The Gulf (Burning Man 5)

Roy Gillespie stood on the oil rig platform listening to his iPod. Strains of the Santana song “Oye Como Va” played at full blast in his ear pods. He looked out over the serene Gulf waters as the incredible guitar of Carlos Santana danced alive in his head. He liked this job as an oil rig man. He felt needed, he felt necessary. The country needed the energy from the natural gas this well supplied. He had been with the company now for over seventeen years. Sure there had been mishaps but nothing that this experienced crew couldn’t handle. Nothing like the Deep Horizon disaster or anything even close had happened here. Now of course that was due to faulty cement or at least that’s what the Times Picayune had reported. He had little use for the newspaper or newspapers in general. It was hard to trust anyone these days. The people he trusted were the people he could see, his fellow roughnecks. He liked that name. He had gone from being a leatherneck in the Gulf war to being a roughneck in a different Gulf. This irony made him smile.

He wondered again if he might have been a musician if he had just a little more ambition. He still had several guitars he kept and played for fun from time to time. No matter now, he was a roughneck and damned proud of it. After his term of service in the marines, semper fi, he came back to work the rigs. He enjoyed being on his feet and the hands on physical labor. He took a deep breath. How much better this was than being in the Persian Gulf. He turned around.

The blast was like a sand bag of noise and force. He didn’t really hear it as much as he felt and saw it. Wham it hit him like a giant hand wielding a sock full of flour. He stumbled backward and hit the rail hard, over he went. His eyes were burning from the flash. Down he went. Probably a good thing. He hit the water but he couldn’t feel it yet. For a moment he lay limp in the sea. His mind stalled, it lay open like a question mark, the hesitation between the flash of lightning and the thunder when the storm was right overhead. He instinctively began to back paddle away from the huge rig supports. He felt the surreal sensation as the water flooded his jumpsuit. His iPod went out. He floated calmly. His military time had prepared him for this. It did not seem strange to him.

He started humming a tune, “Platform Fire” by Jack’s Mannequin. He kept swimming back and away from the pillars of flames and billowing black smoke. His senses were numb. The song continued in his mind, it gave him focus. He wondered how long he might be in the water as he floated and swam further from the structure. He was alone, no one else had fallen over! He did not take this as a good sign. When he looked back at the platform it blazed wildly. There was no sign of life.

Another world away steel blue eyes gazed out into the vast ocean. Billy thought he heard a boom off in the distance. He shielded his eyes and as he looked out on the horizon he thought for a moment he saw a flash, maybe a sign of other life. For a split second his hopes rose. When he looked again he guessed it was just sunlight gleaming on the water. He turned around and saw a stick of driftwood. He picked it up and in frustration hurled it as far as he could out into the surf. He sat down to think with his head in his hands.

Roy tread water. He had already removed his heavy boots. Now he undid his coverall and slipped it from his powerful frame. He was glad the waters were warm. With the loss of the added weight his job of staying afloat was much easier. He felt something against his back. Startled he took a quick breath. The song came back in his head. “Under pressure, but I’m feeling weightless, across the desert when you’re feeling faithless” he turned in the water. There was a log floating there that had come out of nowhere. He clutched at it thankfully. He knew he was going to make it.

“He doesn’t measure his wealth in private jets, but purchased souls.” — Frank Underwood in House of Cards

“Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.” — Former Vice President Dick Cheney

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

Occupy Wall Street Needs to get it’s Mojo Back!

I have noticed lately the Occupy Wall Street movement has been getting no media coverage. This is tragic because this movement was on the right track and should become very powerful. To help the cause I will list some suggestions for a new ultimatum.

Demand Number One: A national health care plan for every citizen of the United States. It’s been done in Canada successfully according to my cousins who actually live there. The issue in the United States is insurance lobbyists putting profits before health care. This practice should be outlawed. Obamacare to use the popular term, has gaps where it leaves some citizens with no care. In addition certain evil republican governors have refused medicaid expansion which exacerbates this situation. These governors do this simply to show that they hate President Obama and refuse to cooperate with him! This type of politics is petty and needs to be disposed of.

Two: Government funded education for everyone. We need an educated society if we are to compete in this age of technology and communication. The system of paying for education with real estate tax is outmoded and needs an overhaul. Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn. Furthermore it’s outrageous that the huge banks get to borrow money for little or no interest while student loans are gouging the pockets of young graduates! Senator Warren of Massachusetts put a bill before the Senate simply to let students refinance their loans with more reasonable terms and, you guessed it, the Republican legislators blocked it to illustrate once again their intractable attitudes.

Three: Strict controls on wall street. Junk mortgage derivatives and their disastrous consequences were the reason for the movement to begin with. We can’t let shady bankers and brokers control the destiny of the country let alone the world. Elliot Spitzer was on the right track his libido just made a wrong turn. It’s an enormous injustice that the very legislative bodies that should be enacting legislation for tighter controls on wall street regularly profit from blatant insider trading! We are already heading once again into a “too big to fail” system of regulatory loopholes leading to another redistribution of wealth where the middle class is screwed and eventually eliminated entirely.

Four: Regulations that protect our environment. If you think climate change isn’t real please visit the Northwest Territories and talk to some native Americans. Before we strip mine Canada for oil sands let’s shift our energy needs to renewable resources. We have bowed to the oil companies at our own peril. Look at the never ending debacle in the middle east. Imagine all the good that might have been done if instead of spending four trillion dollars on the war in Iraq we had concentrated that money on the betterment of life for all Americans! Instead we made a huge mess. We now have a religious civil war on our hands. What a shame that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had not read Prince Machiavelli before sending our own sons and daughters off to protect corporate oil. Notice they were both draft dodgers and none of their sons or daughters served in the Armed Forces.

Humans are social creatures by nature. Some socialism is necessary for our own basic survival. What does it profit anyone to pillage the planet and leave little for the next generation? This is not the direction of any sane theology or philosophy I know.  Whether you believe in a higher power is beside the point. Think rationally of the big picture then you’ll get it.

Quite frankly I’d like to give my children’s children an existence where people sojourn in the stars together as opposed to their subsisting on Soylent Green, and worrying about finding water that’s uncontaminated by fracking!

“If I have seen more it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”.                               —Sir Isaac Newton

“Contrary to a tenacious myth, France is not owned by California pension funds or the Bank of China, any more than the United States belongs to Japanese and German investors. The fear of getting into such a predicament is so strong today that fantasy often outstrips reality. The reality is that inequality with respect to capital is a far greater domestic issue than it is an international one.”
― Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Get off the cell phone and DRIVE!  —Jake Shween

New GOP Solution for Obamacare (ACA); Old Boehner Care

Meeting in secret with Koch Industries’ subsidiaries which are the “Heritage Foundation” and “Americans for Prosperity” the GOP has come up with a fair and balanced solution for the impending, prolapsed and otherwise promisingly successful Affordable Care Act. Today it was announced that Old Boehner Care would be their solution as soon as that idealistic bastard President Obama gets out of their way. Never mind the bombastic Pope either folks, if people are poor and hungry and without health care Old Boehner Care will fill all their holes.

With Old Boehner Care you can keep your current health care plan. For a discount price you can be insured against anything from pregnancy to cosmic collision. All of our doctors are in the Old Boehner Care network and each one is board AMA (Actual Mental  Aberration) approved! Never mind if you have a chronic or preexisting condition there is nothing that a pair of pliers, a hacksaw or a well placed bullet can’t cure. These new GOP approved clinics will be built beside existing hospitals near the medical waste dumpsters to make clean up easy and affordable.

In the event that any spare organs can be donated or removed Koch Industries will issue the lucky devil a coupon redeemable for any of their health related products. For instance if you donate a kidney you may well receive a credit card that entitles you to free gasoline for one year. Just imagine the traveling you could do! You can leave that old coal town that is slowly dying and go to Detroit! What a hilariously small price to pay for all that automotive freedom. If you donate a spleen you may well receive a credit card for heating oil for a month. That would come in mighty handy warming your Montana bungalow in January. If you donate your heart to Dick Cheney you’ll die but your family will receive a copy of the Bible autographed by all the current Republican members of Congress! What precious memories to leave to your loved ones!

So don’t sign up for that failed Obamacare plan! Thumb your nose at those socialist Democrats. Join with Koch Industries and their heartless lying friends in the GOP party as well as Rupert Murdoch’s buddies at Fox and Friends. Remember our slogan: If it can’t be fixed for less than the deductible take it out back by the dumpster. We’re here for you America! God Bless you all!

“Women don’t care about contraception.” Republican governor from South Carolina, Nikki Haley (2012)

“Resolve not to be overcome by evil, but to combat evil with good, working together to build an ever more just, free and secure society for generations yet to come.”— Pope Francis

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

The Great Marching Plutocracy! Iraq Ten Years After

Let’s cut a blood soaked bargain,
And sell the bovine mass a war,
Never mind they’ll do the fighting,
We’ll make those patriots our whore.

Hate will fuel our terrible cause,
The truth we’ll put on tragic pause,
Heck we’ll bend and rape it,
Reality is cheap,
and Son you are enlisted,
Our orders you will keep.

March from house to house then,
Shoot them if they flee
Remember nine eleven,
Mad justice you will seek.

Burn the village, burn the town,
Dethrone the evil bastard clown!

And if you’re hurt perhaps you’ll bleed,
But that’s our motto and our creed,
All for profit and capitalist greed.

Couched in forced Democracy
The Great Marching Plutocracy!

Just ask our crooked bankers,
And our highbrow lawyers too,
Humanity is fodder, just fodder we can screw.

Don’t ask for help when you get home
Tough it out, you’re free to roam.

Never mind your nightmares,
Who cares if you can’t sleep.
It was not about your choices,
Numb that conscience, kill that creep!

The violence has won now
Mercy never stood a chance
It was all about the oil
And about the corporate dance.

You’ll get the bill for sure Son,
It’s never us that pay!
This is the devil’s bargain
And this hate is here to stay!

“Screw voting rights I’m a corporate whore, a gun enthusiast and a two faced racist!” — Fatprick McCroney

“Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.”                               — Donald Rumsfeld

“There are a lot of people who lie and get away with it, and that’s just a fact.”          — Donald Rumsfeld

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

The Gulf (Burning Man 5)

Roy Gillespie stood on the oil rig platform listening to his iPod. Strains of the Santana song “Oye Como Va” played at full blast in his ear pods. He looked out over the serene Gulf waters as the incredible guitar of Carlos Santana danced alive in his head. He liked this job as an oil rig man. He felt needed, he felt necessary. The country needed the energy from the natural gas this well supplied. He had been with the company now for over seventeen years. Sure there had been mishaps but nothing that this experienced crew couldn’t handle. Nothing like the Deep Horizon disaster or anything even close had happened here. Now of course that was due to faulty cement or at least that’s what the Times Picayune had reported. He had little use for the newspaper or newspapers in general. It was hard to trust anyone these days. The people he trusted were the people he could see, his fellow roughnecks. He liked that name. He had gone from being a leatherneck in the Gulf war to being a roughneck in a different Gulf. This irony made him smile.

He wondered again if he might have been a musician if he had just a little more ambition. He still had several guitars he kept and played for fun from time to time. No matter now, he was a roughneck and damned proud of it. After his term of service in the marines, semper fi, he came back to work the rigs. He enjoyed being on his feet and the hands on physical labor. He took a deep breath. How much better this was than being in the Persian Gulf. He turned around.

The blast was like a sand bag of noise and force. He didn’t really hear it as much as he felt and saw it. Wham it hit him like a giant hand wielding a sock full of flour. He stumbled backward and hit the rail hard, over he went. His eyes were burning from the flash. Down he went. Probably a good thing. He hit the water but he couldn’t feel it yet. For a moment he lay limp in the sea. His mind stalled, it lay open like a question mark, the hesitation between the flash of lightning and the thunder when the storm was right overhead. He instinctively began to back paddle away from the huge rig supports. He felt the surreal sensation as the water flooded his jumpsuit. His iPod went out. He floated calmly. His military time had prepared him for this. It did not seem strange to him.

He started humming a tune, “Platform Fire” by Jack’s Mannequin. He kept swimming back and away from the pillars of flames and billowing black smoke. His senses were numb. The song continued in his mind, it gave him focus. He wondered how long he might be in the water as he floated and swam further from the structure. He was alone, no one else had fallen over! He did not take this as a good sign. When he looked back at the platform it blazed wildly. There was no sign of life.

Another world away steel blue eyes gazed out into the vast ocean. Billy thought he heard a boom off in the distance. He shielded his eyes and as he looked out on the horizon he thought for a moment he saw a flash, maybe a sign of other life. For a split second his hopes rose. When he looked again he guessed it was just sunlight gleaming on the water. He turned around and saw a stick of driftwood. He picked it up and in frustration hurled it as far as he could out into the surf. He sat down to think with his head in his hands.

Roy tread water. He had already removed his heavy boots. Now he undid his coverall and slipped it from his powerful frame. He was glad the waters were warm. With the loss of the added weight his job of staying afloat was much easier. He felt something against his back. Startled he took a quick breath. The song came back in his head. “Under pressure, but I’m feeling weightless, across the desert when you’re feeling faithless” he turned in the water. There was a log floating there that had come out of nowhere. He clutched at it thankfully. He knew he was going to make it.

“He doesn’t measure his wealth in private jets, but purchased souls.” — Frank Underwood in House of Cards

“Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.” — Former Vice President Dick Cheney

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

“Catfish Republicans” in the “Dark Vein” of Muddy Water

Recently we have seen the rise of a new breed of Republicans. They are clearly out of their league and are quite obviously bottom feeders, spurred on by the rank and bulbous Rush Limbaugh a man known to feed on stink bait normally used to hook Missouri catfish. So caught up in their own realities and afraid to ever admit the error of their ways they continue to waste the taxpayers money every single day. Not unlike the Notre Dame football player Manti Te’o who claims to have been spoofed by a fake internet girlfriend these Republicans are spoofed by selective perception and their avarice, greedily feeding on morsels found in the dark recesses of human nature.

Shunning the more important issues facing the nation they made it a point to grill the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today in her testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This is par for the course in our sad Senate lately as closing the barn door after the horses have run off is their stupid solution for just about everything. You don’t have to have a degree in Political Science to see these boobs just stall for time and point a finger to justify their blatant hatred for those more adept at diplomatic situations than they themselves could ever hope to be. Bravo Senator Ron Johnson Republican Senator from Wisconsin for proving just how downright rude and ill informed you can be. The only credit you deserve is your ability to convince the population that voted you into your position that you actually had something of value to bring to the table in Washington D.C.. Unfortunate for them your import is only further evidence that Colin Powell was correct in stating: “There is a dark vein of intolerance in this (Republican) party. They still sort of look down on the minority.”.

Where were all these ruthless fact finders during the decision to start a war in Iraq  proclaiming that Saddam Hussein was harboring Weapons of Mass Destruction? Where were you Senator John McCain Republican from Arizona? You stated Tuesday Senator McCain that: “It’s (Benghazi) been a cover up from the beginning.”. Why didn’t anyone consider having a National Security Council meeting as is procedure before starting the war in Iraq? How can a war be started based on a brief by Scooter Libby and not an actual intelligence assessment? The Iraq war cost in excess of three trillion dollars. Four thousand four hundred and eighty seven service members lost their lives, thirty two thousand two hundred and twenty six were wounded not including the psychological damages making the actual cost of this war inestimable as you cannot place a value on a human life! Outrageous to believe that the current breed of “Catfish Republicans” can continue to roil in the dark vein of muddy water and feed on the stink bait of their collective delusion!

https://i2.wp.com/peytonsfishingadventres.webs.com/photos/catfish.jpg

“It had all the earmarks of a CIA operation; the bomb killed everybody in the room except the intended target!” — William F. Buckley

“We need more people speaking out. This country is not overrun with rebels and free thinkers. It’s overrun with sheep and conformists.” — Bill Maher

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

A Warm Dick, A Cold Bush and Romney’s Secret Heart

Never seem to run out of material on the GOP hot dog Sir Romney of Mitt. Apparently he has a secret heart which he wishes to share with the NAACP. It was so delightful to see him actually spill out his plan to save African Americans from their plight. What a genuine and sincere man. Why I bet he’s even going to reveal his secret holdings in Bermuda to prove his sincerity. After all wasn’t he very swift in admitting that his health care plan he instituted when he was Governor of Massachusetts is the EXACT same plan that Barrack Obama put into place? We should never doubt the secret heart of this paladin, this superb example of pulchritude and luminosity.

Gosh how carefully and cleverly he has distanced himself from ex-President George W. Bush! What a clever manoeuvre to stay far away from the former GOP President who was losing jobs at the rate of 750,000 per month when he left office! Oh My! The very man who brought us into two wars, gave the rich huge tax cuts and fled during a banking crisis leaving the entire mess for the next guy to clean up! But wait he did actually endorse Sir Romney of Mitt! George said: “I’m for Mitt Romney”, as the elevator doors were closing on him. How symbolic and strangely appropriate. Sounds like a cold Bush!

Now Dick Cheney is opening his doors to Sir Romney of Mitt. Dick is warming up and hosting a reception at the Teton Pines country club in Wyoming. Big GOP rainmakers are sure to be in attendance. Later they will attend a dinner in Dick’s home in Wilson Wyoming. Maybe Dick can school him on how to be less charming and more of a Dick! This might help when the U.S. is negotiating on sensitive issues with foreign dignitaries and Sir Romney of Mitt is wielding the scepter. Maybe this is the obvious solution. Romney has a secret heart which calls for more Dick and less Bush. The bumper sticker would be awesome!

“Politics is the entertainment branch of Industry.” — Frank Zappa

“PETA is not happy that my dog likes Fresh Air.” — Willard Mitt Romney

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween