Sunday, March 18, 2007

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Mules

A mule is an mixed species animal obtained by cross breeding one variety of horse with one of several varieties of donkey or jackass. The cross is usually between a female horse (mare) and a male donkey (jack). Less commonly, the cross may also be between a male horse (sire or stud) and a female donkey (Jenny). In this case the resultant offspring is called a 'hinny' or 'she mule' and is usually much smaller than a mule.

Mules can be very beautiful and, they can also be ugly as hell. All mules have personality, be it playful, sullen or lazy. But, the one big thing all mules are noted for is their stubbornness - and, the origin of the expression 'stubborn as a mule."

Mules are noted for their patient endurance, and for their ability to carry heavy loads. In past years of animal powered farming, mules were often preferred for field work over horses for this reason. The breeding and sale of mules was a thriving business all over the country, and most particularly in the American south and West. Former President Harry S Truman was a mule trader in his early career for example. In the northeast, draft horses were sometimes more common.

But, normally, usually, a mule is very patient and placid. Mules are not easily moved to drastic action unless severely provoked or excited. Sometimes though, mules may be stampeded through a sort of contagious group excitement caused by something unknown, and puzzling to their masters. Sometimes a mule's master may cause excitement or a stampede amongst mules through some deliberate action on his part.

If provoked or pushed beyond endurance, a mule can be dangerous. Being intelligent animals - far more intelligent it seems than horses - mules might go along sullenly for days while brooding and plotting some sort of revenge over the target of its displeasure.

The mildest form of a mule's revenge might be a deliberate misbehavior, or destruction of property or crops. Worse, the animal might wait for a chance to bite or kick its master, sneakily and taking them by surprise. And, worst of all, the mule might even plot and carry out an attack which could kill its master. There are many recorded cases of such murders by mules on record.

Mules might be compared to America's mixed race electorate. We are patient, long suffering, carry heavy loads and mostly do what we are told. We can, and often are stampeded into some kind of crazy, drastic action through deliberate provocation by our masters - in our case by our elected officials. But, being patient, long suffering plotters ourselves, the electorate, like mules may sullenly lay in wait for the opportunity to take revenge.

The revenge may be mild if the offense is not too great, or we may even murder our masters, perhaps not in the literal sense, but by arbitrarily ending their political dominance and power. I think the mules of America have taken just about all they have the patience for.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Time to Load 'N Lock

Black buzzards were circling as we rode our horses out of the narrow canyon onto the grasslands, leading our pack mules behind us. Something in the distance was attracting the buzzards for sure. As we got closer we began to get a whiff of the smell - the putrid odor of decay mixed with a lingering scent of burnt gunpowder, deceit, cheating and perhaps a hint of sulfur.

"What in hell do you think it is?" I asked my companion, Witness.

"Don't know," he replied laconically. "Better go see."

Cautiously we approached the now obvious mounds of something, still and dead - couldn't tell just what.

"What's it look like?" I asked Witness.

"Nothing I ever seen." he answered. He dismounted his tired horse and walked slowly forward on foot. I jumped down from my horse as well and started to follow him.

"Better stay back." said Witness, short and sweet. He used a tone I recognized as no nonsense and serious. I stayed back.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Ah shit!" Witness spat. "Never thought I'd see the day."

"For Christ's sake, what in hell is it?" I demanded.

"Ah, shit," he said again. "Looks like Democracy just took it in the neck and back."

"Don't hand me that stuff Witness!" I cried. I didn't want to believe him.

"Yep." he confirmed. "An' here's Reality and Truth laying over here in a heap too. Damn, damn, damn."

"You gotta be kidding." I said. "I don't believe you!"

"Don't matter. 'S a fact. All of 'em. Deader'n hornets."

I peered around Witness' shoulder . And, it was true. I swallowed hard. "But, I thought Media was supposed to watching out for 'em." I protested.

"Me too." Witness said. "Sure looks like they might of even been in on it maybe. Signs of 'em all over the place. Neocon's definitely been here too."

"You don't think they were in on it?" I cried.

"Sure'n hell didn't help any." said Witness. "Whoops. Wait a minute. Here's some stuff I recognize. Used ammo. Stuff only Neocon uses. Yep. No doubt about it. Right there's your perp all right."

"What're we gonna do?" I asked.

"Load 'n lock." said Witness. "We'uns got some cleaning up to do."

Saturday, March 03, 2007

George's Winter of Discontent

The president of the United States is a person favored by fortune and circumstance. He has lived a charmed life until now. As a child he had everything. His rich and important father, for whom he was named, was able to provide everything of a material nature for his children. Anything George, Jr. could wish or ask for was instantly provided. This material largesse followed him throughout his life.

When little George faltered, his father was quickly there to support him and pick him up whenever needed. His father's lofty political position allowed him to pull strings to get little George a safe, cushy spot in the Texas National Guard which made it possible for the son to avoid actual military duty during war time. And, when little George did not even bother to fulfill his minimal duties in the guard, there were no consequences. None whatever. The president's father provided loans when little George's business failed. By political arm twisting, the father got his son into an ownership deal with the Texas Rangers ball club which made the son personally rich beyond his wildest dreams.

Then, when it was time, the president's father provided the money and expertise to get his son successfully elected to political office. Little George never looked back, and with his father's continued help he was catapulted into the highest political office in the United States and the world - the US presidency. Little George didn't even break a sweat.

Even as president, George hardly lifted a finger. His father continued to provide massive support in the form of money, political help and advice from members of his own earlier presidential cabinet. Little George, total fraud that he was, coasted thru most of his first administration, oblivious as always to realties. Perhaps it was the boredom, but whatever it was, little George could not restrain himself from meddling. After all, he WAS the president, wasn't he?

So, with a bit of subterfuge, and a lot bending of facts, and a great deal of deceit, little Georgie started an illegal war and became by his own words, the 'War President'.

Feeling his oats, he blustered and bragged, 'Wanted, Dead Or Alive!' and 'Bring It On!' and then 'Mission Accomplished!', though like everything else in his life heretofore, it was all fantasy. But, a problem emerged when he began to believe his own fantasies and lies, and full of his own ego, started to reject the advice of his older, wiser father and other people with real actual experience.

By now, believing himself omnipotent, and ignoring all advice from others, little George stubbornly and blindly persisted in pursuing his failures, which were became more glaringly obvious to the entire world daily. No matter - the one single thing little George is very good at, is ignoring reality. But, big problem. Now that George had blithely moved off the path charted by his father and others, there is no one left to accept responsibility except George, his very own self. For the first time in his life the ball has stopped in George's own court.

And, it is not a pretty picture. There are glaring failures in every direction, and everywhere you look. The war is being lost, George's political party is in meltdown, high level people are quitting or being fired everywhere, the economy is on the verge of collapse, there are scandals throughout his administration.

After a life of denial of reality, the chickens are finally coming home to roost. The buck has stopped abruptly, and dropped heavily, soddenly like a hunk of lead, right in George's lap. For the first time in his life, little Georgie is staring reality right in the face.

It is the real beginning of his first and only Winter of Discontent.