Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The effect of these floods....

     We have been through all of this before....living in Clearsprings Apartments adjacent to the campus of Southwest Texas State University....they were "the place to be" and I had the wherewithal to swing it.  Heck, I was the night manager at Gil's Broiler!!! The olde Manske's Diner, the originator of the Manske Cinnamon Roll, a huge breakfast unto itself invented by a guy named Mr. Manske.
     All you normal people have to understand that the Anglos had to put up with, not just Mexican and African types, but then there were in even greater abundance in the San Marcos area Czechs, Poles, and Bohemians,  who dovetailed, albeit without a great deal of pleasantude the the Lutheran Germans and the Catholic Germans who also spent time fighting each other.   Sometimes all those funny people even forgot how important we Anglos were and started doing things on their own....but all that is another story, and this story is that I was working for a Czech fellow named Rainocek, and he had the best hamburber joint, a half block from the campus of the 4th biggest university in Texas.   Money happens.  First you sweat, then.....money happens.
This was the scene El Gringo Viejo could see from the
parking lot of his apartment complex.  the white
building is a honeymoon hotel, built and  put into
 service by Johnny Weissmuller, the original and
 best Tarzan.  Johnny bought and renovated an
 early Victorian, dumping over 300,000 Yankee
 dollars into itsrestoration. Since that was in the
 1930s, figure that how such an obra magna would
 be more like 3 million (USD).  Texas State University
 bought up Aquarena Springs a few years back,
 and I am sure there  are clean-up crews already
 present at this site.
     The year after my graduation from Southwest Texas State University,  San Marcos and neighbouring New Braunfels had a rain episode that caused water to rise to over the three story "Dee - lucks apartments" where I had lived.  And we were right by the last cliffs of the Balcones Escarpment and the very springs of the San Marcos River.   "It cain't never fludd here, nohow."
   (It flooded)   The rains closed the Interstate 35, they closed the accesses to Wimberly and Kyle, the entire city was under 3 to 8 feet of water.   We think it might have been the year 1970 +/-....but it was around that time.   This is just so you all will be aware that  he who scoffeths, does so at his own risk.
     Some years back...not too distantly.... the better three/quarters and I were considering moving into Wimberley, because we had enough shekels to place a 50% downpayment on a ramshackle "future bed and breakfast on one acre, fronting on the Blanco River.  But there was something in the back of my mind that said....everything here we should be able to excavate archaeologically in ten or fifty thousand years down by the coast.   So we deferred.
Trying Times.  There will be a bit more...including this admonition.  We really, really urge folks to select any old posting, just randomly, and/or peruse the posting for the past couple of weeks or months.  It will serve you well, if you will forgive the conceit.   More is to come to-night and to-morrow and in the coming days..
El Gringo Viejo
(a hint....El Zorro lives in the middle of all this storm, tornado, and flood mess, in his "little steel-roofed mansion" on the hilly prairie, surrounded by ghosts of the Cherokee and Comanche and the Chickasaw along with scores of oil and gas wells.  We shall draw some similarities between his abode and ours in Mexico....cats, dogs, ghosts, and all in the next few days.)

Monday, 25 May 2015

Very Rough Sledding To-day in "Extreme Central Texas"

     This was a rough day for folks pretty much throughout the centre of the Republic of Texas.   We are talking about from below the already flooded areas south of San Antonio, through two/thirds of the central core of the Country and beyond well into Oklahoma.
     In Austin and Round Rock we had children in the middle of a four way tornado attack....not watches, but warnings so close together that they were overlapping.   The water was rising again and small creeks appeared as rampaging medium-size rivers.  Driving from here to there was no certain thing because even high bridges were closed, and some were washed away.
     At this writing people are gone, mission, or preparing to attend funerals.   Cd. Villa Acun~a, across from Del Rio, Texas on the Rio Grande had a tornado that managed to kill 10 people, while the death toll in Central Texas has passed a dozen....with many people unaccounted for in Hays County from Kyle, to Wimberly, and San Marcos where El Gringo Viejo, his daughter, his son, and his son-in-law attended and graduated from the University.   Hays County is contiguous and to the south of Travis County, wherein Austin is located.   On the north side is Williamson County and that this DELL Computer Country....Round Rock and Georgetown being the urbs of interest to outsiders.

     Our contributors who live in the middle of Extreme Central Texas went to visit friends this very morning, thinking that things would certainly start to stabilise by that point.  They did stabilise, but to the way they had been for the past two weeks....and in some cases the past two months.  To wit:

   Today was a day of weather drama.

  We met up with our son and his family in Spicewood (1/2 way to Austin on 71 North) for lunch today.  We had some light rain this morning, but nothing to cause concern.  While at the restaurant, cell phone weather alerts started going off everywhere.  That drew our attention to the t.v.'s that were displaying weather alert information.  To our surprise, they were reporting a tornado event from our place back to the west a few miles all the way to Round Mountain.  You know my man--there was no waiting it out at the restaurant--it was charge!  We headed back to the ranch--skirted tornado areas, drove through hail storms, and were stopped and turned back by the Sheriff's Department on the Ranch to Market Road that leads to our place due to flooded low water crossings.
   We then headed to Johnson City so that we could approach the ranch through Stonewall.  The bridge over the Pedernales at  Stonewall is quite a bit higher than the low water crossing on the RR .  When we got to the barn entrance, we started seeing tornado damage to the trees.  You may recall that the Grape Creek crossing is about 100 yards from our barn gate.  Fortunately, we did not encounter any water coming over that crossing.  The next crossing, Spring Creek, had about 1 1/2' of water over the road.  It was a sheet of water about 30' wide and running swiftly.  Our truck is pretty high, so we proceeded across.  At this point we began to see some pretty significant tree damage.  Fortunately, no homes were damaged, including ours, and our ranch appears to have minimal tree damage, but we won't know for sure until we can get out and make a more thorough survey. 
Our neighbours at the bottom of Grape Creek Road had a tree fall across their road, so my weather warrior got his backhoe and headed back to their ranch.  After removing the tree, he decided to take the backhoe down to our barn entrance to clear the trees.  It had been less than an hour since we had crossed Grape Creek with no water on the road, and now he found it impassable--the creek was like a raging river.
We love having all of the rain, but it has brought with it heartbreak and tragedy for some.

     That gives a reasonable idea about what about 60 per cent of the population of Texas was putting up with to-day. 
  Our son-in-law forwarded a couple of shots showing the normally placid creek almost adjacent to their home....almost at flood stage.   This scene was repeated throughout the Central to-day as well as several other days during the months of April and May.

    The picture to the left was made by our daughter.  It shows the "puppy-dog's feet" clouds that always mean severe weather is in the offing either there or very nearby.   This time was no different.   The "infrastructure" of almost all this area is A- to A+ so there have been relatively few calamities and casualties considering the severity and endurance of these episodes.   All losses are, certainly, profoundly lamented.   In Hayes County, for instance, there were 300 houses that within a few short hours, simply did not exist anymore;  their pieces are probably 50 miles downstream in some nowhere somewhere.

We shall have more commentary to-morrow.
El Gringo Viejo
A Union Flag of the period - 1863
To-day. we especially remember Charles Newton, Sergeant, 96th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, mortally wounded at New Salem Church, Virginia on 3 May 1863 facing onslaught of CSA General Longstreet's advance towards a place in Pennsylvania that no one had ever heard of and would probably never remember, called Gettysburg. We also especially remember Edgar Newton, Corporal, 96th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, who was killed in action while harrassing the rear guard of the Army of Northern Virginia under the command of General Robert E. Lee. on or about the day of the first Sunday in August, 1863 as that Army withdrew from the place in Pennsylvania no one had ever heard of and continued its retreat into Virginia. Charles and Edgar Isaac were brothers and also my grandfather's brothers. My grandfather was three years old when he learned that his brothers had gone to be with the Angels.

This is not "the Flag of the Confederacy"
It is, in fact, the Battle Flag, taken
in to bellicose encounter.
   ALSO we remember and regret the loss of Asa Grant, Captain, 2 Tennessee Cavalry, wounded at Chickamauga and imprisoned at Camp Chase Ohio...died of his wounds and inhumane treatment while a POW five years after the end of the War Between the States. Also we lament the loss of 1st Lieutenant John Neal, Lieutenant H.H.Limbaugh, and others who gave their all for the Southern cause. They are, respectively a gggrandfather and two first cousins-twice removed who died in action or from wounds received in action serving the Confederate Cause.  In all the Neal clan and their blood collaterals and ancestry lost 11 to that Cause, and none ever bought a slave, and only two held slaves....old men who had been inherited and were cared for as family members during their old age until it was their time to dwell among the Angels.

First National flag of the Confederate States of America
This is the actual Flag of State for the
Confederacy States of America
We take leave of the OROG community for a while so as to leave them to their own devices and desires for this sombre and noble holiday.
El Gringo Viejo

Saturday, 23 May 2015

This is as good a deal as a person could ask for.....direct from El Zorro, unmasked!!

El Gringo Viejo urges, as with The Anglican Curmudgeon, a following of the brief and pointed remarks and observations by Jim (El Zorro) will be well worth the few minutes every week it might take to "fill in the blanks" and to correct the misinformation about Islam as it was, as it is, and as it might become should ignorance prevail.
     I am a dilettante student of the Abrahamic Religions and their interrelationships on the ancestral tree.  The history, archaeology, philosophies of the Hebrews, Christians, Buddhists, and Ishmaelites have been something in which my eldest brother and I wasted great amounts of tobacco, time, conjecture, and study long ago.   I have learned from El Zorro details and things about the religion and historical implications of that religion from both Dr. Milton (my brother) and the El Zorro known as Jim Bob from Forestburg, Texas.
    We must arm ourselves with correct information.  This is a valuable door being opened to all OROGs and their friends.
El Gringo Viejo
From the Pen of El Zorro

Below is more about basic Islam that I think is important for our people to know.
      The better half and I have some very good friends who are Muslim and they seem to be very well assimilated into our western way of life.  This is something of a contradiction to the definitions and history of Islam; however, there are Muslims here that actually do not know much about it just as there are Christians and Jews who are “part time” and claim to be one or the other even though they are not really.  With this in mind I would be happy to engage with any of you who have actual experiences with Muslims.
     Please do not hesitate to discuss the subject of Islam with me.  It is interesting and at the same time potentially dangerous, not having any knowledge of Islam.  Many people try to relate Islam to other religions.  That is not doable as Islam is not a religion but a whole-cultural system that stealthily uses religion to mask aggressive political objectives.
      If you belong to a particular religion or are agnostic or atheist it does no harm to listen and learn.  I am not teaching or preaching.  I am just relating information I have collected.  I feel few too many people give little, if any deep thought concerning what is happening in the Middle East as well as that which is growing here in the U.S. (at considerable risk to us all).
      The parts are available as they are posted online at mosinguy.com under the right side of the page “Important Issues”. 
Please respond if you feel so inclined. Thanks for your attention and consideration!!
El Zorro

Friday, 22 May 2015

The truth about NAFTA as opposed to the gibberish from know-nothings and labour union thugs.


Year-to-Date Total Trade

RankCountryExportsImportsTotal TradePercent of Total Trade
---Total, All Countries 373.1 539.9 912.9 100.0%
---Total, Top 15 Countries 262.6 413.3 675.9 74.0%
1 Canada69.374.5143.815.8%
2 China28.1110.5138.715.2%
3 Mexico57.169.9127.013.9%
4 Japan15.932.948.85.3%
5 Germany12.529.241.74.6%
6 Korea, South10.717.628.33.1%
7 United Kingdom13.313.126.42.9%
8 France7.611.118.72.0%
9 India5.
10 Taiwan5.710.015.71.7%
11 Brazil8.56.715.21.7%
12 Netherlands10.44.414.81.6%
13 Italy3.910.414.31.6%
14 Switzerland6.17.413.51.5%
15 Belgium8.44.513.01.4%

Year-to-Date Exports

RankCountryExportsPercent of Total Exports
---Total, All Countries 373.1 100.0%
---Total, Top 15 Countries 270.4 72.5%
1 Canada69.318.6%
2 Mexico57.115.3%
3 China28.17.5%
4 Japan15.94.3%
5 United Kingdom13.33.6%
6 Germany12.53.3%
7 Korea, South10.72.9%
8 Netherlands10.42.8%
9 Hong Kong9.52.5%
10 Brazil8.52.3%
11 Belgium8.42.3%
12 France7.62.0%
13 Singapore7.01.9%
14 Switzerland6.11.6%
15 Australia5.91.6%

Year-to-Date Imports

RankCountryImportsPercent of Total Imports
---Total, All Countries 539.9 100.0%
---Total, Top 15 Countries 422.5 78.3%
1 China110.520.5%
2 Canada74.513.8%
3 Mexico69.912.9%
4 Japan32.96.1%
5 Germany29.25.4%
6 Korea, South17.63.3%
7 United Kingdom13.12.4%
8 France11.12.1%
9 India11.02.0%
10 Italy10.41.9%
11 Taiwan10.01.9%
12 Ireland8.91.7%
13 Vietnam8.21.5%
14 Malaysia7.71.4%
15 Switzerland7.41.4%


     One might notice that NAFTA did not have anything to do with the movement of "jobs" from the United States to Mexico or anywhere else.   Also, one might notice that, for this 1/3 of a year's summary, Canada and Mexico with a combined populations of fewer than 160,000,.000 population far exceed Red China both as sellers to the United States and as buyer from the United States.
     Mexico in 1990 imported less than 9,000,000,000 USD in a year from the United States.  Now, total exports to Mexico from the American industrial and commercial base is running at a 200,000,000.000 (two hundred billion per annum)....and no pinko, protectionist, or labourite wants to remind people that most of Mexico's advantage in terms of balance of trade comes from American owned farm exports out of Mexico to the United States of everything from mangoes, avocados, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, and things like Tuna.   They also have become the fourth or fifth largest fabricator (not assembly, but total fabrication) of motor cars and trucks, some of which is exported to Canada and the United States.   They also now import things like Cadillacs and Lincolns.
     Just recently, ground was broken for a 1,500,000,000 USD Kia Plant in Monterrey, bringing the total number of manufacturies of engines, autos, and automotive pertinences to well over 500.   And unlike Red China, the Canadian and Mexican operators all comply with copyright and intellectual property rights understandings.

     Finally, long before NAFTA, scores and scores of American operations had set up manufacturing facilities in Mexico, including but not limited to companies such as John Deere, General Electric, General Motors, Zenith, and many, many others.   It just did not make sense to pay a dolt 43 dollars an hour in 1983 to bolt bumpers on crookedly to a boatcar.  Zenith spun out a multi-million dollar ad-campaign about how they said "Phooey.  The idea that the American worker is slothful and inefficient is wrong.  We have the best employees in the world and blah, blah, blah....".   Less than six months after that advertising campaign Zenith closed down and set up their operations principally in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.   Main reason?  They were truthful.  About 40% of the reason was for wage differences and 60% was because of better quality work, quicker training time, and labour unions that had been set free from government control dating back to the 1920s.


   None of this is really the absolute reason for this submission to the OROG community.   It is actually to point out that the NAFTA agreement has been damned and kicked around by every demagogue group imaginable....especially labour unions.   All of that is bilge.  Red China is the only serious abuser of trade and copyright and level field understandings....even Viet Nam complies with 95% of its quality and copyright promises.
     Almost all Americans and almost all Mexicans and Canadians have benefitted in concrete terms due to our three way free trade agreement.   Our trade with the two partners with only 160 million people essentially dwarfs the amount of trade with the "Great Dragon Monster" with 1,300 million people.   Check the graphs.

     Check this....at the Toyota Plant in San Antonio, Republic of Texas.   Do you all want the UAW or do you want to continue with an on-campus employee association?   Overwhelming majority declares in favour of the employee association.    In the maquiladoras in Mexico, the overwhelming majority of employees prefer employee associations, White Unions, and the like over the old once government required and sponsored Confederacion de Trabajadores Mexicanos (Confederation of Mexican Labourers - (CTM), once one-third of the government party...the Jurassic Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

     Free people must, of necessity, hate labour unions in these days.   When they stopped being Artesan Masters' Guilds they began to lose social, cultural, and economic value for the common man.

     One last thing is that the figures of visits, shopping, and short vacation stays (15 days or less), daily purchases by Mexicans and Americans on each other's side of the border, as in tourism or shopping, are not included in these figures....but it amounts to about 1,000,000,000 USD per day.  Just this one figure dwarfs all the cartels put together by 100 times over.

Front view of a red fire alarm bell over white background Stock Photo - 10212773
Break glass to sound alarm



     Please review these above figures.  Remember that the stats represent only one-third of a year.....and they are fairly accurate.   Once again thanks you for your time, patience, and patronage.
El Gringo Viejo

The Entries Below Are in Honour of the Fallen and wounded and for those who grieve