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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fragment, on Origens.

I grew up in near East Texas, north of Houston, where the Piney Woods mix and mingle with the more deciduous Central Texas Post Oak Savannah, to the West. Bounded by the San Jacinto, on the east, and the Brazos, to the West.

Our neighborhood, was composed of both types of forest…was somewhat isolated, and had a Railroad as it’s off-center Axis…running north-south.

I remember when I was 5, venturing, for the first time, out of the yard…up a dog-trail, into the Woods.

These Woods would later be the Center of the World…on the slopes of what we called the Hill. A crossroads of two Stagecoach Tracks was situated there…over the years, many artifacts were accidentally discovered…skillets, wagon hubs, and the like. To think that this very oak tree sheltered soldiers and settlers…At the hill, nigh the fence across the road(which was adjacent a big field), ancient bricks were scattered…remains of a sawmill, owned by the man who had cleared this country, and from whom my Grandad had purchased our 10 acres. That man’s house, or the ruins of it, were down the Hill to the west, towards the Tracks, stuck into the belt of almost Jungle that paralleled the Railroad. Remains of kitchen items, lilies from someone’s kitchen garden, now-wild roses…it was an eerie place, especially at night.

In later years, this was the Shortcut to the Tracks…

The Long Way, was by the black top road…which led away north, ere turning west to the Railroad, the Highway(149) and the World, at large. The road skirted the dense Pine Forest, the Presley place…and behind that was Nanduhirion(too much Tolkien), dense Woods, crossed by logging roads, and containing hidden pools, the site of much Reveling in later years…

From that first venture into the Woods, at 5, my World steadily, if slowly, expanded. Folks set limits, which were exceeded, as our audacity grew…before long, we were all over, running through the trails we had cut, in camouflage,(red dawn/Rambo) sneaking up on Train Men, hiding from passing cars(we usually weren’t where we were supposed to be)…eventually Riding Trains…wandering far and wide.

Until I was around 13, I was alone…save for my younger brother…Justin didn’t move in, till then. Brother had buddies his age, while I was apart.

We had great Campouts, at the Hill…the first fort was there…and the first Fire Pit…ashes can still be found, there, at the Center of the World.

Exploding cans of ranch style beans, inadvertently kicked into the fire…trails of burning gasoline in the road, to freak out the paper guy, at 4am…caches of tools, porn mags and explosives…liberated from the Trains and assorted equipment left at the Tracks…

My first drink, New Years Eve, when we were 15…me an ML snuck into Rickett’s Barn, at the hill…after watching their drunken revel for several hours…all staggered home, leaving the barn, and the keg, open. Almost passed out on the tracks that night…which probably should have foretold the disasters to come…awoke to the sweeping headlight of an oncoming Train, horn blowing, rushing up to us…I woke ML, and we escaped…throwing rocks at the wheels, watching the sparks…

I can still taste that first beer…PBR.

All of this is hazy…seen as if through mist…due, I suspise, to the Wreck, and the intervening Wild Years…my 20’s.

I get real nostalgic, overcome with forgotten things, when I return there.The pine trees that were a mere 10 feet tall on the misty September morning when Pop died, are now 50 feet high…the “Stairs”, “Hole in the Wall”,and other fortifications are still discernable, in the Jungle-like growth…staging areas to wait for the Engine to pass, on the sidetrack, so we could board the Trains…by moonlight, and early morning, rain or shine…ride for a while, then jump and roll, on the sand pile, still extant, beside a certain part of the Tracks….then run back and board it again. Talking, at the Crossing, to Trainmen, waiting for a passing freight…on their way to Teague, and on up into the heartland of America, then back, to Houston, the Ship Channel, and the starving people of the World. Wanderlust…engendered by the tales they told, as well as our own explorations…a Wanderlust that has never left me, even now, in my Cripplehood….Further!

We used to communicate, over distance, by “Howling”…just what it sound like…I remember a late summer morning, before the roof of the first Fort was completed, Howling for Justin…a coolness in the air, approaching Fall…the sharpness of the distant stand of Pines…crispness of the air…

And the morning Pop died, we had to meet the bus at Justin’s…there were deer, in the mist, among the small trees in the field…

And the early morning 3am when me and ML, nodding around the fire, at the Hill, heard the coyotes and owls, echoing through the Pines, up from the Creek Bottom…and another, wilder sound…Bigfoot…otherworldly screech/howl…silencing the others…moonlit fog in the pine boughs…

I procured old USGS maps from Gagoo, and, together with stories of my parent’s Wild Years in those same Woods, we set out, beyond the Neighborhood..into the Great Woods, the Creek Bottom (Lake Creek), and the Bog…a deep depression where my Dad had lost a deer, decades before…impenetrable Thickets…a Bald Hill, deep in the Woods, that my Mom spoke of, that I, however, only found once, at sunset…and got lost on the way out…a bic lighter for seeing, and surrounded by Eyes…I made my way out, and home.

Later, (I believe it was Justin) and I crossed Lake Creek, on one of our Wanders…got lost, and spent the night, with a fire, and ten thousand eyes…heard the train in the morning, giving us a direction Home.

When I was 15, an oil rig went up, at the back side of Nanduhirion…me and Justin investigated, by moonlight…his dog kept running from our hide, along the ponds, into the bright lights from the rig…the workmen never knew that they were watched…

Trainmen, too, rarely knew of our presence. Justin overheard them once, talking about the long red headed wild man, in the woods…that was me, of course…my first Mythical Incarnation, as it were…

There were six foot Rattlesnakes, Eastern Diamondbacks, in those woods…I grew up along side them…in retrospect, it’s a minor miracle that either they, or the Trains, didn’t get us…

By the time I was 15, mind filled with Books, the Wanderlust was becoming very Powerful…I’d stand at the Hill and feel the Universe, out there…a Universe of Experience, People, Places…The fuzzy Boundaries of our Neighborhood were closing in…

I began to Leave, at 16…when Mom ran me off for Rebellion….I finally, for real, left, several years later, when the heat was hot, the cops were after me, and there was no question as to whether my two hometowns any longer wanted me around…

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pons Asinorum

From my Library window,

, I can see the developing Mesquite Beans…trees are full, this year…

It’ll be a good crop.

I am confident that we are the only folks around here that will take advantage of it.

The Trucks still run, after all…three times a week, to what passes as a supermarket.

Soon, now that the Garden is done, for now…I’ll set to work on the Grey Water.

How many thousands of gallons wasted, sent down the drain to be mixed, irretrievably, with the Black?

A simple diversion, of the kitchen sink, and the bathtub..and the Garden is taken care of.

It’s all illegal, of course.

I won’t even ask the city…

I have the intention of running this cast off water through a Biofilter…a kind of built Wetland, of stones and gravel and sand and cattails(an almost perfect food,btw) and papyrus…then off to the Garden.

The Conventional “Wisdom”, that set of assumptions, that Entities like the city operates under, is no longer applicable.

We, here in arid Central Texas, cannot afford the wanton waste we are accustomed to.

As Ive said, great herds of cattle pass through this tiny outpost every week…yet, when one goes to the supermarket, the beef comes from hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away…lamb, when available, originates in Australia! This, after driving past 1000 sheep!

When I first arrived at the idea of Peak Oil, it was considered “Fringe”, “Conspiracy Theory”. In the almost 10 years since then, it has become less and less so…It’s in all the magazines that matter, Natgeo, Economist, Time…but it’s not on TV…so it must not exist.

35 years ago, during the Oil Shocks of the 70’s, we faced a crossroads.

The idea of PO was well known at the upper levels, of course(since the 50’s, at least)…but the Oil Shocks threatened to wake everybody up. Jimmy Carter came on TV, in a sweater, and said that we’d have to get used to a lower standard of living, start reworking our Civilisation to use ever less oil and gas…Solar Panels on the White House.

The Movers and Shakers of the world had other ideas…Reagan, Morning in America(when it was really late afternoon), a return to big cars, conspicuous consumption…just about everything needed to make the situation exponentially Worse.

Asinus ad Lyram, indeed!

I’ve been thinking, for years, about building a Gas Digester…a compost pile/latrine that takes Waste, and turns it into Methane (“Natural Gas”) and safe, nonpathogenic Fertilizer. I have a 55 gallon tank for a prototype…this is likely illegal, in the city, as well

I’m not even gonna ask.

Better to beg for forgiveness…

Even all this ain’t gonna save us…it’s just whittling.

There are 4000 folks within 30 miles of me…and there ain’t a one of them thinking about these things…

Or, if a few are, they are paralyzed…the Problem seems insurmountable.

Any solution would require enormous expenditure, short and medium term…and yield results only after the Conventional “Wisdom” , BAU, has Failed.

That scenario grows closer by the day.

Part of me, when observing the current shenanigans in DC, is breathless…it’s finally collapsing.

I’ve thought this before, of course…the PTB always seem to find a way to keep the rickety Machine lurching forwards…At some point, however, the Baling Wire and Bandaids will no longer be enough. The sand of reality, in the gearbox of Civilisation, will have it’s effect…and things will no longer work.

I have always said,”the sooner the better”…in spite of the pain and suffering that will ensue, even a Die Off.

Better to get the Burning Times over with, while there’s still a functioning Biosphere.

I maintain that the longer the Machine holds together, the worse it will be, when it finally Fails. The Machine’s intolerance of Alternative Means of Survival ensures that we all go down with the ship.

Alternatives must be pursued in relative secrecy, and relative solitude.

…as in the above City Policies….and the stories that come from all over, about folks being made into criminals for such silliness as growing a Garden, in their front yard.

Barba tenus sapientes! “Wise, as far as the Beard!”…as a Habitual, if Feral, Philosopher, these musings always lead me to uncomfortable places…

Are we, as a species, that stupid?

Sadly, it appears that we are.

Still…a Fool’s Hope, is still Hope.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Teabagging the Global Debt Machine

How ironic, that the architects of the imminent Doom of the global debt based economic system, are the creations of it’s greatest beneficiaries. The current crisis, artificially imposed on the national agenda, is, at root, a crisis of Faith.

The System relies on Faith…..Faith that that green piece of paper, with arcane symbols printed on it, is actually Worth Something…Faith that it has Value.

I’ve advocated a tearing down of the entire edifice of the Machine for a long time…the Machine is too large, complex and composed of “fixes” piled upon “fixes” to ever be “reformed” sufficiently…to be made Ethical, etc. I’ve said that it must, instead, be destroyed, so that we can begin again…and hopefully, this time, construct something that is both Ethical, as well as Sustainable.

This Creature of the corporate Machine, the so-called Tea Party Movement, is on the verge of doing just that.

I do not think that this was it’s intended function…there must be quite a bit of Freaking Out, in the boardrooms and Think Tanks, at this moment….perhaps akin to Einstein, and colleagues, watching news reels of Hiroshima…”What have we done?”

The Fast-Crash, versus Slow Crash Arguments we had at Latoc are about to become Moot. This is the economic iteration of the Protestant Reformation…95 Theses, nailed to the Door…The long, slow decline…the slope we were coasting down …at the end of which was likely a sudden drop…has been replaced by a hard right turn, right off the adjoining cliff…

I’d like to be a fly on the wall…rather, several hundred flies on as many walls…

Obama can, of course, use the machinery of the Imperial Presidency (thanks, George…) to Unilaterally “raise the debt ceiling”…it’s kind of arbitrary, any way…

Similarly, the Fed, and Bernanke, could Cancel the Debt “we owe to ourselves”…thus averting the “crisis”…

Or, the Tea People in the House could cave…

But, does it really matter, at this point?

The proverbial cat is out of the bag….and it appears to be lifeless.

Money is fiction.

All this current Kabuki is doing is stripping away the collective Hallucination that Money ever had any “Value” in the first place.

Should be an interesting time to be alive.

However, a warning is in order….the Forces of Darkness, those who support the Machine…from Economists to Modern day Prophets to would be Dictators are waiting in the wings for just such a crisis.

Folks of a of a more Liberal Orientation should be, as well…with a New Paradigm in hand.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Christ Militant

Saw this… …regarding the group Repent Amarillo. This group has, on it’s web site, a “spiritual warfare map” of the city, wherein they identify locations “in need of spiritual cleansing”…casting out of demons, and the like.

My usual caveats apply…I will defend, to the death, these folks Right to believe in whatever Crazy they like..but, the First Amendment doesn’t cover Militant Assholeishness, when it harms folks…or makes them into targets. (

This is part of a growing, and worrisome trend in America, today. The rise of the Religious Right, as they are called, has been an ongoing curiosity since the late 70’s. They have been a political sin qua non of Republican office-seekers since Reagan, at least. And they have hidden behind the First Amendment every time they’ve been challenged….”Oh! You’re persecuting us because we’re Christians!”.


In recent years, they have insinuated themselves into all branches of Government…and began stealthily remaking our institutions to better suit their Worldview. Most egregious, to my mind, is the recent actions of the “Texas Taliban”…the Board of Education, rewriting History…and mandating that their version of history be taught in Public Schools. Taliban members, by their own statements, have had no shame in letting us know exactly what they were trying to accomplish: a forced institution of Theocratic Ideals. (see :Cynthia Dunbar, Don McElroy, David Barton, the list is long. ( has a good list))

They are under the impression that the USA is a Christian Nation…and they cherry-pick the statements of the Founding Fathers to support that view. It’s all nonsense, of course…but folks seem to have a tendency to believe Nonsense when it supports their prejudices.

The USA was founded as a Secular Nation. Sorry, but that’s the Fact. It is a product of Liberalism…the Enlightenment…sorry, but that, too, is a Fact.

Most of the Founders were Deists (a watch implies a watchmaker…who winds it up, and has no further involvement)….Fact.

In the world they intend, there is no room for Non-Christians…or Queers, or Uppity Women, or anything resembling Free Thought….all that will get ya stoned to death , if these folks get their way ( ( (

Most of the “mainstream” Religious Right Leaders don’t like to talk about this stuff , in public…but they’ve been outed many times…and the more extreme ideas have been moving more and more onto center stage.

Gov. Rick Perry’s upcoming “Response” prayer rally, in Houston’s Reliant Center, this August should put any confusion about this to rest.(

On the one hand, this is a cynical pandering to the extremist vote, by a slick likely Presidential Contender.

On the other, it’s a wake up call to all those Americans who do not share these folks view of what America is all about.

If anyone reads this, I’ll likely be called “AntiChristian”, or something…a member of the Liberal Conspiracy to sacrifice God-Fearing, Real Americans to Satan….sigh. The rhetoric is not new, by any means.

My question, to these Crusaders: If/when you “win” your Culture War, and “take back the country for Jesus”, what do you intend to do with folks like me? Are there pitchforks and torches in my future? A good, old fashioned Stoning? An Auto de Fe?

Your rhetoric leads me to expect such things, if you ever do “win”.

I, once again, am an American…a seventh generation Texan…I trace my lineage back to the brother of one David Crockett…sons of Pioneers , etc.

Whether you like it or not, it’s my country, too.

I support your Right to exist, and to say what you want(with certain caveats(“fire” in a theater, etc)), believe what you like…hang out with who you like…all the Rights of an American. Am I not to be afforded the same consideration?

Is there no room, in your “America” for anyone who is different from you?

My concerns about this movement have, in the past, been met with incredulity…Pshaw!

Turns out I was not far from the mark.

If unchallenged, these folks will make America a Hell-on Earth.

I’ll not go quietly.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Roundup roadblock.

Sheriff makes me nervous…perhaps he’s brusque and bristling with everyone…but I got some heavy and suspicious vibes from him. I was informed that my inspection sticker is six months expired…lol. I’ve never been one to give much mind to such things, but perhaps this might include me in another Profile…

I am certainly Absentminded.

He seemed threatened, somehow…like I, or something else, might bite him.

That’s when to Fear Cops.

I tried, in my ineffectual, feral way to be polite, engaging…he started with suspicion/paranoia…the Vibe was unmistakable.

I guess it was himself, the Sheriff…it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him…I haven’t had truck with LEO’s in quite a while…I wave to Louis, that’s about it.

I like it that way, as me and Cops have never really gotten along…since the Mippy/Shauna Affair…and my resultant Persecution. I simply don’t Trust them, in general(as unfair as generalizations, generally are).

My Spidey Sense always bristles…and I feel my Otherness.

I endeavor to avoid Imperial Entanglements, of all stripes.

It shouldn’t be this way.

On the one hand, They, in effect, declared War on Me…Drug War, GWOT, and the AntiLiberal/AntiHippie Campaigns that have entertained us for the last century…Criminalising Dissent, even Perceived Difference …any Deviation from some ill defined Norm is suspect.

On the other, They work for me, as much as anyone else. I am a Taxpayer…and more importantly, an American Citizen. While it is not (currently) Overt Oppression, it is Oppression, all the same…this Vibe I feel whenever I’m eye to eye with a LEO. I have endeavored to engage Cops before, with little success. Lil Joe and Paul and Dale and Bill were notable exceptions. Louis is at least trustworthy…and not prone to Ideology. I can expect a fair shake and by-the-book with him. The rest, in my experience, are victims, as it were, of the Us/Them Mentality one reads about in some (mostly Liberal) circles.

A lot of that comes from Fear…I understand and sympathise…but their subsequent attitude and behaviour makes it worse.

I realize that I am sensitive to this stuff, due to my early history….see “Outlaw”…but others have noticed the “special treatment” I seem to get from my Employees.


On Juries and the First Amendment

The notion that the jury might acquit defendants "in the

teeth of both law and factsn7 has been deeply rooted in Anglo-

American law. Thematically, the foundational jury nullification

cases have been political cases involving the prosecution of

crimes of conscience against the government or the prevailing

social order.* Because of the preponderance of cases in the

literature, the jury nullification debate has been characterized

, by an analysis peculiar to these cases, that is, the dynamic of

a legally guilty defendant being acquitted because of the jury's

rejection of an unpopular law or an oppressive government or

the jury's embrace of the position of conscience held by the

accused ” (Dorfman, David N., "Fictions, Fault, and Forgiveness: Jury Nullification in a New Context" (1995). Pace Law Faculty Publications.

Paper 532.

To the point…” the jury's

rejection of an unpopular law or an oppressive government or

the jury's embrace of the position of conscience held by the

accused.” (ibid)

When one is called to Jury Duty, the Judge and Prosecutor and Defense Counsel put you through something called Voir Dire…”In the United States, it now generally refers to the process by which prospective jurors are questioned about their backgrounds and potential biases before being chosen to sit on a jury.”(from the Wiki article,’voir dire’)

In my experience, the Prosector runs this show, while the Defense Counsel plays second fiddle….and the Judge reads, or is otherwise occupied.

The purpose of this exercise is, ostensibly, to weed out those who are “not suitable”…a very subjective judgment.

There has been, for many years now, a concerted effort by Jurists and Prosecutors to push down the Memory Hole a time honored concept….Jury Nullification.

Jurors, and potential Jurors, are “Instructed” as to their Duties…by the closest Authority Figure , the Judge or his delegate. These Instructions are often in such arcane and technical language, that the average Juror cannot fully understand them.(wiki;”jury instructions”)

That aside, increasingly…and over many years…Jurors have been instructed that their Duty lies solely in the finding of Fact..

Any mention of “Nullification” is the surest way for a potential Juror to be excused…and if such sentiments are well concealed by said Juror, so that he becomes a member of the Petit Jury, Nullification (or it’s advocacy) often ends in Contempt charges. Judges and Prosecutors really dislike the idea of Nullification.

So, what is Nullification?

From the Wikipedia article:” Jury nullification is a de facto and traditional power of juries. Judges rarely inform juries of their nullification power. The power of jury nullification derives from an inherent quality of most modern common law systems—a general unwillingness to inquire into jurors' motivations during or after deliberations. A jury's ability to nullify the law is further supported by two common law precedents: the prohibition on punishing jury members for their verdict, and the prohibition (in some countries) on retrying defendants after an acquittal (see related topics res judicata and double jeopardy).”

I’ll go further than this…Nullification is the Power of the Jury to Judge the Law, itself.

Jefferson was an advocate of this approach, believing that Juries represented the last line of defense, against Tyranny….of Government, run amok. In America of the early 21st Century, such a check on Government overreach is much needed. Post 9-11, the Surveillance State has grown by mighty leaps…often without one arm knowing what the other is doing. The War on Terror, in my opinion, merely expanded the Overreach that was begun by the “War on Drugs”…which, in turn, flowed from the Anti-Communist Hysteria that continually reared it’s head during the 20th Century. The effect of all these “Wars” has been a gradual, de facto, Repeal of much of the Bill of Rights….especially the Fourth, and I’ll argue, the First Amendments.

This gets to the very heart of what I’m on about, this morning…It is my First Amendment Right to Freedom of Conscience to which the anti Nullification Movement does Injury.

If I am to try a case involving, say…a person accused of violating a Blue Law, against the sale of alcohol at 11 am, Sunday morning…my Conscience dictates that the Law, itself, is Unjust….and, thus, unenforceable. Similarly, if the Accused is before me for Smoking a Cigarette in a public park, when there is an Ordinance against such behaviour…my Conscience is very clear…the Law, itself is Wrong.

Is my Conscience to be left at the Courthouse door?

The opposition to Nullification would have it so…and maintain that , in fact, a Jury is merely an arm of the Government….poorly paid Lackeys, who must do as they’re told, by Authority Figures.

On the contrary…I maintain that Authority is not given the Judge, the Prosecutor, nor anyone else, to Compel me to ignore the Dictates of my Conscience. Behind the First Amendment Guarantees of Freedom of Speech, Religion, Assembly, the Press, and Redress lies the freedom to Form one’s own Thoughts…to devise one’s own system of Ethics and Morality, and to then Live by them.

In this Age of Giant Government, and distant, if not Deaf, “Representatives”, there is little that the common man can do to check the advance of Tyranny. Nullification, of the Law, itself, by the Jury…and, necessarily, in the particular Case, before it…is an Important, if largely forgotten, Right and Duty.

I encourage my Countrymen to Think about these things, and to remember them when they are called to serve in such a capacity.

Carpe Libertatem,


First, let me get the caveats and disclaimers out of the way…I am wholly against anything resembling the practice, known in Protestantism as “Witnessing”, or more generally, as “Proselytizing”. I find the forcing of one’s beliefs and prejudices on another to be abhorrent, and not conducive to civil society, nor progress, in general.

That said, as a lifelong student of Comparative Mythology, I have identified a number of interesting places to visit (all within 100 miles of me) that relate to this study.

There is a large Hindu Temple, just outside of Austin ….

A Greek Orthodox Church, right downtown, …a Zen Buddhist Retreat…and , of course, the Fire and Brimstone Street Preachers are always a Hoot.

In San Antonio, there is a Large Synogogue … also the Missions…and I’ve heard tell of a Trappist Monestary, as well as a Cistercian, hereabouts…

Things I’ll hafta look for; something Islam, something Unitarian, something Quaker…perhaps some examples of Mysticism, from the various quarters, ie. Kabbalah, Sufi (especially the Rumi Variety),….I have fond memories of a loud, Jumpin’ African-American Baptist Church…actually several…in East Texas…in the one I lived next door to, the Preacher played Bass..organ, choir…the place really Rocked!

I’ve read all the Holy Books…at least cursorily. It would be interesting to visit these places, see how it’s applied…art music, etc…

I’d probably feel better getting advance permission from these folks, before just showing up…for one, I’d rather not be “Witnessed”…I ain’t gonna be converted…

For another, I reckon it would be just polite to advise these folks of my intentions…and my non-threatening nature.

As I’ve said, I’m happy as a lark with my own, private, non-dogmatic approach to/ dealings with…the Divine…I’m just curious , and interested in, the various approaches to the apprehension of Reality.