Riff Raff: Haw Creek Falls, Wall Street wonks, and critter petting

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 632 views 

Learned a lot from the news shows in recent weeks about what it takes to get a security clearance. Them federal girls and boys are thorough. Former live-and-let-live rednecks need not apply. Two or three folks get interviewed in Johnson County and I’d get a White House invite soon after that Stormy lady. When are they gonna make that medical marijuana available?

Not quite three years ago and under a different President, U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton, both Republicans representing Arkansas, voted against a bipartisan spending plan because it increased spending by $154 billion over two years. Both Senators called the spending reckless and said it only added to the nation’s growing deficit.

Sens. Boozman and Cotton recently voted for almost $400 billion in increased spending in a higher interest rate environment and just after the deficit was projected to rise another $2 trillion.

Cotton noted in 2015: “Arkansans are tired of the ‘spend now, fix later’ mentality that’s become so common in Washington. They’re ready for a different approach. Rest assured, I will keep working to restrain spending and to find long-term solutions for Arkansans.”

Yep, we’re ready for a different approach – preferably an approach sans hypocrisy so blatant it insults our intelligence.

• One more short note on a different approach. Someone lemme know when it’s not too soon, because there is a point to be made that our terrorists are not the folks we are spending billions upon billions upon billions to kill, contain or keep out of our country.

• Speaking of Johnson County, Wall Street in recent weeks has taken more hairpin turns and ups and downs than the road between Hagarville and the state park at Haw Creek Falls. Equities markets that just a few weeks ago were cited as confirmation America was great again have of late been on a path that looks like the EKG of a meth tweaker.

On the East Coast produced television news shows that can afford all the smart people, they were confident the market swings were a good thing and they were confident the market swings were not a good thing. Some were confident the market swings were a sure sign that there are no sure signs. One can only imagine how confused we were here in middle America where the stock we manage can be cut into a great prime rib.

After having watched more than 10 hours of CNBC, yours truly feels qualified to interpret the musings of those who buy $2,000 suits only when the $10,000 suits aren’t available.

“At the end of the day we will begin to see signs of normalcy.” (I have no idea what is happening, but my best guess is that it will change to something different.)

“Stick with your investment strategies.” (We need our clients to stick with our advice and keep giving us money even though they are now getting a financial crotch kick.)

“We are testing passive strategies in times of market distress.” (A financial crotch kick is what you deserve if you weren’t smart about your stock picks.)

“Interest rate sensitivities tied to federal fiscal policy create uncertainty between bond and equity investors.” (That big tax cut was great, but the deficit spending by these unchaperoned corporate whore jack wagons in Congress borders on unsustainable.)

Most of my money is invested in two young ladies who I hope to hell can afford bourbon, Netflix subscriptions, Tacos 4 Life gift cards, and hospice care for their old man.

• If that’s unreasonable, what about this? People – often those who may not realize they are likely a product of chain migration – on the social media pages want to know why Dreamers who have been in the United States for many years have not sought to seek citizenship. They allege, in the question, that Dreamers want an easy path to all the benefits of being a good God-fearing American. Because, we all know, that the only time immigrants “get off their asses” – thanks, John Kelly – is when they rape, murder, and suffocate baby eagles with an American flag.


Women and men in the Dreamers (DACA) system can’t seek citizenship. The law prevents such a move. Also, they pay taxes. They pay taxes but are not eligible to receive the social safety net benefits their taxes help provide. Compared to U.S. demographics that measure elements of success and failure, we as a nation should not only want to make citizens out of Dreamers, but ask if they have any friends who want to change nationality.

It’s easy to believe in simple demagoguery. Superficial musings can be an easy path toward reinforcing preconceived notions; toward bolstering the view that cultural norms are best for God and country when they remain anchored in a sea of white guy rules.

• Speaking of white guy rules, let’s talk about critter petting. Some folks aren’t happy about #MeToo. All those stories about sexual assault can’t be real. Right? Makes uncomfortable the status quo crowd when the outside crowd wants the status to go. Surely some of these women are somewhat culpable. It takes two to tango. There was cleavage. Short skirts. She was tipsy. She smiled at me.

One of the more popular manifestations of the notion that victims, rather than perpetrators, should receive scrutiny was a picture showing three scantily-clad actresses on the red carpet presumably prior to an awards show. The accompanying troglodyte-penned quip reads: “If you don’t want people touching your critters, don’t make your barn look like a petting zoo.”


This is nuts. A discussion in 2018 about critters and petting and unwelcome touching should be unnecessary. A nude woman (or man) could walk out in public and yet I am not in any way justified in committing assault. This is the classic, “She was asking for it,” BS, but with a clever (yet wholly faulty) petting zoo analogy. Here’s another analogy for you: If that old boy didn’t want me taking his car for a joy ride, he shouldn’t have come by here driving it with those fancy rims, shiny paint job and souped-up motor. Or, if you don’t want people touching your car, don’t make your garage look like a bumper car rink.

Even the fine folks you’d see at the beautiful state park at Haw Creek Falls know that when the young lady says “no,” you’d best step away from her finely tuned small block 350-powered 1979 Camaro.