Friday, March 30, 2012

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Back in the 1960s, when Yuri Andropov was still the head of the KGB, before he succeeded Leonid Brezhnev in 1982 at the top of the pile in the old Soviet Union, he orchestrated a campaign to use mental hospitals to "treat" political dissidents.

People who protested the arrest of a writer or poet, or who wanted to try to get the Soviet government to live up to the tenets of the Helsinki Accords on Human Rights were rounded up, diagnosed with "sluggish schizophrenia" and shipped off to a mental hospital without trial.

I read a great book when I was in school, written by a guy named Vladimir Bukovsky, who'd been subjected to that treatment for about a decade in the 1960s and early '70s. After he was deported from the USSR in the late 1970s he wrote To Build a Castle about his experiences in the psychiatric gulag. It's an amazing story.

Anyway, you're probably wondering what the hell brought this up. Well, I just went through the news on my computer and read a few stories that shook this little memory out of the fog and dropped it back in my lap.

Seems that some silly asshat scientist has decided that all of those folks who doubt the connection between Global Warming, climate change and humans are suffering from a "sociological disorder".

Professor Kari Norgaard, who is currently appearing at the ‘Planet Under Pressure’ conference in London, has presented a paper in which she argues that “cultural resistance” to accepting the premise that humans are responsible for climate change “must be recognized and treated” as an aberrant sociological behavior.

Then I read another unrelated story claiming that "a research team led by University of Arkansas psychologist Scott Eidelman argues that conservatism — which the researchers identify as “an emphasis on personal responsibility, acceptance of hierarchy, and a preference for the status quo” (really?) — may be our default ideology. If we don’t have the time or energy to give a matter sufficient thought, we tend to accept the conservative argument."

So, we conservatives just don't think things out quite as well, and jump on the conservative crutch? I would have bet good money that the opposite was true. Read the article here. It's rich.

So, does that mean that lots of hard working families, maybe holding down two or three jobs, who manage to raise their kids correctly and save their money are socially or politically conservative because they just are too tired to think things through enough to be able to see the wisdom in high taxes and the unrelenting expansion of the Nanny/Welfare State?

Aaaah, OK. Yea, that makes perfect sense. I mean, I'll be the first to admit that there's some really bat-shit crazy right wingers out there. I mean, I know a few. Not naming names.

Our political discourse is pretty sour nowadays. Folks are so committed to their beliefs that they just don't want to have to listen to one another, and that's not good. But I'm amazed when I see people on the Left attempting to attribute skeptical, "inconsistent" or conservative views as some sort of aberrant behavior, as if the only really sane, sensible thought process is a liberal one. What balls they have! And they get government grants and research funding to try to substantiate that twisted shit? Yea, that's why I love to pay my taxes. How about you?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Has Sprung.

With the drouth and heat we endured last summer, I wasn't expecting to see too many Bluebonnets this year. But we had a fairly mild, wet winter, and after this last blast of rain, something like 6 inches in 12 hours, the flowers have begun to pop up in the fields and along the roads.

Lupinus texensis, or the Texas Bluebonnet, is our national flower (Yes, we are a nation unto our self. Ask anyone, they'll tell ya). We all love the spring, sadly short it may well be, because we have all these wonderful colors to look forward to. And, as well all know, those of us who live in Texas, the spring doesn't just bring out the Bluebonnets. You also see fields of red poppies, Indian Paintbrush, and pink or yellow buttercups.

And yes, inevitably, unavoidably...

Big, fat-assed women, draggin' their kids into the fields to tromp all over the flowers and get that special picture to send to all their fat-assed, mouth breather relatives. Ahhhhh, springtime!

"Damn it, smile! I needs to go to KFC." I hope she don't fall on the kid. I'm just sayin'... Cheers.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Denise and I took my Momma out to eat Friday night, as usual.

Last week, Denise was in Kentucky visiting her kids. Mom and I went to the Olive Garden and had a wonderful meal. We always take turns with the check. Whoever has to pay gets to pick the venue. This last week it was Denise's turn, and she picked the Cotton Patch in Temple Mall.

We started out with some bread rolls, and a half order of their fried mushrooms... "Our famous deep-fried mushrooms served with honey mustard dressing just for dipping." I could kill a full order of those juicy babies all by my lonesome, but I always feel better, less bloated in the end if I don't indulge. I also save the honey mustard sauce that comes with the shrooms. EVERYTHING tastes better with honey mustard sauce.

For her dinner, Momma picked the "Shiner" Fish and Chips Basket... "Flaky, tender white fish filets hand-dipped in our secret Shiner Bock beer-batter recipe."

I got to sample some of the fish (she never can finish one of these meals), and it was pretty good.

I chose the Fried Shrimp Basket... "8 traditional-style shrimp deep-fried. Served with (two) hushpuppies." You can see that I'd already killed off three shrimp and one hushpuppy by the time I thought about taking any pictures. I guess I'm out of practice.

Denise chose the Patty Melt... "Hamburger patty, Swiss cheese, grilled onions on rye bread." I've had that several times myself, and know it's a great tasting treat.

Thing is, I don't need to order one, any more than I need to order the fish and chips. I know from past experience that I'll get to finish at least half of Mothers meal, and sometimes as much of Denise's. Oh, they take stuff home from time to time, but not this last Friday night. I got to kill off at least half of Mom's fish, and the last bite of Denise's.

Yep, I'm an eating machine.

After the meal we drove mom back to her house for a long visit and a little after-dinner tipple. On the way, we stopped to check out the Bluebonnets that have been popping up along the roads of our fair state since the last big rain. 

The flowers are looking wonderful this year (more about that later). After spending a few hours at mom's place watching TV, Denise drove us home, where we relaxed, beginning the weekends routine. Oh, there'll be laundry and yard work to do, but I'll avoid it all as long as I can.

I finished my second University of Phoenix class last Thursday night, and got the grades posted this morning. Here's hoping that my "trial period" ends and I start getting assigned more classes on a more regular schedule. Here's hopin'. 

Anyway, that's enough for now. I'll try to post stuff here more often than I have (like, more than once a year). Hope everything is going well where you are. Cheers.