Thursday, 31 December 2015

Auld Lang Syne (With Lyrics and English Translation)

Catching Up - Odds and Ends - Commentary about the American Election Process



     As the regular OROGs  (Official Readers of the Old Gringo) know,   we were out for about a month at our little place in the middle of nowhere Mexico.  All in all it was a pleasant exile, quite dull save for a few Christmas pyrotechnics that drove our cats and dogs crazy.

     We were covered up by hummingbirds, perhaps eight or nine species.  There was a strong return of the mountain-dwelling bumblebee hummingbird, said to weigh something between the weight of an American nickel and dime.  They are bright-black, and ever-so-tiny;  two inches is the length of a male.   Ten years ago they were fairly numerous in the lower skirts of the Sierra Madre Oriental during the Spring, but gradually became fewer in number, sometimes skipping out on the entire downslope visit business.

     Other species of our feathered friends were especially numerous, considering that we were entering the darkest days of the year.   Mornings were quite brisk, always in the lower 50s and several early morning readings in the 40s and even a couple of drops into the upper 30s.   Afternoons were always comfortable with highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s.  

     Our little water pump that charges our running water inside the walls of our adobe cottage, as well as providing for garden watering at times, gave up the ghost after almost 15 years of faithful service.   So that required quite a bit of diagnosis, kibitzing, tinkering, and finally Unction, followed by a run into Ciudad Victoria to buy a new pump.
     The years have provided the same effect upon pump motors as they have all the electronic stuff that surrounds us.  Everything is smaller and more powerful.  With a bit of skepticism and the shelling out of about 3,500 pesos (about 200 dollars) we returned to our little place in the Santa Engracia outback.   Alvaro, our majordomo, summoned the maestro plomero (master plumber) Arturo, and within an hour had the new motor installed and  running smartly.

     We always scratch our heads when the  Maestros of the various blue-collar skill groupings charge for their labour.  In this case we had to fork over to Arturo the massive amount of 350 pesos, which is around 20 USD at this point.   And our workmen are the types who clean up everything after the job is done, and who do not leave until they have checked out the functionality of their work, be it new construction or an installation, or a repair.

     Another interesting development was the request for accommodation by the last remaining offspring of the last great hacendado (traditional hacienda owner).   The lady, born Alicia Martinez, daughter of Jose Martinez Gomez sent a long-time, local personal attendant to our humble place to ask if we could put up a couple of Don~a Alicia's friends at the end of the year.
     We were surprised because Don~a Alicia has two large homes across the street from the Hacienda de Santa Engracia where she was born and raised.  The two large houses, adjacent to the old stables which housed some of the finest horses in Mexico at one time, are antiques, dating from the 1830s.  Having been in only one, and then only briefly, it was easy to appreciate that they were are are still very elegant properties,  especially on the inside. 
     As it turned out, Don~a Alicia was having a small get-together, and was going to put up a couple of people in her main house, a foursome in the second twin house adjacent to her lodging, and then was hoping to have us take another couple in for a couple or three nights.   We thought it a bit strange, because she had the Hacienda de Santa Engracia right across the street, and no-one alive has more connection to that facility that Don~a Alicia.
     Remember that the Hacienda is also a 5-star hotel, full of lore, gardens, a swimming pool, scores of ghosts, and other attributes.  We learned a bit later that, due to the various changes in the composition of the ownership, Don~a Alicia no longer has any particular leverage on rates or anything much beyond respectful treatment.
     Her personal assistant painted out what was needed, and then asked if we had any space available.   El Gringo Viejo was a bit surprised to say the least, but responded that we had our room available for the dates that had been mentioned.   The assistant, named Carolina, called on her cellular to her mistress and advised that El Gringo Viejo had space and would keep it reserved for her two friends.   So, that was that.
     I asked Carolina if perhaps she would like to see the room.   She seemed almost astonished for some reason,  but then responded in a very animated manner in the positive.   Upon entering she declared, "Que hermosa habitation!"  (What a beautiful room!).   I directed her to the bath, which is, in fact, quite large and well equipped, especially for the area.   Carolina was very animated, and was already dialing up Don~a Alicia as we walked back to where her brother was minding a grandson.
      Carolina extolled the quarters she had seen in very glowing terms, and suddenly asked, "Don~a Licha would like to speak to you, if possible."   So, El Gringo Viejo took the telephone and engaged the revered aristocrat carefully. Once we were through and settled on prices and conditions, we parted company.   It was all very interesting.  ("Licha" is a diminutive and/or nickname for Alicia.)

     We had come full cycle.   An eccentric Gringo interloper accommodating guests of the daughter  of the last great Hacendado.

     (1)    We are replacing a man who was elected by people who were/are stupid.....according to a certain Dr. Gruber, the architect of the Obama Socialised Medicine Initiative.    The American Obsolete Press has buried Dr. Gruber deep into the confines of some dark swamp.   The Stupid never knew about Dr. Gruber before, during, or after either of the elections of Barrack Hussein Obama.   Still to this day, very few, beyond those in the Conservative  camp, have ever known of the existence that particular personality.
    Why?   Because they are generally intentionally ill-informed, incapable of being informed, uncaring, or aloof and committed marxists.

     (2)     We  are presented with eight years of truly slimy, undeservedly arrogant, incompetent, racist, and marxist oriented presidency that will supposedly be followed by another eight years of the same.   This time the incumbent will be an equally mendacious, incompetent, America hating narcissist.   She, like Barack Hussein Obama, is under the control of a Persian communist.   Huma controls (Sir Edmund) Hillary passively, perhaps the way she controls her hubby, the famous Anthony Weiner.....the famous auto- photographic - email specialist.
     The other president, soon to be gone, perhaps to be named President of the United Nations for life, has a controller who is much more assertive, Valerie Jarrett who also has a communist family background,  as well as Persian background.   Both controllers were born in Persia (now known as Iran), both Presidents are hopelessly shallow.   The only thing that has allowed these two Presidents to remotely maintain sway over the electorate, as we now return to the first point, is the willing lack of critical thinking or even interest in the American political-economic complexion on the part of what appears to be a slight majority of the electorate.
    That willingness to be apathetic and ignorant is cultivated every second of every minute of every hour is the Obsolete Press and the popular performing culture.

Harold Stassen

Candidate for the Republican
nomination  for President on
ten (10) occasions from 1940
through 1980
     We are not saying that two female Rasputins are the sole controllers, or handlers of the marionettes strings.   We realise well  that they represent only two of the several thousand who awake daily to go about the work of killing the Republic and imposing upon the hapless citizenry a totalitarian national socialist Gulagstag.   How peculiar.

     On the other hand, we watch as the Republican Party undergoes a very,  difficult labour and  delivery.  All form and nature of Republicanism is on display.   It is keenly apparent that the stodgy pseudo-conservative control group known as the Establishment is quaking it it collective boots.
    They seem to be dedicated to the notion that we must nominate the only person who can win, a non-binding philosophy of moderation that they say has been successful every time it has been employed.   Referred to as the Harold Stassen Rule,  they have had many successes.   Ford, GHW Bush, Dole, McCain, Romney, and Hoover have clearly demonstrated their brilliant strategy of presenting mayonnaise and healthy, low fat margarine to the public as a Republican campaign platform.

     We are left with a good set of candidates after all the posturing, clucking of hens, and preening of show-cats.   Christy, Bush, Kasich, and some others are still bravely rowing towards the finish line, although their canoes have long since stuck themselves into some kind of sandy goo in the part of the river that has no water.  This leaves Carson, Fiorina, Paul, Rubio, and Cruz to weld a conservative battering ram that might be able to distract the American Lemming Association from nominating the Republican version of Hope and Change.

     Donald Trump is the American political equivalent to some organism composed of the personalities of Ross Perot and Harry Houdini.   He unites everyone who can believe, if only for a moment, that Trump "thinks the way I think and feel".  One can almost envision the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "When You Wish Upon a Star" as cameras pan across the crowds of dolts who believe in the Republican equivalent of "Hope and Change".

    As for this Gringo Viejo, my lot is cast not for the lesser of evils but for the candidate he deduces is best, and that person is Cruz.  It would be possible to support the four others named before him with energy, listed above.  But, as a Texan, and as one who has followed the man with interest over the past eight years, I made my commitment early on for him and his dedication to strict constitutionalist and republican government.

There, we have railed forth and bellowed long and loud.  We are back in the saddle again.  More to-morrow.
El Gringo Viejo

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

So much chaff and so little wheat....

A List of Republican Budget Cuts
Notice S.S. And the military are NOT on this list.
These are all the programs that the new Republican House has proposed cutting.
Read to the end.

* Corporation for Public Broadcasting Subsidy -- $445 million annual savings.
* Save America 's Treasures Program -- $25 million annual savings.
* International Fund for Ireland -- $17 million annual savings.
* Legal Services Corporation -- $420 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Arts -- $167.5 million annual savings.
* National Endowment for the Humanities -- $167.5 million annual savings.
* Hope VI Program -- $250 million annual savings.
* Amtrak Subsidies -- $1.565 billion annual savings.
* Eliminate duplicating education programs -- H.R. 2274 (in last Congress), authored by Rep. McKeon , eliminates 68 at a savings of $1.3 billion annually.
* U.S. Trade Development Agency -- $55 million annual savings.
* Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy -- $20 million annual savings.
* Cut in half funding for congressional printing and binding -- $47 million annual savings.
* John C. Stennis Center Subsidy -- $430,000 annual savings.
* Community Development Fund -- $4.5 billion annual savings.
* Heritage Area Grants and Statutory Aid -- $24 million annual savings.
* Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half -- $7.5 billion annual savings
* Trim Federal Vehicle Budget by 20% -- $600 million annual savings.
* Essential Air Service -- $150 million annual savings.
* Technology Innovation Program -- $70 million annual savings.
*Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program -- $125 million annual savings..
* Department of Energy Grants to States for Weatherization -- $530 million annual savings.
* Beach Replenishment -- $95 million annual savings. 
* New Starts Transit -- $2 billion annual savings.
* Exchange Programs for Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Their Historical Trading Partners in Massachusetts -- $9 million annual savings

* Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants -- $2.5 billion annual savings.
* Title X Family Planning -- $318 million annual savings.
* Appalachian Regional Commission -- $76 million annual savings.
* Economic Development Administration -- $293 million annual savings.
* Programs under the National and Community Services Act -- $1.15 billion annual savings.
* Applied Research at Department of Energy -- $1.27 billion annual savings.
* Freedom CAR and Fuel Partnership -- $200 million annual savings..
* Energy Star Program -- $52 million annual savings.
*Economic Assistance to Egypt -- $250 million annually.
* U.S.Agency for International Development -- $1.39 billion annual savings.
* General Assistance to District of Columbia -- $210 million annual savings.
* Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority -- $150 million annual savings.
*Presidential Campaign Fund -- $775 million savings over ten years.
* No funding for federal office space acquisition -- $864 million annual savings.
End prohibitions on competitive sourcing of government services.
* Repeal the Davis-Bacon Act -- More than $1 billion annually.
* IRS Direct Deposit: Require the IRS to deposit fees for some services it offers (such as processing payment plans for taxpayers) to the Treasury, instead of allowing it to remain as part of its budget -- $1.8 billion savings over ten years. 
*Require collection of unpaid taxes by federal employees -- $1 billion total savings. WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?
* Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees -- $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
* Sell excess federal properties the government does not make use of -- $15 billion total savings.
*Eliminate death gratuity for Members of Congress. WHAT???
* Eliminate Mohair Subsidies -- $1 million annual savings.
*Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change -- $12.5 million annual savings. WELL ISN'T THAT SPECIAL
* Eliminate Market Access Program -- $200 million annual savings.

* USDA Sugar Program -- $14 million annual savings.
* Subsidy to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) -- $93 million annual savings.
* Eliminate the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program -- $56.2 million annual savings.
*Eliminate fund for Obamacare administrative costs -- $900 million savings.
* Ready to Learn TV Program -- $27 million savings..
* HUD Ph.D. Program.
* Deficit Reduction Check-Off Act.
*TOTAL SAVINGS: $2.5 Trillion over Ten Years

My question is, what is all this doing in the budget in the first place?!
Maybe this is why the Democrats are attacking Paul Ryan.

Please Send to everyone you know.


     The problem with much of this is that the Republican Leadership did not really fight to the death on any of this.  But, this has been forwarded by El Zorro and it does represent a litany of generally useless or at least doubtful value projects.
      In the Senate, only 18 Republican Senators voted against  the budget resolution agreement.  It goes back to the old saying that the Democrats are Mommy Socialism and the Republicans are Daddy Socialism.

El Gringo Viejo

Monday, 28 December 2015

Back Up in Texas


     We made the run back to the border to-day....a very busy highway scene from the outset to the final landing.   After being gone for a month it will take a bit of time to get back in the saddle.  Salient commentary and observation will  be forthcoming sometime in the morning.   Right now we are trying to clear out the various backlogs of spam and making necessary email responses. 

     The view from south to north is certainly dismal.  It seems so very strange that real live Republicans could be so willing to endorse a form of "Hope and Change".   Listening to the overnight radio smorgasbord was at times depressing to the extreme.  So many people made their point by stating that "Trump believes the way I believe" when in fact they frequently had no idea what Trump's positions and procedures are or would be on a wide range of issues and problems. 
     Couple that fact with the reality that Trump has touted his friendship for and with Billy Jeff and (Sir Edmund) Hillary and even recently declared that (Sir Edmund) had done a wonderful job as Secretary of State.
       I personally find Trump's broad brush "pronunciamentos" vaguely similar to Al Sharpton's lunacy.  But we shall keep as much of an open mind as possible.   More later.

El Gringo Viejo