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Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas 2012

I wasn’t going to wait around for Santa Claus again this year.  After all…, I’ve been waiting damn near 10 long years since we put a roof on The Saddle Bar(n) and there is still no Big Screen TV with Home Theater Surround Sound out there.  And my poetic license has expired on the statement in my “Tom Russell” piece about acquiring a new CD player.  I had the best of intentions when I wrote it, but I still didn’t really have one.  After the many years of disappointment regarding the Big Screen TV, I just didn’t think I could count on Santa to deliver even a simple CD player this year.  Maybe I should cut ole Santa a little slack since I seem to be a bit remiss myself.  But damn it…, that’s his job…, and this writing stuff is only my sometimes pastime.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Camper Barn

It felt good to slap on the leaky rain gear and get out in the first monsoon of the season to clean up the horse manure that had been accumulating in the pastures while I worked frantically to complete The Camper Barn before those monsoons arrived.  Hey..., it's election season..., and lying is not just accepted..., it is expected.  But I am telling you the truth..., and nothing but the truth.  Vote for me.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Old Hippies

My dad called me, “The Old Hippie” from about 1973 when I got out of the Army at age 21 and grew my hair long…, until the day he died in 2009…, when I was too old to grow much hair at all.  I like that moniker and it still reminds me to this day of my “summer of love”…, when I quit my job and thought I could make my way in the hippie world and live on peace and love and share it with all my brothers and sisters in the movement.  It was the summer of ’74…, and that’s about how long that life lasted…, one, all too short summer.  It wasn’t that I gave up the ideology of peace and love and sharing.  It just dawned on me in just a few months’ time…, that times with dope and no money weren’t all that great…, no matter what the famous black light poster said.  But as long as you have both, things can look pretty rosy through a pair of granny glasses…, even if you have to keep a job to do it.  So, I guess I was really just a wannabe hippie with a job for many years after that.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Mike Norman Economics: Stop being a stooge!

Mike Norman Economics: Stop being a stooge!

I posted this over at The Agonist as a diary piece.  I said, "Found this over at Mike Norman Economics..., tjfxh contributues over there, but this one is from Mike. Not sure if he penned these or not. Yeah, I'm awake. A whole lot of truth in a few simple statements. But I would add just a 12th observation...,12. None of this will be resolved until we get..., campaign finance reform."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Lost a LOT of Respect for Paul Craig Roberts...,

when he posted this piece that was run over at Counterpunch: "The Left, Reagan and Cockburn".  After a nice little tribute to Alexander Cockburn upon his death, PCR states:

What causes some people to feel compelled to make uninformed digs at President Reagan? Is it just that they are brainwashed or, if they are thoughtful people, just too involved with other matters to be well informed about Reagan?  How many of the digs at Reagan are deflective activity by Clinton/Bush/Cheney/Obama shills diverting attention from the real causes of our woes?

Reagan and his administration are not above criticism, but Reagan most certainly is not to blame for the financial crisis or for the neoconservative wars for American hegemony.

I have been seething ever since I read it.  I am on record over at The Agonist as saying that I believe that Saint Ronnie and his administration marks the beginning of the dire straits we find our country in today..., here with "The Election That Changed the World"  and a piece from Alternet.  I wanted to respond to Robert's piece..., but thankfully..., Counterpunch ran this piece yesterday..., so I don't have to.  "Rotten Ronnie".

Reagan was a tout for a group of big capital con men who simply wanted to work a mafia type scam on a national basis: to take over the government so as to have the power to guide public money flows into the pockets of their corporate associates. They could call the movie “Mister Al Capone Goes To Washington.” The Reaganites were so vocal about being against the government, but since the government in a representative democracy is merely the physical and bureaucratic realization of the machinery needed to enact the popular will (read Rousseau, Jefferson did), the Reaganites were entirely anti-democratic crooks who wanted to extract value from the masses against the public interest (e.g., more weapons, kill alternative energy, more Central American bloodshed, defend apartheid, rape the environment for private profits), to distort the functioning of government for the preferential enrichment of their factional associates, and the higher economic classes with preferred racial mixes.

There is lots more where that came from..., highly recommended reading.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Peak Oil

National Photo Co. Fossil Fuel 1920
Washington, D.C. "Penn Oil and truck."

Nicole Foss (Stoneleigh) over at "The Automatic Earth" blog posted Unconventional Oil is NOT a Game Changer. She does a great job of exposing many of the myths surrounding the Peak Oil denial being spouted these days.  Though the price of crude oil has fallen very recently, she discusses how the near $100 per barrel price has inflated a speculative bubble in "fracking" and other unconventional methods of extracting oil from the oil shale in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana, as well as the Eagle Ford formation in Texas.

At the same time, in the case of oil, we are seeing a sharp reversal of perception - from one of scarcity to one of glut - as pundits discuss how technological innovations, including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, will increase global supply dramatically. De-conventionalization of oil supply is touted as the solution to peak oil for the foreseeable future.

She explains to us cost of producing oil from those formations in terms of money and energy resources is a speculative bubble that is bound to burst..., and that the recovery rate and sustainability of available oil is being extremely exaggerated.

You really should read the whole piece if you want to understand Peak Oil and what it means for your future.  Nicole sums up the piece thus:

Humans are prone to grasp at straws and believe in fantasies rather than face unpleasant realities. Believing that unconventional fossil fuels can maintain business as usual is a fantasy. We cannot run our current complex society on low EROEI energy sources.

We are still facing peak oil, and, on the downslope of Hubberts Curve, we will be running faster and faster on our accelerating treadmill just to slow the decline in supply. Unconventional supplies with lower and lower EROEI are not going to change that picture, and the crash of prices that will happen thanks to economic depression will aggravate the situation considerably in the short term. We can expect prices to fall faster than the cost of production, and many corporate casualties to emerge as boom turns to bust, as it always does.

The next few years will be remembered for financial crisis, where it will be money in short supply rather than energy. As economic contraction proceeds, and purchasing power falls substantially due to the collapse of the money supply, demand for energy will - temporarily - fall a long way. Beyond that, as the deleverging comes to an end and the economy begins to stabilize somewhat (probably between five and ten years down the line), we are likely to see a supply crunch develop.

With that we are likely to see a major price spike, and the potential for resource wars will grow dramatically. Oil is liquid hegemonic power, and conflict can be expected to develop when it is perceived to be scarce. Thats not where we find ourselves today, but it is where the future is taking us.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

On the Obamacare Supreme Court Ruling

Denninger says, "What little was left of The Constitution died today, June 28th, 2012.". Ian says, "This is more similar to TARP than anything else: it is a massive corporate giveaway, opposed by the majority of the population, and passed over their dissent." They pretty much sum up my feelings about it. So..., I will offer this one as my feeling about the direction our Ship of State here in America is headed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

“If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention.”

That’s the tag line of David Michael Green at his blog, “The Regressive Antidote”.  I’ve been reading his stuff for a while now and have posted links to several of his writings at The Agonist..., here and here and here and here..., and on my blog.  If I have to read political commentary, I don’t just want to be informed..., I want to be entertained as well.  I have read most everything written by Hunter S. Thompson.  He was the only political writer that could hold my attention with his acerbic and sometimes bombastic wit.  There was quite a dry spell until I found Joe Bageant and his tell it like it is, no holds barred assessment of what was wrong with the political process in America.  Sadly..., Joe is gone now too.  But David Michael Green combines a style and vision that echos both HST and Joe B.
In his latest piece, “Broken Shards of the Heart”, he examines the recent failure of the recall election of Scott Walker in Wisconsin.  He provides us with a bit of perspective on how we got to that point over the last 30 years with lines such as:
“Over the course of our adult lives:
We watched in shock and horror as the country turned to a Hollywood washout, who was literally a national joke candidate five years earlier, and made him president, following him down every path of joyful self-destruction and absurd deceit.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Good Buzz

Back in the old daze..., a good buzz meant something entirely different than it does here on The Ranch today..., or yesterday to be precise.
It was still early..., that’s before noon..., now days.  The temperature was already approaching 60 degrees and the weather man had promised mid-seventies for a daytime high.  The preceding week hadn’t been hot..., but it had been dry and The Barnyard was dry enough to get a two wheel drive pickup up to The Barn with a load of hay.  The little two horse barn won’t hold enough hay to feed three horses, so we have to replenish the supply when the weather cooperates..., or we will be lugging bales by hand through a muddy mess.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Thee Game

 Standing: Robert Brown, Joe Henson, Jerry Johnstun, Terry Durham, Mike Green, Don Judd, Asst. Coach Fred Durham, Head Coach Elmer Wessels
Kneeling:  Kirk Gangewer, Dennis Hesler, Tom Wyatt, Dave Daniels, Scott Spence, Ken Wilson, Mike Estes

March Madness and the college basketball season are behind us now…, and if there were any real memorable moments…, I missed them.  But I didn’t watch many games this year.  Never was a big fan…, I usually don’t pay much attention until the NCAA tournament starts.  This year I didn’t watch any games until the Final Four.  So I missed seeing one of those, “It’s all over now…, no…, wait…, it‘s a miracle comeback in the final seconds…, unbelievable!”  Those are the exciting moments you long for when you really have no interest in who wins or loses.  It can become memorable if a sentimental favorite team pulls it off and you experience it from in front of the TV.  But it becomes an indelible memory if you have a front row seat at the game.  If you were a high school junior sitting on the bench watching your teammates pull off one of those miracle finishes to secure the District Championship and vault you into the State Tournament…, it becomes something more like myth or legend.  I know…, I was that kid in 1969.  It was Thee Game.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


I was on a high last weekend that I haven’t experienced since the Hippie Days..., oh so many years ago.  These days..., with a 60 year old birthday looming just two months away..., those bouts of inspiration still happen..., occasionally.  Usually after the chores are done and the sweat has been replenished with a few ice cold beers in The Saddle Bar(n).  And such was the case last weekend.
I was listening to Tom Russell singing, “Bucking Horse Moon"
Down a one lane road there’s a dusty fairgroundWhere I learned the bronc trade..., I fell in loveWith a blue-eyed twister and her smokey whisperShe said, “They call me the Cimarron Dove”
We’d spool our bedrolls on down together
My calloused hands combed through her hair
She’d stare at a star through an old mesquite tree
“See that moon shadow, there’s a bucking horse there”
Sweet bird of youth, no easy keeper
Flown with the seasons all too soon
Beneath Montana’s blue roan skies
Nevada starlight and a bucking horse moon.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thanks For The Liberty Mr. Roberts..., Thanks For Everything

Oh yeah..., there are lines from movies and passages from books that stick with you.  The Agonist is one of those that have passed the test of time..., and will endure..., thanks to the foundation you have laid Sean-Paul.  Many thanks partner..., many, many thanks.

“It’s been a wild ride.”  Oh yeah..., to say the least.  I “found” The Agonist while my wife Julie and I were living in the Dial-Up Dark Ages in a cracker box camper trailer here on what was then just The Property.  With no TV and the slow loading high profile, image and advertisement loaded web sites delivering anything but timely updates on the “war” news..., The Agonist was far and away the go to site for me.  And has been ever since then.  Even today with high speed Internet and satellite TV here on The Ranch.  It seems that the growth and development of your site and our Ranch have gone hand in hand over the years.  With a bruised thumb or two along the way.  The hammer didn’t always hit the nail, but those pains were short lived.  But I understand your frustrations and motivations.  As the building and development stagnates..., and you are left with just the day to day maintenance..., you feel that you are missing something and need a change of pace to get those old juices of inspiration flowing again.

I “lurked” here for many years before I signed on as a “user” when you posted Second Chances? over four and a half years ago.  It took me over a year from that time..., and a very disturbing experience..., to work up the gumption to post a Diary entry of my own, I Had A Dream.  I don’t have the words to describe the feeling I got when it was elevated to the Front Page.  That move inspired me to send the piece about the Border Patrol Checkpoints to my congressional representatives and other government officials.  The good news is that I haven’t experienced any more bus boardings by thugs in uniform.  The bad news is that it inspired me to become a regular “ab-user” of The Agonist.

Oh yeah..., over 40 Diary entries..., and I am not going to try to count the number of comments.  Thanks for your indulgence..., and for elevating a few of the pieces to the Front Page..., it is still a thrill.  I read a lot of blogs but hardly ever bother to read comments..., and even rarer..., comment on them.  The users here are a rare breed indeed and it is a testament to your personal magnetism that we are all here.  If there is another site that attracts the likes of Don Henry Ford Jr., Numerian, Mauberly, Tina, Raja, Lex, JustPlainDave, Scotjen61, yogi-one, Celsius 233, chalo, Hong Pong, steeleweed, Bolo, Peter C..., I hope someone points it out to me.  Wow..., the list could go on..., and on.  I wish I could name all the contributors who help make The Agonist what it is..., and my apologies to those I had to leave off the list here.  This is quite a community that you have pulled together here Sean-Paul..., you should be very proud.  I know I am proud to consider myself to be a small part of it.

So..., I guess I will close where I started and paraphrase what I told you in my first comment here.  Never look back with regret at past decisions to move onward.  Look forward to the new experiences with much anticipation and enthusiasm.  We will all miss your continual presence of the past..., but will appreciate whatever sporadic posts you continue to contribute in the future.

Right on partner..., write on.

And..., thanks for the liberty Mr. Kelley..., thanks for everything.