Friday, September 30, 2005

One of the many reasons I love Utah

Sunset over Quichapa
September 30, 2005

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Never Again!

The large wooden signs were in front of all the local synagogues of my childhood. My earliest memories of synagogues is that they always had a well placed sign, out in front of the temple building, reminding passing motorists of the pain and promise of the Holocaust. The most commonly used slogan was NEVER AGAIN!

As a child I actually believed that this sort of thing would never happen again in my lifetime. My father had gallantly fought a war in Europe to defeat evil and bring forth a newly civilized world of truth, justice and the American way. Or as Mighty Mouse used to say "Here I am to save the day!"

Meanwhile our former ally, the Soviets, picked right up where Hitler had left off and began persecuting and killing Jews by the score (which they had persistently been doing before, during and after WW2 as a matter of course), prompting another commonly seen sign, posted right next to the NEVER AGAIN! placard in front of the shul, which proclaimed in bold letters RUSSIA: LET MY PEOPLE GO!

So evil had not yet been defeated it seemed, and I remember asking my father "weren't these guys our partners in defeating the perpetrators of the Holocaust?" I remember him muttering something about Uncle Joe was a bloodthirsty bastard too.

Anyhow by the time I was sixteen I was well aware of what the Khmer Rouge were doing in Cambodia, when four million civilians were savagely slaughtered in a genocidal wave so fierce and rapid that it made the slow and plodding murder factories of the Nazis seem a distantly quaint memory. I remember asking my Jewish friends about NEVER AGAIN! in relation to what was happening in Southeast Asia and they said NEVER AGAIN WILL JEWS BE TREATED LIKE CAMBODIANS! I understood their position fully but was very disillusioned by their sectarian aloofness nonetheless. Now the Israelis have become oppressive regional bullies themselves. Never again my ass!

So why is it that whenever I point out that the United States runs concentration camps and drops death dealing bombs on innocent people, and that each of us happily pay for this activity without so much as a whimper, that someone shrieks I'm going off the deep end?

How different is this current dictatorship from any of the others in the recent past? The U.S. government is now totally destroying two sovereign countries with military force and yet only 30% of the populace thinks it's a good idea. Is this not a form of dictatorship? What else can you call it?

How are Cheney and his buddies able to get away with this? Who will stop him? How?

Questions that must be asked.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Cover-up at the American Auschwitz

Today a low level soldier was sentenced to three years in prison for her role in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. How dumb as a country are we to think that justice has been served to those who are truly responsible for this latest installment in America's sordidly shameful national history.

It would be the same as heaving a sigh of righteous relief that a lowly prison guard was punished for the crimes committed at Auschwitz, while his boss Heinrich Himmler continued
to sit smugly in the comfort of his fortified Berlin office creating yet more atrocities. Why are we so unquestioningly supportive of our own guilty Himmlers, that we dutifully work two days a week for in DC?

In the photo above a baton-wielding US soldier orders a naked detainee, covered in feces, to walk a straight line with his ankles handcuffed.

Your tax dollars at work.

This empire will not last too much longer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

How 'bout them Dawgs?

Team mascot Uga tries to bite an Auburn player in 1996.

Since Devastatin' Dave devoted his most recent blog to the pitiful stirrings of devoted and delusional hope for the changed fortunes of his lowly Cincinnati professional football club, I'd like to venture a prediction about my own beloved Georgia Bulldogs, who now currently rank 6th in the nation.

I'm going to venture a prediction that when they roll into Jacksonville to play in the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on October 29th they will be undefeated, having beaten Tennessee in Knoxville on October 8th. If they defeat Auburn the following week, at home, they will be in a very good position to win the Southeastern Conference crown and move onto the national championship game against Texas in Pasadena this coming January. Yeeee-haw!

I'm already trying to get tickets to the Rose Bowl.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The power to tax is the power to destroy

Krista in Michigan sent me an email with comments on my recent anti-tax blog. (Is she too shy to respond on the blog?) My response:

I mostly mean federal income taxes when I speak of resistance. The others don't go to funding war. As wastefully spent as these other funds are, they don't go towards the murder and maiming of innocents. Let's prioritize with the worst uses of our funds first. There will be time for the Park Service and the local school board after we first overthrow the Beast.

Did you know that the Constitutional amendment creating the federal income tax was never ratified by the states? It is an unlawful levy from any angle you look at it and has directly resulted in the death and injury of millions, not to mention the wholesale obliteration of entire regions of the planet using a mechanized arsenal that routinely strikes preemptively. In addition to bombs and bullets it is not afraid to use deadly chemicals (Agent Orange), drop nuclear bombs (Japan) or use very poisonous spent uranium for the casing of shells (the current Iraq war) targeted at civilian populations. The list of horrors could go on and on. As the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall said, "the power to tax is the power to destroy."

Not only are lives destroyed abroad, but here at home so is education, civility, families, communities and the very social fabric as a whole. Look at all these helpless folks in New Orleans. Has 50 years of "social compassion", by big government, towards the disadvataged lifted them up from their downtrodden condition? It has done the opposite by creating a permanent class of dependent untermensh,which require an equally permanent bureaucracy to tend to these poor helpless wards of the state.

Look what several generations of this has done to the underclass, especially inner city blacks. It has destroyed them as working beings by basically isolating them in public housing, away from the main currents of society, and then proceeds to reward them for bad behavior with funds stolen from the productive. Is this really any way to help someone out? Is this why the project dwellers hate the Korean convenience store owners who actually have to work to propel themselves forward, while keeping their original nuclear family intact? If you talk to many of the older residents of these neighborhoods, from LA to DC, they will all say the same thing, that the arrival of the welfare check from Big Brother was the end of the world as they knew it. What a shame, what a pity, how the city got so shitty.

Have you noticed the similarities between the occupation of Fallujah and New Orleans? Captive slaves are captive slaves.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Be all that you can be

For his most recent essay Fred Reed used the same picture from Abu Ghraib prison that I did for the recent blog "Your tax dollars at work". My photo was better reproduced than his, but the writing pales in comparison to Fred's distinctive style of incisive prose. His essay is a warning to kids about the heavy costs of ever being a soldier.

A war is a politician's toy, but your wheelchair is forever. If you want adventure, try the fishing fleet in Alaska.

Think about it.

A current hero Fred Reed is. A southern fried ball of libertarian angst. A beaconing light in the encroaching dimness. Fred moved to Mexico. I may does foller.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Kirby is a noodge

I like Yiddish words because they often convey their meaning through the very way they are pronounced. You can feel them. This week I'm babysitting Kirby and the cats while their parents are in New England vacationing. Kirby is the epitome of the Yiddish word noodge, to annoy persistently; from the Polish word nudzić, which is also the root of the word nudge. With his ever present under-footedness and mostly fruitless entreaties for me to kick his stupid squeaking space alien toy for a game of fetch, he is indeed the very essence of noodge-nickness!

At the other end of the spectrum we have Osama the fearless black and generally invisible kitten, who is the poster child of an anti-noodge. Now which one of them do you think I would want for a pet?

Osama boma

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The habanero harvest in Utah continues

The habanero pepper is believed to have originated in Cuba but several other versions of its true origin abound. The word habanero means "from Havana" and these peppers were thought to have been taken to the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico from Cuba many years ago. Tons of habaneros are harvested each year in the Yucatan, Belize, Costa Rica, Texas and California. It is the only chile growing in the Yucatan which has no Mayan name, leading to speculation that it was imported there from Cuba. However, this chile pepper is now unknown in Cuba. Other names for the habanero are 'Scot's Bonnet' or 'Scotch Bonnet,' commonly used in the English-speaking Caribbean islands such as Jamaica, and 'Bahamian' or 'Bahama Mama' in the Bahamas.

Wilma Angius of Rockville, Utah grows some of the most beautiful and potent specimens known to exist on the North American landmass (see photo above). God bless ya Wilma!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The harvest is coming in

The lovely sunny weather of Zion Canyon, these past few days, has proven perfect for drying the bountious harvest of chile peppers I am amassing from several growers, including myself.

Here you see that I have cut up fresh yellow habaneros, red jalapenos, red and green ancho bells and a variety of serranos to bask and dehydrate in the warm desert sun.

The greatest joys in life are always close at hand and usually straight from the earth; but be careful when you use your hands in the bathroom after cutting these guys up for several hours.

What Me Worry?

One of my heroes, from the last blog, wrote this is in 1920:

The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre – the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

--------H.L. Mencken

What ME worry?

Monday, September 12, 2005

In these dimly lit times thank God for your heroes

12 years have passed since the death of Frank Zappa and it still seems that I'm just getting adjusted to him being gone. That I was able to meet and talk with him, for a few brief moments, will always remain a highlight of my life. The anniversary of his death comes at a time of quiet reflection for me about many things, including whether or not I want to continue to live and work in the increasingly oppressive and warlike nannyacracy that is the USA. I often wonder what Frank would have to say about all of the tyranny and lies that comprise so much of postmodern life. Who are the brain police indeed?

It all got me to thinking about who my heroes are and why. I believe we should draw sustenance, hope and inspiration from them, with which to develop the courage and strength to carry on creatively, with love in our hearts. My heroes mainly give me strength.

So here's to you Frank for the thrills and the laughs your music gave me, helping inspire a lonely kid trapped in a totally whacked out family in the suburban wasteland. Your wit and wicked merriment opened a huge door.

To Mort Sahl for making the truth seem so insanely funny. I met Mort when I was 18 years old at Charlies Place in Georgetown after a show. I told him that he gave me hope and he replied back "Hope---that's a big word kid". Mort, I understand that now.

To H.L. Mencken for being able to say what everyone else was thinking but would never dare give voice to. Thanks for the big words and even bigger context your writing gave me about the wider universe that lay just beyond the bounds of conventional wisdom and received opinion. You helped free me up at an early age to interpret the world in a way that built knowledge and wisdom into my young impressionable skull full of mush.
H.L. Mencken

I'd like to say thanks to all of my heroes, great and small, for helping point the way towards the enlightened life of courage and love.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Look out Yogi it's Mr. Ranger!

A letter to the Superintendent of Zion National Park sent today from yours truly:

Dear Superintendent Whitworth,

I'm writing to relate an incident that occurred at your campground this week that gives me cause for concern.

For years now when visiting friends that stay in your campground, it is my usual custom to come to a full stop at the fee station gate where you have two red stop signs and then make some sort of eye contact with the ranger in the booth, so that they can ascertain that I am in full possession of my faculties and know why I am choosing to proceed further along on life's path. The rangers have always politely nodded back and on I would go.

My impression has always been that stopping to talk to the ranger was for people who needed to register or wanted information. As a former ranger the last thing I ever want to do is bother them, especially when I know what I am doing and where I am going. This is how I have respectfully entered your campground for years and have never had a problem with anyone.

On this most recent visit I got about 20 feet from the stop signs when I heard the ranger in the booth yell loudly for me to stop. I stopped and rolled down my window and asked what it was that she wanted. She said I needed to back up right away and talk to her. When I asked why I needed to do that, she said that I couldn't go any further without her approval. I told her I was visiting friends that were staying in this particular campground and had done nothing wrong, so I saw no need to back up at this very moment. I was then told I had better or else!

So I backed up and was told that I couldn't just drive into the campground without telling her who, where and how long I was planning to visit. When I told her that I didn't really think that it was any of her business, I could tell that she did not like my answer. I then asked her on what government authority she was empowered to ask me personal questions concerning my visit to a public campground?

I now ask you Mr. Whitworth, under what statutes of the CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) was this fee ranger acting under to ask me these questions? I told her it was quite enough information that I was visiting friends who occupied a legal & fully paid for site, that I had a valid park pass, was a local and former employee and that was all she need know.

The answer I received was that she didn't know what the CFR said about her authority, but that it was an obvious "security" issue, and that I was going to have to tell her what she wanted to know or I could proceed no further. When I balked at this she gestured to her co-worker to call a law enforcement ranger. I then hastily said that would be unnecessary and told her who, where and why I was visiting and for how long just to pacify her and so as not to get tangled up in some dumb mess and take resources away from real law enforcement affairs. She then issued me a "security" pass to enter the campground.

15 minutes later a park ranger patrol car pulled up to the site where I was visiting, much to the embarrassment of myself and to those I was visiting. The law enforcement ranger told me that he was called by the fee ranger in the booth to come and make sure I knew that in the future I was to stop at their station and give them whatever information they wanted. When I explained that I had not meant any disrespect to anyone, but was merely doing what I had routinely done to enter in the past, he replied that the fee rangers had a "pet-peeve" about people driving through, including employees and locals, without stopping and checking in with them.

If that is the real reason Mr. Whitworth, or at least a contributing factor, this sounds far more like a problem of bad employee morale than one of an implemented federal security plan. I don't appreciate public employees using their power to capriciously violate my personal privacy just because they may be frustrated in their jobs. I also don't like being quizzed about my personal business in the name of, so called, "security". If you didn't know it already, this is a very sore issue between we the citizens and you the federal government!

If this change in the wind, so to speak, is really a part of beefed up security measures there should be some visible signage or press release available explaining under what provisions of the law or Patriot Act you are using to screen entry into an unfenced multi-access public campground in the heart of a busy national park town.

It seems to many of us that the NPS just isn't the same old relaxed and friendly agency it once was.

I look forward to a dialogue on this matter.

I'll let you know what they say. You can probably guess for yourself already.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Your tax dollars at work

An American soldier holds down a detainee who is writhing in agonized pain, deep within the bowels of Abu Ghraib prison. His knees have just been chewed on by a trained German Shepherd attack dog. Remember----we support our troops!

Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues! - Revelation 18:4

The New Confederacy

For the occasion of my 50th blog I wanted to talk about the fast approaching time when these fifty, so called, United States of America shall ultimately break apart. Our neighbor to the north has this subject openly debated among its citizens all the time. It is a national debate that is healthy and very needed as nations can and should change and metamorphose just like entities in the private sector.

Canada will probably be the first to split apart (maybe in Quebec, the western provinces or a new territory of native tribes in the far north). I believe that this could get the ball rolling for what is inevitable further to the south.

Check out this website for the New Confederacy which I must say, made me all warm and fuzzy inside to see it done so intelligently and with such regional pride and local knowledge. Lest many of you think this is a bunch of idiotic, gun-toting, nigger hating rednecks you should take the time to give it a closer look. For instance on the issue of slavery:

The New Confederate Constitution specifically forbids slavery, and requires equal suffrage for citizens of all genders and races. Many of us believe that slavery and its attached evils was a key reason God chose not to bless us with victory, and has left us in the wilderness of slavery for 138 years. The New Confederates acknowledge this sin against God and humanity and repent of it.

And on the issue of my home state of Maryland:

Under the New Confederate Constitution, a state which has scheduled a secession process, but is prevented from engaging that process by force or occupation, is considered as having ratified the Constitution. Well, this is exactly what happened in Maryland in 1861. Abraham Lincoln had the Maryland legislature arrested, so that it could not secede. Since if we were using our current rules then, we would have considered Maryland's secession legal, after much consideration, we now recognize Maryland as a state of the original Confederacy.

After reading that passage anyone within earshot could hear my rebel yell all the way to Chesapeake Bay.

After the recent debacles that the feds have led us into, with diabolical plans to submerge us further, like attacking Iran by October, I think it is high time we all began thinking about becoming tax resistors and then begin agitating for our home state to break away from this union of murder, waste and mayhem. This destroyer of life and nations, feeling accountable to no one, must be laid to rest for good, before it causes yet more needless disaster to innocent people everywhere.

Tell the Israelis and the Pakistanis to go find another brutal big bully benefactor to help them fight their sordid blood crazed battles. Daddy done gone to lie on the scrap heap of history----for good. Sho'nuff.

Maryland Flag

Monday, September 05, 2005

Treasure hunting in Nevada

Kevin and Maria were visiting this weekend and I got a wild hair to take them trilobite hunting in the extremely remote Highland Range of eastern Nevada. I have been searching for a particular species, olenellus gilberti, for some 15 years now, with very little success to show for my efforts. This particular type of trilobite is one of the oldest fossils in the world, dating back some 550 million years ago, from the middle Cambrian period of geologic time.

The elusive olenellus gilberti.

After poking through some fairly picked over diggings, and downing four bottles of Miller High Life in quick succession, lest they get too warm in the mid-day heat of the desert, we suddenly were drawn to the real treasure that was everywhere in our midst, the largest and most plentiful crop of pine nuts we had ever come across. The pinyon pines in these mountains, pinus monophylla, were bursting forth with big fat cones loaded with delectably tasty nuts that we proceeded to gobble down by the score.

We began filling up bags with these exquisite delicacies and soon had our hands covered in the stickiest pine sap known to man. It was well worth the torment of tar encrusted hands as we headed for the small town of Pioche afterwards to drink more beer and walk the crowded streets of this rural county seat loaded with visitors taking part in a plethora of holiday weekend festivities.

It was great to be in a state where you can still freely walk the streets and drink from an open container, toasting all the cowgirls strolling past in their holiday finery.

Long live the free state of Nevada! Liberty never looked or felt so fine.

Friday, September 02, 2005

See ya later alligator

A picture to warm the hearts of New Orleans school kids wherever they may happen to be huddled.

Leave it to the government sector to abandon their infrastructure and equipment unprotected. They don't own these buses. Some ill-defined collective called "the public" owns them. This is the same flock of sheep who will dutifully fork over their hard earned dough to buy new ones when everybody finally comes back home from the big party in the Astrodome. No will ask why. They'll just pay, lest they be branded un-compassionate and selfish.

Do you think maybe these buses could've been used to evacuate citizens from the city? They sure look pretty lonely out there half covered in sewer water.

What a beautiful sight to behold for any school kid in September, when their local educational gulag has been closed by Mother Nature and the yellow prisoner transports are rotting in the blazing Louisiana sun.

Public sectors always fail

The following link, by Lew Rockwell, says it all about the real culprit in the unfolding disaster that is New Orleans.

Key paragraph:

Only the public sector can preside over a situation this precarious and display utter and complete inertia. What do these people have to lose? They are not real owners. There are no profits or losses at stake. They do not have to answer to risk-obsessed insurance companies who insist on premiums matching even the most remote contingencies. So long as it seems to work, they are glad to go about their business in the soporific style famous to all public sectors everywhere.

Sic semper tyrannis!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Who do you believe?

Hostility toward America is a religious duty, and we hope to be rewarded for it by God . . . . I am confident that Muslims will be able to end the legend of the so-called superpower that is America.

Don't follow leaders, watch your parking meters

The disaster will keep striking the unbelievers for what they have done, or it will strike areas close to their territory, until the promise of Allah comes to pass, for, verily, Allah will not fail in His promise. [Koran 13:31].

I'm the commander — see, I don't need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president. [George W. Bush]

If'n they could'a they ought'a should'a

The first of three links in this blog post is to an article, from a German source, that is part of a new thread that is emerging about the disaster in New Orleans being aided and abetted by the U.S. government, because Shrub supposedly cut $72 million away from flood control for the Big Easy and diverted it to waging war on Iraq. Hoo-boy, just some more idiotic "the state can spend us out of any dilemma" type of thinking that pervades modern Western society. The sooner the collapse the better. Or is it finally here?

In my last blog I pointed out how this whole mess could be traced to overarching federal government manipulation of the Mississippi River delta by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Into these capable hands was entrusted one of the earth's most extensive and voluminous drainage basins, to become an elaborate Tinker Toy for un-elected central planning bureaucrats.

Dat old man river, it just keep rollin' along!

I think the people in the Middle and Far Eastern half of the world know way better than us, when it comes to putting much faith in the boasts and ambitions of a technocratic Big Brother, which is why THEY are now preparing to be our new masters. Once Shrub finally maxes out his Japachinese issued credit cards, to blow up Iraq, we'll all be facing a decidedly Asian tilted tomorrow. I say bring 'em on, as I shore loves their cuisine veddy mucho and will be glad to do business with 'em in the freer climate of commerce and exchange that people from the East bring to the table. Kung pao anyone?,1518,372455,00.html

The second article is a well written piece from the New Orleans Times-Picayune about how anarchy works in city neighborhoods where the citizens are lawfully armed. In this case the gun owning citizens have been able to do what the civil authorities have failed to accomplish in protecting their businesses and communities. An excellent argument for a fully armed society.

Finally from Kuwait comes the story of "the terrorist Katrina, soldier of Allah", which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hope you do too.