Dog & Pony Show

34
1955
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95 cobra rWell, I’m sitting here in a hotel in Arizona  (Scottsdale) awaiting the Ford People. Drinking coffee to prepare to deal with them. That is, banter with them politely about the transitory perfection of the new Ford Edge. Which like all new vehicles is – for a moment – the returned Christ incarnate. The PR people enthuse – and hope we (the assembled automotive press) swoon. It has “cutting edge” technology; the most fantastic engine lineup imaginable. It is the apotheosis of mechanical, stylistic and intangible excellence. Until the next update, of course. And the competition has its own ideas.

It’s a weird dynamic. They – the car companies – fly us out to a really nice place on their nickel. All expenses paid. This encourages a polite reception for the new car being presented. There is no explicit quid pro quo, Clarice. But the new guys seem to know what’s expected.

And me? I am regarded uneasily. They know I am generally favorably inclined toward machinery, internal combustion especially. And yet they know perfectly well what I think about the new “sells” – the Mom Cult stuff. Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety! I didn’t bother attending the demonstration of the new Ford Edge’s ability to back itself into – and out of – a parking spot. It makes me teeth ache and I told them (the Ford People) so. I accept with resigned equanimity the arrival of the idiot-proofed, self-driving car but mourn the death of the art of driving and general interest in such. I will not write about the Edge’s ability to self park.

Five years, perhaps. I think that’s about all the sand that’s left in the hourglass. These ride and drive events will be over soon because there won’t be any need to fly guys like me out to drive cars that drive themselves. You can sit in a seat just as well as I can.

It’s a weird and strange and arguably unhappy nexus that’s approaching. Some will embrace it, which is probably the smart move if only because it’s the practical – the only – move.

What else are you gonna do, after all?

As for me? I count myself among the lucky. Back in ’95 Ford gave me a Cobra R for a week. SCCA competition model. Last of the 351s. Five-speed Tremec manual. No AC. No radio. I took it Banzai! style through the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel at 148 MPH, the pulses of the 351 Windsor reverbing off the white-tiled walls.

The new Edge’s 2.7 liter twin-scroll turbo’d  Ecoboost V6 has more horses than the 351, but no heart, no soul.

It is a brilliant appliance (they all are) but a dead thing, compared to the now-antique (almost) ’95 Cobra R.

Like me, too, I suppose.

Sic gloria transit mundi.

 

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34 COMMENTS

  1. I agree , the new cars have no soul,

    and are amazingly difficult to work on,
    replacing a headlight bulb in a new Impala requires removal of both front wheels, both innner fenders, and the front bumper

    replacement of an alternator on a new VW Beetle requires removal of both front fenders,

    I currrently owna 04 Expedition that I got at a repo auction, and when it conks out
    a 88 K-5 Blazer is gonna be its replacement,

    my daily driver for years and now a backup vehicle is a 73 Bronco with a EFI 302 from a 89 Mustang and a 5 speed from a 01 Wrangler.

    My sons DD is a 77 K-10 with EFI and a 5 speed from a 2006 SIlverado

    BTW, I love reading Fred, very succinct and sadly very accurate.

    • Already there….got an 86 blazer after my 99 grand cherokee bit the dust. THey are all great trucks, but I would recommend a 6.2 diesel version if you can find one…you can make your own fuel for them if need be, and are fairly fuel efficient as well. Throw a modern trans in there like eric did with his pontiac and you will be getting near 30mpg. Personally, I have the military m1009….been running good for 5 years and 40,000+ miles; these are the easiest diesel blazers to find.

  2. re: My gap in accounting for Fred…

    Simplest solution is to create a fitting convention for discussing another human being.

    A) Fred is someone I would recommend spending money on. He’s well worth paying to get his books and to use Mexican Pay Pal to contribute to his site. He’s a true value creator and world unto his self. If there was no Fred, a lot of value production would be irrevocably lost. We’d all be the poorer for it.

    Perhaps value producers should be set aside as untouchable. If Fred were only an active cop/soldier of aggression, or a retired one. That would be one thing. But he’s not. He’s an active value creator of irreplaceable new content. And a provider of his previous content as well.

    Truly he is a part of our Commonwealth.

    B) That is my system of value. As to whether he’s a good guy or not. He definitely is. But that pales in importance in my estimation. Especially when under his value system, he has no problem being part of inhumanity.

    I suspect he would say, “what do you suggest as an alternative” in regards to his legions of costumed forces who: Cage and kill dangerous drunks, women who sell their bodies, bad parents, petty thieves, disobedient flaunters of the public order, citizens who fail to pay their taxes, foreigners whose only crime is living in a geographic boundary of some collective Fred thinks we’re at “war” with. Disgusting things of that nature.

    He’s a one man Hitler, I’d imagine. As are most minds unfortunately. Without question, he accepts the premise that there’s a one size fits all morality for any given geographic area, with no exceptions. Kommisar Fred violates the NAP and any notion of human decency without so much as a thought, not even a twinge of a synapse fire that this might be wrong.

    Fred is a Bonobo because he provides considerable value to the world. Yet he is also a murderous Chimp who carelessly destroys the value of other people’s lives and right to live unmolested with no conception he has even done so.

    We might be well served to initiate some kind of language convention of sorts. Talk is cheap, one can say whatever they want. For our purposes, we need words that connect to premises, and consequences, and courses of remediations and counterpoises to maintain our heterostasis of individual freedom.

    We should never take lightly, or let go unobserved, any man who increases the homeostasis of the force collective and hives and termite mounds of human compulsion. I salute Fred and recommend trading value for value with him. I denounce Fred for destroying human lives and reducing value at the same time.

  3. Fred is a cognitively dissonant miracle. One of the greatest auto-didactic intellects I’ve ever read and a truly great guy. And also a typical statist bootlicking cunt. Not sure how he keeps two such divergent souls in the same body.

    Kristin Davis moved to another federal prison facility
    http://www.xojane.com/issues/kristin-davis-ive-been-re-designated-and-moved-to-another-prison-facility

    Kristin Davis – Manhattan Madam – currently in the 4th world US prison system
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristin_M._Davis

    • Hi Pedro,

      Top drawer suggestion!

      Especially because I have driven one… a real one. Not a kit. Original 427 Cobra. Which gave me respect for CS. How that big geek even drove the thing – let alone raced it – is beyond me. He’s taller than me (I’m 6 ft 3) and unless he had really small feet (he didn’t; I met him once) it is nothing short of a miracle that he was able to change gears and brake without getting out of the car and repositioning his body. I was barely able to get the thing rolling, let alone rolling fast.

      More to come!

  4. Something big is coming, probably mainly for America. NOTHING is physically being made in America and put on a cargo ship anymore. Unless you count recycled cardboard, plastic, and things like that.

    Read this and think about what it means:

    America’s largest exporter, in terms of volume via container, remained American Chung Nam Inc: The Chinese company exported 211,300 containers of waste
    paper to its Chinese sister company, Nine Dragons Paper Industries. Its exports were one-quarter the amount of Wal-Mart’s imports. American Chung Nam’s cargo was worth virtually nothing in the United States.

    Weyerhaeuser was the country’s second largest export company, with 165,800 TEUs filled with paper. At least 10 of the 20 largest U.S. exporters shipped paper or waste paper in 2007; four others shipped bulk chemicals and one shipped scrap metal. Only one of the top 20 U.S. exporters was a U.S.-based product manufacturer: Procter & Gamble. The few remaining large U.S companies among the top 20 exporters via ocean container sold bulk chemicals, agricultural commodities or paper.

    Our export economy isn’t much better than Russia, just extracted resources and a few simple chemicals. Most of our output is the result of debt fueled consumption garbage.

    Here’s the breakdown of important exporters. For the entire world, there’s 600 million TEUs exported per year. The world economy as a whole is expanding. It’s specifically America that’s dropped like a stone and keeps dropping.

    Annual Millions of TEUs
    Chi 155
    US 43
    Sing 32
    Hong 23
    SoKo 21
    Malay 21
    Jap 18
    UAE 17
    Ger 16
    Neth 12
    Belg 11
    Ital 10
    Indi 10
    Indo 9
    UK 9
    Braz 9
    Egyp 8
    Thai 7
    Pan 7
    Austr 7
    Viet 7
    Saud 7
    Turk 6
    Fra 6
    Phil 6
    Can 5
    SoAf 4
    Mex 4
    Russ 4

    Russia is equal in production power with South Africa and Mexico. Not exactly a superpower. America is on their way down too, unless they want to get taught a lesson by the UK the way the Germans were twice. Hopefully, not.

    A TEU is a unit of cargo capacity used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals.Its based on the volume of a 20-foot-long intermodal container, a standard-sized metal box which can be easily transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships, trains and trucks.

    Trade and Consequences
    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/589

    The United States has always been a trading nation but it has been 30 years since the United States exported more than it imported.

    Los Angeles #18 port
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_world%27s_busiest_container_ports

    In 2007, U.S. retailers Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot and Sears were the four largest importers of ocean freight containers, at 720,000, 435,000, 365,300, and 248,600 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs)

    U.S. Container Exports Still Dominated By Junk — Scrap Paper, Scrap Metal And Bulk Commodities
    https://www.piers.com/news_docs/11.pdf

  5. Well, at least they flew you out to Scottsdale. And the weather on 3/10 was just about Perfect.

    Ford’s probably not too disappointed about your lack of enthusiasm for the Edge.

    They know you’re never going to be happy until they build a diesel Mustang. 😉

  6. Cars are well on their way to becoming unrepairable and disposable (but overpriced) appliances. Suits the car companies, as they get a lot more business rather than letting people continue to drive and repair older cars. Also works great for the Banksters, as they can now keep consumers in perpetual (auto loan) debt. Uncle Sam also couldn’t be happier, as he can monitor his subjects’ comings and goings, while keeping his Bankster buddies in clover.

    • Try opening a modern phone without breaking it to get a glimpse of the future that awaits us. You can’t even change the battery without taking it to an “authorized” repair center, and they make it so expensive that most people just buy a new phone instead.

      • A car will never be designed like a phone.
        The blind snaps that make phone disassembly difficult without special tools are driven by space requirements. Snaps usually don’t take away as much board area as screw bosses. Mechanically screw bosses are preferred because snaps are often difficult to get right and often make the housing so it can’t be reused. Anyway there’s always a way to get them apart. Someone on youtube usually does it so you can see inside. So long as one knows what’s inside the chances of breaking it go way down.

    • That’s it in a nutshell, Escher.

      Which may be why I find myself increasingly disinterested in the new stuff – powerful and quick though it is. My old Pontiac, the bikes… they’re almost living thing. The new stuff? Toasters.

    • Escher, You hit that nail squarely. We are right where we were in ’07 which is about to turn into a ’08 replay but without the funds to bail these huge banks and corporations. As far as consumer good driving the market in this country, it has now devolved to the “car” and those loans they make now are made to the most insolvent buyers ever(most insolvent time in history but the sheeple know nearly nothing or mainly, absolutely nothing about the first time recession so they will get an up close and personal(and for tens of millions, quite lethal)view of a real recession that will make the thirties look like the good old days.

      I think the bankers and the people who make their basic policy as scared too. I know the shadown govt. is scared via the ever-increasing military presence on our streets. Like last week when the NC and SC Nat, Guard and a bunch of federal and state(and county and local I’m sure)personnel(soldiers) go from house to house in an emergency response scenario, knocked on people’s doors, asked them if they were ok and no doubt, with body cams, videoed every damned second of it including everything they could around and in those peoples and neighbors homes.

      Sure, they were just there out of the kindness of their hearts.

      Clover will even, to some extent of cloverdom, come to realize they’re in the deep stuff with everyone else but it will be too late. It’s those people who enable the controllers. When our next big money event happens, it won’t be a simply “bail-out). It will instead be introduced and relayed to the unthinking fools as martial law which will be met by feebly small resistance groups who will show their strengths well enough for a dog eat dog scenario I sincerely think may take generations to determine the outcome.

      Then again, the outcome may come in the package of a nuked world that may inherently prevent any return to any type of thing clover terms normal right now. I see this stuff every day. Hummers parked in front of mobile homes. People everywhere who work at convenience store and other large retailers who desperately need teeth. The cartel of dentists have written their own demise by contributing to the wealth reducing bs going on everywhere.

      I don’t want to shy too far away from my main point but I do want to point out the govt., of one base or another, wanted everyone to become speed freaks, ice skaters, crack smokers and all the very things that really cut your life short. I see people I think are my age and find out they’re 20-30 years younger. To be accurate, I think I could say my generation looks younger for the most part than that generation Eric is in who look like holy hell. It’s not magic or some bad thing these people have done, it’s just what this country has come to. There AIN’T NO JOBS. Sure, you’ll hear(in my part of the country)clovers saying there are all sorts of good jobs(yep, paying $15/hr. about what I made in ’88 when laid off by a major corporation for ‘cost cutting’ that really didn’t work too well for them)for anybody willing to do them. Sure there are, countless millions of jobs and that’s why I see people my age hitching and younger people dying in droves from poverty. I didn’t want to even look(but I did and said hello)at a guy at a rest stop area with lots of traffic but nobody was looking to give him a ride. It pains me to see this and it could be me, if I break another leg or that same one again. Being 65 gets me a little help medically but it won’t pay rent, taxes or put food on the table. What’s really bad about that, is the fact I’m male, caucasion(Scot-Irish and everybody can KMA). I don’t’ qualify for the things illegals get as tens of millions and quite possibly, a hundred million people in this country don’t and can’t get.

      This ain’t a pretty picture and is going to get much uglier…..very quickly. I predict Armageddon on a global scale and waged by military means and the groups they spawn who will eventually destroy the military or it will simply destroy itself by not having anyone left to fund it.

      However it comes about, it will be like a sick, tick infested animal that dies……and then the ticks die. I suspect the movers and shakers of the top crust in the world who collude to control man will rejoice and maybe have their human population brought back to a tiny percent of what it currently is. I could go on, in depth, but I won’t. I’m about to fall outta the chair from the hours I’ve put in this week.

      Good luck Libertarians, an-caps and all who see behind the curtain.

  7. Hannibal Lecter: A CarMax salesman once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

    Hannibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this customer you seek?
    Clarice Starling: He drives cars…
    Hannibal Lecter: No. That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing the customer does? What needs does he serve by driving?
    Clarice Starling: Transportation, um, social status, and, uh, sexual compensations, sir…
    Hannibal Lecter: No! He covets. That is the customers nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out machines to covet? Make an effort to answer now.
    Clarice Starling: No. We just…
    Hannibal Lecter: No. We begin by coveting what machines we see every day. Don’t you feel eyes moving over the gleaming new auto body, Clarice? And don’t your eyes seek out the shiny new machines you want?

    • Phillip, Becky is a very nice lady…spunky, but nice. I’ve exchanged a few emails with her and found her to be a delight. She is also the author of a couple of excellent historical novels: Halestorm and Abducting Arnold. Nathan Hale is the main character in the former and Benedict Arnold in the latter.

  8. Eric – I was just reading Fred Reed. He mentioned a ‘fitty-seden Chev’ with a ‘phone flow’ and for some reason I thought of you.

    • Fred’s my kind of guy; most definitely not a Clover. I bumped into him a handful of times back in the early ’90s, when I was jut starting out and he was on his way out. He vamoosed to ol’ Mexico and appears to be happy away from all the “freedom” we have in America….

      • Yeah, about all those freedoms that the terrorists hate us for – haven’t we lost enough of them now so they don’t need to hate us anymore?

      • I’m right there with Fred…..to the point he begins to lament the cop’s hard life and then my eyes glaze over and I have trouble getting to the end.

        • The myth of peacekeeping is quite pervasive. As great of an intellect as Fred represents, he is at root a warfare-state welfare-parasite.

          He’s made his living providing logistical support for the destroyers of value, and as a sapper tasks with incarcerating people into national state power grids. Though I will continue to read him and be educated and informed by him, I must regretfully say:

          Fuck Fred and feed him fish heads

          And me as well, because I owe a great unpayable debt of knowledge and entertainment to this misquided but loveable bastard.

          Peace is a full time job… George Clooney Messenger of Peace (resigned)

          Leonardo DiCaprio (UN Messenger of Peace) at the opening of Climate Summit 2014

          Acclaimed actor and conservation activist Edward Norton took on his latest role today, as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon designated him United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity. Mr. Norton said he hopes to channel the attention he receives for his acting to spotlight the unprecedented loss of biodiversity due to human activity and ensure world leaders take appropriate measures to safeguard the variety of life on Earth.

          • Tor, Fred is a very intelligent man with an education few got. I think he must have been a military brat. Whatever the case though, his thoughts on the military and police don’t square him to a “friendship” level for me.

            He tries to play down privileges and maybe deserve it, but not more than most of the rest of us from his era(and mine).

            I grew up in a great world. My friends(for the most part) didn’t grow up suffering polio(well, a few)or very common deadly maladies like tuberculosis. We did grow up with plenty of good food to eat and if that’s all we had in plenty, that’s really good enough. For the most part, we got better educations than those before us(in some ways)and those after us(in some ways). We were brought up with a sense of self-worth so you have incentive and other necessary ingredients to be successful for the main part. I believe our generation was the beginning of mass cloverism. I see it in old classmates I rarely meet(like going 40 years in between conversations). Most have swallowed that line and the rod and reel too.

            Back in ginning season(cotton), I was at the gin picking up loads of burrs for the cattle(think Roundup detritus…..and that should make you think twice about the beef you buy in the store). I saw an old classmate, a guy I see every 10 years or so, more often these days as we attend many of the same funerals. He was standing in the door of the secretary’s office speaking with her when I walked in. She’s a Gen-X’er, attractive and married but evidently not what I might have thought(I don’t really know her or even her husband so much but was friends with his dad. It was cold and raining, not a good combo for a Texan, rain…yes, cold…hell no. I exchange pleasantries with both of them and then weather raises its ugly head and I say something about it being whisky weather. This classmate is very obese and has had heart problems so he said “Oh no, I don’t even remember the last time I drank whiskey”. Maybe you need a shot every now and then say I. The secretary laughs and says she enjoys a shot of good bourbon now and then(I was only thinking out loud some Wild Turkey would be good) so I vowed I was heading to the liquor store when I left there(across the street).

            I don’t know if the secretary got her bourbon(they’re successful people monetarily so that should be no problem) and guess the old classmate had to use a great force of will to not get his own but maybe not since he wouldn’t be forthcoming about it unless he’d been imbibing. It was such a capital idea I did go get some bourbon and think it was WT. I continued to drive a truck and haul burrs and laugh out loud every now and then.

            So……what was I laughing about? Just the fact I was eluding the local and state gendarmes with an illegal truck(state mandated appliques for the windshield, money for clovers)drinking bourbon and doing something that soothes me, feeding cows, all got together in my head and made it a pretty good day……oh, and easing down dirt roads (muddy) while doing it all and not fearing for my freedom.

            I hate to meet people my age now for the most part. They fear things we never feared as children. They are the sheeple. I don’t want to prolong a life of sitting on my ass, having all the comforts….comforts of getting old and looking it and acting it and feeling it with little excitement of any sort.

            I recently spoke with my doctor, a woman who makes all the men doctors I’ve been too look like the dolts they are, and we discussed retirement. She said she and her husband can afford life(death)insurance or health insurance(and she uses alternative medicine)but not both. They decided on death insurance and take care of their health and let US foot the bill while it lasts(not much longer). I concurred and said we had life(death)insurance but no health insurance. It’s going to be hard for Obamacare to screw that up for me(one point, me). I told her outright my ideal retirement would consist of that hard curve in the road, some really large load I”m hauling and the outside steer tire blowing at speed.

            At least she doesn’t have to hear my version since she already knows. I’m even losing the ability to have fun through no fault of my own…..or maybe this is just the fever and sore throat and headache speaking. I don’t think so though. It’s fairly much how I feel…..constantly. Well, tears running from my eyes and my throbbing ears make me sign off for a while. But as Arnold once said “oink oink oink” and that would be Arnold the pig.

            • I’m at a loss what to make of Fred, to be honest. Rothbard too is my enemy, because he was sustained by institutions. Fred is my enemy, because he made his living via institutionalized murder.

              http://www.fredoneverything.net/biography.shtml

              I(Fred Reed) was born in 1945 in Crumpler, West Virginia, a coal camp near Bluefield. My father was a mathematician then serving in the Pacific aboard the destroyer USS Franks, which he described as a wallowing and bovine antique with absolutely no women aboard, but the best the Navy had at the time.

              My paternal grandfather was dean and professor of mathematics at Hampden-Sydney College, a small and (then, and perhaps now) quite good liberal arts school in southwest Virginia. My maternal grandfather was a doctor in Crumpler. (When someone got sick on the other side of the mountain, the miners would put my grandfather in a coal car and take him under the mountain. He had a fairly robust conception of a house call.) In general my family for many generations were among the most literate, the most productive, and the dullest people in the South. Presbyterians.

              After the war I lived as a navy brat here and there–San Diego, Mississippi, the Virginia suburbs of Washington, Alabama, what have you, and briefly in Farmville, Virginia, while my father went on active duty for the Korean War as an artillery spotter…

              …Having gotten married somewhere along the way for reasons that escape me at the moment, though my wife was an extraordinary woman whodeserved better, I am now the happily divorced father of the World’s Finest Daughters. Until recently I worked as, among other things, a law-enforcement columnist for the Washington Times. It allowed me to take trips to big cities and to ride around in police cars with the siren going woowoowoo and kick in doors of drug dealers. Recently I changed the column from law enforcement to technology, and now live in Mexico near Guadalajara, having found burros preferable to bureaucrats. My hobbies are wind surfing, scuba, listening to blues, swing-dancing in dirt bars, associating with colorful maniacs, weight-lifting, and people of the other sex. (Update: I married Violeta, my Spanish teacher, and, as so often happens with men, married up.)

              • I worked at the same joint as Fred (Washington Times) and our paths crossed there back in the early ’90s when I was a young kid recently graduated from college and he was an old hand getting ready to bail for greener pastures. A very smart guy; arguably more so than probably deluded romantics such as myself. I’d place him in the camp with people who are what’s called realists. They premise on generalizations while not denying individual variation exists. Thus, Fred believes that – as a rule – blacks are by nature (genetics) less intelligent than whites and asians and, to put a finer point on it, below the “IQ level” that is necessary to maintain (let alone build) an advanced technological society based (loosely) on Western traditions. He supports “law n’ order” because he believes that – as a rule – a large number of people are unable to govern themselves and will run amok without the cudgel of force to keep them in line. Und so weiter.

                Fred is a brilliant writer and I admire him for it. He has a gifted style, a unique voice. I like to think I have a decent way with words, but Fred (like Heinlein) never fails to humble me.

                On a purely personal level, he seemed to be a mensch. We might disagree on many things, but the disagreement would be intelligent. Jefferson-Adams. Not Jefferson-Clover!

                • eric, Fred has an extremely good vocabulary, one which I can’t even find answers to definitions of some of his words. That doesn’t qualify for anything except an exceptional vocabulary although we all know that means and exceptional ability to remember what you see.

                  When I was in the 8th grade(imagine that, and the hills weren’t even a live with the sound of anything but nature)my English teacher called a meeting with my parents and I worried about it, esp. since I wasn’t privy to the talk. I finally found out I had scored off the federal school tests of vocabulary. That doesn’t mean I’m smart, just know words other people don’t and I’ve lost hundreds of them over the years having to speak redneck all the time to fit in.

                  I know many people much smarter than me who can do things I can’t do. My point being, I don’t consider Fred any smarter than you. I think he’s well-educated and a smart person but he’s blocked to a great extent so we’ll never really know his potential. I’ll take your “eructations” over his any day. You are of the world of what I call realists while Fred is of a world of realist that don’t have their head on completely straight, brainwashed realists if you will.

                  I won’t denigrate Fred but I’ll take you and Tor and Brent and countless other people here I consider like souls over all the Fred’s of the world.

                  I am constantly learning from everyone(well, some have messages I don’t want to take to heart)on this site. I don’t even consider myself mid-pack but I enjoy it immensely.

                  BTW, I have this Friday the 13th thing going in my life, for many decades. It was another one of those.

                  First rattle out of the box, the rookie DOT guy was waiting for me when I left a pit with a load of finish rock. He proceeded to write up a list of 14 terrible, horrible, absolutely terrifying fines for my tractor and trailer. Funny that, it was actually working fine, brakes and everything else. One of my “infractions” was a hose that had come loose on the passenger side windshield so my (new law BTW)windshield washer didn’t work on both sides. Then he informed me the brakes on the truck were simply unacceptable. I had been really nice to that point but I was the one who went to the Peterbilt dealership and bought nearly every damned brake part brand new recently that is on that tractor. So he red tags both tractor and trailer and leads me to a place I can park before giving me my license back. I had to also lose an expensive load of rock, a-hole wouldn’t let me go a few miles to unload so two people would have work to do today.

                  What bullshit. We have a tractor I won’t drive, for good reason…..and this ain’t it. Then he brings up that tractor he redtagged months ago. Well, gee sir, please teach me about these things. I’ve only been trucking 50 years, about twice as long as you’ve been alive.

                  While he was using his printer to issue a ticket about four feet long I took the opportunity to bump my tires since you can never do that too much. Then I realized it was a wonder I hadn’t been shot walking back toward his car with a 20 oz. framing hammer in my hand. Oh, that I might thought of using it on something other than tires. I was insulted he didn’t even see me as a threat.

                  What a frickin day. I’ve been sick for a month or more and just keep working and then have to put up with that bullshit today.

                  He even tries to take me to task over not having a DOT card even though it’s obvious I’m grandfathered in(just take my word for it, I won’t lie about something so mundane) and I told him that.

                  Well everyone, I wish you happiness and good health today(and every day) since Friday the 13th seems to be a day of bad tidings. I called my wife yesterday, hundreds of miles away taking care of her mother and sister and sorta skirted around the next day(today) as being that day I detest since I nearly lost my life on this day in the past to see how it was going. I had a feeling, a bad feeling(about this very subject)about today since I had seen no DOT all day yesterday. I wish I had control over my precog ability. If we weren’t in such a bind at work, I would have stayed at the house. I got back, and Wyne, my old man kitty(6-7)was much better since he nearly died this past week.

                  My best to everyone again, and chill this bad day of the year. Here’s to hoping I don’t receive word of others having any worse day. Cheers everyone and tip one for me.

                  As for Fred, I guess it’s too much to wish he’d wise up. Such a well-educated clover.

                  • Thanks, Eight… and sorry to hear about your “13th.” I’m dealing with some stuff, also. Misery loves company, eh?

                    On Fred: I’ve met/known people like him before. I sometimes wonder whether they are smarter? Can grok things that my lesser mind cannot? Then again, perhaps not.

                    I suspect Fred has to some extent or other given up on humanity – a common failing of the very smart. It is hard to have hope after a lifetime of (as Fred has) observing the seamy side close up. And yet, and yet. Those same masses are individual human beings with potential (some of them, at least) and I cannot reconcile myself to a general condemnation. That would be the very essence of Cloverism, however couched.

                    The problem remains: How to respect and protect the rights of the individual until such time as most individuals voluntarily throw aggressive violence in the woods?

                    • Giving up on humanity….

                      The more I learn the more I realize people haven’t changed in thousands and thousands of years. They’ll laugh at primitive people and then do the exact same thing. What’s worse is they don’t recognize it. The same old things are repackaged and they fall for it over and over again. We might as well be living in ancient Rome or any other ancient culture. Not one thing that matters has really changed.

                      What’s worse is that I (or anyone else) am supposed to take advantage of the situation to succeed. That it is perfectly acceptable to ‘play’ people for one’s personal gain. Everything from dating relationships to corporate cultures to politics. That’s what we are supposed to do if we want to succeed.

                      People like it this way. They want it this way. People are capable of shrugging this all off at any time. They won’t. They like it this way. They become angry when confronted with how they are being played or the histories or the alternatives. They just like it this way.

                      Maybe that’s the way this simulation is supposed to be.

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