Thursday, May 27, 2010

You know the rest

Lyrics from Steve Earle's song You Know the Rest.

You Know The Rest
(Steve Earle)

Moses went up to the mountain
To see what he could see
Well he come down talking 'bout a burning bush
Says 'This is how it's gonna be'
He's scared to death
You know the rest
Columbus went down to the ocean
In 1492
He said 'Boys, I'm looking for India
But America will do'
Sailed to the west
You know the rest

Davey Crockett went out to Texas
To fight at the Alamo
Old Will Travis never told him
Texas is in Mexico
It's a bloody mess
You know the rest

Robert Johnson went down to the crossroads
A guitar in his hands
Well, the devil had him a guitar, too
He says 'This is what you need man,
You can be the best'
You know the rest

Well this song ain't got no reason
Hell this song barely rhymes
Well it come to me when I was asleep
And it wakes me up sometimes
I can't get no rest
You know the rest

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Plugging the blowout

Obviously, BP's failure caused the blow-out. However, they are the best equipped group to fix the problem we have.

Video here.

The government has no equipment or know-how to deal with this catastrophe. Once again, the curtain is pulled away and the little wizard pulling levers is exposed to the world.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Consider the cost

Sabbath eve, May 21, 2010. Leah has friends coming over later today to camp for the night. They plan to spend the day tomorrow riding horses on our ranch. So I’m writing a bit earlier than usual.

The weather hasn’t been all that hot according to thermometers, but the air is so thick with humidity. I feel like I’m cutting paths through it when I walk. Sweat erupts almost immediately with any kind of outdoor activity, breathing becomes difficult in short order.

The garden has erupted with produce. Bugs are bad this spring, weeds and fungus also. Leave produce in a bucket for a couple of days and it’ll be covered with white mold. We have grass, but we’ve had trouble getting hay cut and baled with frequent showers in the area. We’ve continued cutting and baling shitty hay nonetheless.

I’ve spent entirely too much time following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While it is probably the largest spill into the ocean ever, there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. For that matter there’s not much any of us can do, except to be honest in our assessment of the situation. I haven’t seen much in the way of honesty from any side of the issue in the public debate. Everyone seems inclined to make political hay or to dump fault on their enemies. It had to be the fucking queers, I’m telling you. Republicans. British Petroleum. Obama. The leak isn’t that bad. It’s the end of the fucking world….

Mike Ruppert recently compared our quest for oil to picking fruit from an apple tree. We picked all the low-hanging fruit first, then we climbed the tree and got the apples near the trunk and above sturdy branches. Now, most of the fruit that remains is on the end of limbs or at the very top of the tree, near the limits of our ability to reach. This blowout is like the branch that breaks as we overextend trying to get at a juicy cluster.

The only truly profitable fields in our hemisphere lie in environmentally sensitive areas, areas that stretch technological abilities to the breaking point. Depletion rates of existing fields are staggering, somewhere in the range of 9% worldwide. Imports are set to decline; geopolitical circumstances are almost certain to further erode our ability to acquire foreign oil.

Does anyone honestly believe British Petroleum would be drilling wells in 5,000 feet of water, and then another 18,000 feet under the ocean floor if there were easier oil to be had elsewhere?

Here’s the dilemma: Our present economy cannot and will not grow without additional oil production. There is no comparable source of energy. The oil that’s left comes at a high price. If we don’t drill deep water wells, there will be serious economic consequences.

But when I look at the damage done by this blow-out, I can’t help but wonder how to measure the damage. How much is an ocean and all the living creatures in it worth? How much are clean beaches worth? At what point do we weigh the cost of maintaining our current way of life and say enough is enough?

And, if we decide to pull the plug on further exploration and exploitation, are you willing to park your car, because that is how you’re going to pay if we stop drilling. Are you willing not to fly? Ever again? When I say you, I mean you. And I mean me.

Are you willing to pay substantially more for food? To do without some items seasonally, to eat food grown closer to home with more hours of hard manual labor invested instead of eating meats, fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy products grown halfway around the world? Are you willing to sweat for your groceries?

I have noticed that we live in a time when it’s often more profitable to fail or to destroy things than it is to win or actually produce goods and services. We have big banks borrowing money from the Fed at near zero interest and then loaning it to governments for profit. These same banks loan money to people and then bet they’ll fail, earning money off of both ends of the bet. Now these same banks are betting that our governments will fail after transferring bad debt to various government balance sheets.

War produces profits. Kills people, but it produces jobs and money. So apparently does blowing out wells into the ocean. For some select few, anyway.

It’s more profitable to subjugate third world citizens and steal their labor than it is to produce something here, so that’s what we do. And it is we, for every time we buy that cheap shit we support this unfair global system.

I’ve been keeping a herd of broodmares alive for a couple of years without any possibility of making money on the deal. I’ve been told time and again that I should sell them. The pressure to sell grows. Sell them to whom? What happens when conventional wisdom says it’s no longer profitable for anyone to own a horse? Do we kill all of them so we have goddamned money in our pockets? Contrary to public opinion, we cannot create a horse out of a dollar. It takes a stallion and a mare to produce another horse. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

It’s beyond time for us to curtail our excesses, but I am not convinced it will happen.

I wish I had answers to all these haunting questions, solutions to these dilemmas, but I don’t.

About the best I can manage is to figure out how to get by when the questions don’t get asked, much less answered. At times, I am not sure I can manage that.

Maybe Leah and her friends have it figured out after all. Fuck a bunch of money. I’m convinced selling my horses in this economic climate is killing them. And I am not killing my horses.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Javi Garcia

I've written an article for the next issue of Lonestar Music Magazine about Javi Garcia. It'll be a while before you can read it. In the meantime, here's a taste of Javi's music

His CD is for sale here.

It'll make my year's best list. Already has.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Sabbath eve, May 14, 2010.

It’s raining lightly outdoors right now at an opportune time for those of us that are South Texas farmers. Corn is beginning to tassel out and the ground is getting dry. A couple of inches of rain now radically increases our chances of making a crop. We just finished cutting and baling hay; rain will also get grass growing again and keep pastures full of cattle for a time.

For whatever reason, I spent most of the week in a funk, annoyed by the simplest of things. Yesterday, I had a couple of reminders that it could be worse.

I called a friend to learn that his wife of 14 years decided, for no apparent reason, to divorce him. There’s been no infidelity on his part. He’s baffled, distraught, lost, trying to figure out what happened but she’s not communicating. He just showed up last Friday after work and she told him to pack a few belongings and leave. It was uncomfortable as hell to listen to this. What can you say?

One of our farm hands spotted a pickup under a bridge while moving a tractor from one farm to the other Tuesday. He noticed the pickup was still there Thursday morning, once again from the seat of a tractor, hugging the rail of the narrow bridge. Late Thursday evening he and two more hands decided to stop and investigate as they came home from a day’s work. He yelled down from the bridge in Spanish, his native language. A weak voice replied, “Call 911.”

My hands scrambled down the side of a steep embankment to find a man in his early twenties lying on the ground, broken and unable to move but conscious after running off the road, hitting a pylon under the bridge and passing through the windshield of his pickup. The skin of his forehead was split open and peeled back, the blood dry, flesh and bone exposed. His shoulder and at least one leg were broken. He’d had been there since Monday evening with no food or water. I don’t know how much longer he would have lasted had not my brown skinned friend come along.

I myself passed over this scene no less than ten times during this period, probably consumed with some bull shit problem and never saw or heard a thing.

What’s the moral to this story? I don’t know. It is what it is. It could be worse.

Walt Wilkins sums up my present mood.

Edit: It's almost 4 am and I'm up. Light rains have turned into heavy rains. We're now under a flood watch. Martin turned our cattle into the bottom where we just finished cutting hay to clean up grass alongside the river bank we can't access with our equipment. I hope they don't all get swept down the river.

That bridge where the young man laid is under water.

In this world, things can turn on a dime.

Sometimes there's reason for a sense of foreboding. And sometimes not.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Oil leak much worse than advertised

Read about it here.

Poor Louisiana. They seem to be getting more than their share of hard times.

Update: Red indicates where oil will hit the coast withing the next 72 hours.


The gulf coast is fucked.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Did you know

you own a hotel chain?

Shit happens sometimes

And sometimes there ain't no fixin it.

Here's a link to a cavern where a drilling rig once was. The well has been burning continuously for 35 years.

Where's Red Adair when you need him?

Friday, May 7, 2010

All is not well

Sabbath eve, Friday, May 07, 2010

Rains have gone away and the heat is rising. We still have deep moisture, unlike the past couple of springs, but I sense a drought returning once again. Our garden is producing like crazy. We harvested between 700 and 1000 pounds of onions from two rows, and better than 100 pounds of garlic. Leah is making pickles from the first small cucumbers; squash is piled in buckets around the house. Green beans are producing and my back aches from picking the damn things. Tomato plants are loaded with green fruit, and the first peppers have appeared. Potatoes are on the way.

We’ve begun cutting and baling hay. I’m watering corn fields where I can; the dry-land fields still look good but the first signs of heat stress have appeared. The wheat crop looks good and is about a month from harvest, but wheat prices are not so good.

Despite all of this, a dark cloud hangs over my head. All is not well.

I am sick of mainstream media trying to paint a positive picture on everything. The stock market collapses until the plunge protection team buys the hell out of everything to stop the slide and then we’re told it was all due to a mistaken entry on a sell order. A well spews oil into the gulf. No one knows how much oil is coming out, but I can virtually guarantee you it’s a hell of a lot more than they say. We are told not to worry, they are hard at work, cleaning it all up. 80% of people that lost their jobs a year ago still have not found work. In the next breath that new jobs have been added. Many of the jobs that have been created are poor paying substitutes for those that were lost.

Planted government disinformation agents work the blogs, telling us all is well. But all is not well.

We are headed toward a societal collapse, not just in the United States, but worldwide.

I’ve no time to argue the point. I’m too busy preparing me and mine as best I can to survive, and looking for others of a like mind.

You’d best be doing the same.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fucking pigs

Not all cops are pigs. Some are.

Watch as cops storm a house, shoot the dogs and terrorize a family over a couple of joints.

Goddamned fucking pigs.