat, in case we're not on the same page...I detest the secret.
But it doesn't follow that I, therefore, Love Democrats, who I regard as merely less disturbing and evil than Republicans. There hasn't been a Left in this country in my least an organised Left that I could sign up with. A Real Left would oppose Empire, and all it's such animal, that I can see. Machine works too well.)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

When the going gets weird, the weird turn Pro..-HunterSThompson

Further evidence of a nacent civil war…
The 2 women I talked to yesterday, one from a state congessman's office, the other, federal…were unintentionally instructive as to the depth of the Ideological Divide in this country.
The first was the more open and forthright…coming right out with it in a long, tangential meander into Tea Party Talking Points (which I saw later on Faux News).
The second made an effort to remain neutral, to handle the problem at hand (my lack of a Hip,etc), but her own Tea Party Exposure was evident, if merely implied.
I'll focus on the first.
At first, it was about "constituent services"…helping me find the services I require.
When we reached mutual understanding that there really are no services for my particular situation, she began veering Right…into the Government=Evil Meme-Field..
The fault, it seems, for the lack of an answer, lies with Democrats and Big Government.
I couldn't really follow her "reasoning" on this…something to do with Trial Lawyers and Malpractice being at the root of the high costs. I mentioned the possibility, obvious to me, that Insurance Companies and the Profit Motive might, in some way, have a share of responsibility.
Heresy!...those benevolent Corporations are merely trying to help..but the Evil Trial Lawyers and Socialists (whom, I gathered, were under every other rock), were ruining our perfect system…biting the Invisible hand, as it were.
She moved on to Car Insurance…a parallel to Health Insurance, regarding the Mandatory stuff in the new health legislation…I said, yes! There's yer precedent..right there!
She was having none of it.
That was ok, you see, because it's not all that expensive, and all those poor folks who "choose" not to carry insurance (for cars) are driving up costs for everybody…
She ignored the obvious relation her argument for mandatory car insurance had to Obama's argument for mandatory health insurance…
She moved on…seems there's a Credit of some kind for energy efficient appliances; Federally mandated, state administered.
Her office "handles" so many calls from folks wanting this "free money"(?) that the phones are smoking!
Damned Freeloaders…(I got that from her tone)…
I said that, seeing as I have ample time to read and learn, and am interested in such things, I had a solution!
Get onto the manufacturers! Have them make more efficient machines, (for instance : put the Guts of a refrigerator on Top, instead of on Bottom…where the heat rises into the area one is trying to cool. This is done with restaurant equipment, already).
I further suggested that it would be great to have available a fridge that ran on 24 ,48, or even 12 volt…to facilitate the use of wind and solar, which are easier to use in those voltages…(now, one must have lots more generation capability, as well as an Inverter…which loses lotsa power in conversion.)
This, apparently, suggested that I was talking about the Big, Gigantic Wind Farms going up all over West Texas….with attendant Giant Powerlines that no one wants in their yard…(I tried to syeer her back to the idea of decentralization of power generation…to no avail)
Those damned Environmentalist Hippie Socialists were Ramming These Eyesores Down Our Throats!
Seems these Ne'er-do-wells all live on the east coast, in cities, and on Martha's Vinyard…which the Kennedy's have fought to protect from such intrusions…(sigh.)
I, again, offered up a Solution!...Methane Digesters….Glorified Septic Tanks, simple Scrubbers=Free Methane for Everyone.
I said that such small scale digesters were made in Georgia, shipped to the Third World, but that they were unavailable in the US…due to some unknown Import Restriction…
She pounced! See, the damned Environmentalists!
I said, No…it's the Oil and Gas Corporations who had written these Regulations, during Bush 1…(if I remember right)…they didn't want the competition from everyone who Poops!. (think about it…"Natural Gas" is a marketing euphemism for Methane)
She, it seems, didn't hear or understand…insisting that it was Environmentalists and Trial Lawyers and Socialists and the Evil Federal Government who was at the bottom of this Nefarious Plot!
She then seemed to catch her breath…said she had been "in Government" for most of her adult life (she said she was in her seventies)…and returned to my problems…said she'd get right on it…
I thanked her, and that was it.

This woman offered that she has worked for the government for a long, long time.
But the government is the source of Evil in the world, and by implication, should be eliminated.
My statement(s) that it was the combination, the marriage, of Government and Big Business that was the real problem, was poo-poohed…multinational Corporations are Free-Enterprise at it's Finest.
Government is controlled by Environmentalists, Socialists, Hippies, Lawyers, Democrats, and Beaurocrats..of which list, she admitted to the last…being a government functionary for 50+ years.
Social Security and Medicare are Evil, except, it seems ,for the part where she is On Social Security and Medicare.
Poor Folks are Evil, as well…wanting to "be taken care of by the Nanny State" and "thinking they're entitled to a handout, when a Job is what they really need"…except that they're "too lazy and coddled to go out and find a job…since Welfare is right there for the taking"….(quotes are her words, as I remember them…I 'm not trying to put words in her mouth…)
Business is being "Strangled by Regulation and Government Meddling and High Taxes"…
All of which, at least in Texas, is demonstrably false…

Which brings me around to the most scary thing about this whole encounter:
Facts, Evidence, Objective Reality….none of this matters.
If it runs contrary to the Mythology, it either doesn't exist…or it is some kind of Liberal Socialist Plot to destroy us.
Nothing can disabuse these folks from their beliefs…the sky, when they look up, really IS Green!
This woman, and the other one…as well as a guy who used to work in the Medicaid Office in Brady…are all, by definition, "The Government"!
Yet they rail and rave that Government is Evil…without Shame, much less the slightest sense of Irony!
You can almost hear the disembodied Voice of Beck, Limbaugh and Faux News, behind everything they say.

We are so Fucked!

(and the Governor of Virginia has made a Proclamation of Confederate Day, neglecting to mention the role of Slavery in the War of Northern Agression…Civil War was all about Freedom!...
They are embracing the Meme.
Liberals, and all others who don't believe in this tripe, should clean their guns,(in a defensive manner, of course), and Hunker Down…
That may sound crazy, but I fear it'll come to that…)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Sent this to "my" State Congresscritters:

My name is , ,and I'm disabled. I'm not "technically" disabled, due to the Byzantine system we have in this country, but I am disabled, nonetheless.
20 years ago, I had an accident…hit a tree at 90 mph. Both the tree and I survived.
I severed the "neck" of my right femur, made my left ankle into gravel, and messed up my knees…especially the right one. After I got out of the Hospital, I spent a long time in bed…then a long time in a wheelchair…and a long time learning to walk, again.
Sooner than anyone's expectations, I was back at work, and back at school.

The pain was always there, but it was tolerable. I was a cook…I like the term "Chef"…for all those years. I was very good at it…a "Ninja in the Kitchen"….but the hard floors, the long hours without a break, had their effect…
Five years ago, when I would go to work, I found myself having a harder and harder time finishing my shift…the pain was so great… After I finally got off, I could hardly drive home. Then, in the mornings, I'd find that I could not walk.

So I quit, and went to my Doctor, who said, "You need a new hip".

In these last 20 years, I have fallen a lot. I've broken both thumbs, both wrists, both elbows….damaged my back and neck (due, I think, to not being able to "lift with my knees").
Also, after my wreck and all the surgery and recovery was done, my insurance dropped me like a hot potato. I have never been able to get insurance, since that day.
So, all these "peripheral injuries" are undocumented…I just wrapped them up, drank some tequila, grit my teeth, and moved on.
When my Doc said "get a hip", I applied for Disability.
I have been through that whole process one and a half times….I'm in the second go-'round, on the first appeal to the first denial.
For some reason, they keep denying me.
Seems to be a criterion in the relevant law regarding "jobs present in the National Economy"…..notwithstanding the presence of such jobs anywhere near me.
I live in Mason, Texas. I cannot move, as I have been out of work for nearly 5 years.
This doesn't matter to the Judge, or to the Functionaries…
It seems like a convenient excuse for denying me.
I don't qualify for Medicaid, as my wife makes around $1000 per month…and the income threshold for adult Medicaid is $230 per month….in my opinion, ridiculously low.
A doctor friend of mine suggested that I "establish residence" in San Antonio, or somewhere ;where there are big County Hospitals. But I am fatally honest….I won't lie.
I am in a kind of Purgatory…I can usually walk, with great pain…I can do stuff, but I pay for it with pain.
I do the necessary repairs on this ancient house, but then I have to lie around for 1-5 days, depending on the strenuousness of the chore.
The few jobs out here are not conducive to this.
I have stated, repeatedly, that I am NOT after a check. I want to go back to work, start a business, something!
But to do so, I must be repaired.
They tell me I have Avascular necrosis in my hip…the bone is dead.
I need a hip replacement…I also need what's called an ankle-fusion.
The Orthopedic guy says I'll soon need a right knee replacement.
The Hospital quoted me, 2 years ago, $40,000+, just for the hip.
I'm at my wits end.
My family suffers, needlessly, for it.
What am I supposed to do?
The system is broken…and I didn't do the breaking.
I have never asked for "welfare" before all this started.
The system was built by folks who hold their Ideology above their Hearts…and it is Shameful.
With the recent hullaballoo over Health care Reform, there's been a lot of Hyperbole and Hollering…but the fact remains…I have fallen through cracks, that were opened, then made wider, by folks who care more about the health of Corporations than the Health of Poor People.
You, Sir, supposedly represent me.
I am a Human Being, a 5th generation Texan.
Fix it!

Thank You.
You can call me any time.(325)

Actually got a response…booted it up to "my" National Congressman…who's Minion called me.
She was very nice, very understanding…but there apparently ain't a damned thing they, or anyone else, can do.
The underlying contempt for all things Government was palpable, but I didn't get into my feelings about that…lol.
Seems that since I'm white, 40 and Educated, I have fallen through a sizeable Crack.
I am informed that the last five years of wrangling with a heartless system was for nothing.
She said it's "not what Social Security/Disability is for…it's for people who will never work again…"
Not, she says, for repairing younger folks so that they are able to go back to work.(!!)
So…from all this I glean that there is no help forthcoming, from state, federal or local government.
I'm screwed until I'm 65…or become so damaged that I can never work again.
Incentive to jump off the roof?
Yes, if I trusted the Machine with a hole in the head…which I do not.
I am, as I've feared, Doomed to deteriororate ,in increasing pain , till I finally can no longer move, at all.

I did get a rise out of her, though…
I related the results of my research into costs, regarding the Hip Replacement.
Fredericksburg Hospital "quoted" me a ballpark figure of $40,000…for the fake hip and it's installation. This figure does not include anesthesia, anesthesiologist, post operative stuff, a bed in the Hospital for a night or two,or any platinum-clad, diamond studded Tylenol or other extras that may be needed. Nothing about Physical Therapy, to get me back on my feet. Just the surgery.
I found a place that would do the whole damned thing…all the stuff mentioned above, plus recovery in a bungalow on the beach with a private nurse…for $18,000.
It's called Cuba.
It's the only country in the whole world that I ,as an American, am specifically forbidden from visiting.
If 20 grand falls out of the sky, I'll be on the first fucking boat, I told her…and y'all can throw me in jail afterwards.
If such things come to pass, be certain, dear readers, that the entire adventure will be available on YouTube.
Call it Citizen Journalism.
Or consider it a Stick in the Eye of the Beast.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

On Falling Down

I have always been a drunk.
Not the "normal" drunk, having a nip every morning, needing alcohol to get through every day, or (almost) unconsciously following the dictates of Addiction.
I am Anomalous in this, as in everything else.
I'm Episodic…and Deliberate.
I know, at the outset, exactly what I'm doing….Trying to Stop My Mind.
My Mind is aswirl, most of the time. I've got Music…whole symphonies playing in my head, to the tiniest detail. For years, now, I just don't listen to music…it gets stuck in my head, and I can't get rid of it. I'll hear a snatch of (for instance) a commercial, that reminds me, on some subconscious level, of Mozart or Strauss, or Hendrix or John Coltrane….and my Mind takes over, playing the music back, like I have a tape deck in my head…whose stop button has been removed.

At the same time, having learned, it seems, far too much about the World, I think about Philosophy….whether Religion, or Politics, or Science, or History….Another kind of Symphony, playing right along side the other.

Daily tasks, like dishes, or building the porch, or even interacting w/ my bunch….I've got these other, parallel tracks in operation…

10-track mind.

Curse of Genius….

One of the problems, the Philosophical Track has no outlet in the real Life I find myself in….there is no Salon…no Lycee..nowhere to find others who Think.
America in the 21st Century, at least Texas, is anti-intellectual…(which is, of course, one of the Harbingers of Fascism…Action over Thought)….

So, in my Time, I've found that, not only am I unable to be socialized, Domesticated…unable to just naturally "fit" into our "Culture"…the things I think about, the things I care about…noone really wants to know.
I can't make "small-talk"…I just don't get it.
Here I am, concerned about Very Large Things…our place in the Universe, what it means to be American, Human, Alive…lately, whether we as a species actually deserve to survive ourselves…..
And everyone wants to talk about basketball.
About who fucked who.
About what they bought at walmart.
(spell check wants to capitalize "walmart",lol)
My Wife tries to Engage me…but we are conditioned by the Machine to be uncomfortable with Thought…
So many of the most important questions have no definitive answers…they are open ended.
Many others require looking at ourselves sans-slogans…without the Labels that we use to, unthinkingly, shut down critical thinking.
It appears that most folks are uncomfortable with Thinking…preferring, instead, to accept whatever Model they've been handed.
Safety in the Warm Herd.

I have been told, usually by shrinks (who are singularly unprepared for someone like me) , to "shut it off"….just stop thinking about the Very Large Things…Accept…rejoin the Flock, in their Happy Oblivion.
Therein lies the Problem…not only can I not stop…I don't want to stop.
To stop Thinking about these things would be unethical…it would, if I could, put me into the Herd in such a way that would destroy my Integrity.(the Integrity that matters, how I see myself…not the "integrity" that is worn on the sleeve…noone can see my Integrity.)
To say" it's too hard to think about Ethics in an unethical age" is the same Cowardice that I rail against.
I'm stuck…so, once a week, once every two weeks (it varies)…I drink.
It starts out fine…it works….the Mind slows, I can focus on one track…the Music quiets…I find the "Sweet Spot", like the drunkard in Streetcar named Desire…
But the addiction takes over from there…and, sometimes (not always) I go too far…become Mr Hyde…
Mr Hyde is a Libertine, an Extremist…a Kerouacian Force of Nature….Dionysius on Acid….
Totally in the Moment, the Eternal NOW.
I don't run off, like I used to…Even Drunk, I'm still a Cripple, after all.
Now, I find myself "drunk dialing", even online….I think it's looking for connection, just forgetting the Anomalousness….
I don't realize, in that state, that I am even harder for folks to Understand…I make references that, if I were sober, I would usually attempt to explain….
These seemingly unconnected references come across as strange, as wildly inappropriate…they are frequently taken out of Context….a Context I fail to provide.
Complexity of Thought, presented as it Is…without Explanation….
I think that is what I find Liberating….not having to give a class for every utterance.
I know the Context…it's right there, before my Mind's Eye…when I'm beyond the Sweet Spot, I (mistakenly) expect everyone else to have the same Contextual References before their Mind's Eye as well.

What to do…
When I manage to abstain…or, even, to stop at the Sweet Spot…my Mind gets so spun up…whirling with all these Big Things that have nowhere to go…no outlet.
It is… uncomfortable.
Our "culture", in it's long drive towards Homogeneity, driven by Consumerism , Materialism, and the Unspoken Fascism these engender, has few outlets for Anomalies like me.
We are all supposed to be the Same….it's never stated so plainly, honestly…but it's there in every Trope, every Slogan, every instance of Small Talk.
It is Implied, strongly, that Unusual is Bad. Normal is Good.
Beware of the other, the Not Like Us.

What to do?
One can't Unring a Bell….I can't unread Nietzsche….can't unthink all the thoughts that led me to this place…I cannot be "normal". It would mean Pretending to be Normal.
And that would be Dishonest….and require a Bullet.

And in the current "cultural" milieu, with unthinking Teabaggers, and secretly ashamed former Bushies, and Fundamentalists of every stripe…well, there is even less of a need, or even mere acceptance, of Me.
Plug in the deterioration of the Practice of Discussion…
Plug in the Certainty on all sides…
And you have the recipe for Pitchforks and Torches….Mobs.
I know enough about history to understand just who the Mob thinks is to blame…
And it looks an awful lot like me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

machines, thinking

I find it strange, that the Bots, or whatever, that place the ads on my little blog seem to think I'm a Right Winger.
"Stop the Liberals"?
"Say No to Cardcheck"?
Someone tell the Machine that I am a Liberal....please.