Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Sequel: Focus Group V

     The entire episode presented by the president last night was simple foolishness.   Even less than sound and fury, it was the stuff of focus group phrases, spoken by dolts with little intellectual or deductive ability.   The teleprompter feeders dutifully take off the phrases....job training....income inequality.... make America a fairer place....make investments in America's future....and the like.   Then after they have 20 or 30 phrases, those phrases are strung together in an incoherent way and read off of the teleprompter with lofty, near-shouted community organiser - cheerleader - union boss assertiveness by a puppet known as the first person to have ever been given the Nobel Peace Prize for having done all that stuff about everything and whatever.
Message to the nephew of Auntie Zietuni and Uncle Omar:   Your task, according to the Constitution is to give a state of the Union report to  the Congrefs of the United States of America.  No report was made.  I shall give the report for the nephew of Auntie Zietuni and Uncle Omar.
     The condition of the Republic is strained.   There are more people taking than giving.  The government is abusing its authority by over-regulating and by interfering with private parties and businesses via the Internal Revenue Service among other bureaucracies.  Foreign policy matters are laughable, were they not so dangerous, and the military is sick to death of Zietuni's and Omar's nephew.   So, we can assume that the condition of the Republic is not good, therefore the president has been largely successful in his mission to begin to  fundamentally transform America into a third-world country.
We have given the report.
Ours costs less and said a bit more in terms of discernible substance.
El Gringo Viejo.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

From Reuters: Argentina Circles the Bowl


Being the (Sir Edmund) Hillary of South America
takes a toll on a girl.  Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
did have a brain health issue last year.   She was out of
circulation for about five weeks until appearing in public
in mid-January finally.   She and her government have
succeeded, by in large, in destroying the financial system
of Argentina, along with the peso, in the quest of establishing
"Income Equality".   Leftism brings depravity and ruin.
(the upper labelling of the photos states, "Argentina remains
aware of the health of its President.")
27 January 2014   

UPDATE 4-Argentina's peso slides on first day of new currency rules

Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:05pm EST

By Brad Haynes and Hugh Bronstein
    BUENOS AIRES, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Argentina set monthly
limits on dollar purchases on Monday, widening the gap between
the official and parallel exchange rates with an erratic
currency policy that has battered the peso and rattled global
financial markets.
    By limiting the purchases of U.S. dollars to a fifth of a
worker's monthly wages, the government revived doubts about its
commitment to a more open currency market under measures
announced on Friday.
    The concerns circling the peso, which posted its biggest
daily drop in a decade last week, added to fears of an
emerging-market sell off hitting currencies from the Turkish lira
to the Polish zloty.  
    Argentina's ostracism from international credit markets
since a 2002 debt default has limited the risks to the global
financial system. However, the plunging peso could hurt trade
with neighbours such as Brazil, whose currency closed at a
five-month low on Monday.
    Argentina's central bank stabilised the official peso by
pumping $100 million of its waning reserves into the interbank
market. But private traders wary of the government restrictions
weakened the peso nearly 4 percent in parallel trading.
    Due to excess demand for dollars, the peso trades on the
parallel black market at a discount of more than 40 percent to
the tightly controlled official exchange rate.
    "This is a relief, but it is not freedom. In practise, it
gives just a little escape," said economist Rodolfo Rossi in
Buenos Aires. "The pressure on the (black-market peso) is going
to continue."
    The local currency weakened on the black market to
12.15 pesos per U.S. dollar, while the official exchange rate
 was unchanged at 8 per dollar in thin trading. Last
week, the official peso slid nearly 20 percent as investors
scrambled to make sense of the new currency regime.
    The rapid depreciation has raised credit risks for Argentine
banks, insurers and companies with foreign debts, analysts from
Moody's Investors Service warned in a research note to
    "It remains unclear what policies the government plans to
pursue to address the underlying causes of capital flight, curb
inflation and restore investor confidence," the ratings agency
said in a statement. "Hence, Argentina's credit quality will
likely continue to face negative pressure."
    Moody's forecast a further 50 percent devaluation of the
peso by the end of the year, with price pressures from imports
pushing inflation upward to over 30 percent in 2014, from what
is already one of the world's highest inflation rates.
    Argentine officials were quick to dismiss such risks.
    "There is no reason that the exchange rate should distort
consumer prices," said Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich in a press
conference detailing the new regulations. "Lots of businesses
just raise their prices out of uncertainty."
    Shopkeepers over the weekend hurriedly replaced price tags
on imported items, from Cuban cigars to Asian televisions.
    The price surge followed the government's decision to lift
two-year-old restrictions on Argentines buying foreign currency,
allowing savers access to coveted U.S. dollars.
    The relaxation of controls came as the central bank's
foreign exchange reserves dipped under $30 billion - a level
suggesting its interventions in support of the anaemic peso had
become unsustainable.  
    Allowing average wage-earners to access U.S. dollars should
pressure reserves as well, because the central bank is the
economy's main source of foreign exchange.
    Conditioned by previous financial crises to hold savings in
dollars, Argentines are obsessed with the greenback. The
currency controls regime ending on Monday forced many people to
go to the black market for dollars to protect against the weak
peso and fast-rising consumer prices. 
    Consumer prices rose about 25 percent in 2013, according to
private analyst estimates. Official data, which many economists
dispute, clocks inflation at less than half that rate. A new
government consumer price index, ordered by the International
Monetary Fund, is expected to be unveiled next month. 
    While inflationary, President Cristina Fernandez's policies
were seen by most voters as the key to economic recovery from
the 2002 debacle. She easily won re-election in 2011, promising
deeper market interventions and more stimulus spending
unencumbered by inflation targeting.
    The effect of peso volatility on other countries' markets
should be limited by the fact that Argentina has been unable to
issue international bonds since its 2002 sovereign default.
    Since then, the government's unorthodox policies -
underscored by its 2012 seizure of energy company YPF 
- have kept all but the most risk-hungry investors at bay.
    The peso's recent slide added to risk aversion in global
financial markets, but foreign officials played down concerns.
    "The troubles in Argentina today find a European Union that
is much more solid and a euro that is much more solid and a
better ability to deal with this kind of concern," Italian Prime
Minister Enrico Letta told journalists on Monday.
    Consumer prices remain a big worry on the streets of
Argentina, but the issue has not sparked mass protests lately.
Tensions may rise in the coming weeks as labour unions demand
that pay increase in line with private inflation estimates.
    If Argentina suffers 30 percent inflation this year, as
private analysts expect, it would mark the fastest rate since
the 2002 crisis, when inflation reached 41 percent.
    Fernandez has mentioned neither consumer prices nor the
peso's plight in recent speeches, leaving her cabinet to
announce policy changes. The next presidential election is in
2015, with Fernandez constitutionally barred from a third term.

What? No selfie?
     Being an inveterate blowhard and self-congratulator, El Gringo Viejo reminds all OROGs that this event was predicted early last year.  The Argentine Peso is involved in a death spiral that will provoke, for the second time in the last few years, a complete and total bankruptcy of the Republica de Argentina.   Cristina was hysterically assuring the Argies and the world, less than six months ago that the fundamentals of her "share the wealth" and "make the rich pay their fair share" schemes were sound approaches to establishing a more economically democratic Argentina.
     Cristina was also threatening to re-declare war on the Brits, and/or to establish a diplomatic boycott of the Old Empire.  That measure met with similar success.   The Falkland Island issue always serves to whip up war fervour among the Argentine people for at least 22 minutes.
     There are so many parallels between the promises and accomplishments of Obama and this horrid demagogue princess that it is almost as if they are twins separated at birth, born under the same star, and....thankfully, both term limited out during the 2015 to 2016 period....we hope.
More later.  Thank you all for the time you invest in this screed.
El Gringo Viejo

Little Boxes, Little Boxes....and then he was gone....a long time passing



The nightmare of psoriasis
and cul-de-sacs
Left-think requires that we not just know...but confess, admit, and believe...that the picture on the OROG's left represents a great evil.   Simultaneously, we are demanded by the left-thinkers that we must also admit the picture on the right represents a higher form of human achievement.  The popular "folk-song" of the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s and 1970s was a sneering impeachment of the bourgeois decadence and materialistic orientation of the "artificial non-existent American Culture".  It was necessary to tear down anything that bespoke of comfort, treasure, individual sovereignty, and of course, the silly pursuit of the "American Dream".    It was always a source of humour to El Gringo Viejo to note that the marxists condemned America and Americans for materialism, when in fact, Marxism was and remains pseudo-philosophy based entirely upon materialism and envy.
Somehow, little boxes really don't
seem that attractive in the Brave
 New World of central planning.
     At worst the Gringos practiced a form of idiotic "keeping up with the Joneses", but the Bolshies practiced "let's slaughter a few hundred thousand royals and aristocrats and a few million traditionalist, prosperous peasants in the Ukraine and Georgia so that Uncle Joe can have his dacha on the shores of the Black Sea.''  And the Bolshies also practiced the art of requiring, from each citizen, that which his abilities permitted and, of course, giving to each citizen what the government determined to be his needs. 
     The OROG certainly understands the perfect yin-yang, the finest balance of karmic resolution, taking only what could be given and giving only what would be needed.   Wow!  One might wish he could have thought that up all by himself.  Except...were we to "balance" things that way, then it might possibly turn out to look like the picture on the right....Leningrad, 1989.

     So Malvina Reynolds writes the song that Pete Seeger sings, ridiculing America and the Americans and the American way of life.   The audience laughs and snickers....feels superior for a moment....without remembering what happens when pinkoes and elitist social engineers can do for a city...even in America.  Just drive by any public housing project in any of America's 100 largest cities.  Right, Pete....little boxes, really.   The government should do something about it.

More later.
El Gringo Viejo

Monday, 27 January 2014

If, then. If not, why not? Why this and not that?


Enslave Women, Beat Them Up, Disorder the Social Order.   Democrat National Socialist War on Women is alive and well, and, of course, un-reported.    

To any reasonable observer, the contradictions are massive....huge....even gargantuan.   Somehow the record of victimised women, frequently beaten and/or abused women left behind by Billy Jeff Blythe is phenomenal.  Or the disdain Theodore (Lion of the Senate) Kennedy had for your daughter, his wife, his children male and female, can also inspire future degenerates for years and generations to come.
    The Democrat National Socialist Workers' Party has performed phenomenally in the process of enslaving women throughout the United States of America to the notion that Aid to Families with Dependent Children is some kind of calling or a right or a way-of-life.  With each program to "help" women, domestic violence has risen to ever higher levels of per capita numbers and severity of abuse.
Anthony Wiener is a big
 supporter of the War
 on Women.
     Children are born into fatherless homes, sent to rudderless schools, fed, food banked and stamped, and suddenly decide to become gang members.  Later, when they are around 16 to 22...they beat up their mothers and grandmothers and girlfriends.   It is the product produced by the Brave New World Social Organisation.    Mayhem, violence, degeneracy, profligacy are the end product of  government programmes that are "helping women".

       And, in keeping with the Leftist Rule of always accusing your opponents of doing (when they are not) precisely what the Left really is doing, they point vigorously at George Bush or Ted Cruz or Rush Limbaugh, when in fact the greatest enemy of womankind is that famous serpent, whispering, "You don't need to follow no stinkin'  natural law,  you gots the Government."

     To these remarks it will be responded perhaps that we are accusing all women involved in multigenerational welfare dependency are guilty of something.   We are.    We also point at those welfare dependency workers, the companies and industries that promote participation in slugism and welfare dependency.  

     It is called .... a purposeful War on Women...designed to enslave people to a form of dependency that is much greater than a life-style;   it is an addiction.
The Wondrous Dinesh D'Souza Evaporation Machine:

America's most dangerous is now being readied for death by defamation via the active measures being taken by the United States Department of Justice,
Dinesh D'Souza
Public Enemy
with direction by Attorney General Eric (the Red) Holder, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and  the Internal Revenue Service.
     He is being prosecuted for campaign contribution violations.   No one has ever been prosecuted for his particular way and amount of contribution.   The Clintons, the Gores, and all Democrats and leftists are absolved of any "criminal intent"....remember Al Gore being unaware of what was happening at the Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles on that pleasant afternoon when he carried off several hundred thousand dollars in illegal campaign contributions.   Red Chinese campaign contributions were legendary.   Selling pardons for Bill and Hillary became a cottage industry for both Bill's and Hillary's brothers.
     But, it is the price one pays for helping the president's little brother. Dinesh must be punished!!!   Documentary movies that say bad things about bad people are bad....especially for the people who make the movie.
     But now, Eric the Red Holder, who cannot "get to the bottom" of the Fast and Furious matter with hundreds of dead people resulting from a botched plan that he, the anti-private gun ownership cabal, and career bureaucrats dreamed up.   Those are the ones who have dreams about that wonderful time when only the bureaucrats and the elites will have guns and the little people will be allowed to dial 911 for the body pick-up service.   Obama's National Health Service will pass out necklaces with transmitting devices that the people can press that say, "Help me, I've been shot.  I'm dead.  Please come and pick me up".
This Dinesh D'Souza  thing is reminiscent of the Tom DeLay mess that turned out badly, finally, for the over-zealous, leftist, Travis County, Texas district attorney.

Oy vey iz mir!
El Gringo Viejo

Humour and Adventure

    The folks who we identify as living on an isolated ranch in "Extreme Central Texas" are compelling, complicated yet plainly good and straightforward as any two can be.  We are including a bit of political humour (contradiction of terms?) and a bit of the adventurous life they live.   They are the poster-children for "Whom to Hate" among the Obamaoids.  Well-to-do, philosophically religious, conservative, Americanites, generous to a fault, and totally unpretentious are adjectives that can be reasonably ascribed to them.   As with El Zorro and Wife, these two people are also very comely folks who are always the ones who dress up the place.

Two submissions.  To wit:

Barack Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Joe the Plumber to come and fix it.

Joe drives to Obama's house, which is located in a very nice neighborhood and where it's clear that all the residents make more than $250,000 per year.
Joe arrives and takes his tools into the house. Joe is led to the room that contains the leaky pipe under a sink. Joe assesses the problem and tells Obama, who is standing near the door, that it's an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes.
Obama asks Joe how much it will cost. Joe immediately says, "$9,500."
"$9,500?" Obama asks, stunned, "But you said it's an easy repair!"
"Yes, but what I do is charge a lot more to my clients who make more than $250,000 per year so I can fix the plumbing of everybody who makes less than that for free," explains Joe. "It's always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied government to pass this philosophy as law, and it did pass earlier this year, so now all plumbers have to do business this way. It's  known as 'Joe's Affordable Plumbing Act of 2013.' Surprised you haven't heard of it."
In spite of that, Obama tells Joe there's no way he's paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Joe leaves. Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book looking for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses listed have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Joe's price, Obama does nothing. The leak under Obama's sink goes unrepaired for the next several days.
A week later the leak is so bad that Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there's a risk that the room will flood, so Obama calls Joe and pleads with him to return. Joe goes back to Obama's house, looks at the leaky pipe, and says, “Let's see - this will cost you about $21,000."
"A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!" Obama quickly fires back.
Joe explains the reason for the dramatic increase. "Well, because of the 'Joe's Affordable Plumbing Act,' a lot of rich people are learning how to fix their own plumbing, so there are fewer of you paying for all the free plumbing I'm doing for the people who make less than $250,000. As a result, the rate I have to charge my wealthy paying customers rises every day.
"Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work from the group of people who get it for free has skyrocketed, and there's a long waiting list of those who need repairs. This has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, and they're not being replaced - nobody is going into the plumbing business because they know they won't make any money. I'm hurting now too - all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won't pay their fair share."
Obama tries to straighten out the plumber: "Of course you're hurting, Joe! Don't you get it? If all the rich people learn how to fix their own plumbing and you refuse to charge the poorer people for your services, you'll be broke, and then what will you do?"
Joe immediately replies, "Run for president, apparently."

     I have had a memorable December and feel compelled to tell about it.  Ten years ago, Xxxxxxxxxxx, a classmate, and his wife bought a new Island Packet 485, christened Xxx Xxxxx, and commenced their circumnavigation.  The S/V Xxx Xxxxx is a cutter rigged sloop, 51.6 feet OAL, a 15 ft. beam, drawing 5.5 to 6 ft. with a fixed keel.  We helped them sail from Ft. Lauderdale to the Panama Canal in February 2004.  Along with their son in law, they sailed across the Pacific.  Later, in 2006, my wife and I sailed in Xxx Xxxxx up the coast of Australia to Cairn.  Then in 2009, I embarked in Xxx  Xxxxx at Salalah, Oman, and sailed past Somalia and Yemen through the Gulf of Aden and up the Red Sea to the Suez Canal.  Thus you might conclude that we know each other in many ways.
     After the family Thanksgiving at the ranch, Nancy, my wife, and I drove to Florida in early December.  On 9 Dec 13, I flew Air Berlin from Miami to Tenerife via a plane change in Dusseldorf.  Tenerife is a prosperous island of about 800 square miles with a population of 900,000, and the highest point in Spain with a volcano of 12,000 ft. and plenty of snow at the summit.
     We departed on 17 Dec 13, heading WSW with 12 ft. swells and 20 kt. ENE winds, to 20N x 30W, then a slight course change to 15N x 40W, and then to 270 degrees to the north end of St. Lucia, 15 miles south of Martinique.  The total distance was about 2850 nm.  We had 15-20 kt. ENE winds increasing to 20-30 kt. ENE winds the entire 19 days and routine 15 ft., 8 sec. ground swells as well.  Sometimes local weather fronts from the north caused some cross swells.  Rolls of 25 deg. were common with endless 15 deg. rolls.  Sleeping was difficult forward or aft, thus Bob and I ended up sleeping on the settees in the main salon amidships.  We used a heavy #3 cruising genoa as our only sail for the first two weeks and routinely made over 6 knots with many 145 mile days.  While we generally had a favourable current, it rarely exceeded a knot and was less than expected.  The generator ran at least 4 hours each day to charge the batteries, mostly used for the autopilot, refrigeration and communication.
     The first casualty of note was the furling line on the genoa that chafed until it parted.  Xxxx ably re-rigged the remnant and we proceeded on.  Early one morning, shortly after daybreak, we noticed the genoa had a slack luff and 5 minutes later the whole sail was over the port bow in the water.  The halyard had parted at the masthead sheave.  Fortunately it was daylight and soon the genoa, was clawed back on board and lashed on deck.  We had a spare halyard, but were not sure that the fleet angle was aligned with the forestay.  The Xxx Xxxxx has a main that is furled in the mast.  It was then 80% deployed as a reefed main and back to 6 knots with an improved, slower roll period.  With about five days to go, we still had 80 to 90% of our 300 gallons of fuel and commenced motor sailing.  Running the main engine at 1600-1800 rpm kept the batteries charged, let us make water, stay above 6 knots and still not use much fuel as the main at 90% did the heavy lifting.  We arrived with well over half our fuel.
     Christmas and New Year’s Day were very ordinary days except for Xxxxxx Xxxxx preparing special meals and serving delicacies hidden in the freezer and other niches only known to her.  Daily at 0800Z and 1900Z, there was a “Net” on the SSB (Single Side Band) with five or six other sailboats in port or in transit.  Weather, sea conditions, progress and problems were discussed.  One boat spilled their chili on the cabin sole but raked it back in the pan for continued consumption.
     One of the most unbelievable aspects of this voyage was that we did not see a plane or vessel until on the 17th day when we finally did see a passing freighter.  On four or five occasions, a school of porpoises would frolic alongside for an hour or so.  Until one sails the ocean, you cannot comprehend its magnitude.  While man has been able to alter the shape of the land, he has managed to merely transit the oceans by floating or flying over them.  In 2004, Xxx Xxxxx transited the Pacific.  The longest leg was from the Galapagos to Hiva Oa in the Marquesas, about the same distance from Tenerife to St. Lucia, 2850 nm.  The sheer volume of water 10,000 ft deep and 3000 miles wide with the associated energy is mind boggling.  Standing watch with large following swells can be mesmerising.  Will this be the wave that breaks over the stern or will it lift in time and how will the steering handle the twisting, corkscrew motion as the wave passes under the hull?  A couple times we did have gusts to 40 kts, which Xxx Xxxxx handled well with brief bursts to 8+ knots.
     Now the difficult part, Why?  To be honest, I am still not sure?  Perhaps, at my age, introducing a challenge of uncertain outcome is a good thing.  With only wind in the rigging, contemplating the cosmos under the Almighty’s hand at 0400, with the Southern Cross and countless stars on a vast ocean is humbling and good for the soul.
     By pure coincidence during the passage, I started reading 1421 by Gavin Menzies, a retired Royal Navy submarine skipper and improbable historical author.  More than any book that I have read, it challenged everything I had learnt in school about the European age of discovery by altering my perspective of who first mapped the world and when.  Additionally, it has further diminished my respect for the academic community.  Why has it taken so long when so much of the evidence was obvious with much improved tools?  I approached the book with guarded scepticism, and encourage the same by others.
     After three weeks in steady 25 knot trade winds, I expected to see rotor to rotor wind generators on St. Lucia where the average income is $4350/year and unskilled labour is available for US$200-300 per month.  Such was not the case.  Apparently, only countries with large federal governments can afford the efficiencies of green energy.  Solar heating of hot water was effective and common.  English is the official language of St. Lucia, which received its independence in 1979.  Fourteen times ownership of the island changed.  Most streets and names are French and older citizens also speak a French patois.  The island, while not prosperous, is beautiful, lush and fertile; but I did not see any commercial agriculture other than some small banana plantations.
     After arriving at Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, on 5 Jan 14; my wife flew in and we spent four days at the small, 26 room Calabash Cove Resort, owned by two Germans.  It is a great place to relax, swim and read.  We expected to eat out, but found the food so tasty that we ate all four dinners in the open air dining room.  Questions are welcome.
     As an aside, El Gringo Viejo's eldest brother was a Ph. D and for a good while, the head of the College of Geography and Geology of Louisiana State University.   He was an accomplished expert in historical and cultural patterns of migrations of humanity, an expert linguist, a published author concerning matters of archaeology and anthropology, and many other accomplishments.  He was disturbed by the "longbeards" unyielding and dogged demand that matters always be regarded as "settled science" even when such knowledge would be found buried under tonnes of contradictory evidence.
     For instance, the stone projectile points classified under the monikers of  "Plainview", "Clovis",  and "Folsom", and to some degree the "Castroville", are essentially identical to other stone projectile points that have been commonly found in the Celto-Gallic areas of pre-historic France.  They would have to be at least 10,000 years old, yet they were found at surface washes and/or fairly shallow trenching sites in the places named above in and near Texas.   Those places gave the points their names.
     There were hundreds if not thousands of points that my brother and his accomplices would moan and bellyache about, and for good reason.   This business of "3,000 of the World's leading scientists agree that man-made Global Warming is a unanimously accepted as incontrovertible fact" is an example.  Of course, statements such as those are untrue, and the untruths that they represent are absolutely false on many levels.
Thanks for your attention, as always!
El Gringo Viejo


Sunday, 26 January 2014

OROGs beware - He's baaaack.....

   We made it up this morning, after several days and nights of sometimes bitter cold down at our little place on the side of the Sierra Madre Oriental.  To-morrow morning efforts will be made to reach out to our contributors and to certain other folks with more personal notes.   Observations about things in America and Mexico will be forthcoming, with possibly two entries as well.
     It takes a bit longer for El Gringo Viejo to "gear-up" following the drive.   There is an abundance of excellent targets and topics.
     This is the first time in our experience that we have had two snow episodes in a one-month time frame....and it appears that another, perhaps more significant snow / sleet event is in store for this coming Tuesday.   Thank goodness we enrolled Alvaro  in that snowman making class.   Alvaro, for newcomers, is our on-site manager, "mil-usos", and greatest all-around mayordomo in the history of on-site managers in Mexican history.
Much more later.
El Gringo Viejo

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Cold and no real problems

  There has been a quite a bit of cold down here.  Almost three weeks of overnight lows in the mid-thirties....and a bit of rain about a week ago.   The particular connection we have right now is not working very well, so I shan´t send much or overdo my commentary.   Things are growing well, and work continues on the grounds and certain basic repairs.   We are thinking about one and all....caring for the cats and dogs....very few passers-by and very little activity on the trail down to our place.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Departure into the cold

   We shall leave at 06:30 to-morrow morning, if in fact there is certainty about the roads and bridges.   If the present sleet and slight snow persists during the night, there might be some chance that the bridges across the Rio Grande might be impassable, as well as the bridge over the floodway, almost a half mile, and it can be prone to icing.
     Barring any contretemps we should be pulling int0 our little mud hideaway around noon-time to-morrow.   It is almost certain that we shall have a large mound of firewood at the door, and there will be an accounting of all the visitors we have had during the last three and a fraction weeks.   There will also be all the gossip that is fit to repeat....and like on Hee - Haw, if it's not fit to repeat, I'll have to listen real careful-like on the first time.
     It might be a bit easier for  El Gringo Viejo to make it over to the computer chat rooms, because our dog is alone now....and his girl-friend who managed to bear him 6 s0ns and 3 daughters.   We were reluctant to leave them all alone on the last stay, so I stayed closer than normal to the hearth.   But, incredibly, all 9 dogs have found good homes, and the mother dog has a new place of her own,  about 6 miles to the south of us.  BeBe the Labrador was a good father dog, but hopefully he has learned that my house is not the house of all dogs of the Universal Caninia.    The sudden decrease in dogs, however small, will allow me the chance to take Bebe to the mayordomo of the Hacienda de La Vega in order to baby-sit BeBe for an couple of hours, so that I can do some "messaging" with my peeps.
     We have a lot of food to take in, food for Gringo No. I, for BeBe, and the three cats,  so we are hoping that there will be kinder and gentler Mexican border inspectors....we have never had problems with them...but to-morrow would not be a good time to have a delay when the temperatures are hovering in the low 30s.   Nothing we are taking in is prohibited,  so there will be no problem. 
Hopefully, more messages soon.
El Gringo Viejo

Snow and sleet at the Quinta...

Just a brief note to tell the OROG community that our little place down on the skirts of the Sierra Madre Oriental is picking up all kinds of Global Warming and climate change.   Sleet and moderately heavy snow has coated the mountains to our west, all the way down into our place and on to the north and east a considerable distance.   It is not such a rare Winter's event, but it is always the cause of excitement for all.
El Gringo Viejo....

El Gringo Viejo will deign and allow you to read....

We would like to revise and extend our remarks, just a bit.
     Can anyone out there in OROG-land imagine that we would ever have a president so dull, so thuggish, or so low-class as to say with a straight face,"I am going to allow....."?
     Or, a slightly different,"I am ordering that insurance companies provide free birth control to ....."
     These are methods of address that even Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria would not have used except under seal of Parliament and in an extremely formal, ceremonial setting.  It is more like the arrogance and wave of the back of the hand....''Get Your Revenge"....mindset that one might encounter in Pyongyang.   It genuinely smells like Uncle Joe during his best moments....such as "rural renewal"....aka the collectivisation of the Georgian private farms....some of the most productive in the history of man....made desolate, essentially by the wave of a hand.

     To have an idea of what a variation of the leftist bully narcissist might look like one can read the following brief history of the famously prosperous Ukrainian peasant class.   It ran afoul of one Iosif Dzhugashvili, a half-Osserian, half Georgian boy...small, never growing beyond 5 feet and 4 inches...and a bit frail in youth, due to a hard bout with smallpox.

We commend these following paragraphs to the attention of the OROGs so as to make make ever more certain....why we oppose any form of socialism.   It must of necessity devolve into a totalitarian dictatorship and/or an oligarchy of miniscule percentage of the population.   The dictator and his oligarchical court are almost always madmen, perverts, and sadists.  We point out this perfect example, a man who changed his name from Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili  to Iosif Stalin...or as he was lovingly know, "Uncle Joe",  or "Joe Steeled" .


Stalin's Forced Famine 1932-33 7,000,000 Deaths


     Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, set in motion events designed to cause a famine in the Ukraine to destroy the people there seeking independence from his rule. As a result, an estimated 7,000,000 persons perished in this farming area, known as the breadbasket of Europe, with the people deprived of the food they had grown with their own hands.
     The Ukrainian independence movement actually predated the Stalin era. Ukraine, which measures about the size of France, had been under the domination of the Imperial Czars of Russia for 200 years. With the collapse of the Czarist rule in March 1917, it seemed the long-awaited opportunity for independence had finally arrived. Optimistic Ukrainians declared their country to be an independent People's Republic and re-established the ancient capital city of Kiev as the seat of government.
     However, their new-found freedom was short-lived. By the end of 1917, Vladimir Lenin, the first leader of the Soviet Union, sought to reclaim all of the areas formerly controlled by the Czars, especially the fertile Ukraine. As a result, four years of chaos and conflict followed in which Ukrainian national troops fought against Lenin's Red Army, and also against Russia's White Army (troops still loyal to the Czar) as well as other invading forces including the Germans and Poles.
     By 1921, the battles ended with a Soviet victory while the western part of the Ukraine was divided-up among Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia. The Soviets immediately began shipping out huge amounts of grain to feed the hungry people of Moscow and other big Russian cities. Coincidentally, a drought occurred in the Ukraine, resulting in widespread starvation and a surge of popular resentment against Lenin and the Soviets.
     To lessen the deepening resentment, Lenin relaxed his grip on the country, stopped taking out so much grain, and even encouraged a free-market exchange of goods. This breath of fresh air renewed the people's interest in independence and resulted in a national revival movement celebrating their unique folk customs, language, poetry, music, arts, and Ukrainian orthodox religion.
But when Lenin died in 1924, he was succeeded by Joseph Stalin, one of the most ruthless humans ever to hold power. To Stalin, the burgeoning national revival movement and continuing loss of Soviet influence in the Ukraine was completely unacceptable. To crush the people's free spirit, he began to employ the same methods he had successfully used within the Soviet Union. Thus, beginning in 1929, over 5,000 Ukrainian scholars, scientists, cultural and religious leaders were arrested after being falsely accused of plotting an armed revolt. Those arrested were either shot without a trial or deported to prison camps in remote areas of Russia.
      Stalin also imposed the Soviet system of land management known as collectivization. This resulted in the seizure of all privately owned farmlands and livestock, in a country where 80 percent of the people were traditional village farmers. Among those farmers, were a class of people called Kulaks by the Communists. They were formerly wealthy farmers that had owned 24 or more acres, or had employed farm workers. Stalin believed any future insurrection would be led by the Kulaks, thus he proclaimed a policy aimed at "liquidating the Kulaks as a class."
      Declared "enemies of the people," the Kulaks were left homeless and without a single possession as everything was taken from them, even their pots and pans. It was also forbidden by law for anyone to aid dispossessed Kulak families. Some researchers estimate that ten million persons were thrown out of their homes, put on railroad box cars and deported to "special settlements" in the wilderness of Siberia during this era, with up to a third of them perishing amid the frigid living conditions. Men and older boys, along with childless women and unmarried girls, also became slave-workers in Soviet-run mines and big industrial projects.
      Back in the Ukraine, once-proud village farmers were by now reduced to the level of rural factory workers on large collective farms. Anyone refusing to participate in the compulsory collectivization system was simply denounced as a Kulak and deported.
      A propaganda campaign was started utilizing eager young Communist activists who spread out among the country folk attempting to shore up the people's support for the Soviet regime. However, their attempts failed. Despite the propaganda, ongoing coercion and threats, the people continued to resist through acts of rebellion and outright sabotage. They burned their own homes rather than surrender them. They took back their property, tools and farm animals from the collectives, harassed and even assassinated local Soviet authorities. This ultimately put them in direct conflict with the power and authority of Joseph Stalin.
       Soviet troops and secret police were rushed in to put down the rebellion. They confronted rowdy farmers by firing warning shots above their heads. In some cases, however, they fired directly at the people. Stalin's secret police (GPU, predecessor of the KGB) also went to work waging a campaign of terror designed to break the people's will. GPU squads systematically attacked and killed uncooperative farmers.
Maps & Photo
Present day map of Russia showing the location of the Ukraine (highlighted in green).
Present day map of Ukraine.
A World War II era photo of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (on right) with top aide Viachislav Molotov who helped implement the 1932-33 famine policy in the Ukraine.
      But the resistance continued. The people simply refused to become cogs in the Soviet farm machine and remained stubbornly determined to return to their pre-Soviet farming lifestyle. Some refused to work at all, leaving the wheat and oats to rot in unharvested fields. Once again, they were placing themselves in conflict with Stalin.
     In Moscow, Stalin responded to their unyielding defiance by dictating a policy that would deliberately cause mass starvation and result in the deaths of millions.
     By mid 1932, nearly 75 percent of the farms in the Ukraine had been forcibly collectivized. On Stalin's orders, mandatory quotas of foodstuffs to be shipped out to the Soviet Union were drastically increased in August, October and again in January 1933, until there was simply no food remaining to feed the people of the Ukraine.
      Much of the hugely abundant wheat crop harvested by the Ukrainians that year was dumped on the foreign market to generate cash to aid Stalin's Five Year Plan for the modernization of the Soviet Union and also to help finance his massive military buildup. If the wheat had remained in the Ukraine, it was estimated to have been enough to feed all of the people there for up to two years.
     Ukrainian Communists urgently appealed to Moscow for a reduction in the grain quotas and also asked for emergency food aid. Stalin responded by denouncing them and rushed in over 100,000 fiercely loyal Russian soldiers to purge the Ukrainian Communist Party. The Soviets then sealed off the borders of the Ukraine, preventing any food from entering, in effect turning the country into a gigantic concentration camp. Soviet police troops inside the Ukraine also went house to house seizing any stored up food, leaving farm families without a morsel. All food was considered to be the "sacred" property of the State. Anyone caught stealing State property, even an ear of corn or stubble of wheat, could be shot or imprisoned for not less than ten years.
      Starvation quickly ensued throughout the Ukraine, with the most vulnerable, children and the elderly, first feeling the effects of malnutrition. The once-smiling young faces of children vanished forever amid the constant pain of hunger. It gnawed away at their bellies, which became grossly swollen, while their arms and legs became like sticks as they slowly starved to death.
     Mothers in the countryside sometimes tossed their emaciated children onto passing railroad cars traveling toward cities such as Kiev in the hope someone there would take pity. But in the cities, children and adults who had already flocked there from the countryside were dropping dead in the streets, with their bodies carted away in horse-drawn wagons to be dumped in mass graves. Occasionally, people lying on the sidewalk who were thought to be dead, but were actually still alive, were also carted away and buried.
      While police and Communist Party officials remained quite well fed, desperate Ukrainians ate leaves off bushes and trees, killed dogs, cats, frogs, mice and birds then cooked them. Others, gone mad with hunger, resorted to cannibalism, with parents sometimes even eating their own children.
     Meanwhile, nearby Soviet-controlled granaries were said to be bursting at the seams from huge stocks of 'reserve' grain, which had not yet been shipped out of the Ukraine. In some locations, grain and potatoes were piled in the open, protected by barbed wire and armed GPU guards who shot down anyone attempting to take the food. Farm animals, considered necessary for production, were allowed to be fed, while the people living among them had absolutely nothing to eat.
      By the spring of 1933, the height of the famine, an estimated 25,000 persons died every day in the Ukraine. Entire villages were perishing. In Europe, America and Canada, persons of Ukrainian descent and others responded to news reports of the famine by sending in food supplies. But Soviet authorities halted all food shipments at the border. It was the official policy of the Soviet Union to deny the existence of a famine and thus to refuse any outside assistance. Anyone claiming that there was in fact a famine was accused of spreading anti-Soviet propaganda. Inside the Soviet Union, a person could be arrested for even using the word 'famine' or 'hunger' or 'starvation' in a sentence.
      The Soviets bolstered their famine denial by duping members of the foreign press and international celebrities through carefully staged photo opportunities in the Soviet Union and the Ukraine. The writer George Bernard Shaw, along with a group of British socialites, visited the Soviet Union and came away with a favorable impression which he disseminated to the world. Former French Premier Edouard Herriot was given a five-day stage-managed tour of the Ukraine, viewing spruced-up streets in Kiev and inspecting a 'model' collective farm. He also came away with a favorable impression and even declared there was indeed no famine.
       Back in Moscow, six British engineers working in the Soviet Union were arrested and charged with sabotage, espionage and bribery, and threatened with the death penalty. The sensational show trial that followed was actually a cynical ruse to deflect the attention of foreign journalists from the famine. Journalists were warned they would be shut out of the trial completely if they wrote news stories about the famine. Most of the foreign press corp yielded to the Soviet demand and either didn't cover the famine or wrote stories sympathetic to the official Soviet propaganda line that it didn't exist. Among those was Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Walter Duranty of the New York Times who sent one dispatch stating "...all talk of famine now is ridiculous."
       Outside the Soviet Union, governments of the West adopted a passive attitude toward the famine, although most of them had become aware of the true suffering in the Ukraine through confidential diplomatic channels. In November 1933, the United States, under its new president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, even chose to formally recognized Stalin's Communist government and also negotiated a sweeping new trade agreement. The following year, the pattern of denial in the West culminated with the admission of the Soviet Union into the League of Nations.
      Stalin's Five Year Plan for the modernization of the Soviet Union depended largely on the purchase of massive amounts of manufactured goods and technology from Western nations. Those nations were unwilling to disrupt lucrative trade agreements with the Soviet Union in order to pursue the matter of the famine.
     By the end of 1933, nearly 25 percent of the population of the Ukraine, including three million children, had perished. The Kulaks as a class were destroyed and an entire nation of village farmers had been laid low. With his immediate objectives now achieved, Stalin allowed food distribution to resume inside the Ukraine and the famine subsided. However, political persecutions and further round-ups of 'enemies' continued unchecked in the years following the famine, interrupted only in June 1941 when Nazi troops stormed into the country. Hitler's troops, like all previous invaders, arrived in the Ukraine to rob the breadbasket of Europe and simply replaced one reign of terror with another.

The History Place - Genocide in the 20th Century
Source of the above included summary of one of the most
murderous regimes in the history of the human race
    Barrack Obama is possibly surprised that a covey of do-gooder nuns from an obscure order with a peculiar name are so adamant about not being drawn into the Obama Socialised Medical Initiative (OSMI).   Their reservations are based on their commitment to the belief that abortion and artificial avoidance of pregnancy are sins against the will of Yahweh.   These nuns are the tip of the end of the a huge missile.   They and we are legion.  And we are united in our fervour and sense of Right.
     El Gringo Viejo has concurrence with almost all their philosophy, and agreement with perhaps a large majority of it.  As should Roman Catholic clerics and tertiaries, the Little Sisters of the Poor oppose at all times and in all places  the limitation of life by human agency and will.   This writer is conflicted with the death penalty in certain criminal matters.  I am of the opinion that we might overuse the death penalty, but there are crimes that once seen, studied, and analysed...what are we to do?   Jeopardise the prison guards and other employees?   Allow other prisoners to be menaced and/or murdered by a person who has already demonstrated disposition to kill first and worry about the effects of such actions later?    It is a question for this writer...that forces him to sometimes vote in favour of something he finds to be a troubling power to be allowed to any government.
     But my reservations, or the fervent supporter of the death penalty reservations,  and the Sisters, and all truly observant Roman Catholics and other Orthodox and fundamentalist believers in the Word, as we understand it, are not idle or shallow in our beliefs, creeds, and oaths.  We have profound moral objection to the practice of abortion of an unborn person from his/her time of conception to the point of his/her birth.
     We also have very strong objections to being ordered by the central government to buy anything.   It is objectionable enough to be told not to buy something by people in whom we have no faith, confidence, nor trust.   It is totally unacceptable to be ordered to buy anything, especially from people we deem to be without soul, without moral compass, and motivated by a perverse and totalitarian elitist mania.
     We also feel certain that the overall motive of those controlling the executive division of the central government  is the desire to overthrow  the Nation's democratic-republican form of government.   And we also are certain that they oppose the validity of the Constitution of the United States of America.  We know in our hearts that those operating the executive division of the central government wish to impose an organic law, totally secularised, socialist society and government, controlled by an oligarchy of marxist elitists.    Being sure of the motives of our opponents, we feel doubly justified in resisting their machinations at governance. 
This I believe,
El Gringo Viejo....