Blog Archive

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Poke the Bear

In Re: Re:()
Which is in response to my own LTE:(

It seems that I have gained somebody's attention, at least.
1. The $231/month upper cutoff for adult medicaid with a family of four that I cited was accurate, when I did the research, 2-3 years ago. I was led to a page on Texas HHS' site by someone at HHS. I stand by that, although it seems to have moved up to a whopping $298/month, today. Per your link:

This still means that while your kids may be eligible for Chip or even Medicaid, if your household earns more than $298/month, the Mother and Father are not...they are deemed wealthy enough to take care of themselves.
If the adults are either Pregnant or Disabled, this, of course, changes.
Pregnancy is rather easy to prove to the state government. Disability is not, by design.
My point still stands , and was not addressed in your response.
Namely, there is a giant hole in health coverage, for a family of four, between $200-300/month....and the lowest level of eligibility for the Exchange...which is somewhere around $2400/month...last I looked.
That giant hole contains millions of your fellow Texans.
Do you have an answer?
What is the Republican Plan?
2.10th Amendment. The states are intended to be Laboratories, within the Fence that is the Constitution...a Fence around the Governments, State and Federal....and above the Floor provided by that Constitution, protecting our the First Amendment Rights that I take advantage of again, today.
I can find no mention of either “Corporation”, “Insurance” or “Capitalism” in the Constitution, as Amended.
Massachusetts, under Gov. Romney, ran an Experiment...and it seemed to work...and was deemed superior to the terrible non-system extant before.
Why run an experiment, at all, if the results of said experiment are to be ignored?
Romneycare is a market based plan that came right out of the Heritage Foundation's answer to Hillerycare, circa 1992.
When President Obama determined that the Gop and it's Tea Party Wing would erupt into hysterics with even the mention of a Public Option(allowing the People to choose between private and public)...let alone Medicare for All...he and the Democratic Party decided to use the Republican Plan. Ergo, from near the beginning of the “debate”,Obamacare was a Compromise with the GOP. It's Your Plan!
Does the GOP have another Plan?
If so, what is it? Maybe the “Bring a Chicken to your Doctor Plan”?
3.Someone, in a nation of millions, falls through the relatively small cracks in the healthcare system there, and you use that as an indictment of the entire system. It is truly sad that your friend in New Zealand fell through those relatively small cracks.
However,I know many folks, right here in Texas, who have fallen through the very large cracks in the Nonsystem that came before...some fell to their deaths.
I fell through our large cracks for nigh on seven years, until I was caught by a tattered thread.
This state of affairs was met with complacency...”well, that's just the way things are.”....and with overwhelming Disbelief and a default Assumption of Fraud.
The all but unregulated health insurance “industry” ran roughshod over large parts of the American People.
Again, your letter didn't contain a remedy for this cruel and unusual situation.
“Tort reform”, so that it's more difficult than ever to seek redress for screwups in surgery? “Health Savings Accounts” for the vast majority of Americans who have little to no ability to save, given almost 40 years of wage stagnation, relative to Inflation? “Shopping” in other states for marginally different but still all but unregulated Insurance that still could not guarantee that it would be there when you needed it, even when you were fully paid up? It's Utopian...disconnected from the real world and the real economy...why not just mandate that no one get sick?
What's the Republican Plan?
4.President Obama modified the implementation, did G. Bush Jr. , before him in the rollout of the Medicare Drug Thing. That website had “issues”, too. I don't remember calls for Bush's deportation, Impeachment or Hanging for that problematic rollout. Dems did not, to my recollection, stymie every single effort to get the thing up and running...nor did they blanket the country with a thick coat of lies about that program.
It is routine for the Executive Branch to do this.
Changing Law is Messy, to say the least.
It would have been a lot less messy, if the GOP had supported their own Plan, instead of going crazy with the hysterical BS and misinformation...which is another one of my Points that you did not address. It was the Movement to which you belong that did all of that. It is disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

5. Ah... Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen would be run out of the GOP, today. He was a Moderate in a party that still had even a Liberal Wing.(I possess an LP album of Sen. Dirksen speaking eloquently and at length about Freedom and it's defense) I should have been more clear, and said “Right Wingers opposed every single advancement for non-rich, non-corporate People, since at least the 30's. “.That's a historical Fact.
My bad.

MLK, while purposefully Non Partisan, was a Liberal, by definition.
The “Southern Democrats” included such luminaries as Strom Thurmond...and most switched parties with the “Southern Strategy”.
My issue is , and has always been, with the American Right, no matter what flag they stand near.
6.As far as my Tone, and my Anger, and whether or not I can refrain from preaching to any Tom ,Dick or Jane who wishes to Register to
For one thing, there is absolutely NO prohibition on Political Speech by a Deputy Voter Registrar(
Be that as it may, I resolved when I took the Oath that I would register anyone who approached me, within the rules provided me, and only engage in Political Speech if that Speech was initiated by the other person.

So, despite your insinuations to the contrary, I am holding myself to a Higher Standard than the relevant law requires.
My Tone is mild by comparison to what I, and others , have endured from your fellow “conservatives” over the last 4 decades. The Systematic smear campaign of all things Liberal, since at least 1980, is something that should need no exposition, here. The Violent and Eliminationist Rhetoric is widespread and all too common, and your new found love of “civility” would be charming if not for the reality of the situation, which belies it. Again, your response didn't address, let alone rebut, any of my Points.
I did not mention,however obliquely, Adolph Hitler...nor did I threaten anyone, at all. I presented the Facts, as I have apprehended them, and have been as Rigorously Objective as is Humanly Possible.
My sources in this endeavor included the WSJ, AEI,Heritage, Cato, and a hundred other Non-Liberal outfits. I scrutinized the utterances of everyone from Glenn Beck to our own Mike Conaway. I paid particular attention to the Congressional Research Service, and to Congressional Testimony spanning a century. What sources are currently acceptable to you?
I am well aware that I will likely never convince you three.
I never intended to.
I was speaking to all of the Non-Gop/Tea folks out there,who may need encouragement and even fervor to engage in the choosing of Our Employees, in Austin and D.C..

I stand by my words, whether you like or agree with them, or not.
I am Angry, yes...and I will remain Angry, until My Country behaves in a manner that comports with it's high minded Ideals.
I make no apologies for that Anger.

Ego sum,intrepidus,

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Frustrated Artist?
Never thought of myself thataway...
Coming along on my little Shop, now there's just running power to it, and mounting the big red fan, and repairing the old part of the roof.
So now I'm attempting to clean all of the tools, organise, and fix all of the damned power tools(bench sanders, and the like)...either clean out the mud daubers from the windings, or replace a switch or a motor.
Of course, I'll need supplies, at some point...nuts and bolts and things...sand paper.
That will all hafta wait till I can pay off the hardware store.
I still have yet to finish getting the old small forge in order...mounting the fan, and greasing the ancient geared blower.
There's two very old pieces of a tractor of some sort that I have had my eye on for something.
I reckon they would make fine Limbs for the first wind harps...Need to ask my wood guy to look out for hollow logs for me.
I also have no idea, at all, where one might procure a bunch of piano or used will do for now.
I'm quite anxious to get started, but the weather, and my responsibilities, not to even mention my body, won't let me. First thing in the morning, when it's cool, and I'm fresh, is the only way, in high summer...but my youngest saw fit to catch the first Pathogen of the school year, at the Lutheran's Vacation Bible School: Further evidence of the absolute necessity of Paid Family Leave.

Eventually, if there's ever any money, I'd like to get one of those little crackle box welders, and a proper oxy/acetylene rig.
New drill bits for the metal side would be cool as hell , too.
This winter, me and the boys will construct the large forge...gotta find an exhaust manifold from a tractor, first.
This will hopefully be for swords.
That's why I got into this, in the first place....and I needed something to do.
Paints and Stains, new saw blades,a pair of loose over-alls(yeehaw),
Next morning:
Walked into the shop, and thought I saw a large crack forming in the big tree stump that the big red vise is mounted to....but's a damned rattlesnake...about a foot long, squirming his way on top of the stump and into the body of the vise, itself. The Magic Cripple flies back to the Library, and grabs the .22...loaded with rat-shot.
I get around into the old part of the Shop, and shoot...I see the middle of the snake turn all red and meaty...but just then..a hundred wasp-like creatures explode from the ceiling, six inches above my head.
Magic Cripple, again...and it's back to the Library to remember where I put the box of rat-shot...and back again, to very carefully look for dead snake.
But he's gone...could be anywhere...weeds, under the wall and into the metal pile...under the cabinets in the Old Part.
I just scattered mothballs all over the place a few days ago.
The fact that Mr Snake was attempting to get himself lodged into such a tiny space means that every motor housing, and every coffee can of nails could contain a serpent.
My absence from this place for almost 5 years means that the snakes..and wasps and coons and scorpions and spiders and rats...have all gotten used to having the run of the place.
It will take time...and a Winter's worth of undo that absence.
Meantime, I'll put in a Goose Pool, and begin the arduous task of convincing that crazy lot that it's Kosher to come over here from Mom's front yard. Geese abhor snakes, and do not suffer them to live...same with Guinea Fowl. But they'll stare at an open gate for a month, before venturing through it.

To, Leticia

To, Leticia Van de Putte ,
(I'm still a little unclear as to how to pronounce your last name.)

(in re:


First , let me assure you that you and Ms. Davis already have my Vote.
I'll never vote Republican, even though most of our local elections are decided in the Republican Primary(which sticks in my craw.).

The local economy is something I think about, a lot.
I have some suggestions:
1. We should include Definitions of such words and phrases as “small business”, and “Entrepreneurial-ism”. Forty years of Right Wing Mindfuck* has perverted the Language...especially in regards to Economics, and Government and all things “We, the People”. When Raytheon is considered a “small business” and when AMD is considered a “small farmer”, something is askew in our definions.
In my on-line wrangling with the Right**, I long ago learned the hard lesson, that, especially when Econ. Is the topic, you must Define Everything....or Create New, Descriptive,Terminology, to replace the Poisoned Old.
Both of these avenues are quite tedious, and often overwhelming...but I've had much better luck when I employ them.

2. Local Local Local.
Decentralize, Democratize, People Size,”Small is Beautiful”.
Our current paradigm is a strange combination of “Capitalism”, , Manorialism, and Hydraulic Despotism, which is perfectly content in the fog of meaningless rhetoric and confusion.
Under the reign of “Free Market” Fundies, we have witnessed the decline of what freedom we had in the working side of life.
Barriers to Entry;
In the form of Tax Codes, Regulations and “Industry Standards”( and other euphemisms)....We have fenced ourselves out of making money.
Out here in Mason County, we have a lot of Poor People....even our “Rich Folks” are Poor, compared to Houston, etc.
And yet, we Import almost everything we need and want from outside the county.
I use the grito, “Toilet Paper as a Cottage Industry”.
There are a million things we could do, policy wise, to undo the eternal drive for Bigness.
Economies of Scale, Vertical Integration...all those sorts of thing...have, perhaps, gone beyond their usefulness. Monolithic Business Models had their uses, but at some point, the Cost Benefit Analysis of such Fictions starts leaning more heavily on the Cost-Side.
I think we've reached that point.
Sure, some things are probably easier to do, and more efficiently, by these means...but even those should be reined in,lest they get unmanageable and unaccountable.(we have the results of the 40 year experiment, all around us)
(I can go on for days on this subject. Call me anytime.)

3. We should probably figure out how to stress the fact that “Free Markets” only exist by virtue of Government, and that a free-for-all is anathema to Liberty, and to Civilisation itself. Similarly,I'm with Oliver Wendell Holmes,(paraphrasing):”Taxes are the Fee I pay for Civilisation”. That's a message that unambiguously counters the whole “Taxes=Theft” nonsense that the Thieves and Bandits have convinced us of.

4. We lose something like 40% of the electricity generated in Transmission.
It's just radiated into the air. This alone would indicate that the current model of Hydraulic Despotism should be scrutinized. A few giant powerplants,dams and such, run by giant Corps(e) and “Quasi-Governmental Entities”(LCRA), plugged into an aging and overworked Grid made of Wires, is hardly the most efficient or robust way to do things.
Again, Decentralize.
Since we'll hafta re-build the grid at some point, anyway...why not re-build it smarter? Build it like the Internet/Web...a million “Nodes”, a million little Powerplants. A falling tree or ice storm will never again take out whole regions.
When folks do talk about this, it's usually in regards to Solar. Wind should not be forgotten...and I mean the small to medium size windmills. Few people, out here at least,want one of those giant windmills in their neighborhood. They understand that any electricity generated thus, will likely benefit folks in the city. The necessary powerlines are ugly, too.
But I find a row of little windmills appealing. Make the rules for Grid-Tie-Ins lean towards the small. The very large will be fine, I assure you.
A concurrent investment in appliances and such that take 24-48 volts, rather than just 110/220, would be a job incubator, as well.
We shouldn't continue to neglect the potential of Methane...every living thing is a potential source of Energy. Landfills, Sewer Systems, Septic Tanks, Compost Piles, Feedlots...all emit Methane...which is just the non-fossilized version of “Natural Gas”. We all produce it, every day.
But, again, small is beautiful. Currently, it's rather easy to get a million dollar digester...given the funds...but all but impossible to purchase a small or medium size model. Wouldn't want Exxon to have to compete with an almost free and abundant resource.

5. Need I point out that the Rich and their Corps(e) and Hedgefunds and whatnot....and every other business in Texas... enjoy the protection of their own Unions?
There's one in every's called the Chamber of Commerce.
There are many others, of like ilk...the numerous business roundtables, and Associations...all of these are Unions for the Owners.
The National Restaurant Association actually teaches it's members how to screw their employees, minimize taxation, bust what regular unions remain, and get around the various regs... they also lobby government.
And yet the Employees of those Member Cafes and Greasy Spoons are all but forbidden such collectivization.
To my knowledge, no-one else has taken this tack, that if businessmen can get together to work collectively for common ends, then so should their employees...or any other group.
It's only fair.
It ain't “socialism”, it's cooperation.
6. Drilling down on #2, as it pertains to Agriculture and the Food we eat...
Way out here, we can either drive 100 miles round trip to HEB, or settle for substandard, overpriced near-compost for our fruits and vegetables.
We can do the same for meat, driving past 10,000 sheep to purchase high dollar mutton from New Zealand.
But even at HEB, the produce and meat comes from far away...often overseas. There's more than a thousand cattle that comes through Mason's stock yards, every week...and I am free to purchase a steer..but then what?
The only butcher who is allowed to handle such a job is 40 miles away, and exorbitantly priced.
Federal and State Rules forbid small abattoirs and slaughter facilities.
“For safety”....but the big meat packers are hardly bastions of responsibility, when it comes to food safety...neither are the large growers and fruit and vegetable combines and wholesalers.***
And besides...with inevitably rising fuel costs, the 3000 mile tomato, or the lamb-chop from Australia should be in the process of being replaced.
Again...all these Poor People, nothing to do but work at Dairy many surplus parts.
But I am forbidden from selling an Egg, anywhere but from my front door. If I wish to sell to the grocer, legally, I need millions of dollars in “liability insurance” and those good old economies of scale.
Otherwise, the local grocer will not purchase my eggs...or my fruit...or anything matter that I produce a superior product.
The whole thing is designed to exclude the Small...and that should change.
7. Perry and the Gang have made a whole bunch of Taxpayer Money available, at low, low cost, to already rich men, and the Fictions they hide behind.
It would be swell to see similar efforts to provide Capital and Exemptions to the other end of the economic ladder, instead of the usual bitching and insults about “lazy poor people” and what passes for “welfare”. Here, again, there is abundant proof that, per Adam Smith, a more widespread distribution of the Means of Production is much better...for everyone...than Concentration of same into as few hands as possible. That radio preacher you're running against should not be let off the hook when he poo-poohs reality in service of his utopian fantasy.

And that, my friend, is what it all boils down to...Mythology vs. Objective Reality.
The latter is firmly on our side...they have nothing at all, save hot air and hollering, strangled 'facts' and charts held upside-down.

I'll stop there, but know you that I could go on and on. There's much to talk about, but we keep letting the greedheads and their vicious pets drive the conversation...and they always ask the wrong questions. It is their Goddess-given Right to believe that the Earth is Flat...but we are not obliged to let them teach Geography.
I understand that we are at a disadvantage, but I'm past tired of being all but unrepresented, and poor , and unable to do anything about it.
Keep kicking ass, please.

“I'm with you in Rockland”****,

Mason, Texas

*I use this word after a lot of thinking on the matter. The Ontological Crisis we are currently mired in, didn't just happen, after all...
** I spent a number of years studying the American Right..reading all of their foundational texts, and lurking in their Fora.
Their Dark Magicians have done a masterful job of making great swaths of the American People believe in all manner of insane and dangerous things.
*** I have been in and around all aspects of food production and preparation...from soil to plate...for most of my life.
**** from Alan Ginsberg's 'Howl'.