Saturday, August 31, 2013


  • I met the one woman in all the world who would put up with me. How lucky is that?
  • I'm very grateful for being left handed, for having played left field, and for leaning left in my politics. 
  • Although I don't fancy myself to be very good with children, we have two good one's.
  • I was taught to never feel superior to anyone. Only luckier.
  • I didn't make a lot of money professionally, but I feel good about what I did.
  • I have way too much stuff, but most of it sings to me.
  • I've known lots of good people, and very few bad one's.
  • To have almost died makes you feel lucky. You discover it's a lot harder to life than it is to die. And living takes a lot more luck.



Friday, August 30, 2013


Military worship.


Douglas Adams
“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”
Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Will Obama Go Alone? | Common Dreams

Will Obama Go Alone? | Common Dreams

Obama can't possibly be this dumb. Can he?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Beware: Hurricane Marco Rubio Set To Pound Eastern Seaboard, Eye of Michele Bachmann Just Off Florida | Common Dreams

Beware: Hurricane Marco Rubio Set To Pound Eastern Seaboard, Eye of Michele Bachmann Just Off Florida | Common Dreams


John Green
“We have this weird thing in the world where you don't get insulted for what you do, you get insulted for who you are.”
John Green


  1. Rush Limbaugh
  2. A klan rally.
  3. A squirrel riding on the back of an armadillo.
  4. The Jim Rose Freak Show.
  5. A group of priests protesting an abortion clinic, as though they could possibly understand.
  6. I saw an alien once that looked like George Bush, Jr.
  7. I thought I saw God on a piece of toast, but I think it was drugs.
  8. Coming up over the hill, I swore I saw Bigfoot. Ended up it was just my friend, who is 6'8" and weighs 300lbs. He was dressed for church.
  9. Some things are scary weird, like the Arkansas State legislature.
  10. Not much happens that is very normal anymore. It all seems weird.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On War and Love | Common Dreams

On War and Love | Common Dreams


Racists are nothing more than scared people hiding behind false beliefs.


Groucho Marx
“While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.”
Groucho Marx


I give my money to a financial adviser. He makes enough money off of it to pay himself a handsome percentage. This is supposedly good for me. I'm definitely thinking I'm on the wrong side of this proposition.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Right-winged ideology is everywhere. From the Arkansas House to the outhouse, right-winged, Christian, Republican ideology is spreading its garbage over the whole state. And way too many Arkansas people are lapping it up. It cloaks itself in Christianity and patriotism, making a mockery out of both. In the absence of thinking, it is much easier to spew out a line of "God Bless America", never thinking for a moment that God might bless all of His creation, not just Americans. People wave flags, not understanding in the slightest that democracy calls for justice, citizen participation, compromise, compassion, and unwavering loyalty to human life, not painted cloth or religious preference. The flag now seems to stand for domination, militarism, capitalism, Christianity, and a world order featuring right-winged fascist ideology. It is a tragic time in America's history, but a hopeful one. All of this will soon end. Not all American's are morons.


▶ Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - Bloody Sunday Sessions - YouTube

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Mahatma Gandhi
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”  



Friday, August 16, 2013

RS'Jaw-Dropping' Record of Violations Reveals Perils of NSA Self-Policing | Common Dreams

'Jaw-Dropping' Record of Violations Reveals Perils of NSA Self-Policing | Common Dreams

Our tea-sipping Congressman, Tom Cotton, is still telling audiences that no Americans were involved in the NRS's surveillance operations. He is either misinformed or flat out lying.


  • They oppose unionization. They close stores rather than negotiate a contract.
  • Unfair competition with small businesses. They've become so big, no one can match their price.
  • They are into homogenized globalization. What's good for America is good for the rest of the world.
  • Unfair treatment of employees, particularly woman.
  • Unfair buying practices. They dictate the price they will pay. They have driven many business owners out of business by demanding low prices, and inferior quality.
  • Endorse sweatshop clothing. They've even at times denied this, in spite of clear evidence to the contrary.
  • Unfair treatment of non-Christian would-be hires, employees, and makers of products.
  • They will take any tax breaks they can get from communities they build in, in spite of being the world's richest retail company and are owned by the world's richest family.
  • They've taken on a cavalier "don't challenge us" attitude. They have a security system bigger and better than some countries, and a fleet of high paid lawyers ready to challenge anyone who stands up against them.
  • They buy low, sell low, and pay their employees low. They are, by-and-large, pretty low.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The "otherness" of the gated community

I would have never guessed I would be a resident of a gated community. I'm really not the type.

For one, I am not paranoid that the poor, or minorities, are after me, or my money. I pretty much trust everyone. While there are plenty of bad people to go around, I don't get stressed about it. In fact, I see about as many people willing to con me out of my hard earned dollars inside the Village as outside.

The idea of sameness is troubling to me. Gates seem to produce white, Christian, Republican, communities. Diversity is looked upon with fear and skepticism. Things seem to be going on outside the gates that are to be feared. So it is best to come together with people like yourself, of the same approximate social class, who drive the same cars, live in the same big homes, play together in places where outsiders need special permission to be. Only the home builders, maids, and yard tenders might be different.

Individual rights are forfeited for the good and the survival of the community. Everything needs to be regulated. The eventual cost of this is to lose sight of the individual in favor of the POA. The "normal" rules outside of the gates are replaced by rules and rule-makers who are loyal to the organization, not to the people. The preservation of the community becomes more important than the people who live inside the gates.

So I can hear you saying, Why live here? Or, Why not move? That would be the same "love it or leave it" mentality that has been used on persons questioning some of the things the government does in the name of justice, safety, and democracy. That mentality is exactly what happens when the above occurs. When you build a community, or an organization, that does not allow for dissent, you have built a system that will fail. That's why I would stay. To push us away from the conventional wisdom of the gated community, where everything looks the same, sounds the same, and smells like racism. Hot Springs Village could be a great place, if only......


Excessive profit equates to greed. There is no other explanation.

A Guide to the Deceptions, Misinformation, and Word Games Officials Use to Mislead the Public About NSA Surveillance | Common Dreams

A Guide to the Deceptions, Misinformation, and Word Games Officials Use to Mislead the Public About NSA Surveillance | Common Dreams

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I see Tom Cotton has made his first Senate campaign stop here in The Village. He immediately misrepresents himself by assuring the crowd that their phone calls and e-mails are not being intercepted by the government. This is either a statement made out of ignorance, or he is flat out lying. Phone records have been collected by the NSA since a court order signed by the secret court was given to the FBI on April 25. Millions of U.S. citizen phone calls have been turned over by Verizon. The Guardian made this public in June, after receiving a copy of the secret order. Mr. Cotton is either too busy campaigning to keep up with current events, or is over-using his attorney skills at misrepresenting the facts. Regardless, it shows how bad his campaign is going to be at misrepresenting the truth to justify his positions on numerous topics. And I'm sure the Village Republicans fell for it all. They are inclined to believe a lot of nonsense.
(As a side note: I noticed the American flag right behind him during his presentation. The picture was in the Village Voice. Nice touch).


Gaming Surveillance: Obama As Misleading, Control-Freak Dad | Common Dreams


Dawna Natzke's boyfriend goes from "person of interest" to "suspect" in a year and a half after her murder. The Village Voice reports it took this long due to "the FBI analyzing phone records, which turned out to be a lengthy process". I guess we all look dumb. The real reason more likely has to do with everyone trying to figure out how to cover up a botched investigation by the Village police department, who should have done nothing concerning the investigation, since they all would have all been prime suspects due to Dawna working with them. This is an unusual place to live. It's always something.


I have been looking over the Police Report in the Village Voice the last couple of weeks. It's a bit scary. Two things strike me as being almost at epidemic proportions:
  1. There are repeated stories of drunk driving. Often, it appears to be some of the same people. The police do not quite seem to know what to do. They appear at times reluctant to arrest the person, probably for a number of reasons, not the least of which is they would have to transport them to Benton. It also is not very good publicity for the Village. In one report, a car was seen driving erratic, but the person got home before the police arrived. In Illinois, this person could still be arrested, if witnesses saw the car on the road, and perhaps the engine is still hot when the police arrive. Maybe it's different in Arkansas, a lot of things are. Maybe it's different in The Village. A lot of things are. I definitely get the feeling it is not being handled in a way that will help the person, or the community. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE.
  2. A lot of the stories also seem to be related to dementia. These are hard and difficult situations. (Of course, a lot of the dementia can be alcohol induced). If these people are living alone, that makes it all the harder to deal with. Someone needs to follow up on these situations to see if someone, anyone, can intervene. Perhaps there are family members living elsewhere who have not been made aware of the problem. We sometimes feel like we are interfering in the persons life, but the interference needs to occur for the safety of the person and the community. (Particularly if they are continuing to drive). 
These are two hard and reoccurring themes in our community. They should not be ignored. If allowed to continue on, both situations will lead to a tragic ending. A CARING COMMUNITY HAS TO INTERVENE.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dear Mr. Congressman

It's not the roadkill that stinks in Arkansas. It's the Cotton.


▶ The Nightwatchman (Tom Morello) - "Alone Without You" - YouTube


▶ Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Man On Fire [Official Video] - YouTube


Suicide. I've thought about suicide a lot over the years. Professionally, that is. I worked in the field of mental health and substance abuse for 30 years. My first job in mental health was on an emergency response team. I saw someone shot himself in the head. It's one of those things you never forget. Over the years I've wondered about people who kill themselves. I can think of at least 5-6 other suicides during my 30 years. The emptiness they must feel in themselves. The loss of hope that things can get better. The courage they must have. Is it a courageous act? One of desperation? Selfish? Sane? Insane? I don't pretend to understand it, but I do accept it. People have that right, however wrong we might think it to be. In the end, it's you and your life. For better or worse, it always comes down to you, no matter how we'd like to change it, or what we think about it. It is always you. Wrong, cowardly, thoughtless, sinful, whatever words we put to it, none of them are deep enough, or sufficient enough, to meet the emptiness that the person must be feeling. It is a hollow feeling we are left with, filled with sorrow, regret, lose, and the presence of an unfulfilled history. We may not have done what we could have, or said what we should have, but in the end, it was not our life to make or take. Always, in the end, it is your life to live or end. Some thirty-five years after I witnessed that suicide, I still cry at the thought and fumble for the words to describe it. But it was his decision, not mine. I have to live with that. The game ended. There was no winner. Stalemate.


I have a dream of departure,
I have a dream beyond brick quotas,
I have a dream beyond the regime of exploitation and fear,
I have a dream outside the zone of strategically
designed suffering.

Walter Brueggemann, "Journey to the Common Good"


▶ Elvis Costello and Mumford & Sons - The Ghost of Tom Joad & Do Re Mi Medley (Acoustic Cover) - YouTube

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Glenn Greenwald
“I'd like to vote for the candidate similar to the one the Right absurdly claims Obama is.”
Glenn Greenwald

Thursday, August 8, 2013


"That's our man. He's got Cotton balls."
The Peever


I see our tea-sipping Congressman Cotton has decided to run for the Senate. He must fancy himself to be pretty good. Two extreme right-wing PAC's immediately backed him. He's going down. He wouldn't even make a good Hot Springs Village director, although I'm afraid most of Hot Springs Village will vote for him. It's amazing how dumb rich people can be.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


There are not many things better in life than a rhubarb custard pie. As it works out, one might be a Dutch apple pie, with a scoop of Breyer's Vanilla.

As WalMart Writes Checks, Critics Blast Teach for America | Common Dreams

As WalMart Writes Checks, Critics Blast Teach for America | Common Dreams

Corporations want to teach our children how to follow their lead, which is to make profit at the expense of anything or anyone. 

In Bid for Tanks, NH Police Label Protest Groups 'Terrorists' | Common Dreams

In Bid for Tanks, NH Police Label Protest Groups 'Terrorists' | Common Dreams

Law enforcement has gone nuts. They are afraid of all the guns around. They want theirs to be bigger. They should try viagra.

Monday, August 5, 2013


“We owe Clint Eastwood a debt of thanks. Not only because it was truly a hilarious twelve minutes of improvised "awesome" in a week of scripted "blah".

But because it advanced our understanding.

This president has issues, and there are very legitimate debates about his policies and actions, and successes and or failures as president - I mean, tune in next week. But I could never wrap my head around why the world, and the president republicans describe, bears so little resemblance to the world and the president that I experience. And now I know why :

There is a president Obama that only republicans can see”
Jon Stewart, Miscellaneous Writings


If you are anything but rich and think the Republican Party is going to give you a break, you better get a proctology exam to see if your head is up your ass.

Fighting the GOP’s Hateful Agenda – Without Hate | Common Dreams

Fighting the GOP’s Hateful Agenda – Without Hate | Common Dreams

Sunday, August 4, 2013


There's nothing wrong with being religious, so long as you mean to do something good with it.

SUNDAY MORNING HYMN-Alison Krauss-A Living Prayer.wmv


"Do not think of knocking out another person's brains because he differs in opinion from you. It would be as rational to knock yourself on the head because you differ from yourself ten years ago."
Horace Mann



Saturday, August 3, 2013

Dave Matthews Band - The Dreaming Tree (Live at Piedmont Park DVD) - part 1

Murder in the City (LIVE) HD - The Avett Brothers

Mumford and Sons - Little Lion Man


Boomers love music. I am no exception. My son is a musician, so I keep up with the new stuff. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:

  1. "Little Lion Man," Mumford and Sons
  2. "Holy Water," Big and Rich
  3. "Murder in the City," Avett Brothers
  4. "Whoa Mule," Black Crows
  5. "The Dreaming Tree," Dave Matthews
  6. "The General,"  Dispatch
  7. "Old Enough,"  The Raconteurs
  8. "The Stone," Phillip Phillips
  9. "The Boy Who Couldn't Hoe Corn,"  Alison Krauss and Union Station
  10. "He Got All The Whiskey," John Martyn and Eddi Reader (only on YouTube)
There you have it. Add some of your own. As the wise sage Bob Marley said, "One good thing about music,when it hits you, you feel no pain." Good advice for those of us who are getting older.


Emma Goldman

Friday, August 2, 2013




  • I move to Arkansas just in time for it to turn right-wing, tea-bag Republican. We got a state legislature out of the Dark Ages. I'm guessing it's some kind of trick the Devil is playing on me. None-the-less, it's very disheartening. The first time since reconstruction that the state legislature is Republican. Looks like  the state has succumbed to gross stupidity for the second time. And I have to be here to witness it.
  • I thought Obama would do a much better job than he has. I really thought we were poised to move forward. I can imagine the various pressures a President must be under, but I never thought he would turn Republican over them. What we get is a health-care plan that no one can understand; a movement from occupational war to remote war; 24 hour a day spying on all of us; rigorous prosecution of anyone who dares to tell the truth about what is going on behind the scenes of our government; and doing nothing to change the tide from the rich getting richer and the poor just plain getting it. To say I've lost my faith is to dramatically understand it. I'm holding on to the knowledge that he is better than Romney or anyone else on the scene, but that's starting to wear real thin.
  • Where are all these right-wing Christians coming from? I didn't think so many people could be so stupid most of the time. Politics plus religion seems to be adding up to morons capable of doing anything, including electing people who are going to put them in the poor house. Christ wouldn't put up with these jokers for a second. I'm losing my faith over them, but be careful who you tell. They'll think I'm a Muslim.
  • Now Bradley Manning is going to be sentenced to years in prison for telling the truth. Out of a duty to his country, he exposed what the government was doing in Afghanistan. No make-believe. No doctored pictures. All simply the truth. For that he is found guilty of espionage. That leaves the rest of us wondering what we can say about our government when it is found to be doing something against our better interests? This results in a gigantic step away from democracy. It leaves me running out of faith, but I'm going to be careful who I tell.

Thursday, August 1, 2013


Arkansas is currently an embarrassment for anyone with a brain. Well, a functioning brain.

We Are Not For Sale: Health Care, Not Cookies | Common Dreams

We Are Not For Sale: Health Care, Not Cookies | Common Dreams

North Carolina is in the running for the stupidest state in the union, along with Arkansas. It's neck and neck.


Arkansas in the news again. A school district is arming the teachers and other staff with guns. Only morons can possibly think that this is going to help. They'll end up shooting themselves, one another, and unfortunately, innocent people. Now you don't have to carry a gun into that school. You already know they are there. The legislature has embarrassed the entire state.  And the school district was dumb enough to go right along with them. Another strike against humankind. Soon we will once again need to crawl out of the primordial ooze, although most Arkansas citizens don't believe in evolution. They'll probably stay in it. The ooze.


Some cheap advice-information:
  1. Try going without alcohol for 3-6 months. If you have a difficult time, or can't, you're probably it. An alcoholic.
  2. Alcohol is a depressant. After the first drink, it will not make you feel better. In counseling terms, one drink is one 12oz. beer, one ounce and a half shot of 80 proof liquor, or a 5-6 oz glass of wine. Each of those drinks will give you about the same amount of alcohol in your system.
  3. The best drinkers have the highest tolerance levels. Anyone bragging about how much they can drink is probably an alcoholic. AS YOU AGE, YOUR TOLERANCE LEVEL BEGINS TO FALL. This is called reverse tolerance. Many drinkers in Hot Springs Village are experiencing reverse tolerance. Where once you could drink a six-pack, or 3 mixed drinks, now you get drunk on 3 beers or 1 mixed drink.
  4. It is illegal to drive in Arkansas with a blood alcohol level at or above .08. The biggest factor in measuring blood alcohol level is weight. The bigger you are, the more you can drink before reaching a .08 blood level. Other factors include drinking on an empty stomach, how fast you drink, the alcohol content in your drinks, fatigue, and being female. 
  5. People generally speaking cannot stop on their own. Something generally has to happen. A DUI, a spouse leaving, an accident, an intervention, lose of job, etc. We do not like to admit we are having a problem with alcohol, or other drugs. We have traditionally called this denial. It can be very strong, and an alcoholic will protect him or herself at extreme costs to themselves and others. It is almost unbelievable.Treatment is usually required, on an outpatient, or in-patient basis. Alcoholics Anonymous has been very effective in helping people overcome addiction.
  6. Alcohol is a family disease. It affects everyone in the family. When treating alcoholism, the entire family should be seen. This requires someone trained in family therapy, specifically. 
Many people can drink without experiencing problems. We would call this responsible social use. About a third of adult drinkers fall into this category. Unfortunately, about one in ten drinkers will develop alcoholism, for various reasons. If you know of anyone struggling with their drinking, encourage them to seek help. It will not help them if you try to protect them from the consequences of their drinking. This is not easy for a spouse or son or daughter, or neighbor, to do this, but necessary to start the healing process. I've seen literally thousands of people recover from various addictions. IT IS POSSIBLE.


         1.  Just because you have a heart beat or brain-wave doesn't mean 
              a thing.
2.  Are you raising some kind of hell?
3.  Do you wake up in the morning grateful for the opportunity to make life better for someone else?
4.  Have you ever felt, just for a second, that you might be connected to everything else?
5.  Do you say you're sorry when you need to?
6.  Have you helped someone without expecting anything in return?
7.  Do you cry when you see people suffering?
8.  Can you accept the fact that you may be wrong sometimes?
9.  Somewhere in your heart, do you feel it is wrong to kill others in the pursuit of peace and democracy?
10. Blood pressure, heart beat, pulse, breathing, all have something to do with life, but little to do with living it.


"You have to want to lose your appetite for violence or aggression. And to do that, you have to lose your self-righteousness."
Pena Chodron