1 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
The day started like almost all of our days except we did only half the usual morning walk. Got on the road a few minutes before 6:30 with the first stop in Holbrook, AZ to fill Desperado with gas. This was the first time that I have paid less than $4 ($3.949) since 27 February 2022. I saw a few stations that were even cheaper than that as I drove south.

Then stopped at Persnikkity's Cafe in Show Low, AZ for breakfast. It is a rather small place that does a very good business; they stayed almost full all the time I was there. They are expensive but I guess they are everywhere now. I'll probably be in for a rude awakening when I go to my favorite restaurants here and in Sierra Vista.

Then did a stop in Thatcher, AZ for all of us to take a potty break. Patches did stand in her chair for the entire trip today but has collapsed in her bed now that we are in a camp again. Erik has collapsed also although he sat beside me the whole way.

The route today was the exact same 298 miles as the day before. The route: Ramada Rd, Sun Valley Rd, I-40 (8 miles), Navajo Rd/Apache Ave/AZ77, US60, US70, US191, I-10 (58 miles), N. Ocotillo Rd & Unnamed Rd (turn right at Denny's to enter the Park from the west). no pic

That was my day so far. I'll do a shorter afternoon walk with the dogs then get them back to their usual routine tomorrow. It will be disrupted again on 5 October when they go to the groomer for their bath. That is going to be very interesting with Erik. I suspect I'm going to have a story to tell about his first bath assuming that he even allows them to give him one. HA

2 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
There is not much changed with our routine just in a different place. I even remember the routes that we walked although I'm modifying them slightly because Patches doesn't do the same distances she once did.

I have the same space that I had here before most of the time I was here. But it is only temporary and I'll be movinging into a narrower space that doesn't have 115v on the pedestal. I like to have that to plug in my basement heater during the cold months. I'll need to do a work around.

Feeling tired and a bit sore from the two days drive. Therefore the plan for today is to do very little. I noticed that I was not stepping out at my usual pace this morning; dogging it while walking the dogs.
Marilyn Monroe: Tragic, Misunderstood Star, or Serial Killer?, or
Doesn't Anyone Have Principles Anymore? Part II
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.

Last week I told you about my interview with the NARAL women when I was running for Congress in 1998. This week I'll tell you about my meeting with the pro-life folks during the same time period.

The pro-life representatives I met with at the VFW hall were just as adamant about their issue as the NARAL reps had been the day before. Abortion is murder, they told me more than once. Many wanted a federal law saying as much, and wanted doctors performing abortions to be tried for murder.

“Let's talk about murder,” I replied. “Remember Susan Smith, the mother who decided to get rid of her two young sons in 1994? She strapped them in their carseats in the back of her Mazda, rolled down the windows, put the car in gear, and let it drive itself into a South Carolina pond, drowning the two boys. She then reported the vehicle carjacked, with her two boys in it. The truth soon came out, and Smith was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Do any of you think that verdict was excessive?” None did, and several in the group said they felt Smith deserved the death penalty.

“New question: Suppose Susan Smith had instead had an abortion when she first learned she was pregnant? And suppose she did it by obtaining on the black market the RU-486 “abortion pill,” so that no doctor performed the abortion procedure. Should she be serving life in prison then? Would you have me introduce a federal bill to make this a murder?” Silence from the group. “Keep in mind that the RU-486 pill induces a miscarriage. Given the fact that RU-486 is commonly available in many countries like France that Americans freely visit, it is available here on the black market, without a doctor's supervision. If abortion becomes a federal crime, as my opponent proposes, what does that mean for women who want to get pregnant, do so, but then have natural miscarriages?” I waited to see if anyone would connect the dots. In a few moments, one did.

“Probable cause,” a man said under his breath. “Federal agents investigating miscarriages.” Involuntary looks of distaste appeared on all faces.

“Many of you might think that farfetched,” I told them. “But do you really think we should count on federal agents to avoid investigating clear probable cause, particularly when they can pump up their felony arrest records with non-violent ‘criminals’ who pose no physical risk to them? You all know my position on the Federal Government's ever-increasing power over us.” I held out news clippings about asset forfeiture excesses and other cases where lives had been ruined by federal abuse of power.

“Forget Susan Smith,” I said, wanting to really get their attention. “I just read a biography of Marilyn Monroe.* Do you know how many abortions her biographer says she had during her life?” The looks on their faces said they dreaded hearing the answer, but had to. “An even dozen.” Every person in the room winced, but I continued. “Would you have a woman like that executed for serial murder?” Heads shook around the room.

“Look, law without punishment is merely advice,” I pointed out. “My opponent wants to make abortion a federal crime, but I won't support a law if I'm not willing to have it enforced on someone who breaks it. I'm not willing to charge a woman who has an abortion with murder. Are you? What do you really want me to do on this abortion issue?” The answer surprised me, in that I thought it was very reasonable, which was something I had not expected from this group.

“We think abortion is wrong,” one man finally said. “Not as wrong as drowning your toddler, maybe, but still wrong. And the worst part of it for us, is that we're being forced to help make it happen. Our tax dollars pay for this evil.”

“On your second point we're in complete agreement,” I told the man. “The federal government should use no public money to pay for or subsidize abortions, and I'll vote that way every chance I get.” For the first time since our meeting had started, a bunch of people actually smiled at me.

I had gone into that meeting prepared for real hostility. I came out with some new friends, and a surprising number of people asked for my business card. These folks told me they liked the way I analyzed things. They wanted me to work with them on their investments if I didn't end up in Washington. Most of them probably wouldn't vote for me, they admitted, because I wasn't straight down the line on the pro-life issue, as my opponent was. But talk to my daughter, one of the men who had asked for my card told me. She's just out of college and not as firm on the issue as me and my wife, you could probably get her vote.

Overall, I thought that was about as good an endorsement as a candidate could want.

John Ross 5/26/03

3 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
The forecast highs here during the next ten days are to be between 87° and 75 with lows between 59 and 55. If that happens then I think I made a good decision to move when I did.

I have nothing planned for today other than the routine. I do have a couple of books that I have downloaded that need to be read but that is just routine.
The first book in Bernard Cornwell's bestselling Grail Quest series, in a bright and bold repackage.

This is the first of another historical fiction series by Bernard Cornwell. I liked all of his previous series and this book did not disappoint. Cornwell is one of the best historical fiction writers. Recommended! The year is 1342. The English, led by Edward III, are laying waste to the French countryside. The army may be led by the King, but it is the archers, the common men, who are England's secret weapon. The French know them as Harlequins.

Thomas of Hookton is one of these archers. But he is also on a personal mission: To avenge his father's death and retrieve a stolen relic. Thomas begins a quest that will lead him through fields smeared with the smoke of fires set by the rampaging English, until at last the two armies face each other on a hillside near the village of Crécy. — Book promo @

4 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
There was lightning flashing north of us this morning. Nothing close because I didn't hear the thunder. A lot of clouds that look like they could rain but they are all along the horizon for now. The professional weather guessers think there is a 34% chance of thunderstorms this afternoon.

All the spaces to the west of me have been trenched up to the electric pedestals. This is the first step in installing 50 amp service to all the spaces in the south row where I would prefer to be. I'm here temporarily and will move to the middle row within a month.

I worked out what our walking routes will be while we are here. If we do all three walks during the day the total distance will be 5 to 5.4 miles with the noon walk being 2 miles. Erik seems to be happy to do them all but does pull a lot on the short leash in the morning. He does a good walk on the short leash in the afternoon and does a great walk on the 4' leash at noon.

Moved Desperado forward in the space this morning to give them more room to do their electrical work. I was going to move anyway to get closer to the dump outlet. Did holding tank dumps and added water. That is all I plan on doing today. I'll have a busy day tomorrow in Sierra Vista with dogs getting their bath and me running around town getting some other stuff taken care of.

5 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
I was attacked by a psoriasis flare as I went out the door to do our morning walk. A very heavy sweat and diarrhea. I was able to get cleaned up and feeling bad I didn't want to miss the dogs bath.

When we got to town I left the dogs with the groomer and told her again that Erik could fight and bite. When I picked them up the groomer said that Erik did very well. She put a muzzle on him when doing his nails but he did not try to bite.

Went to my UPS Store and got all the mail they were holding for me. None of it was important which just gives me another reason to discontinue service with them.

When we got back to my Space at the Park I went to bed. Have been there almost all day. I hope I'm better tomorrow.

6 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
Today was shopping day in Benson. The Safeway is about a mile from the Park and the Farm House restaurant is only three more blocks from there. Therefore my driving time is significantly reduced from most of the Parks where I have stayed.

I had breakfast at Cafe Olé in Sierra Vista yesterday and the Farm House here this morning. Prices have gone up but are still $3-6 cheaper than what the restaurant in Kanab, Page or Show Low charged. Benson and Sierra Vista are not the tourist towns that the other three are which I think is the only difference in pricing policy.

My computer repair guy has had health issues and took on an assistant. One of his duties was to reorganize the shop so now my Chromebook is fixed but has been put away where the owner now needs to look for it. I have gone this long without it and I like my System 76 very much. The Chromebook will be a backup computer.

We had a trace of rain on the 4th and last night got just over a trace at 0.01''. Maybe more scattered thunderstorms this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow but the chances of those happening are all less than 50%.

I feel a lot better today. The low level fever broke last night along with some heavy night sweats. The flash red baboon butt has appeared but most of the associated symptoms have been mild since yesterday morning and the general tiredness during the day. I'm maybe at 75% so I will cut back on the walk distances today and then see how I feel tomorrow.

7 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ no
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: October 7, 1934

I think I overestimated my energy level as being 75%. With the reduced distances and slower pace yesterday I still felt tired when we were done. I'll be doing the same reduced distances and see if the pace picks up before going back to our usual routine.

Patches is also a sick dog this morning. She did the morning walk but did not get up with her usual bouncing joy and did not eat all her breakfast. When she doesn't eat I know she is sick!

I have nothing on the To Do List for today so will see if Patches and I can both recover with some rest.
The law of kind has always and in everything domination; there is no rubbing nature against the hair.…
Nature, deplorable as some of its manifestations may be, must always and inevitably assert itself.…
And what has happened to the waltz has happened to all popular music. It was once innocent but is now provocative; once pellucid, now richly clotted; once elegant, now deliberately barbarous. Compare the music of The Beggar's Opera with the music of a contemporary revue. They differ as life in the garden of Eden differed from life in the artistic quarter of Gomorrah. The one is prelapsarian in its airy sweetness, the other is rich, luscious and loud with conscious savagery. — Essays New And Old by Aldous Huxley

Important to remember that all of the military action on the ground in Ukraine will be a sideshow compared to the economic warfare that will wrack Europe. The United States and Europe got a big bucket of cold water poured over their heads today with OPEC+'s announcement that they will cut production by two million barrels of oil. No matter how much lipstick Biden and Blinken try to put on this pig, OPEC+'s message to the west is clear—fuck off! If foreigners really believed that Russia was getting its ass handed to it, do you think the OPEC nations would stick their neck out and adopt a policy that helps Russia? I don't. — More Military And Economic Considerations In Ukraine, Larry Johnson

A White House statement following the OPEC+ decision to defy the Biden administration with an output cut for November vows to find new ways to temper OPEC's control over energy prices [More sanctions, we need more sanctions]. Earlier on Wednesday, members of OPEC+ said they would cut November production quotas by 2 million bpd, citing the ”uncertainty that surrounds the global economic and oil market outlooks“. The decision immediately led to a more than 2% increase in Brent crude and WTI prices and goes directly against the Biden administration's attempts to lobby Saudi Arabia for higher production to bring prices down. Shortly after the release of an OPEC+ press release detailing the output cuts, the White House said, “In light of today's action, the Biden Administration will also consult with Congress on additional tools and authorities to reduce OPEC's control over energy prices.” — White House Disappointed With OPEC's ‘Shortsighted’ Decision, Charles Kennedy

It is useless and unnecessary to appeal to the prudence of our enemies in the West, the enemies must be forced to ask for mercy in the lost economic battle and end it with their complete and unconditional surrender. — Dimitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia since 2020, former president of Russia & former prime minister of Russia
I do not believe that Dimitry Medvedev was drunk or insane when he said this. I believe he is serious and reflects a view that is widely shared among the Russian leadership. The last seven months has been an eye opener for Medvedev and his colleagues in terms of discovering that the Americans and Europe see Russia as a piece of meat to be carved up and consumed. There is no solution based on compromise or negotiation with the west. Medvedev laid it out starkly and concisely—“complete and unconditional surrender.” Americans Better Wake Up And Realize The Russians Are Genuinely Pissed Off, Larry Johnson

8 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
Patches is eating again so she is better but like myself she is not yet back to her 100% energy level. We are doing reduced distance walks for my benefit, Patches is doing her usual distances. It is Erik and myself that are getting the added rest.

It looked like we could get wet when we did the afternoon walk but the rain held off until about 4:30 when there was a short shower then an even shorter one at 8:30 for a total of 0.07''. The forecast is that there is a 50% chance that it will happen again this afternoon.

There are no customer reviews that I could find for this book which was published in 1925. It has been republished but is not a number one seller. There are a lot of essays with some good and some not so good but you have to read it and make up your own mind which is which. I liked about half of them.

The quote is from president Putin's speech as translated on The Saker with comments by Andrei.
This is why total de-sovereignisation is in their interest. This explains their aggression towards independent states, traditional values and authentic cultures, their attempts to undermine international and integration processes, new global currencies and technological development centers they cannot control. It is critically important for them to force all countries to surrender their sovereignty to the United States.

Comment by Andrei: here Putin brings it all to the crux of the problem: the West cannot and will not tolerate any true sovereignty, not abroad not even at home (hence the stolen elections)! As for Russia and the countries of what I call “Zone B”, their end goal is exactly that, full sovereignty. So while the Cold War was, at least officially, a struggle between capitalist and Marxist ideologies, the new Tepid War we see now pits hegemonists against sovereignists in a zero-sum struggle in which one party will prevail and the other simply disappear.

In certain countries, the ruling elites voluntarily agree to do this, voluntarily agree to become vassals; others are bribed or intimidated. And if this does not work, they destroy entire states, leaving behind humanitarian disasters, devastation, ruins, millions of wrecked and mangled human lives, terrorist enclaves, social disaster zones, protectorates, colonies and semi-colonies. They don't care. All they care about is their own benefit.

Comment by Andrei: here Putin lists the type of hell on earth the West unleashes against any country or even ethnicity which dares to disobey it. The “fruits” of western capitalism are “the destruction of entire states, leaving behind humanitarian disasters, devastation, ruins, millions of wrecked and mangled human lives, terrorist enclaves, social disaster zones, protectorates, colonies and semi-colonies”. Only a terminally ignorant, or brainwashed, person could argue against such an indisputable historical legacy!

I want to underscore again that their insatiability and determination to preserve their unfettered dominance are the real causes of the hybrid war that the collective West is waging against Russia. They do not want us to be free; they want us to be a colony. They do not want equal cooperation; they want to loot. They do not want to see us a free society, but a mass of soulless slaves.

Comment by Andrei: in simple terms, Putin indicates to the Russian people why they are fighting this war and what is truly at stake: the survival of the Russian nation as such. — Putin's September 30, 2022, speech – a commented reading, Andrei Raevsky

9 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
We didn't even do a reduced afternoon walk yesterday. About the time we were to go out it was raining. The local reporting station claims that there was no rain but I could see that we were going to get wet if we stepped outside so canceled the walk. The forecast is there will be a 40% chance of it happening again this afternoon.

I had an east side neighbor for 3-4 days that left yesterday morning but was replaced by another in the same space by the afternoon. I'll be moving into my permanent assigned space in the middle row on the 11th when I get back from having work done at D & J RV Center. That space does not have any neighboring spaces on the east side so I'll have a view that is better than some RV next door.

During the past few days I have received three online orders which has replenished my stock of hulled barley, oat groats, cranberry beans and chicory. I also got ten pounds of cannellini beans and six pounds of millet that will give me a change in what I have for meals.

I think I made a bad mistake which led to the recent psoriasis flare. Some people have flares triggered by eating foods from the nightshade family; I think I might be among them. To give me a change for the past month or so I have been eating ‘linners’ that included eggplant as a change from the squash that I had been eating.

I didn't give it a thought that eggplant was in the nightshade family or that it could be a trigger. That may not be what caused the flare but eggplant and other foods from the nightshade family will no longer be in my diet, or if they are they will be in reduced amounts.

What I need to order now is more Earthborn for Patches and Erik. Patches has been getting a slightly reduced serving but the two of them still go through a 25 pound bag rather quickly it seems.
This response was made by the ‘leader’ of the United States. Dosen't it make you proud to be an American? When asked about his age, mental acuity, and focus on 60 Minutes, Joe Biden responded:
Oh, it's focused. I'd say it's— I think it's— I— I haven't— look, I have trouble even mentioning, even saying to myself, my own head, the number of years. I no more think of myself as being as old as I am than fly. I mean, it's just not— I haven't— observed anything in terms of— there's not things I don't do now that I did before, whether it's physical, or mental, or anything else.

Jean Simmons, Marlon Brando, StripperMom, and Me, or
The Eternal Dance
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.

One recent rainy Saturday afternoon, the 1955 film Guys and Dolls was showing on cable. This is one of my all-time favorite musicals, and it had been ten years or more since I'd seen it last. My memory was of spirited vocal numbers and colorful costumes, and the film did not disappoint.

What I had forgotten was the absolute lightning-bolt level of electricity between Jean Simmons, as the straightlaced Sarah Brown, and Marlon Brando, playing the worldly gambler Sky Masterson. To refresh your memory, Sky bets Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) a thousand dollars that he can persuade any girl Nathan chooses to fly to Cuba with him the next night for dinner. (This is in 1955. The equivalent today would be flying a woman to an all-nude strip club for dinner.) Nathan takes the bet and points to Sarah Brown, a young woman working for the Save A Soul Mission and trying unsuccessfully to interest New York City foot traffic in being saved.

Brando (Sky) realizes he's made a sucker bet, but isn't about to concede defeat. What follows could be used as a textbook lesson for creating and amplifying attraction between a man and a woman. Hollywood does this a lot (see just about any James Bond movie) but I can't think of a film where it's been done any better.

A particularly delicious moment comes when Sky knows he has Sarah interested, and asks her to join him on the trip. She asks why he's going to fly to Cuba to have dinner. “Because I'm going to be hungry” is his immediate answer. You can literally see Sarah's desire for him increase with this oblique line. Sarah shows some real spine herself, and the energy builds to the point where Sky realizes he's fallen in love with her. All the while, Sarah's Uncle Arvide (another Mission worker) sees exactly what's happening between the two, and obviously approves.

By contrast, Sinatra as Nathan Detroit is the opposite of Brando, harried and henpecked by his girlfriend Adelaide and generally trying to play catch-up in life. Sinatra was not pleased at having to play Nathan rather than Sky, and it's easy to see why. Nathan sparks no electricity.

The film ended, leaving me with good feelings and the reminder that mystery and uncertainty can create an energy with a life of its own. It was dinnertime and I was hungry. Sky Masterson had gone to Cuba; I headed for a little restaurant near my house where they know me. The food there is both good and cheap, the waitresses both cheerful and attractive, the owner and his wife both good-hearted and quick-witted, and the patrons usually both intelligent and friendly. In short, my favorite sort of place to go when I want to let someone else do the cooking.

I took a seat at the bar and ordered the beanless chili. When Scott brought my food, he began asking me about the financial markets and what I thought about This Whole Terrorism Thing. This went on for a time; it was still much too early for the Saturday night partiers to be making an appearance, so Scott didn't have a lot to do.

A youngish couple was sitting a few stools away. Both of them were slim and good looking, and the woman had an air of quiet elegance. The man had short hair and wore black jeans and a black t-shirt, a kind of bohemian artist chic. She was in rather more expensive tailored cashmere and wool. I liked how she carried herself and the way she was made up; Jean Simmons came almost immediately to mind. Her hair, for example, was the stuff of shampoo ads, not bleached-out and lifeless or looking like she'd soaked it with used crankcase oil, two common current fashions. No wedding band was visible.

The pair spoke to each other occasionally and with serious expressions on their faces. A few minutes later, Scott went off to mix someone a drink, and I caught the eyes of the couple.

“You two look really good together.” Both of them looked startled, he with pleasure and she with slight discomfiture, which she tried to conceal by quickly thanking me. A thought clicked in my mind: He's a friend, not a boyfriend. I chatted with them about the menu for a few moments, told them nothing about myself, then returned to solving the world's problems with Scott. When the young man excused himself to visit the washroom, the woman got my attention and volunteered that her companion was “just a friend.” I nodded and went back to my conversation with Scott.

“Excuse me,” I heard her ask, “but ah…what do you do?” This question came after a point I'd made to Scott about the differing roles of police and military, as I was standing up to leave. I turned around and looked the woman in the eyes, considering her question. Jean Simmons and why do you want to go to Cuba for dinner? flashed through my mind. “I heard you talking, and I had to ask,” she explained when I didn't answer immediately.

“I make dreams come true.” (As an investment adviser and a fiction writer both, I strive to do just that, so this was a true answer, just like because I'm going to be hungry.)

“No, really.” The look she gave me was pure Jean Simmons with Brando. This was fun.

“One way or another, that's exactly what I do.”

“That's not an answer—just tell me what you do for a living.” I thought of how Brando looked at Simmons, appraising her, and what his character might have said. I took my time answering.

“Did you come in here tonight to screen for a future husband? Isn't this fellow” (I gestured towards Bohemian Artist) “good enough? Shouldn't you at least wait until after he kisses you goodnight before you go on the prowl?”

This brought out a stunned look and the deepest blush I think I have ever seen on an adult. Bohemian Artist was watching our exchange with an expression that I took to be morbid fascination. It was time for a change-up:

“You seem focused on occupations, why don't you tell me what you do for a living?” This brought out a knowing smile, one like Jean Simmons started to use as the story developed.

“What do I look like I do for a living?” she asked, throwing it back at me. This was getting better. I considered the question, and made a point of looking her over. I thought of Miss Adelaide and the Hot Box Girls, the antithesis of this woman's understated elegance.

“You're a stripper.” (Understand that preposterous as my “guess” was, I delivered it with a straight face, and there are more than a dozen strip clubs within a half hour of where we were sitting.) Her jaw hit the floor. “So I guessed right, huh?”

“I'm A MOTHER! I have two children!”

“And stripping pays a lot better than being a receptionist, so you can work fewer hours and be with your kids more,” I said as I laid some bills on the bar to cover the cost of the chili. “That makes perfect sense to me. StripperMom,” I said, nodding. “I like the sound of that. See you later, Scott,” I said as I put on my coat. “Bye, StripperMom. It was nice to meet you and your boyfriend.” I stepped out into the damp air, jingling my car keys, feeling good, thinking of Jean Simmons, and wondering what eventualities I might have set in motion. I was certain I'd run into StripperMom again.

Two weeks later I walked into the same establishment and saw Jack, a young accountant who works at a firm that handles tax matters for some of my clients. He waved me over.

“Hey, JR! You been out of town? C'mere, let me introduce you to-”

“StripperMom! You know Jack?”

“You mean JR is the guy who nicknamed you StripperMom?” Jack asked. StripperMom was Jack's date that evening, having met him a few days earlier. She'd told him the story of the night two weeks before. Apparently he'd liked the sound of the nickname, and it had stuck.

The two were there with some of Jack's friends, and the group was all about to go across the street to another place to have dinner. They invited me to join them, and I did. It was at dinner that StripperMom told the group about herself.

It seems that after an early marriage that lasted just months, StripperMom had met and married a young man about to graduate from medical school. A few years later they had a child; a bit later, another. Now she was tired of her husband and wanted a divorce, the house free and clear, private school tuition for both boys, the chart level of child support, and $5000 a month maintenance for at least ten years, since she'd never worked.

Yow! Goodbye Jean Simmons, hello Faye Resnick! I slid my chair a little farther away, wanting to be outside the blast radius in case her estranged husband had arranged for a Mexican divorce. I had that wonderful feeling of week-kneed gratitude you get sometimes when you're skiing the backcountry. You come to a roll you're tempted to jump, but at the last moment decide to ski up to it slowly and check it out instead, and you discover that a cliff with boulders at the bottom lies just on the other side.

During dinner, StripperMom brought up the first words I had said to her the night we met, and asked me if I thought she looked good with Jack. Much better than with the Bohemian Artist, I assured her, as I once more wondered if the bumper sticker wisdom concerning beautiful single women* might have some truth to it.

My feelings must have been noticeable (women are very good at picking up on emotions), because a bit later the woman sitting next to me put her hand on my arm and said “Jack's mentioned you before but we haven't been introduced. My name's Midge. I have a good job that I like, and no pending legal proceedings of any kind.” The expression on her face said let's see if you can even breathe at my altitude. I tried to think of a good response.

What the hell would Sky Masterson say if he met up with Dorothy Parker?

John Ross 6/2/03

*“Remember that whenever you see a beautiful, single girl, somewhere there's a guy who's glad to be rid of her.”

10 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
We got very wet yesterday afternoon. The shirt that I wore was still far too wet to wear this morning and the bib overalls were very damp but I wore them. Boots and even the socks were still very wet.

The nearby reporting station claims there was 0.23'' of rain but I think there was more here. The Park had 1-2'' of water running down the road in front of Desperado with that same flow running under my entry steps. There was a lot of standing water on the route that we walked this morning.

I have an appointment with D & J RV Center tomorrow to get Desperato's roof coated. They sealed it before I left for the summer and the rain yesterday provided a good test. The best I could see there were no leaks. However, I had the windows open so there was water on the floor and in my one chair. The other chair was reasonably well protected by the coffee bag curtains which were soaking wet.

That was the excitement for the day. The more mundane thing that I accomplished was to get more red hominy and cranberry beans cooked for future ‘linners’. No more eggplant, I'll be added some squash when I reheat and serve.
I think Russia answered the question that Larry Johnson posed with the missile strikes this morning. Russia has confronted terrorist before and defeated them; what makes the US ‘planners’ think they can use terrorist to bring down Russia now. The US experience in Syria should have taught them a lesson but apparently not.
Russia is being attacked by the United States and NATO via proxies–i.e., Ukrianians—and now realizes that it must not only defeat Ukraine militarily; it must neuter the West. Those are the stakes and Putin's upcoming meeting with his National Security council will shed light on how Russia plans to deal with this genuine existential threat. — Will Russia Go Tit-For-Tat On Terrorism Or Will It Take The High Road?, Larry Johnson

I liked the book that I read by Colin Woodard and was reading an article that mentioned this book of his. So, I have downloaded it as well as another book with a disunion of the US theme. Both of them are now on my Fire 8 awaiting my finishing the couple books that I am currently reading. I'm finding more books to read faster than I can read them. HA.
At this writing our Republic faces existential dangers not unlike those of the 1820s, when the federation was sharply divided along regional lines and its members uncertain of what, if anything, held it together. The paths Union's principal characters fought over remain before us, and the survival of the United States is at stake in the choices we make about which one to follow. — A Note From The Author, Union by Colin Woodard

11 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
I had an appointment with D & J RV Center this morning to do a roof coating. I was led to believe that it could be done today and I would be back in my space in Benson by this evening. When I asked if I could stay inside Desperado with my dogs while they did the roof the guy at the checkin said “Not while we are on the roof.” He then said it was going to take two days because it had been raining and they were afraid that it would rain again which would destroy all the work done. It was at about that point that I tore up the work order and went back to Benson.

I'll find someone to do the coating. Maybe someone that will even let me stay inside with my dogs while they do it. D & J RV Center is not a place for RV fulltimers to go for RV repair service. Many years ago this was not the case but since the owner turn the business over to his wife and son they have focused on providing RV repairs for local residents that use their RVs for vacations and can leave the RV to be worked on at the Center's leisure.

When I got back to Benson I went to the Benson Animal Hospital to ask in person if they would board my dogs while I was having cataract surgery by the Tucson VA. They did not reply to my email asking that question. The answer when asked in person was NO. They did give me the contact information of a place in Tucson that will do that. I may stop and talk to them next week when I go for my VA eye appointment.

What I managed to do today was burn up about 10 gallons of gas, have breakfast at Country House restaurant and get the contact information for a dog boarding place in Tucson. Not a very satisfying day so far although I have moved into my ‘permanent’ space here at the Park and got the sewer cap off.
Is America a Myth?
By Robin Wright for The New Yorker September 8, 2020

The United States feels like it is unraveling. It's not just because of a toxic election season, a national crisis over race, unemployment and hunger in the land of opportunity, or a pandemic that's killing tens of thousands every month. The foundation of our nation has deepening cracks—possibly too many to repair anytime soon, or, perhaps, at all. The ideas and imagery of America face existential challenges—some with reason, some without—that no longer come only from the fringes. Rage consumes many in America. And it may only get worse after the election, and for the next four years, no matter who wins. Our political and cultural fissures have generated growing doubt about the stability of a country that long considered itself an anchor, a model, and an exception to the rest of the world. Scholars, political scientists, and historians even posit that trying to unite disparate states, cultures, ethnic groups, and religions was always illusory.

”The idea that America has a shared past going back into the colonial period is a myth,” Colin Woodard, the author of Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood, told me. “We are very different Americas, each with different origin stories and value sets, many of which are incompatible. They led to a Civil War in the past and are a potentially incendiary force in the future.”

The crisis today reflects the nation's history. Not much, it turns out, has changed. The country was settled by diverse cultures—the Puritans in New England, the Dutch around New York City, the Scots-Irish dominating Appalachia, and English slave lords from Barbados and the West Indies in the Deep South. They were often rivals, Woodard noted: “They were by no means thinking of themselves belonging to a protean American country-in-waiting.” The United States was “an accident of history,” he said, largely because distinct cultures shared an external threat from the British. They formed the Continental Army to stage a revolution and form the Continental Congress, with delegates from thirteen colonies. Almost two hundred and fifty years later, a country six times its original size claims to be a melting pot that has produced an “American” culture and a political system that vows to provide “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Too often, it hasn't.

Centuries later, the cultural divide and cleavages are still deep. Three hundred and thirty million people may identify as Americans, but they define what that means—and what rights and responsibilities are involved—in vastly different ways. The American promise has not delivered for many Blacks, Jews, Latinos, Asian-Americans, myriad immigrant groups, and even some whites as well. Hate crimes—acts of violence against people or property based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or gender identity—are a growing problem. A bipartisan group in the House warned in August that, “as uncertainty rises, we have seen hatred unleashed.”

When Athens and Sparta went to war, in the fifth century B.C., the Greek general and historian Thucydides observed, “The Greeks did not understand each other any longer, though they spoke the same language.” In the twenty-first century, the same thing is happening among Americans. Our political discourse has become “civil war by other means—we sound as if we do not really want to continue to be members of one country,” Richard Kreitner wrote, in the recently released book Break It Up: Secession, Division and the Secret History of America's Imperfect Union. At different times in America's history, the Union's survival was produced as much by “chance and contingency” as by flag-waving and political will. “At nearly every step it required morally indefensible compromises that only pushed problems further into the future.”

The attempt to reckon with our unjust past has produced more questions—and new divisions—about our future. In Washington, D.C., last week, a group commissioned by the city's mayor, Muriel Bowser, recommended, in a report, that her office ask the federal government to “remove, relocate, or contextualize” the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and statues to Benjamin Franklin and Christopher Columbus, among others. The committee compiled a list of people who should not have public works named after them, including Presidents James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, and Woodrow Wilson, the inventor Alexander Graham Bell, and Francis Scott Key, who wrote the national anthem. After a deluge of criticism, Bowser said on Friday that the report was being misinterpreted and that the city would not do anything about the monuments and memorials. But a question remains, not just because we live in the era of Black Lives Matter: What is America about today? And is it any different from its deeply flawed past?

There was always an ambiguity about what the United States was supposed to be, Woodard said. Was it supposed to be an alliance of states (as the European Union, with twenty-seven distinct governments, is today), or a confederation (like Switzerland, with its three languages and twenty-six cantons), or a nation-state (like post-revolutionary France), or even a treaty mechanism, to prevent intra-state conflict? After the American Revolution, the “ad-hoc solution” was to celebrate the shared victory against the British; core differences were not addressed. Today, America is still conflicted about its values, whether over the social contract, the means of educating its children, the right to bear or ban arms, the protection of its vast lands, lakes, and air, or the relationship between the states and the federal government.

Last week, President Donald Trump threatened to withhold federal funds to four major cities—New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Portland—because of “anarchist” activities during weeks of protests. “My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones,” the President's five-page memo said. It was the latest of many acts by Trump that have further divided the nation, although the trend did not start with him.

Since the eighteen-thirties, the United States has gone through cycles of crises that threatened its cohesion. The idea of a revolutionary republic committed to equality (at the time, only for white men) started to erode as regional differences surfaced and the first generation of revolutionaries died out. States or territories have repeatedly pushed for independence—Vermont formally joined the Union in 1791, after spending fourteen years as an independent republic. The State of Muskogee, a multicultural republic of Native Americans, escaped slaves, and white settlers around Tallahassee, lasted from 1799 until 1803. In 1810, a small group of settlers captured a Spanish fort in Baton Rouge and declared the creation of an independent Republic of West Florida; their capital was St. Francisville, Louisiana. They elected a president, wrote a constitution, and designed a flag (a white star on blue); the movement died after President Monroe annexed the region. There were others, including the Republic of Fredonia, in Texas, the California Republic, and the Indian Stream Republic, in New England. The biggest rupture, of course, was in the eighteen-sixties, when eleven states—Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia—seceded to form the Confederacy.

Wide divisions again threatened to cause a breakup of the nation in the nineteen-thirties, the nineteen-sixties, “and now again?” the Yale historian David Blight told me. Today, America is littered with prideful secessionist movements. Mirroring Brexit—Britain's exit from the European Union—they advocate for Texit (Texas), Calexit (California), and Verexit (Vermont). In 2017, a Vermont poll found that more than twenty per cent of Vermonters believed that the state should consider “peaceably leaving the United States and becoming an independent republic, as it was from 1777 to 1791.” The Texas Nationalist Movement, which claims hundreds of thousands of members, is demanding a state referendum on secession. Then there's the more fanciful proposal for Cascadia, a progressive bio-republic carved out of northern California, Oregon, Washington, and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta. The trend is bipartisan and transregional; secessionist sentiment has even emerged in the last two states to join the union—Alaska and Hawaii.

The need for internal trade and the dangers of external threats have helped hold America together. Disparate factions throughout the country rallied to counter British aggression in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; the Germans and the Japanese, in the twentieth; and Al Qaeda, after the 9/11 attacks, in the twenty-first. But, now, without outside threats, the nation is increasingly turning on itself. “We are definitely not united,” Blight said. “Are we on the brink of secession of some kind? No, not in a sectional sense. But, in the interior of our minds and our communities, we are already in a period of slow-evolving secession” in ways that are deeper than ideology and political beliefs. “We are tribes with at least two or more sources of information, facts, narratives, and stories we live in.” The United States today, Blight said, is a “house divided about what holds the house up.”

In his new book, Kreitner argues that, with its politics irrevocably broken, America is running out of time. The potential for physical and political separation is now real, even though the polarization of America does not have neat geographic borders. No red state is entirely red; no blue state is entirely blue. “The twenty-first century has seen an unmistakable resurgence of the idea of leaving or breaking up the United States—a kaleidoscopic array of separatist movements shaped by the conflicts and divisions of the past but manifested in new and potentially destabilizing ways,” he writes. Unlike in the past, the current separatist impulses have emerged in multiple places at the same time. “Often dismissed as unserious or quixotic, a throwback to the Confederacy, the new secessionism reveals divisions in American life possibly no less intractable than the ones that led to the first Civil War,” Kreitner warns.

In the years to come, the appeal of pulling the plug on the American experiment is likely to grow, even among faithful adherents to the idea of federal power. And, if the Union dissolves again, Kreitner writes, it will not be along a clean line but “everywhere and all at once.” In some ways, the election, now only eight weeks away, will be a temporary relief, at least in ending the current agonizing uncertainty. But it will play only one part in deciding what ultimately will happen to our nation. “Are we a myth? Well, yes, in the deep sense. Always have been,” Blight said. To survive, America must move beyond the myth.

12 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
Today was my regular shopping day so I unhooked and went to town for groceries and breakfast. I could have avoided the extra hooking and unhooking by doing the grocery gathering yesterday but did enough for one day. I was also upset by what D & J had wanted me to do to get the roof coated.

The ‘new’ restaurant in town was closed yesterday and this morning with the parking lot roped off. This restaurant has been in business under three names since I have been coming through Benson in the past few years. This latest one one opened in June soon after I left Huachuca City and not that long after I had a meal there in January. I hope they are just resurfacing the parking lot and not out of business already.

I have an appointment this afternoon with a woman who does pet sitting. Maybe I'll have something lined up for the dog's care if I get scheduled for cataract surgery. The other alternative is the place in Tucson that was referred to me.

That is all that is happening here today.

13 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
The woman that will pet sit Patches and Erik if I have cataract surgery came by when she said she would. She scored a point for that. Erik was great with her which was so good to see; another point scored. Therefore I think I have my ducks in a row for taking care of the dogs. The transportation to and from Tucson will have to be worked out when the VA schedules the surgery.

I think we are about to enter Fall. The 10 day high temperatures forecast starting on Sunday will be in the 70s and the lows will be in the lower 50s. It has already felt colder in the mornings with the past five days having lows in the upper 40s. I've been wearing my wool shirt/jacket.

I have the distiller working again which provides distilled water and also adds some heat in these cooler mornings. That is a good thing but it also adds heat in the afternoons when it is not needed. HA
For the first time in four years comes a new book in George MacDonald Fraser's long-running series chronicling the adventures of Sir Harry Paget Flashman. Eleventh in the series [#12 in chronological order], Flashman and the Tiger features not one, but three stories of international intrigue that find the fictional Flashman thrown headlong into historical events around the world.

This was the last book in the series if you were to read them in Flashman's chronological life. However, the three stories were written to fill the gap years that were left in all the previous books. A great series and MacDonald is a very good historical fiction author. Recommended! This time out Flashman is thwarting an attempted assassination of Austria's Emperor Franz Josef (The Road to Charing Cross); getting to the bottom of the Tranby Croft gaming scandal—and the Prince of Wales' involvement in it (The Subtleties of Baccarat); and, in the title story, impacting the Zulu war while hunting down a longtime enemy. At once meticulously faithful to fact and wildly fanciful, Flashman and the Tiger is an educational romp through the annals of history; thirty years after he began the series, Fraser is at the top of his game. — Book promo @

14 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: October 14, 1934

There is not much happening here with me and the dogs today. I'm feeling better and have started to add some distance to our walks once again. The noon walk is back to two miles and I have added back the short leash walk with Erik in the morning. That leave only the short leash walk with Erik in the afternoon and we will be back to doing about five miles per day again.

That will then probably get disrupted by VA appointments. Or maybe by getting someone to do the roof coating on Desperado?

Cloudy this morning and feels much colder than the reported temperature. Distillation is complete. Maybe do some cooking tomorrow.

15 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
There was heavy cloud cover this morning. The weather guessers give them a 50% chance of producing a thunderstorm. We might not get all of our walks done today.

If the rains do come, that will give me more time to finish reading the book that I started online a long time ago. I don't like the online viewer much so I tend to avoid reading books there when I have something else on Fire 8. I have a couple more online books awaiting so I need to finish this current one.

There is not much News, the cycle has grown repetitive. Somewhat like what my daily postings are like.
This is just the beginning of the end for the $ as a reserve currency.

“Bank Indonesia has called on importers and exporters to use national currencies in international payments to reduce the dependence of Indonesian financial markets on the US dollar, Indonesian news portal reported on Friday, citing the regulator's senior economist.…
China, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia have already agreed to use the mechanism of two-way payments, with Singapore and the Philippines planning to join the system, the economist added.”

16 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
We got a couple brief rain showers yesterday for a total of 0.07''. I thought there might be a repeat of that today with heavy cloud cover this morning when we did our walk. However, by the time we finished the walk most of those clouds had moved on. The forecast is that a stray shower or thunderstorm is possible today.

I have more hulled barley and oat groats cooking in the Thermal Cooker today. That and to finish reading the book online will be my accomplishment for today.
“If Airplanes Were Like Computers…”, or
Why Your Nerd Friend is Dumber Than You Thought
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.

People that know me more than casually know that I like to fly, and that I own two airplanes. In their eyes, that makes me An Authority. When these people are computer enthusiasts, sooner or later they will make the inevitable comment that if the airplane industry were as savvy as the computer industry, every couple of years the speed and load capacity of airplanes would double. Sometimes they use the auto industry instead of airplanes.

I used to think these people were just making jokes, until one of my clients made the above statement, then looked me in the eye and with utter seriousness, asked “Why has commercial airliner development become so stagnant? The 747 is what, over thirty years old? Commercial jets ought to be a lot bigger and faster than that by now, right? You know a lot about airplanes—is it because of all the government regulations?”

To my mind, this was like asking “Why can't a 2003 minivan carry several times the people at several times the speed of a 1985 minivan,” but my client was serious. Understand that the person asking me this question is the founder of a half-billion-dollar company in the tech industry, so he is no stranger to engineering issues, let alone arithmetic. In case any of you have wondered about this same subject, I'll explain:

The more general answer to his question involves the concept of Absolute Limits, which you approach as a technology matures. For example, a vehicle's interior volume obviously cannot exceed the exterior space the vehicle takes up, so there's a limit to how much stuff you can make a vehicle carry and still have it negotiate your driveway and fit in the garage. A full-size van is about as good as you're ever going to get, as far as cargo-carrying goes given an acceptable overall size.

Aviation has experienced computer-like advancement, but it was from 1900 to 1930. In 1903, the Wright brothers' first airplane could fly less than ¼ mile nonstop (its first flight was much less than that.) A few years later, a plane flew across the English Channel, 100 times as far. Twenty years after that, there had been another hundredfold increase, to 3000 miles, with Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic. Not too long after that, piston-engined airplanes were nudging up against a number of absolute limits.

“What,” I asked the computer industry professional, “is the maximum speed processor chip that could be made, eventually, for a laptop-size PC? 10 Gigahertz? 100 Gigahertz? 500 Gigahertz? 5000 Gigahertz? More?” He conceded that it could be even higher.

The point is that we're now at only a small fraction of where we will eventually be, with computers. But with airplanes, 99% of everything that could be known about subsonic aerodynamics was known by 1940. Aircraft, particularly the ones that fly at subsonic speeds, are a mature technology. Computers, marvelous as they are, are not, yet. In 1935 we could make an airplane that would carry two people at 180mph on 8 gallons per hour and climb 1000 feet per minute. We can better that today a little bit, but not by much, certainly not double like the computer guys are used to seeing every couple years. Not if the airplane has to carry human-size passengers, fly in air, and be propelled by a fuel that exists on earth.

Lightplane designs today are a LOT better than the ones from 1910, but they're not much different than those of the 1940s. My 2001 Pitts Model 12 has IMO the finest flying characteristics of any biplane in the world. But it is maybe only 10% “better” than Samson, which was an aerobatic biplane (with a whacking big 450HP Pratt & Whitney radial engine) that Curtis Pitts designed and built in 1947.

Think about that. 45 years to go from not being able to fly AT ALL, to doing 4000 feet per minute climb (50% more than a Learjet) and 180 mph cruise on 25 gallons per hour. Fifty-five years later, the Model 12 has similar performance on 360HP and 15 gallons per hour, with a 50% faster roll rate than Samson. This isn't because Curtis and every other designer in the world is complacent or lazy or not trying hard enough, it's because we're damn close to an absolute limit imposed by the laws of physics.

But since airplanes aren't constrained by road widths or garage sizes, why couldn't we at least have airliners lots bigger than the 747, that would fly at the same speed, you ask?

The specific answer to this question is found in the relationship between Area and Volume. Double the size of an airplane (make it twice as big in every direction) and the weight will go up by a factor of eight (Length x Width x Height; 2 x 2 x 2 = 8). The wing area (which is what gives the plane lift) only gets four times as big (Length x Width). When a plane eight times as heavy has a wing with only four times the lifting area, the wing loading doubles. See the problem?

The 747 itself is an engineering triumph because of its wing. The next time you're in one, look out the window and watch what the wing does before landing. It changes its shape (and increases its area) drastically, increasing lift and allowing the plane to fly slowly enough without stalling to land at a reasonable speed, 140 mph or so IIRC. (It can't be that shape all the time, or cruise speed would be way too low.) That's why a ten-year-old can make a balsa glider in an afternoon that will fly, but if you built a six-foot scale model of a 747, to get the same wing loading as the full-size jet you'd have to make the model out of SOLID LEAD. No engineer on earth design the wing for a double-scale 747 that would let it fly slowly enough to get in and out of O'Hare. God could do it, but He'd have to change either Earth's gravity or His laws of physics first.

All of this may seem like a boring engineering discussion to some of you, but others will see the relevance here: It's fine when my clients wonder why other industries aren't advancing like computers. It's another matter when Washington decides legislation is all we need to make it happen.

Keep this in mind the next time your congressman cavalierly introduces a bill mandating a 50% across-the-board increase in gas mileage for all vehicles sold in this country. Heaven help you if you need something that can haul a sizable load.

John Ross 6/9/03

17 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
It was cold this morning with a low of 43.5° and about 46 when we started our walk. I wore my wool shirt jacket but just a short sleeve t-shirt as a first layer. I think it might be time to start wearing a long sleeve wool first layer.

I will get outside and do the holding tank dumps and add water soon but not in a rush. It is still under 60°. That is all I have on the To Do List for today. Tomorrow I will go to the VA in Tucson and find out if they are going to schedule me for cataract surgery. If that happens I'll have a lot of arrangements to make that will get me to and from Tucson.
Dos Passos has never been attracted to the strict logic of plot, but Chosen Country surpasses even his earlier work in looseness of organization. The few customer reviews at Amazon and gave this boon 4.5 and 4 stars. I might give it 2.3 or 3. This review is spot on when they say he writes without a strict logic of plot. Read it if you are reading everything Dos Passos wrote but I don't recommend it. The plot concerns Jay Pignatelli, who develops after his World War I experience into a lawyer with vaguely radical leanings, and the independent and sensible Lulie Harrington, briefly employed at writing advertising copy in Chicago. Although there is a casual early encounter, it is only in the last pages of the book that the two really meet and fall in love; the rest of the novel is divided into precise, internalized evocations of a few significant episodes of their separate lives, and eclectic biographies of their forebears and of some odd figures representing typical intellectual currents. The panoramic biographies seem flaccid and monotonous in comparison with those of USA. What virtues of moderation and affection Chosen Country possesses are almost entirely contained in the nostalgic but scrupulous passages celebrating, in the personalities of the heroine and hero, American innocence and idealism. — One paragraph from a long review.
Instead of Biden's national security team trying to make friends and influence others, they are pursuing a policy of pissing off friends and goading enemies. Not exactly a recipe for success. The reality is that the United States is taking actions that are likely to isolate it from other countries as global economic conditions worsen and the war in Ukraine turns increasingly sour for NATO. I suspect that Russia is including this factor in its overall planning for defeating Ukraine and neutering NATO. — What Is Russia Planning To Do Next In Ukraine?, Larry Johnson

18 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
I had my appointment with the VA eye doctor this morning and he has set up an appointment with the surgeon for 1 November. At that time the surgeon might schedule the cataract surgery for the right eye. The left eye is not being recommended for surgery but the surgeon may think differently. But it is my right eye first — maybe.

The dilation of my eyes caused more problems for me today than in the past. I wanted to stop at a Denny's on the way out of town and had a hell of a time finding it in a huge shopping complex. They did not have their usual tall sign and I could not see well enough until I was close to it. I was close a couple of times but not close enough. HA

I had a strong headwind getting back to Benson with a quartering wind from time to time that was pushing me around when the 18-wheelers weren't. Not a very pleasant drive.

The dogs did a potty walk before we drove to Tucson but I think I'll skip Erik's noon walk. Stay inside where the bright sun dosen't hurt my eyes. Then maybe I can take Patches and Erik out for the afternoon walk.

Not only is a political super-cycle transitioning, but bubbles are bursting on all fronts:

The Ukraine war ‘bubble’ is deflating as the U.S. and Europe reach the bottom of the arms ‘inventory barrel’; as Kiev's finances tank and as its forces reel from heavy losses. Kiev and NATO face rather, the daunting prospect of a major Russian offensive maybe shortly — perhaps in early November.

The second bursting bubble is that of Europe's ‘business model’. Much of EU industry simply is now uncompetitive, having ‘lost’ cheap Russian gas and oil. Simply put: the cost of energy is bankrupting Europe's industry.

The third is the biggest of all: It is the ‘zero inflation–zero interest rate/QE’ bubble that has begun to burst. It is huge. And strategically, the Gulf represents the last pool of genuine ‘liquidity’ that historically has been a reliable purchaser and holder of U.S. Treasuries.…

And just at this very moment, Biden elects to go to war with those Gulf energy producer states who almost uniquely hold the credibility of U.S. Treasury bonds in the palm of their hands. Washington exudes no apparent awareness of the gravity of combined events — nor of any need to tread carefully. — The Leviathan Super Cycle Ends; Western Leaders Pretend They Didn't Notice, Alastair Crooke

The EU is beginning to fall apart so it makes perfect sense to form an EU-like agreement with the countries of North America? Mexico would probably like the agreement. I'm not so sure that Canada would.
The United States could become more closely united with Canada and Mexico as there are reportedly negotiations in the works between the Biden administration and these countries to form a European Union-like agreement, according to Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz.

Gaetz, R-FL, told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Friday [14 October 2022] that he was made aware of the backdoor talks by Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and said he has personally reached out to Secretary of State Antony Blinken for more information. — Matt Gaetz says Biden admin wants European Union-like deal with Canada and Mexico: ‘Globalist order’, Lawrence Richard

19 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
I took Erik to the group class in Sierra Vista this morning after we did our morning walk. I had him on the 4' leash while walking him in the morning and I could tell he was not going to do very well in the class. That proved to be correct but when I put the 18'' leash on him he did reasonably well. The trainer thought he was doing well.

He met a lot of people and other dogs and behaved great. He also settled down after the first thirty minutes and did much better in the second half of the class. The plan is to take him to the classes for the next two weeks and then will see when I can after the VA appointment with the surgeon.

Stopped at Sunny D's in Huachuca City for breakfast on the way back to Benson. They have made some menu changes and now have a veggie omelet without cheese on the new menu. The waitress was the only one of the staff that I recognized that was there when I left the area.

Went to Safeway in Benson where I did the grocery gathering that would have been done yesterday if my vision was not so screwed up by the dilation. I picked up a few different items because I'm making some menu changes at home also. No nightshade vegetables!

20 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
I said yesterday that I was planning on taking Erik to the group classes for the next two weeks. I still plan to do that but at the same time really don't know that it improves his behavior or obedience. I have probably hit a plateau in his training; he has learned everything that I'm capable of teaching him and the class doesn't teach him it tries to teach me.

The low this morning was 44.2° but the forecast lows during the next few days are to be in the 50s. Then back to the lower 40s by the end of the 10 day forecast. The high temperatures will be in the lower 80s and upper 70s. Not much wind so we are having some very nice weather.
Then the Soviet Union faced its final crisis, and the great-grandchildren of the people who rushed to the barricades to overthrow the Tsar, and the grandchildren of the people who endured tremendous privation to defeat Hitler, shrugged and let the whole thing come crashing to the ground.

We are far closer to such scenes here in the United States than most Americans realize. For that matter, our European client states may be much closer to a repetition of the collapse of the Warsaw Pact states in 1989 than most Europeans realize. Again, politics may be downstream from culture, but culture is downstream from imagination. Now that the corporate-bureaucratic system has lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the public, and the parade of officially approved experts marching past the cameras of the mass media has become a clown show earning more guffaws than genuflections, the unraveling of the current state of political affairs is coming closer by the day. It's simply a matter of when the system runs into a crisis it can't meet without the help of the people, and the self-anointed masters of the world discover to their horror that the help in question will not be forthcoming.

How soon will that happen? In the nature of things, that's impossible to know in advance. One thing that interests me is that a great many people seem to grasp this, at least on an intuitive level. The increasing contempt for government and corporate flacks and their abject dishonesties isn't expressing itself in a rush to the barricades or the kind of violent outbursts so many people have expected. Instead, people are hunkering down, cutting their losses, ignoring the increasingly hysterical demands coming from government and corporate sources, and waiting. My guess is that they're waiting for the fall of the current system—and it's by no means certain that they will have to wait all that long. — Waiting For The Fall, John Michael Greer

21 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: October 21, 1934

We have been back to doing a total of five mile walks these past couple of days. The psoriasis flare side effect of very low energy has mostly gone away although my pace is a bit slower. The dogs don't seem to care.

I have nothing on my To Do List for today so maybe get caught up reading a few books/articles that I have started.
By the bestselling author of American Nations , the story of how the myth of U.S. national unity was created and fought over in the nineteenth century—a myth that continues to affect us today.

Woodard is a journalist and author but he presents history in a far more understandable manner than the academic historians. The primary characters in this book are not individuals that get a lot of coverage by the academic historians. The author also presents a side of Woodrow Wilson that the historians have kept swept under the rug as best as they could. Recommended! Union tells the story of the struggle to create a national myth for the United States, one that could hold its rival regional cultures together and forge an American nationhood. On one hand, a small group of individuals—historians, political leaders, and novelists—fashioned and promoted the idea of America as nation that had a God-given mission to lead humanity toward freedom, equality, and self-government. But this emerging narrative was swiftly contested by another set of intellectuals and firebrands who argued that the United States was instead the homeland of the allegedly superior Anglo-Saxon race, upon whom divine and Darwinian favor shined.

Colin Woodard tells the story of the genesis and epic confrontations between these visions of our nation's path and purpose through the lives of the key figures who created them, a cast of characters whose personal quirks and virtues, gifts and demons shaped the destiny of millions. — Book promo @

22 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
Today is just another routine day. I have nothing planned other than to try and finish reading a very long speech by John Quincy Adams delivered to the New York Historical Society in 1839. This was a prelude to the next book that I have also started to read.

The weather continues to be very nice which has me motivated to keep doing the total five mile distances with Erik. I think he has improved slightly when on the 18'' leash during the morning walks. Still nothing like how good he does the afternoon walk with that same short leash. Maybe in another 10 years he will do as well as Patches does but even she pulls more in the morning.
Lorenzo Sabine was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts that is now more remembered for his research and publishing concerning the Loyalists of the American Revolution than as a public servant.

I read only the preliminary historical essay which is a little over 100 pages, the rest of the 684 page book is Biographical Sketches of Loyalist/Tories which I did not read. It would be a great resource for anyone trying to trace their ancestry. The historical essay is well worth reading since it was written 50 years after the events when people still remembered what happened rather than what someone told them had happened. From early childhood, Sabine, in his own words, was “revolution-mad.” But, not until 1821, when he moved to Maine and was close enough to pursue his passion, did he realize the great resource available and the profound, for the times, insight that “there was more than one side to the Revolution.” Prior to this “every ‘Tory’ was as bad as bad could be, every ‘Son of Liberty’ as good as possible.” During the 1840s, Sabine published the results of his research in the North American Review (the United States’ first literary magazine). The article was not well received by “patriotic” Americans. One of the few to applaud his research and publishing was Harvard-based historian Jared Sparks. When the fruits of his labor appeared in 1847 in revised and expanded form as The American Loyalists, or Biographical Sketches of Adherents to the British Crown in The War of the Revolution; Alphabetically Arranged; with a Preliminary Historical Essay a firestorm of controversy erupted. — From Lorenzo Sabine Wikipedia

23 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
The Red Barn has ‘barn dances’ from time to time and other events. Yesterday they had an outdoor wedding; maybe the reception in the barn. A welcome service in a small community I'm sure.

It is forecast to be much cooler today with the high to be 72°. Maybe some rain later today and tonight with a 81% chance. Rain during the night will be fine but it needs to quit by the time I go to town to do my laundry and pick up groceries.

Today I'll do holding tank dumps and read the history book that I have started on Fire 8. I also have an online book that I can switch to from time to time.
Divorce, Sidney Biddle Barrows, and First Principles, or
Things Don't Get Better if You Don't Believe Anything's Wrong
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.

A disturbing number of the couples I know have been divorcing lately. In most cases, one of the spouses had been having an affair. The breakout of who was doing it was about even, with the wives slightly edging out the husbands. I came across a book written for women about this, purporting to be able to tell wives how to prevent their husbands from looking elsewhere. It made me reflect on my own theory of first principles. Some backstory:

When I went to college in central Massachusetts, one of the things that most annoyed me was that a progressive traffic signal system seemed to be a completely alien concept to the urban planners who had laid out the stoplights. Time after time I would drive between Amherst and Northampton on Route 9, often late at night when there was almost no traffic, and be forced to wait at ten or more stoplights in a mile-and-a-half stretch of ruler-straight, six-lane pavement. There was no speed (legal or illegal, at any hour, in either direction) that you could drive your car on this section of road and hit less than five stoplights. (I haven't driven this road for many years. Conditions may have improved since 1979.) [Update: A reader just emailed me and said the signal system is as bad as ever.]

Compared to what I was used to in the Midwest, this was deplorable. I complained bitterly about it to my best friend Tim Luehrman, asking why the city planners in charge of stoplights couldn't fix the lack of synchronization. He immediately replied, “They don't think there's anything wrong.” I was dumbstruck by the wisdom of my friend's words. How often that must be the case, I reflected, when there's something that needs fixing, and we aren't in a position to be allowed to fix it. The people with the authority to do something don't think there's anything wrong.

Soon thereafter, whenever an economics professor using the case method would ask the class “What's the first thing that this company needs to do?” I would always answer “Recognize that they have a problem.” The first time I did this, I got a condescending chuckle. Then the lecturer saw that my point was valid; companies (and people) often get into trouble precisely because they don't recognize that there is something wrong.

When I was in Milan, Italy one summer, I stopped at a cafeteria during lunch hour on a weekday. Dozens of office workers had stopped in for a quick bite before returning to work. Here's the way the cafeteria worked: You looked over the food, then walked back to the cashier, described what you wanted, she rang up the sale, you paid the ticket, then you went back with your tray, showed the ticket to the people standing by the food, and they served it to you.

For a place that was obviously catering to business people in a hurry (many ate standing up), this was a remarkably inefficient method for a cafeteria to do business. It was even more so for patrons like myself who didn't speak Italian, and there were several non-Italian-speakers trying to order lunch at the same time I was. Was the American system, where you slide a tray around, pointing at what looks good and paying at the end, so undesirable? It's faster, with everyone moving in the same direction instead of back and forth (good for lunch in a business district), you don't need to speak the language (good for an international travel destination), and it promotes add-on impulse buying, as with desserts (good for business in general). I mentioned this to a Swiss friend a few days later. He laughed. “They're Italians and they still live in Italy,” he said, as if that explained everything. The fact was the owners didn't think anything was wrong.

I thought of these things when I came across a copy of Just Between Us Girls by Sidney Biddle Barrows, the so-called “Mayflower Madam” who ran a high-quality call girl service in New York City in the 1980s before the vice squad shut her down. The thesis of this book was that men are “straying” from their marriages, and if wives only knew what call girls knew, the wives could prevent the straying behavior before it happened.

This book reminded me of the definition of a consultant: Someone who uses your watch to tell you what time it is. There are many reasons a man seeks female companionship outside his marriage, but even the dullest-witted woman ought to know that almost all fit into one of two general categories: 1) He is one of those men who craves variety, no matter what his wife is like (think JFK), in which case there's not much his wife will ever be able to do about it other than look the other way or divorce him, or 2) There's something he needs or wants that he isn't getting from his wife, and it's important enough to him that he can't resign himself to just doing without it for the rest of his life.

If the situation is the second category, a woman doesn't need a madam or a call girl to tell her what her husband wants from her. He wants the same things she'd say she wanted from him, if she took the time to make a list. In my observation, both genders want (in no particular order):


Physical desire

Positive outlook on life


Kindness and Playfulness

If you show no interest in your spouse's dreams or goals, then you have little respect for your spouse, and your spouse may find respect elsewhere.

If lovemaking is infrequent or nonexistent, your spouse may get it from someone else.

If you often complain of your dissatisfaction in life instead of doing something about it, your spouse may enjoy the company of someone with the opposite tendency.

If you have a habit of gambling away money, spending it on drugs, running up unsecured debt, getting drunk, and making promises that you don't keep, your spouse will prefer being with someone he or she can count on.

If you're not nice to your spouse, and never tease or flirt with him/her, your spouse will find someone who is and who does.

Men and women both have these needs, it seems to me. This is not rocket science. You don't need degrees in psychology or the credentials of a New York City madam to figure this out.

Can you imagine a pool boy writing a book called Just Between Us Boys, explaining to a male audience that the reason married women had flings with pool boys like him was that the husbands had no interest in their wives, didn't care about what was important to their wives, constantly complained, had gambling or spending problems, never flirted with their wives, and on top of all that expected the wives to support them financially? Reviewers would ridicule the book for displaying such a firm grasp of the obvious.

Do married men have as many (or more) affairs as married women? I don't know. I'm certain they patronize call girls more often than married women hire gigolos. A husband is more likely to find a partner outside marriage who provides what he needs, even if it is only for an hour, than he is to discuss with his wife the fact that she's not providing those things. As has been stated by one sociologist after another, men are more oriented towards fixing problems rather than talking about them.

Go back to first principles: First understand that something is wrong, then fix it.

Don't let your marriage or your life be like the traffic signals on Route 9 in Massachusetts.

John Ross 6/15/03

24 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
The trip to town started off as planned but the plan soon fell apart. I got laundry done and moved on to Safeway, in the same shopping complex, to gather groceries for the week. It was when I went down the street a few blocks to the Horseshoe Cafe that the plan no longer worked. That restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday. I continued on with the plan from there to my vet where I made appointments for Erik and Patches to get their annual shots.

I had checked to see if the ‘new’ restaurant that is on my way into town was open and it looks like they lasted about four months. So I went to Denny's which is the closest restaurant to the Park and had breakfast there.

When I took Erik out for a potty break at 0:30 there was a light rain. The local reporting station claims that we got 0.10'' and it had finished by the time we did our morning walk. What was not finished was a strong cold wind that has continued with the temperature only up to 55° by 10:00. I think winter may have blown in.

We may have to put on some warmer clothes for our noon and afternoon walks.
The President himself is no more than a representative of public opinion at the time of his election; and as public opinion is subject to great and frequent fluctuations, he must accommodate his policy to them; or the people will speedily give him a successor; or either House of Congress will effectually control his power. It is thus, and in no other sense that the Constitution of the United States is democratic — for the government of our country, instead of a Democracy the most simple, is the most complicated government on the face of the globe. From the immense extent of our territory, the difference of manners, habits, opinions, and above all, the clashing interests of the North, South, East, and West, public opinion formed by the combination of numerous aggregates, becomes itself a problem of compound arithmetic, which nothing but the result of the popular elections can solve. …

The Constitution of the United States was the work of this Convention. But in its construction the Convention immediately perceived that they must retrace their steps, and fall back from a league of friendship between sovereign states, to the constituent sovereignty of the people, from power to right — from the irresponsible despotism of state sovereignty, to the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. In that instrument, the right to institute and to alter governments among men was ascribed exclusively to the people — the ends of government were declared to be to secure the natural rights of man: and that when the government degenerates from the promotion to the destruction of that end, the right and the duty accrues to the people, to dissolve this degenerate government and to institute another. The Signers of the Declaration further averred that the one people of the United Colonies were then precisely in that situation — with a government degenerated into tyranny, and called upon by the laws of nature and of nature's God, to dissolve that government and to institute another. Men in the name and by the authority of the good people of the Colonies, they pronounced the dissolution of their allegiance to the king, and their eternal separation from the nation of Great Britain — and declared the United Colonies independent States. And here as the representatives of the one people they had stopped. They did not require the confirmation of this Act, for the power to make the Declaration had already been conferred upon them by the people; delegating the power, indeed, separately in the separate colonies, not by colonial authority, but by the spontaneous revolutionary movement of the people in them all. — The Jubilee of the Constitution: A Discourse (1839) by John Quincy Adams
The Jubilee Of The Constitution was a discourse delivered at the request of the New York Historical Society, in the City of New York, on Tuesday, the 30th of April, 1839. This being the Fiftieth Anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as president of the United States, on Thursday, the 30th of April, 1789.
It is ironic that Adams included the statement that I have presented in bold type. Some twenty years later ‘the people’ were defeated in the Confederate War of Independence when they tried to ‘dissolve a degenerate government and to institute another’.

25 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
This morning my hands were freezing. When I finished the first lap with both dogs I got my gloves before doing the second lap with just Erik. It was after I got back from our walks that I found that the low this morning was 29.7°. That is definitely winter weather.

Went online to buy a Y adapter from 30 amp to one 30 amp and one 15 amp and could not find the one that I had bookmarked previously. Sent an email asking if it was no longer available or could they sell me one.

Also went online and tried to buy some new insulated gloves. Found what I wanted and ordered them. Thought I had bought some gloves but then received an email that the order had been canceled. "An order cancellation can occur by your request, due to insufficient inventory to fulfill your order, or systematically due to invalid characteristics within your order information. If you have any questions regarding this, please call Customer Service at 800-210-2370." Replied to the email asking why the cancellation.

Winter has arrived and I can't buy the two items that I need. I could probably get the gloves from Amazon but still have them on my sanction list.
In a large republic, Madison realized, the majority's will could more easily be frustrated, for the people would be fragmented across a vast landscape divided by innumerable barriers to coordination. The task of organization would be too daunting. With the right kind of constitution, all those differences of interest, identity, and ideology thought dangerous to the Union could actually secure it against the turmoil that had destroyed past confederations.

To Madison, the purpose of forming a more perfect Union wasn't to unite Americans but to keep them divided, to make the federal government less responsive to popular complaints, to minimize the avenues available for the redress of grievances—especially if those grievances had to do with the woefully unequal distribution of wealth and property, including the kind of property with an inconvenient tendency to run away. In an enlarged republic, Madison wrote, “Society becomes broken into a greater variety of interests, of pursuits, of passions, which check each other, whilst those who may feel a common sentiment have less opportunity of communication and concert.” To Madison, that brokenness was a good thing—the less “communication and concert,” the better. Fracture would be a feature, not a bug, of the new system he sought to devise. — Break It Up by Richard Kreitner

26 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
We did our usual morning walks and I then drove to Sierra Vista for Erik's group training class. I would probably get more out of the class if I could hear but I do what I can do. Erik did well but the class plus getting there and back to the Park wears him out. He has crashed; I'll give him, and myself, a break with no noon walk.

It was not as cold this morning with the low at 34.3°. I was also better prepared for the cold with my gloves on at the start. Much colder than the forecast of 41 and with the 10 day forecast lows being in the lower 40s and upper 30s we are probably going to see more freezing or near freezing mornings.

Have not received a reply from the Y adapter provider or an answer to my question of why my glove order was canceled. I would still like to know why but have ordered the gloves from Wal*Mart and should have them by the end of the month. Today I'll order a Y adapter that has a 30 amp male and two 30 amp female plugs plus one 30 amp to 15 amp adapter from a different provider. I no longer care if the email gets answered or not they are not getting my business.

That is all that I have going on. The News is also rather sparse as well; probably writing up stories for the midterm elections.
Are the current state nullifications of federal law a prelude to a breaking up of the ‘Union’?
James Petigru, a prominent South Carolina unionist, saw only ill omens. “Nullification has done its work,” Petigru observed. “It has prepared the minds of men for a separation of the States, and when the question is mooted again it will be distinctly union or disunion”. — Break It Up by Richard Kreitner.

”…[A]ll state laws legalizing marijuana are illegal since they're in conflict with federal narcotic laws, but states have simply refused to enforce these federal laws and so have “nullified” them. Likewise, states controlled by the left have allowed various cities and counties to become “sanctuaries” in which they refused to abide by federal immigration laws. And no, the Marines were not sent in nor did any state or city even suffer the loss of federal funding. It is time our side use this tactic as a way of protecting our constitutional rights." — It's time for Red States to start nullifying federal law, Steve Baldwin

With President Joe Biden issuing a flurry of executive actions last week to strengthen federal gun laws, state representatives across the country are working in the opposite direction, taking a page from the playbook of immigration activists by advancing legislation that would make their enforcement illegal. On April 6 [2021], Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed the first gun control nullification bill into law. — More Than A Dozen States Are Trying To Nullify Federal Gun Control, John Osterhoudt
27 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
It was much warmer this morning with the low at 41.9°. However, tomorrow morning could be a very cold one with the forecast low to be 37°. The usual reported low is almost always lower than what is forecast.

The gloves I ordered from Wal*Mart might be delivered today which will be a just in time delivery. The gloves I have now are still serviceable but are falling apart — they should last one more day. The Y adapter and 30 amp to 15 amp adapter I bought on eBay should be here by month end.

The water pipes in the basement can withstand a light freeze. It is the hard freeze with temperatures under 20° that I need protection against. There is no 15 amp service on the electric pedestal here so that is the reason for the adapters.
Is it coincidence or when looking at the path of history, it seems to go in circles not a straight line. We see history repeating itself rather than we keep repeating history.
The Wide Awakes were a youth organization and later a paramilitary organization cultivated by the Republican Party during the 1860 presidential election in the United States. Using popular social events, an ethos of competitive fraternity, and even promotional comic books, the organization introduced many to political participation and proclaimed itself as the newfound voice of younger voters. The structured militant Wide Awakes appealed to a generation which had been profoundly shaken by the partisan instability in the 1850s, and offered young northerners a much-needed political identity. — Wide Awakes Wikipedia

Woke is an English adjective meaning “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination” that originated in African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). Beginning in the 2010s, it came to encompass a broader awareness of social inequalities such as sexism, and has also been used as shorthand for American Left ideas involving identity politics and social justice, such as the notion of white privilege and slavery reparations for African Americans. — Woke Wikipedia

28 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: October 28, 1934

The new gloves arrived and did their job this morning with the low at 30.2°. That low was just a degree warmer than what we had a few days ago but felt much warmer. That is much warmer on my hands and head because I was wearing the gloves and my wool cap. The legs were just as cold however; it may soon be time for me to add the thermal underwear. HA

The next few days the lows are forecast to be warmer but starting on 4 November they are to be in the 30s. I hope to have the electrical adapters by then because my guess is that it will be freezing every morning.

I have the Will Rogers weekly articles to do either today or tomorrow and then get started doing month end household chores. The book that I have been reading on Fire 8 has led me to download a couple related books so I have more than enough reading material awaiting.
The First Battle of Dragoon Springs was a minor skirmish between a small troop of Confederate dragoons of Governor John R. Baylor's Arizona Rangers, and a band of Apache warriors during the American Civil War. It was fought on May 5, 1862, near the present-day town of Benson, Arizona, in Confederate Arizona. — Wikipedia
A long-simmering movement by liberal stalwarts in southern Arizona to break away from the rest of the largely conservative state is at a boiling point as secession backers press to bring their longshot ambition to the forefront of Arizona politics.

A group of lawyers from the Democratic stronghold of Tucson and surrounding Pima County have launched a petition drive seeking support for a November 2012 ballot question on whether the 48th state should be divided in two. — Liberals in southern Arizona seek to form new state, Brad Poole
Confederate Arizona is alive and well. If Pima county were to be successful I would think other counties that were in Confederate Arizona would want to join the new state.
Put my name in the cynical column. I have doubts that there will be untainted elections in all the close races for senate seats.
If the election actually happens — the cynical doubt it — it'll be gratifying for sure to see a loathsome cast of characters swept away in the chem-trail of history. But the winners will have to get the country's head screwed back on to face the tremendous task of making new arrangements for the continuation or daily life under harsh and alarming conditions. Or else the election may be the last thing we do as the country that we were. — An Election, If You Can Hold It, James Howard Kunstler

29 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
It didn't freeze this morning with the low at only 33.6°. It didn't feel that cold so I'm becoming ‘hardened’ or maybe it was the lack of any wind. Or is it all due to the climate change; with all that CO2 causing temperatures to rise — sorry, my error, the average temperature here is a couple degrees lower this October than it was last year.

I have put off doing the prep work for another month of Will Rogers weekly articles as long as I can. I need to get to doing that today. I also need to do holding tank dumps and add water. The distiller is distilling and adding some heat inside Desperado which is welcome now, not so welcome in the summer.
Today, there are no simple geographical boundaries separating Americans with different values, incompatible institutions, or opposite political leanings. (As we have seen, the 1860s partition wasn't so simple either.) The complicated nature of the nation's fault lines and fractures renders the likelihood of a conventional civil war, with competing armies facing each other across a field, virtually nonexistent. But that does not make the possibility of a breakdown in order any less disturbing. If the Union again dissolves, it will not be along one clean line but everywhere and all at once. — Break It Up by Richard Kreitner

30 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
I did another shopping trip this morning. After that it was a few blocks drive to the Farmhouse restaurant where I was lucky by arriving when I did. There were only a couple people there when I arrived but were probably a dozen there when I left. With the ‘new’ restaurant closed and the Horseshoe restaurant closed on Sunday the Farmhouse gets a lot more business.

I received the 30 amp to 15 amp adapter yesterday. With any luck I'll get the Y adapter before it freezes again which I'm predicting will happen next Thursday and Friday.
Race, Values, the O.J. Verdict, and Right-To-Carry, or
A Statistician Explains a Conundrum
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.

I had another column ginned up for this week's offering but then I read something an hour ago which made me save it for a later date and address something else that's been on my mind, namely blacks and Right-To-Carry laws. Some background:

Those of you who are regular readers of Ross in Range may notice a similarity in layout and scheduling (but not necessarily content) to another, much more widely read Internet column called at Fred On Everything by Fred Reed.

This is not a coincidence. I have been a regular reader of Mr. Reed's writings for a number of years, from back when he started working for my friend Bob Brown at Soldier of Fortune. Mr. Reed is twelve years older than I, a Marine and decorated Vietnam combat vet, and worked as a police beat columnist for the Washington Times for several years. As such, he has experience in areas I do not, though we've both spent a lot of time in the Third World's more interesting backwaters, often with a girl or a gun in our hands. (Couldn't resist that one. I think Mickey Spillane takes control of my keyboard sometimes.) Fred is now an expatriate living in Mexico and spends his time writing, scuba diving, hanging out in bars, flirting with women, and apparently doing exactly what he wants.

I like Fred's weekly columns, and while some (like #199) try to be too cute for my taste, others are absolute knockouts. The latter variety often deal with issues of race and education—the so-called “melting pot” of whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians in America, and how much (if any) each of these groups is indeed melting.

Fred's background, especially his years in D.C., gives him the right to speak with firsthand authority on matters I usually avoid: race relations in general and what most people (privately) think of as The Black Problem in particular.

My avoidance is not from cowardice but out of an innate belief that a person who (starting at age three) enjoyed attendance at the best private schools he could get into has not the credentials to be lecturing on matters of sociology and the underclass.

In that light, when Fred writes about blacks and education, given his experience in D.C., I read very carefully. He's hit some home runs on this subject before, but I thought his 200th column “Whiteness Studies” was an especially long ball, as was #180 “What's a White Guy to Do?” (Side note: If you are a regular reader of Fred's column, be aware that his view of the black/white state of affairs in America is more bleak than my own. I am willing to concede that might be due to Fred having more accurate information, however.)

Central to Fred's commentary is that in D.C., blacks run the whole political and educational system, they have plenty of school funding, and the teachers are paid far more than the national average. The results are terrible. What to do? Neither he nor I have any idea.

At the risk of being accused of blaming blacks for all their own problems, it strikes me that as long as so many blacks have such different value systems from their white counterparts, we will never see the generally easy coexistence that whites enjoy with Asians and, to a somewhat lesser degree, Hispanics.

Never was this brought home so dramatically for me as at the O.J. Simpson trial. I am not talking about the fact that a largely black jury reached a verdict of Not Guilty in the murder of two whites. This has happened many times in our history on the other side of the racial aisle. I am referring to what one columnist* called “the absolutely breathtaking reaction” of America's entire black population when the verdict was announced. Across the country, Black America was positively jubilant.

When white Americans see film footage of some pus-gut like Bull Connor and his thugs using fire hoses and billy clubs on peaceful black freedom marchers, the near-universal reaction is revulsion. The same is true of lynchings.

It is true that over the years there have been cases where an all-white jury has ignored the evidence and freed a white man for a vicious crime because his victim was black, but White America as a whole has never, in my memory, cheered such events. I would like you to engage in a little exercise here with me. I would like you to envision the O.J. Simpson case, with the races reversed.

Imagine a white Hall of Fame footballer turned actor/pitchman, like Howie Long. Imagine Howie had a moderately hot-looking black ex-wife with a high school education and breast implants. (To my knowledge Mr. Long is not so encumbered, but bear with me.)

Imagine that there was overwhelming DNA and other evidence that Howie had butchered this black ex-wife and a black male acquaintance of hers. Imagine the entire Howie Long Trial being televised for months, and being called the “Trial of the Century.” Imagine Greta Van Susteren's TV career being “made” by her televised legal commentary on The Howie Long Trial. Imagine that during The Howie Long Trial there is the revelation that one of the black cops involved with Howie's arrest disliked whites and had used the terms “white devil” and “honky” in the past. Imagine the defense team running with this and arguing that all the city's black officers tampered with evidence and engaged in a huge conspiracy to frame Howie for the two murders. Finally, imagine a largely white jury telling us they had weighed the evidence and decided Howie was Not Guilty.

Can you, in your most reckless imaginings, see White America having a mass celebration over this Not Guilty verdict, and repeating the mantra The black bitch (and her friend, presumably) deserved it? I can't. Not at all. Similarly, can you imagine whites all across America being particularly upset at the possibility that Howie might get sent to Death Row for murdering two black people? The concept is ludicrous.

And yet whites in America have come to expect this very sort of thing of blacks. We expect blacks to set fire to their own neighborhoods and loot the black-owned businesses therein when a jury verdict in a racially-charged case displeases them. And they do.

Which brings me to the Right-To-Carry issue. Missouri is unfortunately one of the five remaining states which absolutely prohibit honest adults from carrying a concealed firearm for protection. There is no permit available here under any circumstances. The legislature passed Right-To-Carry last month, but it is not yet law, and there is fear that our Governor may veto the measure, although I believe there are enough votes for a veto override. (7/3/03 update: Gov. Holden just vetoed RTC in a big ceremony this afternoon in St. Louis County. 9/11/03 Update: The Missouri House and Senate just overrode Governor Holden's veto of RTC. Missourians just got some of their rights back, after 129 years.) I wrote an article for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on this issue, but they want you to pay $2.95 to read it online. I'll put my article up on my site when I get the text loaded.

When discussing this matter, people inevitably bring up Missouri's 1999 ballot referendum on Right-To-Carry, which was narrowly defeated (with a dismal 30% voter turnout, I might add.) The fact is that the measure passed in almost every county in the state. The defeat came from the fact that two very large urban precincts in St. Louis and Kansas City were over 90% opposed. At the time, I thought this was vote fraud (and to be honest, I still think that was a factor). Ninety percent? You can't get ninety percent agreement on anything.

A black businessman (who was one of the handful of St. Louis city residents who voted for the referendum) and I were discussing the recent passage of RTC. I brought up the referendum results, and said I could not understand why blacks had been so uniformly against the measure. The proposal was a “shall issue” one, where if you satisfied the requirements (training, fingerprints, no criminal record, no mental illness, etc.) you couldn't be denied the permit just because the sheriff didn't like the idea of people besides the police having guns. The businessman stared at me.

“I thought you were good at math,” he said. I allowed as to how I felt that I was. “Then you must never have taken Statistics and Probability.” I told him I had done this also, and that it had been one of the most rewarding math classes I had ever taken (and incidentally was taught by Amherst's professor Denton, who is black.) “Then you must be cowed enough by political correctness to never think of applying statistics and probability to anything involving race.” Finally I admitted that this last accusation might be true.

“Then I am going to ask you two true-or-false questions. One: Do blacks in the city of St. Louis have large extended families?” I answered in the affirmative. “Two: Is it true that in St. Louis, over 40% of the black males between the ages of 17 and 25 have criminal records?” I told him that was also true, unfortunately.

“So here is the important question: What are the chances of a black person of voting age in St. Louis having at least one relative with a criminal record? Assume we define ‘relative’ broadly, to include the young men who father the children of our female relatives, whether married to them or not.” He sat there waiting for my answer.

“Are we talking fathers, stepfathers, uncles, brothers, stepbrothers, male cousins, sons, stepsons, nephews, mothers' boyfriends, aunts' boyfriends, sisters' boyfriends, daughters' boyfriends, stepdaughters' boyfriends, female cousins' boyfriends, nieces' boyfriends, as well as anyone actually married to a female relative?” I asked. He nodded. “Then I'd say there's nearly 100% probability that at least one relative would have a criminal record.” He smiled at me like a teacher who has just gotten the right answer from one of his slower students.

“So,” I said, “I'm to believe that the black sentiment in St. Louis was ‘I wish young Tyrone would stop robbing people, but I don't want one of the people he robs to shoot him dead.’ Is that it?” I asked.

“You've got it exactly,” he told me.

“But why? I mean, honestly, if some guy was married to my cousin and mugged people for a living, I'd figure he was making his own choices and could damn well take the chance of being blasted. I wouldn't vote away my rights to help his sorry ass.”

“What if it wasn't just your one cousin's husband, but 40% of all your male relatives between the ages of 18 and 25? What if that was, oh, I don't know, a dozen people?” Suddenly I didn't know what to say.

You don't feel that way,” I said finally.

“I'm an Uncle Tom. I've recently come to realize that I now have very few black friends.”

This statement filled me with an ineffable sadness. I know that we will get Right-To-Carry here in Missouri, even if the Governor vetoes it. That's not the issue. And every black Missourian with a criminal record isn't going to get shot by an armed citizen—we all know that, too. In over 98%** of the cases where a licenseholder encounters a criminal, he stops the crime without firing a shot. It's that way in Atlanta and every other big city with a large black population in a Right-To-Carry state, so there's no reason to think it would be any different in Kansas City or St. Louis.

But the O.J. trial and what the black businessman said has stuck with me. What hope can we have, I wonder, if the values that blacks hold dear are mutually exclusive of those held by whites?

John Ross 6/23/03
* Bill McClellan in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, IIRC
** Criminologist Gary Kleck's extensively documented number

31 October 2022
Red Barn RV Park
Benson, AZ
This morning it stayed above freezing at 35.8° but it has stayed cold inside Desperado. With the outside temperature at 48-49 I'm guessing that it is at least five degrees colder inside.

I have started to stir around a little, getting started doing household chores after having breakfast. I'll get to doing them when it warms up.

Tomorrow I will go to VA Tucson again for my appointment with the eye surgeon. He will agree that I need cataract surgery on the right eye, maybe both, and set a surgery date; or perhaps will say I don't need the surgery yet. If he sets a date I then need to make arrangements with the dog sitter and my neighbor that said he would transport me back and forth to Tucson.
From journalist and historian Richard Kreitner, a provocative, timely and eye-opening excavation of the most persistent idea in American history: these supposedly United States should be broken up. The novel and fiery thesis of Break It Up is simple: the United States has never lived up to its name—and never will. The disunionist impulse may have found its greatest expression in the Civil War, but as Break It Up shows, the seduction of secession wasn't limited to the South or the nineteenth century. With a scholar's command and a journalist's curiosity, Kreitner takes readers on a revolutionary journey through American history, revealing the power and persistence of disunion movements in every era and region. Most of the book is about the period in US history from the Revolution (American War of Independence) through the Civil War (Confederate War of Independence) and the Reconstruction. He then makes mention of the many succession movements since then but does not provide as much detail. A recommended book! Each New England town after Plymouth was a secession from another; the thirteen colonies viewed their Union as a means to the end of securing independence, not an end in itself; George Washington feared separatism west of the Alleghenies; Aaron Burr schemed to set up a new empire; John Quincy Adams brought a Massachusetts town's petition for dissolving the United States to the floor of Congress; and abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison denounced the Constitution as a pro-slavery pact with the devil. From the cold civil war that pits partisans against one another to the modern secession movements in California and Texas, the divisions that threaten to tear America apart today have centuries-old roots in the earliest days of our Republic. Richly researched and persuasively argued, Break It Up will help readers make fresh sense of our fractured age. — Book promo @
Over the past two days, the Russian Ministry of Defense publicly accused the UK of blowing up its Nord Stream pipelines. No proof was offered.
I have found out what the proof actually is… and it is the reason Liz Truss is no longer Prime Minister of the United Kingdom … When the Nord Stream Pipelines began to blow up, Russian natural gas firm GAZPROM got alarm bells from sensors in the pipeline, indicating the pressure had dropped massively and suddenly. GAZPROM then knew the pipes were ruptured.
The computers at GAZPROM, which recorded the minutes/seconds the sensor alarms went off, all use Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) for the time stamps.
Exactly one minute after the alarms went off at GAZPROM, iCloud records of Prime Minister Liz Truss iPhone, show that she used her iPhone to send a text message to Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State. The message: “It's done.”
The iCloud computers also use Coordinated Universal Time for message time stamps. So although Russia and the UK are in different time zones, UTC proves that it was literally ONE MINUTE after the GAZPROM pressure sensor alarms went off, that Liz Truss sent her text message to Blinken.
No one else knew the pipelines had been blown up. GAZPROM knew there was a problem, but didn't know what or why.
Liz Truss knew.
Because it was the British government that carried out the bombing. — The Mediocrity Of British Intelligence Vividly Displayed In String Of Terrorist Attacks Against Russia, Larry Johnson