Saturday, March 25, 2006

Slow Ride Straight to Hell

  • Back in 1996, John T. Steen, Jr. gave $6000 to the Bush-Perry Gubernatorial Campaign and, two years later, was awarded the post of Chairman of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Not a bad investment, if you ask me. The top of the Commission consists of a chairman, (Mr. Steen, Jr.) and two other commission members (Corporate fundraiser maven Gail Madden of Dallas, and "The Jumburrito King", Jose Cuevas, Jr. of Midland. Both of whom are great supporters of the President.) These three, in turn, appoint an Administrator who is responsible for the day to day workings of the Commission. After several years of fly-by night Administrators, they finally found someone to take the job. Lo! And behold…Who did they appoint? …None other than a Mr. Alan Steen.
    Now, I’m not sure what familial relation, if any, exists between these two Steen men, but I do know that, here in Texas, most people turn a blind eye to a little bit of high ranking nepotism. After all, they reckon, why not share the good fortune, right? We’re used to that kind of thing down here. It’s all part of that Good Ol’ Boy mentality that has kept Our Great Republic locked firmly in the grip of the descendants of White, Christian, Land Grabbing, Prairie Pirates and Death Merchants, who, in the hoary old days, once wrested the land from both Mexican and Indian alike.
    Now, those are the three at the top of the TABC ladder but what about the origination itself? What is this organization that has the power to regulate not only the sale and distribution of booze and beer but, it would seem, the consumption of it as well. According to their website the TABC "shall inspect, supervise and regulate every phase of the business of manufacturing, importing, exporting, transporting, storing, selling, advertising, labeling and distributing alcoholic beverages, and the possession of alcoholic beverages for the purpose of sale or otherwise."
    It seems to be that “or otherwise” part at the end, there, that gives them the right to tell Texans how much, and where we can drink. In fact, on page 7 of the September 2005 issue of of TABC Today Mr. John T. Steen, Jr. himself outlines the plan that would become Operation Last Call, including such gems as:
    “The action plans involve a strong and visible presence by dramatically increasing the number of stings that detect sales of alcohol to minors and intoxicated persons. The results have been impressive.”

    “[W]e’re on target to conduct 6,000 minor stings this fiscal year—more than double that of last year. With additional agents, the number of stings will increase even more next year. “

    And, my favorite,
    “Rather than working to increase arrests of drunk drivers, it is our intent to decrease the number of drunk drivers by stopping them before they leave the bars.”

    So, these “sting” operations are said to be aimed at curtailing alcohol sales to drunks and minors, but the motivating factor behind it all, we’re told, is to put a dent in the high instances of drunk driving.
    So, these “sting” operations are said to be aimed at curtailing alcohol sales to drunks and minors, but the motivating factor behind it all, we’re told, is to put a dent in the high instances of drunk driving.
    In fact, in October of 2004, the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission filed a report that made several suggestions aimed and helping the TABC move away from it’s Prohibitionist roots and towards a more fiscally responsible and socially aware organization. What they seem to point to repeatedly is the “changing social attitude” towards drinking and alcoholic beverages in general.
    And this is where things really start to get dicey because, if you check, several of these recent TABC initiatives are not only widely supported by but, in many cases, were first suggested by the nefarious Texas born hate group, MADD.
    Now, I know what some of you are thinking. “How can you call an innocent support group of grieving mothers a hate group?”
    Simple. Wikipedia defines a hate group as: “An organized group or movement that advocates hate, hostility or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, or other sector[s] of society.” (Emphases my own).

    David J. Hanson, Ph.D. has published a very well researched, and meticulously documented paper that gives us a good idea of what those cracked pots over at MADD are really all about. There is also a fantastic list of quotes by several scholars, reporters, academicians, lawyers, and people in the know who have sounded the warning bell on this Neo-Prohibitionist movement. Here are just a few of my personal favorites:

    MADD has an "anti-alcohol campaign."- Prof. Jenny Edbaure, University of Texas

    "The Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League spearheaded the constitutional prohibition effort. Groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) assume that mantle today."- Hans G. Nichols

    "Mothers Against Drunk Driving may soon have to change its name to Mothers Against Any Drinking Whatsoever -- that is, if it wants to avoid false advertising." -Washington Times

    "Mothers Against Drunk Driving (has) decided to wage war on social drinkers." -Radley Balko, Fox News columnist

    MADD has become "overzealous." -Candy Lightner, founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving

    "MADD generally attempts to mask its radical, neo-prohibitionist agenda in the veneer of sound science and sober statistics." -Charles V. Pena, former MADD official

    "MADD is a hate group, without question." -Darlene J. Dowling, AFA

    Mothers Against Drunk Driving "displayed its contempt for civil liberties, as well as the judicial system, by calling for (a) judge to resign because she criticized a MADD-backed program she felt violated the constitutional rights of young adults."- Center for Consumer Freedom.

    Let’s face it, my Freaky Darlings- these gibbering killjoys are out to ruin the fun for all the rest of us. Their agenda has shifted from lowering drunk driving fatalities to making drinking, even socially, so appalling and stigmatizing, that soon, they hope, people won’t want to drink at all. They have targeted people who drink, whether they drive or not, and are waging a deliberate and malicious campaign to wipe them out.
    So, suddenly, the fog clears up some and we are left with a solid connection. Recall that our sitting President was once arrested for a DUI back in 1976.
    “It appears from all reports, that candidate Bush did abuse alcohol for a long period of his life, but in 1986 decided to quit, because it began to "compete for his energy."
    Well, there’s nothing I hate more than a reformed Drunk. They get all preachy and holier-than-thou and they 12-Step me to death. They piss me right the hell off. Besides that, I never could stand a quitter.
    But better still:
    “In September 2002, Bush invited five religious leaders-three Christian, one Jewish, one Muslim-to meet with him in the Oval Office. "You know," he said, "I had a drinking problem. Right now I should be in a bar in Texas, not the Oval Office. There is only one reason that I am in the Oval Office and not in a bar. I found faith. I found God. I am here because of the power of prayer.” ( Link )

    In other words, it seems, Jesus = Good and Drinking = Bad.
    Now, I’m not suggesting that our President is at the top of some huge, sinister movement that is out to destroy our Right to drink but I am starting to think that there is something more behind these TABC “Sting” operations that have swept across Texas like a Kiowa raiding party. Is it really that difficult a leap to think that it could all be part of some wider agenda fostered by powerful, neo-prohibition lobbyists, teetotteling Super-Christians, and spiteful, money grubbing hate mongers?
    As I’ve said before, my Freaky Darlings, Paranoia is a survival trait. There are any number of people around today who would be quick to point an accusatory finger at the Bush Administration for such things as the never ending War in Iraq, or the Vice-Presidents connection to Halliburton, or, more recently, the Domestic Spying Scandal. It seems evident to many people that this President has no trouble at all wiping his ass with the Constitution and calling it Necessary for National Security.
    Now, they want to strip us of our comfort zones by keeping us from talking about it in public while drunk. It’s in their best interests to prevent us from doing so. The Right to peaceably gather in a public place of comfort, to socialize with different people, and to share a multitude of ideas in an open forum with the spirit of mutual friendship and good humor is also how Rebellions get started.
    The Sons of Liberty met in taverns, Hitler and his Brown Shirts gathered in a beer hall, Francisco Madero plotted the Mexican Revolution from a cantina on the West-Side of San Antonio. Whenever paranoia ran high and tension grew too thick, people would gather and drink liberal amounts of alcohol, and commiserate about their deplorable state of affairs.
    Is it any coincidence that the Volstead Act was passed in the same year (1919) as both Abrams V United States and Schenk V. United States? Back then people were living under the Original Patriot Act, called The Espionage Act of 1917.
    To that fine piece of war time drama Congress added, in 1918, The Sedition Act which stated in very clear terms that:
    “Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully… incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty,… shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . . or shall willfully . . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both.... “

    Savage scary stuff for 1919; but, to make matters worse, booze was, suddenly, outlawed. You couldn’t make it, couldn’t own it, and couldn’t drink it. After decades of loud-mouthed United Temperance Movement dingbats running around the country, singing hymns outside of bars and holding pointless marches, for some strange and cruel reason, the U.S. Government chose that time, that exact place in history, to start listening to them, and they started slapping down the drunks.
    The Great War was over and a generation of youth, traumatized by the horror of it all, was trying to reintegrate into a society that just didn’t want to hear about it any more. The Nation was sick of it, and everyone just wanted to move on with things. People were angry and dissatisfied with the lack of jobs, and unfair work practices were stealing the Soul of the Country; social indifference or outright discrimination was common place. Political dissent was the meat that people couldn’t afford for dinner.
    Suddenly, booze was in the same category as sedition, and there needed to be Constitutional Amendments put in place to specifically prohibit the Citizens of the Nation from doing either.
    The whole thing seems to start to fall apart when you consider that, not only was Prohibition repealed about 15 years later, but that it completely failed. People actually started to drink more. Suddenly, the bootleg hooch was flowing day and night, and people partied hard. Bathtubs full of gin, or sparkling wine, garnished with a pretty girl, were all the rage at parties. People who had, before then, never been hard drinkers were suddenly dying of acute booze poisoning, and, of course, we cannot forget one of the biggest effects of the Volstead Act-The Rise of the American Gangster Empire.
    Organized crime families were falling over each other to provide illegal liquor to the thousands of underground bars, where the people were instructed to “speak easy”, and danced to fantastic Jazz. These crime syndicates made boat loads of dough smuggling hundreds of crates of outlawed liquor in from Mexico and Canada, and they killed anyone that got in their way, and built vast Gomorrah’s of sin, and greed, and violence. When the law shut down one port of entry, they found another. When they couldn’t get it in anymore the clever bastards found people here that could make the booze for them. Ah, the American Dream in action – You have got to love it.
    But it was only possible because of Prohibition. So, it’s fair to say, that the whole thing was a spectacular but magnificent flop. Congress repealed it in 1933 with the 21st Amendment. In 1935 Texas ratified the Act which repealed it and, suddenly, we could once again drink our cold beer and sip Tequila in relative peace and comfort, and all was well with the world.
    Enter the TABC. In a Special Session of the 44th Texas Legislature, in 1935, the Liquor Control Act was enacted which created the Texas Liquor Control Board. Basically, this was a watchdog organization created to monitor the complex taxation and regulation involved in the distribution of alcohol. They didn’t really concern themselves much over who could drink what, or when, and how much. That came much later. Back then all that seemed to matter to them was getting the taxes paid on every barrel of beer or gallon of booze that moved through the state.
    In 1970, the name was changed to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, and in 1977 they drafted the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, which is, pretty much, the foundation for what we have today.
    Texas drinking laws are notoriously confusing. They are a jumble of regional preferences, state regulations, personal choice, and antiquated Old West traditions. According to one website cited the Star-Telegram,:
    “Move from Fort Worth to Arlington and you’ll be surprised that you can buy beer but not wine at the grocery store. Move to Grand Prairie and you can’t even find beer there, but you can buy alcoholic drinks at restaurants in both towns. Then move to Burelson, which has alcohol sales in the Tarrant County portion of the city but not in the Johnson County side of town.”

    I remember that, when I first came back to Texas, in the mid 1990’s, several things about drinking had changed in only a handful of years. Suddenly, the open container was only allowed in the passenger area, and you needed a TEXAS ID to purchase beer in most places. Passports didn’t count. Also, you couldn’t buy beer or wine at the store after midnight. Still, I could drink in the passenger seat of a car and, as I never cared to learn how to drive, that arraignment suited me just fine.
    There is a big difference, I think, between drinking and driving, and drinking and riding, but, not, it seems, to them. The Death Knell for the Good Times sounded on September 1st, 2001, when House Bill 5, passed by the 77th Texas Legislative session the previous May, and signed by Governor Rick Perry in June, went into effect. Just 10 days before the horrifying acts of terror that would strike and shock the Nation, Texans were, quite suddenly, no longer allowed to ride around with an open container in the passenger area of a vehicle.(except for busses, limo’s, taxi’s and Winnebago’s)
    It’s been a down hill ride here, ever since, with our rights as Drinkers slowly being eroded and chiseled down to the stump, until, at last, it’s come down to this. They are sending undercover operatives into the bars to eavesdrop on our drunken ramblings, great thick-necked geeks who leer menacingly at you from the other side of the bar, shrewdly judging your level of danger to others and yourself. They are forcing innocent bar patrons, who are neither in the process of operating a motor vehicle nor wandering aimlessly on the streets, to undergo field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests, right off the bar stool.
    What ever happened to the Fifth Article of the Bill of Rights that says: “No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…”
    And, My Freaky Darlings, that’s what those drunkenness tests are all about. They are using your own behavior against you. When the time comes, and they drag your ass into court, it all comes down to the arresting officers report on how badly you walked the line, or recited the alphabet backwards, or stood on one leg and touched your nose. In the end, one way or another, they’re going to make you screw yourself and, for now, at least, there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

    I Shouldn't Have Dared Them To Do It...

    It seems, according to some of my roaming eyes and ears around the county, that several people have been arrested *right here* in my own town as recently as yesterday.
    From what I hear, as well as read in some recently published accounts, TABC is using *undercover agents* to snag some of my fellow inebriates in several local watering holes in what they are ominously calling “Operation LAST CALL”.
    In an update by Reuters News today, as many as 2,200 people, state wide, have been arrested and/or cited for being drunk in a bar.
    According to a spokeswoman for the TABC, Carolyn Beck,
    “There are a lot of dangerous and stupid things people do when they’re intoxicated, other than get behind the wheel of a car. People walk out into traffic and get run over, people jump off of balconies trying to reach a swimming pool and miss.”
    In another report she said, “"These people who are being arrested are really drunk. We're not going up to random people. "
    The man who staggered into traffic was on an El Paso Street, and it was not the first time that has happened there, or anywhere. It happens all the time, actually, with or without booze. And the boy who leapt from a balcony toward a hotel pool and missed was a Spring Breaker down on South Padre Island.
    Now, I’m not trying to say that a little intervention might not have helped in those cases but, seriously, they bought the ticket and they took the ride. .
    The last thing I need is the “State” protecting me from myself. No, my Freaky Darlings, the truth is that those people didn’t die of drinking, they died of terminal stupidity. Sure, a few drinks tends to bring out the obnoxiousness and stupidity in most people, but those are attributes that existed already.
    Besides that if a person decides that they want to get drunk and take a nose dive off a balcony, and then die, it’s not the booze it’s a sad but still somewhat comical accident. What’s next? Is the State going to start cracking down on gravity? Perhaps they should have arrested the swimming pool for having suddenly moved a few feet away?
    What I’m saying is that, sure, people do some mighty stupid stuff while drunk but I feel that it’s their Right to do so.
    Who is the TABC to tell me when I’ve had enough to drink? I’ll be the judge of that and I don’t need them telling me I’m being loud or rude or staggering a little bit. I *know* that. I do so because, up until these savage creeps started rounding us up, I felt secure enough to do so in the privacy and comfort of a favorite bar. Now, that sanctity has been violated by skulking rats and undercover finks, and, because the victims are drunks, most people don’t seem to care. But I ask you…Who’ll be left to raise the alarm if they decide to come after YOU next?

    Thursday, March 23, 2006


    Bar Sweep Sparks Controversy

    TABC agents and Irving police swept through 36 Irving bars and arrested about 30 people on charges of public intoxication. Agency representatives say the move came as a proactive measure to curtail drunken driving.

    At one location, for example, agents and police arrested patrons of a hotel bar. Some of the suspects said they were registered at the hotel and had no intention of driving. Arresting authorities said the patrons were a danger to themselves and others

    "Freedom of drinking should always be allowed, and it is only American to let a guy get drunk where he wants to get drunk," -Steve Harvey


    Now, my initial outrage was tempered by the thought that, it’s quite possible, that Irving, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas, used to be dry, i.e. no drinking allowed. I’m not sure that it ever was, though. Also, that there may have been pressure on their local government to do something about either the drinking or the drinking and driving. All good reasons to arrest people, OUTSIDE of a bar.
    But what concerns me about this, as a Citizen of the Occupied Republic of Texas, is that the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has violated the Sanctity of the Bar Room, not to mention our God Given Right to drink and get drunk.
    Now, I know what some of you Freaky Darlings, are saying: “But Adrastas, we’ve been telling you for years that the present Administration in the United States has slowly been stripping away your civil rights.”
    . For years, though, I have tolerated all the lies, hypocrisy and outright moral turpitude. When the government lied about WMD’s and decided to wage war for profit, I said “Sure, why the hell not”. When they clamped down our Civil Liberties and started rounding up the trouble makers I laughed, because, after all, better them than me. When they started spying on us I figured: Go ahead and let them- I’ve nothing to hide.
    But the day that jackbooted thugs can enter a sacred establishment, such as a bar, and round up whomever they’d like for arbitrary reasons, and incarcerate them at will…Well, then I know that it could very well be me next.
    Of course, I’m over reacting. I mean, I dare them to try that crap down here in the Wild and Free Dukedom of Bejar. Next month, we celebrate Fiesta Week, which, with the demise of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, should officially make us the biggest Party in the Nation. You can drink on the downtown streets of San Antonio as long as it’s out of a plastic container. I once had a SAPD Officer hand me a cute blue plastic 12 oz glass with their logo emblazoned on the side.
    But what about our Fellow Drunkards in Irving? Should they be made to live in fear? Or worse…Drink at home? Nay! My Freaky Darlings, the time has come to make a Stand, to let the Powers that Be know, through no uncertain terms, that We are Not going to allow them to take away the one, pure, freedom we have left. Let us raise our voices as one and tell them :” You can have my drink when you pry it from my cold drunk hand!”

    Friday, March 17, 2006

    Kill Them All

    I like to think of my mother as the kind of Lady that had three ‘50’s and moved right on into the 80’s but I can’t always do that. I mean this is a person that handwrote a letter every week to the US President to remove our Troops from ‘Nam. I hear that she even once accidentally took part in a sit-in at a cafĂ© for civil rights.
    We were talking about the impending Avian Flu pandemic the other day and she had an interesting solution to preventing an outbreak that could kill millions of people, worldwide.
    “These days,” she said, “we have the ability to do to animals what we did with pesticides. I mean, surely, we can find a way to eliminate birds on such a scale and in such a way that won’t hurt anything else.”
    “Probably,” I said.
    “Well, then, I think we should just kill them all.”
    “Yes,” she said. “You heard me. We should find a way to kill off all the birds in the world before they kill us. That’s what everyone is predicting is going to happen, right? A Pandemic that can kill off about a third of the population of the planet?. We should just find something that will kill off all the birds.”
    I gapped at her. “But, but the sparrows, and the parakeets, and…” I stammered. “And the Flamingos…What about the Flamingos?”
    She nodded sadly. “Yes,” she said. “I’m afraid they’d have to go, too.” She brightened up. “All of them”, she smiled.
    “And peacocks and what about American Bald Eagles?”
    “Well, I’d say we could keep a few in preserves but, why risk it?” She thought a moment. “No, kill them all. It’s them or us.”
    I mulled her idea over for several days, wondering over the horror of it all. Surely, it was madness, a be-feathered clucking, version of Dante’s Inferno, Bosch after too much KFC, an avian holocaust the likes of which has not been seen since the extinction of the Dinosaurs.
    The Word is that we’ll be hit by this sometime very soon. Then I heard This-


    So, how do we go about killing off all the birds around? Well, surely, there must be some way to collect millions of eggs and incubate them. They could be checked for disease before being hatched. Hell, we could breed clean birds, making sure that they’re disease free.
    “If there is enough time to do that, then, sure,” she said, when I told her. “”Otherwise, we can just kill them all and call it Collateral Damage.” My Mother said. “What was it they said about that village in Viet Nam? “We had to destroy the village to save it”? It’s the same thing.”
    The more I read about how bad this pandemic could get, due to migratory habits and patterns of these things, as well as the potential mutations and the effects on humans, and I think I’m starting to agree. As she said…”It’s them or us”.

    Wednesday, March 08, 2006

    Get a load of *this* crazy psycho

    It seems this woman is sueing Walgreens because they wrote stuff like "She's really a psycho!!! Do not say her name too loud, never mention her meds by names ..." on the tag on her medicne bag. Now, I mean, from what it sounds like in that story, she's got some major issues with her craziness and is just offended because it must be so very obvious to others that she is, in effect, totally nuts.
    Not that there's anything wrong with that. Some of my very best friends are stark raving mad. She should spend less time worrying about what others thing about her and work on getting better. I mean, if the employees needed to put notes for the rookie, or whatever, then it's obvious that she had caused them some grief before. They just seemed to know here so well.
    And it's not mean or rude for them to write this, if she had given them reason for caution. I mean owners of large dogs are required to place "Beware of Dog" signs in their yards, Cigarettes need to have that Cancer and Birth Defect warning, why shouldn't one warn employees of potential hostile, combatative or just plain crazy customers?
    Oh, I know..."Labels are bad" and all that but i mean how bad does it have to get for them to write a warning on the bag?
    Truth is, most of my psycho buddes who are on a whole rainbow of pills are either proud of the fact or are deeply concerned with getting better. It's the ones that self medicate or don't medicate at all that really retain their individuality. Those are the scary ones, the fun ones. They take pride in their neuroses and wear them as badges of honor.
    More Later on More interesting things....For now, I wish this lady well in her lawsuit but I think she needs to wake up and smell the Lithium because she's got issues and it's her problem. It isn't up to others to manage the way they see her it's up to her to manage how they see her. I mean, when one goes to pick up their meds...At least pretend to be normal.

    Monday, March 06, 2006

    Que Viva Tejas!

    Battle Flag

    I was talking to some people today who had no idea that today was the fall of the Alamo. These were Native Texans, mind you, and that freaked me out. It made me realize that, as much as we go on about it, we dun really remember the Alamo. Do you know how most of these assholes know to commemorate the Fall of the Alamo? Because the local news tells them so. But then again, to hell with them. Most of them are probably not even really from here. They came over after all that ugliness.
    Either way, today the Alamo Fell. After Thirteen Days the 186 defenders were overwhelmed by superior Mexican Forces. Some say for Glory, others for Gold. Hell, the Nickelodeon Channel actuallu had a little black girl telling people it was all over Slavery.
    I don't care. It doesn't matter why they did what they did. What matters is that they did it.

    Saturday, March 04, 2006

    Oscar Picks

    Well, we’ve made it out of February and into March and with any luck we can make a pleasant run through Spring and coast on into Summer. It’s Oscar night tonight and here are my picks: (The ones in Parentheses are the ones I think should win but know won’t)

    Make up- Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
    Visual Effects- King Kong
    Original Song- “Hustle and Flow”
    Live Action Short- Our Time is Up
    Original Score- Memoirs of a Geisha
    Costumes- Pride and Prejudice
    Animated Short Film- 9
    Art Direction-Memoirs of a Geisha
    Sound Mixing – War of the Worlds
    Documentary Short Subject-God Sleeps in Rwanda
    Sound Editing – King Kong
    Film Editing- Crash
    Cinematography- Brokeback Mountain (Batman Begins)
    Animated Feature Film- The Corpse Bride (Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit)
    Documentary Feature- Enron: The Smart Guys
    (Darwin’s Nightmare)
    Foreign Film – Paradise Now (Tsotsi)
    Original Screenplay-Crash (Syriana)
    Adapted Screenplay- Brokeback Mountain (Capote)
    Best Director – Ang Lee (Paul Haggis)
    Actress (supporting)- Michelle Williams (Katherine Keener)
    Actor (supporting)- Jake Gyllenhaa (Paul Giamatti)
    Actress- Felicity Huffman (Reese Witherspoon)
    Actor –Heath Ledger (Phillip Seymour Hoffman)
    Picture – Brokeback Mountain (Crash)

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Forum Response on ThothWeb

  • I’m not really sure what it is either. I’ve never seen anything like it. Sand storms are not small events in Cairo, so that’s not it and I would imagine a dust devil of that size would have had to have formed out in open territory and not down in the City. I used the Google Earth measuring tool to get a (very) rough estimate of the length of that dark horizontal area and it’s almost a tenth of a mile long.
    It could be the remains of Ramadan cooking fires from the various parts of the City. The North and North East sides of that Pyramid face a massive urban sprawl that make up the various crowded districts of Cairo.
    . I checked theWeather and wind patterns for October 24, 2005 in that area and found that, apart from 6:00 to 7:00 AM, when the wind died down, there was a steady light breeze out of the North-North East for most of the day. In fact, between 9:00 and 10:00 AM, the wind briefly shifted back to the North and picked up speed from a mellow and steady 2.3 mph to 13.8 mph by 10:00 AM.
    Now, I’m no expert, but I would think it more likely that, unless that thing is actually emanating from the structure itself, it’s probably something carried out from the City. It having been Ramadan, at the time, the first thing that came to my mind was that Cairo receives a huge influx of rural folk for the Holiday seaspm. Whether it’s to visit and celebrate with family members or to worship at a specific holy shrine or masgid, the rural Fellaheen flood into certain parts of Cairo. Mainly, in to the older districts that surround the Citadel, which are to the North and North East of the Giza plateau.
    I remember how sunsets in Cairo always look more thrilling and picturesque than sunrises. It was the mixture of exhaust from the prodigious traffic, and the various, um, native cooking methods, not to mention thousands of coffee houses all over the place, where everyone smokes a water pipe. This builds up during the day and causes those fantastic sunsets. During Ramadan, however, the opposite was true. Sunrise looked like a Renaissance painting. Someone once told me that it was because people, sort of, reverse their days during Ramadan because of the Fast, and that, because they take the supper meal before sunrise and the breakfast meal at sunset, ll that built up haze doesn’t have time to dissipate the way it does the rest of the year.
    So, that’s what made me think smog; In fact, one can see along the base of the pyramids that there is a light layer of rolling smog already but I’ll tell y’all, it’s that horizontal line that that cloud is casting that bugs me. I mean whatever it is it covers a fairly large area. and, with the sun being on the opposite side at the time, I not sure what phenomenon could cause something so exact and precise. I mean, I would imagine that either a dust devil or a smog cloud couldn’t cast such an exact silhouette, so…?