Saturday, January 31, 2009

DC Has Truly Gone Insane

If Congress is really representative of the American people, we are in huge trouble. Of course, if they aren't we are also in trouble because that means we are being railroaded by an oligarchy. I tend to believe the latter is the case, although the majority of people may be OK with it. I've thought it was a sham government for most of my life; a view which has placed me as odd man out in certain school and college classes, and among those who feel comfortable, even smart, painting my opposition as oppositional disorder.

The thing that bothers me most lately is the blatant lack of debate on legislation and the arrogance that has gone with it. The term "gridlock" has again arisen as if those who don't go along with whatever is put in front of them are doing the wrong thing. I like gridlock. It causes delays in the destruction of rights and of the country as we know or imagine it.

Glimpses at what is being done with tax money, in the name of promoting prosperity among the citizens who have already been robbed, is beyond anything I thought possible. The obvious pandering to special groups and interests at the expense of those who work and mind their own business is nothing short of criminal.

I may have been born too late. Righteous revolutions and a general passion to be free, may be things of the past, never to be experienced in this century. This system of adding irrelevant payoffs to bills and such, and lack of restraint of authority should have been overthrown long ago.

One encouraging thing about the masses is that it takes very little for them to jump on a bandwagon going the opposite direction from the one they are on. Peer pressure and perceived short term self interest do the trick. They'll do what they are told makes them appear intelligent and accepted by their peers. Even smart people do that. Lack of real understanding and values has little to do with intelligence.

Con men don't look for the dumb marks, just the vulnerable. A touch of greed and a fragile but prominent ego, and enough intelligence to follow convoluted logic make for easy pickings.

Cursed Deductibles and Mind Clutter

It makes long term financial sense, but when it comes time to pay the piper, one is often disturbed at having any deductible at all, insurancely speaking. I'll deal with it later and hope my windshield doesn't fall apart in the interim.

A year ago, my only concern was whether I could get myself together enough to pack up and hit the road. Given that my life was pretty much a worthless vacuum, it seemed the best option, and a possible path toward finding meaning and satisfaction. I had no idea where I'd be or what I'd be doing by now. One thing that I discovered is that I could probably be satisfied to travel indefinitely, even if it meant sleeping in tents.

I also discovered that, if tents are involved, I need an air mattress to help make the discomfort bearable. What a drag that is. I guess, if I had to, I could get over it. Enjoying sleep on rocks, concrete or dirt is a skill that puts one ahead of the game, if you ask me.

The big problem of the perpetually disjointed life, partly the fault of poor judgement, too much, or not enough, drugs and alcohol, and partly due to principles held at the cost of outward gain, as well as other blatant stupidity, is that there is nothing to show for it. At some point, you expect to have a bit of continuous passion for something, or some one.

On the other hand, we'd all be better off if some people, who lived consistent, relatively balanced lives, and multiplied like crazy, would have never made it to that point. So, my "what might have been" may have been a real nightmare by comparison to the present reality. It actually feels like a never ending nightmare, but not the dark scary kind. More colorful and surreal, even pleasant. It just doesn't go anywhere, and that is the nightmare portion of it.

The lesson is that it is tougher to start over now than it would have been long ago. Making something special happen has still got to be the goal. Demanding as little as possible is probably a good idea. Life gives and takes, so no use expecting anything one way or the other. It doesn't owe me.

Certain qualities are probably enhanced by time, experience and pain. Empathy in some respects may have been enhanced. I'm also more suspicious of food prepared by disgruntled groups who usually dislike my disgruntled group.

I write these things because they interest me. They are true enough, but often just follow a thought more than a fact. It doesn't matter.

The cracked windshield is just a metaphor. An expensive one due to the deductible, but a metaphor just the same.

Friday, January 30, 2009

(not so)Brief Theory

Since the country's treasury is being turned over to various elite interests and enterprises which have nothing to do with middle, or even poor, non ward of the state Americans, actual economic turn around is a highly suspect promise. Sacrifice is the only promise they've made which I am sure will be forthcoming, if not already in practice. Human sacrifice, to be sure, even if not as directly evident as the way the Aztecs practiced it. Same thing. And it could be argued, to the same gods. Appease the weather, feed the earth.

Just an aside, while eco friendliness is on my mind; products which claim to be eco friendly almost never seem to work. The solvents don't solve and the cleaners don't clean. I wish it were otherwise. Can't pet a tiger shark, or a tiger, in most cases. I don't know if that applies to anything.

OK. Since the money is being redistributed to favored people and companies for dubious projects, or non at all, and that will only impoverish the average producer even more, I think there will be some big excuse for a big war that makes Iraq look like a skirmish. Incentive to save, as if anyone has the excess to do so, and to launch private enterprise, is increasingly discouraged by current policies and regulations.

The only way everyone can work for the government is if the government owns everything and controls everything. Some of us will resist that. Not everyone would mind, even if it meant the standard of living and scope of choice were severely limited. The real issue of today is the rift between the individual and the collective.

Those in charge promote the idea that the individual exists for the benefit of the collective and that the collective has a right to dictate what compensation and contribution is appropriate for each. Those who relish the old fashioned concept of freedom disagree.

The other side would insist that the role of those in government is to protect the individual from the tyranny of them, and of the majority. It's a concept which gets relatively little attention, and almost none in a positive light.

It's the age old thing of serving the feudal lord or serving one's self. The pendulum has swung far into the realm of serfs serving the elite lords of the manor. Until people again figure out who's boss, they will willingly embrace this authority. What is amazing is how few people recognized the collectivist nature of GW Bush's policies and presidency. We're on the same road, even if they say the word "change" ten million times. The only change is that the robbery and coup are in broad daylight now. No more pretense.

Either much authority will be given over to various international tribunals, or a big war will be engineered, or both. That's my bet.

Whatever happens, that red salt is the best ever.

Premonition or Dimensional Anomaly?

All day I felt a sense of unease. I wondered if it wasn't actually disease, the kind that manifests itself in the addled mind. Maybe a case of bonkerism.

The portion of the Great Teak Project which I intended to complete today went well enough. It is hard to be sure in this particular place because no one is really sure what the man behind the curtain wants. Apparently those in relatively direct contact are never advised when a job is particularly pleasing and well done. They only hear about what is wrong or displeasing to Him.

I'm one who likes to know what is right, and I generally like encouragement. This is a test, and I can only guess that few people would go to the same extremes I do, trying to make a thing right. The problem is whether I've gone down the right path; is this the correct choice of solution? To me it may make sense but to the owner of the mess it might not be. It's like being told a room needs painting, and since it is covered with graffiti and bizarre wall paper, you probably agree, but what color and texture, if any, should be applied? Only way to find out is to do it and see if anyone complains.

Other than that ambience of "WTF, and will I be banned from the premises", conditions are extraordinarily pleasant. The people, when any cross my path, are nice and friendly. I'm not quite familiar enough with it to overcome that state of cringe that leads one to feel the grounds are paved with eggshells. I think that can be overcome in time, provided time is offered.

I'm freaking about a few spots of teak oil on concrete. They don't easily come up, and circumstances did not allow much time to deal with it. Had I never said anything or noticed, chances are neither would anyone else. Of course, I opened my mouth to other hired help because A) I'm a nincompoop, B) I thought there was an off chance someone would have a good remedy, and C) I wanted it known that I take responsibility for my work, or some such idiotic thing. Tomorrow I guess I'll hear.

So, as I was on the way home--a long interesting drive, I stopped for tomatoes and ice cream from the local high priced grocery store. All grocery stores are high priced. Tomatoes were for the Mexican surprise dinner, and ice cream was for its own sake. I've skimped on things so I opted to go for a treat. Part of my new weight loss plan. Eat now while you can.

As I was puttering out of Alpine at maybe 35 MPH, an orb consisting of nothing but water hit my windshield. All I saw of it was the water as it hit. Thump! Then I realized it had cracked my window big time. The only thing I could figure is that it was a water balloon. I saw no pieces of container go flying when it hit and I never saw it coming. It was dark and it hit the right side of the window so I guess it came from the side.

When I turned around to return to the scene of the water bombing, there was a teen aged kid walking up a side street, just off the main road where the incident occurred. Under interrogation he offered the following statement, "uh,. wha, wa, wa I dunno". Having not a shred of evidence, I felt pursuing the matter would only get me arrested, and probably sued by his mom. I just assume dad is off to parts unknown.

Then again, maybe he is just a goofy kid, innocent, and a ball of water suddenly manifested from another dimension, colliding with my windshield, resulting in irreparable cracks. Maybe it will be covered by insurance. Still, I am not too thrilled, except that I'd had that weird feeling all day, and this inconvenience was more minor than the doom that felt impending.

Another guess about that uncomfortable thing was that maybe the revolution is or should be closer than it seems. If the US gets completely sold out, as is happening on a number of fronts, and Mexico has a melt down, maybe I'll find myself in a war zone.

I like to think the water orb just appeared out of another reality, at an inconvenient time. It may have been a ufo.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Musical Chairs

Originally I was going to raise hell about things that still seem to haunt and anger me, But I decided that it is useless. Discretion and comprehension of boundaries are not endemic to all cultures, or subcultures in the US.

This teak furniture project has become a wonderland of chemical aromas. If I were into huffing, I'd be in big trouble after a day like today. I've always enjoyed working with things that smell like lacquer thinner. It could be there is a reason--something to do with my addictive nature. Some varnish stripper has a similar aromatic quality.

There is a 2 step process once you get the varnish off. First is a cleaner then there is a brightener. The latter smells like battery acid, and I found I enjoy that smell. Spooky. Those two steps are done with the teak soaking wet. I'm treating this stuff like a boat deck. I figure it is outdoor furniture so if it is dealt with like something that goes to sea, it ought to handle hanging out at the pool and on the patio. Whatever the people who built it coated it with certainly did not last. Reportedly that finish started deteriorating after a month. The trouble is that some was still intact, and some not. Lots of stripper, and eventually lots of sandpaper. Muscles I may have never used in my life are beginning to make their presence known, and not in the form of bulk or attractive ripples. That would be in the pain, Bob.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Salt of the Earth

Who would have ever thought that I would become an accidental salt connoisseur? Salt is salt, I always thought. Until the day I was denied the "good salt". Not exactly denied, but flogged for tasting the good stuff, presumably reserved for the "good people"; company and other dignitaries of higher status than myself, I guess.

The "good salt" story has served as an inside joke that never looses its flavor. And it resulted in me deciding that salt is not just salt. Some is harvested by foreign virgins at the sea shore. Other salt has clay somehow involved in the process. There are big crystals and tiny. You can grind it up like pepper.

It is uncool and not remarkably healthy to heap salt on everything, so the "good salt" lasts for a very long time. That actually justifies the seemingly high price. It is a bargain, especially considering the long hours those foreign virgins put into picking only the choicest crystals. .

I use the usual cheap salt for things like catching birds. For those who don't know, people, like my grandpa, used to say if you put salt on a bird's tail, you could catch it. When I was somewhat younger than I am today, I ran around my backyard with a salt shaker trying to catch birds. I never did. That doesn't mean the statement is false, though. My problem was that I couldn't get the salt on the bird's tail. If I had, I bet I would have caught him.

So, in the mail today I received a surprise bag of very good salt. Exotic and red from the clay involved in its harvest--or so I think. Maybe it is blood from human sacrifice. When it comes to exotic places and salt, anything is possible.

This is probably an example of personal growth. I've moved from the ranks of the salty ignoramus to salt snob.

I'm not sure how this saltsnobbery fits in with the brave new collective world. It seems a bit of an individual indulgence, enjoyed without a second thought concerning service to the community, my country or love of the holy earth. Well, maybe love of the sea from whence it came. Certainly, I don't ask myself how I can share my "good salt" with those less fortunate/and/or discerning than myself. Greater good never crosses my mind. How to pay rent does from time to time.

Another secret of the "good salt"; if you were to pack shotgun shells with it, it would be to cheap table salt as buckshot is to birdshot. You never know. There may come a time when I have to share by embedding it in the body of my foes. I guess I'm anticipating hordes of mindless green shirts in some official civil service patrol who need to be kept at bay. In the old days people used to shoot at you with salt pellets in order to protect their property and not kill the kids who were making trouble.

The kids were almost never armed and the shooter never prosecuted. Similar to today, except it is the kids who are armed, using real bullets, and protecting the property is not the PC thing to do.

Well, I must go, early day tomorrow at the old salt mine.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Belt Sanders are Good

You may not see this on the news any time soon, but there are times when proper use of a belt sander can definitely bail you out and even cut costs. Just another public service message. Not one the ad council is likely to publish. They are too busy telling you things that are of dubious validity or so obvious that even I already know them. The one that informs us, the dumbed down, obese public, that taking the stairs provides more exercise than taking an elevator. I never knew.

One thing about belt sanders; it pays to know what you are doing because you can seriously gouge the item being sanded if you aren't used to the thing. They are a little like those circular floor waxers, carpet cleaner machines. They'll run across the room on you if you aren't used to them.

Another hint for the well-to-do home owner, and the decorators they hire: If you have outdoor teak furniture made, don't let them get by with spraying a coat of varnish and leaving it at that. The sun will make most of it disappear in six months. I think it should be treated the way you'd do it on a boat.

Strange days are at hand. I'd say time will tell if these things are as bizarre as they seem but so far I notice that most people can't follow the cause and effect of things. That makes the population an easy mark. Too bad most of us are familiar with the phenomena known as solar and lunar eclipse, or they'd be doing that old trick of making us think it was a crisis and that lawyers on public pay make the sun and moon come back. It would no doubt include sacrifice and duty of some kind on our part.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It Rains In Southern California

It's sleeting in Alpine. It rained on the coast. Climate change is spooky. Just yesterday it was sunny and hot enough to sweat if you tried. Local news spokes-model man thinks it is because people use plastic bags. He struck a contemplative and thoughtful pose, so he probably knows. "Why aren't people taking global warming seriously?", he asked after his plastic bag tirade.

In considering the various slogans that have stood over time, I find that many of them really mean nothing. I've concluded that Obama's "Yes we can", applied in contexts other than I think were intended, is about as good as any. Better than most. "I have not yet begun to fight!!" is probably the best and most inspirational.

Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country", is basic nonsense, unless you live in a slave state. I'd not encourage anyone to ask either of those things. What does "do for your country" mean, except in times of disaster or war? Considering that the draft was in play, and withholding money from income was already being done, I don't think asking questions made a difference. Considering the source and context---president of the government's inaugural address, I believe it implies, "Ask what you can do for your government; the military-industrial complex".

If you are honest and trade fair, without extorting from the people, as government and many of its contractors do, then you are doing plenty for your country. Keeping Walgreen's open 24 hours is a good example of doing for your country, in my book.

The other line in his speech which recommends other countries "ask not what America will do for you, but what together, we can do for the freedom of man"*, has a bit more substance. Unfortunately the very term "freedom" has experienced some dilution in meaning and application over the years. It was already used in a twisted sense by the time JFK hit the scene. Too bad.
(*universal pronouns were still intact at that time--women weren't being left out in that statement)

Once again, it has snowed on hwy S2 by Mt Leguna. That's where the daredevil hang gliders launch. One of these days...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Fudd Ruckers and I told you so

I suppose Baba could be cwedited with making R (aw) a letter of mis or no pronunciation. Lately it seems to be the fashionable thing in DC. Lawmakers impersonating Elmer Fudd. First there was Bahney Fwank, then that other guy who has assured us that the money taken from taxpayers and given to various communities or put into public works projects won't go to workers who actually do that work, unless they fit his parameters, many of which sound as if being qualified is a disqualifying factor. Or something.

It was a rambling and not altogether coherent statement, so reasonable content may have been missing altogether. What struck me was the Fuddishness of the delivery. I think it's a fad. I'm not sure how to make money from it, and if I did know I'd keep it vewy vewy quiet.

Well, it looks like we have a year to rehab that rental house or old barn. Obama is closing Gitmo, but he wisely allowed a year to figure out the details. That's where having a ready made facility would pay off. Maybe if you pitch it, substituting Ws and "ah" for Rs, you can wow the powers that be into a tidy sum for housing the enemy.

One benefit would be that you can actually see if it is only the enemy being locked up, and not politically incorrect dissidents from this country.

So, I guess it was a good idea after all.

The only thing that I noticed from the mass euphoria going around is that a sense of humor seems to be lacking. That is a troubling development.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Money Making Scheme

Call me Mr Opportunist if you must. Every once in awhile I see the silver lining in the cloud. Lacking the drive to follow up, I offer these money making gems as a public service.

Today's money maker: Terrorist Jail.

Assuming Obama shuts down Gitmo, they will be wanting to house some of those people somewhere. I can't imagine anyone wants to stick them in a normal prison. The extra complications, and accommodations, would not be welcomed by many prison administrators.

The best solution is to sub it out to a private company whose only business is maintaining terrorist cages. I'll bet you could land a sweet contract if you converted that old barn, or the stables on your struggling ranch or farm into a Muslim friendly hell on earth. They don't need TV or internet, just a few dietary requirements, and foot wash and whatever else it is they do. I guess you should buy the proper holy book in bulk and make sure they aren't made of anything which would facilitate escape or suicide bomb construction.

This is a great way to make ends meet in these trying times. You'd get money to appear on sixty minutes, and late night TV. Maybe a cable network would do a special, or base a sitcom on the place.

Once again, you are welcome. A free outline of how to get rich while the rest of the world goes to heck in a hand basket. Cash cows like this don't grow on trees you know.

**many people don't know of my inside track when it comes to Barry things. Yep, 'Rack and I are pretty tight. His friends call him Barry, or "Rack", pronounced "rock". If I wasn't well connected, would I know that?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hit of the Ball, and random critique

The highlight of the festivities for me was Stevie Wonder. Also that chick Beyonce can sing. The Sting and Stevie thing wasn't bad either. Poor Ray Romano fell flat. This was not a crowd looking to laugh at that kind of humor even though it would have been funny in some circles at a different time. They were still in awe struck and didn't want to take O down from the pedestal so soon. You'd have thought he'd have known that.

The neighborhood Ball did have some pretty good acts like the Anti-Gravity group from NYC. That was rather wild. I had to check out the music. Couldn't help it. A few were lame but Stevie and a few others made up for it.

Where Do They Get These Holy Men?

It was an innaugeration, almost a coronation. It would be the seating of dictator for life if some had their way. That's OK. Mostly it was civil, with a few low class moments and a few very bizarre ones.

The first holy man rambled on with what I assume to have been a prayer. I wondered if someone was going to have to shoot him to shut him up. Where did they get that guy? An embarrassment. If you want to give a holy man that sort of press, please don't pull him out of an animated cartoon.

Then, the guy at the end had his few minutes in the sun. Holy smoke. Racist or what? Come on man, what is your problem? So, amid messages of unity and the usual platitudes, we have this guy separating and pointing fingers. He obviously has a low opinion of white people. That's his right, but it was not the best venue in which to vent. They just seated a president who carried a strong majority of the white vote, and I assume the holy roller wanted Obama to win.

Hysteria ran high so not that many people were as offended as I was. Those who oppose the president may have picked it up, but even when their points have a some validity I think they kill their case in the delivery.

I've never liked the trend toward more and more pomp and circumstance when it comes to presidents. I am not a monarchist. I do not approve of making the office akin to supreme ruler. That is not what this country is supposed to be. Clearly most people disagree with me on that.

We are in the age in which it is assumed that government is there to handle everything. I always wished they'd handle less. Much less. That goes for domestic matters as well as foreign. Big authority is something I do not trust. It gives me the creeps. I'm glad if a lot of people are happy but I fear their zeal is based on a personality rather than on substantive principles.

After today, I can certainly see why many point to religions and their leaders as the root of much of the world's evils throughout history. Those guys were useless. Completely empty bags of wind who have neither reason nor ideals to justify their position in this ceremony. It also brought to mind how easily large numbers of people are swept into movements which ignore true rights and have caused a great deal of pain and suffering throughout the ages. Hopefully this mob's mentality is somehow directed in ways that lead to autonomous thought--thought of any kind.

Meet the Beatles.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It is Not Always Easy to Know When I Joke

Sometimes I'm not even sure. So, it is OK if others don't know.

Wouldn't it be great if all the people who are high on the new president would go out a buy stocks like crazy? If that enthusiasm spilled over into the market, it could be a good thing. Maybe it will happen. Spend that beer and wine money, and part of the dope money on stocks because you are optimistic and happy. It's just crazy enough, it might work.

Dancing for Dames

It seems better to not say what I said. So, I deleted it.

That's the trouble with being online, people can misunderstand or assume things and get feelings tangled up, especially if they know you. Not always worth it.

I'll just say that I think those various dance class things are probably a good place to meet middle aged women. I consider middle aged just about any age that is still breathing and able to get around on their own.

Ramos and Compean finally Released!!!

I'm not sure it was the full pardon it should have been, but their sentences have been commuted as near as I can tell from the news bite.

Something is better than nothing. That W had to wait until his last day is a shame. It makes me think he was playing to someone else's tune, most likely whoever is pulling the strings on the entire immigration smokescreen. There are some very odd arrangements between the US and Mexico that serve to create animosity where very little existed. The general public has allowed themselves to be played like pawns, both Mexicans and Americans. It is a very dirty business.

The incredible way in which those two agents were railroaded and all the various players from Johnny Sutton on up the chain all the way to the White House boggles the mind. Obviously insiders of both parties had motive to stop short of blowing that thing wide open. It seemed to imply ties between our Justice department, the White House, the Mexican government, and drug cartels.
I think it goes beyond that, and beyond obvious money motives into some sort of big power madness.

Many of the corrupt scams that get played seemed to go beyond money as the average person can conceive it. All that is left is pure power and a wish by a few to control the many. I still don't get why. One scam after another has been shotgunned into the affairs of state, with the ultimate desired result always more control.

All else aside, I am very relieved that these guys will finally be freed. Their families have suffered needlessly. Financial ruin, difficulties for their children and beyond. All because they did their job in a case in which it rubbed the corrupt alliance between Mexican government, cartels and US Justice department the wrong way. It proves that prosecutors can break every law in the book to create a kangaroo court in which facts are suppressed and justice is a joke. How anyone like Johnny Sutton can accept a paycheck and sleep at night is beyond me. Sociopaths with a title and the backing of the US government.

That is why I trust private citizens to possess arms more than those in government.

edit: as it turns out, full pardon, reinstatement, and payment of lost wages was not part of the package--as it should have been. Geo W is a wuss and has little comprehension of what damage means in lives of "little people". At least he let them out of jail. but it still won't happen for a couple of months. To go further, I suppose he'd have to admit the trial was a sham and that would cast suspicion on him and his crew in the justice dept. This way he doesn't have to give Sutton and others in the government what they deserve. He can let Comean and Ramos out, still convicted of felonies, "Hey guys, you're free, but your lives are screwed forever to further political agendas of people you don't even know".

The hard nosed law and order stance often wins votes, but just as often it leads to barbaric abuse of human rights and freedom. A government which can so easily imprison people for dubious reasons is a dangerous thing and one to be contained and limited.

HE has risen

Catching bits and pieces of news and hysteria, for one who just landed on the planet, yields but one conclusion: The Second Coming is upon us, America is crowning a new king. My nephew would accuse me of being a hater for such an observation.

Edited: I think the original was too likely to not be representative of what I think if not read in detail.

That is how it is in this thought controlled world in which emotional hysteria trumps reason. The 21st century, the Age of Hysteria.

Anyway, I wish Obama expressed a philosophy I think would yield a freer world rather than one made comfortable in the sort of way which constantly being stoned would make tolerable. It is a simple difference. I do not believe in Rulers as the key to a good life. Most of what pass for issues of the day have no business being debated in governmental bodies.

He doesn't express that view. He doesn't address the fact that the IRS terrorizes middle and low middle income people. The myth that "the rich" slide is not quite the case. The mega rich who own government slide. Those who many consider rich pay the lion's share. In any case, a progressive tax is corrupt and contrary to promoting incentive for independent enterprise, especially when coupled with regulations which supposedly protect the public. Much of that sort of regulation drives away competition and ensures the big boys get bigger.

No need to belabor that point.

I find it a little bit heartening, and depressing at the same time, that the Obama PR paints him as the messiah, as a savior. Ladies on the View were swooning about his academic record and not only did they have it wrong but didn't even have Barack or his wife in the right schools.

One guy was gushing that his "IQ is off the charts", but when asked what his IQ is, he didn't know. It is great to be happy about who is president of the USA, but it is better to remember that we eschew monarchy and titles of nobility. I know that slipped the minds of those who created the Camelot mythology around Kennedy, after his death. There wasn't Camelot talk until after. He was elected in one of the closest presidential elections but he has been painted as king. He was likable, at least judging by the number of chicks who were ushered in and out of the White House, but savior, no. None of them are or have been.

I've yet to see the one who managed to revamp the structure that creates the corruption that steers foreign policy and domestic regulations. None of them will go that far. Their supposed "reforms" always take the form of more power, and more regulation which only those pulling the strings can navigate, driving the outsiders out of the running.

I'd probably like Barry. Maybe not. If I played basketball I guess that would be a fun thing; me vs the big O.

Hysteria always worries me when large groups of people are involved. Mobs are dangerous and the majority can be a terror. Just think of the things done by those in power bulldozing their way over those with less power. It is not a good thing. That's why jails are full of people who haven't done much to hurt anyone. And why many who hurt people regularly are walking around, often with an official title. It's why slavery was considered a way of life worldwide for many hundreds of years, and in some parts of the world it still is. People go along, and people can't resist power or the idea that they need a king, or absolute ruler.

I hope people can be thrilled and have their party without any lunatics or those who feel it will further their cause, creating a scene of violence or worse. I also hope they don't push to give more power over to the head of state than has already been done.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Class Action Goose Suit

At first I thought of it as one of those absurdities that often crosses my mind. Then I realized it is probably already being discussed in some form.

When the US Air plane turned into a boat after ruthlessly slaughtering a few geese, I thought, "Someone needs to sue on behalf of the gooses, since they can't speak for themselves, and, after all, geeses, and/or ganders are people, too". My mind is a wondrous place to dwell. The really strange thing is that I worry about myself and get depressed when my inner self(s) is absent of such dialog.

I've not yet checked to see what PETA has to say about this issue. I do know they often combat the efforts of airports to chase away birds and keep them from setting up house in places where they pose a threat to aviation--human aviation.

One thing this incident does do, and I'm glad; it silences those who often smugly comment that the floatation devices and discussion of same are a waste of time. This is a case in which it is clear why flight attendants are there, and why they give that talk before a flight. Maybe it is not evident, but I guarantee you that half the people would still be fumbling around on the plane if the FAs weren't there to get them in gear and out.

So it is possible for an airliner to go down in water, and everyone lives. I'm not happy they went down, but I am thrilled at the outcome. Maybe this will temper the cynical smirkers for a day or two in commercial aviation.

On Another Note

My old band, Memphis Snake Doctors, has a new website. It did my heart good to see that all the music there which contains harmonica includes only harp I played. They may have changed personnel, seeing as I moved a couple thousand miles away, but they still use the tunes I played on the website.

I'm also happy to see they included the session with Mizz Rose of West Memphis. That EP is called Mizz Rose and the West Memphis Imperials. I'm her favorite Imperial I hope. I liked playing with her. We got along well.

If you want to check out a few tunes, they have mp3 for free download at
This made me feel like finding some people to play, although when it comes down to it, I often think it is more trouble than it is worth. My ballistic Mountain friends aren't trouble though. Maybe we'll discuss it at the next neighborhood fire safety meeting.

More Words From State of Emergency

Wise men avoid the news. Comedians use it for research and inspiration. Lately, comedians seem to be making the news and reporting it.

Everyone from Obama and Bush down to condo board chairpersons are parroting the same dire exclamations. Arnold says Caleefour knee ya is in crisis, a state of emergency. He is claiming "tough choices" must be made which will require "sacrifice". San Diego's mayor says the same thing--tough choices, we all have to sacrifice. Obama is using the same language. Screw them all!!

I would think wage earners would be furious. Not those who work for government (which is the case in CA---government workers are all wound up). The people who support the government and government workers HAVE sacrificed. What portion of a dollar earned goes to tax by the time you figure income tax, sales tax, intangibles tax, excise tax, extra tax for who knows what, etc. It is huge. I resent the hell out of people who live off of tax money, and use that money to harass the public in a myriad of ways, who can't even set a budget and stick with it, telling me to sacrifice.

By the way, I said it before, and probably no one believes me, but Kennedy did not invent that "Ask not what you can do for your country.." line. The wife of a speech writer for Sen Smathers, and Kennedy insider at the time, wrote it. It was a slogan that did not mean much at the time. Now I have to say I heartily disagree with the sentiment and how it applies today.

I ask neither what I can do for my country (read government) nor what my country can do for me. I can sure as hell tell you what I think my country could do for most good people--Get out of their way, and leave them alone. Don't stop citizens at random road blocks as part of a Homeland Security exercise, or because someone somewhere may be drunk. Get rid of traffic cameras, the purpose of which is actually to increase revenue into the government coffers.

So, it's a state of emergency and Ahnold thinks bleeding the people of the state a little more will help. People are leaving the state faster than they are moving in. No doubt they'll bring this form of insanity to your town soon.

Totalitarian states kill incentive and useful creativity. It is happening. They also give rise to revolt, which is the up side, and I can only hope...

It astounds me that when Ahnold talks about cutting anything, there are demonstrations of government workers and their unions. Government was never supposed to be that big. Somehow unions in the so-called "public" sector make no sense to me. It could be argued that things like teacher's unions and such, if they have their way, constitute a form of taxation without representation.

That is where I most disagree with John McCain. He claims public service is the most noble pursuit. I think that is garbage. Number one, if they get paid it is debatable whether it is actually a service. It is a trade. It is also highly suspect that extorting money from innocent citizens in order to pander and keep your job is noble. Honest work of any kind is the noblest calling. That applies to almost no one in elected office. Actually the very highest calling, John, is to be a good parent, so screw off.


I just finished a definitive treatise on current affairs and it vanished.
Blogger annoys me far more than JS ever did.

Hell with it.

Let me highlight:
The economy is not an animal that gets sick and needs colon work.
Government is the player who, by extorting the fruits of the labors of others at gunpoint has caused the problem. They spend more than they take, on things most people don't even want, then they complain because they don't have enough, tell you You need to sacrifice, and take more. Currently they are giving it to a select few elite.

They could just let people keep the 850 billion and do more for "the economy" than this bailout hoax will do. Or divide it equally among every adult in America. It comes to a couple thousand each, maybe a bit more. I could use it, and so could many people's creditors.

I'm in disbelief that people imagine higher taxes on normal businesses would be beneficial. Don't most people work for, own, and buy from businesses? It all washes out at the retail end. It is not like they can really pay more tax without charging more and that has a multiplier effect, the same way that putting money in the hands of consumers does, except one is to negative benefit for economic activity.

How can people who appear intelligent in so many respects not see the problems here? Had rules against fraud been enforced, rather than legislated in through very detailed specific regulations which make it possible for crooks to operate immorally, yet legally, while running normal people out of business, the bad rap they lay on capitalism would be much less.

That bit of pretending that capitalism is to blame or conversely that the mega corporations which own government are real capitalists, is BS. Another of the very obvious sucker ploys being foisted on an eager population. It is inconvenient to be uncool and go along with none of it, but the truth is the truth. This coup has been in the works for years. The lie is simple but the process is complex and tangled.

It is similar to the international policy hoax in general, and in the Mid East specifically. Anyone could see that we had no long term hope of anything sane there when we put guns in the hands of those people, and supported or condemned religious states. It is never going to make sense until we turn our back on all of them. We need to let them know that we absolutely do not respect their religion and their implementation of it in matters of state. It always brings blood.

Todays allies are tomorrow's enemies and we arm the bastards, educate, and enrich them. Screw it. But saying that thirty years ago yielded the same response that, now, saying that the feds need less involvement with the money people earn not more will get you. "Oh, it's not that simeple, and bla bla bla". I don't think so. The bailout is the same thing as arming those crazy bastards in seriously backward brutal cultures then saying the resulting problem is because we aren't more involved.

By the way, I managed to get the user name "john" on the new JS. Maybe I'll use it and maybe not.

Monday, January 12, 2009

No Figuring It

Recently, I picked up a couple of books at the used book store because someone I knew seemed enthralled with a certain author, or the main character of the novel series he'd written. If you ask me, I am a lot like the main guy in the books. He's a complete sucker in many ways. Wary, yet inexplicably trusting, and forever at the mercy of the women he rescues, in an odd sort of way. He's probably luckier than I am, though. Maybe not.

Anyway, it makes little sense in the context of the person who is enthralled with the series. It's like a monarchist being smitten with Mark Twain. That probably happens. People often miss the point with him. He was not at all taken with that sort of authority. Or a devout communist/socialist devoted to Ayn Rand's novels. Must be a conflicted soul.

Why would I go to such trouble? First off, I liked the books. Secondly, curiosity.

I wonder what it says about me that Aztec is probably my favorite novel that I've read in the last ten years. Maybe I should read it again to be sure. It's only about a billion pages. It is not common that I read a book more than once. I tend to remember them once my mind is triggered, so it loses something.

Once I was checking out some children's books and read all the Trixie Belden series. Even I worry about me for that one. If someone were to look for insight into my psyche by reading Trixe Belden, I'm not sure I'd want to be privy to the resulting conclusions.

That leaves me where I started--nowhere, and aimed at no point in particular. Either you can or can't tell a book by the cover. Depends on the book I think.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fish and Bears ARE NOT People, Too; edited and improved

My comment at Scribbler's was longer than it should be, but the latest cause PETA is championing floored me.
You can see his post on the subject and chase the link to the PETA site that suggests fish tell their young bedtime stories, and that they enjoy being petted like fluffy little kittens.

Here's the deal. Nature is literally a dog eat dog world. Especially friggin fish. I have hardly fished at all, but even I have witnessed a fish getting hooked then getting eaten by a bigger fish as it was being reeled in.

Anyway. I can choose to eat meat or fish or birds or not. That is a diet choice. Fine. But to think that all would be well and peaceful in the animal world if everyone avoided shooting them, farming, fishing, or making shoes, is total stupidity. Part of that stupidity comes from the belief that the ecosystem, and universe in general is a static balanced thing. With or without us, it changes. One species wipes out others, new ones emerge, landscapes are changed by animals plants and climate. Climate changes and none of it lasts forever. It is never ever really in balance. Trying to balance it artificially usually causes more long term problem than it solves. It is not a crime for humans or any other creature to make use of resources to further their own health, quality of life and survival. Everything does it to one degree or another.

I'm not defending stupidity or short sightedness in the realm of resource use, but I am saying the logic has gone way out into the LSD-like delusions of the insane. Not valid or true reasoning. Faulty logic. It is not criminal to plant a tree or chop one down, to use toilet paper, oil, coal, or uranium. It may be inadvisable to use them all at once in the same place at the same time, who knows.. Not criminal to shoot Bambi or catch Charlie the tuna. It is self defeating to wipe out all the Bambis and Charlies. It is also self defeating to subjugate our own species for others under such logic as , this country really belongs to the coyotes, or the bears have more right to this woods than do humans. No. I'm sorry. I don't buy it.

It used to be the issue was whether people valued themselves enough to believe in freedom. Obviously not. Now do they value their species enough not to drop down a rung or two on the food chain? Hell, some people would put us beneath plants. If you hate people so much, look in the mirror. You are a people, therefore you must die. A better world starts with YOU, if you get my drift.

The point is that people who hate their own because it makes them feel superior have invented causes and convinced half the country that the human race has no right to live on this planet. These angry little urchins can then select various units way down the food chain, claim to speak for them, then do violence and mischief to their own as if they have an excuse. The real motive is to get away with hating and having fits which are rooted in mental illness rather than dealing with the ailment.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

So I Remember the Bliss

Many times over the last several months I've found myself enough in the moment that regret of the past and angst for the future disappear. I was at a spot in Alpine today which afforded a cool view of mountains and a highway down below. It brings on a feeling that is hard to tag. Appreciation of being in that place at that time, I guess. And I feel extremely fortunate that I am here. It's like finding unexpected treasure; I feel lucky.
Perhaps it is a disorder of some kind, but I have always been affected by the geography of places, and on top of that by the vibe---whatever that is. Different places have a different feel. Often, I like a place but don't feel very at home. Some places, I just don't like the feel.
So far I feel more at home here than I have anywhere. It is likely that because California is known for being nuts and over the top, it feels more normal to me than other places I've lived. Hopefully it will remain so. Of course I'm not in San Francisco or LA or Oakland or any of that. One thing I noticed, which is a stark contrast to the South; people don't appear to care if you're "not fum 'round here". Of course, out here there is less reason to have a bumper sticker that reads, "We don't care how you do it Up North!" (or in New York).
It used to be a thing that people would rant about "Up north..bla bla bla.." Or "In New York, etc ..". That happened enough that there actually were bumper stickers like I said, and everyone knew exactly what it meant. I'm glad to be out of the fray, although I get defensive when people express a view of the south which is like the Hollywood cartoonish view. I guess I still consider them family, so I can say they are nuts but if you express some stereotypical view I get offended.
I'm happy if you write off CA. I'm here and glad, so who cares if anyone else shows up? So many people are already here that the place could break off any day from the sheer weight of the population.

Another Secret Musical Rite On Ballistic Mountain

Caleeforneeya, like the sea, does strange things to a man.
This is a secret melody which operates not wholly unlike some of the better rituals of bygone religions. All the best ones have been driven out of business by the "God is no fun" folks.
This little tune will put some zip and zing into the coming year. so to speak.

This is also how I get the coyotes to pipe down when they party too raucously. So, two birds with one stone; secret rites of a classified nature, and coyote crowd control.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Horizons Broadened

Westy of Westy's world tried to throw me from cliffs on the edge of the world. Somehow I survived. I think she was trying to cash in on the contract I placed on my life back in the HarpO blog days.

It's OK. Refund not necessary

Although, in principle, I think things should be done differently, even if difficult, I understand the difficulties and don't really care. This is in reference to the implosion of JS.

I'd like to see the format revived somehow because those guys did have the best setup. I'm not so sure how this auctioning of the name, but not the software, then considerations of turning the software over to open source bla bla bla works, and I'm in no position to undertake the administration of such a thing, but it could very well be an opportunity just waiting for an energetic entrepreneur.

So, it is what it is, and people who like to write and liked being in contact with others on JS will continue to write and stay in contact. Use Dorrie's forum, link on JS page, or at Westy link here and through links on various journals.

In short, I don't sincerely care about no steenkeeng refund.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Do I get a Refund?

Instigating is an art, one I used to practice regularly in bars. Long ago. I gave it up when I gave up drinking. Even so, once in awhile I get the urge. If I could instigate a philosophically sound revolution, I would. The trouble is, most people who are up for such a thing are nutcases and have no more grasp of logic and philosophy than do the powers that be.

Today, I am wondering what happens to the debt owed by JS to those who paid for enhanced service for a specified period of time? It is not a lot of money per person, but it is still a debt as far as I am concerned. Had the elusive proprietor of the site been a bit more forthright and accessible, and had he said, "Look, not only do I have no idea who is owed what, but I don't have the money", I would have let him off the hook. Since he hasn't shown that respect, I think he should be held accountable. It is not hard to produce proof of money paid and for what.

I consider it an insult that he's trying to auction the JS domain name on ebay, then claims the proceeds will go to some charity. Screw that. He has no right to take the money of clients and donate it anywhere except back in their pockets. Sign of the times I suppose. If politicians can pretend to care by throwing your money at supposed "good causes" then Dylan can do the same.

As much as I sympathized with his trials and bad experiences. I have no respect for his blatant disregard for his moral obligations in this matter. It is a coward's way out. I don't blame him, I guess. He has clearly avoided any mention of the consequences his mismanagement has on others. The financial end, at least, should be covered. As far as losing posts, that is the fault of those of us who did not properly keep it backed up. Most of us knew better than to rely solely on the site.

Many people could use than ten or twenty dollars they may be owed. I imagine the legal people would have advised him to ignore it; don't open the door. Doesn't make it right, but what is right lately when it comes to matters in which lawyers might be involved. Laws aren't about right and wrong or justice. Maybe they began as such. That was a long time ago.

Good thing this guy wasn't the head of an investment group. We'd be out big bucks if that were the case. Same regard for people and honor. These are strange days, that's for sure.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Normally I don't participate in the resolution ritual. This year it has become evident that some things need to change.

resolution 2009---develop the skill of transporting a cup of coffee from one end of the cabin to the other without feeding part of it to the floor, or my shirt. Further, employ this skill at the homes of others and in my car. Obviously this drinking problem has gone far enough. The coffee spillage issue is not new. Years ago a friend noted that the only time I kept all the coffee in the cup was when I was falling down stairs. Sad but true.

Another resolution is more along the lines of maintaining rather than changing: keep a roof overhead, food in the cupboard and working transportation throughout the year. In short, do what it takes to ensure self sufficient survival. That could mean bringing projects to fruition, getting a job at the country store in Descanso, whatever. Don't screw the goose or queer the deal, in essence.

The underlying change required to accomplish the maintenance goal is to quit being so lazy. That means curbing my favorite hobby; slacking. Unless I can start a company--Slackerworks, LLC---and make it pay, that activity will have to be curtailed.

I think that is more than enough in the way of resolutionary resolve.

A Favorite Hideout

Now that I realize how quickly I can be on bigger mountains with a view that stretches forever, I'll have to make a great effort not to spend all my money on fuel driving out there. It's a place where hang gliders launch, so I hear, but I have yet to see any. All I've seen are memorials for the ones who had a bad day up on Mt Laguna. I think that is the name.

Today would have been a poor day for jumping off that ridge. The wind from the west must have been accelerated by a venturi effect through the peaks. Usually I like to walk out to the edge of such places so I can look down and get the rush being up high can bring. Today I wouldn't go within eight feet of the edge. Had I been about fifty pounds lighter, I think the wind would have carried me off into the valley from where I stood.

I like being able to go up there. It is only about thirty minutes or so from home. The road is to my liking, and I enjoy being able to see the snow and all that. A week ago they had so much that chains were required or the road was closed altogether. Nw the road is fine but there is a heavy blanket of snow on the ground in the wooded areas. That is why people were up there yesterday sledding. Some were there today. Not as many.

As I was leaving the hang glider launch and memorial spot, I saw a huge bird, an eagle I think, soaring into the wind. It was going backwards relative to the ground, then it would turn and do a shallow dive to hold a steady position. From the shape of the wings, and sheer size of the thing, I guess it was an eagle. It did not have the white bald eagle head. Of course that is not a requirement, just a bird of prey fashion statement. Finally, it went into one of those super sonic hawk dives. It went down so far that it disappeared behind the ridge. I'm guessing it laid waste to a rodent or rabbit. Maybe it nailed a goat. The thing was huge.

True to form, I forgot to bring any sort of camera with me. Too bad. The bird was soaring in one spot for awhile. It appeared stationary, but I am sure its airspeed was significant.

This was one of those times when I wanted to be in a place like that to clear my mind, or maybe to jump start it. Often people say they want to clear their minds when they really want the opposite. It is just a matter of getting the mind to operate in a pleasing and productive manner. Looking for that ol' lightbulb to fire.

No blazing revelations came to me, but I felt good anyway.

Go Chargers.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Public Blog Humiliation

It is nice to have some way to link to and keep up with people here----BUT, do they have to show right on the page how unpopular a person is? The followers of this blog section should be invisible. Now I can't pretend to have thousands of interested friends who can't wait to see what I write. Typical net cruelty. This is as bad as the bullying at myspace that I've seen on the news.

They even discuss that stuff on Oprah. Is your child a victim of meanies on line?

Day one of this year was capped off by an excursion out Skyline drive. It is not very far, but it is covered with snow. Not the road, just the countryside. People drove out from sunny San Diego to sled and play. They park by the side of the road where there is a hill and snow, then let the kids play. It was kind of nice.

Somehow it is very California. There is some underlying attitude around here which is steeped in enjoyment of the place. It's hard to describe but I find it very nice. It's a laid back enthusiasm. People seem to like being here. I wish I could put my finger on it. After spending most of my life on the east coast, with frequent brushes with northeastern US culture, the contrast in attitudes stands out, but I have a tough time describing it. Maybe cynicism is the driving force there and, though it may get taxed into extinction, enjoyment of life seems to be the underlying force here.

All the same problems exist. It is just far less intense. I hope I don't live to eat these words. CA apparently made hundreds of new laws which go into effect this year. Some have to do with increased fees for God only knows what. The one getting all the attention has to do with texting while driving. Rather than just use existing laws like "driving while distracted" or whatever, CA likes to make it specific for each little detail. I'm surprised they don't have separate laws prohibiting throwing Jack-in-the-Box trash on the street, and McDonald's trash, etc. Maybe separate ones for tossing used and unused kleenex.

That tendency to micro-manage and create redundant laws baffles me. The general ambiance is so nice that I can't get overly worked up just yet. This place must have really been something before thoughtless brats gained a foothold. It's still a special place in spite of the clean-your-toilets guy in LA, and Ahnold picking pockets. Of course I'm far removed from all that. I live in a cave on the outskirts of everywhere.

In spite of all, I still have a desire to travel around more of the West. That may come later. For now, there are so many things I should, could, ought, and want to do here, that I will be occupied for some time. Being a balker when it comes to the edification of my own life and health, the going is likely to be slow. All the extra sunshine tends to help. I think I may need larger than normal doses of vitamin D just to maintain even slightly good attitude and behavior.

OK. Enough about me. Next time I'll talk about something or someone else.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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