A Heathen's Perspective

From politics to media, from music to spiritual matters, and from obscure issues to the latest hot button topics, comes the blabber from a true heathen, without regard to the breaking wind of socially-acceptable attitudes, yet with an almost sacred devotion to humor in the face of today's polarized, shout-down-your-opponents climate of fear and intimidation. Original content is copyright 2001-2006, The Heathen Monk. All rights reserved.

Location: Austin, Texas, United States

Unless otherwise noted, the content of this Weblog is Copyright 2001-2007, The Heathen Monk. All rights reserved. Some material may have been assigned to The Human Trust, 2004-2007. A Custom Search Engine is now available, and will be updated as time goes by: Kindred Sites Search Engine ~

Monday, April 02, 2007

How's The Weather in Here?

My, my how time flies when you're fun is having, huh? It's "this type thing, I'm a thinkin' so," ya see. Let's look at the human psyche as a weather system, shall we? With different stratas of activity, from upper level lows to Gulf of Mexico moisture being sucked inland as the low moves towards the Texas Hill Country from the Panhandle. Throw in a trough or two and you've got yerself some weather! By god, I've had me some weather in the head these last couple of months. But it looks like the front has moved on through, and Spring is POPPING all over Lake Travis!

So..."like I say, if I'm 'sessful - yer 'sessful." And before I forget, and erupt in a volley of brainfarts followed by a middle-aged moment, allow me to posit this explanation of one's survival of an authentic nervous breakdown:

It's all about two things - protecting the mind and the survival of the very organ we know as "the brain."



Ya see, the rational mind believes that it's in charge of itself, the heart, and the place that cannot be fooled. BUT, in truth, the mind is our mental model of survival. It certainly has its place, above the heart, but by creating an opaque membrane between itself and the heart, the mind can trick itself and the heart...buying into the "power" of this mind...this feeble leaf in the wind...while bloated and bellowing, hoping to avoid any contact with the place that cannot be fooled - at ALL costs.

Well, dammit, that just doesn't work. So, when one has been grabbed by the short hairs, uninvited, and with no way out, by a huge burst from the place that cannot be fooled...bubbling up through the heart directly to the mind, whether or not the mind is ready to listen, look, and experience that nasty bubble of unvarnished, tactile truth...well the mind's circuit breaker goes off, and the hard drive shuts down in an attempt to salvage as much of the rational mind as possible - WHOOPEE!



When all of the above converges in one's psyche to form a perfect storm, the brain automatically performs a fundamental shut down in order to survive. This shut down is fundamentally more powerful than the mind's attempt at saving itself, because the entire organ is at stake. The brain knows what it's doing. The organ itself survives in almost all cases.



Well, my sweet SaddlePals, it ain't easy. First the brain restarts when the storm passes. Then the mind's circuit breaker reconnects. The heart starts up again, bruises and all, and the rational mind begins to get the lay of the land. As one begins to find just enough focus to read a menu from Denny's, the mind assesses just how much of itself has been salvaged, how much of itself laying there in tatters is salvageable, and looks around the the burnt embers of places it once thought were necessary in order to engage with the world, crying like a newborn baby. If you're lucky, in this state of fragility, you may have salvaged enough to work your way back into the everyday world within 6-9 months. And you may find your groove in about 18 months...if you're lucky that is. And I sure as hell hope you're lucky. I know I am.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Clinically Delusional Mind of George W. Bush
(or "How I Waited For the Bloodless Coup That Never Came")

He sat at his daddy's knee, but The Boy must've been drawn to the "cut 'em off at the knees" strategies of the late Lee Atwater. I wonder if BoyGeorge ever asked his dad, "Daddy? What did you do as a congressman? What did you do as U.N. Ambassador? What did you do as the head of the C.I.A.? What was it like being Vice Pwezeedent? Or Pwezeedent? Huh, daddy, huh?"

Nope...The Drugstore Cowboy, unlike his father, who, when approached by Cheney, Wolfie, Perle, and Kristol, among others, with the Grand Gamble of the Doctrine of Pre-Emption, told them to STAND DOWN ~ The Boy bought the whole store - hook, line, and sinker! Any layperson, like you or me for instance, could've googled our way to the same conclusions I came to with at my Original Anti-War Page, March 17, 2003.

Anyone could've found out that James Baker was or still is the senior counsel for The Carlyle Group, a huge hedge fund invested in by both the Bush and Bin Laden families.

But let's get down to delusional thinking, shall we? From a British study, "Role of distress in delusion formation," comes this:



* Psychotic experiences are common and transitions to clinical disorder are in part determined by emotional factors.
* Not only the presence of an unusual perceptual experience in itself but also the emotional appraisal by the subject is an important risk factor for subsequent delusion formation.

(more from this section, on cognitive behavioral therapy, left out on purpose)

Full Article, Hanssen et. al.. Copyright assumed to be owned by the authors and/or educational institutions. Used here for contextual purposes only.


Now, let's see here. We know from Scott Ritter that 90-95 per cent of all weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were destroyed during the mid-1990's. We know that way back when, during the Reagan administration, rules were loosened for American corporations (and many European corporations as well), so that they could sell chemicals to Saddam during the Iraq/Iran War. The paper trail is there for all to see.

And yet The Boy wants us to buy into his new "surge." An "augmentation," according to Conda-Lies-A-Thrice.

Hmmm...let's see here....we lost the good will of the entire free world by invading Iraq, when millions around the globe protested BEFORE the invasion occurred.

The Boy CUT TAXES during wartime - possibly a first in the history of civilization.

Wolfie and others claimed the war would pay for itself. Oil revenues alone would make the whole thing a piece of cake.

We're now engaged in a civil war, and we've passed the time "in country" that the U.S. spent during WW II.

We've lost more than 3,000 of our soldiers, and seriously wounded more than 20,000 others. According to some estimates, more than 240,000 Iraqi citizens have died during the war, and today we've learned that many of the Iraqi refugees are being turned away or forced to return to Iraq.

We've drained our country's coffers to the tune of almost HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS.

And yet, even if it comes down to just "Laura & Barnie" BoyGeorge will see this "war on terror" through to the bitter end - OR until he leaves office, passing on all the good end-game stuff to someone else.

The Boy told us, out loud and in english that:


" That's why I'm pressing the Greater Middle East Reform Initiative, to work to spread freedom. And we will continue on that. So long as I'm the President, I will press for freedom. I believe so strongly in the power of freedom.

You know why I do? Because I've seen freedom work right here in our own country. I also have this belief, strong belief, that freedom is not this country's gift to the world; freedom is the Almighty's gift to every man and woman in this world. And as the greatest power on the face of the Earth, we have an obligation to help the spread of freedom."

full text of "President Addresses the Nation in Prime Time Press Conference, 2004" from the White House Web site.


The Almighty? You mean the God of Abraham? The same God that Jews, Christians, and Muslims pray to? Oh - THAT God - silly me...

Delusional thinking. With a Democratic majority and a stiff rebuke of his Iraq war policy from the American citizenry last November. And come tomorrow night, we'll see a clinically delusional man at the podium, talking about tax code changes to help lower health insurance costs, etc. Gosh, whatever happened to his brave stand from 2005:

"Taking on gang life will be one part of a broader outreach to at-risk youth, which involves parents and pastors, coaches and community leaders, in programs ranging from literacy to sports. And I am proud that the leader of this nationwide effort will be our First Lady, Laura Bush."

Laura Bush, GangBuster!...

my entry, "The State of DysUnion".

And so, as the safe laundry list unfolds in front of a new majority in Congress, let's see how well it goes, with The Dick having to sit next to Nancy Pelosi, and members of The Boy's own Party turning their backs on him. It should be a sad feast indeed...

UPDATE, Jan. 27, 2007: BBC News reports on The Boy's reaction to that "uppity" Congress and their claim to oversight:


"US President George W Bush has made it clear he will ignore any attempt by the US Congress to question his sending 20,000 extra troops to Iraq.

Mr Bush - who faces tough opposition in Washington to his new Iraq strategy - said he was the decision-maker and would not rethink his plans..."

Copyright 2007, BBC and BBC America (if applicable). Used here for contextual purposes only


Read all about it HERE.
For those of you trying to cleanse the palate, as it were, during and after the State of DysUnion Address on Tuesday, a more international Look at Eroding Support for the U.S. from BBC News might help return things to some semblance of reality...HMonk

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Numbers, Numbers, Numbers

I don't quite understand "WHY" our snewz media in America can't quite bring themselves to present clear and convincing numbers concerning the number of human beings killed in Iraq since our invasion. It's kinda strange, ain't it?

Just a couple of clicks to BBC NEWS online and...why, it's as clear as country water used to be!

For instance:

A simple, tabbed overview of all those folks killed, and casualties counts too, can be found HERE at BBC News online.

Perhaps, we might need to know how many and where the sectarian killings have occurred, adding up to more than 231,000 as of October, 2006. Again, a simple click to

RIGHT ABOUT HERE at BBC News online should show you a clear map which includes the numbers of misplaced families who've arrived "in province" since February, or maybe you're curious as to how many Sunni, Shia, Sunni/Shia/Arab, Kurdish, and Sunni/Arab/Kurdish people have been slaughtered, ya think?

It's all right there to see, on the BBC, but damned hard to get ahold of on our "illustrious" American snewz media, doncha think? Boy, HOWDY!

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

An Open Letter to President Bush: Blow Me!

There he was, finally uttering the words "we aren't winning, but we're not losing" in Iraq during a radio interview. Then there he was, in of all places, The Indian Treaty Room, 'splaining what he "really" meant. Oh, and the air of open dish-cuss-shuns with every commander, diplomat, and DumboCrat. When all was said and done, it was obvious the Drugstore Cowboy will send the naval flotilla to the Persian Gulf, increase troop strength in Baghdad, and try to kill Al-Cider. What a man! So deft, so good-read, so "subliminable."

Well yew can jus' kiss my nasty ol' ass, BoyGeorge - twice. I took a look back at the dusty old archives, and found this citizens' petition originally posted at the old AlterNet forums back in 2003 I think it was, now archived at Never Give Up. I did a tiny bit of editing, and for anyone who's interested here's how the final draft looked by 2005:


Friday, January 28, 2005
Mr. Bush, Step Down!

(3rd draft - 2nd draft posted at AlterNet's Human Rights forum {HumanRights.169.21-}, Dec. 10, 2003, revised here, in part to reflect Ashcroft's resignation)



Dear George W. Bush,

I am a citizen of the United States of America. However, it seems that America has been taken away from me. I feel that this Administration, this Congress, this Department of Justice, and this Supreme Court have betrayed America, and are now in the process of selling America off piece by piece.

As an American citizen, I hereby petition your administration to step down immediately. I demand that a caretaker administration be put in place by Congress, and that an impartial, impeccable Board of Civilian Review be created to examine your entire record, including the pathflow of your administration's correspondence, meetings and attendees, along with executive orders and directives created by the your administration, leaving no federal agencies exempt from scrutiny.

I call(ed) for the Senate to vote "No" on the confirmation vote for Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. Should Mr. Gonzales be confirmed, I demand that he tender his resignation immediately. I call for the full repeal of The Patriot Act, as well as any riders to any passed or pending Bills containing any provisions included in Mr. Ashcroft's "wishlist" known as "The Patriot Act II," as well as any and all subsequent attempts to do the same by AlBarfo.

I call for the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the armed forces to order our military forces to stand down, world-wide.

I ask that the Supreme Court be precluded from handing down any new rulings if and until it can be shown that their decision concerning the election of 2000 was not a gross, impeachable offense on the Court's part.

I call for a moratorium on Capital Punishment. I call for an end to mandatory minimums for sentencing. I call for an end to overzealous prosecutions. I call for the return of federal judges' discretion.

I call for foolproof legislation to prevent any former elected federal official, as well as all family members of elected federal officials now holding office, from working on behalf of any registered lobbyist or other special interest group concerned with any issues on which said elected officials have cast a vote, whether in committee, by voice vote, or by roll call on the Floor of either branch of Congress.

I call for every federal ballot to include "none of the above" as a valid choice for every election of every pertinent federal official. I demand an end to any method of voting, electronic or otherwise, that does not include a verifiable paper trail open to full public scrutiny through straightforward recounting procedures for any questionable or contested federal races.

I demand that Congress call for new elections of the entire House and Senate at their earliest opportunity, and without delay, following the transition of power from the Bush administration to a caretaker administration.

Until these matters have been fully addressed, I hold the federal government, as it now composed, to be in violation of the Constitution.


I refuse to either leave my country or give up my citizenship. Should your administration not step down, now that you have been elected to a second term of 4 years as my president, I pledge NOT to contribute any more monies to the coffers of what I now consider to be an illegal, thus unconstitutional "government." In the event any federal income tax policies and/or other salary restrictions preclude or prevent me from withholding my financial resources from your stupefyingly Un-American administration, I pledge to join other citizens in every effort to buy, barter, lobby at the grassroots level, demonstrate, and engage in other non-violent acts designed to undermine, and hopefully end or slow down the murderous meanderings of your Doctrine of pre-emptive war which masquerades as the "war on terror."


Finally, I urge every American without children, without a life-threatening disease, without other critical life circumstances that could jeopardize their safety, to join me in this petition.


Mr. Bush, you have taken my country away from me. I will give my very life, if necessary, in order to help bring about a return to the Spirit of the Principles this country was founded upon, and thoughtful re-engagement, through diplomacy, with the rest of the entire world. My actions, unlike yours, will remain entirely non-violent, but I will exercise every fundamental right I may have as an American citizen until my country's government has been returned to its own Citizenry.

Very truly yours,

__________________________ signed, ______________, 200_

I have signed and sent copies of the above Petition to:

______________________________, my Representative

______________________________, my senior Senator

______________________________, my junior Senator

______________________________, Attorney General, State & Federal

______________________________, Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

______________________________, my local newspaper

______________________________, my local TV stations

______________________________, my mayor

______________________________, my county's officials

______________________________, my state's governor

______________________________, other

______________________________, other

This Petition, while composed by The Heathen Monk is intended for the free use of any interested party. No standard copyright restrictions apply to its use, unless edited and published without written permission.

Technorati Cosmos: other blogs commenting on this post

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Update: To The Board of Directors, Apache Shores Property Owners Association

Well, I've done a little more research on the "per lot" vote a couple of years ago pertaining to our assessments. You'll find the update HERE.


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Friday, December 08, 2006

Perry Raises Cig Taxes by $1.00 Per Pack

Head O'Hair Perry, governor of Texas, has decided to raise taxes on cigarettes by $1.00 per pack starting in January, 2007, bless his heart. Now Texas joins other states in making smokers pay more taxes per purchase than on any other product on the market.

What does this mean, other than an extra buck per pack to smokers? Well, it will mean a strong black market for smokes, and an increased danger to store clerks, now that ciggies have become so valuable. With a quarter of the nation still smoking, unless you have a reservation nearby, you may have to choose between smokes and cheap booze to settle your nerves. Yessir, between state taxes already in place, and the federal excise tax, I'm more than proud to be a contributor to the crooks in our state legislature who, like all the states that received money from the last smokers' settlement, will most likely spend the extra money on pork, the other white meat.

Black markets, dead store clerks? Is that the goal of Rick Perry? Has the asshole even thought this through? I think not. I hope that some attorney comes up with the notion that smokers, yes smokers, are exposed to second-hand smoke just like non-smokers. Maybe that'll keep 'em in court for awhile.

An old friend of mine remembers when his dad used to put two dimes in a cigarette machine, retrieve a pack of Luckies with 4 pennies left in the pack, for a total of sixteen cents per pack. They were just thirty five cents a pack when I started smoking. I only hope that the rest of you don't become the focus of "criminal" behavior, and find yourselves paying outrageous taxes on clothes made in China, or songwriter/publisher royalties diminished to the point of no return. Hey, nobody's lookin' - what's say we download this new movie for free?!

Keep it up, kidz. Sooner, rather than later, smokers will join the homeless, the damaged veterans, and the mentally ill on your streets. Please, do your best to sidestep them, won't you?

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Fast Food Notion

My, oh my! What are we gonna do with all these fat people?! Well, the answer is simple - CRIMINALIZE THEM, JUST LIKE WE DID TO SMOKERS! Yes, after they lowered the threshold for obesity back around 1998, the pill pushers and insurance companies had a clear field in which to work. Just in case you missed it, CNN noted that:


"Under the proposed guidelines, which are to be announced later this month by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 25 million more Americans would be considered overweight -- including two baseball third-basemen: Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves and Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles."

Full Article, copyright 1998, Cable News Network. All rights reserved. Used here for contextual purposes only.


Junk Food

Sure, we're all happy to know that Taco Bell is moving to canola oil. Wendy's makes a pretty good side caesar salad, and if you're lucky, there's a Subway nearby, but most folks who drive thru or eat in at fast food joints have jobs that pay $6-8 dollars an hour. Many of these workers get a half hour for lunch. So add gas to that, and lunch costs these workers an hour's pay. Now, if you're making $20-30 an hour, most likely you get a full hour for lunch, and just a furtive glance if you're a half hour late back to work. So go ahead, have the steak, potatoes, and salad, not to mention a refreshing martini, with ambiance to boot! Fast food stays in business because the working poor, teenagers, and folks on fixed incomes can't afford to pay more than five dollars for lunch. That's it, that's all. Where are the entrepreneurs ready to fill the fast food niche with tasty organic and/or veggie delights and a drive thru window?

Tax The Bums

Yeah, that's the ticket. Just like smokers. Let's add a fat tax to junk food. In fact, let's add a federal excise tax to any fatty food that moves across any state line, And while we're at it, let's add a new tax to fortified wine, cheap beer, and malt liquor too. These poor people just have to learn that their "vices" have consequences.

Luxury taxes? Who needs 'em? Corporate loopholes? Gotta keep taxes low, don't we? As a smoker, I must pay more than a dollar fifty per pack in taxes. If all of us smokers quit right now, we'd break the medical establishment in twenty years, just by living longer. So, the next time you see a busy worker scarfing down a burger during a thirty minute lunch break, just remember - THEY CAN'T AFFORD FOOD THAT'S GOOD FOR THEM, AND THEY DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO WAIT FOR IT.

The only saving grace? Those loving couples where one or both make their lunches before leaving home each day. Oops, but then there's daycare...whaddya gonna do? Seeya at the yacht club Sunday brunch!

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Friday, November 10, 2006

The Shortest Honeymoon in History?

Well, he tossed Rummy out for Bob Gates", (read Gates' view on Iran from 2004), most likely in order to soften the Baker/Hamilton report. But, the Boy wants the Surveillance Act passed before January. And he wants the recess appointment of the Walrus Bolton to the U.N. as ambassador. I imagine the Drugstore Cowboy will do everything in his power to prevent the public airing of his many "signing statements" over the years. You know, the ones he used to circumvent the Constitution. Yep, the honeymoon ended less than 24 hours after it began. Only this time, not only has he lost both Houses of Congress, he's got runaway Rethuglicans who won't carry his poisoned water because they need to be re-elected in 2008 and later.

The subpoena power, the forced opening of all the classified material Bush used to suppress documents going back to his father's presidency, with Gates in charge, and the honest remarks expected from our generals on the field, there seems to be just one way BoyGeorge can move. DOWN, DOWN, DOWN. It may take an entire generation to rebuild our foreign service, and begin to reestablish our credentials with foreign countries, both allies and enemies, but at least we have a chance today. And if Bush tries to buck the change, the bronco he imagines he rides will buck his sorry ass in a heartbeat. Unless the DumboCrats are as beholden to lobbyists as the DeLay/Norquist bottom feeders, America has an opportunity to become America once again. I'm not holding my breath, just keeping my fingers crossed...at least until next March. After that, Congress should return to a five day workweek, or, if not, expect the same cosmetic changes, signing statements, vetoes that may or may not be overridden, and business as usual until 2008 at the earliest. Good luck, and Good Grief!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I'm not dead, just disgusted

Dear readers,

Sorry to have been away for so long. And I won't be here for long right now. With the BlowHards bellowing about Iran just like they did about Iraq, and returning to the delusion of trying to connect Iraq with September 11th again, and with the DumboCrats sitting on their thumbs with just weeks to go before the mid-term elections, I'm planning to vote early...and often, of course...and wait to see just how badly the Dumbs blow their best chance for seizing some kind of power in either House this year. Whee!!!


p.s. November 10, 2006 -- My GAWD! How happy I am to have been so wrong. Go, DumboCrats, GO!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Johnny On the Spot

The smoke has cleared, and the dust is now settling on John Roberts' first term as Chief Justice of the Supremes. Turns out, the boy is a fine writer! Professors everywhere are rejoicing in Roberts' "elegant" use of "economy" in his opinions, while the blogosphere remains unimpressed with his use of sports analogies, from boxing to hockey.

What we may have here is authentic competency coupled with a hidden, personal system of fairness that should expose itself as the years go by. How much and how often Johnny decides to let us in on his secret self remains a mystery - a Mystery For the Pages!

In "His Hipness, John G. Roberts," Linda Greenhouse writes (from NYTimes, July 9, 2006):


Prof. Akhil Amar of Yale Law School praised the Roberts style for "elegance and economy" as well as for the "occasionally snappy line" that could crystallize a case for lay readers. He gave two examples. One was a majority opinion that rejected the government's application of federal narcotics law to stop a Brazil-based religious group from importing a hallucinogenic tea for use in its rituals. "The government's argument echoes the classic rejoinder of bureaucrats throughout history: If I make an exception for you, I'll have to make one for everybody, so no exceptions," the chief justice wrote.

The second was a majority opinion that found that the state of Arkansas had denied due process to a homeowner by seizing and selling his house for nonpayment of property taxes without taking reasonable steps to notify him of his jeopardy. Referring to Gary K. Jones, the homeowner, Chief Justice Roberts wrote: "In response to the returned form suggesting that Jones had not received notice that he was about to lose his property, the state did — nothing."

Full article here.

Copyright 2006, The New York Times Co. All rights reserved. Used here for contextual purposes only.


As you can see, this early in Roberts' Chief JusticeDom, it's hard to tell: Is he a peyote chewin' dude who steps up for the little guy between 'shrooms? Or, is he a complex individual who may not follow The Boy & The Dick's cartoonish agenda of stripping individuals of their rights while telling the world that "they hate us for our freedom."

I suspect that JohnnyOnTheSpot may turn out to be a thoughtful, and believe it or not, somewhat flexible Chief Justice. I can't say that I see any real evidence of the imposition of a rigid sense of morality on his decision-making process, but hell, I'm a layman, not a doktor, Jim! What we may have here is a firewall between the Thomas-Alito "well, whatever the prez wants, he gets" Stance of the Spineless, and the dark, demonic one - Scalia. That leaves the "liberal" Justices with the real power to build consensus within the Court. It points to the possibility of balance. It may actually prove to help undo the right-wing steamroller now paving its way over generations of decisions made on behalf of Americans everywhere. So, I'm not holding my breath, but I'm not raging against the machine either. I think I'll just hide here in the weeds for awhile.

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