Friday, August 31, 2007

Pecos Bill Issues Challenge to Reeves County Commissioners Court

A guest blog by Pecos Bill
Crime Stoppers is looking for you. They are on the look-out for a couple of dumpers who have been "Messin' wit Texas" by dumping on Reeves County employees.

Word's out that on September 10th, the Reeves County Commissioners Court will be asked to consider whether to assign county employees of Reeves County Detention Center I, II & III to an HMO, while canceling their Blue Cross & Blue Shield Insurance. And since Sam Contreras is recommending it, that means it WILL BE APPROVED by a county commission become notorious for its Yes-Man attitude of "mi familia mas sanctia than thou."

Where the expected savings are to be applied is rumored to be "a family matter."

Inquiring minds want to know: Did Sam Contreras, his Yes-Man Commission and Linda Clark win election to county office as Democrats? Or not? The editors of This Ain't My First Rodeo are wondering, because....gosh, these officials just are not behaving like Democrats. You know, that traditional American party of the people that represents the interests of the working class?

The HMO being considered is rumored to be one of those stripped down scams that requires full medical payment up front along with a limited choice of physician from a pre-approved HMO list. Reimbursement must come after application and submission for reimbursement of fees to the HMO after the doctor visit.....if you're lucky. Even then, it might take months to get your money back while the HMO draws interest off of it, delaying payment to the very last moment while they squeeze your turnip for all its blood.

Why, honored commissioners, what a wonderful idea! If the people you represent had enough money then they wouldn't have to work for Reeves County in the first place.

Watch these "creative" financial geniuses closely, folks. Being experts at "budgetary problem solving" they will be providing all the manipulative sound-bites for their local, effectively neo-conservative solutions to Ol' Smokey and his Rupert Murdock-like Yes-Man Press at the Pecos Enterprise for front page propaganda.

In fact, in today's paper [Friday, Aug. 31] City officials have already begun whining about how they need to freeze the budget because of the weather! Gee-Whiz, folks. And all this time we thought Smokey & His Mind Bandits didn't even believe in this subtly implicated culprit -- Global Warming -- and here they are giving it venue.

They're right-wing "conservatives" down at the paper, you know [READ: covert racists of the mindless neocon-authoritarian stripe, prisoners of the Socratic Cave with the affirmed status as front-pew believers in the Bush-Is-Our-Born-Again-Evangelical-Messiah Party, gonna save us from Islamist Jihadist dressed as illegal immigrants come to bomb us, bleed our treasury, steal our cantaloupes, elope with our daughters and dilute & threaten our materialistic TV cowboy culture and paranoid sense of law & order with runaway birthrates and Dies y Seis Celebrations that encourage Popery and foment rebellious ideas of equality that come smoked on Juneteenth with bar-B-Q ribs and a slice of watermelon].

But unlike our county commissioners and members of city council, who apparently wouldn't know a working class from a graduating class or a political party from a cocktail party, at least the publisher and business manager of the local print media are [even if somewhat inarticulate and misinformed] up-front about their ideological affiliations. After all, ex parte, this makes the Pecos press media expert meteorologists, climatologists, economists....and corroboratory liars. All for the price of one-dollar, twice a week. What a bargain! No Christmas bonuses again this year?

To Wit: Why can't they all put their collaborative penny-pinchy little pointed heads together in a more effort-filled, creative, intellectually curious style of problem solving than thus far demonstrated by any of them separately -- problem solving of the sort outside this incurious box dictated to them by a Depression Era zeitgeist of Hooverian belt-tightening, Nationalist & Mexican American fatalism and its tragic sense of life concomitant with that notoriously disempowering illusion of "a culture of poverty" in the Americas that has enabled the banana republics, NAFTA, and Norte Americano corporatist exploitation.

We think there is a better solution than the introduction of exploitative HMO insurance hucksters to historically naive -- but now incredulous and perspicaciously watchful -- Reeves County employees. The Enlightenment is resurgent against these forces of darkness. Here is what one trusting county employee had to say:
"Perhaps if they would just form a little piggy circle in chambers on September 10th, break off into little piggy dyads and then actually touch their pointed little piggy heads to the commissioner next to them, then to another, tête-à-tête, to get the electricity going before coming into full circle with the county judge cranking their pink little piggy tails in Van de Graaff fashion while dancing little piggy jigs, they could generate enough of a mental spark between them all to throw the breaker to the courthouse microphone system and thus sleep undisturbed by the buzz of alternative opinion until their little piggy terms expire, thus 'to do no harm.'"

Keep an eye on this nefarious introduction of the pretentiously innocent HMO, especially with one eye on generally trustworthy but clique-bound "Family-Sammy" and his lethargic riding-your-family-connections Yes-Man Commission as they present their "it's siesta-time so we-give-up-with-our-hands-up," uninspired insurance plan formed of an insipid, culturally isolated, down-trodden learned helplessness, their white-flag offering to the ineluctable winds of fate, an effortless surrender to the great metaphoric constipated elephant in the pocket of lobbyists, that will Dump On county employees without even wiping, ummm, the smile off their faces.

Sadly, the ideologically incongruous county employee HMO insurance solution under consideration has probably remained -- like a wolf in sheep's clothing -- largely unrecognizable to these unsophisticated, underpaid, understaffed, under-appreciated and sometimes under-the-table naive public servants as the corporatist-aligned non-starter that a primitive HBO plan like this one actually is.

Notwithstanding the irony of this remarkable incongruity between the avowed political philosophies of our working class politicians and the principles of caveat emptor, laissez-faire and the unfettered free market economy held by the corporatists-dressed-as-savior that promote them, the problem may in fact be more fundamental in Reeves County -- an endemic lack of sociological imagination inside the county courthouse; or to put it into the vernacular of West Texas -- These guys must have fallen off a turnip truck!

The only way to prevent this intellectually lazy, socially reckless and financially unimaginative shenanigans is to contact your county commissioner during the coming week, through personal visits, letters and/or phone calls. You may even want to consider throwing the bums from office through a:
We must let them know quickly, before they make this mistake, that MORE is expected of them in the way of problem solving than this stop-gap, short-sighted Neo-Hooverian solution to what they mistakenly perceive to be a Depression Era budgetary short-fall with an associated insurance crisis. Their lack of faith in our regional future is showing! Seismographic oil & gas exploration is currently enjoying a resurgence in the entire TransPecos region. Companies are begging for employees. We should be promoting ourselves nationally as the Desert Oasis that we are.

Don't let the current county government dump on its own employees right before the dawning of a new Progressive Age -- an age, following the 2008 national and state elections, that promises to restore a progressive tax structure to our economy, a restoration that in its turn will resurrect the sacred traditional value of noblesse oblige of America's wealthy class who have nevertheless benefited from the fruits of our labor, our technology and our great natural resources while they stumbled crestfallen into the abyss of corporatist greed.

Don't allow our county leaders to give up the hope of our resurrection in these darkest of nights when foreign wars, corporatism and political corruption have driven our spirits to anger and despair.

Indeed, let us issue the American challenge to the honor-bound heroes still left among them of the ancient and paternal obligation to the people who gave them birth and facilitated their grandeur: Never surrender to the corporatist decadence that for the past decade has threatened to enshroud us in the hopelessness of our abandonment by those elitists who are just now losing their grip on our common destiny.

Let us never surrender our dreams of progress, our prayers for an egalitarian future of peace and abundance.

And let us recall to ourselves even, the noble obligation to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend to the sick, visit the imprisoned, welcome the immigrant and provide shelter and refuge to the migrant wayfarer and homeless among us [Matt. 25].

In addition to this specific issue -- the government threat against our health security -- we will provide more later as our stumbling county leaders consider -- infelicitously and unimaginatively -- their uninspiring and frightening neo-Hooverian budgetary solutions to what surely must be considered by them -- without a nod to the irony that mocks them -- the climatological affects of global warming and/or just too much rain in the region this season for even the melons in City Hall to appreciate [cf. The Pecos Enterprise for today's [Friday, 08/31/07] incredible headline story on the budget].

As usual, comments are invited.

--Pecos Bill

If you wish to write or call your elected Reeves County representatives, you may retrieve the addresses and phone numbers of Reeves County Judge Sam Contreras & the Reeves County Commissions at the website of the Pecos Area Chamber of Commerce.

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Before the Next Teardrop Falls
Freddy Fender

Knocking on Heaven's Door

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Great Pecos "Truckin' fer Jesus" Tent Revival Is-a Comin' ta Town! "Put yer drunk in the trunk and come on down!"

The big revival tent went up today at the south end of the north-bound Pecos Civic Center, near the Thank-God-I'm-a-Cowboy-And-Yer-Not Rodeo Arena, down there where they have the Bar-B-Q contest every year and everybody cheats.

I heard it on the radio. All of "Pecos is talkin'."

The winds were too strong last night to get an erection (of the tent) and Brother Bob and Reverend Mike had to give it up until this morning. God must have been mad at all the cocaine coming up through town from Mexico in horse trailers with drivers pretending to be bronc-busters and bull riders. Or maybe it was because one of "the saved" from the "family values party" in Idaho got nailed while toe-tapping in an airport restroom to an undercover song by a vice squad officer last June and he had to plea-bargain his-righteous-self right out of the Senate this week -- or so his Congressional peers would have it -- he hasn't actually resigned yet; he's taking lessons from Gonzo.

You are aware that we have a "vengeful god," are you not? Or maybe you don't get those televangelists on cable TV who make that claim while attempting to scare and shame your grandmother out of her social security check.

Call me a gambler, or maybe I just have too much faith in people, but I say "bring 'em on!" [I hope I don't have to eat my words like The Dubya.] Pecos needs help -- seriously -- and both of these Pentecostal preachers are "in the recovery bid'ness." Brother Bob hit bottom in 1981 and asked Our Lord for help. Once he was saved, he related, he even went into a black neighborhood in South Carolina to preach the Gospel and lived to tell about it. [Why is it that I suspect he votes Republican?]

Reverend Mike tells a similar story, only like so many of us, he is a recovering hippie as well.....except that many of us personally never recovered from the idealism, the commitment to spirituality, the Essene-inspired gift of the Judeo-Christian tempered universal Dharma come to the West and its refuge among like-minded pilgrims struggling to surrender the illusion of "self" through prayer and meditation via a more Enlightened Way, a compassionate way, a spirituality of wisdom appropriate in a fashion that would address the real needs of the wayfarer in order to end the suffering for him and for others; while some "hippies" actually did recover from that.
These guys say they have "A Way to end suffering and find salvation" and I say let's have it! Isn't that what it's all about? Finding A Way to end suffering? Even a drunk will toast to that. A Way to find redemption? I know of thousands who shot-up to find redemption. But allowing A Gentle Grace -- A Sublime Glory -- to breathe life into us and unite with us in our suffering, us with It, until Grace Itself is all that remains. Now that is going beyond suffering; that is transcending addiction. And we soon find that we have even transcended beyond that Gate, a gateway through which he walked and we followed into a new dimension, The Way having become opened to us as promised by surrendering until it yields the way itself beyond even that shore to a dimension beyond ways. Gate, Gate, Para Gate, Para Sam Gate, Bodhi Svaha!
They said on the radio that all are welcome -- no matter what faith or denomination. They even specifically said, "Even Baptists and Methodists are welcome" but they didn't mention Zen Buddhist Catholics.

Now when they were talking on the radio this morning, I was putting on new wiper blades down at Napco and I overheard a rancher talking on his cell phone saying to the guy on the other end, "The Muslims are coming! It's bound to happen sooner or later and did you hear about that senator who was pussy-footin' around with an undercover cop in an airport restroom?" I looked up and said, "Yup, that's your 'family values party,'" but he just gave me a dirty look and turned his back. To show you how small Pecos is, when I got to the grocery store on the other side of town, a guy who looked exactly like him, chewing tobacco, silver handle bar mustache-and-all was talking on his cell phone lamenting the sad state of the country and wondering what they were going to do when the Muslims got here because the people that matter may not have enough rifles and maybe they should go out and get some more. Must have been twins. All the while the announcement was being made on the radio and they were missing it, worryin' 'bout the Muslims:
"Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!" The Ol' Time Tent Revival, brought to you by the people who will bring "Truckin' fer Jezus" to Pecos AM radio starting tomorrow -- the guy who rides channel-19 out in Toyah trying to get 18-wheelers to pull-over at his truck stop on Interstate-20 so they can give their lives to Jezus, get baptized in the holding tank under the windmill then get back on the interstate with a Slurpy and a hot dog -- will begin spittin' Hell Fire & Brimstone and the "layin' on of hands" in the Rodeo parking lot beginning this Thursday night at 7:00 PM. So come on out and get slain in the spirit. He and his co-apostle from Indiana will be praying and speaking in tongues nightly throughout the weekend and through the week to come. You might even get to meet Barak. Just look for the big tent in Pecos on Cedar Street [Rt. 283] -- you know, the one that's smokin' and spittin' out sawdust? That one.

And do you know what I'll be doing? Yup, I'll be right there sittin' in a foldin' chair praying that someone can bring help to the drug addicts and alcoholics of Pecos, Texas. Lord knows, we got more than our share and their families are suffering. The entire community is suffering.
Yes, addiction is a disease, one that is recognized by the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association. It has a common etiology, a predictable course. It is progressive, chronic, and fatal.
But if Brother Bob and Reverend Mike have a truly clear understanding of the universal concept of surrender -- of लेत्तिंग गो -- Letting Go -- unlike our current president, who claims to have "quit on his own" pulling on his own bootstraps [with Laura kicking him in the ass], who yet still continues to suffer episodic relapses, ones that his handlers struggle to sweep under the
Oval Carpet of the Oval Office -- then the good that they can do is enormous and the community should welcome them as if the auspicious White Elephant from the mysterious depths of an Indian rain forest had stumbled into Pecos ridden by Our Beloved Blessed Mother.

Notwithstanding the damage many moralists do by creating shame and guilt on top of this deadly disease of addiction, driving its sufferers deeper into their cups, all the while demanding the addict/alcoholic marshal all his/her WILL-POWER to conquer "the sin" -- the very psychological force that ironically serves to strengthen the obsession with drugs and alcohol -- if these two literalist "bible thumping" apostles of sobriety can rescue just one Pecos denizen of addiction until s/he can progress to a more stable long-term recovery, we, the undercover writers of This Ain't My First Rodeo say wail away, cast out those evil demons of alcohol, cocaine, heroin, weed, crystal meth, cough syrup, "X" and inhalants. Command those demons of addiction to flee into a mayonnaise jar and take them out to the county dump and bury them.
*I actually witnessed such a "miracle of deliverance" at a charismatic prayer meeting in the basement of a building at Purdue University in the early 70s. But the problem always is -- as they explained it to me at a tent revival in Austin in 1984 -- once the poor addict takes one drink or just one snort or one hit, then all those demons re-enter his body with a "legion" of others just like it, and the addict is soon worse-off than he ever was. Not surprisingly: doctors, psychologists, addictionologists and members of AA and NA have been saying the same thing for years now. "It's not the caboose that kills you when you're hit by a train; it's the engine." It's that first drink or hit.
Now that TDCJ has begun to slough-off its mandate to corporatists and the private prison industry has abandoned rehabilitation programs for the Almighty Dollar, we may be stuck with Brother Bob & Reverend Mike as the only solution for West Texas....metaphorically speaking, that is. [Not that that's a bad thing.] But the point is in need of reiteration as the prerequisite for a pedantic and penetrating preponderance, as an old drunk once gushed from his barstool just before he passed out and fell off. To wit: Don't even think about going to prison to find "recovery" because it ain't happenin' there. Use to be, a fella could go downtown and slap a cop and be guaranteed that he was going to sober up that night! Rumor has it, that corrections officers at RCDC-III busted a wine-bootlegging operation in one of their inmate housing units last week. It just goes to show you that you can't even get away from it in the joint [actually, with chronic under-staffing for years, you always could get high behind bars].

One of the constant themes against which this blog intends to rail is the privatization of prisons. The two highest risk factors for the initial commission of crime and of its recidivism are no longer being addressed because of corporatist profiteering:
(1) Lack of Education
(2) Untreated Substance Abuse
All other factors are secondary. If a person can't get sober, they're probably wasting their time trying for success in other endeavors. "First things first," as they say.

And you aren't going to punish [or shame] an alcoholic or an addict onto the wagon. I hope this latest religious version of "The Bob & Mike Show" in redux doesn't waste our time tying to.

Private prisons collectively celebrate the rise in crime rates; they exacerbate these risk factors every penny-pinching chance they can by withholding funds for Substance Abuse Education and Treatment. GED programs are in their sights as well.

So look for recidivism rates to skyrocket in Texas just like they have in California and elsewhere under the same budget tightening ignorance by the state and via unrestrained avarice on the part of the private prison industry.

All the while, faith-based initiatives that attempt to address addiction with a righteous indignation for the sins of these "drunks and dope heads," who they look down upon really, compound the problem by heaping on the shame, which is "the engine of addiction" -- even the sexual addiction with which Senator Craig of Idaho obviously suffers is shame-driven. Or did we miss something when Rev. Ted Haggard snorted crystal and hopped-on for a joy ride only to crash in a spiral of fanatical religious shame and denial. And the cycle of addiction just keeps on spinning.

From time immemorial [well at least for 6000 years anyway -- that is, it's only been 6000 years if you're an anti-science fundi-mental-case who smoked up his right-brain at an Alice Cooper concert in the 70s], humanoidals have been trying to escape suffering in a multitude of ways. In Pecos, The Great Escape just happens to come in the form of "brown tar," "Mexican white," white powder, yellow rocks and green herb....oh yea, and "Butt-Wiser," as the cowboys pronounce it. Reverend Mike and Brother Bob say they have "a solution." If they do, "even I" will drop a dollar in the hat and praise the Lord on their behalf.

The whole community is invited to the week-long revival. I believe these guys have a genuine story of salvation from suffering, one they feel led to relate. Perhaps it is through Grace that they each have testified today on the radio that they are hearing a calling from God to come to Pecos and tell the story of their salvation from drugs, alcohol and the suffering caused by addiction within their own lives and in the lives of others, while -- begging the irony -- they desperately sought salvation from suffering through psychoactive chemicals. I only pray that someone will be there for those who feel so ashamed of themselves after the unrelenting proclamations of hellfire that they feel they need a drink.

If you are a musician or vocalist, you are invited to bring your squeeze boxes, banjos, guitars, tambourines and harmonicas. Even piccolo players are encouraged to join in the celebration of faith & recovery. Who knows, The Bob & Mike Traveling Salvation Show may even "lay hands" on The GEO Group and pray 'em up out'a here. After all, "you can only serve one master, God or Mammon." And everybody's gotta serve somebody.

-willy the rodeo pimp

"Jesus Loves me but he Can't Stand You"

I know you smoke, I know you drink that brew
I just can't abide a sinner like you
God can't either, that's why I know it to be true that
Jesus loves me--but he can't stand you

I'm going to heaven, boys, when I die
'Cause I've crossed every "t" and I've dotted every "i'
My preacher tell me that I'm God's kind of guy; that's why
Jesus loves me--but you're gonna fry

God loves all his children, by gum
That don't mean he won't incinerate some
Can't you feel those hot flames licking you
Woo woo woo

I'm raising my kids in a righteous way
So don't be sending your kids over to my house to play
Yours'll grow up stoned, left-leaning, and gay; I know
Jesus told me on the phone today

Jesus loves me, this I know
And he told me where you're gonna go
There's lots of room for your kind down below
Whoa whoa whoa

Jesus loves me but he can't stand you . . .

--by the Austin Lounge Lizards

Monday, August 27, 2007

Rick Noriega Has Emerged as the Preeminent Candidate in the US Senate Race in Texas

John Cornyn [Rep Tex], Vice President Dick Cheney's yes-man in the US Senate, has got to go! Cornyn's association with the now infamously corrupt national GOP machine is probably more the result of somnambulism and his tail-tucking ride on Dubya's coattails -- which proves he can't even be trusted to be competently corrupt on his own. He has voted with Cheney when Cheney's own party refused to vote with Cheney. In fact, the editors here believe there must be a red button in Cheney's office that logs Cornyn's votes on the Senate floor while he snoozes.

The question begs itself as a result of the recent scandals: What will this guy do now that Rove and Gonzalez [and a handful of others] are gone to their demise in disgrace? Answer: Follow them back to Texas in his sleep.

There is a solution:

Please check-out this video about Rick Noriega for US Senate and give us your feedback. We particularly like his leadership experience in the Texas House of Representatives where he served five terms, his leadership during the Katrina Crisis, his sense of the real military priority in dealing with the nation's off-track response to 9/11 [we short circuited our efforts in Afghanistan to invade Iraq, thus exploiting the 9/11 tragedy on behalf of the neocon war hawks], his dedicated energy, his focus on the people rather than on the corporatist giants who have sold-out America for the almighty dollar, the intelligence he brings to problem solving and his enlightened awareness of the real issues of state.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

The writers at The Balmorhea Progressive are pleased to announce:

This ain't my first rodeo...

...a blog dedicated to members of the working class with a progressive attitude -- those members of construction trades, teamsters, oil field workers, mechanics, waitstaff, barbers and stylists, corrections officers, border patrol agents, police officers and other law enforcement employees, clerks, miners, fishermen, dock workers, priests, ministers, rabbis, mullahs, senseis, tulkus, rinpoches, immigrant farm workers and entrepreneurs, technicians and factory workers and anyone else who celebrates the gift of "a native intelligence unencumbered by an education," whether degreed, GEDed, or not.*

Neo-conservatives, right-wing authoritarian personalities and their lock-stepping followers, fundamentalist religi0-fascists, Republicans and Libertarian wing-nuts, Minutemen terrorists, corporatists and their lobbyists are invited to make comments but should be forewarned that all or part of your contributions may be forwarded to satirical or parody-minded websites for purposes of humor and public mockery.

If you are racist, ethnocentric, "super-patriotic," anti-immigrant, xenophobic, zen-o-phobic, homophobic, sexist, Islamist, Christianist, anti-humanist, anti-Semitic, regressively evangelical or intolerant of the world's religious traditions, then you might as well go ahead and kiss my ass right now before you upset yourself and have to take the day off later. We have to put up with your insufferable ignorance and self-righteousness on the job to keep ours; but when we punch-out, we drive past the draconian caves of semi-consciousness where y'all slumber among televised daydreams related to the poisoning of Socrates, while we head whistling away toward the light of reason and universal spiritual principles. So stay off our zafus! Otherwise, if you think you can remain as innocuously docile as when sitting hungover in church being programmed for the Crusades, feel free to check your guns at the cattle guard and visit our campsite; but we suggest you stop-off with our team of shade-tree anger management camp-counselors on the way out before getting back on the virtual super highway with a rag-on.

And remember: If you drink, don't type; if you type, don't snort, smoke or shoot-up.

Everyone else who suffers like ourselves, trudging day-to-day along the road to progress and happy destiny, is invited to link to us, share your issues, news, gossip, comments, concerns, prayers and dreams as we sort through the bullshit produced for mass consumption in Pax Amerikana.

*NOTES: Postal workers must consent to a mental health assessment/screening by a qualified professional barber or show proof of parole/probation monitoring. All others who present with certifiable "crazy thinking" (with the exception of Zen masters) must provide a letter of recommendation from your AA/NA sponsor before posting in our "13th-Step Forum."