Nobel winner Garcia Marquez dies at 87

Nobel winner Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87 | Reuters.

100 Years of Solitude, one of the few novels I have read twice. And I don’t remember most of it, so may be it’s time to read it again.

Some see

Some see the same things change with time, and others see time change many things.


Welfare Ranching, a great tete a tete in favor of the desert tortoise

Welfare Ranching Show Down in Nevada

There is a silly little drama going on in Nevada and the Neo Cons, the militias and the welfare ranchers would have us believe there is another Waco about to happen.

For some strange reason I am on the Conservative Daily mailing list. I think they confused the word “conservation” with the word “conservative.”

Joe Otto who I assume speaks for the Conservative Daily sent me this message today (below) and I could not resist responding to it.

It’s all about a rancher named Cliven Bundy who has not paid his grazing fees since 1990 and is now upset that the government has come to collect over two decades in back fees.

You see, Cliven believes that he has every right to graze his cows free of charge on public land. It’s called welfare ranching and they believe their “right” to feed at the public trough trumps the right of endangered species to exist.

So I decided to inject my comments into Otto’s somewhat hysterical letter defending Cliven and his fellow welfare ranchers from the tyranny of Obama. You see when anything happens they don’t agree with, Obama is always at fault, and Obama is especially at fault when the thing the Neo Cons are upset with is something initiated by one of the two former Bush Presidents like this particular case.

Anyhow, this is Otto’s letter with my comments.

Dear Conservative, (PW: You mean dear conservationist Otto. You were addressing me I think.)

By now you have probably heard about the crisis surrounding the Bundy Ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada. In case you haven’t, here is the basic synopsis.

(PW: Yes the Fox Network has their undies in a knot over this, which means it is hardly a major story elsewhere.)

Cliven Bundy is a cattle rancher whose family has lived near Bunkerville, NV for the last 140 years. The Bundy family’s cattle have always grazed on what had always been state-owned, public land. In 1993, the Federal Government discovered that Bundy’s grazing area was also home to the endangered Desert Tortoise. As a result, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) swooped in and took over control of the land. In order to dissuade farmers and ranchers from using the land and threatening the tortoise population, the BLM instituted a policy where ranchers would be forced to pay a grazing fee before using the land.

(PW: Let me see, the Bundy family has lived on the land for 140 years and the desert turtle has lived there for hundreds of thousands of years. The Bundy family took their land by force from Native Americans but the turtles were there even before the Native Americans. In 1993, the government did not discover that the grazing area was home to the turtle. They knew that. What they discovered was that the turtle was endangered and one probable cause was over-grazing by rancher Bundy’s cows.)

For Cliven Bundy, this was an unacceptable affront to his livelihood. His family has lived off this land for over a century, long before the creation of the BLM, and the idea that he would now have to pay a tax to protect a turtle was nothing short of absurd.

(PW: To the turtles it is an unacceptable affront to their right to survive as a species. Rancher Bundy believes the turtle’s right to survive is absurd yet he believes he has a God-given right to graze his cattle for profit at public expense. It is also not a tax but a grazing fee. In exchange for the fee, Bundy gets to graze his cattle. Bundy wants free food for his cows at public expense. In other words he wants welfare.)

So, Bundy refused to pay the tax. He allowed his cattle to graze on the land and didn’t pay the federal government a dime to do it. Why should he? The land is technically state-owned public land, yet the federal government want’s a cut because of an endangered turtle. Well, after twenty years of court battles, the Bureau of Land Management has finally swooped in and begun confiscating Bundy’s cattle at gunpoint to pay the $1.1 million that he owes in back “grazing fees” for using public land! This is absurd and should be a wake-up call to everyone! The government doesn’t care about common sense or decency… these militarized agencies and bureaus will use every law, regulation, and technicality to come after YOU with the full weight of the Federal government!

(PW: The law assessed a fee and rancher Bundy refused to pay the fee for over two decades and now he seems surprised that the government has called to collect back fees. Otto states the land is state owned and public but somehow rancher Bundy has a right to use it free of charge. Bundy owes back fees and the government is collecting those back fees by the confiscation of the cattle that Bundy has been raising at the expense of the public. It’s a classic case of welfare ranching where the rancher believes he is entitled to have his animals raised for slaughter at public expense. I hope the government does use every law, regulations and technicality to collect the back fees and to protect the right of the turtles to survive.)

Tell Congress to STOP the out-of-control militarization of agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and put an end to the Obama administration’s intimidation tactics!

(PW: I intend to tell Congress in the words “Good on you for defending the turtles and enforcing the grazing fees.”

How despicable is this… The federal government is seizing a rancher’s cattle because he didn’t pay a $1.1 Million “grazing fee” that was set up to protect a damn turtle! Anyone with half a brain can see that this is ludicrous… yet the government continues to wage its war on Cliven Bundy and proceeds to seize his cattle at gunpoint.

(PW: If anyone else does not pay their bills, they forfeit their property. Why should ranchers be exempt and above the law. Why should the public support Cliven’s damn cows? Why do his damn cows have more rights than the desert tortoise? The government is not waging war on Bundy, they are simply enforcing the law. Personally I disapproved of the fee myself. He should have been banned completely from grazing his cows on the land occupied by an endangered species.”)

I’ve said it before: It is absolutely ridiculous that we have so many militarized, non-law enforcement agencies in government. Agencies like the Department of Education, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the IRS, and even the Bureau of Land Management have been arming themselves to the teeth for years.

(PW: I’ve never seen an armed IRS agent, That would be scary, hell they are scary enough unarmed. I have certainly never seen an armed member of the Department of Education but considering all the school shootings, that might not be a bad idea. A law has been broken and it is being enforced. Pretty damn straight forward to me.)

Now, the full weight of the government has come down on the Bundy ranch. There are snipers watching the family’s movements, armed agents rounding up cattle, and the BLM has effectively made the whole area a “constitution free zone,” or at least that’s what they want it to be. The land is public land on a public road. Yet, anyone who wants to protest the government’s tyrannical actions is limited to doing so within a preset “First Amendment Zone” set up by government officials.

(PW: Can someone tell me where in the Constitution it says that ranchers have the right to graze for free on public land? The land as Otto says is public land on a public road. It is not Clive Bundy’s land. It is however turtle land. Thank you United States government for defending our endangered turtles. As for snipers, the fact is with dozens of trigger happy militia nut bars in camo, armed to the teeth, the deployment of snipers seems like a reasonable response. I admit the First Amendment zone is unacceptable but by order of the Governor of Nevada it has been taken down.)

That is ridiculous, and the protesters have fanned out, taking their frustration directly to the federal agents. In the last two days, one protester has been tackled to the ground and another has been shot with a stun gun. Now, militias from around the country have been mobilized and are beginning to arrive in Nevada to defend the ranch from this clearly tyrannical action. One county official warned the “inbred” militiamen (his words, not mine) from neighboring Utah that if they come to Cliven Bundy’s aid, then they “better have funeral plans.”

(PW: Oh no not the Mormons!!! I hope this is not another Mountain Meadow Massacre. It is amazing to see so many ultra conservatives ready to rise up and die to defend welfare rights for ranchers. Oh the tyranny of collecting unpaid bills.)

How despicable is that? Rather than defend the local rancher against the government thugs, the local Clark County Commissioner is actually threatening people if they show up to help him!

(PW: Yes I would imagine that the Clark County Commissioner would be opposing mob rule. When a bunch of wild eyed men in camo arrive with heavy weaponry it is reasonable for the County Commissioner to condemn their invasion of his county.)

I pray to God that there isn’t bloodshed. I really hope that the Federal government realizes that they are waging this war over nothing but a damn turtle and pull back. I mean, think about it… people could actually die over a dispute over cattle grazing on a turtle sanctuary… What on earth is this world coming to?

(PW: It is a world where human greed is eradicating endangered species and diminishing biodiversity. Otto you said it yourself, it’s a turtle sanctuary. It seems to me that people would be making a decision to risk dying for some damn cow. I think the turtle is much more deserving, after all it is a sanctuary for turtles. This is not a dispute over a turtle anyhow, it is a dispute over the fact that a welfare rancher has refused to pay his grazing bill.)

The fact remains that this is just one of the latest attempts for the Federal government to use loopholes to seize property for the “common good.” There is a case in Colorado where a couple’s mountain cabin is being seized and demolished to create “open space.” The government is actually using eminent domain to seize a piece of property just to create more open space.

(PW: If you build a cabin on public land you don’t have rights to the land just because you built the cabin. People have seized too much open space for their own use and by doing so they deprive nature of open space for wildlife. Nature needs more open spaces, more turtles and fewer cows.)

Rather than using common sense and restraint, the Federal government looks for every opportunity to come down hard on average citizens! This has to stop!

(PW: If citizens are a threat to the survival of an endangered species they should be stopped. Welfare ranchers are not average citizens, they are people who have grown rich at the public expense.)

The government shouldn’t be allowed to levy $1.1 Million fines on hard working Americans because their family’s ranch’s historical grazing grounds are now occupied by an endangered turtle! Americans from across the country shouldn’t have to mobilize in order to fend off tyrannical government agents!

(PW: It is not a fine, it’s a grazing fee, a fee that rancher Bundy has refused to pay for over two decades. Bundy’s lands are not now being occupied by an endangered turtle. The turtle’s land is being occupied by Bundy’s cattle.)

What if the government came into your home or business and threatened you because of a technicality or nonsense regulation? Things like this happen every day across America because we have given the Executive branch and its numerous agencies too much power over our lives!

(PW: When the U.S. Court and the IRS came after us for defending whales they were acting on the request of the Japanese whalers, I did not see many conservatives defending our rights to defend the whales. No most of them were defending the “right” of Japanese whalers to use American courts to stop American whale defenders.)

The Obama administration wouldn’t even send in one soldier to protect our ambassador in Benghazi, but it has sent in over 200 agents to harass a rancher in Nevada! This is despicable! The time has come to rein in these out of control, militarized government agencies. Congress must put an end to the Obama administration’s intimidation tactics!

(PW) Wow, they actually managed to fit Libya into their rant. That’s a stretch. The law removing free grazing rights came under the George H. Bush administration, not Obama.)

Tell Congress to STOP the out-of-control militarization of agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and put an end to the Obama administration’s intimidation tactics!

I will tell them in the words of George W. Bush, “Go get ‘em boys.” We need to put an end to Welfare ranching.

Joe Otto
Conservative Daily

About the job, by Celeste Goyer

About the job….yes. That fleeting moment of triumph when you get the job is then succeeded by the realization you actually have to do it on a daily basis.

((You’re fucking awesome, Celeste))

About the job

About the job

I love ever-y cat (thanks to Glenna Thompson for posting this on FB)

WEell, sort of the antithesis (or antidote?) to Paul Sprawl… by Songify

“Crows & Snow,” by Sprawl & Whittle

Evocative new song and video/ dance piece by Paul Sprawl and Leralee Whittle.

Two Women Repurpose Graffiti To Empower Women in Detroit – The Daily Beast

Fantastic and intriguing. I love projects like this.

Two Women Repurpose Graffiti To Empower Women in Detroit – The Daily Beast.

On the Third Day

One of the email conversations I had today, starting at 5 AM when I woke up totally frozen with dread of going to the new JOB on the third day…

Well, on this one I agree with Jeff. In practical terms, it’s MUCH more important for you to get back out into the workplace and back into the swing of a regular job, than to hold out for something that feels right. It’s essential to bear in mind that THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR HAS FOUND THAT EMPLOYERS ARE FAR LESS LIKELY TO HIRE AN UNEMPLOYED PERSON THAN SOMEONE WHO ALREADY HAS A JOB. If you’re not working, you will have a much tougher time finding work! You need stuff on your resume, and you’re fortunate to have the opportunity to get on the path to your next job – hopefully, the job you want.

In more philosophical terms,of course we all wish we could do work that matches up with what we want and need, but few of us have that choice. It’s a small minority of people who consistently enjoy and find gratification in their jobs. And It’s the rare person who finds their ideal work right out of the gate – it takes time to get there. I’ve had plenty of jobs/gigs that I haven’t enjoyed, in fact that were tremendous stressors, but I knew I had to stay in the game – and I had to make money. You absolutely have to do both. Think of all the not-so-great jobs you’ve had, and think of how much better this one is.

It’s not like the Fogcatcher will be permanent or exclusive: You can/should keep looking for something that better suits you while holding down this position. That’s how the vast majority of people do it.Who knows how long it will take to find that “click” with a job…that open-ended search could go on for a very long time, and there’s no guarantee you’ll ever find the perfect gig.

Sorry for the lecture; I just hate to see you shoot yourself in the foot.

I can’t thank you enough for this morale-boosting email. I was so down in the dumps and not wanting to go back and face the day, but it turned out to be a much better day. I was paired with a woman (Erin) whom I really connected with, and who happens to be a laid off school teacher! (too bad, because these schools need teachers like this one!) She really knows how to TEACH, a rare gift these days. And wow, she didn’t give me time to think about anything but what we had in front of us to get done. She knew how to not overwhelm me with information but never have a lull either. So I found myself almost reeling with stuff to learn, but somehow able to soak it mostly in, because this chick knew how and when to have me DO the stuff, and when to jump in to help, and how to explain it clearly and succinctly. Rare gift, indeed!

I really like the GM James too, who unfortunately is being promoted and won’t be there for much longer, so they are going to hire a new GM (good thing James will be making the choice). The woman who is the Assist GM is the one who liked me and hired me, her name is Karen too (so now I go by “EK,” a name I took when I worked at a Pasadena restaurant eons ago, as a Hostess, and the other Hostess was a Karen)… I found that the identity change helped me to be one step removed from myself and so not take “me” so seriously. Interesting. Anyway, I like Karen but find her to be a bit moody and not as easy going as James. He is just this mild mannered Shrek kind of guy who is always calm under pressure. It is amazing how much one needs to learn to be a freaking desk clerk in a Hotel! Is that what you did and loved it? Pleeeeese, tell me what you loved about it!

Of course I like talking to guests who come in about the area, places to eat and what not, but I get rattled when I am trying to do one thing and the phone rings! I have to answer the phone in three rings and be able to take in all of that information while going on the computer while filtering out all the distractions going on around me. My ADD makes it VERY hard for me to filter, but it is probably good for my brain to do this “contrary action.”

And now here I am, just downed a Racer 5 in about 10 minutes. Going to go get a burger now. I need some beef.

The Trouble With ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ –

The Trouble With ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ –

BoP Bookclub Anyone?

I think I’ll just start a Bookclub on BoP. Anyone interested?

I came upon this book on Goodreads and thought I’d like to read both books– since I have never read “The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” (Robert Louis Stevenson), I’d like to read that first, and then this new book, “Hyde,” by Daniel Levine. Any takers? I wonder how this could work online. Via comments? Well, I do know my mother is interested in doing a Bookclub, but that would be just the two of us. If anyone else wants to join, just comment to this post and we can do this as an experiment!

I will think about when to begin and when to meet back up here once I assess your responses, or lack thereof. My thought is to start next Thursday, which is the second Thursday of the month, and “meet” monthly via comments on the book/s.

Goodreads | Debut Author Snapshot: Daniel Levine (Author of Hyde) March, 2014.