Variations on a Theme by Limonov

Austin Dispatches No. 221 Nov. 10, 2019

I'm worried about my future. Also my present. Come to think of it, the past isn't so reliable, either.

Thirty years ago, the Cold War ended.1 Statist arrangements in Eastern Europe,2 Red China,3 South Africa,4 Argentina,5 and elsewhere were discredited, on the defensive, or soon to reside in the dustbin of history.6

Even America entered a new phase of the struggle to overthrow the burden of an entrenched, decades-old corporatist, managerial-therapeutic, warfare-welfare state that had succeeded in being widely regarded as legitimate, until the 1960s.7 One president lost re-election.8 The U.S. House of Representatives impeached his successor,9 who found it expedient to proclaim the era of big government over.10 A leading opinion journal both called for the defeat of this corporatism, as it had earlier the defeat of foreign explicit socialism, and questioned the effect of mass immigration on the country’s social cohesion.11 A major business magazine even proclaimed the imminence of anarcho-capitalism.12

Today, several court intellectuals regard the ‘90s as a “vacation from history.”13 Americans and others struggle under a heavier burden imposed by statists reinvigorated by 9/11. Our finances, movements and thoughts are monitored, collected, and sorted through technical advances and justified under a pretext of national security that would’ve been regarded as intolerable in 1989.14 Meanwhile, the American power elite avidly pursue economic, social, and foreign policies that will dispossess us from our own country.15

Later, the 2008 meltdown reinvigorated explicit socialists, after a refreshing quiescence of a generation. Both factions' reinvigoration has reached the point where it's adversely affecting me.

Nov. 5, Austin voters rejected a ballot measure that could've stymied the soccer stadium under construction in my neighborhood.16 The measure had a slim chance of passing, because of the toxic LaRouchie woman who spearheaded the campaign, but it's success could've spared neighborhood residents from even worse traffic, especially at the Research Boulevard-Burnet Road intersection and the Highway 183 exit ramp to Burnet. Now only potential internal problems (e.g., lawsuits among the stadium deal's parties, cost overruns, construction difficulties) can stop it. The stadium adds yet more pressure to move away, if only I can obtain paying work in the same sluggish economy we've endured nearly 20 years.

The electoral defeat happened while I'm back on the phone wrangling about next year's medical insurance premium, no longer mandatory, and thus cheaper, but still 10 times what I paid in 2013, before ObamaCare took effect.

You'll Get Yours, Kid

The Boomers who still run the Chronicle finally deigned to praise a Thirteener -- Democratic presidential candidate Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke -- for his "embrace of pinko positions" -- their words.17 So the only way stereotypical Boomers will respect someone from the next generation is if he babbles in the same wrong-headed way as them. Then he dropped out of the race.18

Speaking of Chronicalistas, editor Michael King writes that he finds himself "uneasily shifting between hope and despair," induced by the young people holding a worldwide "Climate Strike" Sep. 20-27.19 King'll settle on despair when he realizes these brainwashed dupes fulminated against industrial civilization,20 then resumed jeopardizing themselves with scooters, vaping, vegan diets, and disease-spreading polymorphous perversity.

Austin Death Watch

Disgruntled citizens have formed a new political action committee to oust most of the City Council for its "policy decisions on homelessness, the land development code, high property taxes and declining affordability."21 Laudable, but the Travis County Libertarian Party could've taken the lead on these matters years ago. As is, I know the TCLP still exists only because I receive its newsletter. Since the Portland convention the county affiliate, bereft of animating libertarian ideas, has failed to make a difference.

Oct. 3, the City Council approved a $75,000 settlement to a man Austin police zapped with a stun gun last year.22 The police department demoted a sergeant to officer for shirking his duties after a police killing in April.23 A policeman's association sued the Texas Department of Public Safety over new waistline requirements for officers. The matter will probably be settled out of court in a doughnut shop somewhere.24

The City hiked parking meter rates "to cut down on traffic by keeping drivers from circling around in search of a cheap spot."25 Or we drivers could avoid downtown altogether. Take that, downtown merchants.26 The Oct. 18 Chronicle reports the City's planned free public toilets downtown still haven't been installed after more than two years, and won't be until January at the earliest.27 As with much else, City Hall needs to shit or get off the pot. Police investigated a dead street bum in one of those tents at the Interstate 35 overpass at Cesar Chavez Street.28 Nov. 4, Transportation Department workers accomplished what Austin officials would not: clearing out encampments at highway underpasses.29

For an Oct. 26 "Spooktacular Bash," the Austin Code Department posed the question "Ever thought what Austin would look like if it it had no rules or codes?"30 Yes, many times. Austin would probably be more affordable -- particularly residences -- and the bureaucrats would have to find honest work. I've noticed some of the worst street layouts and traffic flows exist in parts of town authorized by the department. This may be why it considered the question worthy of a Halloween event. In so many words, a 1999 bureaucratically intensive redevelopment plan for East 11th and 12th streets has failed, according to an Oct. 18 Chronicle article, which uses many more words to avoid concluding that critics of government intervention are right for the umpteenth successive time.31

Temperatures for the second weekend of the ACL Fest went from too hot to cold and rainy.32 A new report ranks Austin No. 5 among Western metro areas at risk for wildfire, much of it among the Mediterraneanesque mansions of the West Hills.33

A pedestrian used a scooter to smash a driver's back windshield in a downtown altercation Oct. 9.34 So much for Austin's mellow vibes. Rising rent drove a tech startup from downtown Austin to Lockhart.35

Bevo and Butt-Heads

The Oct. 10 Daily Texan reports the University of Texas is paying hundreds of dollars in contamination fees weekly because no one on campus knows how to separate compostable and non-compostable materials.36 A professor has left under accusations of sexual harassment.37

Perhaps the prof can teach sex education in the Austin school district, whose board approved a new pro-polymorphous curriculum ("expansive" in Chronicle-speak) for prepubescent children, over the objections of parents and taxpayers.38 Otherwise, how else can government authorities reliably groom the next generation of serial killers?39 Meanwhile, district reading scores have dropped.40 AISD should close all its campuses and quit while it's behind.41

On the Town

Sep. 22: I endured the Polack-like drivers and street pattern of the Mueller Community to patronize an Italian restaurant celebrating the Feast of San Gennaro.42 The pizza was excellent.

Sep. 29: I saw something new in the South Austin Central Market's bulk food section: Thanksgiving candy -- chocolates wrapped in Pilgrim and turkey foil, rather than Halloween motifs.

Oct. 5: Witnessed the aftermath of a collision near the 10900 block of I-35.

Oct. 10: Melanie Ordones Welker returned from the dead. By chance, she saw me in the Central Market off Lamar Boulevard, where I was shopping after my biannual dental cleaning, unexpectedly hugged me and then left, late for work. I momentarily didn't recognize her, because she'd aged so much since I last saw her -- and she's two years younger than me.

That evening, I witnessed the aftermath of a collision at the Howard Lane-MoPac Expressway intersection.

Halloween: While shopping at a big box retailer, I encountered a clerk costumed as an actual circus clown, versus a metaphorical insult ("Who's this clown you've got working here?"). Then a clerk costumed as Wonder Woman processed my purchase.43 "I guess crime fighting doesn't pay the bills," I quipped.

Nov. 3: Witnessed the aftermath of a collision on the I-35 southbound decks.

Cultural Canapés

Anecdotally, Halloween decorations appeared earlier and more extravagantly than in recent years,44 but inclement weather dampened celebrations on Halloween proper and the weekend before.45

Straddling the holidays, Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford has released a Christmas album.46 Nice try, Halford, but King Diamond beat you to the premise by some 35 years.47

Health Roundup

New research concludes eating red and processed meats doesn't cause cancer or heart disease.48 People who've been pushing meager starvation diets, of the sort used in cults, responded crankily, partly because they're killjoys, partly because the news undermines a strategy for control, and partly because they don't eat enough.49 I say the globalist pinkos can have our double bacon cheeseburgers when they pry them from our cold, dead sphincters. Besides, what else are you going to do with these animals after you've used their hides for shoes and wallets?

Business Roundup

A company that failed to hire me has taken a quarterly hit of $2.6 million because of newly imposed tariffs on Chinese products.50 The nearby supermarkets now carry Kodiak Cake microwavable flapjack cups, which are quicker than stovetop varieties, and better than pancakes from the frozen food aisles or at civic association breakfasts.51 Conglomerate brewer Molson Coors, which nevertheless offers three brands I like, is de-emphasizing beer for other beverages, including cannabis-infused.52

Other Neighborhood News

An Oct. 27 rollover at West Braker Lane and Burnet killed one and injured one.53 Oct. 17, I witnessed a near-collision near Parmer Lane and MoPac's frontage road. KXAN-TV’s traffic Web page recorded collisions at Burnet and Brockton Drive on Sep. 25 and Oct. 7, at Capital of Texas Highway and MoPac on Sep. 27, at Parmer and Tomanet Trail on Oct. 7 and 17, at Parmer and Scofield Farms Drive on Oct. 15, at Burnet and Scofield Ridge Parkway and at Braker and Metric Boulevard on Oct. 16; at MoPac and Parmer and on Burnet between McNeil Road and Rutland Drive on Oct. 23; at Burnet and Rutland on Oct. 24, at Burnet and Gault Lane on Nov. 1; and at Metric and Stonehollow Drive, at Metric and Sunhillow Bend, at Cedar Bend Drive and Metric, at Domain Drive and Gault, at Research southbound and Burnet, and at northbound MoPac frontage and Parmer on Nov. 4.

Amazon's Domain office is expanding, in multiple meanings.54 Nearby, construction has started on a luxury apartment skyscraper.55 Six business have opened in the neighborhood.56 The landlord installed new lights in the apartment complex breezeways on Oct. 15.

On Oct. 3, I found a penny in the H-E-B parking lot.

Media Indigest

Programming and personnel changes follow new ownership of several local radio stations.57


Home Archives


1 Johnson, Paul. Modern Times: The World From the Twenties to the Nineties, rev. ed. New York City: HarperPerennial, 1992: 768.

2 Ibid., 759-763, 765-768.

3 Ibid., 758-759. Another book claims the mainland Chinese government’s crackdown on protestors was actually the suppression of a burgeoning Maoist counterrevolution against the leadership’s liberalization: Feigon, Lee. China Rising: The Meaning of Tiananmen. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1990: 135, 211.

4 Johnson, op. cit., 729.

5 Terhorst, Paul. “Why Argentina Stopped Crying for Evita.” Liberty Nov. 1992: 34-38.

6 AD No. 44n1 (Dec. 10, 2002).

7 AD No. 47 (Feb. 15, 2003); Brennan, Mary C. Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP. Chapel Hill, N.C.: U of North Carolina P, 1995; Hayward, Steven F. The Age of Reagan, Vol. I: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order, 1964-1980. Roseville, Calif.: Forum, 2001: Ch. 3; O’Neil, Patrick H. Essentials of Comparative Politics. New York City: W.W. Norton and Co., 2010: 35-38; The Rise and Fall of the New Deal Order, 1930-1980. Ed. Steve Fraser and Gary Gerstle. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UP, 1989: Ch. 7-8.

8 Johnson, Paul. A History of the American People. New York City: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997: 934.

9 Barr, Bob. The Meaning of Is: The Squandered Impeachment and Wasted Legacy of William Jefferson Clinton. Atlanta: Stroud & Hall Publishers, 2004; Schippers, David P., and Alan P. Henry. Sellout: The Inside Story of Clinton's Impeachment. Washington, D.C.: Henry Regnery, 2000; Woodward, Bob. Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate. New York City: Simon & Schuster, 1999: Pt. 5.

10 Conley, Richard S. Historical Dictionary of the Clinton Era. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2012: 258.

11 Buckley, William F. Jr. “Agenda for the Nineties.” NR 19 Feb. 1990: 34-43; McConnell, Scott. “Americans No More?” NR 31 Dec. 1997: 30-35.

12 McHugh, Josh. "Politics for the Really Cool." Forbes 8 Sep. 1997: 172.

13 Fukuyama, Francis. The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution. New York City: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2011: 11-12; Halberstam, David. War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals, rev. ed. New York City: Touchstone, 2002.

14 Johnson, Modern Times, op. cit., 781.

15 "Robertson, Wilmot" [Humphrey Ireland]. The Dispossessed Majority, 3rd rev. ed. Cape Canaveral, Fla.: Howard Allen Enterprises, 1996: 207, 234, 307-309, 330, 337, 342, 349, 353, 375-377, 554.

16 King, Michael. "The Morning After." AC 8 Nov. 2019: 8+; King, and Mike Clark-Madison. "Election 2019: Final Results." AC 8 Nov. 2019: 10; Salazar, Daniel. "Voters Back Expo, Convention Center Expansion." ABJ 8 Nov. 2019: A8.

17 Clark-Madison, Mike. "Blue, Sweat, and Beers." AC 27 Sep. 2019: 25.

18 Cobler, Nicole, and Jonathan Tilove. "O'Rourke Ends Presidential Bid." AAS 2 Nov. 2019: A1+.

19 King. "From Earth Day to Climate Strike." AC 27 Sep. 2019: 14.

20 Rand, Ayn [Alissa Rosenbaum O’Connor], and Peter Schwartz. Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, 2nd rev. ed. New York City: Meridian, 1999.

21 Jankowski, Philip. "PAC Seeks to Oust Austin Council." AAS 23 Oct. 2019: B1+.

22 Wilson, Mark D. "City Settles Police Use-of-Force Case." AAS 4 Oct. 2019: B1+.

23 Hall, Katie. "Sergeant Demoted After Officer-Involved Shooting, Memo Says." AAS 19 Oct. 2019: B3.

24 Lindell, Chuck. "DPS Officers Sue Over Waistline Rules." AAS 4 Oct. 2019: A1+.

25 Wilson. "Austin Parking Meter Prices to Rise." AAS 8 Oct. 2019: B1+.

26 AD No. 127n8 (Sep. 21, 2009).

27 AD No. 195n7 (May 7, 2017); Sanders, Austin. "Divided They Stand." AC 18 Oct. 2019: 12+.

28 Bradshaw, Kelsey. "Police: Body Found in Tent Under I-35." AAS 1 Nov. 2019: B5.

29 Wilson and Jankowski. "City's Homeless Displaced As Crews Clean Up." AAS 5 Nov. 2019: A1+.

30 "Austin Code Spooktacular Bash." Austin Utilities Now Oct. 2019: 2; "Austin Code to Host Spooktacular Bash." AAS 23 Oct. 2019: B2.

31 Bingamon, Brant. "Old Town Roads." AC 18 Oct. 2019: 18-20.

32 Bradshaw. "Temps Dip for ACL Fest Weekend Two." AAS 11 Oct. 2019: B1+.

33 Mader, Lindsay Stafford. " 'The Risk Is Bad.' " AC 18 Oct. 2019: 16-17.

34 Osbourne, Heather. "Police Look for Road Rage Suspect." AAS 12 Oct. 2019: B3.

35 "Companies to Watch." ABJ 27 Sep. 2019: A11.

36 Morales, Laura. "Compost Costs University." DT 10 Oct. 2019: 1.

37 Korte, Laura. "UT Professor Accused of Sexual Harassment." AAS 2 Oct. 2019: B1+.

38 Sanders. "AISD Board Unanimously Approves Expansive Sex Ed Curriculum." AC 1 Nov. 2019: 16.

39 Bowart, Walter H. Operation Mind Control, rev. ed. Fort Bragg, Calif.: Flatlands Editions, 1994; McGowan, David. Programmed to Kill: The Politics of Serial Murder. New York City: iUniverse, 2004.

40 Washington, Aaricka. "Austin Tumbles in National Rankings." AAS 1 Nov. 2019: B1+.

41 Chang, Julie. "Four Austin Schools Slated for Closure." AAS 2 Nov. 2019: A1+.

42 “Food Events.” AC 20 Sep. 2019: 55.

43 Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. New York City: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014.

44 Herman, Ken. "A Local Hotel With a Ghost Registry?" AAS 11 Oct. 2019: B1+.

45 Hall. "Revelers Face Safety Risks From Traffic, Chilly Weather." AAS 31 Oct. 2019: B1; Villalpando, Roberto, and Hall. "Austin Area Soaked; Chilly Halloween Likely." AAS 26 Oct. 2019: B1+.

46 Halford, Rob et al. Celestial. Sony Music 546075, 2019.

47 King Diamond. "No Presents for Christmas." Roadrunner RR 125485, 1985.

48 "Red Meat's Health Risks Are Overcooked, Claim Scientists." Daily Telegraph 1 Oct. 2019: 11.

49 Lierre, Keith. The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability. : Crescent City, Calif.: Flashpoint Press, 2009: 6, 234; Stein, Alexandra. Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems. London: Routledge, 2017: 83, 123, 147.

50 Cronin, Mike. "A Land of Potential Riches -- and Government Oversight." ABJ 18 Oct. 2019: 4.

51 "Pancake Mix Maker Launches Web Site." The (Salt Lake City) Enterprise 2 Apr. 2001: 24.

52 Van Praet, Nicholas. "Canned Wine and Chai Tea: Molson Coors Hastens Move Beyond Beer." The Globe and Mail 31 Oct. 2019: B1.

53 "One Dead, One Injured in North Austin Crash." AAS 28 Oct. 2019: B3.

54 Edgemon, Erin. "Amazon Headcount Will Climb to 1,400 in Tower." ABJ 27 Sep. 2019: A8.

55 Edgemon. "Work Starts on Domain's Tallest Apartment Building." ABJ 8 Nov. 2019: A4.

56 "Now Open." CIN Oct. 2019, Northwest Austin ed.: 9.

57 Dinges, Gary. "Longtime Host Ward out As KLBJ Shuffles Radio Lineup." AAS 4 Oct. 2019: B6-7.