Sunday, December 28, 2014

family connections

My disdain for bad behavior, no matter who the perpetrator, extends even 2 my own ancestors-- not a pleasant thought.

I wouldn't do well if I was Chinese, because they're supposed to revere their ancestors. I do revere most of mine, the salt-of-the-earth, impoverished farmers that predominate in my family tree (as I believe they do in the trees of most Americans) appear as God-fearing people who would sooner die than take something that didn't belong to them.

The branch of the family I've pretty much disowned came to the brand-new USA from England in the 1780's, soon after the Revolution, and either my great-great-great paternal grandfather arrived with a little money, or his wife did.  She came 2 America with the idea of getting rich in the slave trade, or picked up on its possibiltles soon after arrivng. First settling in Pennsylvania, dominated by Quakers, so that slavery never got a toehold, they quickly decamped for Duplin county NC, and just as quickly bought their first two slaves. Mrs had half a dozen or so by the time the old man died, and she continued collecting them after he was gone. By the time she passed on she had as many as 10 slaves on the place, and  2 more in dispute.

The dispute arose when her son Francis and his new wife took two household members with them when they departed for Georgia by wagon in about 1830. We know quite a bit about Francis & the family he raised in South Georgia on land acquired cheaply, formerly the domain of the Creek Nation. That old Indian killer, Col. Andy Jackson demolished the Creeks for good at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, in 1814, with the few survivors of that virtual massacre escaping to Florida & joining the Seminole tribe.

Tho we are famiiar with the lives of Francis and his family in some detail, we know virtually nothing about Dave and Ireland, the two men at the center of this family feud, other than their names. I would like very much 2 know more about them & who they really were, but at this distance doubt that's possible.

What follows is interesting enough to write, and maybe a few would want to read it. Francis prospered in south Georgia, built a plantation called Tallokas, had a gang of kids, bought more slaves, & lived the life of a country gentleman. His mother ignored him in her will; she was still pissed at him for taking Dave & Ireland, who were the only two human chattels on the place not deeded specifically 2 her by her husband. By that time Francis needed no help; he was living large on stolen land and labor. There was a steep price to pay for such prosperity, however, as those who read on will soon see.

...down to the 4th generation...

My grandfather, Sam Brice -- that's him sitting in the foreground with his feet tucked under -- was born in 1889, and looks to have been slightly less than 10 years old when this family picture was taken, dating it to shortly before 1900.

His father, Timothy Brice, is seated at center beside his dour-looking wife Mary, surrounded by their ten children and, on the other side of the white picket fence holding the clan's first and at this date only grandchild, the inevitable "Aunt" Ellen. This was, after all, Brooks County in Southern Georgia.

Until  coupIe years ago I never knew any but the barest facts about my great-grandfather, that he was born in 1838 and looked a lot like me. I had done the math and knew that he was 23 and his brother David  was 24 when the Civil War commenced in 1861. Born and brought up in South Georgia, they were grade-A cannon fodder.

Undoubtedly, social necessity as well as patriotic motives and a looming universal conscription order from the CSA led to their walking down to Savannah to volunteer for duty in the 50th Georgia Infantry 
on March 4,1862. But when the regiment marched out of Savannah four and a half months later, traveling north where it was attached to Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, only David marched with them. He fought at Gettysburg and Chancellorsville, and met his death on the second day of the Battle of The Wllderness, May 6, 1864.

Meanwhile, Tim was heading home from an army hospital in Macon, above the fall line and outside the malarial zone surrounding Savannah, where he had become sick during training with Camp Fever, a form of malarial dysentary which killed as many during this conflict as died in battle.

Tim Brice was discharged from service on the same day the regiment marched from Savannah, and presumably returned home to Brooks County, where he married in 1866, fathered 13  children, 10 of whom lived, and spent the rest of his days.

It would take a very serious flaw in one's constitution or character to be unconditionally discharged from an army as desperate for manpower as the Confederacy's was. Perhaps my great-grandfather was gravely ill, or maybr he was painfully unfit for soldiering and warfare. In any case, Timothy Brice had a very  shoirt interlude in service, and did no fighting for the CSA. 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

merry xmas cat blogging

Sometimes I think the only reason cats consent 2 being domesticated is that they know humans will provide them with more luxurious accommodations than they can get for themselves in the wild.

Learning to crap in a box is a small price 2 pay for regular meals and sleeping on cushions all day. It's a trade-off I'd make. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Is there anything this Pope can't do?

He probably can't strike a match on a wet bar of soap, but other than that he looks like Superpope.

In recent centuries we've grown used 2 seeing some hypocrite or another on the Papal throne, whining about abortion & birth control, & ignoring real abuse inflicted by some church institutions on their own. Then comes Francis, who deals with the world not just with the authority inherent in the office, but from a  position of  moral authority.

If he keeps his string of hits going in the wake of Cuba-USA detente, he may succeed in returning the Papacy 2 what it once was, a politcal power in a world of competing nations, singular in its possession of neutral, disinterested, moral high ground.

 The  Pope? How many divisions  does he have?¨ Stalin is said 2 have asked when told the Pope (Pius XII) didn´t like his treatment of Soviet catholics. Hs remarks were typical of the last 100 years or so, reflecting disdain for an outmoded relic´s opinion on any world affairs. Who cares what that old flatus emission thinks?

Then one day the real deal shows up out of Latin America, still with not a single division, tank army, or air force. Yet, when he speaks, world leaders listen, someimes in awe & sometimes in fear, but nobody´s´ mocking this pope.

Let´s see what he can do in the 10 years or so he´s got left. World peace, anyone?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

friday cats & fruits

Cat: lower left. oranges, upper right.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

politially correct xmas

I´m baking my pnut butter Xmas cookies this morning, which R genderless by default. (R pnuts gender

I make only half a dozen at a time, so the hard part is producing the recipe in the correct scale. Politics got nothin 2 do with it, except 4 z butter.

1. simmer 1 gram of 13-17% thc hybrid in 2 Tbsps of butter 4 90 minutes.

2. carry on as U usually would with all ingredients reduced by 7/8.

Makes 6 cookies.

The butter preparation is suspect in this county. I'm warned  each tme I open a gram that while what I am doing is legal under state law, I might be violating federal and local laws. These are not specified, however.

Such solemn admonitions may not be politically incorrect, but R obnoxious as hell & probably the work of our obnoxious Mormonublican DA.

Friday, December 12, 2014

friday cat bloggin

Add caption

Mesa is that kind of town, & it.'s that kind of a day.  

Sunday, December 07, 2014


Dorothy 4/26/20 -- 12/7/08

She's not in Kansas any more.

lynching in the 21st century

Police today have gone in many places (not all!) from protecting & serving to acting as an organized lynch mob.

The evidence for this is the growing number of victims. Most are black; some are Latinos, some are white. Most are male, & all are young (I know of only one exception to this).

In the past, the composition of lynch mobs varied from place to place, but usually were led by police or some other local authority (mayor, judge, etc). Prior to the "golden age" of lynching (1865-1955) killing negroes was usually an assertion of property rights, and slavery actually protected the lives of of blacks. Your property has to do something heinous for you to terminate it, especially considering that slaves in the ante-bellum south were more valuable than land. Free blacks in the north were in much more danger of being killed by racist whites than slaves in the south. 

Emmet Till, lynched in 1955, was tortured & killed by 2 men in Money, Mississippi, one of whom ws a local cop. The crime was typical at the time, but the response was not. Mamie Till wanted the world to see what had befallen her son, born & raised in Chicago, when he visited relaives back home. The photos of Emmet's face, scarcely recognizable as human, (I will never forget seeing them in LIfe magazine at age 9) spelled the end of lynching in the US. Until now.

Lynching in the US today is a privilege reserved to police departments in some parts of the country. It is unwritten & never spoken of, but even rookies soon learn how it works. If you're on the street & some whippersnapper starts jawing at you, you may shoot him IF U feel like it.

Nothing wil haopen 2 U.

Photo of Emmett Till: (not fo the faint-hearted or weak-stomached)

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


I finally found the top I've been seeking 4 the longest time -- $6 on Ebay. Guess I shoulda gone there 1st.

The Phrygian cap, an ancient design the Greeks used 2 designate barbarians, which 2 them meant any non-Greeks, has in modern times come 2 B associated with liberty, freedom, & revolution, specifically la Revolution Francais.

During the uprising of 1798-1805 it was always red, the colour of revolution, & incomplete without the blue, white, & red cockade.

Traveling across the Atlantic, it appeared on the coinage of the new American republics, both northern and southern, as the favored head covering of Lady Liberty, as it does on this US half dollar from the War of 1812. 

And once again revolutionary era Mexican coinage prominently featured the gorro de la Libertad. These were 90% silver, & some of the most beautiful coins ever struck.

Today we find ourselves living in momentous & revolutionary times once more. It's time to put on the Phrygyian cap once again, a headpiece ugly enough that unbelievers will surely eschew it.

Friday, November 28, 2014


Our regularly scheduled Friday Cat Blogging feature is pre-empted this week by this one-shot photographic essay from Ferguson, Misery: the State of the Union.

The cat is fine, by tje way, beautiful to look at and full of shit, as usual.

Photo schnorred from Charles Pierce's politics blog @

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

House Negro/Field Negro

It's been nearly 50 yrs since Malcolm X was gunned down by Nation of Islam triggermen paid by the CIA, but he remains the greatest expositor on the history of race in America as well as possibly the best public speaker I ever heard in my 70 yrs.

This speech, perhaps his best ever, is pure Malcolm -- aggressive & totally uncompromising. The coffee metaphor at the end of it is dead brilliant. He explains the history of race relations in America in a way that Any One can understand. It's as fresh and pertinent today as it was when he delivered it in 1963 (when he was still a Nation of Islam member).

I disagree with Malcolm on the efficacy of violence, but purely on tactical grounds. The ethics represented in the speech I find flawless.

Some were and will be deeply disturbed by this speech. The truth is sometimes hard 2 take.

Monday, November 24, 2014

let george say it

The war, therefore if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that the hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word "war," therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous, war ceased to exist. WAR IS PEACE.

George Orwell. "The Theory & Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism," by Emmanuel Goldstein, the book within the book  "1984." Goldstein-Trotsky is the Great Traitor who split from Big Brother-Stalin, & is the perpetual subject of the two-minutes hate.

Pictured: Goldstein

thank you, vladimir

Thank you 4 lettin us B our selfs...again.

Ukraine has become a watchword & warning for other countries around the world. "Don't let the Americans get their fingers in your pie." Neo-Nazism raises its ugly head. It's a big mess on Putin's western flank, which he's handled with restraint -- aah! -- don't start. You & I both know the kind of restraint this country would exercise if Russia were mucking about w/ the gov't of Mexico, or Cuba (again!). 

 The warmongering throughout the suckazz corporate media 
is incessant, with lurid tales of Putin-Hitler among them. What he's done so far is secure his essential naval base at Sevastapol in the Crimea, and gave aid, comfort, & limited 
military intervention to Eastern Ukraine separatists.

During  that same period, Ukranian military shot down a Maylasian passenger jet & made lots of scary faces at Putin, who's got other troubles besides. Thanks to US connivance w/ the Saudis & our temporarily lavish exports, the price of crude oil has been monkey-wrenched down 2 $75/bbl. That's Russia's main source of revenue, & the party's over 4 a while.

But what good is leadership if it can't handle a crisis now & then? Putin will come out of this smelling like, if not a rose, a marigold, and the Ukranians will probably shake off the fascist regime and interference in their affairs by NATO & the US. It'll start w/ agitation from below.

Friday, November 21, 2014

blogant de chat vendredi

 The Norwegian Forest Cat
is related to the lynx, & if
U look closely at the tips 
of her ears, you'll see 
a scaled-down version
of the little tufts of hair 
That typefy the larger 
species as well as this
particlar breed.

Friday, November 14, 2014

J'ai un trou dans ma tete


But it's better to have a hole in your head than it is to have your head in a hole.

I almost took down last Sunday's post, cuz I was in such a horrible place when I wrote it. In the end I decided to leave it, as part of the road map.

One of the symptoms of this little conditionette I have is depression. It's supposedly not existential -- just strictly an inside job, cause z brain isn't producing enough zip-7 to massaginate the hyper-cortisoid, or something like that -- but I'm pretty sure the election had some thing to do w/ my horrible state of mind.

It IS depressing 2 realize yo livin in a place where the vass majority have their heads in holes of 1 sort or another. Such people can be dangerous, & the history of germany in the 30's shows how bad we can get.

However, the worst thing about the sympyomatic depression that comes with a hole in the head is feel like you're dying...literally. You're not really, but you feel like U are. It can scare hell out of the people around you, U kno, cause you're sitting there goin "O this is it...Think I'm goin down 2 nite" & etc & c. But at the time you're sure it's happening, I mean it RILLY FILLS that way. It's I swear not just a pitch 4 attention or sympathy.

But then you wake up next morning, not dead, and actually feeling pretty good, & take a moderate i.e., Normal dose of yr meds and start wondering "What was that all about?" & you know it was just that hole in the head messin with yu.

That doesn't sound like much fun, & it's not, but it's still better than having your head in a hole.

Just ask the yolks in KANSASS.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

friday cat

On the sun porch, watching birds..

Sunday, November 09, 2014

buy partisan

I never liked the sound of that word "bipartisanship."

It means the corporate ruling class is united & on the move.

The Demolicans & Republicrats is a show put on 2 distract the gapes, tho The players R often quite sincere in their hatred of "the other side."

But They all get their money from the same sources.

4 anyone looking 4 real reform, there R 2 avenues possible:

Transform the Democrats, & pry the party off the corporate tit.

or start a new party with *0* ties 2 the big companies, the war machine, or the fundamentalist Christian establishment -- the People's Party if U will.

When the last Democrat is strangled with the entrails of the last Republican (Thanks M. Voltaire), we can begin 2 have a country here, built on the ruins of USA, Co. Inc.

Painting: George Grosz, (German), "Einpilarsdelasocietat" ("The Pillars of Society"), 1926.

Friday, November 07, 2014

freya'sday norsk skaukatt blogen

Felis Silvestris Catus on the couch in her fave location, on the sun porch.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

bill bored

I live with my partner in Mesa, AZ, one of the most boring places in the US. In fact, this town has been designated the ninth most boring American city by, a topical real estate blog.

Texas, with four towns in the top 10 & undisputed possession of the #1 spot, the city of Lubbock, must be the dullest & least happening place in the universe, excepting the Austin-Bastrop area.

Movoto's criteria for inclusion in this list measure such things as number of music venues, age demographics, and so forth. But I'll bet I could get similar results using one (1) datum: locally-owned independent businesses vs. national chains. I'm not talking fast food exclusively (& prevalence of fast food joints plays large in determining a place's boredom index), but also the sit-down chains: Shari's, Coco's, and even classier places, such as Gordon Beer's are unoriginal and predictable spots. A city can only be interesting if its businesses are interesting, and originality requires independence.

I've been in four of the towns on the list; Mesa, a retirement ghetto, is different from Sam Berdino or Stockton, CA., both of which are barrio-ghettoes, as is North Las Vegas. All four are the diametrical opposite, of places like San Francisco, or Port Townsend, WA, however, with their idiosyncratic, lively, and unpredictable business scenes.

The bottom line is that this is only a problem if the people in Mesa, Fort Wayne, & Lubbock see it as one, which they mostly don't.

Friday, October 31, 2014

friday cat blogging

Samilagata's new
favourite place is
the arm of the recliner
when I´m in it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

1968 again?

Charlie Pierce at Esquire  (dot com) did his last piece of the week (9/24) on the possibility that
things are sliding out of control right now like hasn't happened since 1968.
I've noticed that kind of intensity in the air lately, & to cap things off on Friday, a couple of shootings, at a school in Marysville, Washington, and an assassination of cops in Sacramento. 

I consider the NRA one of the world's premier terrorist organzations, on a par with.The bhoys from Islamic State.

That's just an opinion, though; there are no facts linking the NRA to what happened Friday, like there are linking them directly to the Ebola panic. Charlie explains that connection thoroughly, but that's not the topic here.

However, the details of the NRA/ebola/surgeon-general flap do raise the question: how and why can a bunch of yahoos like NRA be messing with processes of gov't like this? Who the fk elected them?  Today's school shooting was #87 since Sandy Hook (12/12). It was also the 3rd in WA state since May. All foreign observers can do is shake their heads and conclude we must be nuts.

And they're right.

My starting point on this issue is that rational firearms legislation is impossible in this political climate, partly due to the NRA, and largely because of the numbers of goobers in our population, NRA members or not, who think and sometimes say Obama is "coming for my guns."

Our only alternative is to attack those cultural aspects that give rise to this insanity, mainly the cult of macho, Dirty-Harryism, & "Shoot first, & ask questions later."

As long as we encourage or even tolerate such destructive attitudes among young men, we're going  to be a society held hostage by heavily-armed pinheads with cowboy mentalities.

Friday, October 24, 2014

the friday cat

                                    Don´t harsh my mellow, dude.

Sunday, October 19, 2014



In a fairly well-off country like the US, the poors (in reality, most of us) will find income inequality is sometimes survivable, sometimes not. People who are older and free of cancer or COPD are OK. but since most of us have (or have had) one or the other, most of us are liable to the pharma racket´s stay-alive ransom demands.

The pharma racket is one of the many rackets, frauds, and shakedowns the powerless masses have suffered the past 30 years (the crash of '08!) as capitalist brigands and land pirates do nothing illegal, since it is they who write the laws.

The problems here as elsewhere are political with a vengeance, informed by economics. Anyone can see that having more money than other people gives you more power than they've got, even in humble lives like yours and mine. Think of a time when you had a lot of money, compared to what you've had most of your life. Having more money gives you more options, is what it comes down to. 
If a person has enough money, he or she might have the option to exert this power in politics, and since the top 1/10th of one percent of income earners in the US has more money and hence more power today than they have in had in 100 yrs, they have seized ALL power. The act was a natural consequence of that much power in those few hands.

I can already hear some of the vampire pundits, for whom truth is like daylight, screaming about George Soros and other billionaires who give to Democrats. Soros is the founder and primary bankroller of the web site Media Matters, and it´s true that he and a number of other filthy rich are behind the Dems. The problem with this analysis is that this isn't about donkeys and elephants, that Soros and Bill Gates are part of the problem, and that in any case, for every dollar they spend trying to get people like Obama and Claire McCaskill in office, hundreds are disbursed by right wingers.
Income inequality is one on a list of things that are wrong that all link back to the same source. Consider:

1) The super rich who run the former republic of the United States of North America don´t want to pay taxes. They do pay some, but magically, not nearly in the amount they used to.

2) Because many of them derive a portion of their income from "defense" activities, they think we should whack anybody who doesn´t like us,  and for some mysterious reason, we always are whacking away.

3) They generally believe public employees make too much money. Is it any wonder then, that during the period of time this class of superrich have been in charge, basically the last 33 years, that public employee unions have been busted up, that teachers have been forced to relinquish wages and benefits, as if being robbed at gunpoint?

The friends of Mittens the Rombot and Phil Gram might screech about George Soros, but the real money and the real power is behind the anti-humanist movement that´s had this country locked up since St Ronald took the oath. 

Conspiracy is not necessary where people's interests intersect. But this class of owners has taken to meeting annually in the desert near Palm Springs, at a get-together put on by the Bros. Koch.

Can there be any doubt that this is the "bourgeois" old Karl Marx in his wisdom and naivete warned us about?  His take on it then was that we must do away with this ruling class "because its existence is incompatible with society." That´s truer today than it was when he wrote it, because the continued rummaging about of this class today threatens the life of the earth herself.

What should we do? Unfortunately, Karl Marx can´t help us. His diagnosis was better than his prescription and proposed cure. He had too  positive view of human nature. We who have lived through the 20th century wars and seen what came after won't make the same mistake.
Illustration by Donkey Hotey.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

the temple

The newest LDS temple,in a metro area that now has half a dozen, is an overwhelm- ing frenzy of straight lines and right angles. There is nothing natural about it, which is an observation that applies as well to the Mormon religion, a pastiche of Biblical literalism combined with a highly original but not very successful, from a critical literary standpoint, scriptural imitation,or forgery.

However, it must be successful enough, since LDS is the world's fastest-growing religion.

Having never experienced the dubious grandeur of a modern Mormon temple, I took the rare opportunity today to tour the new building in Phoenix. "Gentiles" are not ordinarily permitted entry to these places, where the most sacred rituals are enacted. We are, however, allowed usually 10 days of access, between the building's completion and its formal dedication, to view the treasures.

The tour itself consisted of walking  slowly in a compact group through narrow passage- ways hung with prints of scenes from the life of Christ. These open onto large rooms such as the baptistery with its huge, full-immersion font resting on the backs of 12 oxen, symbolizing the 12 Tribes of Israel. Unlike conventional Christianity, the central ritual of which is the eucharist, baptism seems the most important Mormon sacrament.

The other important spaces visitors are permitted to see include the "Celestial Room," which hints at the hygienically pristine joys of LDS heaven, and the "Sealing" rooms in which Mormon couples are married "for eternity."

No expense was spared in the embellishment of this place with its gold & cunningly wrought grates, as well as innumerable homogenized symbolic door pushers. But compared to the old Spanish Franciscan missions such as Tucson's ancient San Xavier del Bac, or humble San Miguel, near the central California coast, these grand & very expensive post-modern piles of Italian marble cubes, 21st-century LDS temples, are strictly Jesus comes to Howard Johnson's.

I understand the appeal of this essentially paternalistic and authoritarian religion, whose spiritual understanding is genuine, & centered on daily family life. The timeless and deeply conservative archetypes of the family banish uncertainty, with which the human race is plagued by natural circumstances, replacing it with immutable & changeless certainties. However, when HoJo Jesus comes to town with his gorgeous chestnut mane waving in the gentle breeze of the off-camera fan, his piercing blue eyes framed and set off by the carefully-cropped reddish beard, he comes to set limits, not to liberate.

Yes, your marriage will last forever, and your children will always be with you, and nothing ever really changes. I understand it at the same time I believe it's kind of a con, for two reasons 1)  because in this world, everything that arises passes away, & 2) because in our brief time on God's green earth, flexibility is strength, rigidity kills, and no one can ever be certain he's right.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

another black teen shot ahd killed by st louis police

It's becoming almost a weekly occurrence.

An off-duty St. louis cop working a security job shot and killed 18- yr. old Vonderrit Myers last Tuesday night.

Protests were immediate, & as usual the police version of events was completely different from that Of witnesses, some of whom are relatives Of the deceased.

Charlie Pierce @ saw it this way:

Police say that the officer got suspicious when he saw three young black males running away, and one of them was wearing his pants in such a way as to suggest he might have a gun. Police say the man with the suspicious pants fired first. Police say the officer then returned fire -- 17 times -- and the man in the suspicious pants was killed. Police say that a 9mm handgun was found at the scene and presumed to belong to the man in the suspicious pants. An angry crowd gathered. Harsh words were exchanged. Police cars were kicked and their windows smashed. The circumstances of this latest incident are ambiguous, but ambiguity died in St. Louis at the same time Michael Brown did.

Looking at stuff that's been coming in since that day, I'm fast reaching the conclusion that this kid was shot for wearing the wrong pants in the wrong way.
Maybe his ass was out. I dunno cause I wasn't there.

So I guess that's how it works for black people now. They're not to wear the wrong pants in the wrong way. That's a capital crime for brothers, and if you're a white boy doing that, you will be sternly admonished (for reals).

It's the old "divide and conquer" tactic, whether intended or accidental. Black people are on the front lines for sure, and whites have got 2 B there 2. I was encouraged by the number of white faces in the crowd that hit the streets immediately after last nigh's shooting.

If the cops can just walk up & shoot you down for wearing the wrong pants at the wrong time, and in the wrong way, we don't have a situation any more, we got a war. It's a war in which our only effective weapon is nonviolence, and people are already dying.

They're angels and martyrs as far as I'm concerned. Angels wearing raggedy-ass looking pants that hang out all over the place, and flash their buttocks

What else besides the pants accounts for the fact that young black men are 21 times more likely than white guys 2 get gunned down by the cops.

It's not establiished yet what happened.

"Police say" or "police allege" the kid shot three times in every version of the story I read.

His mom still claims he was unarmed.

The medical examiners report was issued yesterday, and it shows of the "7 or 8" rounds that struck

Myers, all of them hit him in the "lower extremities" except the one that killed him, a head shot.

That in itself sounds suspicious. There's been no ballistics report, the cops haven't introduced into evidence a pistol with Myers's prints on it that's been recently fired.

Our old friend Van Jones says nobody can trust the police. I wouldn't trust the cops in St Lou to tell the truth any farther than I could throw a grand piano.

However, the facts are still coming in. 

Sunday, October 05, 2014

on the border

It´s only a 2-hours drive, roughly, from Mesa to Tucson, which lies a little over 100 miles south of the Phoenix metropolis. Culturally, however, Tucson is a world away, & most of the city looks and feels like a Mexican town. Except for the gleaming downtown and gringo enclaves with names like  SageView Park, Parkview Sage, and Sage Parkview,

Mostly, the city consisists of  Mexican-type neighboroods, where people´s homes are small (some are tiny) & mostly built of unreinforced masonry with shingle roofs, and small, well-kept yards. Even a casual visitor like me can feel a difference between such places, and US suburbs which give the definite impression of being nowheres, although such feelings are indescribable.

After driving around somewhat aimlessly for a while, we found lunch downtown, then headed for the old Spanish mission of San Xavier del Bac, 10 miles south and a little west of town. This is an impressive historical and artistic site, with its gorgeous, assymetrical façade.

AS we approached the front of the old iglesia,  I wondered what occult or Biblical symbolism is expressed in the unmatched towers, but as it turned the 18th-century Jesuits who built the place uncharacteristically ran out of cash & credit.

The interior is as beautiful as the outside, There's been a
Catholic church here since before 1700, and ths place was sacred to the Indian inhabitants of this desert  back into the fog of  near-prehistory.

Moving inside, we found a hive of activity inside the church, uncharacteristic for a late Sunday afternoon. The feast of the Saint for whom the site is named was two days ago, and St. Xavier's wooden effigy is still laid out like a corpse just in front of the entrance to the east transept, in front of the altar.

Pilgrims have driven, walked, & literally crawled to this place for hundreds of years for the feast of  San Xavier del Bac (of the waters), & to touch the effigy's feet and face before pausing to lift his head and shoulders from the pallet he lies on. The legend behind the ritual is that only the pure of heart are able to lift Xavier's head from its resting place.

The present building was begun in the 1760's and never finished, although construction stopped in 1783. No one knows the names of the architect, interior designer, or individual artisans who created this church or its gorgeous interior .

Some might find the enthusiastic idolatry practiced here silly, or superstitious, or worse. Rituals like the one we saw today have been going on in this place before there was a USA, & the present building went up before there was a nation of Mexico. It's not up to the Gringos to judge the beliefs and behaviors of Old Mexico, and personally, I feel there's a timeless tranquility implicit in such  rituals

Supersitious? Maybe. But rationalists, as Dr. Jung reminds us, ignore the "psychological effect." 

Click on any of the photos to see them bigger.

Friday, October 03, 2014

friday cat blgging

Unhappy cat.

Sami's been hiding under furniture & refusing 2 B photographed. Apparently unhappy with the grooming for a desert climate she got yesterday, she refuses to show off her skinny bod w/ its big bunny feet.

She turns out to be a much smaller animal than I thought; she  appeared fat & fluffy, but turns out 2 have been merely...fluffy.

Good old Sam is glad to B home, tho, as we all R.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

situation normal afu

As we approach the end of our 12th year at war in Iraq with no end in sight, everything appears 2 B going as planned.

After a short break and a seasonal metamorphosis, the enemy has returned to the field, and our media functionaries are wetting themselves describing how ISIS is more terrorizing, more sadistic, and much more badass than even their al-Qaida predecessors

When our Big Brothers choreograph a war, they require each new incarnation of the enemy 2 be scarier than the one before, otherwise, the two-minutes hate becomes routine, an empty ritual.

You guys wanna know what I think?

2 bad, i'm gonna tell U anyway.

During a week on the road, I eavesdropped on conversations from Seattle to Boise to Salt Lake, and heard exactly zero (ø) people talking about ISIS or the war in Iraq. It was a lot different 12 years ago, if you'll recall.

Last Friday I turned on the tube for the first time since leaving Mesa last spring. There was ISIS, and the airstrikes, and "allies," and the usual lame analyses. It took me about 30 secs to realize I was watching a fkng TV show.

Really, other than in Iraq, TV is the ONLY place this war even exists.

It's hard to resist the conclusion that, like the two earlier Iraq War incarnations, this is strictly a TV war. For people who have never, or who no longer live in "TV Land," there is no war. And there never will be.

Joe Pentagon is, as usual, a little slow on the uptake. He still labors under the illusion that television is the all-poweful medium it once was. No so long ago -- as recently as 2002-03 -- it was easy for the bros 2 sell us a war. All they had 2 do was put it on the TV. 

But it seems many TV's throughout the land have gone dark. Their owners have switched them off voluntarily, and suddenly -- where's the war? Lose the telescreen and we lose our beloved Big Brother(s). is this a great country or what?