Thursday, December 18, 2014

Random thoughts on torture

The recent senate report on torture has brought the issue to the forefront of late. Once again people line up, mostly according to party affiliation. I see plenty of bull shit coming from both camps.

To begin, there’s nothing conservative about torturing people. And there’s nothing liberal about covering up these acts when they do occur.

I hear people say torture doesn't work.

Having been tortured myself, I can tell you that torture does work.

Most people that are reluctant or that refuse to talk will break and will talk when enough heat is applied.

They may, however, lie.

And they will probably tell their interrogators what they think they want to hear.

I have seen and heard lots of stories of people that confess to crimes they did not commit.

Torture works to illicit false confessions.

Or concoct lies that will be useful for propaganda.

Ever notice how most Americans facing the knives of ISIS convert to Islam?

Think that was real?

Dick Cheney and crew wanted to prove a link between bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Those doing the torturing were told to find that proof.

One problem: there was no link.

Torture is illegal and it should remain so.

If an when the time arrives that someone feels compelled to cross that line, and I daresay, there will be times when it’s probably justifiable, they should face the possibility of prosecution.

In other words, the only time torturing someone can be justified is when consequences of inaction are so compelling that it’s worth giving up your own life, your own freedom, to illicit a response.

When that line is crossed, (and it will be) the matter should come under judicial review.

Let the ax fall where it may.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Lucinda Williams -- Foolishness

With all the apparent ills and impending doom in this world, our worst enemy can be paralyzing fear. At some point, the symptom becomes the disease. It has afflicted me of late. Lucinda Williams sings a song on her latest that helps heal my wounded weary soul.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dmitri Orlov: How to start a war and lose an empire

I somewhat infrequently read Dmitri Orlov. He's Russian born, but moved to the US as a child, was educated here and wrote a book called Reinventing Collapse which I found illuminating. He recently penned a piece about our indelicate handling of the rest of the world, taken from his Russian perspective. I don't necessarily share all of Dmitri's beliefs, but I do think it important to see how the world looks from the vantage points of others. How to start a war and lose an empire.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The silence is deafening: calling out musicians

During the lead-up to Dubya's war in Iraq, I found myself allied with strange bedfellows, so to speak: Democrats and the like, who opposed obvious lies and deceptions foisted upon the American public to lead us into war.

Among more vocal opponents were musicians whose work I gobbled up with glee.

People like Steve Earle. Bruce Springsteen. James McMurtry. Neil Young.

You produced excellent work.

But I have a beef with you today.

Why is it that when Barack Obama continues the same policies, on steroids, no less, he gets a bye?

Your silence is deafening.

I don't say these things to condemn you.

Just trying to wake your asses out of a slumber.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Put this in your pipe and smoke it

For what it's worth

I'm not a leftist. Not a corporatist. I don't fly or drive to anti-fracking rallies in vehicles powered by fuel derived from such practices. I won't march on Monsanto while eating a bag of Cheetos, or fueled by a piece of chicken bought at whole foods. I grow non-genetically modified grain, but nevertheless, I still feed my milk cows and my chickens and my horses the same products everyone else does. My tractor burns diesel derived from fracking, as does my pickup truck. The electricity coursing through my house and powering the water well in my yard was derived from natural gas, also a product of fracking. I was born into a slow motion train wreck over which I have very little control. But I will not bury my head in the sand to accommodate practices that are killing us and dooming present and future generations. As a hopeless addict and a hypocrite, I know our only chance of redemption is an honest evaluation of our condition.
So if something I write or post offends you, know this: the offense was intended.
We are a fucked up lot.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chuck Bowden has died

I just read an email that says Chuck Bowden, my mentor, my dear friend, has died.

Words fail.

Eagles, the last resort

Probably due to copyright issues, this is the only non-cover version I could find on Youtube. Nobody does it like the Eagles:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gloom and Doom

I’ve been accused of being a doomer. Perhaps.

Allow me to state my case. I fully expect my argument to anger some of you. (Wonder how many Facebook “friends” will disappear? Oh well…)

Strauss and Howe’s The Fourth Turning alerted me to something I hadn’t considered, that the atrophy I witnessed was cyclical and as predictable as the changing of the seasons.

I’ve written about this before, so I won’t go into all the details.

Suffice it to say that we are well into a crisis period that typically last twenty years, more or less. These periods typically culminate in major wars.

Strauss has died. Neil Howe thinks this crisis began in 2007 putting us about a third of the way through this stage of history.

I think he’s too close to his own subject to see current history with the clarity with which he views the past.
I think the crisis began earlier, perhaps late in the year 2000. (I find it odd that all of those waiting for some cataclysmic event with the coming of the new millennia hardly noticed its passing).

Consider the formation of a cancerous tumor. Early stages go unnoticed, but in time, the magnitude of the event becomes apparent.

The illness begins with individuals. It later manifests in institutions, but without the failure of individuals, it cannot run its course.

Believe me when I tell you: we failed.

Events serve as sign-posts along the way, markers if you will, that gauge our descent into darkness.
A few that come to mind:

In late November of the year 2000, Al Gore was elected president by the slimmest of margins. This may or may not have been a good thing.

Whatever the case, the election was stolen.

George W. Bush was installed as president by the Supreme Court of the land.

September 11 of 2001 brought an attack on the two buildings of the World Trade Center in New York and of the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

A rush to judgment took place: Osama bin Laden and 19 accomplices were branded as sole perpetrators of the event with little evidence to back these claims.

The crime scene was secured without a thorough investigation and then disposed of as quickly as was humanly possible.

Book closed.

Waves of fear and anger were then channeled toward Iraq, a nation that had nothing whatsoever to do with the attacks.

False evidence of weapons of mass destruction and potential imminent demise was presented.

Those offering counter arguments to this evidence were marginalized or vilified, some removed from their jobs, some imprisoned, some even killed.

The Patriot Act was installed.

Surveillance techniques were devised and implemented to spy on the entire world, including all citizens of our own nation, in clear violation of the constitution of the United States of America.

Multinational corporations (often bearing names once thought of as American) off-shored manufacturing jobs to countries with less stringent environmental practices. Workers in these countries serve as modern day slaves.

We paid for foreign goods with Dollars, created out of thin air, but backed by the threat of attack by the world’s most powerful military machine.

America went from being the world’s greatest lender to the world’s most indebted nation.

Our citizens became fat, lazy and sick.

Addicted to drugs, shoveled at the people by doctors which act as agents for giant pharmaceutical corporations.

Addicted to time wasting devices.

Meanwhile, the war on drugs not owned by these pharmaceutical companies grew to the point that America became number one both in total numbers and per-capita at incarcerating its own citizens.

George Bush was (re)elected in 2004.

Mid-east wars lingered, further bankrupting our nation.


The stock market crash of 2008.

Rather than bailing out citizens with a debt jubilee, the government bailed out corrupt banks and Wall Street institutions.

The more I write, the more that comes to mind and I don’t have room or time for all of this shit. There’s torture, more lies, more deceit.

Then we elected the great savior, Barack Obama.

The Liar in Chief. (This motherfucker will lie to you and make you like it).

Obama ran on a program of change.

Those that opposed the bush administrations mis-steps suddenly went silent, despite the fact that obama took up where bush left off.

More lies, more wars. More off-shoring of jobs. More bail-outs of corrupt banks and institutions. More and greater drugs wars, more fucking prisons.

Obamacare sold as socialized medicine when in fact it’s forced participation in privately owned insurance scams complete with penalties for those that refuse to participate.

Yet more wars.

More fabrication of evidence. More lies.

Now we’re jabbing the Great Russian bear with a sharp stick….

Can you say dumb ass?


Damn right. This looks, smells, sounds, tastes and feels like doom to me.

Pull your head out of your ass and take a look around.

This ain’t over.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Man, Dustin Welch brings it:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Jacking off will make you go blind

My mind wanders while milking cows. I think of all the things going on in the world. Wars, everywhere, it seems.

People are going bat-shit insane around the world. Looking for someone to blame: invading Latin Americans. Moslem terrorists. Christian terrorists. Jewish terrorists. Republicans. Democrats…. (Must be the goddamned Democrats.)

Soccer games devolve into riots. Perhaps the games are an escape mechanism from the realities of life in these times.

Game is over. Time to go home….

Have you heard about the invasion of a new-to-us insect, the Sorghum aphid? Of course not. Or the white fly, blister bug, grass hopper invasions? Who needs food? There’s plenty to be had at the grocery store.

But I need crops to sell.

Where’s the organic pesticide for that one?

Or the new genetically modified strain of Frankenfood that will survive this shit?

Eating genetically modified food is bad for you.

We’ll starve without it.

Drought in California. Earthquakes in Oklahoma. Methane hydrate releases from the Arctic Ocean.

You’re being spied upon. Every word, every movement.

Drugs, by God. Drugs are the problem.

Or is it that I quit doing drugs?

Anybody have some drugs?

Oh yeah.

They put you in prison for that, assuming you survive the SWAT attack.

Or the drones. (Not yet unleashed upon us. Be patient. They’re working on it.)

This is one convoluted fucked-up world.

Is it me, or is this shit getting worse by the day?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Belmont Stakes

For those that might not have noticed, there’s an important horse race to be run today at Belmont Park, New York.

To begin, California Chrome has a chance to win the Triple Crown, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 1978. This entails winning three consecutive races against the best three year-old Thoroughbreds in the country, The Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and finally the Belmont Stakes. While there are more valuable races, none carry the prestige of these three classics.

The race takes on particular significance this year. California Chrome is owned by a pair of working class men and their wives, hardly Thoroughbred racing elite. The owners of the horse also were his breeders; he’s the product of a relatively cheap mare and a second-tier stallion, a California home-bred in an industry dominated by Kentucky elites.

Kentucky is hardly a center of power among states until you talk Thoroughbreds. It’s there that the kings and power players of the world operate with a relative strangle-hold on the best racing bloodlines to be had. If they don’t own the best, they soon will.

Texans, New Yorkers, Floridians, Californians, Saudis, Japanese, British royalty; they and more all bow to the Kentucky elite.

The consolidation of power in the Thoroughbred industry is not unlike what you see in public and private industry with the empire of the United States or the European Union, perhaps the newly emerging BRICS nations, Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Microsoft, the Federal Reserve bank, etc.: bigger entities dominate, subdue, and swallow smaller competitors to the point of elimination. Submit or die.

One may say that is not the desired effect of these entities; that point is arguable; the result is not; they have in effect wiped out most adversaries.

The battle is not over. Nature favors entropy: a big body forms; wind and rain and storms break that body into smaller pieces.

Cajuns want to be Cajuns; a mountain man will do as he wills. A Northern California hippie lives as he sees fit, as does a Maine fisherman. Puritans fled the Church of England; Martin Luther broke from the Catholic Church. Afghani tribesmen live as they wish as do Arab Bedouins. An Oregon logger lives in a different world than a New York stock broker.

People refuse to submit to a one-size-fits-all mentality.

When it became apparent that Perry Martin and Steve Coburn owned a freak of nature, an anomaly, the big horse from humble origin, they were offered 6 million dollars for a 51% stake in the animal.

They refused the offer.

They are not wealthy.

But they had a dream and that dream was not for sale.

They kept their horse and to date, they have beaten the big boys.

They acknowledge that the horse is no longer theirs, that it has become property of the people, all the little guys out there with dreams of one day rising from the fray, not to make money, but just to be.


Go California Chrome.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Michael Ruppert commits suicide

I never met Michael Ruppert in person, but we did exchange emails and phone calls occasionally and he also interviewed me on his radio program once. I was shocked and saddened to learn that he ended his life with a bullet to the head Sunday night. It will take time, but the work he has done will come out. And the rats will scurry.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cheering for the home team

If cheering for the home team, right or wrong, is the rule, then I am a bad example. If hoarding during times of want becomes the rule, then toss me from the protected zone. There will be no protected zone for those who lose empathy for others.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

We are sick

I’ve written little of late. It’s not that I don’t feel the need, but instead that it pains me so much to say what needs to be said. I am disgusted, dismayed and appalled by the direction my country has taken, the bluster and blunder of our leaders, facsimiles of honorable men and women from our past; their words may sound similar to something you once heard and believed, but now they’re hollow, rendered meaningless by a near total lack of conviction and an absence of heart and honor. I am so fucking tired of hearing John Kerry issue wolf tickets. The cocksucker couldn’t whip his way out of a wet paper bag, but he imperils your kids every time he opens his clap trap with threats he can’t back up. I tire of hearing Obama tell us how exceptional our country is. Have you taken a look around lately, cocksucker? And then to hear people like John McCain trying to one-up every aggressive move Obama makes as if the only mistake is that it wasn’t grand enough. An illness has crept into or perhaps grows from our society, so easily bought with cheap-made shit, stolen from or conned out of the hands of poor laborers, modern day slaves from around the planet. Real conservatives have been replaced by neo-cons, true liberals by neo-liberals, imperialists and corporatists, disloyal to their own country and citizens, a multinational class of opportunistic thieves and fraudsters. Both cry, what’s in it for me, none appear the least bit interested in offering anything in return. Members of the press have become compliant lap-dogs, eagerly disseminating propaganda you’d think people would see through, but they swallow it like poisoned kool-aid. Either that or they just don’t give a damn. What the fuck, people? I take no solace from the fact that it’s equally as bad or worse in other countries around the world. This changes nothing about whom and what we have become. There was a time when I took pride in this country and its people. That time is gone. We are sick. Sometimes sick people get well; sometimes they die. Nations are no different.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

East of Eden

By Don Henry Ford Jr., on February 4th, 2014 It’s early. The rain sounds louder than it actually is on the tin roof of our home. But the noise was enough to startle me out of slumber and into the cold. A worker left a battery charger connected to a manure spreader truck and I feared water might ruin the charger. So off I went. Now I’m awake. If you happen to be reading this on my personal blog, the formatting may be fucked up. I am warned that my browser is no longer supported. Meaning whatever I was sold some three years ago is now obsolete. WTF? I guess I need to buy the latest (complete with the newest and best version of NSA spyware, I assume). We finished pecan harvest last week, apparently just in time. Early on I received a dollar a pound for native pecans. Each subsequent week the price fell. The last I sold fetched seventy cents. The buyer told me he was doing me a favor at this price. It would be less today. Considering this was a short crop nationwide, supply and demand of product apparently has less to do with the price farmers receive than supply and demand of dollars buyers are willing to risk. When I say buyers, I’m not talking about the ultimate consumer. They pay high prices. I’m talking about the ever-dwindling number of brokers that accumulate the crop and have unique access to the market, denied the rest by unnecessary regulation (when’s the last time you heard of someone getting sick by eating a pecan), or more importantly, the inability to get financing. Fear dominates nowadays. It’s for that reason we continue to have deflation, in spite of continual, unabated liquidity injections by the Fed on the order of 85 billion per month. Except when it’s actually more. More, by the way than bush’s TARP bailout that was so loudly decried by the public, each and every month. All that money goes to shore up the piles of bad debt big banks fail to acknowledge, keeping the ultra-wealthy, ultra-wealthy. The trickle down ain’t trickling. People out here in the real world, producing integral goods and services, continue to struggle, while elite financial entities thrive. I recently saw a post on Facebook: Africa is not poor; its resources are being exploited. It’s not so different in the modern South or the Mid-West. While liberal intellectuals often belittle these states, talking about federal assistance they receive and their concurrent poor state of affairs, they fail to acknowledge that the reason these states are poor in the first place is that they get fucked out of resources by people who sit on their asses and do nothing. Take note that well-meaning but propagandized citizens of these states, denied good educations and job opportunities, disproportionately get to go bleed in our imperial wars as well. Farm and energy subsidies aren’t offered so much to protect farmers as they are to insure cheap food and fuel. The real beneficiaries are consumer states. And of course, those corporations that sell them finished goods. All three of them (so maybe it’s twenty. It ain’t you and it ain’t me). Steinbeck once wrote a book called East of Eden. What was once considered unacceptable by a God-fearing Christian nation has become the American way: Wave the flag, fuck em out of their goods and labor, put em in jail or kill em if they don’t like it. Praise Jesus! The world is ours for the taking. Sorry. This shit overflows and has to come out, now and again.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Who is JSOC?

Your president is a cold-blooded mass murderer. Watch this movie when you have an extra hour and twenty six minutes.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Edward Snowden interview

Here's an interview of the man "intelligence" officers of the United States would like to kill.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Why would I share James Howard Kunstler's yearly forecast when he gets it wrong every year? Because he understands and best articulates the fundamentals. It's just a matter of time (and timing) until the illusion gives way to reality.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Eve Ramblings

I’ve enjoyed reading prognoses of the year to come, and even more, some who recapped prognostications from the year gone by. Makes one tentative to go off half-cocked in the prediction business. Not only did the world survive the dreaded 2012, we managed to get through the year afterword. It’d be a mistake to think all is well, nonetheless. The list of maladies facing our nation and the world at large is so long, I’d be hard pressed to cite even a fraction of potential ongoing catastrophes. But here are a few: The economy has recovered, or so you’d deduce if you note that the stock market has reached all-time highs. Of course the fed has contributed some 85 billion dollars a month to keep the beast alive. Only sometimes it was more. Makes it hard to believe them when they say they’ll begin to taper next year… From the above referenced article: The top eight Wall Street banks have set aside a modest $91 billion for 2013 bonuses. The cost of providing food stamps for 48 million Americans totaled $76 billion. In my world, thoroughbred horses sold for millions while a trip to the local racetrack looked like a reenactment of the hunger games for farmers and ranchers: the winner got to pay his bills and celebrated over a late night meal at a fast food restaurant. The rest…. I was one of the rest. A bit of good news: Nicole Foss tells us how we can print local scrip to continue to conduct business when the coming depression kicks in. I sold milo for $8 a hundred and can buy it back in a fifty pound bag for $12 to feed my yard chickens. We had a good crop of pecans, but a sizable portion of my crop remains unsold to date. I did get $1.80 a pound for good paper-shells, but I am told the rest are worth less. They’ll cost you between $5 and $6 a pound in the shell at the local grocery store. How can people afford that? Most can’t. I raise and sell cattle. Cattle numbers remain at lows not seen since the 1950’s. Beef prices have reached all-time highs. But production costs also are at all time highs, especially when matters such as recurring drought are taken into account. And meat is getting too expensive for many to eat. In my neck of the world, this year will go down as average where rainfall is concerned, yet, there’s a shortage of hay. We had a terribly dry summer, with almost no rain, and then the spigots opened, resulting in a late fall flood to skew the numbers. Now we’re getting dry again. Hay barns are low and grass in short supply…. The war in Iraq is over. Kind of. We still have troops in Afghanistan guarding the poppy fields. We started a bunch more wars to keep our troops employed. The people thwarted an attempt to start a new war in Syria. Kind of. (I’d be remiss not to point out that the war continues, just with surrogate troops.) We stopped our government from arming drones surveilling the home front. (Or did we?) But we’re getting damn good at killing folks in other countries with them. Some of my friends think Fukushima is the end of the world. I don’t. It’s far worse than advertised, but only a prelude of things to come. I lived in New Mexico as a kid, just east of where our government was blowing up nukes. Even played in the pretty white sand dunes near Alamogordo. (We fucking wonder why people die of cancer.) A sizable portion of our continent houses nuclear reactors. It takes something along the lines of 25 years to decommission one. We haven’t begun the process. Others focus on climate change, predicting mass die-off in the near term future. I don’t dismiss what they say, but remain in the chaos theory camp. There are too many potential variables to point at the ongoing trajectory of events and extrapolate with any certitude. How does a world war involving nukes affect those equations? An electromagnetic pulse, either naturally occurring or man-made? A major volcanic eruption? The impact of an asteroid or a comet? Like I said: too many potential variables. Not much sense worrying about any of the above when you consider there’s no way to be ready for any of this. No sense worrying about the food you eat either, considering most of it has been genetically modified by your friends at the Monsanto Corporation. Counties in the state of Oregon voted to make it illegal to grow genetically modified grains, only to shot down by higher law. Attempts to require the labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients were shot down in the state of Washington. Every phone call you make is recorded. Every stroke of your computer can be recorded in real time. All your email is recorded and stored. The guy that revealed this is hiding in Russia and if he comes back home, he’ll go straight to jail. Another journalist can’t leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London without being arrested for letting you know what our governments are up to. The man (woman?) that provided the data he revealed resides in a federal prison in these United States. Stores now have the ability to track you with your smart phone, building a profile of what section of the store you visit and for how long. Sounds like that phone may be a bit too smart for me. If you accept that there’s a rhythm to events on this planet, I’ve got good news for you. 2014 probably won’t be the end for most of us. Because the next major event in the ongoing crisis won’t arrive until 2015. Of course, the false flag event of 9-11, 2001 was preceded by the stolen election of 2000, and the stock market crash of 2008 really began in 2007. Notice the seven year intervals. My friend Manuel is serving a 320 day sentence in a nearby jail. The guy that shot him is out on the streets and getting a government check. He pled guilty to a crime he didn’t commit. That’s what happens in our legal system. You can’t take on big brother and win, so you give in and do what you have to do to survive. You don’t see what you look at, you don’t hear what you listen to and you damn sure don’t speak truth without getting punished for it. I found a quote by Mark Twain I like. It goes something like this: I see no reason to fear death. I was dead a long time before I was born and wasn't troubled in the least by any of it. To top it all off, my website won't recognize paragraph breaks. Reckon the goddamned spyware has anything to do with it? Console yourself with the fact that many think I am crazy.