1 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
The high yesterday was 99.7° a little over the 98 that was forecast. I'm expecting over 100 today with the forecast at 99. It is going to be HOT. The lowest high temperature that is forecast during this next week is 97. I made another mistake. I could be in Huachuca City where the highest daily forecast for the week is 89 or Benson at 94.

I did a quick trip into town, accomplished my grocery gathering and had breakfast ready back at the Park a few minutes after 7:30. That is all that I'll do today. The rest of my time will be spent sitting under the A/C. Maybe a noon walk but it is getting hot fast; 80° at 9:00.
PCR asks a very important question.
It is this country, America, which has demonized half of its population, that is lining up wars with Russia, China, and Iran. Who is going to fight America's wars? White males who are demonized, called names, while their government makes every effort to ruin them? Or will America's declared victims—blacks, Hispanics, women, sexually perverted persons—fight for the country they have been taught to hate as their oppressor?

Never in the recorded history of the world has any country ever been so completely mindless as to set up itself for disastrous military defeat and total collapse as the United States. In a country where the President declares the best part of the population to be semi-fascists and the other half to be the country's victims, who comes to the defense of the country? — The FBI's Peter Strzok Is Still Trying To Frame Donald Trump, Paul Craig Roberts

John Michael Greer has a series of posts that have all been very good with no indication that the series may end soon. I recommend them and provide links to make it easy to find them.
The Great Rehash, Part One: The Best and the Brightest
The Great Rehash, Part Two: The Future's Cold Eyes
The Great Rehash, Part Three: Unsafe and Ineffective
The Great Rehash, Part Four: A Hill to Die On

2 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: September 2, 1934

The forecast high for yesterday was 98° and we got 101.4. Today the weather guessers think it will reach 100. That means the record for my nearest reporting station of 108 on July 5, 1985 may be challenged although probably not broken.

It has been hot even when we started our noon walk at 11:00. But we will try to get that one done today but no way will we be doing an afternoon walk. It was still over 90 last night at 8:00. Too HOT!

And it is the truth that men are cruel and stupid and that they suffer themselves to be driven even to destruction by shepherds as stupid as themselves. I thought of my passion for universal justice, of my desire that all men should be free, leisured, educated, of my imaginations of a future earth peopled by human beings who should live according to reason. But of what use is leisure, when leisure is occupied with listening-in and going to football matches? freedom, when men voluntarily enslave themselves to politicians like those who now rule the world? education, when the literate read the evening papers and the fiction magazines? And the future, the radiant future — supposing that it should differ from the past in anything but the spread of material comfort and spiritual uniformity, suppose it conceivably were to be in some way superior, what has that to do with me? Nothing whatever. Nothing, nothing, nothing. — Those Barren Leaves, Aldous Huxley

Biden went to Saudi Arabia begging for more oil in July and received no promises. What has transpired in August may indicate why the Saudi's where non committal.
The western overlord of the Middle East who have used Saudi Arabia and other regimes as weapons in their geopolitical arsenal of oil geopolitics and the creation/deployment of terrorism have made it clear that the “post-Great Reset” rules based international order sees little room for hydrocarbon fuels which have been deemed “enemy #1” to be destroyed at all cost in the pursuit of “global net zero” by 2050. As such, even on a practical level, there will be very little role which Saudi Arabia or any other oil-reliant state will play within this utopic new order.

China, on the other hand, has no such delusional green visions and instead offers a more rational energy vision with its partners outlined in the August 2022 Memorandum of Understanding signed by Saudi's Aramco and China's Sinopec to vastly expand cooperation on petrochemical integration, engineering, construction, up and downstream technology and hydrogen production. The head of Aramco even said: “Ensuring the continuing security of China's energy needs remains our highest priority — not just for the next five years but for the next 50 and beyond.” — China's BRI Shapes a Multipolar Future for Saudi Arabia, Matthew Ehret

I didn't watch president Biden's rant last night but read the speech transcript. After his semi-fascist remark you would think he would ‘cool it’ but he doubled down. He tried to separate the 74.2 million Trump voters, the second-highest vote earner in American history, from what he calls the mainstream Republicans. The mainstream Republicans he likes so well are the RINOs that didn't vote for Trump. So what he did in making his Soul Speech is solidify We The People support for the MAGA ideology. Thanks Joe aka Soul Man.

3 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
The high was 101.4° again yesterday. That is the same as the day before which is a coincidence or the reporting station's thermometer does not read temperatures any higher that that. Today is forecast to be cooler with a high of only 99. However, we got 101.4 when that was forecast a couple days ago. It is still going to be HOT.

I will perhaps finish the novel that I have been reading on Fire 8 and get started on one that has been downloaded and waiting. When I read that one I'll clear the pending reads from Fire 8 and can create a new queue.

Nothing much in the News except president Biden's attempt to walk back his Soul Speech rant. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” — Napoleon
This is one of George Carlin's more repeated quotes: “It's a big club. And you ain't in it.”. It is just a couple of lines from his Life Is Worth Losing. This was his 18th album and 13th HBO special recorded live on November 5, 2005 at the Beacon Theater, New York City, New York. Over the next few days/weeks I'm going to post the text of that recording.

4 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
It was a little cooler yesterday with a high of 100.1°. Today is forecast to be only 98 so maybe we will see a day back under 100. But then the forecast for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are 101-102° so it will not be until next weekend before the forecasts are back down into the 80s. More Hot days!

I'll do as little as possible and even that will be done before it gets too hot.
Children and Reading, or
Memories of Bizarro World and My First Real Brush With

by John Ross

Copyright 2003 by John Ross. Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given.

Not long ago, a guest at my house commented on the large number of books there (over a thousand, which is all that will fit on the shelf space I have. Every few months I give some away and relegate others to basement storage, to make room for new purchases.) Had I really read all of them, he wanted to know? He was a nice enough fellow, but allowed that he didn't much care for reading. I'm always amazed when near-strangers tell me this, just as I am when they say they're “no good at math.” To me it's like hearing them volunteer that they have a venereal disease.

Anyway, this brief interchange caused me to reflect on how it was that I had been a constant reader almost forever, while some people (and not just stupid people) had never read a single book that they didn't have to. As with many endeavors, an early start seems to have a large positive correlation to future abilities, although I seem to recall hearing that Einstein didn't learn to read until he was ten or twelve (or was it that he didn't learn to talk until he was five or six? I forget.)

In my case, I first learned to comfortably read complete sentences in kindergarten, a few months before I turned six years old. This didn't relegate me to “late bloomer” status, but no one was calling the news media, either. My desire to read accelerated and developed, I think, not from any innate quality but because of my parents' belief that having your child enjoy reading as soon as possible was the key to having him graduate to more advanced material at a young age. One June day, I came in from playing and discovered that on her last trip to the drugstore, my mother had picked up about a dozen comic books. All the titles were different, with no duplicates.

I devoured them all, but Superman was my favorite. In 1963, the TV show from 1952-1957 was in syndication, and I'd been watching it regularly. My opinion of the show changed dramatically after I started reading Superman's adventures instead of watching them. The phrase “lame-ass” was not in my 1963 vocabulary, but if it had been, I would have used it. TV Jimmy Olson was a dolt, and Superman's TV villains were laughable compared to those in the comic books. Reading comic books, my imagination had much more rein over the subject matter.

I knew Superman was make-believe, just as I knew you couldn't fall off a cliff, be compressed like an accordion, then pop back to normal, as Wile E. Coyote did in Roadrunner cartoons. But Superman lived in the real world, interacting with people who lived normal lives and obeyed the laws of nature. He had super powers that violated these laws, but he had to have them, or there wouldn't be a story. At age six, I understood that, though I might not have been able to articulate it.

The part of the Superman comics that bedeviled me was Bizarro World. Bizarro World came about after Lex Luthor, the scientist who is Superman's archenemy, developed an ingenious but flawed duplicator ray. Zap a diamond with it, and the result was a diamond-like stone that immediately crumbled to dust. Luthor used it on the entire planet earth (no small thinker, he) and ended up creating Bizarro World, a cube-shaped planet named Htrae, which (somehow) materialized far off in outer space, populated with flawed copies of Metropolis characters, all barely literate. Bizarro newspaper editor Perry White smokes exploding cigars. Bizarro Lois Lane goes to an ugliness parlor. Bizarro buildings are all crooked. Bizarro cars have square wheels. You get the idea.

It was the planet's cube shape that really got to me. How could you have an edge, let alone a corner, covered with water? You couldn't have gravity change direction in those spots. And even if a cube-shaped planet had its land and oceans situated such that each body of water lay entirely on one of the sides without wrapping around to another (Bizarro World didn't), wouldn't each corner be the peak of a huge mountain?

I took a cube-shaped box and held it with one corner pointed straight up. I imagined standing on that corner. Gravity would have to pull towards the center of the cube, wouldn't it? You'd be on a really steep mountain peak thousands of miles high. If something started rolling, it would go until it was more than halfway across the planet, then roll back and end up at the middle spot of one of the sides, wouldn't it? I took my copies of Superman comics to Dad and peppered him with these questions. “Dad, I know it's a comic book and not real, like all of his super powers and stuff, but how can Bizarro World be that way?” I thought of something else that had always bothered me. “Ma and Pa Kent found the baby in his rocket from Krypton. When he grew up, Ma Kent made his Superman suit out of the blanket from Krypton he was wrapped in. How did she cut it? Bullets and stuff don't hurt it, and it never gets ripped up, no matter what he does. And how did she make boots out of a blanket?” My father was startled and amused by this onslaught of questions, and chose to tackle the issue of Superman's costume in a novel way.

“Well, they had to do that, son. The people who print the comics have to obey certain rules, since they sell those comics to boys and girls. One of those rules is that they can't have Superman flying around naked saving people, which is what would happen if he didn't have an indestructible suit. Just flying fast would rip it off him.” This mental image sent me into uncontrolled laughter, and the illogic of Bizarro World was forgotten for the moment.

My questions prompted my father to give me the book All About Rockets and Jets, since I seemed to have an interest in science. He also gave me the 1963 edition of the Guinness Book, to show me what was possible. The first book was interesting, but the second fascinated me. I think I read every word in it that summer. Mom soon complained that I “read for information, not pleasure,” as if reading to learn things couldn't be fun.

That began to change in the first grade, when the books in the classroom told stories much more varied and interesting than the ones in kindergarten. Eddie and his Big Deals is a book I remember from first grade, since it focused on two enthralling subjects: a boy's ingenuity, and capitalism. Dad heard me talk about this story, and one evening he produced a well-worn blue hardcover with no dust jacket. It was imposingly thick. “I think you'll like this,” he said, then added the kicker. “I know it's a lot longer than anything you've read, so I'll make you a deal: You start it, and every couple of nights, tell me what the story is about. If you finish it, I'll pay you two dollars.” I grabbed it out of his hand and ran to my room. If I finished it? For two weeks' allowance, I would read the phone book and tell him about it. A few days later, I was two dollars richer, and sad that Swiss Family Robinson was over. This was a feeling that would recur many times in the future.

Dad didn't pay me to read anything again right away, but over the next couple of years, he'd occasionally offer me a dollar or two to tackle something more challenging than usual. One evening, Dad produced the thickest book yet. “This was originally written over a hundred years ago and in French, so parts of it might be hard to understand at first,” he warned. “It's not a book written for kids or even teenagers.” Again he added a kicker: “But it's maybe the best story I've ever read.” Heavy and forbidding though it might have been, I was not about to turn down my Dad's favorite book.

At this point I need to mention that a classmate who lived on our block had an older brother who absolutely terrified me. He was the most mean-spirited person I had yet encountered in my short life, and I dreaded being anywhere near him, such as when we had to carpool. I was later told that his demeanor was a result of being the smallest boy in his class, which caused him to focus his rage and disappointment on younger boys. He was four years older than I, and to my mind he was an evil giant.

I have no idea if Dad was thinking about this on the day he handed me his favorite work of fiction. My father had an uncommon insight when it came to children, always seeming to know exactly what they needed at any particular time, so I can't rule it out. On the other hand, I find it mildly horrifying to imagine my dad actually encouraging the kinds of thoughts I was having about my classmate's brother. For the book Dad gave me that day was Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, perhaps the greatest revenge story ever written.

The tale of Edmond Dantes' self-directed metamorphosis from wrongly imprisoned victim to conqueror of his enemies utterly mesmerized me. The ways in which he destroyed each of those who had wronged him were delicious, but I had the most respect for the fate he arranged for Fernand Mondego. As an officer in the army, Mondego had committed several evil and treasonous acts. Dantes made this treachery public to the society in which the man and his wife lived. Exposed, Fernand shot himself. This, I thought, was the way punishment ought to happen. Evil people should be shamed into doing it to themselves.

Dumas' masterwork was fresh in my mind when I arrived at summer camp (my first time camping) in 1967. To my dismay, the boy who so terrified me was there, too. I had seven weeks in Michigan with only seventy other boys amongst which to make myself invisible. At ten, I was one of the youngest campers; at fourteen, he was among the oldest.

I made it through the first week with only a few minor incidents. Then, on about the tenth day, the boy I so feared was assigned to help with lifesaving exercises, and I was certain that he'd pick me to be the drowning victim on which he'd demonstrate a “save.” I was a good swimmer, though, and could hold my breath for over a minute. Maybe I could handle whatever he threw at me. In my self-centered cocoon of fear, I never bothered to think that I might not be the most desirable victim. I'd forgotten about Abe.

Abe was one of the littlest boys at camp; scrawny and timid and with perpetually blue lips from cold. He was also visibly uncomfortable at the idea of being in a lake where he couldn't touch bottom. Abe was a weak swimmer anyway, and the lake removed what little confidence he might have had at a public pool. My nemesis picked him to “go out and act like you're drowning.” Abe gamely swam out about ten yards and began to flail his arms a little. He didn't look much different from when he was just treading water, but then he wasn't very good at that, either.

No one else noticed what happened next, because no one else was looking for it. “First you turn the drowning person around so he's facing away from you,” the older boy was saying to us over his shoulder as he swam up to his prey, and then I saw Abe's face show pain, horror and surprise just before it disappeared underwater. When his head surfaced a moment later, it was facing away, just as we'd been promised. “Then you put your arm over his shoulder with your hand under his armpit, and sidestroke back to shore.” It took only a few moments before both boys were back on land. Abe couldn't stand; he lay on the shore retching. “Great job,” his rescuer said in a loud voice. “Real realistic drowning act.” Some of the others laughed. I thought I knew what had happened right before Abe had gone under. I thought the older boy had grabbed Abe's balls. Later I found out that he had stabbed three fingers into the soft spot just below Abe's sternum. The result was about the same.

The constant anxiety I'd felt for so long, the prison of fear I had built for myself, was now gone, replaced by a quiet, white-hot fury. When I got back to my tent, I dressed as quickly as I could, and almost ran to the other end of camp where the older boys lived. He was putting on his shirt when he looked down and saw me walking up to him. My appearance at his tent obviously surprised him. While he was off-balance, I spoke.

“I saw what you did to Abe.” This brought a smirk.

“You think Bud would believe you?” Bud was one of two brothers, cousins of my father. They owned and ran the camp. Bud was the one who decided punishment for misbehavior, and as such was feared by some of the boys.

“I think he'd believe his cousin. But I'm not going to tell him anything—I don't need to.” The smirk was a lot less certain now. “I know you're not going to live much longer.” Where these words came from, I have no idea. They seemed to spring unbidden from a mouth that was no longer mine, and they were still coming. “You're going to kill yourself. You think about it almost every day.” The stunned look of disbelief told me I'd hit close to home. “Don't do it here. It would hurt Bud and Charley, and the camp.” I turned and walked away, realizing I wasn't afraid anymore.

The next morning when I awoke I thought maybe I had dreamed it all, the whole lifesaving exercise, everything. I actually went and found Abe to see if it had really happened. Then at lunch in the “teepee” (what we called the camp's mess hall) I saw the bully in line to get his food. Our eyes locked and then he turned away to avoid me. All of a sudden, he was just another kid, a few years older, but with no particular hold over me. (A few years later, our class read William Golding's Lord of the Flies. At the end, the British officers arrive on the island, and suddenly the reader sees the terrifying Jack and his hunters through their eyes: a bunch of raggedy little kids. When I read this passage in the book, I was reminded of that day years before at the summer camp mess hall.)

Six more weeks of camp passed quickly. I took second place in the camp archery tournament, outscoring all but one of the older boys, and that gave me a great deal of satisfaction. I never had another incident with my former nemesis, and in truth it seemed like he wasn't even at the camp any longer. When school started again in the fall, I'd occasionally see him in the morning carpool, but not very often. Mom said his mother told her he got up two hours earlier and took public transportation to school to avoid riding with the littler kids, and he only carpooled on those mornings when he overslept. His mother worried about him, Mom said. He alienated people and had few friends. I didn't care. I forgot about him and that he had ever terrorized me. No one ever had that effect on me again.

Alexandre Dumas set the bar of my expectations pretty high regarding novels of adventure, intrigue, deceit, and redemption. (I actually refused Dad's money when I finished Count.) Stephen Coonts, a modern novelist I greatly admire, lists Treasure Island as one of the all-time great adventure stories. When we read it in seventh grade, I was disappointed. The tap-tap-tapping of the blind man's cane is supposed to be scary? I thought. You'd have to tie me to a tree before I'd be afraid of a blind man. In adult years, reading modern thrillers, I have always been infuriated when the author has his hero show mercy on a villain who is obviously bent on killing him, only to have the villain later kill the hero's family or somesuch. Edmond Dantes would never have been so foolish.

Getting back to the subject of children and reading, my daughter is now in the fourth grade at the same school I attended. Recently, the school hosted a discussion about how parents should evaluate prospective grade schools. My own fourth-grade teacher, Marie Witscher (now retired but looking exactly as she did in 1967) was one of the speakers. There was a simple way, Mrs. Witscher told the audience, to judge whether a school was likely a good one or not: Ignore the computers, don't bother calculating the student/teacher ratio, and disregard the teachers' average salaries. Instead, walk into the classrooms and look at the bookshelves. They should fill every available space, and be crammed to overflowing with books of all kinds, most of which look like they've been read by hundreds of children. If the school doesn't pass this test, head for the exit and keep looking.

Hear, Hear.

A postscript: One morning at school when I was thirteen, classes were halted in mid-period for a special assembly. We all looked at each other, as this had never happened before. When I got to the auditorium, girls were sobbing in every row. I had no idea what to make of this; they knew something I didn't. The headmaster stepped up to the podium and minced no words. He spoke the name of a Junior at the school. It was the name of the boy who had bullied me and other little kids those long years ago, a name I hadn't thought of for almost three years. The headmaster told us that the boy had been found in bed that morning, dead. He had killed himself during the night. The rest of his eulogy was lost on me as the details of the camp encounter came flooding back. I told myself a ten-year-old's words from three years before couldn't have caused this tragedy.

I believe that. But for thirty-two years now, I've been more careful about what I say to my enemies.

John Ross 4/28/03

5 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
I have been getting overnight neighbors for the past few days. They have all been put in spaces that left me a couple of open ones or more on boths sides. In most cases I never saw a person while they were here. My kind of neighbors.

As forecast it was cooler yesterday with the high being only 99.2°. We are in for it these next three days however with the forecasts at or over 100. Just trying to stay cool and no afternoon walks.
There's an immense number of people who ought to be tribal savages, but who have been made conscious of their individuality. They can't obey tribal morality blindly and they're too feeble to think for themselves. I should say that the majority of people in a modem educated democratic state are at that stage — too conscious of themselves to obey blindly, too inept to be able to behave in a reasonable manner on their own account.…
Education has made the old tribalism impossible and has done nothing — nor ever will do anything — to make the non-tribal society possible. It will be necessary, therefore, if we require social stability, to create a new kind of tribalism, on the basis of universal education for the stupid, using the press, wireless and all the rest as the instruments by which the new order is to be established. In a generation or two of steady conscious work it ought to be possible. — Those Barren Leaves by Aldous Huxley

A meme to live by.

I came into this world kicking and screaming. while covered in someone else's blood.
I have no problem with going out the same way.

6 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
The high was 102.2° yesterday with a forecast of 100. Today the forecast is for a high of 102, I think we are going to have a HOT day. Tomorrow and Thursday are expected to be cooler at only 99 and 98. Then maybe we will start to see highs in the 80s starting on Saturday.

I did the holding tank dumps and added water before 8:00 this morning while it was still cool. Also washed the windshield again. My last attempt looked good until I got the early morning sun on it. I could then see that I had removed some of the mud but there was also a lot just spread around.

That is all I'm going to do today other than I pot some hulled barley and oat groats in the Thermal Cooker.
Overall I enjoyed the story and the characters. It wasn't a book I couldn't put down, but I looked forward to picking it back up. However, there were a number of times I had to skip pages of seemingly pointless (off subject) description or dialogue. I don't know if the author was drunk or if he was experimenting to see if his readers would sit still while he battered them with extensive verbosity including archaic vocabulary (not that I mind having to look up words I've never read before (I don't) but there were a lot of them; alembicated and Omphaloskepsis being two examples). I assume he presumed his readers would be like him; people educated at Eton and Oxford in the classics. Readers who grew up knowing people like his characters. So he didn't write the book for me and it's not his fault my education lacked a classical background. If I had a time machine I'd still travel back to meet him (which very well might have been his idea of hell — lucky for him and a whole lot of other dead people I have no time machine).

This customer review expresses my opinions although I would have probably given it 2.5 or 3 stars. I especially agree with “…he presumed his readers would be like him; people educated at Eton and Oxford in the classics. Readers who grew up knowing people like his characters. So he didn't write the book for me…”. A conditional recommendation; there are good parts in the book but a lot of chaff need to be sorted to find the wheat. The story has amusing and profound moments, but it leaves me with the feeling that the author was torn between two parts of his personality…the part of him that loved dissecting human nature (which is obvious in how he slowly reveals the people inhabiting his story) and the part of him that longed for calm silent peace to gaze at his navel and contemplate the meaning of life (I presume this based on his fervent focus on navel gazing in the story). It was as if he had two different stories clawing to get out of his brain at the same time and instead of being written separately they came out conjoined at the hip. In my opinion the navel gazing/philosophical pontification drags the story down (even the clever parts like where Mr Carden dissects the word love in various languages — it goes on too long). This is why I give it three and a half barren leaves. Huxley doesn't seem to be able to control the gushing of his creative fountain. If he'd ended the book earlier and had then written a separate book about the same characters only focusing on their philosophical bents or non-bents as the case might be (instead of their romantic bents), I think his delicate drawn observations on love and romance would have had more emotional and psychological impact, but I felt they were lost in the flood.

I would go so far as to say, if you enjoy the book up to the end of part four don't bother reading The Conclusions (part five) unless you're a philosophy major who lives for Omphaloskepsis. — Customer review @ Amazon

7 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
Today was laundry day as well as shopping. Both activities cost me more than I wanted to spend. The grocery bill at about $100 has now become the ‘new normal’ Anything that I add to my list just takes it adove that new benchmark. But I know it is only temporary because my government leaders have told me that soon prices will go back down.

The high yesterday was only 100.7° with a forecast of 100 for today. We are not there yet but the temperatures are coming down. The forecast continues to expect highs in the 80s to return.
This is what our president had to say about the ‘jab’. The same president that has now contracted Covid-19 twice and probably infected Dr. Jill.
But again, one last thing. I — we don't talk enough to you about this, I don't think. One last thing that's really important is: We're not in a position where we think that any virus — including the Delta virus, which is much more transmissible and more deadly in terms of non — unvaccinated people — the vi– — the various shots that people are getting now cover that. They're — you're okay. You're not going to — you're not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations. — Joe Biden on CNN Presidential Town Hall, 21 July 2021
President Biden selected transgender Dr. Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health. The new British Prime Minister has one upped him with her selection of Thérèse Coffey as Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister. Have you seen the pictures of this woman? Is that an image of good health?
For those of you that do not know Carlin be advised that he is rude, blasphemous or obscene. However, the transcript has had the profanity expurgated — enjoy.

Life Is Worth Losing
By George Carlin

Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. I'm a modern man. A man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified. Multi-cultural. Post-modern deconstructionist. Politically, anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I've been up-linked and downloaded. I've been inputted and outsourced. I know the upside of downsizing. I know the downside of upgrading. I'm a high-tech low life. A cutting edge, state of the art. Bi-coastal multi-tasker. And I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond. I'm new wave. But I'm old school. And my inner child is outward bound. I'm a hot-wired. Heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer. Voice-activated and biodegradable. I interface from a database. My database is in cyberspace. So I'm interactive. I'm hyperactive and from time to time. I'm radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve. Riding the wave, dodging the bullet, pushing the envelope. I'm on point, on task, on message and off drugs. I got no need for coke and speed. I got no urge to binge and purge. I'm in the moment. On the edge, over the top but under the radar. A high concept, low profile, medium range ballistic missionary. A streetwise smart bomb. A top gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties. I tell power lies. I take power naps. I run victory laps. I'm a totally ongoing big foot, slam-dunk rainmaker with a proactive outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial. I got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can't shut me up. You can't dumb me down. Because I'm tireless and I'm wireless. I'm a alpha male on beta blockers. I'm a non-believer and an overachiever. Laid back but fashion forward. Up front, down home, low rent. High maintenance. Super size, long lasting, high definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built to last. I'm a hands-on. Footloose. Knee jerk head case. Prematurely post-traumatic, and I have a love child who sends me hate mail. But I'm feeling. I'm caring. I'm healing. I'm sharing. A supportive, bonding, nurturing primary caregiver. My output is down, but my income is up. I take a short position on the long bond. And my revenue stream has its own cash flow. I read junk mail. I eat junk food. I buy junk bonds. I watch trash sports. I'm gender specific, capital intensive, user friendly and lactose intolerant. I like rough sex. I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the F word in my email. And the software in my hard drive is hardcore, no soft ***. I bought a microwave at a mini mall. I bought a minivan at a megastore. I eat fast food in the slow lane. I'm toll free. Bite size. Ready to wear and I come in all sizes. A fully equipped, factory authorized, hospital tested, clinically proven, scientifically formulated medical miracle. I've been prewashed, precooked, preheated, prescreened, preapproved, prepackaged, post-dated, freeze dried. Double wrapped, vacuum packed and I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I'm a rude dude. But I'm the real deal. Lean and mean. Cocked, locked and ready to rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow. I go with the flow. I ride with the tide. I got glide in my stride. Driving and moving. Sailing and spinning. Jiving and grooving. Wailing and winning. I don't snooze. So I don't lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty. And lunch time is crunch time. I'm hanging in. There ain't no doubt. And I'm hanging tough. Over and out. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you very much. Thank you. Hey, I got 341 days sober and next year's my 50th anniversary in show business. Let's do a *** show, huh? You know something people don't talk about in public anymore? *** farts. So anyway. Now I said that on my last HBO show and apparently some people don't know what a *** fart is, because I got some inquiries. Here's the deal. A *** fart is like when you're making love to a woman who's got a little extra air in her *** and every time you thrust forward, it's kind of a... And the two of you are just lying there. Each of you is just wondering if the other one farted. And the man is usually thinking, “Maybe she farts when she comes. Maybe she took a ***. Man, I gotta stay out of that *** bar”. Another word you don't hear too often is dingleberries. You know you never hear it on Meet The Press. The dingleberry solution, dingleberry gate. Nothin'. I think it's because dingleberries is one of them words you don't say too much past your 10th birthday. It's not a grownup's word. It's a kid's word. Dingleberries. It always sounded kind of Christmasy to me. Don't you think it has a holiday ring to it? Dingleberries. “John, you might want to hang some dingleberries over the front door. Then when Maryann comes over, she can kiss you under the dingleberries.” “It is to be devoutly wished that she would kiss me under the dingleberries.” Cornhole is another word you don't hear enough. You don't hear that nearly enough, you know? It's a good word. It's a solid word. It's a tough word. It's a man's kind of word. It's got a masculine sound. It's like shotgun and ash can and tow truck. Cornhole. Everything's been sanitized now and cleaned up. First with these *** Christians. You just start with them. You know. I'm so, you know. That's just one, wait a minute now. Yeah, you know. Let's not leave out these PC campus liberal ***. I mean they're just as *** bad from a different direction. But everything's different. Everything's been polished up now. It's *** intercourse. *** ***. ***. Cornhole. Now I'm a big fan of the prime time crime shows. I like all of them pretty much. You know. I like Law & Order and all the spin-offs of that. I like CSl and all of those spin-offs. Yeah. Because they're forensic shows. You know. And I'm just waiting for one night to be sitting there watching one of them shows and then the chief medical examiner turns to the lead detective and says, “Steve. Looks to me like after they killed this guy, the perpetrators rolled him over and cornholed him about 30 or 40 *** times. Look at that. That there is a posthumous, multiple cornhole entry wound”. In prison it's a social activity. Yeah, it's right up there on the bulletin board. Checkers. Handball, cornholing.

Now, just to change the subject a little bit, do you realize, do you realize that right this second, right now, somewhere around the world some guy is getting ready to kill himself. Isn't that great? Isn't that great? Did you ever stop and think about that kind of ***? I do. It's fun. And it's interesting and it's true. Right this second some guy is getting ready to bite the big bazooka. Because statistics show that every year a million people commit suicide. A million. That's 2800 a day. That's one every 30 seconds. There goes another guy. And I say guy, I say guy because men are four times more likely than women to commit suicide. Even though women attempt it more. So men are better at it. That's something else you gals will want to be working on. Well, if you want to be truly equal, you're going to have to start taking your own lives in greater numbers. But… But I just think it's interesting to know. Interesting, that's a big word in this show for me. Interesting to know that at any moment the odds are good that some guy is dragging a chair across the garage floor, trying to get it right underneath that ceiling beam, wouldn't want to be too far off center. If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. Somewhere else another guy's going over and getting a gun out of a dresser drawer. Somebody else is opening up a brand-new package of razor blades. Maybe struggling with the cellophane a little bit, you know. “Oh. ***. It's always something. *** it. *** ***.” I just think that's an interesting as hell. That's probably the most interesting thing you can do with your life, end it. I don't think I could do that, though. Could you? God. I couldn't commit suicide if my life depended on it. But I understand it, you know. I think I do. I don't wonder about it. I don't wonder. Well, why did he do that and, What was going through his mind. You know what I wonder. Where did he find the *** time? Who's got time to be committing suicide? Aren't you busy? I got *** to do. Suicide would be way down on my list. Probably down past lighting my own house on fire. I might want to try a little self-mutilation first. You know, take a couple of hunks out of my arm. See if I like the general idea. Because you've got to have priorities, man. You know. And you've got to have a plan, too, for something like that. You've got to plan that ***. People just don't run out the house and jump off a bridge. There are things you have to decide. Timing is important. When you're going to do it.

To Be Continuedi

8 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
The high yesterday was 101.6°. The weather guessers expected it to be cooler and it got hotter. But they are sticking to their forecast that it is going to get cooler. Today the expected high will be only 96 and Saturday will start seeing highs in the 80s.

I'm just hunkered down in Desperado with the A/C running and waiting for those cooler days. I have the distiller running which adds unwanted heat but I do want drinking water.
Hugh Glass isn't afraid to die. He's done it once already.

Rocky Mountains, 1823. The trappers of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company live a brutal frontier life. Hugh Glass is one of the most respected men in the company, an experienced frontiersman and an expert tracker.But when a scouting mission puts Glass face-to-face with a grizzly bear, he is viciously mauled and not expected to survive. Two men from the company are ordered to remain with him until his inevitable death. But, fearing an imminent attack, they abandon Glass, stripping him of his prized rifle and hatchet.

This is a very good historical fiction book. Having said that, it is not as well written as Cornwell's books but well worth reading. I also detected a slight liberal bias lurking in the background but that didn't distract from the story. As Glass watches the men flee, he is driven to survive by one all-consuming desire: revenge. With shocking grit and determination, he sets out on a three-thousand-mile journey across the harsh American frontier, to seek revenge on the men who betrayed him.

The Revenant is a remarkable tale of obsession and the lengths that one man will go to for retribution.
Can you cite one speck of hard evidence of the benefits of “diversity” that we have heard gushed about for years? Evidence of its harm can be seen — written in blood — from Iraq to India, from Serbia to Sudan, from Fiji to the Philippines. It is scary how easily so many people can be brainwashed by sheer repetition of a word. — Thomas Sowell

For those of you that do not know Carlin be advised that he is rude, blasphemous or obscene. However, the transcript has had the profanity redacted — enjoy.

Life Is Worth Losing
By George Carlin

“Well. Let me see now. Wednesday's out. Got to take Timmy to the circus. Survivor is on, on Thursday. Friday I got my colon cleansing. The folks are coming over on Sunday. Sunday. By God, that'd be just the thing. Maybe mom will find my body. Serve her right for *** me up the way she did.” Then you have to pick a method. How you're going to do it. “Well. Let me see now. Afraid of heights, that's no good. Can't swallow pills. Don't like the sight of blood. *** oven's electric. I'd lie down in front of a train. Except the Amtrak ain't coming through here in 30 *** years. Maybe I'll just take a gun and shoot myself in the mouth. Suppose I miss? People will be laughing at me. Suppose I live? I'll have a big *** hole in my head. I'll have to wear some kind of dumb-*** hat. Well, I guess I'll just hang myself. That'd be good. Gotta get a rope. Oh. ***. It's always something. I got a rope in the garage. It's got a lot of grease and paint on it. Don't want to get that stuff on my neck. Wal-Mart's having a special on rope this weekend. No sense spending a lot of money to kill myself. Then again, I can always put it on my credit card I'll never have to pay the *** thing. That's it then. I'm hanging myself and Wal-Mart's paying for it. What's next? The note. Oh. Jesus. I got to express myself. Hell. If I could express myself, I wouldn't be thinking of doing something like this. Where's a pen? I can never find a pen. Told the kids not to move the pen away from that telephone. *** kids. I ought to just kill them. Too. Make it one of them family package deals. Here's a pen. I'll just jam it into my *** neck and get it over with. Let's see now. Where do you put the date? Upper left? I can never remember that. To whom it may concern. Sounds kind of impersonal. Dear Marzel. Leaves out the kids. I know. Hey, guys. Guess what? Keep on reading. How are you? I hope you are fine. I am not fine. As you can no doubt tell from me hanging here from this ceiling fixture. You are the ones who drove me to this. I was doing just fine until you *** came along. I hope you're happy now that I'm *** dead. Signed, the corpse in this room. P.S., *** you people.” Yeah, good enough. That would be a good note. I don't think a writer could ever commit suicide. Do you? A writer would be too busy working on the note all *** year. Trying to get it just right. First draft. Second draft. Third revision. Whole new ending. Finally, he'd turn it into a book proposal and have a reason to live. That wouldn't work. I think about stuff like that. It's interesting to me. Like I said. Certain things are interesting. Suicide's interesting. Life is filled with interesting things. That's why I could never commit suicide.

I'm having too much fun keeping an eye on you folks. Watching what you do. Human behavior. That's what I like. Humans do some really interesting things. Like besides killing ourselves, we also kill each other. ***. And we're the only ones who do that, by the way. We're the only species on earth that deliberately kills members of our own species for personal gain or pleasure, sometimes it's just fun. We're also the only species that deliberately kills members of another species for personal gain or pleasure. That's what hunters do. They kill for pleasure. That's us. Human beings. Interesting folks. Murderers. Here's an interesting form of *** we've come up with. Assassination. You know what's interesting about assassination? Well, not only does it change those popularity polls in a big *** hurry but it is also interesting to notice who it is we assassinate. Did you ever notice who it is? Stop to think who it is we kill? It's always people who've told us to live together in harmony and try to love one another. Jesus. Gandhi. Lincoln, John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X. John Lennon. They all said, try to live together peacefully. Bam. Right in the *** head. Apparently, we're not ready for that. Yeah. That's difficult behavior for us. We're too busy sitting around trying to think up ways to kill each other. Here's one we came up with, it's efficient. Too. Genocide. You know, killing large numbers of people simply because they don't look like you, they don't talk like you and they don't have the same kind of hats you do. You ever notice that at any time you see two groups of people who really hate each other, chances are good they're wearing different kind of hats. Keep an eye on that. It might be important. But any time there's genocide, there are always mass graves. Right? Every time we kill some dictator and go marching through his country, we always find mass graves. Thousands and thousands of dead bodies of people the dictator killed. And everybody over here gets horrified. “Oh, mass graves, mass graves oh.” Well ***. What's the guy suppose to do with a couple thousand people he just killed? Dig separate holes? *** that ***. It's labor intensive. Get real. The whole idea of killing a large number of people at one time and one place is convenience. Efficiency. Thrown 'em in the *** hole. Look at it this way, at least the dictator had the decency to throw a little dirt on them. Give the guy some credit. The dictator's a busy man. He's got a lot on his mind. Like trying to figure out who's planning to kill him. So he can pick them up, put them in prison and torture them.

There's another one of our interesting, heart-warming behaviors we come up with somewhere along the way. Torturing each other. You want to hear a really cool torture that the Romans invented? They also used it as a form of capital punishment. It's really creative. They would take the guy in question, stuff him in a burlap sack, seal the sack up real tight and throw it in the river. But. And here's the creative part, inside the sack with the guy, they would put a dog, a monkey and a snake. Okay? A dog, a monkey and a snake. That's *** creative. Imagine being inside a burlap sack under water. In the dark. Sitting next to a drowning monkey. Think he'd be moving around a little bit? The dog would be going ape ***. We know that. And the snake? Well, he'd probably be getting curious about what all the activity was inside the sack. He might do anything. Whatever he did. It would probably involve venom and his teeth. You know what you'd be doing? You'd be praying to God that the snake bit the monkey and the dog ate the snake. Praying. Yeah. Then… Then it would be just you and the dog, man and his best friend drowning together. Maybe before you die, you can teach him a few tricks. Roll over and play dead wouldn't be too difficult. Would it? Just a thought, just a playful thought. By the way, I assume you're noticing that all these activities I'm mentioning, ***, torture, genocide, these are all things human beings do. Not animals. Those creatures we feel superior to. This is us. Here's another one of our spiritually uplifting activities. We don't do this one much anymore, but it used to be really big. Human sacrifice. I miss that.

The Aztecs loved human sacrifice and they were good at it. Well, they got a lot of practice. For instance, right around the year 1500, the Aztecs sacrificed 80,000 people in one ceremony. Okay? 80,000 people in one ceremony. You know what the occasion was? They were opening a new temple. Nothing like religion for a little entertainment. Huh? Especially that old time religion. You know how the Aztecs went about their sacrificing? Here's how they did it. They would do it right out in public. Right in front of everybody. Big town. Beautiful city square. 20, 30,000 people looking on. They would take the guy, lay him on an altar, cut his chest open, pull his heart out, hold it up in the air while it was still beating. Got that? Cut his chest open, pull his heart out and hold it up in the air while it was still beating. You know what you call that? Theater. That is *** theater. And although the procedure may have been a little too crude to be considered the first bypass surgery, it could easily be seen as an early form of organ donor program. The Aztecs. Human beings just like us. Not too long ago, 500 years. Columbus had already landed. This is just south of here. Mexico. And by the way, those hearts didn't go to waste. Did not go to waste. Because right after the ceremonies. The royal family, naturally, would enjoy another one of our amusing activities, cannibalism. Imagine that. Chowing down on another human being. You got to be all out of beef jerky, man. You got to be really *** hungry. But it happens, doesn't it? It still happens to this day. A bunch of people stranded in the wilderness. Run out of Pop-Tarts, you got to eat something. Might as well be Steve. And how do you decide who to eat first? How do you decide who's first on the barbecue rack? Do you pick on the little guy because he's skinny and he can't fight back? Or do you all gang up on the body builder because he's got a lot of steaks and chops on him? These are things human beings have to consider.

One more of these charming diversions of ours, necrophilia. Now there's a hobby for you. *** a corpse. It takes a special kind of guy. Don't you think? But it happens, it happens. More than you might think. It happens among humans. Animals don't do that. Animals don't *** their dead. A rat will do a lot of gross things, but he will not *** a dead rat. It wouldn't even occur to him. Only a human being would think to *** someone who just died. We got to be the most interesting critters on the planet. And then we wonder why a UFO doesn't just land and say, hello. You know the best thing about necrophilia? You don't have to bring flowers. Yeah, usually they're already there. Isn't that nice? It's nice. It's convenient.

To Be Continued

9 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: September 9, 1934

We got the second daily high temperature in September that was under 100° yesterday. It was only 99.1° and the weather guessers think that the high for today will be 91 and tomorrow will be 81. I'll believe that when I see it.

We may try to do all three walks today if it is not over 95 in the afternoon. Other than that I have nothing planned. Just more reading.
Here's one thing we sort of know: you-all vaxx-happy Wokesters are about to have a new BA-5 bivalent booster laid on you. The Darwin Award season has been extended at least another six months! You'll be glad to hear it's been tested in a trial involving eight lab mice, and quickly approved by our FDA. The bad news is that all eight mice got Covid. The worse news is that the booster was wildly inconsistent in producing antibodies among the eight identical mice, meaning the ultimate effect on their immune systems is a crap-shoot — but, hey, they're only mice.

Thus, some more good news: humans were so far spared any testing for this new miracle treatment. Pfizer and Moderna didn't hurt anyone in any cobb-job trials, like they did the first time around (hiding the results). The not-so-good news is: nobody, especially no one in the FDA, has any idea what effect the new booster will have on humans. The best news is that our beneficent government will only make the new vax available to people who are already vaxxed. You have to be “eligible,” in the club, so to speak. Aren't you special! I never joined that club, so it works for me. — Here It Comes, James Howard Kunstler

Do not underestimate how devastating inflation can be towards psyche, and how that can result in conditions we don't want to ever see in a democracy. If politicians keep doing the same stupid asinine things to throw more fuel on this inflationary fire, and calling it an Inflation Reduction Act, you'd better believe there are real risks that you could have something really ugly that we've never seen in America before.… protests and real violent types of action against local governments have been happening worldwide in response to inflation. If inflation is not resolved soon, something much more severe comes from a governance standpoint. It's not a base case, but… if the U.S. government is not able to cover its interest expense with higher taxes, the Fed will simply do it. But that means inflation is going to be the end result of that… the end result of elevated inflation is something that we don't want to see, which could be the rise of real despotism. — Michael Gayed, portfolio manager and Publisher of the Lead-Lag Report

For those of you that do not know Carlin be advised that he is rude, blasphemous or obscene. However, the transcript has had the profanity redacted — enjoy.

Life Is Worth Losing
By George Carlin

Human beings will do anything. Anything. I am convinced. That's why when all those beheadings started in Iraq, it didn't bother me. I took it right in stride. A lot of people here were horrified. “Oh, beheadings, beheadings.” What are you *** surprised? It's just one more form of extreme human behavior. Besides. Who cares about some mercenary civilian contractor from Oklahoma who gets his head cut off? *** him. *** him. Hey, Jack, you don't want to get your head cut off? Stay the *** in Oklahoma. Stay the *** in Oklahoma. They ain't cutting off heads in Oklahoma. As far as I know. But I do know this. You strap on a gun and go strutting around some other man's country, you better be ready for some action. Jack. You better be ready for some action. People are touchy about that sort of thing. And let me ask you this while I have you good, clean Americans here. This is a moral question, not rhetorical. I'm looking for the answer. What is the moral difference between cutting off one guy's head or two or three or five or ten and dropping a big bomb on a hospital and killing a whole bunch of sick kids? Has anybody in authority given you an explanation of the difference? I have not gotten an email on this. No one will talk to me. I haven't gotten a postcard, not a *** instant message, nothin'.

Now, in case you're wondering why I have a certain interest and fascination. Let's call it. With torture and beheadings and all of these things I've mentioned is because each of these items reminds me in life. Every time one of them occurs, it reminds me over and over again what beasts we human beings really are, you know? When you get right down to it, when you get right down to it, human beings are nothing more than ordinary jungle beasts. Savages. No different from the Cro-Magnon people who lived 25,000 years ago in the Plasticine Forest eating grubs off of rotten logs. No different. Our DNA hasn't changed substantially in 100,000 years. We're still operating out of the lower brain. The reptilian brain. Fight or flight. Kill or be killed. Now. We like to think we've evolved and advanced because we can build a computer, fly an airplane, travel underwater. We can write a sonnet. Paint a painting, compose an opera. But you know something? We're barely out of the jungle on this planet. Barely out of the *** jungle. What we are is semi-civilized beasts with baseball caps and automatic weapons. And this civilization of ours that we're so proud of, this civilization with its so-called civilized behavior. You ever stop and realize how fragile all this is? How fragile the whole structure is. How easily it can all just break right down, just break right down. It wouldn't take much. It'll probably happen in less than two years. It wouldn't take much to throw us right back into barbaric times. All you'd have to do would be eliminate electricity. That's all. But completely. Eliminate electricity. So, no electricity, no lights. You're back to candles and lanterns. Campfires and bonfires. Batteries couldn't be recharged. Generators couldn't be refueled because fuel is pumped electrically. So is water, by the way. So no lights, no fuel, no water, no computers. And computers run everything. And among the many things computers run that operate on electricity are all of the security systems in all of our jails and prisons and nut houses. So suddenly without electricity, all across America the gates and cell doors of penitentiaries and mental institutions would fly open and out would come all of our old friends. The ones who've been away, at camp. Serial killers. Mass murderers. Felony rapists, armed robbers. Carjackers, home invaders. Thieves. Burglars, kidnappers, sadists, pedophiles, *** predators, pimps, pushers, pornographers, speed freaks, crack heads, sick junkies. All the ethnic street gangs. Blacks, Spanish and Asian gangs, Japanese Yakuza, Russian Mafia. Neo-Nazis. White supremacists, Sicilian hit man. Italian mobsters. Jamaican and Colombian drug gangs. And those are just the ones we caught. Lets not forget their counter-parts still on the outside right now waiting to hook up with their prison buddies so they can start a new organization, The American Federation of Sociopaths. Just what the country needs. Another special interest group. Eight to ten million of them there would be. Counting all the parolees and all the probationers and the ones who've never been caught. Eight to ten million bitter, angry, violent, sexually hyperactive alpha males with nothing to do. No hobbies. No medication. No scruples. Just a bunch of bad guys looking for a good time. Maybe dropping by your house. “Hi. Hope we're not intruding. Got any beer? Oh, good. Well, I got about 1400 really thirsty guys here. How about women? Got any women? Oh, just your wife, huh? Well. I think we can make that work. Now boys, there's a lady here. So I want you to mind your manners and wait your turn.” Police wouldn't help you. They'd be gone at the first sign of trouble. They'd be home protecting their own families. So would the Army and the National Guard. You'd be alone. You'd be on your own. You'd be S.O.L. And J.W.F. *** out of luck and jolly well ***. *** out of luck and jolly well ***. After a couple of years of living like that, beheadings would be the least of your problems. People would be lining up to be beheaded.

So let's get back to suicide, which now seems like a reasonable alternative. Suicide is an interesting topic to me because it is an inherently interesting decision. To decide voluntarily not to exist anymore. It's profound. You know what it is? It's the ultimate makeover. That's why I think it belongs on television. In this depraved culture we live in. With all of these reality shows. Suicide and television will be a natural. I'll bet you I can have an All-Suicide Channel on cable TV. I'll bet you. ***, they got all golf. What the ***. Huh? ***. You ever watch golf? You ever watch golf? It's like watching flies ***. If you'd get a bunch of brainless *** insisting on waste a Sunday afternoon on that kind of ***. You know you can get some people to watch some suicides. All day long, 24 hours a day nothing but suicides. Must die TV. You'd get a lot of people watching that ***. You'd get a lot of people volunteering to be on there. Too. Just so their friends can see them on TV. People are *** goofy. You'd get a lot of volunteers. You'd get all them leftover *** from Let's Make a Deal. They'd be lined up around the block pushing each other out of the way, putting on funny capes and caps and hats and makeup and calling themselves Captain Suicide. Guys would be competing for most unusual method. People would be jumping off of silos, lighting themselves on fire, putting rat poison on a taco, drinking Mop & Glo, sticking moth balls up their ***. You'd probably have some weird *** show up who'd figured out how to kill himself with dental floss and a stinger missile. People are *** goofy. I'd bet you could find you a married couple, in this country, ***. I'll bet you, you could find a married couple in one of them trailer parks or something who'd be perfectly willing to sit in a loveseat and blow each other's heads off with shotguns while a love song is playing.

People are *** nuts. This country is full of nitwits and ***. Do you ever notice that? Oh, my goodness, yes. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. Nitwits. ***. *** ups, scumbags, jerk offs and dipshits. And they all vote. They all vote, yeah. In fact. Sometimes you get the impression They're the only ones who vote. You can usually tell who's been doing the voting by looking at the *** election returns. Man. It sure ain't me out there wasting my time with a meaningless activity like that. You know those people on the Jerry Springer Show, those are the average Americans. Oh, yeah, believe me. Below average can't get on the show. Can't get on. Below average is sitting home watching that *** on TV, getting ready to go out and vote, filling out their sample ballot. People are *** dumb. You can say what you want about this country, and I love this place. I love the freedoms we used to have. I love it. I love that. I love it when it didn't take a *** catastrophe to get us to care for one another. I love the fact that we're on camera all the time from all angles. But, you know, you can say what you want about America. And I say I love this place. I wouldn't have it any other way, wouldn't live in any other time in history in any other place. But say what you want about America. Land of the free. Home of the brave.

To Be Continued

10 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
It was cooler yesterday with the high at only 93.7° which happened about the time we would have gone for our afternoon walk. I saw that it was nearing my arbitrary cut off of 95 and decided not to walk.

The forecast for today has been raised slightly to an expected high of 84 which could happen. An afternoon walk could happen also with a temperature anywhere near that. I think we are getting the edge of tropical storm Kay with a solid cloud cover that started to form late yesterday afternoon. A chance of scattered showers but they do not look like rain clouds to my way of thinking.
Yesterday it was revealed that the residences of 35 Trump supporters were raided by Joe Biden's FBI On Thursday. I'm really confused. The Democrats, including president Biden, accuse the MAGA supporters of being semi-facsist yet they are the ones that are behaving like facsist. Is this how you drum up support for your Party's chances in the upcoming midterm elections? Or, is this a preliminary move to cancel the election claiming that a MAGA coup is threatened?
For those of you that do not know Carlin be advised that he is rude, blasphemous or obscene. However, the transcript has had the profanity redacted — enjoy.

Life Is Worth Losing
By George Carlin

We've got some dumb-*** *** floating around this country. Dumb-*** ***, you know. Now, obviously that doesn't include this audience. I understand that. You seem intelligent and perceptive but the rest of them. Holy jumping *** *** balls. Dumber than a second coat of paint. Now, this ain't just ranting and raving. This ain't just blowing off steam. I got a little evidence to support my claim. It just seems to me seems to me. That only a really low IQ population could have taken this beautiful continent. This magnificent American landscape that we inherited… Well, actually, we stole it from the Mexicans and the Indians but. Hey, it was nice when we stole it. It looked pretty good. It was pristine. Paradise. Have you seen it lately? Have you taken a good look at it lately? It's *** embarrassing. Only a nation of unenlightened half-wits could have taken this beautiful place and turned it into what it is today, a shopping mall. A big, *** shopping mall. You know that. That's all you got. That's all you got here, folks. Mile after mile of mall after mall. Many, many malls. Major malls and mini malls. They put the mini malls in between the major malls. And in between the mini malls they put the mini marts. And in between the mini marts. You've got the car lots, gas stations, muffler shops, Laundromats, cheap hotels, fast food joints, strip clubs and dirty bookstores. America the beautiful. One big transcontinental commercial cesspool. And how do the people feel about all this? How do the people feel about living in a coast-to-coast shopping mall? Well, they think it's just *** dandy. They think it is as cool as can be. Because Americans love the mall. They love the mall. That's where they get to satisfy their two most prominent addictions at the same time. Shopping and eating. Millions of semiconscious Americans day after day shuffling through the malls shopping and eating. Especially eating. Americans love to eat. They are fatally attracted to the slow death of fast food. Hot dogs, corn dogs, triple bacon cheeseburgers, deep-fried butter dipped in pork fat and cheese ***. Mayonnaise-soaked barbecue mozzarella patty melts. America will eat anything. Anything. Anything. If you were selling sautéed raccoons *** on a stick. Americans would buy them and eat them. Especially if you dipped them in butter and put a little salsa on them. This country is big-time pig time. Forget the bald eagle. You know what the national emblem of this country ought to be? A big bowl of macaroni and cheese. A big bowl because everything in this country is king size. King size, extra large and superjumbo. Especially the *** people. Have you seen some of the people in this country? Have you taken a good look at some of these big, fat *** walking around? Big, fat ***. Oh, my God. Huge piles of redundant protoplasm lumbering through the malls like a fleet of interstate buses. The people in this country are immense. Massive bellies. Monstrous thighs and big, fat *** ***. And if you stand there for a minute and you look at one of them, you'll look at one of them and you begin to wonder, How does this woman take a ***? How does she ***? And even more frightening, How does she wipe her ***? Can she even locate her ***? She must require assistance. Are paramedics trained in this field? And standing right next to her. Of course. With a plate full of nachos and a mouthful of pie is her clueless *** husband Joe Six Pack. With his monstrous swollen beer belly hanging dangerously out over his belt buckle. This guy ain't seen his *** since the Nixon administration. And if you stand there and you look at the two of them. You begin to wonder to yourself, Do these people ***? Is this man actually capable of *** this woman? It doesn't seem structurally possible that these two people could achieve penetration. Maybe they're in that “Cirque du Soleil” or something. I'm telling you the people in this country every one of them is 50 pounds overweight. They are gargantuan. And in the summertime. God help us, in the summertime they all want to wear short pants. Jesus, Lord, protector of all that is good and holy, deliver me from fat people in short pants. They all got short pants, big bellies, fat thighs and dumb kids. Short pants, big bellies, fat thighs and dumb kids. Every one of them has got two dumb-*** kids with them. And the whole family is wearing T-shirts. And every one of them has got the same T-shirt, “I'm with stupid.” Apparently in this country, the Stupids are an extended family. And besides wearing them T-shirts. Everyone in the family has got on a backpack. They got a backpack strapped to their back so they can carry around lots of stupid ***. And the reason they got to carry their stupid *** strapped to their backs is because their hands must remain free at all times to hold food. And to get that food up to the mouth where it gets shoveled in with all the rest of the disgusting *** they ate that day. And… Another reason for the backpacks is these people are going to buy even more stupid ***. They ain't got enough stupid *** at home. They just had a stupid *** sale, they're gonna buy more. They're going to go out in the parking lot and stuff this stuff into the big, fat, ugly, oversized SUV that's got plenty of room in it. Plenty of room in it for stupid *** and lots of room left over for these big, fat, ugly *** to get them home. Stopping, of course, for jelly roll and fried dough. These people, these people are efficient, professional, compulsive consumers. It's their civic duty. Consumption. It's the new national pastime. *** baseball. It's consumption. The only true lasting American value that's left. Buying things. Buying things. People spending money they don't have on things they don't need. Money they don't have on things they don't need. So they can max out their credit cards and spend the rest of their lives paying 18 percent interest on something that cost 12.50. And they didn't like it when they got it home anyway. Not too bright, folks. Not too *** bright.

But if you talk to one of them about this. If you isolate one of them, you sit them down rationally, and you talk to them about the low IQ's and the dumb behavior and the bad decisions. Right away they start talking about education. That's the big answer to everything. Education. They say “We need more money for education. We need more books. More teachers. More classrooms. More schools. We need more testing for the kids”. You say to them, “Well, you know, we've tried all of that and the kids still can't pass the tests”. They say, “Don't you worry about that. We're going to lower the passing grades”. And that's what they do in a lot of these schools now. They lower the passing grades so more kids can pass. More kids pass, the school looks good, everybody's happy, the IQ of the country slips another two or three points and pretty soon all you'll need to get into college is a *** pencil. Got a pencil? Get the *** in there, it's physics. Then everyone wonders why 17 other countries graduate more scientists than we do. Education. Politicians know that word. They use it on you. Politicians have traditionally hidden behind three things, the flag, the Bible and children. “No child left behind. No child left behind.” Oh, really? Well, it wasn't long ago you were talking about giving kids a head start. Head start. Left behind. Someone is losing *** ground here. But there's a reason. There's a reason. There's a reason for this. There's a reason that education sucks. And it's the same reason that it will never ever. Ever be fixed. It's never going to get any better. Don't look for it. Be happy with what you got. Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners now. The real owners. The big, wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, and city halls. They got the judges in their back pocket. And they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed. Well educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interest. That's right. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting *** by a system that threw them overboard 30 *** years ago. They don't want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork and just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits. The end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And now, they're coming for your Social Security money. They want your *** retirement money. They want it back. So they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something, they'll get it. They'll get it all from you sooner or later. Because they own this *** place. It's a big club. And you ain't in it. You and I are not in the big club. By the way, it's the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head. And their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table is tilted. Folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good. Honest. Hard-working people. White collar. Blue collar. It doesn't matter what color shirt you have on. Good, honest, hard-working people continue… these are people of modest means. Continue to elect these rich *** who don't give a *** about them. They don't give a *** about you. They don't give a *** about you. They don't care about you. At all. At all. At all. Yeah. You know. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That's what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue *** that's being jammed up their *** every day. Because the owners of this country know the truth. It's called the American dream. Because you have to be asleep to believe it. But say what you want about American folks. Yeah. You can say what you want about Americans. You can call them smart. Dumb. Ignorant, innocent, naive, gullible, easily led. Whatever you want. You're gonna have to deal with them. You're gonna have to deal with them because you're in the television business now.

You got the All-Suicide Channel on cable TV. You need these people as viewers. You need people looking in. You got to worry about your ratings. You're going to have to be thinking about sweeps months. Most folks know what sweeps months are now. Those are the more important ratings months of the year when they put on all their biggest attractions and their hottest stars trying to pump the ratings up a little bit, get the local stations to adjust their advertising rates. You're going to have to compete with the mentality of network television. And I think on an All-Suicide Channel. During sweeps months, you're going to have to go with mass suicides. Big public events where hundreds of people kill themselves all at the same time right on live TV. Now, I've been wrestling with a way to do this. I've been trying to figure this out. I swear to God this is the truth. I've been trying to figure this part of it out for six months now. And I only recently have it so I'm going to tell you about it. Now, we're going to have to get lots and lots of people to kill themselves on demand. How are we going to do this? That's the question. How are we going to get large numbers of people to commit suicide at a time and place of our choosing? And I mean large numbers, because don't forget besides sweeps, we're going to have to be thinking about 24-hour a day programming. So to make this work. We need organization. You need a system. You can't just sit around the studio all day long and wait for people to drop by and commit suicide. What we have to do is build up a large pool of hopeless people. Suicide volunteers. People with no hope. People whom society has given up on. Fate has given up on or who have given up on themselves. Rock bottom. Dead end. Totally *** up people with no hope and no reason to live. Now we got our share of them. Folks. Think of it as a pyramid. That will give you a visual fix on it. Think of it as a pyramid. The pyramid of the hopeless. We are going to start building this pyramid at the very base, naturally. And the bottom layer is going to be homeless people. God knows we've got plenty of them. Nobody gives a *** about them. Nobody's got a plan. Nobody's got any money. Nobody's got a program. Nobody gives a *** about homeless people. We don't know how many we have even. We know 500,000 of them are veterans. Because we're so good to the veterans in this country. And we know about a 1,400,000 of them are children. There, so we got a million and a half children. And then God knows how many more we got. Totally *** hopeless. In the pyramid they go. Now, the next group we are going to put in here, these are the people in prison with these long sentences they've been given. Many of them deserved. I'll grant you that. I'm sure half the people in prison are in there for things they really did. That's not a bad average. One out of two. But nobody gives a *** about these people. Nobody's going to hire them if they do get out. They're never going to get out. Rehabilitation doesn't work. And the judges give them these *** draconian sentences. 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 100 year sentences. Life term. Double life. One guy about a month ago was given three consecutive life terms. Plus two death penalties. How the *** do you serve that? Even David Copperfield can't do that ***. In order to do that. You'd have to be a Hindu. Then you got the people on death row. They ain't going anywhere. In the *** pyramid they go. Now, the next layer, this group is self-selected. Self-selected and a bit controversial to some ears, I guess. These are the people who claim to be depressed, okay? Apparently in this land of plenty, this richest nation in the history world we're so proud of saying that. Some supermarkets have a hundred thousand items in them. We have 19 million Americans claiming to be depressed. And some of them take medicine for it. Sometimes the medicine makes one of them commit suicide and that depresses the *** out of the rest of them. Then you have these people who only think they're depressed. They think they're depressed because they saw the commercial on TV and the doctor looked like a good guy, the music sounded kind of peppy and what the ***, some of these pills will probably just pick me right up. Totally *** hopeless minds. In the *** pyramid. Up at the very top we are gonna put the people who are truly sick. The terminally ill. Unfortunately, no hope for a lot of them. Hundreds of thousands of them. There's no cure for what they have. Some of them say there is no cure because nobody's looking for one. There ain't enough people sick with it so there ain't no money in the *** cure. Then there's people who've got… there's a cure, but they don't have the money for it. There are the other ones there's a cure but they're too far gone. There's other ones there's a cure but there is no social means to get to it. So these people ain't going anywhere. They should be allowed to commit suicide. Boom. In the *** pyramid they go. Now. Think of what you got here, folks. Think of yourself as the executive vice president of programming at the All-Suicide Channel. Think of what you have to work with in the pyramid of the hopeless. You have homeless. Imprisoned, condemned, depressed and terminally ill people. And I'm going to bet you anything. In this depraved culture of ours. Bet you anything, with the reality show mentality we have on the All-Suicide Channel. You could get 500 of these hopeless people to hold hands and jump into the Grand Canyon. I'll *** bet you. I'll *** bet you you can get that done in this country, write this down. I'll bet you. For money, for money, for money. You got to give them something. You know, you got to… Oh. ***. They're Americans, they're for sale. Give them a little something. Americans will do anything but you got to give them a toaster, don't you? Give them a little prize of some kind. Everybody wants a gizmo. Give them a gizmo. Give them a cell phone. Give them a laptop. Give them a cell phone that takes a picture of a laptop. Give them a laptop that takes a picture of a cell phone. Give them one of them three-wheeled vehicles. Give them an all-terrain vehicle. Give them one of them riding lawnmowers. Give them a snowblower. Give them an outdoor barbecuer or a jet-ski. Give them one of those things they buy for themselves when they are trying to take their minds off how badly they're getting *** by the system. I know what you do. Just before these people jump, you give them a hat with a camera in it. And you tell them it's jump cam. Tell them you'll send the video home to the family. T-Shirt. Who don't want a T-shirt? Everybody does. Give them a nice T-shirt. “I committed suicide and all I got was this stupid, *** T-shirt.” All right. Now… If you want to really raise the profile of this promotion, get some of those evangelical Christians to volunteer for it and you call it, “Jump for Jesus”. “Jump for Jesus”. They would bite. They would go for it. Hey, you got to be fair. Got to be fair about these Christians. They come in for a lot of abuse these days. So you do have to be fair. All a Christian really wants out of life is to die. And go see Jesus. Give them a helping hand. Do the Christian thing. Tell them it's a shortcut to heaven. Mention the word martyr. It works on the Muslims. It works on the Catholics. It might work for these folks, you never know. Hey, hey, I know. Give them a little encouragement. “Go on you fanatical ***, he's down there. He's down there. He's down there. He's at the bottom of the canyon. Look for the man with the glowing head.” Oh, you could have a lot of fun with a channel like that. But you know something, folks, maybe you don't want to be on cable. Maybe you don't want to be on cable. It is a limited audience. You might want to widen out and get more people looking in and you're going to have to go to the broadcast networks. One of the big broadcast networks. And I don't know about you, but when I think about suicide and broadcast network television. I'm thinking FOX. Huh? I'm telling you FOX. If the people at FOX ain't sitting around having meetings on an idea like this. They ain't doing their *** jobs over there. So you put this thing on FOX, get Budweiser to sponsor it. Budweiser and a whole bunch of car companies so people can be thinking about drinking and driving at the same time. Ain't that fun? Isn't it fun to watch the sporting events on American television? “Drink this. Drive that, *** you.” They don't care. They don't give a *** about you. And then every now and then they qualify the whole message. “Drink responsibly.” So you put this thing on FOX. And if you do, if you do or on any broadcast network, you're gonna have to bring in that younger audience. Everybody knows that.

That's what the advertisers are looking for is these 18 to 24 year olds. You're going to have to get young people interested in this. You know how you get young people interested in suicide? You don't call it suicide. You call it “Extreme Living”. They would go for it. Listen, young people are attracted to suicide in the first place. Did you know suicide is the third leading cause of death between 15 and 24? It's third. Ninth in the general population. That will give you an idea of how popular this after school activity has become among our teenage folks. Especially these young boys, these adolescent males. And a lot of them you know, a lot of them. They kill themselves when they're jerking off. They don't mean to. It just happens. You know about that? Yeah, some you know. I can tell. Yeah. A lot people don't know about it. A lot of people never heard of that, you know. It's just one of those things Americans can't handle. “We can't handle that. We don't talk about that.” It's not on Larry King Live. It ain't on Barbara Walters. You ain't going to see it in People magazine but it's out there. Folks. It's out there and it is extremely common. You just ask any teenage boy you know who trusts you. Ask him what he knows or what he's heard about cutting off your air supply just at the moment you're about to have a *** release. He'll tell you an interesting story or two. The kids call it “scarfing”, because some of them use scarfs to do it. Well. Screw the kid. Just get on the Internet. Do it yourself. Google in the words autoerotic asphyxia. Autoerotic asphyxia. It's the practice of cutting off the oxygen to the brain at the last moment during *** in order to heighten the ***. And when I say common, a thousand kids a year die this way, okay? A thousand of them die. So think how many of them are trying to pull this off. If you pardon the little pun that I throw in there just to lighten the mood. But here's the way it works. Apparently, I never tried it. It sounded risky to me. Well, jerking off is all I need. You know what I mean. Folks? I ain't trying to double my money. *** that ***. No, I just jerk off, wipe off my chest, get up and go to work, you know. That's it. That's it. That's it. Nothing fancy. Nothing fancy at our house. We're simple folk. But here is the way it's supposed to work and this is why it's such a big attraction in the first place. Apparently it is true, medically, physiologically speaking that if you can cut off your air supply, the oxygen to your brain just at the moment you're about to have an ***, the *** is about, I don't know. Let's say 500 times better. Something like that. It's incredibly intense. So what you got to do is stand up on a chair or a bucket or some kind of thing, you put a rope around your neck and you start jerking off. And while you're pulling your pud, while you're pulling your pud, you have to arrange to almost strangle yourself just before you have an ***. And by the way, while all this activity is going on, you've got to maintain a hard-on which ain't easy because you might just be getting ready to buy the farm. So you better be fantasizing about someone you really like or something you really like. I don't know what it might be. Maybe getting *** in the *** by a game warden. Who knows. Huh. Hey, I'm not here to judge. We're all different. To each his own. So let's recap. Stand on a chair. Rope around your neck, peter in your hand. Now, you have to time it just right so that just before you *** you almost die. And sometimes you miscalculate. You don't know if you're coming or going. You don't know. There's no way to know. No way to know.

To Be Continued

11 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
There has been Climate Change! The high yesterday was 81.8° with what looked like massive rain clouds forming around noon. But they did nothing and soon disappeared. This morning there was a solid cloud cover and I felt a light mist when we went out in the early morning dark for our walk. Maybe get some rain before the day is done. The expected high is 88° with a 86% chance of rain.

We did all three of our walks yesterday and did the total distance for all of them. That is the first day in a long time that we have been able to do that. If the forecast is right we may be able to do it again today except we don't want to get wet. We will see.
Cars, Pride, and Excess, or
Why Bob Lutz Is Crazy Like a Fox
by John Ross

Copyright 2003 by John Ross. Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given.

In grade school, like many boys, I daydreamed about cars. Speed was cool, then. In 1969, 90% of the cars made in Detroit were fitted with V-8 engines, if you can believe that. That year I was in sixth grade, and my father sold his 1956 Ford Thunderbird, which at 170,000 miles had become a maintenance hog. He replaced it with a new tri-power 427 Corvette.

Riding with Dad in that Corvette established my priorities and forever ruined me for any ordinary taste in vehicles I might have otherwise developed. Since that time, “Needs more motor” is the reaction I usually have when at the controls of a new vehicle, be it car, truck, airplane, motorcycle, snowmobile, boat, Jet Ski, golf cart, or scooter. At age thirteen I had a minibike with a five-speed motorcycle engine in it that would exceed 70 MPH. By seventeen I had my own five-year-old 427 Corvette.

A curious thing happened to the rest of the country during those years. Everyone began to behave as if nobody else liked horsepower any more. Not themselves, mind you; everyone that rode with me loved being in a vehicle that would get up to freeway speed in the first third of the onramp without breathing hard. But the factories acted as if quick and fast cars had become shameful somehow. They were like the fashion designers who kept giving us Twiggy wearing a loose jumper, when what we really wanted was Raquel Welch in her underwear.

Some have said it was the insurance companies that killed performance cars, but my insurance on the Corvette ran less than $250 a year, hardly a fortune even in 1975. Others claim it was the oil embargo with the resultant spike in gas prices, but my car averaged 14 miles on a gallon of 57-cent High-test, while a classmate's new Mustang II (remember those?) got 21 MPG on 53-cent Regular. Driving 10,000 miles a year, the difference came to about $3 a week. Oh, and my ’69 Corvette cost less than his ’75 Mustang, also.

I think it was a kind of national malaise combined with a sort of mass delusion, where millions of ordinary people bought cars they didn't really like manufactured by companies who appeared mildly ashamed that they had produced them. Detroit tried to convince us the Cosworth Vega was a performance car, and seemed to believe that the public now actually preferred overweight, underpowered pigs. The decade of the 1970s was not a stellar time for automotive development.

Things began to improve in the 1980s, but it was gradual. Then, at the end of the decade, one man bitch-slapped the entire industry and car-buying public, and Americans came out of their collective automotive coma. That man was Bob Lutz, a cigar-chomping ex-Marine who owned and flew a surplus T-38 supersonic jet for relaxation, and who at that time was president of the troubled Chrysler Corporation. His bitch-slap was the Dodge Viper.

Though he never said as much, I suspect Lutz found it an embarrassment that people in America (the country which produces the F-14, F-15, F-16, F-18, F-20, Stealth Bomber, and the cruise missile) actually fawn over overpriced playthings produced by the weakest member of NATO. Certainly Carroll Shelby found this disgraceful in the early 1960s, when he set about to wrest the Manufacturer's Championship from Enzo Ferrari by dropping a 260 inch Ford V-8 from a Fairlane into an aging but lightweight British AC Ace sports car chassis, creating what would become the world-beating Cobra.

Lutz announced that Dodge, with Shelby's input, was considering producing a worthy successor to Shelby's famed 427 Ford Cobra, of which only about 300 had been made 1966-1967 but whose legend was all out of proportion to its production numbers. Pleading letters and unsolicited deposit checks came pouring in. Chrysler returned the latter, but gave Lutz the go-ahead. Lutz announced he was putting together a Viper design team, promising they would be poorly paid for the hours worked and would be housed in the least-desirable physical space Chrysler owned.

He had to turn away volunteers.

The design was soon finalized. The new Viper two-seat roadster would have a 400 horsepower, 488 cubic inch aluminum variant of Dodge's iron V-10 truck engine, a six-speed manual transmission, and a crude convertible top. It would have no air conditioning or anything else that would add weight (not even door locks or side glass!) and would sell for over forty thousand 1991 dollars, more than double the price of the next most expensive Chrysler. Many automotive executives thought Lutz was crazy.

The Viper RT/10 roadster was released in 1992, with slight improvements coming each year and then a complete engine-and-suspension redesign, new coupe version, and understandable price increase to $67,000 in 1996. Chrysler, once believed near death, was hot again, with Lutz and his boys cranking out fast and interesting vehicles across the board. The new ’96 Viper GTS coupe, with a new 450 horsepower engine and better aerodynamics than the roadster, was an honest 190 MPH vehicle. With a 7-year warranty. This was too much for me to resist, so I broke down and bought one when Unintended Consequences hit bestseller status. Hollywood types too young to have learned to drive in ’60s-era performance cars (when tire, chassis, brake, and suspension development lagged engine design) soon discovered that there was at least one new car out there with enough steam to get out from under you if you didn't know what you were doing, particularly if you were drunk. Ask Kelsey Grammer.

Some executives from Japan asked Lutz what marketing survey or research he had used to determine that there was a market for such a car. Lutz hadn't done any such “research.” He just knew, as Pfizer must have known there was a market for Viagra.

The Viper's production numbers have always been small, 275 in 1992 and between one and two thousand per year since then. Almost none of these are the owner's primary transportation, and many people have never actually seen a Viper on the road. But make no mistake: the Viper's impact on the industry has been huge. Lutz and his Viper made Detroit realize again that performance sells, and excess instills pride. In a time when computer chip speed had become the most common avenue to bragging rights, the Viper brought back the moonshot era, when America's greatest achievements shook the ground with a deafening roar. With the Viper out there, it was once again cool to tout your horsepower, acceleration, and top speed. Whatever they were, they'd be sensible numbers compared to the ones put up by Lutz's bad boy.

With engineering improvements (specifically, electronic fuel injection, roller camshafts, and overdrive transmissions), cars with powerful engines were now often as economical as low-powered vehicles used to be. My 488-inch Viper* delivers an astonishing 26 MPG at 85 MPH on the highway, better than a VW Beetle from the ’60s. Soon everyone had entries in the power wars, only this time the cars had good suspensions, tires, and brakes to match. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, and even Cadillac started cranking out 4-door sedans with top speeds over 150 MPH. All the manufacturers began producing TV ads showing their cars tearing up the road at extralegal speeds and the disclaimer Professional driver on closed course in small print at the bottom of the screen. Kids, don't try this at home, wink wink. Daimler AG bought Chrysler, and in 1998 Bob Lutz retired from that company, going to work as CEO of Exide (a “battery salesman,” as his old friends at Team Viper needle him.)

Then a marvelous thing happened. General Motors, who for years had been making boneheaded marketing decisions** and churning out nondescript cars that lost market share (culminating with the spectacularly hideous Pontiac Aztec), finally caught on. In 2001 they hired Lutz, and put him in charge of Product Operations.

Suddenly, a lot of really interesting vehicles are vying for production at the World's Largest Carmaker. The Pontiac GTO (the mid-1960s street racing legend that was last seen in 1974 as a gutless Nova with a nose job) is scheduled to return, only this time as a re-badged Australian GM Holden Monaro with up to 400-ish HP, six speed or auto, an independent rear suspension, and rear drive (filling the gap left when GM replaced the rear-drive V-8 Impala SS in 1997 with an unremarkable front-drive V-6 version.) This Holden-derived GTO is aerodynamically very clean and is expected to have a 160 MPH top end. The 2005 Corvette is rumored to have a 500 HP engine option available, the better to chase down Dodge's current 500 HP Viper. The gorgeous (and fast) Pontiac Solstice 2-seater show car, created at Lutz's directive, may make it to production also.

But the other companies haven't been sleeping. The European makers have megadollar flagships and 400+HP vehicles in their lineups already (Porsche actually produces the turbo Cayenne, a 450 HP, 160+ MPH SUV!) Even Subaru sells a 150 MPH four-door sedan, and at $25K they're flying off the showroom floors. GM needed a car to show the world that America would take a back seat to no one when it came to passenger car engineering.

The solution? Lutz had his engineers whip up a sixteen cylinder Cadillac sedan, to remind people that Cadillac was once the state of the art for production vehicles (the 1930 V-16.) The new Cadillac Sixteen, unveiled in January 2003 at the Detroit Opera House to a stunned press corps, has an aluminum 830 cubic inch V-16 engine that weighs 695 pounds, slightly less than a current iron 454 V-8 Chevrolet motor. The V-16's output? ONE THOUSAND horsepower. This is not just a show car mock-up—it's finished and drivable. (Guess who gets to drive it?) Lutz actually wants Cadillac to put the Sixteen into production, to compete with Bentley and Maybach and other limited production European cars with stratospheric prices. Once again, other automotive executives say Bob Lutz is crazy.

I'll say this: If the 1000 HP Sixteen actually sees production, even if it's only fifty cars a year, it will accomplish overnight what GM has wanted to do for over a decade: Change the perception of the entire Cadillac line from its current status as the brand of choice for old geezers playing shuffleboard in Florida to the preferred marque for the BSD who has a seven-figure income, a zero handicap, and a Playboy model for a girlfriend.

Bob Lutz has known this all along. Build it, GM.

John Ross 5/5/03

*Which I've now sold, as I have a faster replacement.
**Probably the most egregious example was GM's 2000 decision to kill the entire century-old Oldsmobile division after wounding it with marketing blunders. The last Olds slogan was “It's not your father's Oldsmobile.” What idiot came up with this brilliant ad campaign? My father's Oldsmobile would have been the 1948 Rocket 88, the lightweight coupe with the new OHV Rocket V-8 that set a bucketful of production-car speed records at Daytona Beach as soon as it was introduced. The recent ad campaign should have been “Your father's Oldsmobile is BACK!” with black-and-white footage of the 1948 Speed Trials and voice-over intercut with scenes of a new Olds hurtling down a deserted two-lane highway (including bumper-mounted camera footage) at similar triple-digit speeds. (I heard there was a Wall Street Journal editorial to this very effect and if someone will give me the author and date I will cite it here.)

12 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
There was no rain here yesterday even with the high expectations in the forecast. The high temperature at 90.8° was a little over what was forecast but we did all three walks again. It is going to be much cooler today if the forecast high of 80° happens and it will feel cold if we get the 70° high forecast for tomorrow. There has not been a day here with a high temperature below 70 since 9 May 2022. Bring it on!
I think JHK understands this situation in Ukraine better than The Times and the rest of the West's media. I await the rest of the story. Some of that story is told in a video here.
The New York Times today is ballyhooing the Ukraine military's “lightning advance” east of Kharkov. I'd argue that what The Times wants you to see is not exactly what is happening. Rather the Russians appear to have made an orderly, tactical retreat from the outskirts of Kharkov, inducing the NATO-trained Ukraine forces eastward across the Siverskyi Donets River and out into the flat, open country where they will be cut off, cauldroned, and slaughtered. Everything that NATO and US have done in this conflict has been a stupid move. Why should this one be an exception? — Is War What You Asked For?, James Howard Kunstler

Another meme that will be censored because it tell the truth rather than the narrative.

Once a Government provides you with basic utilities, the Government can then decide when to turn them on and off. Once they pay for your education, they can control the education and career you get to have. Once they provide your food, they can decide how much you get to eat. Once they pay for your housing, they control where you live. Once they pay for your healthcare and medicine, they control whether or not you are valuable enough to live. Once a government gets you to agree to gun control, you have no way to prevent that government from doing everything listed above.
For those of you that do not know Carlin be advised that he is rude, blasphemous or obscene. However, the transcript has had the profanity redacted — enjoy.

Life Is Worth Losing
By George Carlin

And the parents of these kids are too embarrassed to tell the police so they put the kid's *** away and say “He had poor grades. His girlfriend left him.” “Oh, well, no wonder lady, look at his *** hobbies.” Then they blame it on heavy metal, you know. I don't know if you remember that but from that old incident some years back, Judas Priest. One of the head banging bands, somebody played a song and after that they killed themselves so they blamed suicide on heavy metal. If it's ***. They tend blame rap these days. But it's never the parents. Did you ever notice this? Parents apparently play no part in the development and outcomes of these kids. Parents. You know they can raise a kid apparently 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 years. If he turns out *** up, boy, they had nothing to do with that. “Must be those kids at the parking lot he hangs around with.” Parents got to be among the most full of *** people in the world. Well, they always have been. Top to bottom, front to back. Listen. In fairness. It comes with the job. If you want to be a parent, you got to be full of *** at least half the time. Look at it this way, they have it both ways. If the kid turns out to be a loser. They had nothing to do with that. But boy if he is a winner, got a scholarship or something like that, man, they are the first ones out there raising their hands trying to take a little credit. It's a nice state of mind if you can talk yourself in to believing it.

But these are the kind of things I think about when I'm sitting home alone during an electrical storm waiting for the parole officer to give me a call. And these ideas. These ideas come floating into my head. Just floating right in unbidden. I'm not asking for these things. I'm a vessel. I'm a mere vessel. In comes these thoughts. And some of them are a little offbeat. I'm gonna grant you that. I was thinking about these younger women who got buried today. Did you ever think about them? Probably not. But I was thinking about these younger women who died three or four days ago got buried today. And some of them had a bad heart, you know. Some of them had a bad kidney. But a lot of them had perfectly good ***. Good ***, nice ***, reasonably tight *** going to waste, in the ground. It just seems a shame to me that some fine, young *** should be rotting away six feet under. Because you'd think, you would think in this era that if you can donate a heart... Okay, okay. To someone who needs one. There ought to be a way to recycle some of these ***. And get them to people who need them. Some old guy living up in the mountains. “Wow. Holy ***. Look at this *** thing. This is great. Thank you very much. Thank you, sir, I appreciate this. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, God bless you. You're doing God's work. I hope you know that, don't you. Hey, this is better than Publisher's Clearinghouse. Listen here, buddy, you ain't got a redheaded one of these by any chance do you? No. I didn't think so. I never run into one of them myself. Thank you very much. Now listen here. This is the real thing, ain't it? This ain't one of them store bought *** from the adult bookstore. Huh. What's that? Oh, okay. Hold on just a second. Oh. Jesus Christ on a cracker. That's the real *** thing. I'd recognize that son of a *** anywhere. That straightened out my nose hairs. I better get this sucker home and get it in the refrigerator as quick as I can.” The save-a-*** foundation. Give the gift that keeps on giving. *** the whales. Save the ***. But you wouldn't want to save all of them. Not all of them. Some of them is wore out. Oh, you wouldn't want one of them big, old rubbery things. That ain't no good. What you want is, you want you something nice and tight but flexible. Maybe you'd have an age limit. Or a mileage check. You know, you figure out the average length of the average ***, the average number of thrusts per event, the average number of events per lifetime, you've got that lady's mileage. And you women, I don't want you to think I'm going to leave you out of the fun. We're going to get you a nice set of *** and balls. Okay? We'll get you something nice just after rigor mortis has set in. Tell the truth. Ladies. Wouldn't you like a nice set of *** and balls without all the *** that comes with them. Huh? *** a. We'll get you something nice, you keep it on the nightstand. It's real easy to find in the dark. And if your mother comes over, put a hat on it. Well, somebody's got to think of these things. Apparently I've been appointed. I was dancing with a woman. She told me she had a yeast infection. I said. “Well. Bake me a *** loaf of bread. A couple of corn muffins, a jelly donut. I don't give a ***. I'm always in the market for quality-baked goods. You couldn't squeeze a birthday cake out of that thing by any chance, could you? No. No. I didn't think so. No pressure, honey, no pressure at all. Why don't you just turn around and give me a nice pineapple upside-down cake. And a dozen oatmeal cookies. Skip the raisins. Icksnay on the aisinsray.”

Well. I think it is certainly apparent by now that one of the things I enjoy in life is excess. I like things that are excessive. I like excessive behavior. Excessive language. Excessive violence. It's fun. It's interesting. It's exciting. I like it when nature is excessive. That's why I like natural disasters. All these natural disasters that have been going on. I *** love them. I can't get enough of them. Oh. When nature's going crazy, throwing things around, scaring people and destroying property, I'm a happy *** guy. I'm a happy *** guy. I look at it this way, for centuries now man has done everything he can to destroy, defile and interfere with nature. Clear-cutting forests, strip-mining mountains, poisoning the atmosphere, over fishing the oceans, polluting the rivers and lakes. Destroying wetlands and aquifers. So when nature strikes back and smacks man in the head and kicks him in the nuts. I enjoy that. I have absolutely no sympathy for human beings whatsoever. None. And no matter what kind of problem humans are facing whether it's natural or man made. I always hope it gets worse. Don't you? Don't you? Don't you have a part of you, a part of you that secretly hopes everything gets worse? When you see a big fire on TV, don't you hope it spreads? Don't you hope it gets completely out of control and burns down six counties? You don't root for a fireman, do you? I mean I don't want him to get hurt or nothin' but I don't want him putting out my fire. That's my fire. That's nature showing off and having fun. I like fires. You know something else I like? Those spring floods in the Midwest. Aren't they great? Like clockwork. Spring floods in the Midwest. But I'm starting to notice, I'm starting to catch on that every year it's the same story. Another flood in the same place with the same people on the same river. Same *** people. And these people do not move. They will not *** move. They repaint, put down new carpeting and wallpaper and they move right back into the same *** house on the flood plain next to the river and then they wonder why grandma's floating downstream with a parakeet on her head. Fourth time. Again. Fourth *** time. There's no learning curve with these people. It's very hard to feel sorry for them. Every year same people. Same rowboats. Out there paddling around, rescuing a chicken. What the *** kind of a life is that? “Well. Our kids love it here.” Oh, really. What do they got, gills? And while they're showing all that *** on the screen. The announcer is saying to me, “It's been raining steadily for three months now. The ground can't hold any more water. The river is cresting higher than it has in two centuries. The levies have washed away” and I just hope it keeps raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and raining, and it rains steadily for five years. And then after that. For ten years it's cloudy with occasional showers. And the river never returns to its natural banks. It becomes a completely new river. And the borders of three states have to be changed. And all the maps and atlases have to be redrawn and reprinted. And no one's couch ever completely dries out. For years and years, every time they sit down, there's always a little squish. “Dan. Linda. Come on in, you guys. Have a seat. Squish, squish.” I like that. I'm an interesting guy. I always hope that no matter how small the original problem is it's going to grow into bigger and bigger proportions that get completely out of control.

To Be Continued

13 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
Another quick shopping trip that was done earlier than usual. The reason for that was RAIN. we got more rain last night (0.40'') than almost all the previous rains combined. Then this morning soon after we started our walk it started to sprinkle which became a light rain and we did a tactical withdrawal. That light rain has continued all morning with a total accumulation so far of 0.11''.

It was raining as I drove into town. Enough rain that I needed to have the windshield wiper set on intermittent. That meant that everytime the wipers came on Erik would attack the windshield trying to get the wipers. So I'm driving one handed trying my best to hold him back from climbing up on the dash.

When I got to Honey's Marketplace I put the electric collar on Erik before going inside to shop. Then turned on the wipers to cycle intermittently and when Erik attacked I gave him a relatively high level shock. Only had to do that twice, when the wipers cycled for the third time he did not attack. On the way home I had to remind him only one more time. I'll probably have to remind him again the next time I want to use the wipers but he is a quick study.

The way it looks, and is forecast, we could be in for off and on rain all day and through the night into tomorrow morning. The Park is going to become a muddy mess with a lot of standing water already.
A large populace held in check by a small but powerful force is quite a common situation in our universe. And we know the major conditions wherein this large populace may turn upon its keepers—One: When they find a leader. This is the most volatile threat to the powerful; they must retain control of leaders. Two: When the populace recognizes its chains. Keep the populace blind and unquestioning. Three: When the populace perceives a hope of escape from bondage. They must never even believe that escape is possible!…

Good government never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of those who govern. The machinery of government is always subordinate to the will of those who administer that machinery. The most important element of government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.…

Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class—whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy. — Children of Dune by Frank Herbert.

Question:What's the difference between California and the Titanic?
Answer: The Titanic had its lights on when it sank.
For those of you that do not know Carlin be advised that he is rude, blasphemous or obscene. However, the transcript has had the profanity redacted — enjoy.

Life Is Worth Losing
By George Carlin

And I'll give you a concrete example. Let's say a water main breaks in downtown Los Angeles and it floods an electrical substation knocking out all the traffic lights and tying up the entire city and emergency vehicles can't get through. And at the same time one of those month long global warming heat waves comes along but there's no air conditioning. There's no water for sanitation. So cholera, small pox and dysentery break out and thousands of people start dying in the streets. But before they die, parasites eat their brains. And they go completely *** crazy, and they storm the hospital. But the hospital can't handle all the casualties. So these people *** all the nurses and set the hospital on fire. And the flames drive them even crazier so they start stabbing social workers and garbage men. And a big wind comes along and the entire city goes up in flames and the people who are still healthy they get mad at the sick people and they start crucifying them. Nailing them to crosses. Trying on their underwear. *** like that. Then everybody smokes crack and *** and they march on city hall where they burn the mayor at the stake, strangle his wife and take turns sodomizing the statue of Larry Flynt. And at this point, at this point it looks like pretty soon things are going to start to get out of control. So everybody panics and tries to leave the city at the same time. And they trample each other to death in the streets by the thousands and wild dogs eat their corpses. And the wild dogs chase the rest of the people down the highway. And one by one the dogs pick off the old *** and the slow people because they're in the fast lane where they don't belong. Get the *** out of the fast lane if you're an old ***, if you're a slow ***. Get over on the right. Get over on the right. And then, the lucky ones, the lucky people who manage to make it all the way outside of town they discover when they get there, the big sparks from the city have lit the suburbs on fire and the suburbs burn uncontrollably. And thousands of identical homes have identical fires with identical smoke killing all the identical soccer moms and their identical kids named Jason and Jennifer. And now. Now the fire spreads to the farmlands and the farmlands burn intensely of 425 degrees creating millions of baked potatoes. And as the farmlands burn. As the farmlands burn. Thousands of barns and farmhouses begin to explode from all hidden methamphetamine labs. And the *** chemicals run downhill into the rivers and streams where wild animals drink the water and get completely geeked on speed. So bears and wolves amped up on crank start roaming the countryside looking for people to eat even though they're not really hungry. Then the fire spreads to the forest. And the forest burn furiously. And hundreds of elves and trolls and fairies come running out of the woods screaming, “Bambi is dead. Bambi is dead!” And he is. He is. Finally that *** little ***. Bambi is dead. Dead. Now, hundreds of regional fires come together into one huge interstate inferno. And all 12 of the western United States are burning out of control except Utah where the Mormons don't allow fires. And the fires spreads across the Great Plains toasting the wheat, cooking the cattle and producing hamburgers actually. Then it leaps to Mississippi and races through the South blowing up stills and interrupting lynching's and killing millions of inbred people. And then it turns northeast and it heads for Washington, D.C. Where George Bush can't decide if it's an emergency or not. He can't decide this. He doesn't know. Wow. Oh it's hard work. You know. He can't decide because *** Cheney is in prison. So instead he takes a nap. He takes a nap. He puts his empty, *** brainless head down on the little pillow his mother gave him at Christmas time and he takes a *** nap. So the fire moves to Philadelphia but it's a weekend and Philadelphia's closed on the weekends. So the fire moves to New York City and the people of New York tell the fire to go *** itself. “Go *** yourself.” And it does. And it does. So instead it burns down Long Island and Connecticut killing all the rich white *** and completely destroying their evil. Faggoty golf courses. And while all this is going on, Canada burns to the ground but nobody notices. And now the entire North American continent is on fire producing a huge thermal updraft and creating an incendiary cyclonic macro system that forms a hemispheric mega storm breaking down the molecular structure of the atmosphere and actually changing the laws of nature. Fire and water combine. Burning clouds of flaming rain fall upward. Gamma rays and solar winds ignite the ionosphere creating huge clouds of ionized plasma. Bolts of lightning 20 million miles long begin shooting out of the North Pole. And the sky fills up with green ***. And then suddenly the entire fabric of space-time splits in two. A huge crack in the universe opens and all the dead people from the past begin falling through. Babe Ruth. Groucho Marx. Davy Crockett, Tiny Tim, Porky Pig, Hitler, Janis Joplin, Alan Ludden my Uncle Dave, your Uncle Dave.

Everybody's Uncle Dave. An endless stream of dead Uncle Dave's falling through the crack. And all the dead Uncle Dave's gather around a heavenly kitchen table. They light up cigarettes and they begin to talk. They talk about how they never got a break. How their parents didn't love them. And their children were ungrateful. They talk about how the government screwed them out of money and they just missed out on a big job. They say the Jews own everything, and the blacks get special treatment. And all the hatred and bitterness drips out of these people and forms a big pool of liquid hate. And the pool of liquid hate begins to spin. Round and round it spins, faster and faster. And the faster it spins, the bigger it gets. Faster and faster. Bigger and bigger. Until the whirling pool of hate is bigger than the entire universe. And then suddenly it explodes into trillions of tiny stars. And every star has a trillion planets and every planet has a trillion Uncle Dave's. And all the Uncle Dave's have good jobs, perfect eyesight and shoes that fit. They have great sex lives and free health care. They understand the Internet. Their kids think they're cool and they all love their neighbors. And every week without fail, Uncle Dave wins the lottery. Forever and ever until the end of time every single Uncle Dave has a winning ticket. And Uncle Dave is finally happy. Now do you see why I like it when nature gets even with humans? Thanks for coming in here tonight. Thank you. See you later.

14 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
We were able to do our noon and afternoon walks yesterday. However, I woke up around 3:00 am to the sound of a hard rain. Then when it came time for our morning walk I checked first before preparing to go out and found that it was sprinkling. Went back to bed then later took the dogs out for a potty break. So far the total accumulated rainfall today has been 0.39''. Maybe we will get to do the two walks later today and maybe not.

I have started to plan my trip back to Cochise County and have received a confirmed RV overnight space from a Park at the halfway stop. It only took two requests. HA I have sent two emails to the Park where I will be staying asking for a address that I can use for VA mailings; haven't received a reply. The next thing I need to do is prepare my 3x5 cards for the route plus breakfast and gas stops.
Book three in Frank Herbert's magnificent Dune Chronicles—one of the most significant sagas in the history of literary science fiction.

The Children of Dune are twin siblings Leto and Ghanima Atreides, whose father, the Emperor Paul Muad'Dib, disappeared in the desert wastelands of Arrakis nine years ago. Like their father, the twins possess supernormal abilities—making them valuable to their manipulative aunt Alia, who rules the Empire in the name of House Atreides.

I liked this book a lot more than the second one in the series. There are parts of it that were heavy reading however which I'm not sure that I understood what the author was trying to say. I'll continue reading the series and hope the rest are as good a book #1 and #3. Facing treason and rebellion on two fronts, Alia's rule is not absolute. The displaced House Corrino is plotting to regain the throne while the fanatical Fremen are being provoked into open revolt by the enigmatic figure known only as The Preacher. Alia believes that by obtaining the secrets of the twins' prophetic visions, she can maintain control over her dynasty.

But Leto and Ghanima have their own plans for their visions' and their destinies… — Book promo @
Another contradistinction meme.

European out-of-office: I'm away camping for the summer. please email back in September.

American out-of-office: I have left the office for two hours to undergo kidney surgery but you can reach me on my cell any time.

15 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
I thought we could do the noon walk but we didn't make it very far before taking shelter under a tree. Almost as soon as we went out we were in a light mist which quickly became a light rain that was getting us very wet. When there was a break in the rain we beat a hasty retreat to Desperado.

We did manage to do the afternoon walk and only got slightly damp with some light sprinkles. It looks like today will be dry with not chance of rain in the forecast. The Park roads are a mess so drying conditions will be welcome.

I still have an open space on each side of me but the front part of the Park has filled up a lot these past few rainy days. I hope they leave now that the rains have stopped. I liked the open view much better.

I got an address for where I'll be staying for most of the winter so I can now change the address at VA. Then maybe I'll receive my prescription refills.

Got the 3x5 card prepared for the first leg of the two day drive back to Cochise County. Maybe find a route and a breakfast restaurant for the second day today. The planned move is starting to come together.
Lost Interview: Futuristic Meditations From Dune's Frank Herbert Part II
Interview by Jean Marie Stine

(This never-before reprinted conversation was originally published in an issue of the L. A. Reader in mid-1984 (at the time of the Dune movie's release). During our post-interview conversation Frank, who was on his way to climb the Himalayas with Sherpa guides, mentioned that he had just written the outline for what would be the final Dune book and he and an attorney had put a copy in a safe deposit box until he returned just in case anything happened to him. On his way to the Himalayas, Frank was diagnosed with a fast moving cancer, and passed away a few months later. Twenty years on, I discovered that no one in the Herbert family had known of the outline, and that its existence had only recently been discovered.)
💬 JMS: The First Dune book (the one the movie was based on) taken by itself seems pretty straightforward good guys vs. bad guys stuff, with the good guys triumphing at the end. But in the second book you question a number of assumptions you led the reader to make in the first book and you reveal a much more complex and meaningful design than was apparent in the first book alone.
💬 HERBERT: The first three books were one book in my head. I wrote parts of the second two before I completed the first. In fact I wrote the last chapter of the first one before I finished it. I did develop the other two a bit more because I thought of new stuff. But when I finished that third book I thought I was through with it. I had a theory. Charismatic leaders — not necessarily Messiahs, but Messiahs included — tend to create explosive upheavals in human societies which are very dangerous to individuals and to the societies themselves, because they create power structures. So you get these centers of power and it doesn't matter a damned bit how pure and good the hero is. By just being he creates a power structure and so it's like a magnet: the iron filings, the corruptible, come in and things are done in the name of the leader — as they were done in Christianity, in Islam, in Buddhism, in all major religions and lesser religions. Things done in the name of the leader are amplified by the members, who follow without thinking, without questioning, and you wind up in Guyana drinking poisoned Kool-Aid. So I wanted to create a charismatic leader (Paul Muad'Dib, the hero of the novel and film), a Messiah you would follow for all of the right reasons. He is loyal to his people, he's honorable and he's true to his friends. Every characteristic that you could possibly think of, including the prince in search of the Grail, is there in that character — you would follow him right into Camelot. And there is the power structure that grows up around him; that's what we deal with in the second book. That shook a lot of people. Here was a hero who didn't make everything all right. He created a power structure. He did it just by being there.
💬 JMS: In the Dune books, you seem to question a number of other cultural assumptions. One of them is the belief that the establishment of a democracy necessarily addresses all of humankind's problems and needs.
💬 HERBERT: One of the things I noticed as a reporter — I was a journalist longer than I've been on this side of the table — is that in all the marching in the streets in the '60s, the people who were shouting “Power to-the People” didn't mean power to the people. They meant “power to me and I'll tell the people what to do.” When you questioned them it was confirmed at every turn.
Power to the people will really happen when the people wake up to the fact that you can't separate economics from politics, when they wake up to their own motivations, what they want, what can be sold to them. Because the real pitfall of democracy is that it is demagogue-prone. We like to have people stand up and tell us what we want to hear. I have conditioned myself so that the minute I hear a politician standing up there saying nice things that sound good to a lot of people my alarm signals go off and I say, “Why, you damned son of a bitch, you're just another damned demagogue.” I don't think there's a fucking bit of difference between a bureaucracy that is instituted by a democratic regime, a state; socialist regime, a communist regime or a capitalist regime. Take a look at us right now. We have created a bureaucracy in this country which is completely out of the hands of the people. Your votes do not touch it. One day when I was working in Washington, D.C. as a speech-writer for a U.S. senator from Oregon, I was at a meeting of the Department of Commerce and a very, very high department official, a lifetime bureaucrat, was talking about another senator, who was giving them some trouble. And this high bureaucrat called this senator a ‘transient.’ And sure enough, that senator was defeated in the next election. So he was a transient. But the bureaucrat was, still there, and he retired on a separate retirement system for the federal bureaucracy.
People ask me what I think about Reagan, or ‘Ray-gun,’ as I tend to call him. Well, you know, he has several good things going for him. Number one, we know he's an actor. We tend not to think about other politicians as actors. But they all are. Mondale's an actor. I have good reports, accurate reports on him off camera. Offstage he can be a real bastard to his people. You never see that when the smiling man gets up in front of the camera. He depends on his analyses to tell him what people want to hear. The other thing about Reagan is that I think he's pretty much beyond the age where he's easily corrupted. His foreign policy scares the shit out of me, but as long as he's paranoid of the bureaucracy I'll stand aside and applaud. And say, “Focus on that baby!” For that much I like him.

To Be Continued

16 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: September 16, 1934

If the weather forecast comes to pass we will get a sunny weekend that may dry everything and we can start over. There is rain in the forecast for next Tuesday and Wednesday with high temperatures dropping down into the 70s. I think we may now be entering Fall.

That could mean that we will get to do all three walks everyday until next Tuesday. Then it will be determined by the rain or no rain for those couple of days.

I have selected my route to get back to Cochise County and have also selected restaurants. The plan may change depending on what I find when I get on the road as happened to me on the way coming here. The internet does not always provide updated information and restaurants are closed. I'll start drawing the route maps before I leave here knowing they need to be edited if the ‘plan’ dosen't come together.

That is all that I have on tap for the next few days. That and reading and maybe some cooking.
Lost Interview: Futuristic Meditations From Dune's Frank Herbert Part II
Interview by Jean Marie Stine

💬 JMS: How do you feel we could put the power in the hands of the people?
💬 HERBERT: Well, I think there are several ways to do it. Governments, being power centers, as I said before, attract the corrupt and the corruptible. So we have to go after the problem of how do we design our Governments, so that we attract people who are not corruptible, or not easy to corrupt, anyway. The Romans solved it a long time ago. Before they got on their empire kick they went out and got a leader and said, “You're the boss for a year or two. But that's it!”
One of the things I would do — If I could wave a magic wand — I would give us a six-year presidency, ‘no re-election’. A two-term, maximum four-year senator, and a one-term, four-year congressman. If they can't discover how the system works in Washington within a month of being there (hell, I discovered within two weeks of working for a senator), then they aren't bright enough to belong there. It's a privilege to work for your society. Not a right, not something earned by being there forever. We have to keep them in for short terms, attract good people with high pay. And if I had my say about it, I'd make it a criminal offense with long prison terms for any military officer to accept a job with a defense [contractor] after retirement. That's handing the fox the key to the henhouse and saying, “I'm going to be gone for the night.” That's an invitation to corruption, and of course that's what we get.
We have the instruments and we have the precedents for handing power back to the people. I think government ought to be an experience. You know, when this government was formed it was called, worldwide, ‘The Great Experiment.’ Somewhere along the line we carved it in stone. Experiments are things you test and find out what's wrong with them. Right?
I would experiment with a process that is now available to us. I would call it something like ‘The Great Theory.’ I would select at random, on the basis of those who voted in the last election (we could do this easily now with computers), a rotating core group of 13 good people to serve at all levels of government, high and low. I would give them absolutely awesome powers, leave them in office for one year, and I would make it damn near a capital offense to interfere with the operations of this whole thing. I would set it up so that they had a budget, a sufficient budget, but no standing support facilities, no continuing bureaucracies. Every new committee would have to hire its own people and its own experts under a spoils system. And, at very high levels, I would give them the power of subpoena, the power to look in any place they wanted to look without question — and the power to fire.
Now let's go down to lowered levels. I discussed this with a member of the bureaucracy in the state of Washington, an official of the school system. He asked me, “How would you apply this?” I said: “Well, let's go to the local school district. Under my system any time the local school district proposes to spend over X amount of dollars, automatically such a review committee would be called into being. The members would be selected from among those who voted in the previous election. They'd have the power of life and death over that proposal, the power to subpoena; they could go into the school system and examine the records back to the dawn of history. They could look at how the school system is operating, how it had been spending its money in the past.”
This bureaucrat asked me, “Do you think they'll always make good decisions?” And I said, “No. But they'd only be there for a year and if they made a mistake it'd be very apparent and the next committee could deal with it.” His next reaction, I thought, was just magnificent, very telling, almost like a classic Freudian slip. He said: “Do you think some damned housewife could understand what's going on in the school system that well?” [Laughs] I said: “You bet your sweet bippy I do!” Because if you put the responsibility on people, really put it on them, they rise to the occasion.
I would also make it impossible for any person who had served on one such committee ever to serve on one again. Once a lifetime. It would completely turn around what we think of as the democratic system, because it would make voting attractive. You'd want to be in on the chance to be selected for this. And you would know that one of you, somebody who voted, would be right in the seat of power if the need arose. I think it would really give power to the people, which is what democracy is supposed to be all about. Now all of the closet aristocrats will come out of the closet when you propose this kind of thing and say, “My God! At random you're going to get some real dopes!” And I would say “What are the statistical probabilities that you would get 13 real dopes? Maybe you will. Maybe the monkeys will type the great novel.”
💬 JMS: What are the odds that you would get more dopes this way than by the present system?
💬 HERBERT: [Laughs] I'm willing to gamble. Now I'll tell you something interesting in MY reading of history: Every time we have pulled the lid off the human desire to govern our own affairs, to be free of government — we've had a renaissance of some kind. We've had a social renaissance, we've had a political renaissance, an artistic renaissance. Every time in history we've unleashed this, we've gone forward by leaps and bounds. So I'm saying, “All right, this is what history says to me. So why don't we do it again?” That's what I'm playing with in the seventh Dune book, moving toward showing the kind of governments that finally evolve out of the situation I have created.

17 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
I was able to do all three walks yesterday and did the planned distances on all of them. That might continue for the next few days through Tuesday; the rain that was forecast to start then has been postponed until Wednesday and Thursday.

I got the first day route map drawn for my trip back south. Maybe get the second one drawn during the next few days. I need inspiration to get started doing the drawing. Sometimes it goes very well and other times not so well.

More reading is the plan for today with one novel on Fire 8 and one novel online. The one on Fire 8 getting most of my attention.

18 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
I only know what I read; no TV no radio so this is what I found with a quick scan of the web this morning.

Rand Corporation Executive Summary: Weakening Germany, strengthening the U.S. is being reported all over by the alt-media but I could not find any MainStream coverage. Not even any claims of disinformation. The report was first disclosed by Nya Dagbladet, a Swedish news outlet and it is only RT that has reported “RAND corporation has asserted that the claim is ‘fake.’ Now that an English transcript of the Swedish news story has been released the Rand corporation will surely claim that the report is a forgery; the MainStream Media will then report that.

The MainStream Media does report this however:
“Germany is taking control of three Russian-owned refineries in the country to ensure energy security before an embargo on oil from Russia takes effect next year, officials said Friday.
Two subsidiaries of Russian oil giant Rosneft — Rosneft Deutschland GmbH and RN Refining & Marketing GmbH — will be put under the administration of Germany's Federal Network Agency, the Economy Ministry said in a statement.”

I have really liked to read about the elite's response to the illegal immigrants that were sent to Martha's Vineyard. That has created even more coverage than those sent to Washington DC, NYC and Chicago. When will San Francisco, Portland and Seattle get their share?

Nothing much is happening here. I'll be shopping tomorrow before the forecast rains come on Wednesday. But the chances in that forecast have been reduced to a coin toss so probably no rain here.
The Law of Large Numbers (Statistics for Dummies) or
Hey, Be Glad It Doesn't Happen More Often
by John Ross

Copyright 2003 by John Ross. Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given.

The other day I was asked about the phenomenon of school shootings, given that we had not seen one for a fairly long period (Columbine was in the spring of 1999, over four years ago as I write this). The questioner referred to the “epidemic” we had seen a few years back, and asked for my comments. It reminded me of a similar conversation I'd had with a lawyer friend, the day after the Columbine tragedy. Some backstory is in order.

One of the benefits of being an investment adviser is that I get to interact with a lot of successful, often very intelligent people. It's always fascinating (to me, anyway) to learn about the particulars of someone else's profession, especially when they're good at it. Quite often, I learn things I never would have expected. I am also surprised at how often these intelligent people fail to employ simple arithmetic to evaluate the world around them, especially what they hear on the news.

One of my favorite clients is the aforementioned lawyer. He has always had his own practice, and over the years, has carved out a profitable niche in a specific part of the civil code. When he was starting out some thirty years ago, though, he would handle any legal matters he could. (This is typical of most new lawyers who elect to set up their own shops, rather than go to work in someone else's practice.)

Stories about unusual cases my friend handled years ago are often good for not only a laugh, but also some insight into life in general. Many of the more interesting tales involve divorces. Couples often divorce for similar reasons (money and/or sex), but the particulars can be intriguing.

In one memorable case, a local St. Louis woman had married a Haitian man. One of his idiosyncrasies (from a St. Louisan's point of view) was that he practiced voodoo. When having sex, he would enter his wife from behind while she bent over the edge of the bed. This itself is unremarkable, except that the husband would then use a long knife to cut the head off a live chicken, and proceed to beat his wife with the bleeding carcass in rhythm to his spirited thrusting. (I think the theory of this particular practice had something to do with increasing the likelihood of conceiving healthy children, but I'm a little hazy on that.)

The husband was disappointed that his bride had never learned to share his enthusiasm for this particular type of conjugal bliss, and had taken steps to rectify the situation. This involved getting her fingernail clippings and samples of her hair while she was asleep, and using them in a ritual the wife refused to describe. (Since she was completely candid about the chicken business, I confess I was intrigued as to what this new practice entailed, but the lawyer never found out.)

The divorce decree my friend secured for her stipulated that the ex-husband had to return all nail clippings, locks of hair, “and any and all other organic material obtained from petitioner's body, as well as any and all articles of clothing which have ever come in contact with petitioner's body.” In return, the ex-husband was to receive all other marital possessions, i.e. the car, the furniture, the bank account, etc. So happy was the woman with this result that she spoke glowingly of my friend's abilities and referred several acquaintances with legal problems to him.

Another woman came in wanting a quick divorce, but answered “Yes” when asked if she was currently pregnant (Missouri law prohibits divorce in such circumstances.) She asked what she could do. He suggested she give him the relevant information, allow him to prepare the documents, and he would file them when the baby was born, six months hence. She agreed.

Six months later, the phone rang. “Hello, it's so-and-so. You can file my divorce papers now, I've had the baby.”

“Oh, that's great,” said my friend. “Did you have a boy or a girl?” (Good lawyers always strive to put their clients at ease by showing interest in the details of their lives.)

“I don't know. Let me check.” She had called her divorce lawyer from the delivery room, before learning the gender of her baby. I guess she really wanted that divorce.

I learned of a third woman who sought out my friend some years ago, to discuss declaring bankruptcy. She was self-employed as a dominatrix; customers came to her place of business and paid her to flog them. Her clientele had fallen off dramatically and was switching to her competitors because she had developed bursitis in her shoulder from the repetitive, strenuous motion of beating people, and could no longer do it with the necessary force. She had no disability insurance to cover this contingency.

“Have you thought of disciplining your customers using methods which aren't so physically demanding?” my thoughtful friend asked.

“Like what?”

“Well, electrical shocks, for example. Do any of your competitors offer that type of discipline?”

“No, I don't think so.”

“Then you'd be offering a service no one else was providing. It might be a good marketing point. Just a second.” He rummaged around on a shelf and came up with a military surplus catalog that offered field generators at low cost. He also suggested she visit yard sales and look for an old Lionel model train transformer. The woman left with the catalog and a smile, pleased that she could stay in business. My friend didn't get any legal fees from her, but she referred several people to him on other matters.

The point of all this (aside from entertainment) is that it is a big world out there, something our pundits on the news often seem to forget. After Columbine, my lawyer friend commented on the shootings, and said he “just didn't get it.” Why were “so many” of these incidents happening?

“Wait a minute,” I told him. “You've seen a woman whose husband beat her with a dead chicken during sex, and performed voodoo rituals with her hair and nail clippings. You've seen a woman who called her divorce lawyer from the delivery room before looking at her newborn baby. You've seen a dominatrix almost go bankrupt from work-related disability. This is out of, what—ten thousand clients over the years?” He admitted it was less than that.

“Do the math,” I suggested. “That's one chicken-beater out of every ten thousand people, from your personal experience. How many students are there at any given moment in this country, fifty million? Aren't teenagers often depressed and disaffected? Does it strike you as astonishing that one out of every ten million of them might be not only depressed and disaffected, but also a murderous little shit?”

One in ten million gives us a school shooting every ten weeks, and we don't have anywhere near that many, even though they put the evil little bastards on the cover of Newsweek. Given fifty million students, and incessant media coverage, I think we're lucky not to have one every week.

We're especially lucky they've so far used guns, but that may change. What if the next homicidal teenaged misfit dissolves Styrofoam in gasoline (homemade napalm), carries it in five gallon buckets to his school (“It's for chemistry class, Miss Johnson”), pours it in the hallways (“Whoops!”), uses bike locks on the exit doors, and strikes a match? Many schools are now built with central air and windows that don't open. Some schools have windows made of polycarbonate instead of glass, to combat vandalism. Instead of a dozen killed, we might see a death toll in the mid three figures, maybe even low four figures if the school is a big one and accomplices pulled several fire alarms in other areas to divert the firefighters.

The law of large numbers tells us that with a big enough sample, unlikely things will start to happen, and they'll happen in direct proportion to the size of the sample. If a new drug is used to treat a quarter of a million people and one person has an allergic reaction and dies, is that acceptable? Most people I ask say “Of course.” Yet if the same drug becomes so helpful that now fifty million people use it, and 200 have an allergic reaction and die, the media will scream that it's unsafe. No, it's the same as it was. Do the math.

When you do the math, life looks a lot better.

John Ross 5/12/03
19 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
The grocery gathering in town went quickly. I was back in my space at the Park and sitting down to eat breakfast by 8:00. I miss having an omelet once a week but this is not the town for that. Looking forward to getting back to someplace that has a restaurant open early in the morning and will make me one for the same price as their other breakfasts.

I should finish reading the book on Fire 8 today and will start another one that I have downloaded. The novel that I have started online has been ignored in recent days so I need to get back to that one also.

So, reading is about all that I have planned for today. It looks like we will be able to do all three walks which is good for both man and beast(s). I have some red hominy cooking in the Thermal Cooker and will be adding cranberry beans tomorrow. Just the same routine.
English is a very funny language.

“A friend suggested putting horse manure on my strawberries…
I'm never doing that again, I'm going back to whipped cream.

20 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
I had made a note to stop at the Post Office yesterday and pick up a coffee order that had been delivered on Saturday. Forgot to read the note and forgot to stop. It was just as well that I didn't because there was no key in my mailbox for the locker where my package had been placed (per Tracking).

I found this out when I went to the Post Office during our noon walk. When I asked the two women that work there about my package they said that I needed the Tracking number for them to find out where the package might have gone. As I was on my way back to the Park one of the women drove up to me and gave me the package. She was very apologetic about putting the locker key in the wrong mailbox but went out of her way to get the package to me. Probably against Post Office regulations!

Does the United States have a socio political instability problem? This quote from the book's introduction leads me to think so. However, I'm not going to read the book. Peter Turchin, the author, is a complexity scientist who works in the field of historical social science that he and his colleagues call Cliodynamics. His research interests lie at the intersection of social and cultural evolution, historical macrosociology, economic history, mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases. The chapter on his mathematical modeling was way over my pay grade and he uses a jargon that I do not understand.
Principal chief causes of socio political instability (in order of importance) are
(1) elite overproduction leading to intra elite competition and conflict
(2) popular immiseration, resulting from falling living standards
(3) the fiscal crisis of the state.…
Labor oversupply principle
When the supply of labor exceeds its demand, the price of labor decreases, depressing the living standards for the majority of population, thus leading to popular immiseration, but creating favorable economic conditions for the elites.…
Elite overproduction principle
Favorable economic conjuncture for the elites results in increasing numbers of elites and elite aspirants, as well as runaway growth of elite consumption levels. Elite overproduction results when elite numbers and appetites exceed the ability of the society to sustain them, leading to spiraling intra elite competition and conflict. — Ages Of Discord by Peter Turchin

Bridge of the Separator, the most recently published novel in Harry Turtledove's Videssos universe, is chronologically the earliest in terms of when the story is set. This book does for Rhavas (later known as Harvas Black-Robe or Avshar) in the Videssos stories what Episode III, Revenge of the Sith does for Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars Universe.

This customer review is great for anyone thinking about reading all the books in the Videssos Cycle. I wish I had read it first since it begins the story chronologically. Because I had read the The Misplaced Legion tetralogy first when I started Bridge of the Separator I was very confused. In other words it explains how the principal evil character in the later stories started out on the side of good but turned to evil, e.g. the dark god Skotos. (I'm not giving away anything here which isn't explained on the dust jacket of the book.)

Like a number of science fiction series, Turtledove's “Videssos stories” have been written in reverse chronological order. He started out with the Misplaced Legion tetralogy, in which three cohorts from Julius Caesar's army in Gaul (in 56 BC in our time) were transported to the Empire of Videssos in another world. While there they came up against a very powerful “wizard prince” called Avshar.

After writing the Misplaced Legion books, Turtledove went back several hundred years for the setting of a trilogy of books about a peasant named Kripos who rose to be Emperor of Videssos. Then he wrote another group of stories set earlier still, the Time of Troubles tetralogy.

Avshar features as a deadly enemy of the good guys in all three of these stories series and also in one of the short stories Turtledove has set in the same universe. In each case he is described as an extremely powerful wizard who is tall, very thin, and looks exceptionally old but is still fit and vigorous: where a name is given for him it is always an anagram of Avshar.

In Krispos of Videssos an ex-patriarch tells Emperor Krispos that be believes that their current opponent “Harvas” is actually Rhavas, the former prelate of the town of Skopentzana which had been the second city in the Empire until it was destroyed by barbarians three hundred years before. Rhavas, who up to that point had been a serious contender to succeed the head of the church of the good god Phos, had seen so much evil during the sack that he became a very different man.

In Bridge of the Separator, Harry Turtledove goes back those three hundred years to Skopentzana before the sack and tells the story of Rhavas from his own perspective. At the start of the book, Rhavas is a genuinely good, brilliant and pious priest, sent to Skopentzana to gain experience of running a major temple by the current Patriarch in the hope that he will move on to much higher things. But then the outbreak of civil war is only the start of a series of terrible events …

Despite being chronologically the first in the series this volume is not the best introduction to the world of Videssos as it is probably the weakest of the twelve books. It is very difficult to empathise with Rhavas — for one thing he does not have the glamour of Anakin Skywalker, and even before his fall while still a good man, he is not a very likeable one. I'm sure most readers of this review will have met at least one or two individuals who are honest and well meaning but whose company it is impossible to enjoy; the original Rhavas is a bit like that.

There are also some logical inconsistencies in the book. For example, the Dark God, Skotos, tempts Rhavas in Bridge of the Separator by giving him an unwanted and evil power — all he has to do is curse someone, almost anyone, and that individual drops dead. (Again, I'm not giving anything away here that isn't stated on the dust jacket of the book.)

Fortunately for Maniakes a century later in The Time of Troubles, for Krispos three hundred years later in his trilogy, and for Marcus Scaurus in The Misplaced Legion [tetralogy], Rhavas no longer has the power to kill with a simple curse when he comes up against them, despite having become in all other respects a much more dangerous wizard in the meantime. Why Skotos should have time-limited a gift which makes Rhavas much more useful to him — other than that it would have wrecked all the other books — is never explained.

Nevertheless I can recommend this to readers who are particular fans of Turtledove's writing as it does help explain one of the most important characters in most of the other Videssos books.

For anyone who wants to know the order of the books so as to read them in sequence, the twelve Videssos books and their chronology translated into Earth time (if it runs at the same rate as ours) are as follows.

c. 850 BC - Bridge of the Separator
c. 700 BC - (The Time of Troubles tetralogy)
The Stolen Throne
Hammer and Anvil
The Thousand Cities
Videssos Besieged
The Stolen Throne and Hammer and Anvil have also been published together as The Time of Troubles Part I; similarly The Thousand Cities and Videssos Besieged are published together as The Time of Troubles Part II.
c. 550 BC - (The Tale of Krispos trilogy)
Krispos Rising
Krispos of Videssos
Krispos the Emperor
56 BC - (The Misplaced Legion tetralogy)
The Misplaced Legion
An Emperor for the Legion
The Legion of Videssos
Swords of the Legion — Customer review @ Amazon (Edited)

21 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
There was a forecast for rain last night and this morning. So far we have had nothing but it does look threatening. We may get to do the other two walks today then again we could get wet.

The neighbor that I had north of me for about three months was gone of one and is now back in that same space. We have done nothing but wave to each other when we both happen to be outside. They stay inside like I do so there is no sitting around the campfire exchanging life histories. From appearance I think the man of the house is medically retired military since he has window stickers displaying his Army unit and he is still relatively young. Good neighbors that also have two dogs that I have not heard bark.
This quote is from the book's introduction and I'm going to continue reading. The theme of the book is the same as what I have read in The Nine Nations of North America by Joel Garreau and Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fischer. The author of this one is more a journalist rather than a historian and might be somewhat more liberal biased than the other authors but I'll read the book and see.
America's most essential and abiding divisions are not between red states and blue states, conservatives and liberals, capital and labor, blacks and whites, the faithful and the secular. Rather, our divisions stem from this fact: the United States is a federation comprised of the whole or part of eleven regional nations, some of which truly do not see eye to eye with one another. These nations respect neither state nor international boundaries, bleeding over the U.S. frontiers with Canada and Mexico as readily as they divide California, Texas, Illinois, or Pennsylvania. Six joined together to liberate themselves from British rule. Four were conquered but not vanquished by English-speaking rivals. Two more were founded in the West by a mix of American frontiersmen in the second half of the nineteenth century. Some are defined by cultural pluralism, others by their French, Spanish, or “Anglo-Saxon” heritage. Few have shown any indication that they are melting into some sort of unified American culture. On the contrary, since 1960 the fault lines between these nations have been growing wider, fueling culture wars, constitutional struggles, and ever more frequent pleas for unity.…
This is the story of the eleven nations, and it explains much about who we North Americans are, where we've come from, and where we might be going — American Nations by Colin Woodard

I am certain that most Americans do not have a clue what transpired this week at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (aka SCO). It is a clarion call, a defiant declaration, that the countries, which account for over half of the world's population, are no longer going to defer to the United States. …
In the past, the United States controlled the ball and set the rules for the game. The countries of the SCO are no longer going to let the United States dictate where, when and how the game is played. They are bringing their own ball and setting up their own rules. — Will The United States And Nato Wake Up To What Happened At The Meeting Of The Shanghai Cooperation Organization?, Larry Johnson

“Vladimir Putin is not playing games”; he is preparing for all out war. The referendum is step one along with the partial military call up of reserves in Russia. He is betting his hand and not bluffing; he is pot committed as in poker and is not playing chess.
Now we are getting some insight into Russia's activities over the last three weeks. It now appears that the withdrawal/retreat from Kharkov was part of a broader plan that is going to culminate in the referenda by the oblasts of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson starting this Friday. This is not some last minute, desperate stunt. It flows logically from Russia's attempt to use the Special Military Operation as leverage to compel serious negotiations on the futures and independence of Donetsk and Luhansk.…
Once the votes are completed and the results announced, the next move will be Russia's—i.e., welcoming the former Ukrainian oblasts into the Russian Republic. Once they are admitted, any further attack by Ukraine on those territories will be an act of war against Russia. Putin has made it very clear that he will act against any nation waging war against Russia and its citizens. This move is putting the United States and NATO on notice. If they continue to enable Ukrainian attacks on Russian citizens then they will be targeted in response.

We are crossing a threshold that could escalate into World War III. I am certain that Vladimir Putin is not playing games. He is not Joe Biden. He does not speak foolishly off-the cuff nor does he make idle threats. From the Russian perspective, Russia's very existence is at stake. — Game Changer In Ukraine—Referenda, Larry Johnson

22 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
There was no rain here although I could see that there was some to the south southeast where it was coming off the Kaibab Plateau. I can't remember one time when I saw rain coming from that direction that it reached here this summer.

No more rain forecast in the next 10 days, then I will be gone. The high temperatures for the next week are expected to be in the 80s then dropping down into the upper 70s. My next camp is still expecting some rain during the next 10 days with high temperatures about five degrees hotter. Moving too early — perhaps?

I finished cooking another batch of red hominy and cranberry beans. That emptied the pot and I got hulled barley and oat groats in it and have them now cooking in the Thermal Cooker. For my ‘linner’ yesterday, and will have today, I had some sardines, canned cannellini beans, eggplant and red onion. I needed to try something different and this will probably become another regular meal. I was especially looking for something that would add more iron to my diet.

That is all that is happening here. More reading and more walking the dog(s).
This looks a lot like a Wal*Mart before the United States imposed sanctions on Russia. HA
… the newest report from Russian stores (in this particular case famous huge Russian retail chain Lenta). See for yourself how Russians are suffering from sanctions and isolation.
Scroll down to video In Russian Supermarket after 6 Months under Unprecedented SANCTIONS! Can You Believe It? Note: the video is 36 minutes long; you don't need to watch all of it to get a very good picture of how the sanctions have not hurt Russia. So what is the West doing? More sanctions!

The event we call the American Revolution wasn't really revolutionary, at least while it was underway. The military struggle of 1775–1782 wasn't fought by an “American people” seeking to create a united, continent-spanning republic where all men were created equal and guaranteed freedom of speech, religion, and the press. On the contrary, it was a profoundly conservative action fought by a loose military alliance of nations, each of which was most concerned with preserving or reasserting control of its respective culture, character, and power structure. The rebelling nations certainly didn't wish to be bonded together into a single republic. They were joined in a temporary partnership against a common threat: the British establishment's ham-fisted attempt to assimilate them into a homogeneous empire centrally controlled from London. Some nations—the Midlands, New Netherland, and New France—didn't rebel at all. Those that did weren't fighting a revolution; they were fighting separate wars of colonial liberation. … They allied themselves with the enemies of their enemy but had little intention of merging with one another. — American Nations by Colin Woodard

I have no quotes from the blog posting Beyond the Peak by John Michael Greer just providing a link. It is a good article with a promise of more on the same theme to follow.

23 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: September 23, 1934

There is very little going on here. I have ‘linners’ prepared for the next few days, maybe even enough to last until I get to my new camp. There will be some shopping tomorrow, the last time that I will be going to Honey's Marketplace. I do have laundry on my To Do List but that is a few days in the future. As is doing the month end household chores.

Nothing in the News that wasn't there yesterday. A pause before the move.

24 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
The grocery gathering in town this morning went quickly with few shoppers. There were more stockers and stuff to be stocked in the aisles than there were people shopping.

I saw a sign yesterday that there was to be a bicycling event coming through Fredonia and then out past the Park today, Saw a few riders while we were doing our morning walk and then some more as we were going to and coming from Kanab. It seems that the riders started not as a mass start but rather whenever they wanted to or on a scheduled time for each rider. I don't have any idea where they were going but am guessing that the route is an out and back 100 mile ride. Maybe see riders going back towards Kanab later today.

I have the distiller working again and will keep it working until I leave here. I want to leave with 5-6 gallons of drinking/cooking water. Will finish reading the book that I have on Fire 8 by tomorrow and then need to get serious about reading the one that I have started online.

That is about all that is going on here today.

25 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
There are now a couple big 5th Wheel trailers a couple spaces south of me that seem to be traveling together. One of them has a dog that they have not trained to NOT bark. Last night when I took Erik out for his pre-bedtime potty break I could hear him barking inside the trailer. This morning when we were doing our morning walk the owner was walking the dog on a retractable leash. The dog started barking at Erik and myself and acting like a fish caught on a fishing line. Not good neighbors! Nothing like the one on my northside that has two dogs that I have never heard bark.

I have drawn the second map that shows my route getting back south. The next thing on the agenda is to do the Will Rogers weekly articles for another month. Then it will be household chores that must be done as well as laundry. I'll then be ready to move.

“Imagine this… You, your team, your bikes, a big vehicle, 24 hrs and more than 420 miles of open road just waiting for you. For the “most fun” 24 hrs of your life, you will either be riding your bike or cheering on your teammates while you relay your way south, from Salt Lake City, Utah down historic Hwy 89 to sunny St George! This is what the Salt To Saint Relay is all about.” — The only thing I got right yesterday was there was a bicycling event that passed through Fredonia and in front of the Park. Want to read more about it click here.

Some trivia:
No US President has been born and died under the same flag!
Abortion, Mole Removal, Helmet Laws, and Waiting Periods, or
Doesn't Anyone Have Principles Anymore?
by John Ross

Copyright 2003 by John Ross. Electronic reproduction of this article freely permitted provided it is reproduced in its entirety with attribution given.

In 1998, I was the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Missouri's 2nd District. (I ran as a pre-Roosevelt Democrat, which is what I am: a Democrat without the Socialism.) Like all candidates campaigning for office, I met with a variety of groups, each of which wanted to know where I stood (and therefore how I would vote) on their pet issue.

Among single-issue voters, few concerns generate as much passion as the abortion debate. When the Missouri chapter of NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) wanted to meet me, I knew I was in for an interesting afternoon.

The two women from the organization that met me were polite, if humorless. They seemed to see everything in all-or-nothing terms. For example, they were happy when I told them I felt the federal government should stay completely out of the abortion issue, until I told them that that included funding as well as prohibition. “Then poor women will suffer,” they proclaimed indignantly.

“There are poor women who suffer in abusive marriages,” I pointed out. “Should the federal government pay for divorce lawyers for poor women also?” This question was met with uncomfortable silence. I reminded them that when the federal government subsidizes something, it earns the right to dictate terms, which you may not like.

They were equally unhappy when they saw I was none too keen on allowing minors to have abortions without parental knowledge. “An abortion is a medical procedure,” I pointed out. “Is there any other medical procedure you think a minor should be allowed to have without her parents' knowledge? Liposuction? Collagen injection? How about mole removal? Isn't that a pretty low-risk and low-cost procedure? Do you honestly expect me to champion a minor's right to get a fetus removed from her body without her parents' knowledge, but not a mole?” The NARAL women had no good answer for that.

At about this time, I had answered all the questions they'd been throwing at me, and I couldn't help feeling that these people hadn't thought their positions through. Unconsciously, I lapsed into teaching mode. “Help me understand something here,” I said. “If I'm elected, and I'm going to vote the way you want, I'm going to have to stand up and defend your position. What,” I asked, “is the underlying fundamental principle for your pro-choice viewpoint? Is abortion a ‘perk’ you want women to have, like government-funded daycare, or is there a basic principle involved here?”

One of the women gave me a look like I was an idiot child. “The basic principle is that the government has no business regulating a woman's reproductive choices. In its simplest terms, ‘Keep your laws off my body.’” (This was exactly the answer I was waiting for.)

“I see. So I assume you've joined forces with groups that want the government to keep its laws off of other parts of the body, besides the uterus?” This brought confused looks. “FORR, Freedom Of Road Riders, for example. They oppose mandatory helmet laws for motorcyclists. They feel the government should keep its laws off people's skulls. I've met with that group, and being able to legally ride without a helmet is at least as important to them as being able to get a legal abortion locally is to you. Have you even talked to them?” They hadn't.

By this point, I realized our conversation was not typical for a candidate looking to receive an endorsement from a special interest group. I was sure they preferred me over my opponent, however, as he wanted to make abortion a federal crime (more about that in next week's column.) Given that fact, I continued to talk about their philosophy. I asked if they opposed waiting periods for abortions. They did. A right delayed is a right denied, they reminded me. “So, have you talked to the gun rights groups, who also oppose arbitrary waiting periods for the same reasons you do, about joining forces?” They hadn't done that, either. “Well, how about the cancer patients who want to use medicinal marijuana? That's a ‘Keep your laws off my body’; issue. Have you talked to those people?” Again the answer was no.

“You use the term ‘Pro-Choice,’” I said to the women from NARAL. “I realize that as an abortion-rights group, abortions are going to be your focus, but are you pro-choice on anything other than abortion? Of all the other rights that are under assault, are there any that you think are deserving of protection, or is legal abortion the only one?” They didn't have an answer for that.

When I left the two women, they had confused looks on their faces. I got NARAL's lukewarm endorsement, which I expected, but I wonder if I got them to think about the idea of consistent principles.

Keep your laws off my body, they said. I went easy on them. If I'd really wanted to see smoke come out of their ears, I'd have asked where they stood on prostitution.

John Ross 5/19/03

26 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
The two 5th Wheels that were in the spaces south of me left this morning. I was not sorry to see them go. They not only had a barking dog but were a couple of big time light pollution contributors. I guess they were afraid of all the wild animals out here in the untamed West. I've been very lucky during my stay here, these were the only neighbors that really irritated me.

The mornings have become colder and darker. My move south will not do anything about it staying dark later and later in the morning but the low temperatures are forecast to be in the 60s rather than the lower 50s. The expected highs are also warmer but will be tolerable if they are in the 80s.

I have the Will Rogers weekly article project planned for today. That will cut into my reading time but I need to get that done. Probably start household chores tomorrow.
An illuminating history of North America's eleven rival cultural regions that explodes the red state-blue state myth. North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an “American” or “Canadian” culture, but rather into one of the eleven distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory.

If Woodard is right that late arrivals adopt the culture of the ‘nation’ that they move into then the Biden plan for changing red voting nations to blue by sending illegal immigrants to those area is going to fail. He has simply added more potential votes to the blue column. That would be very ironic to say the least. A recommended book although he does not have all that much to say about El Norte where I live. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent, and the rivalries and alliances between its component nations, which conform to neither state nor international boundaries. He illustrates and explains why “American” values vary sharply from one region to another. Woodard reveals how intranational differences have played a pivotal role at every point in the continent's history, from the American Revolution and the Civil War to the tumultuous sixties and the “blue county/red county” maps of recent presidential elections. American Nations is a revolutionary and revelatory take on America's myriad identities and how the conflicts between them have shaped our past and are molding our future. — Book promo @
This is going to hit the Biden/Democrat support base hard this winter. The same problem he has with the price of gasoline but more restricted to his base. Does he restrict imports or ignore the Jones Act with a Executive Order? An interesting dilemma.
Parts of New England have become more dependent on natural gas for electricity after retiring coal, oil, and nuclear plants. Demand has outgrown the region's decades-old pipeline network, which local politicians have resisted expanding. They can't buy LNG from other parts of the US because the Jones Act requires it be transported on US-flagged tankers, which don't exist. So they're buying it from overseas. Some areas may have to pay almost as much as European countries for power. — Notes on Inflation, John Mauldin

27 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
Working on household chores today is the plan. I got holding tanks dumped soon after breakfast. Will get the bathroom cleaned up and all the floors washed down before the day is done. Desperado's cab may get cleaned today or perhaps tomorrow when I also have laundry to do.

That will give me more than I want to do along with the dog(s) walks. Will cut into my reading time also.
Can a country be like a marriage that has run out of cash and steam, resulting in the inevitable frank discussions about just who is pulling his or her own weight? Eventually, even those who love each other sometimes conclude they cannot stay together.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The title is somewhat misleading for one. The editing of the book is also not what I expect with a lot of bold text. Then there's the egregious error where William Feather is identified as a Native American chief. A lot more attention to Canada's and Mexico's possible untying than to The United States in my opinion. Juan Enriquez's unique insights into the financial, political, and cultural issues we face will provoke shock and surprise and lead you to ask the question no one has yet put on the table: Could “becoming untied” ever happen here? It's a question made especially relevant when we are faced with such unpromising facts as:

• At no other time have we had the unwelcome convergence in which the three key sectors of business, government, and consumers are so tapped out due to debt that each lacks the financial wherewithal to come to the rescue of the others.

• Most assets are not being used for productive purposes but for speculation, resulting in people lacking incentives to create real wealth, focusing instead on buying, selling, and flipping real estate.

• As religion starts to mix with politics, we have a culture that allows us to fall behind what were previously third world nations, because we are now treating science the way we did sex in the 1950s, banning or burying evolution theories and research into promising lifesaving areas such as stem-cell research.

When the enemy was outside—for example, the threat perceived when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik and people feared America would lose the brain race—we rallied. Now the enemy is within, and we polarize. Defaming the legitimacy of people on the “other” side becomes the currency of the day, where people in blue states are seen as godless liberal elitists and those in red states are seen as, well, rednecks.

Citizenship, Enriquez says, is like buying into a national brand. If the brand promises one thing and delivers another, could it then have the same fate as a tired product on a supermarket shelf, eroding, losing support, even disappearing? Countries, even one as powerful and successful as America, live on fault lines. When a fault line splits, it's near impossible to put things back together again. What America will look like in fifty years depends on what we do today to act on the issues raised in The Untied States of America. — Book promo @
“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” — William Feather, publisher of William Feather Magazine and author.

28 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
Another new neighbor on my southside with a very long bumper pull trailer. The tow vehicle is unique; never have seen before what looks to be a 20 passenger party bus used as a tow vehicle. They then have a full sized SUV as well; that is probably used as a pilot car when they are moving from place to place.

I also had an unusual overnight neighbor to the northwest of my space. There is a small tree at the location that became the overnight resting space for a bee swarm. They arrived sometime during the day and were gone by the next morning. This is the second time that I have seen a bee swarm in the Fall. They usually swarm in the Spring but I have never seen one at that time.

I got the laundry done and was sitting down for breakfast soon after 8:00 so the day was off to a good start. I'll get Desperado's cab cleaned up sometime today and that should complete my move preparations.

Some quotes from As We Were Saying by William Feather. The book is simply full of good quotes.
• The surest index to the character of a nation is the type of men whom the people have clothed with the mantle of greatness, for these men by their works have expressed what the people are thinking and feeling deep down in their hearts.

• A man is said to be old when he thinks the girls are getting prettier and the climate is changing.

• I am an old man, and have had many troubles, most of which never happened.

29 September 2022
Wheel Inn RV Park
Fredonia, AZ
I think I'm ready to hit the road tomorrow. So today the plan is to do as little as possible which is not a big reach from my usual routine.

The weather forecast for the next 10 days at my next camp is a very boring 85° high and a 59° low for almost every day. The morning lows here have been in the lower 50s with the forecast lows next week to be in the upper 40s. So I'm getting out at the right time.
I could not find a book promo for this book that was first published in 1923. Amazon has a reproduction that was digitized by Google but they do not say anything about the book. The Google digitized version that I downloaded for free is rather poor so buyers beware at Amazon where they want $21.75 for the paperback. It is a compilation of short columns that the author wrote for various media of the day. It is very entertaining and as I said before it is just chock full of great quotes. Recommended, but get the free download.

So there is no longer a Nord Stream 2, or a Nord Stream 1, but Biden now refuses to take credit for their destruction. I think by early 2023 president Biden is going to be hated by more Germans than will be president Putin. President Putin has been saying over and over again that Russia is more than willing to sell gas to Europe but now president Biden has made good on one of his promises.
If Russia invades, that means tanks or troops crossing the – the border of Ukraine again, then there will be – there will be no longer a Nord Stream 2… We will – I promise you – we will be able to do it. — President Joe Biden during a joint press conference with Chancellor of Germany H.E. Olaf Scholz Feb. 7, 2022

30 September 2022
High Plains RV Park
Sun Valley, AZ
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: September 30, 1934

The route today was 298 miles with part of it on US89 from Kanab, UT to Bitter Springs, AZ something I had not been on since riding it on a bicycle in 1990. I could remember a few parts of the route but my memory kept saying that it was flatter than what I was seeing. I do remember that the day from Page to Kanab was tough because of a headwind but there are a lot more climbs also that I had forgotten.

The route:AZ389, US89A, US89, N. Lake Powell Blvd, N. Navajo Dr, US160, AZ264, AZ87, BIA602, BIA60, BIA15, Navajo Service Rd6/AZ77, I-40 (2mi), Sun Valley Rd & Ramada Rd. no pic

The N. Lake Powell Blvd and N. Navajo Dr. was off the direct route To stop at the Ranch House Grill for breakfast. Had a good veggie omelet with cubed potatoes and tortillas; my usual away from home breakfast. It was good but it was also tourist town prices. Just a couple blocks back on N. Lake Powell Blvd I stopped at Safeway and did my weekly shopping. It was good to be able to buy the big containers of non dairy yogurt again. Their shelves also seemed to be better stocked than what I have been seeing in Kanab.

Today was the first time in all the years and all the miles we have driven together that Patches gave up her navigator chair and went to her bed. About two hours after leaving Page she went to bed. I stopped about an hour after that and let the dogs out for a potty break and I got a good drink. Patches then reclaimed her chair for the rest of the day.

We have almost the same distance to cover tomorrow but the roads should be smoother so she will probably stand for the entire trip. This is just another sign of her aging.

The Park that I have selected for an overnight was close to AZ77 but that is about all that I can say that is positive. It is not that bad for an overnight stay and the owner is great but I would not want to stay here very long.