Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stop Over In Waco

In the free breakfast area of the motel there was a framed letter next to a signed framed photograph. Dick Cheney complimented the motel for his comfortable stay there while visiting George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford. The TVs in the breakfast area were tuned into FOX news, and the paper available at this motel chain that was normally USA Today was replace with the local Waco paper.

While I was working on a plate of excellent biscuits and gravy and sipping some pretty good coffee, I was engaged in conversation by one of the other patrons. FOX was touting the State of the Union message by President Obama that was scheduled for that evening. My new little time friend didn't have much good to say about Obama. I kept my reply comments neutral and low key. But I guess because I didn't loudly agree with him he tagged me as "not on his side".

We have lost our friggin minds. You know you should be able to eat breakfast in peace and not be given a political blood test by the others in the room. Now I know I was in Texas, and the heart of Bush country as well, but gee guys, let it alone.

By the way "truck drivers" have no qualms about saying directly what they think of having a black President and a woman Speaker of the House. There is no softening on their wording about that.

I keep thinking that we have become a nation of bullies and cowards. I see it on TV every day.
The hate of those trying to bully the nation is palatable. The cowardice of those afraid of losing their political positions is appalling.

Then there is the vultures like Roger Ailes from Fox who are intent on making a profit from the American discontent by fostering 9/12 type organizations and half truth news.

In the sum it may be Jon Stewart and the Comedy Channel that are the only winners.

One thing for sure, either I won't stay over in Waco next trip, or I will choose a different motel.

How will this end? Lord knows, fire or ice?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

His Own Personal Raptor

The sun has just set on the beach at Padre Island, when a young man walks out onto the sand with a raptor (hawk or falcon?) perched on his wrist.

(Remember to click on the photos for full screen)

The light is not bright enough for clear pictures but the colors are wonderful.

And the show is too good to not try to capture it.

The hawker spins his lure as the raptor makes pass after pass at it.

He so fast that I keep losing him in the failing light.

A hit on the lure, and the bird is down. He is rewarded for his kill.

And again and again the lure is deployed.

After a time the bird says, hey guy I'm tired and swoops down over my head to land on the roof of a nearby cabana.

But soon he is called and is off again.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Corpus Christi Brown Water Surfing

(Click on pictures for full screen)
Padre Island is the barrier island that protects Corpus Christi harbor. It is a long low island that extends past its shoreline out into the Gulf of Mexico creating a wide shallow shelf.

The day these were taken there was a 40 mph wind blowing a system in from the Gulf. It was overcast and the waves were breaking as they entered the shelf. It was a roiling sandy/silty mess of water almost thick enough to walk on.

Even so, intrepid surfers were braving the water and waves to find a ride.

And they were suceeding.

What I worried about is when they fell were they covered with more dirt that water.

It looked kinda like surfing a flood on the Arkansas river.

But surf it they did!

I hope they didn't swallow too much of the "water".

Endless Summer?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Padre Island Driveabout

Drove three miles along the beach yesterday. Stopped and watched the ocean life every once-in-a-while. Mostly sat and watched and listened to the waves as a Texas sand storm from the North blew sand dirrectly into them as they crashed along the shore. Kind of empty.
Today we drove 12 miles on the beach. Stopped along the way to collect shells and take pictures.
It was facinating.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Seismic Activity Detected At Teddy Roosevelt's Tomb


Well the 2010 SCOTUS has told Teddy Roosevelt that in 1907 he (and his SCOTUS) didn't understand the Constitution and that they have had to fix his mistakes. Muck is now the law of the land, any and all political corporate muck is legal.

But what the hey, huh? We started down this trail in 1968 with the anti-Great Society laws and rulings. Nixon was just the start. I mean, think about it, the first time your elected officials name a civic center or publicly finance ball park after Delta Airlines or Pepsi Cola you knew we on our way to this did you not?

But we should not really panic should we?

I mean what we are doing is simply returning to the 19th Century practice of Robber Barons meeting in smoke filled back rooms with their wholly owned political operatives and office holders to determine who will be nominated and elected to political office. I mean how bad can that really be. It used to work. Seriously, can we do any worse letting the political system operate in that fashion than we, the electorate have done, say, since 1968?

Was Nixon, or Ford, or Carter, or Regan, or Bush H., or Clinton, or Bush the W. all that great a choice? I mean gee guys, none of them were really worth a shit in the scheme of things and they all were elected by the electorate, the people, and all under some sort of corporate restrictions on campaigning. History is not going to be kind to any of these guys and they were all elected by us the individual voters.

Now really how much worse can the educated elite wealthy interlocking incestuous corporate board members do? As my old mother never said, it is half dozen of one and six of another.

I mean what we really want is someone in the middle. We need a die hard median middle of the roader, a John Spruce Society member even. Those on the margins will have to go whether be they on the right or left, up or down.

I mean, tame will be the mantra of the future. No place for any kind of radical there.
What goes around comes around.
Welcome back to 1906.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Let's Play A Game : Corporate Wars (Roller-ball was Kids' Play)

The SCOTUS today move all political decision in America into the Corporate Board rooms across the world. Now they didn't intend to do that, but for smart people they are pretty dumb sometimes. You'll have to read about that elsewhere, not here. Here we are going to play a game. Are you ready? I'll start with a few examples and you add yours in as we go.

What happens when corporations have to compete for their profits in the political area with EACH OTHER. Well there would have to be sooner or latter the resorting to the extension of politics known as a WAR.

Walgreen's is already in a store to store competition with CVS. Next?

Want to invest in a future winner? Try corporate security companies.

Industrial espionage will expand by megas times megas.

Likely voters will be targeted with coupons and special deals only if that corporations candidate wins. (and you thought drinks for votes was history)

Got the idea?

Good, let's brainstorm. We might could get rich with this.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Snyder, Oklahoma Territory: Tornado Kills 125 In 1905

Sorting through piles of papers to decide what to keep and what to dispose of, donate, or give away I ran into a highly deteriorated copy of the Saturday June 3, 1905 Collier's The National Weekly. I wanted to share part of it while is was still readable.

Here are three pictures and a short cut-line about a tornado that hit Snyder on May 10, 1905.
125 people were killed in the cyclone.
Click on the pictures to see an enlarged view.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Missing Statue of the Devil's Pig and Pat Robinson

This will take a while.

Ezili Danto: Single Mother with a Knife
by Kevin Filan
At a 1791 ceremony in Bwa Cayman (Caiman Forest), a Vodou priestess possessed by Ezili Danto slit a black pig's throat. Those present drank its blood, and then swore that they would drive out the French slave masters or die trying. A week later, 1,000 settlers were dead, the rich plantations of Cape François were in smoldering ruins and the Haitian Revolution had begun. Some say slavers cut out the priestess's tongue as punishment for participating in the revolution, while still others claim Danto was made mute by the black guerrillas so that she could not betray them under torture if captured. All agree that thirteen years later the last French soldiers were gone, and the Free Black Republic of Haiti was born

The Iwa (Loa ) that the pig was sacrifice to was Legba.


"In Haitian Vodou, Papa Legba is the intermediary between the loa and humanity. He stands at a spiritual crossroads and gives (or denies) permission to speak with the spirits of Guinee, and is believed to speak all human languages. He is always the first and last spirit invoked in any ceremony[1], because his permission is needed for any communication between mortals and the loa - he opens and closes the doorway. In Haiti, he is the great elocution, the voice of God, as it were. Legba facilitates communication, speech and understanding. In the Yoruba pantheon, honored in Nigeria, Cuba, Brazil, and elsewhere in the Yoruba diaspora, Ellegua is mostly associated with Papa Legba since both share the role of being the god of the crossroads. In contrast to Papa Legba, however, Eleggua is a trickster child. Legba also shares similarities to Orunmila, the orisha of prophesy who taught mankind how to use the mighty oracle Ifá. He usually appears as an old man on a crutch or with a cane, wearing a broad brimmed straw hat and smoking a pipe, or sprinkling water[2]. The dog is sacred to him. Because of his position as 'gate-keeper' between the worlds of the living and the mysteries he is often identified with Saint Peter who holds a comparable position in Catholic tradition. He is also depicted in Haiti as St. Lazarus, or St. Anthony[3].
In Benin and Nigeria, Legba is viewed as young and virile, is often horned and phallic, and his shrine is usually located at the gate of the village in the countryside.
Alternative: Legba, Legba Atibon, Atibon Legba, Ati-Gbon Legba."

The Revolution actually started in 1751, fizzled, went into the jungle, and was re-ignited after the French Revolution. It was actually a three way war between the blacks, the mixed bloods, and the White French.

Indeed the Maroon fighters ignited the final successful war by a blood oath to Legba the gate keeper to all other Voodoo saints and God himself.

After the final victories against Napoleon in 1803 a statue of the Black Pig was erected in Port-au-Prince. I have tried for several years to obtain a picture of that statue to no avail. It has been disposed of.

As an aside in the 1980's the United States Department of Agriculture destroyed all of Haiti's native pigs (like the one slaughtered in 1891) claiming they were contaminated with swine fever. They tried to replace them but.....

So when the Evangelist Pat Robertson said Wednesday that earthquake-ravaged Haiti has been "cursed" by a "pact to the devil."

He was repeating something propagated by the Catholic White and Mixed Race French speaking Haitians for over two hundred years as a counterpoint to the Black Haitians proud history.

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it," he said on Christian Broadcasting Network's "The 700 Club." "They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you'll get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it's a deal."
Robertson said that "ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other" and he contrasted Haiti with its neighbor, the Dominican Republic.
"That island of Hispaniola is one island. It is cut down the middle; on the one side is Haiti on the other is the Dominican Republic," he said. "Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island...."
Pat is just saying what he believes. Stupid old man.

Haiti is so intertwined with the United States and we know nothing about it.

Say, does anybody out there know where a picture of that pig statue is?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

JTB's Fatman Walks The Beach

The beach is in far South West Louisiana. The Water is brown but chocked full of life.
Dolphins patrolled just off shore in the muddy water

Shrimp boats were just off shore and further out were dozens of oil rigs.

This is at Holley Beach. Totally wiped off the face of the earth by the last two hurricanes.
Some people are rebuilding, but higher and stronger than before.

Junior The Bear and Fatman visited in June of 2009. This is Fatman trolling the shore line for good trash and doubloons.

Keeping JTB from collecting all the dead things was difficult.

A fossilized whale bone.

A sea bean.

Long fish.