Archive for the ‘debate’ Category

Dinner At Art’s; Lessons In Parenting

Saturday, January 19th, 2013


So. Another day in paradise has begun with 27-degrees of clean mountain air and warm puppy fur. I had dinner last night with some new friends over to their house whereat the wine and food and conversation were stellar. When I got home after, the house was stuffy with dry heat and the dogs were pissed at me.

“You’re an asshole, Mooner,” the Squirt told me as I unlocked the door. “Open some windows and fill our water bowl before you end up with twenty pounds of hairy dog meat jerky.”

“Oh, Jeez, I’m sorry, kid,” I answered as I rushed to get fresh water. “My feet were cold before I left and I forgot to turn the thermostat down.”

I placed the red water bowl on its pad and Squirt lapped like crazy. “Where’s the goat dog, sweetie?”

“Go to your bathroom and see for yourself,” Squirt mumbled between slurps. “You are such a pinche asshole.”

When I went to the bathroom I found Yoda laying on his back with his tongue hanging out. He scrabbled to his feet when I turned on the light, and then tried to gain purchase on the sides of the tub to get out. He looked like he was on ice.

“He’s been stuck in there for three fucking hours, shithead—scampering to get out. He jumped in to lick the last drops of shower water and couldn’t get a grip.”

The Squirt started prodding my leg with her nose in a bullying way. “I’m turning you in to Child Protective Services, Mooner. You have got to make our welfare a higher priority.”

The adorable bundle of brown fur and right thinking poked me once more for emphasis, and said to me, looking straight at me she said, “Come on Yoda, let’s go shed some hair on his clean clothes.”

That reminded me that I was folding the clothes from three dryer loads of laundry I had done just before I left for dinner, and left them on the dining room table. Good thing I’ve grown a taste for dog hair, a thought that brings up another thought.

How much dog hair must I ingest before I start spitting up fur balls? How many pounds of white and brown and tan shed coats does it take to trigger my gack reflex? Does the pet’s coat length make any difference—would long-haired cat fur trigger faster than that of my short-haired puppies?

And what about curly Poodle hair? I don’t think I could choke enough of that shit down to form a decent sized fur ball. Will my fur balls be calcified like a cat’s? Would there be any value in them? Maybe I could carve them into arty objects and sell them at one of the fine art galleries here to town. I would, of course, first need to learn how to carve and that reminds me of an interesting conversation we had last night.

My host is a photographer, like Squattie, and seems to specialize in nature pics. Really good nature pics. He’s also quite bright, a voracious reader of dense philosophy and science, and he remembers every word he reads that might be important.

You remember when you were in school and you would use a yellow highlighter to mark all the shit you wanted to remember for the test? That’s my new friend’s brain. He can quote authors from books he might have read decades ago. Me, I’m so fucking crazy with the ADHD that I have trouble remembering what I can still remember when I can remember it.

Like I can remember, “Ask not what you can do for your your country…,” you know, the same shit that some mostly brain dead asshole like Rick “the Prick” Perry can recall. Then again, I could remember three things if I practiced in preparation for a fucking presidential debate.


Anyway, we somehow got into a discussion about art and what art is. OK, maybe that should be “what is art?” or maybe the question should be, “When does creativity transform personal expression and become Art?”

He and I got into a broad discussion on the question and his wife—my hostess and a likewise quite intelligent and engaging woman—served as moderator. She’s in the art business herself and with very experienced and cultured values re: the subject at hand, and was a terrific facilitator. She reminded me of that guy who had the first popular TV talk show, the guy who is married to the daughter of the old singer who supported the children’s hospital over to some town in Tennessee. Except that she’s much prettier and somewhat more likely to call your bullshit “bullshit” and likewise a poker player. We had quite lengthy discussions on poker.

So, my host—artist that he is—has specific views on the definition of Art and, likewise, as a quite smart man, is able to say many smart things in support of a position that he never quite takes. Instead, he allowed me to pontificate like an asshole on a subject I have no fucking knowledge or understanding about. OK, wait. I pontificated on a subject about which I lack any knowledge or understanding.

Since not knowing anything about a subject never seems to factor into my arguments, I listened to his thoughts and kept pondering and speaking my ideas. Maybe it was the wine, but my thoughts were swirling inside my skull for a half-hour—a confusing swill of gibberish. Then suddenly, the answer came to me.

“It becomes Art, big-A Art, the instant you decide to show another person. Before that, it’s simply your personal shit.”

Am I a smart fucker, or what?” was my thought last night. This morning, I’m more thinking, “I need to learn to listen more, talk less.”

Phil Donahue—that TV host is Margo Thomas’ hubbie and Danny Thomas’ son in law. Remember how he would enthusiastically move between groups with differing ideas and find ways to show support for their divergencies, regardless of their voracities? That was our hostess last night.

My Gram would say, if you asked her, she’d say, “Oh, who really gives a shit, Mooner. Art is Art an’ that shitty picture ya brung home this mornin’ ain’t no fuckin’ Art. Now pass me that plate a pork an’ leave me ta be.”

I don’t know what the rest of you think, but I’m thinking I might have a thread upon which to tug and unravel this “what is Art?” question. Anyway, today will be fifty degrees and the dogs are ready for a long walk. Maybe we’ll run into Allie McGraw again. I’ve been practicing a few lines to use on her to get a date.

Manana, y’all.

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Semi Voter Fraud; Can You Smell It?

Thursday, October 25th, 2012


So. My New Mexico Voter Registration and driver’s license arrived in yesterday afternoon’s mail and I can’t be prouder. I have now officially divorced my most important allegiances from Rick Perry’s Texas and recast my political love in the Land of Enchantment. After opening the two separate envelopes, I made photo copies of the contents to file away.

When I placed the Voter ID copy into it’s file, I found the actual Texas Voter card and an Absentee Ballot that allows me to vote in this year’s Texas, Travis County and City of Austin elections. I pulled the ballot out of the file and showed it to the dogs.

“Let’s fill it out and send it in,” said the Squirt with obvious glee. “Let’s commit some actual voter fraud.”

“That would be fun,” I answered the adorable little lump of brown fur and sharp humor, “but I find I can’t even force myself to do it. I’m a one man-one vote guy.”

When the Texas ballot was delivered by US Mail—forwarded to Santa Fe within a week after getting posted to my Austin, Texas address—I spent an hour musing that I could have a final “Fuck Rick Perry” moment as a Texas voter.

I also spent time wondering how we Americans could ever consider privatizing the US Postal Service. To me, the dismantling of USPS is symptomatic of the evil forces ruining our country. They place unrealistic burdens on it and then bitch when stupid goals aren’t met.

“Tenemos que acer algo, Mooner,” Squirt begged, “this is your last chance to make a statement in Texas.”

“You’re right, little lady, we need to do something.”

After dinner, a few Carta Blanca beers and several visits with a match and rope, the three of us “cast” a 2012 Absentee Ballot for the State of Texas, Travis County- Austin. With a fat red Sharpie pen I marked “Not a real ballot: Mooner Johnson says Fuck Rick Perry!!!” across the top of the first page. Then we made snarky comments throughout the ballot—laughing and giggling our way through its multiple pages.

The Squirt got really silly and grabbed the ballot in her sharp-toothed mouth, shook it until it shredded. When she spit it out she said, “Take that, Prick Perry!”

After we stopped laughing at that one, Yoda and I took the ballot to the grass and added our signature statements, and we all laughed until breathless.

Before sitting to write this, I placed the “Not a real ballot” in a plastic sleeve, addressed a manila envelope and glued $2.40 postage to the upper right corner, loaded the dogs into the car and went to the Post Office. When we got there I pulled to the big blue boxes outside and told the Squirt, “Here you go, you little shitbird, this was your idea—you take the honors.”

Squirt grabbed the envelope in her mouth and climbed into my lap to get to the window, stretched her neck out and dropped it in. The three of us laughed some more then wee-wee-wee’d all the way home.

“Federal Express would have charged ten bucks for that package, kids, and the US Postal Service sent it for less than $3.00. Why in the world would anybody want to kill that kind of service?”

Why, indeed.

Speaking of honors, I haven’t seen the fucking cat since Tuesday afternoon when she was rubbing around Gram and P-cubed’s limo driver’s legs. I fear that Honor might have snuck into the big stretch Hummer and gone on what is now a two-day excursion of depravities.

And speaking of depravities, I wonder if it’s a crime to mail a shredded, dog and human urine-soaked absentee ballot in the US Mails.

Manana, y’all.

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Debate Hangover; It’s About The Truth, Stupid,

Thursday, October 4th, 2012


So. Last night before the Debate, I had a premonition about what would happen. I thought that the moderator would not actually moderate and control the action, I thought that Romney would follow Rush Limbaugh’s advice and be a pit bull and attack the President rather than state the facts and specific plans of just how he wants to make things better. I also said that I wished the Prez would call Romney out on his lies.

Sadly, I was right and didn’t get my wish. Jim Lehrer was a non participant, Mitt Romney was an attack puppet, and the President acted like a President with excessive reserve. Sure, I wished that he had been stronger when Romney lied, of course I do. There were several times I was yelling at the big TV that hangs over the mantle in the den here to La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe. “Call him out on his leis!!!” I screamed more than once.

My blood pressure was tipping in at stroke levels when the moderator allowed both candidates to avoid the questions, and in the final analysis, I feel both candidates were winners and both losers.

Mitt Romney won the debate of aggression, of posture, of attractiveness and of volume—a clear and concise victory in all three. Romney won and the President lost, and clearly so. If the election were to be decided by which candidate was louder, stood up straighter, spoke louder and was prettier last night, Mitt Romney wins in a landslide. Hell, if the majority of the American people are so fucking stupid to take that kind of form over substance, we deserve Mitt Romney as our President.

As my buddy Squatlo said in his first post-debate posting last night, “…If this had been a prize fight, the Obama corner would have thrown in the towel…”

To those of you who are all freaked out about the President’s lack of aggression against the Mittster, please allow me to say this:

“Chill out. Take a Valium or two, and chill the fuck out.”

Guess what. This wasn’t a prize fight, folks, it was a debate. It was a DEBATE. You know what a debate is, right? One of those public forums where people with differing views express their views by presenting facts and plans and specific information that supports their personal position on the questions asked by the moderator, a debate.

Even if it had been a prize fight, Romney would have been disqualified in the second round for rules violations. The worst referee in the world wouldn’t have allowed a participant in a title fight to rabbit punch, knee the groin, and hit after the bell like Lehrer did last night.

When the debate was over last night, the Squirt was visibly upset. The little puppy crawled into my lap, sighed a deep and pitiful sigh, and said to me, she said, “Mitt Romney just lied his way into the White House. I think I might go jump off a bridge.”

From listening to liberal pundits and other Obama supporters this morning, that seems to be a common theme. For some reason, even the smart and caring among us have fallen for Rush Limbaugh’s bullshit. But think about this for just a minute. Think of reading the words spoken last night and not about the visuals.

The President presented programs past and future with specifics, presented the positive benefits of his programs, and defended any failures of those plans. He calmly, TRUTHFULLY, and accurately explained his plans and visions. He didn’t call Romney out on his lies and lack of specifics and flip-flopping with the voracity I would have liked, but he did call him out.

Think about the words. The words spoken last night.

Do you realize that Mitt Romney agreed with the President on almost every important issue? Did you hear him say that Romneycare/Obamacare was a good thing? Did you then hear him say that he wants to give that health care design to the states to control using vouchers? Romney wants to give the states control of Medicare using vouchers, folks, he said it last night.

Hello! Hello out there. If the states were to be in charge of our health care, how soon do you think every American with a crippling illness would pack their bags and move to Massachusetts?

Romney agreed with the President to not raise taxes on the great middle class, reduce the deficit and protect education, and create jobs. I heard him say it more than twice. Then I also heard him say that he wouldn’t reduce the military budget, that he would voucher public education, and that he would balance all of these financial balls in the air and create jobs without increasing taxes.

He said he would reduce the middle class tax rate to lower taxes and then turned right around and said that would be a “revenue neutral” act because he would also eliminate deductions. Would someone please tell me how you can either reduce a deficit OR increase available funds for the military with “revenue neutral” budgets.

Please fucking tell me, because I have been a businessman for the better part of fifty years and I need some of that accounting magic. How can he increase military spending $2 Trillion and over the Pentagon-requested budget and give $5 Trillion more in tax cuts without either increasing revenues (read taxes) or deeply cutting program budgets for non-military programs?

Answer: Magic.

In his closing statement, Mitt Romney told us that his number one priority is to make sure America has the greatest military in the world. Really? I thought you said it was jobs—no, wait, you said it was education—no, you said it was to repeal Obamacare—or was it energy independence?

And all that Romney said/promised he would do was said and promised without specifics or verifiable fact. His budget will balance because he will magically create 12 million new high-paying jobs without spending any money and with no identifiable plan.


States can better decide about our health care and educations, so when we send vouchers to the states, all of those problems will magically go away and America will once again be the Land of the Free?

Really? Have you seen the stupid shit state legislatures in Texas and Tennessee have been pulling?

Just like Mitt Romney believes the magic underwear he wears twenty-four hours a day is going to protect his soul, he expects us to believe that his magical solutions to America’s problems will protect us from further economic and social harm.

OK, stop, Mooner, enough. The President wasn’t as good as we expected and Romney was as aggressive as we thought. Win/win, lose/lose. But please let me say one last thing.

It’s about the truth, stupid.

Manana, y’all.



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