Friday, January 19, 2018

Gunner, my bird dog

                    Gunner, my bird dog
                                                By: Ken La Rive 111196

                           His spotted head lifts for the scent of the woods,
                        Ears twitch to the least of all sound.
                           His coat blends invisibly in fields of dry grass,
                        Where he moves with a leap and a bound.

                           He takes his direction from my point of view,
                        Fine tunes them with senses so sharp,
                           That I take guidance from a wag of his tail,
                        As he helps me to see in the dark.

                           A pat on his head, and a lick on my hand,
                        Makes a bond as we walk through the trees.
                           He turns on a dime from that whistle of mine,
                        Every fiber of his being for me.
                           He runs like the wind through thicket or field,
                        Bird dogging, zigzagging through night.
                           Dog tired and hungry he'll curl at my feet,
                        Still guarding with all of his might.

                          When I'm far from home, he'll wait at the gate,
                        No grass can grow long where he stood.
                          With a jump, and a twist, and a laughing bark,
                        He welcomes like no one else could.

                          Of all relationships a man could take,
                        From life..., from beginning to end.
                          Nothing quite compares, to the companionship there,
                        Between a man, and his faithful best friend.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Trusting the system but losing the dream… By: Ken La Rive

A book every Patriot should read...

Trusting the system but losing the dream…
By: Ken La Rive

It isn’t easy understanding what goes on in this world. Most of us are in denial. We turn a blind eye to the strong currents under the surface of our civilization, even as it sweeps us along in our little micro-worlds. Ignorance is bliss, I’ve heard said, and we are indeed what we think we are. Sure, it’s easy to say these idioms, with feeling, like they are justifications in their own right.

There is a law of force in every person on this earth, believe it or not, and we gravitate to what we hold as evident and true. It keeps us all sane to feel that we know and understand the mechanics of the world we live in, and emphatically deny that we could ever be coerced, or could possibly be carried along by forces beyond our scope of understanding. How unsettling it would be to realize that we have been duped.

Sometimes I think we are just too close to this life to see what it’s all about.  We are so busy, so caught up with our tangled lives that we fail to grasp even a portion of the total picture. 

Memory is fuzzy, history is distorted by bias, and time just presses on.  It’s unsettling when a bit and piece of the puzzle emerges after the fact, and we can sometimes begin to see that our reality has been carefully fed to us, by the Fed! 

Does our life still have meaning if our reasoning rational is found to be based on a lie? Should we feel betrayed if our thoughts were discovered to be manipulated? Could we ever truly trust authority again, knowing we have been used without our knowledge? Are we considered just working fools, where the forces of power strive to control our thoughts, our behaviors, and what we hold sacred as a nation? I’ll get to the point…

It is human nature to try and justify the workings of the world.  We would like to believe that a young man who goes to war these days has a justified reason to do so.  He is placing his life in real danger for a real ideal, isn’t he? Shouldn’t he be there because he sees a noble cause? What ideal is that? Shouldn’t war, even a cold war, have a reason?  How can we justify our actions as a nation when we aren’t informed as to why we take it in the first place? You had better sit down for this one…

If you don't choose one, it will be chosen for you...

Ronald Reagan is said to be one of the 100 most influential people in the 20th century. As he occupied the White House in the mid-1980’s he accentuated two things that I will attempt to explain here. One, as a ultra-conservative, he implemented a free enterprise fiscal policy, including sweeping tax cuts and deregulation of the oil industry, and two, swore to tip the balance of the cold war.

Mr. Reagan succeeded on both counts, but there was a price to pay, and we Americans in the south, unknowingly, paid it dearly…

Our economy survived the 1980’s by the skin of our teeth.  I left three companies, from mergers to bankruptcy.  Louisiana was devastated. I read the paper every day for information and hope, but oil prices continued to plummet, and good hard working people lost everything in an avalanche of ruined dreams and hopes.  I did what I had to do to survive, as so many oil field workers do: to keep food on the table. Our wives and children helped pull us through, combining salaries to get by.  In 1986 it was so bad that I couldn’t even find a house to paint. I left the states to work in a hotel for two years, displacing my family and leaving my friends behind. I couldn’t sell my house in Crowley for 1/5th of what I still owed on it! I had a bumper sticker that read:”Last one out turn out the lights.”

I blamed myself.  If I could have been smarter, stronger, or positioned myself better… I thought that the new environmental liberals (Progressives) had fined the oil companies out of existence. I thought it was a normal correction, but I couldn’t figure out for what! I was wrong. I was too close to it to understand, we all were, and information wasn’t published.

All wars are banker wars...

Here are a couple of points to ponder…

·         Congress did away with tax benefits previously given to oil and gas drilling.
·         There were massive and unprecedented tax reforms, by the White House.
·         There was an undeniable link between the oil industry, the Saudis, and the eventual collapse of the USSR.

With no more investment dollars, the oil industry dried up to a burned out shell.  The Soviet Union took it full on the chin. It was a “geopolitical blow” according to the book: Victory: The Reagan Administration’s Secret Strategy that hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union, by Peter Schweizer.

By the time Mr. Reagan was reelected in 1984, his secret economic strategies were taking its toll against Russia.  Credit from the west was gone, and export licenses for technology were denied. Both liquid currency and traded Western technology slowed to a trickle.  The Siberian pipeline, expected to bring in hard currency for Russia, was years behind schedule. The Reagan administration frustrated efforts further by a concerted technical disinformation program against them.

These catalysts were in place. “We wanted lower international oil prices largely for the benefit of the American economy.” Said White House counsel Edwin Meese. “The fact that it meant trouble for Moscow was icing on the cake.” To pull this off, they solicited the support of the world’s largest producer of oil, Saudi Arabia.

It was easy for the Saudis to do. It only cost about $1.50 back then to produce a barrel of oil, and they could still maintain a healthy profit at a lower market price. Intelligence has found since then, according to Mr. Schweizer, that the USSR had an annual loss of $13 billion from this oil price drop. The end came when Soviets tried to borrow more from the west. With lack of funds, projects died. Disinformation made it weak, furthered by the devaluation of the dollar …but it was oil prices that finally shut the doors.  The country collapsed in 1991...

So what are the almighty powers of our “One World Order” doing with our lives now?  Can we figure out the strategy they seem to set for reasons known only to them? Is the lack of information considered a lie? Are we talking about national security here, or is it purely about big bucks, or possibly just the power to control the masses?  Of course, we must realize too, that a certain amount of secrecy is necessary for security reasons.  So trust is an issue also.  We have to trust that the people in power in America have our welfare as the primary goal, and not a selfishly motivated concern.  It is so easy to do when you are totally exhausted working overtime to pay the interest on your credit cards.  Fifty percent of us are either too tied up to pay attention, or too tired to care.

Mr. Reagan, bless his heart, knew these answers.  They are lost now to a man spent his last days by his sunny window with Alzheimer disease.  What was lost to him, to all of us, is beyond measure.  It seems that what we are is what we are told to be, and by that process our freedom to rationally choose is taken away, and our American Dreams will remain just that.

“The humblest citizen of all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of Error.”
-William Jennings Bryan in a speech at National Democratic Convention (1896).

“Public office is a public trust.”
-William C. Hudson, a newspaper man, produced this slogan from various speeches of Grover Cleveland during his first campaign for Presidency (1884).

“Let us have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”
                                                            -Abraham Lincoln.

War is a racket...

‘Walking the Mat’ In Aberdeen By: Ken La Rive

Aberdeen at a three hour dusk...

 ‘Walking the Mat’ In Aberdeen By: Ken La Rive

Scotland is an ambiguous place, full of social contradictions, and Aberdeen, in the north east corner of the country, is no exception. The people can be warm and friendly, and also prickly and suspicious. Not really unusual anyplace on earth, but with my capacity as a traveling oil field worker, I have the opportunity to study many different cultures.  I have picked up some insights into the thinking of the local people here in Aberdeen, and I see this: They are changing very quickly.

It seems that the oil industry, (which has been such a boon to the overall economic prosperity of the town), is also deeply resented, by some, for ‘ruining oor toon’, as one colleague remarked to me while in conversation on a North Sea oil rig. Even though the industry has brought prosperity to a large number of people, it has also changed the underlying character of the town, and its citizens.

Not so very long ago Aberdeen was a small town, with a small town nature. Deeply entrenched, it had a highly developed sense of community. There were only a few industries in the town, with fishing and paper making being the main employers. The locals fondly reminisce of ‘walking the mat’ on the main avenue, Union Street.  It is only about a half mile in length, and on a Saturday night, all the young lads and lassies would put on their ‘finery’, and stroll its length socializing and ‘chatting each other up.’ Even young people from the surrounding areas would catch a bus into Aberdeen, to ‘walk the mat’. Those with a bit of money might drop into one of the various pubs on the street now and again for a wee dram to ‘pluck up courage’, but even those without money could have an enjoyable time (with possibly more success in courting, being sober!). It was a happy and cheerful way to meet people, and the tradition was known to be responsible for a large number of marriages in the town, and the surrounding areas as well!

The coming of the mighty oil industry, with its influx of brash Texans (every American was a Texan as far as the locals were concerned), caused a basic change in the social structure of the town. Suddenly, locals who ‘went oot to the oil’ came home with pockets full of cash, and it was a case of either joining up, or be left behind while the ‘local’ oilmen bought fancy houses in the posh west end. Because of this, and because cars became much more common, walking the mat withered on the vine, while fancy nightclubs, and fast food restaurants took over. Also the local council became obsessed with the idea of being a ‘boom town’, and grandiose moneymaking schemes and dreams suddenly seemed possible. As with all nouveau-capitalistic societies, there has also been corruption, as money falls like manna from heaven through the city’s council chambers. 

 Once you open your mouth, you will not buy a drink. They Love Americans. I learned to drink Scotch.

In Aberdeen, as in the other larger towns of Scotland, the Labor party has dominated local politics since the Second World War. As with most situations where a single party dominates politics, corruption becomes endemic. The influx of money made it even more prevalent. It is indeed an irony, that, because of the way history has developed in Scotland, the socialist tradition is very strong, - possibly as strong as any in Eastern Europe. The socialist Labor party was the only means by which the power of the dominating and oppressive establishment could be curbed by the common man. There is a powerful tradition here in Scotland, of the working men ‘standing together’ by voting Labor.  Since the class war has been pretty much won in modern Scotland, there is no longer an ‘enemy’ to fight.  Still, because of the people’s inability to see these changes, they still vote Labor.  Old habits are hard to change.

However, get into a conversation with most working class people and they will express views that are indistinguishable from anyone on the right of the Republican party – pro capital punishment, pro freedom of the individual, pro low taxation, pro ‘small’ government, etc. They don’t seem to see any irony that, while voting for a socialist party, they hold views far to the right of most Republicans, and never mind the democrats! The Scots are a fiercely independent people, whose history has been one of endless struggle not only against the elements, but ‘absentee’ English (and Scottish) landlords, and the need to bring up families against the odds. Because of this, Scotland has produced some of the greatest radical thinkers, soldiers, engineers and financiers that the world has seen. Would, for example, Adam Smith (the founder of modern economic theory), Alexander Graham Bell, Alexander Fleming (the discoverer of penicillin), James Watt (inventor of the steam engine), Andrew Carnegie, and many more, have been the successes they were if they hadn’t had a strong sense of their own Scottish heritage? In the UK’s last election, three of the four great government offices of state government, Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Foreign Secretary, were all Scots.

Not everyone was happy. There are broken hearts on the Mat too.

 Then again, as Aberdeen drifted into the twilight of the oil boom, people have started to waken to the fact that the money that has glutted the town has also had an impoverishing effect on the social structure. Gone are the fishing communities around the fish market (now closed). Gone is that ‘cozy’ atmosphere in the local pubs where in the Northern suburbs, in the old days, ninety percent of the customers worked in the paper mills, and knew each other intimately. Nowadays, you are lucky if you know anyone, such has been the influx of new people, and the exodus of ex-mill workers (now oil men). Most of the pubs have been ‘modernized,’ replacing time-polished wood with chrome and glass, and swapping cozy ‘fugginess,’ for the cold of modern ‘efficiency’. The comforting sounds of clicking dominoes and thud of darts have been replaced with annoying mid-Atlantic ‘musak’, designed to maximize the intake of beer, but also has the effect of minimizing the atmosphere, and traditional ambiance as well.

As for ‘walking the mat’, the young people of today would gasp in astonishment if you were to suggest such an unsophisticated activity for a Saturday night. Some might say that one would more likely get a mugging than a kiss from a bonny lassie. Yes, the oil industry has made the people monetarily richer, but has also taken something away as well.

In closing, a local Aberdeen joke: A visiting Texan, stopped to talk to a farmer who was leaning on a gate looking at his sheep. “Sheep hugh?” he ventured. “Aye” replied the farmer. “In Texas, we don’t allow sheep, we only got cattle” said the Texan. “Right enough?” said the farmer. “How much land you got here?” queried the Texan. “Nae that it’s ony of your business,  - but I’ve got twa hundred acres” he replied proudly.   “Waal,” said the Texan, “ back home, it takes me two days to drive across my spread!” “Aye” sighed the farmer, “I used tae hae a car like that!”

I had more then a lot of help writing this by my Scottish partner, (who, by the way, wishes to remain anonymous). I’m sure his reason is sound, but I speculate that a man’s opinion here is not so readily accepted, as might be possible in our own ‘free thinking’ America. Aye! What a shame.  It is indeed a waste of spirit…

Cheers to Scotland.