Blog Archive

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pond Analogy. A Parable.

So..I’ve been using this analogy for a long while , now…and don’t remember if it’s written down anywhere…but it feels so applicable, as an answer to all those paradigm-defenders(intentional or not) who keep asking,”what are the demands of OWS? I jest cain’t figger out what they want…”

The Pond is our Political and Economic Life-Space…and can be scaled up, from yer hometown, to the World.

The healthy Pond has layers and zones, diverse with a wide variety of Life Forms.

Sometimes, one segment gets out of whack….

We are experiencing one of these times.

There is an Algal Mat, floating on the surface of the Pond…sucking up a large portion of the available oxygen, and nutrients….and intercepting most of the sunlight. Below the mat, the water is nutrient-starved and dark and hypoxic. The Fish, and Copepods and Tadpoles, and whatnot (Us) are starting to notice the declining conditions. They are beginning to complain that the Algae is unfairly hogging all the good stuff, leaving too little left for the rest of the Pond Life.

Algal Mat insists that, not only is it a natural part of the Pond Ecosystem, it is the Pinnacle of Pond Evolution…the Shining Point to which that Evolution has been pointing. The Minnows counter that, yes, indeed, Algae is a part of the Pond Ecosystem, and is thus necessary…but, there is a Balance needed…otherwise, the Overabundance of Algae threatens to Kill the Pond.

The Copepods and Diatoms are beginning to agree….suggesting that, for the sake of the Overall Health of the Pond, the Algal Mat must scale back it’s operations…leave room for the rest.

Algal Mat continues to grow, repeating the mantra that “everything is fine” and if we would only allow the Market to work, then everyone could be Algae….that Pinnacle of Evolution.

OWS is the Diatoms, etc Waking up…and finding that Algae, while just fine at the margins of the Pond, has become detrimental to the Pond’s survival….and has already caused the quality of Life in the Pond to deteriorate. At some point, likely soon, the Minnows will discover that Algae can be Eaten….the Crawfish will join in, along with the rest…

Woe unto Algal Mats who forget their Proper Place.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

political wilderness

I had nothing to do, last night. Wife was at her second job, kids were with their Uncle. If I had had any money, I would’ve went for at least a couple of beers; nothing that grabbed my interest on Netflix, too painful to go Walkabout….(how I miss just walking around!)

Bored. …bored beyond boredom.

So I researched my latest thing;Occupy Austin….checked out the Forum, and the Video, and the “Livestream”….and found only a Profound Disappointment.

It is akin to what I felt when I finally moved there, to the “Liberal Enclave” of Texas, and found it Yuppified, a Shell of it’s former Strangeness. The Weirdness was on the run…cops chasing local color, like the “Drag Worms”….and the cops, themselves, more Stasi than even Houston…

New Ordinances, designed to harass the “Homeless”, and the aforementioned “Local Color”…all the Wonderful Strangeness had gone Underground. It was still there…one could smoke a joint with a perfect stranger at a bus stop…but it was furtive…and running through all of this, was the Nihilistic Urge….the Collective “Fuck It!”…reflected in the manner of Drug Use, even such formerly Peaceful and Thought Conducive things as Weed…now, were all about Escape….from responsibility, from the unacknowledged Pain of being Unwanted, from the Dead Endedness of jobs, and rent that was too high, and the Usurpation of the Streets and the clubs and the Art Scene, the Music Scene…it was all going Corporate, and “Respectable”…Commodified, Put into a Ledger.

The Livestream, and the Videos, on OA, showed this, clearly. There was no one there, save the few Conscientious Proles, and many disconnected youth, from skaters to Drag Worms….just looking for something to do…milling around, occasionally screaming about something, being harassed by cops for nothing.

Texas is Ground Zero for the Hyperindividualist, Rugged, Me,Aloneness that runs through the Mythos of America. Pioneers, the Alamo,Captains Call and McRae, fighting Indians, Oilmen, Ross Perot…all of that which Lil George tapped into so successfully.

Not the stuff of Movements, Marches and Rallies. The Disaffected and Disenchanted, in Texas, have 3 choices….Join the Mainstream, Disengage in whatever way possible…or go all Charles Whitman….just snap, in a paroxysm of Directionless Violence.

Here, there is no Tradition of Unions, or Political Initiative (Texas has never had the Initiative/Referendum/Recall apparatus extant in other places).Here, the cops have all the tools they need to stamp out and harass such things, in their Infancy. One needs a Permit for Everything. For all the stories and Legends about the Toughness of Texans, we are a cowed, timid people….doing what our masters say….taking what the Boss dishes out…

Add to this the fact that every Television in a Public place in the state is tuned to Fox News, and it presents a grim outlook for Change.

Texas has always been “Conservative”…even under 100 years of a Democratic Stranglehold on the Machinery of government.This was a holdover from the Reconstruction Democrats, who were all for Slavery, of course.

The Tradition of Texas Liberals, on the other hand, is one of Retreat and of Hiding…..from the German Freethinkers in the mid to late 1800’s, to the (now more Liberal) Democrats of today…..just hanging on, clutching at straws, attempting to keep the rest of us from slipping Backwards.

Where the “Conservatives” are well funded, plugged into giant Power Structures, and Corruption, the “Liberals” are Broke, and entirely Disillusioned. Scattered, Leaderless….without places to Hang and mingle and organize and formulate. Austin is the exception in this last point….there are many such places…but they are adrift, isolated…just like the “Liberals” they cater to. Efforts are made to Do Something….but it has no Energy behind it. Democratic County Infrastructure has a built in Hopelessness….even the True Believers don’t believe in it.

As far as Protests…I attended many, back in the day. 420, the Pro Pot Day…the main one I remember was the Protest against the Antihomeless Ordinances in Austin, in the early and mid-90’s.That, and Eyore’s Birthday, wherein all the Strange and Colorful Weirdoes came out to play drums. But it was all for naught….and we knew it, before we began….it would Change Nothing.

Why go to the trouble of acts of Civil Disobedience, get arrested, when it would only “Speak” to those who were on board, already? Better to lay low, be furtive and Underground….and wait for better days. Uninspired Apathy.

I intend to go to Thursday’s Rally for Refunding Education…regardless of all of this.

It is an expression, however ineffective, of Hope…and Non Right Wingers must find ways of getting together….even in tiny towns like Mason. We will remain isolated for the foreseeable future, but we shouldn’t isolate ourselves from each other, as well.

Here, Dems vanish after an election…even one as , arguably, Big as Obama’s. There was a party, that election night.(I didn’t know about it, till after) If there are ongoing Dem-like things going on, otherwise, I am unaware of them.

(I admit that I don’t get out much….and I Isolate Myself. I suffer from Agoraphobia…have for my whole life, even when I couldn’t put a name to it…and learned, long ago…to Drink to counter it. Our lack of Funds, and my Cripple-Hood certainly doesn’t help….but neither does the overwhelming impression, from before the advent of crushing poverty and lameness, that there’s No Where To Go…for Intelligence,Liberal Thought, and Enthusiasm for Both. This is a large part of my Reasons for opening my Café…to have a Place for such things. 911 ended that endeavor….and the Collective PTSD we endured after that day. I think, also, I was somewhat ahead of the curve in Identifying the 3 Enders(PO,Peak Econ,Climate), and putting together this Counternarrative that I’ve been working on….folks, even Dems, out here were not ready for such Radical Things. Perhaps Now….)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Safety Net By Kafka

I’ve learned to take heed of Serendipity.

So when perusing the SSA/Disability Website, a few weeks ago..just to see what may have changed…I saw, and answered, a little questionnaire in the sidebar..and ten minutes later, someone calls to sign me up…I went with it.

I thought it was SSA/Dis, itself….but it was a Lawyer, from a Lawyer’s Group, affiliated(plugged into) the System.

Well and Good.

But I still have the perennial problem of “Not Enough Medical Records”.

Too, they sent a Form to my Doc…and he said he didn’t know…

So I went to the Doc, to help. The form was silly, really….When did the wreck happen? How can the Patient manage carrying 25# in a “work environment”?, etc etc

I was honest, as is my wont..I can carry a 50# sack of feed…once. Then I’m Toast. There wasn’t a box for that, of course…

Doc said I need to see the Orthopaedist….whom I haven’t seen in 3-4 years…and who told me that he “doesn’t do Disability, anymore”…

So I’m down to sending my DL to SSA in San Angelo, so they can make their copy(!), and hopefully, send it back….so I can apply for County Indigent, so I can find, and see an Orthopaedic Surgeon, so I can have some current Records, and perhaps Up to Date Imagery…so I can continue waiting on SSA/Disability to deny my “Claim”(which is a given), so I can “Dispute” the “Denial”, so they can Deny, again(also a’s how it’s done…baked in, as it were), so I can Dispute, again, so that I can Wait around some more until the TV Judge can get to me,(I go to San Angelo, in the Federal Building, Judge is in Fort Worth)….This last, approximately 1 year from now….(!).

In the mean time, at some point, SSA/Dis will send me to Kerrville, to see their Bone Guy, who will Immediately see the Truth of my Complaint(again)...but which will be discarded, discounted and denied in it’s veracity,along with all other Medical “Evidence”, by the Mysterious Decision Makers, in D.C(again)…..who will insist on the Existence of a Theoretical Job, somewhere in the USA, including Extraterritorial Jurisdictions…that I am Perfect For….which will result in my Ultimate Denial.


This will be the Third Time I’ve done this…..

Went through the whole mess that is the “Best Healthcare System in The World”. This time, aside from Rick Fucking Perry, I’ll not bother writing any elected Creatures…nothing but disappointment there….and Rick will just hear my Bitching…I expect No Help from that quarter….just a show, a flurry of Pretend Activity on Their Part…Sound and Fury, and all.

It’ll likely be Monday before I can get more Vicodin.

I’m out of Weed.(save for the “Graveyard”, where Roaches and the like are kept.(Waste not…))

I’ve expended what looks like it’s gonna be my 1 hour of relief from my last pill on getting wood in and taking care of my Chicks.(it’s still in the 30’s)

I keep hearing how Disability, and "Welfare", in General, is sooo Easy to get, whether one needs it , or not....How all the folks that are on it are a bunch of Moochers, who are living off "Real Amerrcan's" Taxes...all that.

Fine and Good.

Will someone Please hook me up?

Does Honesty count against me?

If it's so damned Easy, to game the System, then(to the tune of "over the rainbow")...Why, oh why, can't I?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Health Rant for November

This Summer was the worst yet, in regards to Pain. There was little activity, as far as Fronts, and other Weather Changes are concerned…so I could safely discount that. Most of the more extreme Pain Episodes were directly related to things like Work, and Overextending myself. As an Indicator of my Worsening Condition, I look at what I got done this Summer, as opposed to last year, the year before, etc.

The Results of this Meta-Meta-Study in Anecdotal Medicine; I got Very Little Accomplished….and when I did, I paid for it with Pain and Agony and Virtual Confinement to my Bed….more than ever before.

Now, with Winter upon us, and the concomitant Fronts, I am in Hell.

No one in the Science Wing of Medicine wants to hear about Weather’s Influence on Joints, and the like. I guess the Money Making Potential is too shaky…

It is, regardless, Very Real to me, subjectively.

My little Hike, a coupla weeks ago, took me 4 days to “Get Over”…and that’s the thing;I never “Get Over” this. The Baseline is Moving.

What does Pain Free feel like?

I have become something of a Connoisseur of Pain…not something I aspired to. I have learned the Difference in Pain that is from that Cold Front, or that Hurricane in Cuba….as opposed to the Pain from going to Walmart(something of an Expedition), or (since I rarely darken their door) HEB….or the Zoo…or my Ill Advised Hike in Junction.

The Vicodin lessens the impact of the Activity-Related Pain…for about 2-3 hours, beginning an hour after I take one.(I’m limited to 3/day…but they only allow me 60/month…do the math…I hafta hoard,so I have enough to even sorta counter the Pain, which is then used as “Evidence” of “Addiction”.)

However, Vicodin appears to have No Impact on the Weather-Related Pain. The only thing I have found that helps that is a Full On Drunk….which I am trying to avoid…and which “Helps” so well that I get active and walk around when I shouldn’t…which makes for Incredible Pain the next day, in addition to the regular Hangover.

I manage to do the dishes and the laundry, most days. I cook dinner. There are 2 barstools in the Kitchen. And here lately, with Fall, I have had to “schedule” my bursts of Housewifery to that 2-3 hours of Non- Curl Up And Die Pain.

I have always been efficient in my Chores…at work or at home…I think about things…and then I’m able to Breeze Through, with out belaboring Process, or Materiel. This serves me Well, usually, in Getting Things Done around here. My #1 Function is Keeping this place Functional. So I do these little Bursts of Activity….then Retreat to the Damned Bed.

I don’t understand how the Government figures that this is in any way conducive to keeping a job…I wouldn’t hire me.

I would be in a wheelchair. ..(I have 2)…but this house, and the part of the world I’m in make that, really, much more trouble than it’s worth. When we go somewhere, like to Houston, where there is a good possibility for Museums, or other Walking, I am certain to bring a chair. I have tried it, in just ordinary daily life, and find that I end up Hurting Worse, due to the BS inherent in being in a Wheelchair….uneven ground, hills (Hill Country) and small doorways…not enough jack for sidewalks to the garden, etc…No Sidewalks to speak of in Mason…I need an Off Road Model, I guess…

When I really Need a Wheelchair, I find that I am too Damaged to manage one…get it in and out of the Truck,and so forth.

…and people ask me, “Where have you been? We never see you”

I am Shut In.

Then, to add to that weirdness of Public Relations/Perception…when I am Able to get out, go to the store, or whatever, people say, “Ya don’t look so bad, to me”…I say,”You shoulda seen me Yesterday”…


I have started the Disability Mess again…Third Time.

There was a widget on the SSA/DB page…just a little questionnaire…I filled it out, and 5 minutes later, a Lawyer called to sign me up.

So Now, I’m committed.

Same BS problems with my Case, as always; Not enough Medical Records…Not enough Documentation, Imaging, etc.(this story/excuse only holds till ya get in front of a Judge…or the TV image of His honor, see below)

Which is Crazy, from my point of view…I went to the Doc, with both he and I Knowing what was wrong, and what needed to be done…Hip/Ankle/Knee Replacement…which is beyond his skills, and way beyond my Financial Ability. Next Logical Step, we both agreed= Disability=>access to Healthcare=> Fix Me, So’s I can Work.

6 years (!) later, and I’m at square one.(Judge found, through no fault of his own(it’s the Law, you see), that I could conceivably have/do a Job that exists in American Samoa, at least in Theory. Ergo, I’m just Fine…and am trying to Pull One Over on The Government, become a Welfare King…)

I lost my SS Card, 20 years ago, in Bull Creek in Austin, along with the rest of my wallet. Haven’t needed a replacement, till now…to apply for the County Indigent Health Care…so I can Go To The Doctor, and shore up my Records.

SSA wanted me to send my Driver’s License…in the Mail…so they could copy it. I copied it for them, and sent the copy. I am, understandably leery of sending my only ID,1;in the Mails, who are notorious for Losing Things for Forty Years…and 2; into the Bowels of a Huge Beaurocracy, for the same, well deserved, reasons.

I need my DL, not only to drive, but to Vote(Fuckers)….and to, hopefully, avoid Imperial Entanglements…my name sounds foreign, and is spelled funny, and I’m strange, too Intelligent, and thus Suspicious, and just might need to be handed off to Homeland Security…So I’ll keep possession of my ID, thank you…but now I must “Pop in to my Local SSA Office”, in person….which involves a 200 mile round trip to San Angelo, where I have no other business…so they can Make a Copy.

….so I can apply for County Indigent, so that I can get Imagery, and Doctor’s Notes, so I can, maybe, convince(again) the Cubicle Dwellers that I am , Indeed!, Disabled, and in need of Health Care….despite that One, Theoretical Job, in US Virgin Islands, that might, in Theory, accommodate my Limitations….somehow.

Last 2 times I went through this Process, all of the Doctors, even the Kept Doc of the SSA, itself, said the same thing;”Yup, it’s Obvious…you’re Disabled, and need a lot of work…”

“Shoe In”.

“A Blind Person could see it…”

Would that SSA would Hire some blind folks…

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fear is the Mind Killer

• I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
o Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear.
As has been belabored, for many years, I have had “issues” with Law Enforcement Officers (LEO’s) and what I shall charitably refer to here as “Rednecks”. I intend no disrespect to either party. They know who they are…and will know the Truth, herein, in their Heart of Hearts, whether they admit it (even to themselves), or not.

I have written extensively about where the Cop-Problem began…and alluded to the Redneck Problem. Suffice to say that these have been a kind of Leit-Motif in the Arc of my Life. It became habit to look over my be Aware of my surroundings…after all the best radar detector is one’s eyes. I have never understood the reaction of these groups to my presence…unless “Vibes” are real…which would be kinda cool, I guess.
The recent viral story of the Mason Gun Instructor had an unusual effect on me, though. In the video of him attempting to justify his Bigotry, I saw FEAR. FEAR, in the Hunter S Thompson-sense. FEAR that undoes whatever Rational Faculties the Fear-er otherwise possesses.
This FEAR, in retrospect (20/20.etc), I have detected in the eyes of many LEO’s over the years…when they want to search my car(“do you have any explosives? “,”Are there any needles that I’m gonna stick myself with?” “Is your trunk booby-trapped?”(Really, I’m not making this up!))
…When they have stopped me on the street…or pulled me over for whatever imaginary infraction….hand on Gun…body language saying “Coiled, Ready for Action!”.
It’s ridiculous, really. I am, after all, a skinny(well, not really anymore, lol), Crippled Hippie-Dude. It takes effort to get in and out of the truck, these days.
A glaring example of this unwarranted behaviour was at my Sister In Law’s Citizenship Ceremony. The 300 mile drive, and the hour wait in line to get in, had their effect. I could hardly stand up…and ,looking at the steep stairs up to the remaining seats, I knew I couldn’t manage that. The designated “Handicap Seats” were all taken…and the big lot of empty seats, right in front of me were “Reserved” for folks who never showed up. I took one of these latter…and here comes a LEO. “You can’t sit there”.
Not wanting confrontation, I said OK…and he went away. I had no other option, so I just stood there, leaning heavily on my cane, and the wall…it was the Lesser Evil. Here comes 2 LEO’s.” You hafta sit down.” I explained the situation, my disability, etc. Rather than finding a suitable place for me…rather than evicting from the obviously marked “Handicapped” seats the couple of obviously Non-Handicapped teenagers I could see, right there….they, instead, threatened me with arrest. Soon, there were several more LEO’s, encircling this potential Threat(Me). Hands on guns, their other arms outstretched in that classic Cop Pose, as if to say,”Now Now, We don’t want to hurt you”. I elected to leave, and go sit in the car. Welcome to America, Sis.

I used to attribute this insanity to my insistence on Long Hair….perhaps to my general Unkemptness. But, at times, I have tested this Hypothesis…Cut my hair, shaved, even wore a tie on a few occasions. Nope, that ain’t it.
There is just Something about me that LEO’s perceive as a Threat.
Rednecks, the same. That culture, of course, has a long, proud history of “Kicking Hippie’s Asses”…and are not in the least ashamed of such ignorant displays of violence.
I have been chased, pummeled, threatened with Murder…even spat upon (which is quite Ironic, given the mythology of Dirty Hippies spitting on returning Troops).
The (very) few times when I could be said to have “asked for it”…my “offense” was answering, truthfully, a question. Foremost in my mind is the American Legion guy who asked what I thought of G.BushII. This was right before the ’04 election, and I answered that I thought he was a War Criminal, and should be brought to the Hague, post haste. This guy, and his companions, laughed…and I went back to work.(this was at the café owned by that Gun Instructor, above, btw). I drank beer while closing up, and when I went to leave, Mr American Legion comes from the shadows and throttles me, has me by the throat, against the wall. To his credit, Gun Instructor saved me….and I left….with bruises around my neck.
What do these few, and many, many more incidents have in common?
Not my actions…which are usually confined to resignation or escape, where possible.
The Commonality is in the overwrought, completely unwarranted actions of those to whom I pose no legitimate Threat.
I will probably always have the Wariness, and the visceral Fight or flight Reaction to these two classes of people. But I no longer Fear them.
I pity them.
I represent a Light, I think, shining onto their Secret Justifications, their Unquestioned Assumptions, from which they construct their comfortable worldview. I hold myself above, and not subject to, their unwritten rules of behaviour and appearance. I challenge, by my existence, their Unthinking World, and all of it’s bullshit Proscriptions, Irrational “Morality”, it’s unjustified Hierarchy and Authoritarian Privilege.
They have no recourse to my intolerable “NO”. No reasonable counterargument. No Answer to my , unintentional, Challenge.
So, as they’ve been taught, by 5000 years of Authoritarian Hierarchical Social Arrangements, they attempt (often, I think, without thought) to eradicate the offending Irritant(ME).
What it must be like, in their tiny minds, to live in FEAR…of everything.
Muslims, Brown People, Black People, Queers, Drag Queens, Tree Huggers, Liberals, Commies, Socialists, Democrats, Po Folks,…how long is the list?
One of my Rescuees, a beautiful Hippie-Chick in Oregon had a run in with TSA in an airport…and gave them Love, in return for their Suspicion and Fear. That is something to strive for, I think.
I will likely always be very Wary of these folks…it would be foolish to be otherwise…but I will attempt to channel Ghandi,and Shauna, in the future.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


(from L. ignorantia "want of knowledge")

I called the local Library, to see about getting a book through the Interlibrary Loan System, and was informed that those programs, and much more, were being cut…literally, to the Bone. Some due diligence, and a few phone calls, quickly cured my Ignorance of this matter. The State Government, in Austin had indeed cut Library Funding by around 80%. While this is much better than the “proposed” 99%, it is still what can only be termed Catastrophic for the Public Library System, in Texas.

Add this to the already well known Disaster that is Public Education Funding, in Texas….as well as the actions of the State Board of Education, last year…and a pattern emerges.

“By their Fruits, shall ye know them,” said Jesus, in Matthew 7;16.

If these actions are the Fruits whereby we shall know the intentions of “Our” Elected Representatives, what manner of Tree are we seeing?

It would appear to me that the Republicans sorely dislike all things Public…that is no surprise for anyone who has paid the least attention these last 31 years. It seems that Education is the recipient of a special dislike.

Ignorant People are easier to Govern, one could say. This is entirely Cynical, on my part, I admit; but what other conclusion can one arrive at?

It is my opinion that We should not ensure even more Ignorance…that way lies Dark Ages. We should, rather, seek to cure what Ignorance there is.

But, they will say, We don’t have any money!...There is a Budget Crisis!

This is True, as far as it goes…but it only tells a portion of the story.

In 2006, then Comptroller Carol Keeton Strayhorn ran the numbers, to determine the likely effects of a proposed “Business Margins Tax”…Rick Perry’s Magic Elixir, to fix Our Budgetary Woes. The results?

(from the Washington Spectator, Lou Dubose)” The comptroller warned that "no economic miracle will close the gap your plan creates. Even if every dollar of the current [2006] $8.2 billion surplus was poured into the plan, it would not cover the plan's cost for more than two years, 2007 and 2008. The gap is going to continue to grow year by year." The shortfall the bill created could only be closed by tax increases, the comptroller warned, "or massive cuts in essential public services — like public education."”

This current Budget Disaster is entirely Contrived….brought to You by Rick Perry, and his Cronies in Austin. They purposely Destroyed the Budget, so that the Republicans could gut all things Public…and, in the process, keep the Favor of large Corporations, and the Obscenely Wealthy.

Ignorance differs from Stupidity, in that there is a Cure for the former…Education. The latter, on the other hand, is usually terminal.

Thomas Jefferson said "I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."

This is the same Jefferson whom the SBOE, in its mendacity, has removed from the Public School Curricula. Civilization, itself, depends on Our Education….and Education depends on the availability of Information…even, or especially, unpopular Information. The Republicans have shown their disdain for these Truths. Do not stand idly by while they work to promote Ignorance.

Edo Dives ,