June 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
I'm not sure what time we pulled out this morning because my watch stopped for about 30 minutes. I'm reasonably sure that it stopped while I was having breakfast so think we left Albuquerque at about 6:30.
I remember looking at my watch before going in for breakfast and it was a few minutes after 8:00. The next time I looked it was about 8:20 and I thought breakfast took longer than that. It was not until I got to Smith's in Taos and saw a clock that I found I was running 30 minutes slow.
The breakfast stop was in Jemez Springs, NM at the Jemez Stage Stop. Everything on the menu was very expensive for such a nondescript place but they are about the only game in town. The Spanish Omelet was good, the home fries were rather scarce but the coffee was good; it just was not worth the price.
About 1/2 way between Jemez Springs and Valles Caldera there was a forest fire to the north of NM4 that was producing a lot of smoke. As I got closer to it I could see that it had jumped the mountain ridge an was now starting to burn on the north side of the canyon where NM4 was. At one point I could see fire about 1 mile from the road and there were firefighter starting to arrive on the scene. I was probably lucky to get past the area when I did.
I only drove 194 miles but with the breakfast stop, grocery stop in Taos and the slow speed driving in Albuquerque, on NM4 and US64 I didn't arrive until 1:00. The route: Central Ave/Frontage Rd, Atrisco Vista Blvd/ Paseo Del Norte Blvd, Universe Blvd, Paradise Blvd, Unser Blvd/ NW Loop Rd (in Albuquerque), US550, NM4, NM502, NM30, US84/US285, NM68, US64 & NM434.
I can not get a Verizon connection here so will be totally depending on the Park WIFI. There are a few other free WIFI hot spots in the town of Angel Fire that I can go to if this one should fail. I'm a long 24 miles up hill from Taos and Smith's so will see if the small local grocery store can keep me supplied. If I am missing something that I can not live without the Park owner said they would pick it up for me. Kind of like when I was in Challis, ID. We will see.
That is all I have for today. I need to read my Daily blogs and check the News. Then take Patches out for her afternoon walk so she can smell all the previous dog scents that are here. It will be great for her after the tough drive that she had this morning - sound asleep on the couch as I type.
2 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
Saturday morning the low temperature here in Angel Fire was 19° but it was a wonderful 66 when I arrived and maxed out at 70. This morning when Patches and I went for our walk it was at 34° the low for today. She loved it and I had my winter garb back on with the exception of cap and gloves and was comfortable. Although tomorrow I'll have my gloves. The weather guessers do forecast a 50% chance of thundershowers today but that leaves a 50% chance that they will not happen - it doesn't look like they will.
Our walk this morning was to the south along NM434 toward the 'town' of Angel Fire. We went about 1/2 the distance and then returned by the same route. Checked three places that held some promise for being coffee stops but none of them were open nor had any hours of operation posted. I talked to the Park owner later in the day and the only possible stop is near the grocery store which is about 1.75 miles one way.
Our afternoon walk yesterday was in a large field adjoining the Park to the north. It is pockmarked with prairie dog burrows but I only saw a couple scurrying around, did not see any standing up near their burrow as I have in the past. Patches had a grand time because she was off leash and gave chase to more of them than I saw. She is going to have a lot of fun every afternoon IF I can keep taking her out there.
There is some smoke haze in the valley this morning from the Tres Lagunes fire near Pecos, NM. This is the larger NM fire but the Thompson Ridge fire near Jemez Springs, NM has doubled in size in the last 24 hours to 1,742 acres. That is the one that I went past yesterday morning.
A blog on The Automatic Earth dated June 2, 2013 title What If Stimulus Is Self-Defeating? makes a case for questioning the "Recovery" that President Obama is trying to take credit for. This is only one point that is made in the posting, it is a good read in its entirety.
The US "silly recovery" remains in full swing. QE has facilitated another housing bubble, driven by large investors but marketed as a sign of solid growth. David Rosenberg reported this week that US real personal income fell at a 5.8% rate in Q1 2013. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported real per capita disposable income was revised lower again for the quarter. Real per capita disposable income contracted at a -9.03% annualized rate, while the personal savings rate was adjusted down to 2.3%. What recovery?
3 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning when Patches and I went for our walk it was at 31°. We are getting out at about 5:45 and that is around the time that the low for the day is set. Patches loves the cold mornings and I felt fine today with my gloves on. They were feeling too hot by the time we returned home.
The weather guessers had it almost right with the forecast of thunderstorms yesterday. We got the strong winds of a thunderstorm, gusts up to 35 mph, but no lightning nor thunder and only a trace of rain. This all happened in about 15 minutes around 9:00 last night.
Our walk this morning was to the north along NM434 to the junction with US64. I made one slight detour to check the hours of operation of a barber shop so the round trip was 2.85 miles (I think 2.75 without the detour). The barber hours were posted which surprised me but the fact that they are Noon to 6:00 Tue, Wen & Thur is not that surprising - I'm in a very small town.
We went out in the afternoon yesterday and Patches ran herself ragged chasing prairie dogs. As we were about to get back in Desperado I saw my new neighbor fighting with his awning and stopped to give him some assistance. I also wanted Patches to meet him so she won't bark at him every time she sees him. We got to talking about her and he offered to have his dog meet her also.
The meeting went much better than I had expected and I asked him if the two dogs could run and play together. He said it looked like they could so we took them to the field where his dog had been chasing a tennis ball earlier. Well, Patches could outrun Davis (the other dog) and usually got to the tennis ball first and would not give it up. There was only one misbehavior by Patches and it was not too bad so all-in-all they had a lot of fun. It is only the fourth dog that I have been able to have her play with but she did GOOD.
She has not done so well today. Every time Davis is walked past Desperado Patches has barked at him. This is not uncommon for her but she will usually give about a third of the dogs walking by a pass. Now that she has met and played with him she thinks she has to bark. I'm thinking it might be time for a shock collar, my continued telling her NO and QUIET is not making any permanent change in behavior.
No smoke in the valley this morning from the Tres Lagunes fire near Pecos, NM. The Thompson Ridge fire near Jemez Springs, NM slowed its growth and is now at 2,229 acres. The hope that rain would fall on it did not happen but the winds were not pushing it as much as on Friday night and Saturday. They have evacuated 40-50 homes from the area but are not reporting any structures being burned.
I finished Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow and found it to be as good as the previous one of his that I read. I hope to find another one of his but it will not be at this RV Park. The exchange library here is not as large as the one was in Albuquerque and that one was very small with a very poor selection. I may stop by at the Angel Fire town library and see if they have anything that they will trade. The Park owner said that they have books for sale so I might get lucky.
4 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning the low was 29° but that happened about 1/2 hour before we went for our walk. Didn't take my gloves this morning and my hands felt fine so it was warmer than that when we went out. The temperatures that I am getting are also from a station that is about 500' higher than where we are or maybe 2° colder.
We had a repeat of the June 2nd thunderstorm yesterday around 5:00. Strong winds, gust up to 40 mph, with only a trace of rain and no thunder or lightning. The forecast for the next few days is continued thunderstorms with the chances ranging from 20% to 50%.
Our walk this morning was south again along NM434 to 'town center', about 1.5 miles one way. This is where the grocery store, pizza place and an espresso café are located. Just slightly north of those establishments is Elk Horn Lodge that is for sale but has a restaurant that is still in business.
I walked up to it to check on hours of operation and saw a man inside that motioned with his coffee cup asking me if I wanted some. I nodded that I did and went inside to get some free coffee and a few minutes of socializing with him. He said that the restaurant does not open until 8:00 but he always makes coffee at around 6:00 and I'm more than welcome to stop by in the morning and get a cup.
Right after I posted yesterday I looked at my web Home page and I had 4-5 underlined words that would pop up an ad if you clicked on the word. Saw they were being shown by TidyNetwork and some web searching told me that it was ad malware and how to get rid of it. It took some time but I finally did get it to go away. I think the problem was all on my computer but if you see anything like that leave a SHOUT.
I was also being driven to distraction by a 'reminder' to back up my computer using MyPC Backup. This was a program that was pre-loaded onto my computer as part of the Windows 8 package, I assume. It again took me about an hour to find out how to get rid of this PIA using a web search again. So far I have been able find help for every issue that I have had with Windows 8 which is a VERY good thing.
After my experience with TidyNetwork yesterday I decided that the Norton anti-virus software and who knows what else that was pre-installed on this computer was not doing the job. It took me almost an hour and 4 computer restarts to uninstall 6 Norton programs. I then downloaded the free version of AVG anti-virus software. They too wanted to load me up with a bunch of their other product for a free trial period. I think I dodged all of them although one offer almost slipped past me; all free downloads include this kind of 'marketing' and if you are not careful you can click to buy things that you don't want much less need.
The Automatic Earth is not the only blog site that questions the 'recovery' of the US economy. The excerpt below is from Monty Pelerin's World another blog that deals primarily with Finance, Economics and Politics (my kind of place). I just stumbled upon it today but you may be hearing more from its pages.
Do Not Use The Stock Market To Claim An Economic Recovery makes its point by comparing the current stock market indexes to what happened to them during the 1930s.
How often have we been told that the economy is recovering? By my count we are now in our fourth “Recovery Summer.”...
A good case can be made for the fact that there is no recovery and that we are just beginning our decline. The efforts of government merely served to drive us more deeply into debt and stave off normal economic healing. If this observation is correct, all that has been accomplished is a postponement and accentuation of the pain to come. My economic sense tells me that is the case.
Whether you accept this conclusion or not, don’t be fooled by the performance of the stock market. There is little other than inflationary Fed policy to justify financial asset prices. Furthermore, recent performance really isn’t special as those living through the 1930s learned. In fact, what has happened recently doesn’t even measure up to the initial rebound that occurred during the Great Depression.
5 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning the low was 33° but that happened around 3:30 and it was probably 35 or 36 when we went out for our walk. The thunderstorm forecast remains in effect but the chances of rain have been raised to 60% today and 50% tomorrow.
By noon there was a heavy cloud build up to the east. It also looked like there may have been rain in the area of the Tres Lagunes fire which would be good news. If it moves this way and continues west it might do some good in putting out the Thompson Ridge fire also. From the way it looks there is hope for that.
Amazon indicated that my camera would be delivered by June 4th. I didn't have it as of this morning so I checked the tracker that they had provided. Found that it had been delivered on June 4th to the P.O. Box address. Went up to the Park Office and asked them about it, begged some coffee while I was there, and they said they were going to the Post Office.
I had it delivered to me within the hour. No operators manual included, I don't think any electronic device is provided with one any more. They did include a CD that I'm going to try and open and read through today. It is assumed that I would have a computer to play the CD or that I would be equipped to go on the Internet to get the operating manual. It is certainly a different world from the one that I grew up in - Your not in Kansas anymore Dorthy!
I devoted a couple hours to the manual and software set up. The CD indicates that there are 5 files yet when I downloaded to my computer I ended up with 11 file folders with a mass of files in those folders. I also had a Windows Installer error message that may or may not have indicated a download problem.
That was only part of my not knowing what was going on. When I ordered the camera I was unsure what I needed and what was included with the camera. I knew that I needed a cord from the camera to my computer and could not see that it was included so I ordered one. I now have two cords but NO Memory Card. I ordered that today and will get it in a week - two weeks? I'll not be taking any picture before then but I will be trying to understand the manual.
If any readers of my past postings believe that I have been too critical of President Obama I want you to know that I strongly believe what Monty Pelerin's World said in his post Lesser-Evil Politics. At this time in history it just happens that President Obama is the one that is accelerating the rate at which the country is being destroyed and I'm opposed to that.
Neither party deserves respect. On most issues there is no difference between them. Even when they differ, the difference is more political marketing than true substance. Both parties grow government. Both engage in unnecessary military adventures. Both exploit citizens to feather their own nests. Both pander to voters rather than adhere to principles. Both routinely ignore the Constitution. Both raise taxes. Both expand programs. They differ only by degree and the rate at which they are destroying the country.
6 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning the low was 27° which happened about 30 minutes before we started our walk. It was another of those morning that after some 10 minutes I was wanting my gloves. I didn't need them after the sun popped over the mountains but there was a chill in the air until then.
The thunderstorm that was moving in from the east yesterday sort of dried up as the day progressed and all we got was more forest fire smoke blowing in. Very clear sky this morning with only a slight haze on the mountains to the east across this narrow valley. I am in the foothills of the mountains on the west side with the crest only 3-4 miles away.
It looked like we could get wet yesterday afternoon so I cut our walk short. Did one lap around the Park and got out of the 'cool' wind that was blowing. It looks like we may have a repeat performance coming in from the east this afternoon. Might get some rain yet.
I got an Amazon email this morning that said my Memory Card has shipped and that I can expect it by June 11th. I checked the tracking and found that it is in Phoenix, AZ this morning which prompted a question in my mind, "Why is it going to take 5 days to go 570 miles"? This is Pony Express speed!
This quote from an article by Chris Stirewalt probably say it all about the Verizon telephone taps. Politicians from both parties are defending the surveillance on the grounds that it is protecting us from terrorist. It didn't do much to protect the people in Boston but I haven't heard anyone providing an excuse yet. This may be the slap along the side of the head that the American public needed to wake them up to what is happening in our government - I have my doubts however.
As American’s trust and confidence in their government drops lower and lower, it is not a good time to discover a massive, secret domestic surveillance program. As Obama tries to get off of the defensive concerning abuses of power by members of his administration, this is totally toxic.
7 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA130 June 7, 1925
This morning the low was 30° which happened about 30 minutes after we started our walk. It felt colder than that because there was patchy ground fog throughout the valley. I saw one small airplane do a flyover deciding not to land and saw another one take off just as the north end of the runway started to become enclosed in fog. It had all burned off soon after the sun came up over the mountains however and warmed up quickly.
The thunderstorm yesterday afternoon came a little after we had finished our walk which was a good thing. This time we did get some lighting, thunder, loss of WIFI, blowing winds and 0.05" of rain. There is a 50% chance that it will happen again today and the cloud build up by noon is the most I have seen so far. We might get a good rain out of this one.
I read about 1/2 of my Daily blogs and then un-plugged from electric for our trip to town. By that I mean I drove the 1.5 miles to Lowe's Market for groceries. Lowe's reminded me of the store that I went to in Challis, ID or the one in Jackpot, NV.
It is going to provide what I need while I'm here but not everything that I want. No dark chocolate candy, no store brand Eggbeaters (they have small containers of Eggbeaters brand but outrageously expensive, I'll eat eggs) and no Fuji apples. The absence of any Fuji forced me to consider some others and I picked up some Braeburns that just might stay on my list. I wanted some habanero chile, either fresh or dry, and could find none but did find some packages of crushed cayenne.
From the Market I moved less than a block north to the Camp Fire Café, in the Elk Horn Lodge, for breakfast. I had their chorizo and eggs which was nothing special and a bit pricey but there are not a lot of places to chose from. I'll be back to 'pay' for my free coffee that I'm getting when I walk up here in the mornings if for no other reason.
Then went to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park just off US64 about a mile east of the junction with NM434. The outside grounds have some displays, a Huey most prominently, then there is a chapel, a gift shop and a display area. I went through the displays in about 30 minutes and then took another 10-15 to fill out some paperwork to donate my Army uniform to the Park. I'll know in a few days if they want to take it (my opinion is that it is in better shape than what they currently have on display).
The only thing of consequence that I've done here at home is start to read my Monthly blogs again. That and some reading of my new historical novel. Didn't try to find the Angel Fire library, I need something to do next week!
The Bureau of Labor has released their non-farm job numbers for May, an increase of 175,000. The media is relatively silent about the jobs increase and totally dumb with regard to the Unemployment rate increase of 0.1% to 7.6%. In the run up to the election they would have been raving about the increase in jobs and how President Obama was responsible. Not so much now.
If you look at the Household Data for May the number of Employed was even better yet with an increase of 319,000 after the 293,000 increase in April. The number of Unemployed increased by 101,000 which is the bad news that the media is trying to sweep under the rug.
The increase in Employed and Unemployed came from the same source, a 231,000 decrease in the Not in the Labor Force. People came back into the labor market looking for jobs; some found one and some did not.
The Participation Rate increased by 0.1% to 63.4% which is good News but I didn't see any glowing media reports about it. Since the election is over and the lame stream media got their guy re-elected the jobs issue is not that important to them. They have much more important things to do now - job #1 is to try to provide cover for the President against all the scandals that keep popping up like Whac-A-Moles.
From The New York Times opinion pages President Obama’s Dragnet
by The Editorial Board Published: June 6, 2013. These are only the opening paragraphs of a serious parting of the ways between the NYT and President Obama. The Times has been carrying his water since Campaign 2008 but this appears to be the last straw. Very Bad News for the President.
Within hours of the disclosure that the federal authorities routinely collect data on phone calls Americans make, regardless of whether they have any bearing on a counterterrorism investigation, the Obama administration issued the same platitude it has offered every time President Obama has been caught overreaching in the use of his powers: Terrorists are a real menace and you should just trust us to deal with them because we have internal mechanisms (that we are not going to tell you about) to make sure we do not violate your rights.
Those reassurances have never been persuasive — whether on secret warrants to scoop up a news agency’s phone records or secret orders to kill an American suspected of terrorism — especially coming from a president who once promised transparency and accountability.
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the 9/11 attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers.
8 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning the low was 28° yet it didn't feel as cold as yesterday morning. The forecast for next week is much higher temperatures, maybe get up into the mid-80s with lows in the 40s maybe even 50s. I don't think it is going to happen but we will see.
The Thompson Ridge fire near Jemez Springs has grown to over 14,000 acres and has over 1,000 fire fighter on it now. It has grown to be bigger than the Tres Lagunas Fire that is east of me and sending some smoke my way from time to time. The rains have not helped much but higher humidity and weaker winds have kept both fires from growing even faster.
|Angel Fire, NM looking west to where my home is parked for the month of June.
| Dear Reader,
I have been here a week now and thought I would send this Postcard to brag about the weather. The high temperature has ranged from 69° to 77° with the nightly lows between 27° and 34°. I'm liking it, Patches loves it!
This was the headline by CNN Money for the US Treasury sale of 30 million shares of GM on Thursday: Taxpayers to make $1 billion from GM stock sale. WOW, isn't that great News. Most people would take the phrase "to make" to mean that the taxpayers got back more than it cost them. But, you must remember where CNN's loyalties lie and question what kind of spin might be involved.
That $1 billion that is so prominent in the headline is the total proceeds that they Treasury received. Those 30 million shares cost the taxpayers $1,315,500,000 so the headline should have read US Treasury lost $315.5 million form GM stock sale.
President Obama had it exactly right in 2004. He knew the Patriot Act was ripe for abuse and he has taken full advantage of those provisions that he claimed violated basic tenets of jurisprudence. He now claims however that there has been no wrong doing, everything is legal, and there has been no abuse by the executive branch. I wonder how many people he has blackmailed into doing his bidding since he came into office and found out how useful the Patriot Act could be?
In 2004, then-State Senator Barack Obama on Illinois Public Radio answering constituents' questions during his campaign for United Sates Senator, said, "[The Patriot Act] contained a whole series of provisions that violated a couple of basic tenets of jurisprudence--a couple of basic tenets of law that we always want to be mindful of. Number One: that a judge should find probable cause, or at least a reasonable suspicion before issuing a warrant for searches, seizures, wiretaps. Those provisions, in many cases, were violated. Number Two: that when the government is investigating you and obtains your records, that at some point, you should be notified about it so that you can defend yourself against these charges--particularly when it comes to U.S. citizens. And there were provisions in the Patriot Act that allowed, for example, the government to ask librarians about the books that you checked out, and the librarian was prohibited by law from letting you know that the government had asked about those materials. Those are areas in which a [sic] executive branch and a Justice Department can potentially abuse them in ways that, I think, run against the grain of our Constitution and the kinds of liberties we want to preserve.
9 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
I am not sure what the temperature was this morning. All of the history for the weather station reports that I have been looking at for the past week have now been revised. The historical record now shows that the high has been in the 71 to 80 range and the low 39 to 51. That is a Big difference in the low temperatures and although there may have been errors I don't know how the new numbers were arrived at.
I did some web searches and found a web page that provided METAR Information for KAXX (the Angel Fire Airport). METAR is a format for reporting weather information and the web page I found was a MADIS (Meteorological Assimilation Data Ingest System) analysis of KAXX reporting. What this page was saying for KAXX is that their temperature readings were NOT within an acceptable error range. Therefore, what I have been seeing has been incorrect readings and because of this analysis I'm assuming the historical record has been adjusted. It has still been very nice weather just not as cold in the early morning hours as originally reported. The Chamber of Commerce may have also played a part in all this. HA
I did nothing out of the ordinary today. Cooked a couple of salmon fillets that I had in the freezer since Albuquerque and have two more still there. Made up a pot of Frey's Special Chili a couple of days ago so I can have some of that as a side dish served Cincinnati Style. This will provide 'linners' for the next 4 days with some Chili left to go with whatever I decided to pick up for next weeks groceries.
As the scope of the government's spying on private citizens becomes clear, left-wing politicians are openly criticizing Obama and his Administration. Long critical of Bush-era anti-terror policies, many had expected Obama to end these practices, rather than expand him. MD Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings said, "I think the president needs to go back and read his own speeches.”
“I’m very concerned that this is basically a continuation of the policies of the Bush administration and the abuses of the Patriot Act. I’d like to see better out of this administration,” OR Rep. Peter DeFazio told Politico.
Another editorial from The Seattle Times, a left leaning newspaper, (sorry about the redundancy) condemns President Obama for his abuse of power. I think the next edition of the Merrium-Webster Dictionary will have a picture of President Obama by the word overreach.
This page supported Barack Obama. So did the voters of Washington. Obama was for “change.” But on the matter of secret killing by aerial drone, on detention without trial at Guantánamo, and now on the mass interception of mail by the national security state, where is the change? The essence of the Constitution is power constrained by law. We are looking for the constraint and not seeing it.
10 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
I still do not know what the low temperature was yesterday morning but I know a lot more than I did. I have been using Underground Weather for many years now because they are one of the few weather sites on the Internet that provide historical data for most places in the US. I now question my judgment in doing so but don't know what the alternatives might be.
I did more research yesterday and found that the weather reporting station that I had selected, NW face of Angel Fire Ski Mountain, Angel Fire, NM (elv. 9,030') or KNMANGEL2, was reporting weather readings from Angel Fire Airport (elv. 8,379) or KAXX for the period June 1-8, 2013. Yesterday morning KAXX stopped submitting readings and did not begin again until 6:30 yesterday afternoon.
When KAXX stopped reporting I assume Weather Underground switched to some other reporting station to provide KNMANGEL2 with data and that stations history replaced what was there before. I was able to find KAXX as a reporting station on Weather Underground and the history matches what I had recorded on a daily basis since I have been here. The high/low for June 9th is meaningless however because it only started at 6:30 in the afternoon.
Today, June 10th, Weather Underground appears to have moved KAXX back to being the reporting station for KNMANGEL2 once again and the historical data has moved also. I sent Weather Underground an email yesterday and asked them what was going on but have not received a reply. There is a very good chance I won't.
What all of this has taught me is that I need to view all of the data that I see on Weather Underground with a bit of skepticism and not take it at face value. It has also taught me to search for an airport reporting station near the location that I'm interested in. There is a better chance that data from an airport has some validity than other reporting stations although they may contain errors also as I pointed out yesterday or the reported high/low for June 9th.
Having said all that, I do believe that the low temperature this morning was 37°. The MADIS analysis for KAXX has reported that their temperature readings have been outside an acceptable error range for a long time and nothing has been done about it. I walked up to the airport and spoke to a guy that was manning the desk and radio about all this yesterday. He didn't know much but thought the MADIS analysis was not very useful because there were no other close by reporting stations to compare to (this being an important part of the analysis).
Nothing else of much interest happening with me. Still making progress on reading my Monthly blogs, maybe finish them in a couple of days. The very nice breeze during most of the day leads me to the couch to read my latest historical novel. Then there are the twice a day walks with Patches. Not doing much but enjoy the not doing.
It is the beginning of another week and the beginning of another scandal in Washington. It is a sad day for the Clintonistas because this drives another spike in Hillary's chances for the nomination in 2016. The far left wing of the Democrat Party will still be all for her nomination but I think the rest of the Party will balk considering her and President Obama's problems.
CBS News reports that is has unearthed documents from the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), an internal watchdog agency, that implicate the State Department in a series of misconducts worldwide.
The memo, reported by CBS News’ John Miller, cited eight specific examples, including allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” with foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s security detail “engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries” — a problem the report says was “endemic.”
Former State Department internal investigator Aurelia Fedenisn told CBS News, “We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases.”
Often times, other DSS agents were simply told to back off of investigations of high-ranking State Department members. Fedenisn told CBS that “hostile intelligence services” allow criminal behavior to continue.
11 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
It surprised me but I did get a reply from Underground Weather. They didn't say it in exactly these words but there system does an automatic adjustment of past and current data when it receives a report that is not within 'some' established parameters.
Therefore, when KAXX quit sending reports on Jun 9th the system recalibrated the history for June 1-8. I don't know how far back the recalibration may have gone. They said they would go back and restore the history which is what has happened, including the erroneous high/low for June 9 (I would think it would be best to show N/A for that date).
Yesterday did reach a high of 83° with this mornings low a couple degrees lower than yesterday at 36°. The forecast high is to remain in the 80s for the next few days then back into the upper 70s for about a week. Very nice IF the breeze continues during the afternoon!
This morning as I was reading my Daily blogs I lost connection with WIFI which has happened a few times since I have been here. Not a big issue, I have simply clicked on the Network Icon and a list of available WIFI locations appears and I then click on Monte Verde and Connect.
This morning when it happened I clicked on the Icon and got nothing. If I hovered over the Icon it said; Not Connected - Connections are Available. That was all well and good but I could not see them to click on Monte Verde. I went to the Park Office and the owner and I messed with computer for about 1/2 hour and could find nothing wrong but the Icon did not work. Then suddenly it did work - WOW, we fixed it. Have no idea what was wrong nor why it worked again.
I checked the Tracking for my Memory Card shipment and found that it sat in Henderson, Co from late June 7th until arriving in Santa Fe, NM early this morning. That is only 92 miles away now but I'm betting it will take all day to get here. Maybe arrive late in the day at the Post Office and I'll get it tomorrow.
I got a new neighbor yesterday in a VERY shinny, older, small (maybe 18') Airstream trailer. It also came equipped with two dogs that have been causing Patches some aggravation, not that they are doing anything it is just their close proximity. One of them is a Boston Bull that looks like her friend Buddy that she tried to play with in Pahrump. That didn't work very well because Patches would just run over poor little Buddy and he did his best to stay out of her way.
Have become current with my Monthly blogs again. Dropped off another one that had not posted in over 6 months, I think that will be my new standard. I have also moved Tioga George into the Monthly list although he has said that he is retired from blogging. I suspect he will be back within the next 6 months.
12 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
Yesterday dropped down a degree to a high of 82° with this mornings low down to 30°. The forecast high for today is 84 and I think it will make it because it was already 80 at 11:00. I may even have to run the A/C if the wind dies down like it did late yesterday afternoon.
My Memory Card was delivered in the early afternoon yesterday to the Post Office as I suspected. The Park owners don't go to get the mail until after daily mail delivery which is around 11:00 so I didn't receive it until this afternoon. I'll now start to get serious about learning what the camera is all about since I now have some way to see what I took a picture off.
The neighbor that I told you about yesterday left this morning but not before I saw the license plate on the trailer. It was a 1961 Airstream Bambi 16' that had been polished by The Polishing Guru in Riverside, CA. It was not just the trailer that was polished but the twin LP Gas tanks on the tongue were also like mirrors. I didn't see the interior but if it has been restored like the exterior the trailer would sell for about the same price as a new Bambi. It was beautiful.
Have started to get the Will Rogers weekly article links ready for July. Nothing different at this time because of Windows 8. The difference will come into play when I want to copy the text from PDF file and paste to my blog site.
The other biggie for the the day was I made a decision. I had tentatively planned/thought about going to the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial area for the first 2 weeks of August. I have had reservations in Custer, SD since just after the first of the year and I thought that would be a good route to get there.
However, that idea would have required driving 816 miles rather than the 339 miles that I now have planned. The RV park in Medora, ND plus a stop to get there would have cost me about $450 compared to the $250 with the new plan. There was also a problem with the RV Park Reviews, the time of year (lots of tourists right off the Interstate) and the impact that the fracking oil boom (yes I spelled that correctly) has had on prices in northwestern/western North Dakota.
13 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
Yesterday the high of 83° almost reached the forecast but I think it will be far short of the predicted 82 for today. This morning was much warmer with a low of 40°. I didn't need the A/C yesterday but did run the fan in the early evening when the wind died. Thunderstorms predicted for the next 4 days and it looked like one was on its way today at noon. By 1:30 I was sure we were going to get a good rain but what fell wasn't enough to hold the dust down.
The Park owner was in Santa Fe yesterday for most of the day at a doctors appointment. That left the wife here to manage the Park and without a car to go after the mail. Didn't get my Memory Card until after 5:00 pm and didn't do a thing yesterday. Started the learning process today in a limited way.
As soon as our morning walk was completed we went to town. Stopped in at the Café Espresso and got a latte while I waited for Lowe's Market to open. I'll probably have breakfast there next week when I go for groceries.
After stocking up at Lowe's I moved on to the Camp Fire Café for breakfast. Had their Huevos Rancheros this morning which were nothing to get excited about. Neither place had many customers this morning so I am either much too early for this town or not many people come out for breakfast, there are not many choices.
14 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA131 June 14, 1925
We finally got the good thunderstorm that has been promised for more than a week. There were a few sprinkles during the afternoon but the rain finally came around 8:00 pm with some showers and then a steady rain put me to sleep.
The Park shut down their WIFI for about an hour during the afternoon when we had lightning popping all around. I heard that there were two, maybe three, fires started by lightning nearby. One or two of them were put out quickly but the Park owners wife told me one that was started yesterday was still burning, I could find no report of that anyplace on the Internet.
She came by around 9:30 this morning and said that the electric company was going to turn off all power at 10:00 to do some transformer work and the WIFI would be shut off. She promptly turned off the WIFI at 9:50 but I never saw any loss of electric power unless it was only for a few minutes. The WIFI here came back up at about 11:15 although I had been seeing others were up throughout our whole down time. No serious issue but it did cut into my web reading. HA
The official rainfall yesterday was 0.25" which was a good rain here since it has been so dry. The high yesterday was 80° although it never felt like it. This morning the low was a couple degrees warmer, at 42°, than yesterday but felt colder because it was so damp. Maybe more rain today with the clouds building again by noon.
I got started learning about my camera yesterday. It is a Cannon PowerShot A1300 16.0 megapixel, 5x optical zoom, 28mm wide angle lens. The Users Manual that came with it on a CD is for a Cannon PowerShot SD1300 SI which has caused me a lot of problems. I read the Manual and it tells me to push arrows and buttons that do not exist on my camera.
Yesterday I did get the Memory Card installed and Formatted. Then was able to take a picture of my model, Patches, and then see it on the LED screen. It wasn't a very good picture, nor bad, but I wanted to delete it so I would know how. This is where the Manual and the camera did not match up at all and it took me around 15 minutes to finally find out how to delete a picture. That was enough for the day - too frustrated to continue, maybe more today.
I continue to follow the headline news from Bulgaria and saw this today. They were talking about building this bridge in 1997 when I stopped in Vidin while on my circular bicycle trip around Bulgaria. Everything takes time in Bulgaria a country whose motto could be "It's good enough".
A new bridge linking Bulgaria and Romania across the Danube River was opened Friday with hopes that it will spur growth in one of Europe's poorest regions.
But skeptics argue that dilapidated infrastructure on both sides of the river will turn it into "a bridge to nowhere."
The long-delayed bridge linking Vidin in Bulgaria with Calafat in Romania was opened at a ceremony attended by top politicians of the two countries and EU officials.
15 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
We had a few drops of rain yesterday but the official recording was 0.0 inches. It stayed very cloudy all afternoon with a high of 72° that came a little before noon. This morning the low was 34°and that is the forecast for the next 10 days, highs in the 70s and low in the 30s.
I did nothing more with my camera yesterday other than get it in its camera bag and mounted on my belt. I wore it this morning on our walk just to see how it was going to 'ride'. After wearing it for a few days I doubt that I'll know that it is there. Didn't see anything that got me excited enough to take a picture. I'll be back into a learning mode this afternoon. Can't get so frustrated with it that I throw it up against a wall so I'm taking it very slow and easy.
I finished The Hope by Herman Wouk yesterday. This was a historical fiction novel that focused on the major Israeli wars between 1948 and 1967. Their War of Independence, Suez and Six Day War. I read something by Wouk a very long time ago but can not remember what, if I find another novel of his I'll trade for it - this was a good read.
Patches and I both got a surprise this morning as we approached the Park bathroom. I was just about to step up onto the entry porch where I tether Patches to a bench when the bathroom door opened and Patches was nose to nose with another dog coming out. She behaved well considering the circumstances; came to a Heel on command, barked a couple of times then shut up on command. I couldn't ask for much more, she can be a Good Girl.
I still do not find an active fire anywhere close to Angel Fire, NM as the Park owners wife claimed yesterday. The Thompson Ridge fire is now the largest in NM and NM4, that I drove across the day after it started, has been re-opened after being closed for a few days. It has now been declared to be 75% under control with no increase in size over the past 24 hours and all per-evacuation orders have been lifted. A much better outcome than the Black Forest fire in Colorado which is only 30% contained.
16 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning the low was 46° but the weather guessers are standing by their forecast of lows in the 30 for the next 10 days. They did get the high correct yesterday it was 77° and that is what they are calling for in the future.
Soon after going to bed last night the wind came up strong. Steady winds of 20 mph and gusting at over 30. There is another thunderstorm building up today but the chances of rain are not very high. We will get the winds again for sure, already starting to blow in the early afternoon.
We did our walk to the south this morning with an anticipated stop at the Camp Fire Café for free coffee. My host didn't get up to make any this morning so we rested for a few minutes and returned home. Didn't find any roadside treasure this morning either. I found a nickle on the south route our last time and an adjustable wrench yesterday on the north route. Patches finds treasures on every walk!
This is Agua Fria Peak at Angel Fire the home of Angel Fire Bike Park which has over 50 miles of trails on one of the largest lift-access mountains in North America. Rider and bike can get a (chair)lift on the Chile Express to the summit at 11,078 feet. In the winter it is known as The Mountain at Angel Fire where the base elevation is 8,600 feet with the summit at 10,677 feet. Vertical drop: 2,077 feet. Skiable Terrain: more than 550 acres.
I took this picture yesterday afternoon from near the Angel Fire airport looking south. It then took me about 1 1/2 hours to get the pictures I had taken downloaded from the camera into Picasa, edited, saved to my computer Picture folder and then uploaded to my web site. I have so much software 'stuff' loaded onto my computer from the Cannon CD that I have no idea what it does.
I don't think I need much of it so I went into my computer today and deleted/uninstalled everything I could find that had Downloaded from Cannon with one exception. I did keep PhotoStich which does panoramic pictures by combining multiple shots. Don't have a clue how to use it yet but I have left it. Some of the other 'stuff' that I threw away would have let me send pictures to iPhone, iPad, Facebook and a bunch of other places that I have absolutely no desire to send them. I will now see if I can upload pictures to my computer - but not today, I'm not prepared for the disappointment. HA
17 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning the low was 34° scoring another correct guess by the weather gurus. They got the high correct for yesterday also, it was 77° which matched the day before and continues to be their forecast for the next 10 days. I hope they have it right, the weather has been wonderful.
Didn't do much of anything today. Yesterday afternoon when we returned from our walk I noticed that the gray water tank was full, I can tell this when it starts to backup into the shower. My fresh water idiot light was also reading 1/4 full so it had to be time to dump tanks and take on fresh water. I got that taken care of and should be good until just before leaving.
The Park has had a lot of bicyclist during this past week but most of them were gone by this morning. For a short time the entire row that I am in was vacant except for me. That only lasted for about 3 hours and I now have new neighbors in the space right next to me. With the entire row empty why they are right next door is a question I'm not going to ask.
All this activity and hard work took its toll. I was there on the couch reading my latest book with Patches on my lap. The next thing I knew I was waking up from a nap that seemed to have overtaken me. That doesn't happen a lot but I don't attempt to fight it when it does.
18 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning the low was 47°, kept much higher by a solid cloud cover that was down below the mountain tops. The weather guessers were correct again yesterday for the high which was 75°. Their 10 day forecast continues to show highs in the 70s but the upper 70s after this next week.
My next door neighbors are here for a week but primarily here for this Saturday June 22nd & Sunday June 23rd. They are part of the support staff for the 2nd Annual Angel Fire Endurance Race which offers up distances of 50Km, 50Mi and 100Mi. The course is and out and back 12.5 mile route that is repeated until the the selected distance is achieved. There is a 30 hour cutoff with additional cutoff times for the 100 mile participants at 50, 62.5 and 75 miles.
Patches was barking at them as they came past the side of Desperado so I took her out to meet them. She was a sweetheart and they provided her with some attention so she should now give them a pass. They are traveling in a beautiful Mercedes Diesel Fleetwood Pulse Class C RV that I think were only offered in 2009 & 2010 and sell used for between $60,000 and $85,000. Well out of my price range but would love to have one.
President Obama said the following in and interview with Charlie Rose of PBS to defend the NSA surveillance: "It is transparent, that's why we set up the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court." The location of the FISA court is secret, the sessions are closed, the orders that result from hearings in which only government lawyers are present are classified. That is the President's idea of transparent and because of this belief he can also claim to have a transparent administration.
Then there is this article Obama on Syria: Americans Just Don’t Understand by By Chris Stirewalt for FoxNews.com where he explains the President's 'leadership from behind' in Syria. It is all just so complicated that he can not explain it to people that are not smart enough to understand.
That seems to be the new motif of this presidency, whether it’s domestic spying, taking it easy on the IRS and Department of Justice scandals or implementing his creaking and groaning health law. Americans can’t understand the details here, but Obama and his team of experts understand things in a way we can’t.
Obama can’t tell you why he’s doing what he’s doing because it is too complicated. But if you could understand, you’d be all for it.
For a government and a president suffering a crisis of confidence, “trust me” takes a mocking tone.
19 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning the low was 37°, a full 10 degrees colder than yesterday morning. The high yesterday was another perfect 75° but the weather guesser are trying to spoil it with a 81° forecast for today.
I was awake at 5:00 this morning, as I am many days, but usually lay there and wait for 5:30 to roll around before getting up. Had a lot to do this morning so I got up, Patches was all in favor, and we went for our walk. When we got home I unplugged from electric and we went to town with a first stop at the laundromat. This is right next door to the Camp Fire Café so I went in and had some coffee and conversation during the wash cycle.
Stopped at the Café Espresso for a biscuits and sausage gravy breakfast. Won't do that again. The biscuits were hard, like a day old, and the sausage gravy was small sausage links cut up in the gravy. I want my sausage to be crumbled up with the gravy made from the drippings not links cut into pieces and then added. BAH!
Our last stop was at Lowe's Market again to load up with groceries for the week. Got the makings for Southwest Crock Pot Tenderloin but will cook it in the Thermal Cooker all day after boiling for 30 minutes. It is very simple; tenderloin on the bottom in broth with diced onion, jalapeño and poblano peppers on top and your choice of spices.
Got all of that done and was back in my space and hooked up again by 9:00. On my way up here on June 1st when I stopped in Taos I saw that the wheel cover for the dualies on the drivers side had come off and was being held on only by the valve extenders again. I kicked it back on but knew that it was not seated correctly. When I looked at it this morning I could see that it would be coming off again soon so I did a proper job on it this time and will see how long it lasts, it is seated correctly and seated well now as is the other side.
I took a couple more pictures yesterday afternoon while on our walk. Wanted to try taking pictures of flowers and this was the best I could do. Not a lot of choices to be had and I didn't know what I was doing but this is what I got. I also got a couple of accidental shots when I didn't turn the camera off. The download, edit and upload went easier this time and I can delete everything from the Memory Card now after only a few false starts. Moving right along into the 21st Century! HA
There was quite a large patch of these very small wildflowers. They are about the only flowers blooming here at this time except for the alfalfa blossoms. I am guessing that there may be some others start to bloom soon but spring and summer come late to this high dry country. There has been a severe drought here so that may have made for very poor wildflowers this year.
This was the only other flower, and I only saw this one plant, that was along NM434 south of the RV Park. I think this may be lupine but I know next to nothing about flower identification.
The forest fire that is close to Angel Fire is called the Whites Peak Fire. It started on June 13th, has burned 1,275 acres and is considered 50% contained. It is located 14 miles Southwest of Cimarron, NM and never posed any immediate threat to the Angel Fire area because of the prevailing winds.
I use inciWeb.org to get information on fires but this one has never shown up there. I think it has been contained by local resources and was never reported to that site. I got my information from an email that NM State Forestry Wildland Fire Information Listserv sent to the Park and they forwarded to me.
20 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
This morning the low was 33° and I made a mistake how I dressed thinking it was warmer than that. It felt great returning after having coffee but was a little cool the first thing this morning.The weather guessers were wrong again but not by much and we did break the string of 70s with a high yesterday of 80°. It was still a rather nice day but the forecast is now slipping in a 80 degree day from time to time over the next 10 days.
About 7:00 last night I lost WIFI. The icon on my computer was showing that WIFI spots were available but when I hovered over it showed "Monte Verde RV Park No Internet Access". If the icon was clicked a list of possible WIFI sites were shown with the RV Park having 4 bars but the status was "Limited" vs "Connected". I checked again just before going to bed and found the same thing as well as at 7:00 this morning. Went to the Park office at 8:00 and found out that it is a telephone/ISP problem.
I stopped by at the Park office around noon to see if they had any more information about the telephone problem. They had not hear anything from the telephone company but an Albuquerque TV station was running a News story that someone had 'dug before calling' and had cut the DSL connection. This caused a loss of Internet service to not just the Angel Fire area but a 3 county area here in northern New Mexico. I finally got an Internet connection at 4:00.
The Southwest Crock Pot Tenderloin was done by early evening yesterday but I wanted it to be 'pull pork' done. Brought it to a boil again for about 10 minutes and then back into the Thermal Cooker overnight. This morning I brought it to a boil one more time and I'll have 'pull pork' tenderloin with peppers over rice for my 'linner' today. I taste tested it this morning and knew that it was going to be good but it was even better than I had expected. This is something that I will make again.
Finished another historical novel Rebel by Bernard Cornwell last night. This was Volume One of his Starbuck Chronicles with Nathaniel Starbuck being the focus of the story that starts with the secession of the States and stops after the first battle at Manassas. He also wrote an 11 book collection called the Sharpe Series. I would like to find more of his.
21 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA132 June 21, 1925
This morning the low was 34° yet I felt colder, even with a warmer jacket, than I did yesterday. Didn't quite make it to the 80 degree mark yesterday but the guess is for 81° again today. No more thunderstorms predicted for the next week with party cloudy days only on the agenda. That usually means clear sky in the mornings with clouds building up in the afternoon. VERY nice weather!
The Sangre de Cristo Cronicle, the 'local rag' published on Thursday, had this to say about the disruption in Internet service. I don't know that anyone knows what happened or is going to tell.
The disruption, which affected customers in Taos, Angel Fire and other communities in the area, was attributed to a severed fiber-optic line near Eagle Nest, according to CenturyLink.
David Gonzáles with CenturyLink told The Taos News that crews are on the scene to repair the damage.
Gonzáles said the break in the line may have been caused by a rodent chewing through the cable. Officials with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission attributed the outage to lightning.
When I first arrived here I could see 3 patches of snow on a mountain peak to the northwest of Angel Fire. Now there is a very small one and one larger one remaining. It reminded me of the snow patch that lingers on the side on Mt Rose near Reno, NV that I would watch every summer.
I got a couple of pictures of it yesterday. This is Old Mike Peak at 13,113 feet that is just south of Wheeler Peak the highest mountain top in New Mexico at 13,167 feet. Mount Walter at 13,141 feet is just to the north of it. Depending on where the three summits are viewed from it is not easy to know which one you are looking at.
In this first picture the RV Park office is the building in the right center foreground. You can see Desperado, if you look very closely, as a white spot near the right edge of the picture in front of the silver building. To the left of the office there are a couple of RVs in the pull through section of the RV Park. To the right of me is the section of the Park that is closest to NM434 but has a line of trees blocking the view from where the picture was taken.
The second picture was taken from the RV Park, about .75 miles closer to the Peak than the first one. I have also cropped it to show mostly just the peak and the forested mountains just north of US64.
It looks so simple but it took me over an hour to get the pictures to align as you see them above and then have this following paragraph start where you would expect to see it. If you have ever done any HTML coding you probably understand my agony. Or, maybe you are good at it and are sniggering at my amateurish efforts. NOTE: It took me mere minutes to re-do the picture alignment on 5 Oct 2015.
The lame stream media has attempted to dismiss him as a kook but Ron Paul understands what the problems are in this country. The 'people' do not care however, they will happily go along with the Status Quo until such time as it collapses then they will seek a scapegoat with a vengeance. What kind of a country, lead by what kind of despot, will emerge I can not predict but I know that President Obama's promise of Change will certainly come.
The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are being looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care? When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media? Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be. – Ron Paul
22 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
It felt colder this morning and I found that it had been 31°. WHOA, that is a freezing temperature on the first day of summer, what is going on here? One degree cooler for the high yesterday at 78°. That is quite alright but the weather guessers are trying to spoil it with a couple of 84 highs next week.
I saw 4 ultralights flying around this morning as we did our walk. One of them came over the RV Park and did a tight circle at about 500'. This one had the parasail type wings but there were two others that had the more conventional aircraft wings with an aircraft tail. I think they are Dragonfly's produced by LiteFlight. The wind came up early today which I think is going to keep them grounded for the rest of the day.
Because I didn't have an Internet connection for almost 24 hours a few days ago I got a lot of book reading done while on the couch. Today I finished Airframe by Michael Crichton that is a fairly quick read even if I didn't have all that extra time. It was a good read but not as good as The Great Train Robbery, the last one of his that I had read.
I have been considering getting a seat belt for Patches. She has taken a couple of falls from her passenger seat position when I had to stop suddenly. Then today I saw this News item, dateline Miami, FL.
A first-of-its-kind crash test for dog harnesses widely used by pet owners showed that none offer adequate protection, with not a single harness passing the test.
The non-profit Center for Pet Safety (CPS) said during its harness tests, crash-test dog dummies turned into projectiles and were even decapitated.
“We tested them to the child safety restraint standard and we experienced a 100-percent failure rate to protect either the consumer or the dog,” said CPS founder and CEO Lindsey Wolko. “That is a very real concern for consumers.”
After posting yesterday I did a browser compatibility check and found that my site was being shown pretty much as I see it by all the major browsers. However, I also saw that I had a resolution problem that was changing how my pictures were displayed. My resolution is 1366x768 but there are a lot of computers out there that are still using 1280x? and 1152X?.
On my computer the two pictures yesterday were shown side by side but at the lower resolution the right picture would get moved down below the left one, still on the right side but below. I went back and re-coded my HTML and now the pictures should appear side by side on virtually all computers. I have no idea what my site looks like on a iPad or any of the tablets but I think they have high enough resolution that it will be fine.
23 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
Once again it felt colder this morning and sure enough it was 29°. Summer has arrived and the mornings are getting colder. There is something wrong about how this is working; I can only guess it is the effect of global warming/climate change. The day time high missed the forecast again yesterday at 77° but they are not giving up, still promising 80s.
A few ultralights flying around again this morning. One of my neighbors a couple of spaces east has some ultralight decals on his rear window. Since the same one as yesterday did another circle around the Park again I'm guessing he has been doing a fly over every morning.
This is a picture of a 'fix-er-uper' that is about 200 yards southwest of the Park office. It has a great location on a slight ridge that affords a wonderful view of the valley and all the surrounding mountains. It is near the western boundary of 12 acres that adjoin the Park property and has a For Sale sign offering it as Commercial Property. I am only guessing but you could probably pick it up for less than $500,000.
Today there has been a steady rotation of campers through the Park. The most entertaining has been the 4 guys that came in this early afternoon and pitched 3 tents in a moderate wind. One of the tents was a monster, probably a 4 man tent for the two guys that were trying to get it up. The tent went up fairly easy considering but I got a lot of entertainment out of their trying to get the tent fly in place.
24 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
It didn't feel as cold this morning yet when I was at the Camp Fire Café having free coffee the TV weather reporter claimed that it was 28°. Yes, that was the low for this morning after a high of 79° yesterday. It is expected to get warmer during the next few days here with the highs and lows to be 10-15° higher at my next camp.
The tent campers that gave me so much entertainment yesterday had taken their tents down again and were leaving when Patches and I finished our afternoon walk. I ask the office what that had been about this morning and was told they moved to be with friends at a campground in the National Forest. They arranged to keep the bathroom keys however and will use the showers here in the Park.
My next door neighbors also left this morning as well as the three RVs that were behind me. For the time being I'm here alone in my little corner of the Park with only one other rig in the south row and they are 4 spaces away to the east.
I finished setting up the links for the July Will Rogers weekly articles. Will probably copy the August information from the PDF file that I downloaded and get it posted to my web site before I leave here. That will be a new learning step in this process since I got Windows 8 but I don't think there will be any big change.
The latest novel that I am reading is by Nelson DeMille which I'm reading very quickly. It is very good so I'm on the couch with Patches more than usual, about 3/4 the way through it and can't wait to see what happens next. I know already that I'll be looking for another one of his books.
25 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
It warmed up quite a lot and was 35° this morning. However, the high yesterday cooled back down just a little to 77°. This morning it was calm while we did our walk and stayed that way until about 9:00 then the wind kicked in and started blowing hard.
We went to town again right after finishing our walk. I got a latte at the Café Espresso while I waited for Lowe's Market to open. Gathered up some groceries and was at the Camp Fire Café by 7:50. They claim to open at 8:00 but were already open which was great. Ordered Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde and Eggs that was not on the menu but the cook was happy to fix it for me. Was good but not as good as what I got from Café 66 in Albuquerque.
I finished The General's Daughter by Nelson DeMille which was great. This is the third book of his that I have read; all with different characters and all of them very good. Read some of his novels if you have not done so yet!
The novel Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell was published in 1949 but has been flying off of Amazon shelves, so to speak, since the NSA surveillance was revealed. Over the next few days I am going to serialize the article Industrial Society and its Future, published in 1995, which I think may augur the future for this country as 1984 did.
1. The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in "advanced" countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have inflicted severe damage on the natural world. The continued development of technology will worsen the situation. It will certainly subject human beings to greater indignities and inflict greater damage on the natural world, it will probably lead to greater social disruption and psychological suffering, and it may lead to increased physical suffering even in "advanced" countries.
2. The industrial-technological system may survive or it may break down. If it survives, it MAY eventually achieve a low level of physical and psychological suffering, but only after passing through a long and very painful period of adjustment and only at the cost of permanently reducing human beings and many other living organisms to engineered products and mere cogs in the social machine. Furthermore, if the system survives, the consequences will be inevitable: There is no way of reforming or modifying the system so as to prevent it from depriving people of dignity and autonomy.
3. If the system breaks down the consequences will still be very painful. But the bigger the system grows the more disastrous the results of its breakdown will be, so if it is to break down it had best break down sooner rather than later.
4. We therefore advocate a revolution against the industrial system. This revolution may or may not make use of violence: it may be sudden or it may be a relatively gradual process spanning a few decades. We can't predict any of that. But we do outline in a very general way the measures that those who hate the industrial system should take in order to prepare the way for a revolution against that form of society. This is not to be a POLITICAL revolution. Its object will be to overthrow not governments but the economic and technological basis of the present society.
5. In this article we give attention to only some of the negative developments that have grown out of the industrial-technological system. Other such developments we mention only briefly or ignore altogether. This does not mean that we regard these other developments as unimportant. For practical reasons we have to confine our discussion to areas that have received insufficient public attention or in which we have something new to say. For example, since there are well-developed environmental and wilderness movements, we have written very little about environmental degradation or the destruction of wild nature, even though we consider these to be highly important.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MODERN LEFTISM
6. Almost everyone will agree that we live in a deeply troubled society. One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is leftism, so a discussion of the psychology of leftism can serve as an introduction to the discussion of the problems of modern society in general.
7. But what is leftism? During the first half of the 20th century leftism could have been practically identified with socialism. Today the movement is fragmented and it is not clear who can properly be called a leftist. When we speak of leftists in this article we have in mind mainly socialists, collectivists, "politically correct" types, feminists, gay and disability activists, animal rights activists and the like. But not everyone who is associated with one of these movements is a leftist. What we are trying to get at in discussing leftism is not so much a movement or an ideology as a psychological type, or rather a collection of related types. Thus, what we mean by "leftism" will emerge more clearly in the course of our discussion of leftist psychology (Also, see paragraphs 227-230.)
8. Even so, our conception of leftism will remain a good deal less clear than we would wish, but there doesn't seem to be any remedy for this. All we are trying to do is indicate in a rough and approximate way the two psychological tendencies that we believe are the main driving force of modern leftism. We by no means claim to be telling the WHOLE truth about leftist psychology. Also, our discussion is meant to apply to modern leftism only. We leave open the question of the extent to which our discussion could be applied to the leftists of the 19th and early 20th century.
9. The two psychological tendencies that underlie modern leftism we call "feelings of inferiority" and "oversocialization." Feelings of inferiority are characteristic of modern leftism as a whole, while oversocialization is characteristic only of a certain segment of modern leftism; but this segment is highly influential.
26 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
It was colder this morning at 32° but the high moved up one degree yesterday to 78°. The winds blew almost all day yesterday but it has remained calm this morning which may not be good by this afternoon if the forecast high of 86° comes to pass.
I didn't get any free coffee this morning when I walked to the Camp Fire Café so around 8:30 I went to the Park office and begged some from them. While visiting I found out that I was misinformed about the name of the peak that I showed pictures of on June 21st. The owner said she has been calling it Wheeler for the 12 years that she has been here and no one has ever corrected her. She found evidence however that it is actually Old Mike with Wheeler behind it as viewed from Angel Fire and can not be seen. I have gone back and corrected my posting of that date.
I have also discovered a bit of trivia, or perhaps common knowledge to some of you. The highest peak in NM and arguably in NV are both Wheeler Peak, both named in honor of Major George Montague Wheeler. Although Boundary Peak, officially the highest peak in NV, at 13,147' and 82' higher than Wheeler by most definitions Boundary Peak is a sub-peak of Montgomery Peak in California.
There have been, and will be, countless articles and endless talking heads on TV discussing Snowden and NSA surveillance. Of all the things that I have read Edward Snowden — Some Thoughts by Monty Pelerin states the issues as well as anyone.
Whether you consider Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor likely reflects your political affiliation. Democrats, who used to be against spying when in the opposition party, tend to view him as a traitor. Republicans, who used to be in favor of spying, tend to look at him as a hero. Both views are strongly influenced by how one feels about Obama...
Mr. Snowden, regardless of how bad he is painted and regardless of the damage done to our spying systems, has provided important information for the American electorate. He has shown government not to be the kindly old Uncle that the wanna-be despots would have you believe. He has lifted the curtain on what many suspect about their government — dishonesty and cowardice, coupled with an incessant drive for more power.
"Industrial Society and its Future" Continued.
FEELINGS OF INFERIORITY
10. By "feelings of inferiority" we mean not only inferiority feelings in the strictest sense but a whole spectrum of related traits: low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, depressive tendencies, defeatism, guilt, self-hatred, etc. We argue that modern leftists tend to have such feelings (possibly more or less repressed) and that these feelings are decisive in determining the direction of modern leftism.
11. When someone interprets as derogatory almost anything that is said about him (or about groups with whom he identifies) we conclude that he has inferiority feelings or low self-esteem. This tendency is pronounced among minority rights advocates, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend. They are hypersensitive about the words used to designate minorities. The terms "negro," "oriental," "handicapped" or "chick" for an African, an Asian, a disabled person or a woman originally had no derogatory connotation. "Broad" and "chick" were merely the feminine equivalents of "guy," "dude" or "fellow." The negative connotations have been attached to these terms by the activists themselves. Some animal rights advocates have gone so far as to reject the word "pet" and insist on its replacement by "animal companion." Leftist anthropologists go to great lengths to avoid saying anything about primitive peoples that could conceivably be interpreted as negative. They want to replace the word "primitive" by "nonliterate." They seem almost paranoid about anything that might suggest that any primitive culture is inferior to our own. (We do not mean to imply that primitive cultures ARE inferior to ours. We merely point out the hypersensitivity of leftish anthropologists.)
12. Those who are most sensitive about "politically incorrect" terminology are not the average black ghetto-dweller, Asian immigrant, abused woman or disabled person, but a minority of activists, many of whom do not even belong to any "oppressed" group but come from privileged strata of society. Political correctness has its stronghold among university professors, who have secure employment with comfortable salaries, and the majority of whom are heterosexual, white males from middle-class families.
13. Many leftists have an intense identification with the problems of groups that have an image of being weak (women), defeated (American Indians), repellent (homosexuals), or otherwise inferior. The leftists themselves feel that these groups are inferior. They would never admit it to themselves that they have such feelings, but it is precisely because they do see these groups as inferior that they identify with their problems. (We do not suggest that women, Indians, etc., ARE inferior; we are only making a point about leftist psychology).
14. Feminists are desperately anxious to prove that women are as strong as capable as men. Clearly they are nagged by a fear that women may NOT be as strong and as capable as men.
15. Leftists tend to hate anything that has an image of being strong, good and successful. They hate America, they hate Western civilization, they hate white males, they hate rationality. The reasons that leftists give for hating the West, etc. clearly do not correspond with their real motives. They SAY they hate the West because it is warlike, imperialistic, sexist, ethnocentric and so forth, but where these same faults appear in socialist countries or in primitive cultures, the leftist finds excuses for them, or at best he GRUDGINGLY admits that they exist; whereas he ENTHUSIASTICALLY points out (and often greatly exaggerates) these faults where they appear in Western civilization. Thus it is clear that these faults are not the leftist's real motive for hating America and the West. He hates America and the West because they are strong and successful.
16. Words like "self-confidence," "self-reliance," "initiative", "enterprise," "optimism," etc. play little role in the liberal and leftist vocabulary. The leftist is anti-individualistic, pro-collectivist. He wants society to solve everyone's needs for them, take care of them. He is not the sort of person who has an inner sense of confidence in his own ability to solve his own problems and satisfy his own needs. The leftist is antagonistic to the concept of
competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser.
17. Art forms that appeal to modern leftist intellectuals tend to focus on sordidness, defeat and despair, or else they take an orgiastic tone, throwing off rational control as if there were no hope of accomplishing anything through rational calculation and all that was left was to immerse oneself in the sensations of the moment.
18. Modern leftist philosophers tend to dismiss reason, science, objective reality and to insist that everything is culturally relative. It is true that one can ask serious questions about the foundations of scientific knowledge and about how, if at all, the concept of objective reality can be defined. But it is obvious that modern leftist philosophers are not simply cool-headed logicians
systematically analyzing the foundations of knowledge. They are deeply involved emotionally in their attack on truth and reality. They attack these concepts because of their own psychological needs. For one thing, their attack is an outlet for hostility, and, to the extent that it is successful, it satisfies the drive for power. More importantly, the leftist hates science and rationality because they classify certain beliefs as true (i.e., successful, superior) and other beliefs as false (i.e. failed, inferior). The leftist's feelings of inferiority run so deep that he cannot tolerate any classification of some things as successful or superior and other things as failed or inferior. This also underlies the rejection by many leftists of the concept of mental illness and of the utility of IQ tests. Leftists are antagonistic to genetic explanations of human abilities or behavior because such explanations tend to make some persons appear superior or inferior to others. Leftists prefer to give society the credit or blame for an individual's ability or lack of it. Thus if a person is "inferior" it is not his fault, but society's, because he has not been brought up properly.
19. The leftist is not typically the kind of person whose feelings of inferiority make him a braggart, an egotist, a bully, a self-promoter, a ruthless competitor. This kind of person has not wholly lost faith in himself. He has a deficit in his sense of power and self-worth, but he can still conceive of himself as having the capacity to be strong, and his efforts to make himself strong produce his unpleasant behavior.1 But the leftist is too far gone for that. His feelings of inferiority are so ingrained that he cannot conceive of himself as individually strong and valuable. Hence the collectivism of the leftist. He can feel strong only as a member of a large organization or a mass movement with which he identifies himself.
1 We are asserting that ALL, or even most, bullies and ruthless competitors suffer from feelings of inferiority.
20. Notice the masochistic tendency of leftist tactics. Leftists protest by lying down in front of vehicles, they intentionally provoke police or racists to abuse them, etc. These tactics may often be effective, but many leftists use them not as a means to an end but because they PREFER masochistic tactics. Self-hatred is a leftist trait.
21. Leftists may claim that their activism is motivated by compassion or by moral principle, and moral principle does play a role for the leftist of the oversocialized type. But compassion and moral principle cannot be the main motives for leftist activism. Hostility is too prominent a component of leftist behavior; so is the drive for power. Moreover, much leftist behavior is not rationally calculated to be of benefit to the people whom the leftists claim to be trying to help. For example, if one believes that affirmative action is good for black people, does it make sense to demand affirmative action in hostile or
dogmatic terms? Obviously it would be more productive to take a diplomatic and conciliatory approach that would make at least verbal and symbolic concessions to white people who think that affirmative action discriminates against them. But leftist activists do not take such an approach because it would not satisfy their emotional needs. Helping black people is not their real goal. Instead, race problems serve as an excuse for them to express their own hostility and
frustrated need for power. In doing so they actually harm black people, because the activists' hostile attitude toward the white majority tends to intensify race hatred.
22. If our society had no social problems at all, the leftists would have to INVENT problems in order to provide themselves with an excuse for making a fuss.
23. We emphasize that the foregoing does not pretend to be an accurate description of everyone who might be considered a leftist. It is only a rough indication of a general tendency of leftism.
27 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
It warmed up again this morning to 34° and the high jumped up to 84°. That was a couple degrees less than the forecast and is hot for Angel Fire with another one being forecast today. There was almost no wind yesterday so I had the A/C on for a good part of the afternoon. Might be a repeat of that today; it was already 77° at 10:00 and dead calm.
Starting to think about moving on next Monday. Made up my 3x5 route card with notes, including where to stop for breakfast in Taos and groceries just before checking in to my new camp. I'll also be filling up with gas in Taos where it is 10-12¢ cheaper than here. Going through Taos will add very few miles and will let me get breakfast and gas.
Obama, speaking in Senegal on Thursday, said he has no intention of "wheeling and dealing" with other nations over Snowden. This was a slap at Ecuador but he got slapped right back. Ecuador's government gave the Obama administration a defiant response, sending the message that it does not need U.S. aid and assistance. According to Reuters, Ecuador said Thursday it was waiving favorable trade rights under a trade agreement with the U.S. and in a dig at Washington, officials there also offered the U.S. $23 million in aid for "education about human rights."
"Industrial Society and its Future" Continued.
24. Psychologists use the term "socialization" to designate the process by which children are trained to think and act as society demands. A person is said to be well socialized if he believes in and obeys the moral code of his society and fits in well as a functioning part of that society. It may seem senseless to say that many leftists are over-socialized, since the leftist is perceived as a rebel. Nevertheless, the position can be defended. Many leftists are not such rebels as they seem.
25. The moral code of our society is so demanding that no one can think, feel and act in a completely moral way. For example, we are not supposed to hate anyone, yet almost everyone hates somebody at some time or other, whether he admits it to himself or not. Some people are so highly socialized that the attempt to think, feel and act morally imposes a severe burden on them. In order to avoid feelings of guilt, they continually have to deceive themselves about their own motives and find moral explanations for feelings and actions that in reality have a non-moral origin. We use the term "oversocialized" to describe such people.2
2During the Victorian period many oversocialized people suffered from serious psychological problems as a result of repressing or trying to repress their sexual feelings. Freud apparently based his theories on people of this type. Today the focus of socialization has shifted from sex to aggression.
26. Oversocialization can lead to low self-esteem, a sense of powerlessness, defeatism, guilt, etc. One of the most important means by which our society socializes children is by making them feel ashamed of behavior or speech that is contrary to society's expectations. If this is overdone, or if a particular child is especially susceptible to such feelings, he ends by feeling ashamed of
HIMSELF. Moreover the thought and the behavior of the oversocialized person are more restricted by society's expectations than are those of the lightly socialized person. The majority of people engage in a significant amount of naughty behavior. They lie, they commit petty thefts, they break traffic laws, they goof off at work, they hate someone, they say spiteful things or they use some underhanded trick to get ahead of the other guy. The oversocialized person cannot do these things, or if he does do them he generates in himself a sense of
shame and self-hatred. The oversocialized person cannot even experience, without guilt, thoughts or feelings that are contrary to the accepted morality; he cannot think "unclean" thoughts. And socialization is not just a matter of morality; we are socialized to confirm to many norms of behavior that do not fall under the heading of morality. Thus the oversocialized person is kept on a psychological leash and spends his life running on rails that society has laid down for him. In many oversocialized people this results in a sense of constraint and powerlessness that can be a severe hardship. We suggest that oversocialization is among the more serious cruelties that human beings inflict on one another.
27. We argue that a very important and influential segment of the modern left is oversocialized and that their oversocialization is of great importance in determining the direction of modern leftism. Leftists of the oversocialized type tend to be intellectuals or members of the upper-middle class. Notice that university intellectuals3 constitute the most highly socialized segment of our society and also the most left-wing segment.
3Not necessarily including specialists in engineering "hard" sciences.
28. The leftist of the oversocialized type tries to get off his psychological leash and assert his autonomy by rebelling. But usually he is not strong enough to rebel against the most basic values of society. Generally speaking, the goals of today's leftists are NOT in conflict with the accepted morality. On the contrary, the left takes an accepted moral principle, adopts it as its own, and then accuses mainstream society of violating that principle. Examples: racial equality, equality of the sexes, helping poor people, peace as opposed to war, nonviolence generally, freedom of expression, kindness to animals. More fundamentally, the duty of the individual to serve society and the duty of society to take care of the individual. All these have been deeply rooted values of our society (or at least of its middle and upper classes4 for a long time. These values are explicitly or implicitly expressed or presupposed in most of the material presented to us by the mainstream communications media and the educational system. Leftists, especially those of the oversocialized type, usually do not rebel against these principles but justify their hostility to society by claiming (with some degree of truth) that society is not living up to these principles.
4There are many individuals of the middle and upper classes who resist some of these values, but usually their resistance is more or less covert. Such resistance appears in the mass media only to a very limited extent. The main thrust of propaganda in our society is in favor of the stated values.
The main reasons why these values have become, so to speak, the official values of our society is that they are useful to the industrial system. Violence is discouraged because it disrupts the functioning of the system. Racism is discouraged because ethnic conflicts also disrupt the system, and discrimination wastes the talent of minority-group members who could be useful to the system. Poverty must be "cured" because the underclass causes problems for the system and contact with the underclass lowers the moral of the other classes. Women are encouraged to have careers because their talents are useful to the system and, more importantly because by having regular jobs women become better integrated into the system and tied directly to it rather than to their families. This helps to weaken family solidarity. (The leaders of the system say they want to strengthen the family, but they really mean is that they want the family to serve as an effective tool for socializing children in accord with the needs of the system. We argue in paragraphs 51,52 that the system cannot afford to let the family or other small-scale social groups be strong or autonomous.)
29. Here is an illustration of the way in which the oversocialized leftist shows his real attachment to the conventional attitudes of our society while pretending to be in rebellion against it. Many leftists push for affirmative action, for moving black people into high-prestige jobs, for improved education in black schools and more money for such schools; the way of life of the black "underclass" they regard as a social disgrace. They want to integrate the black man into the system, make him a business executive, a lawyer, a scientist just
like upper-middle-class white people. The leftists will reply that the last thing they want is to make the black man into a copy of the white man; instead, they want to preserve African American culture. But in what does this preservation of African American culture consist? It can hardly consist in anything more than eating black-style food, listening to black-style music, wearing black-style clothing and going to a black-style church or mosque. In other words, it can express itself only in superficial matters. In all ESSENTIAL respects more leftists of the oversocialized type want to make the black man conform to white, middle-class ideals. They want to make him study technical subjects, become an executive or a scientist, spend his life climbing the status ladder to prove that black people are as good as white. They want to make black fathers "responsible." they want black gangs to become nonviolent, etc. But these are exactly the values of the industrial-technological system. The system couldn't care less what kind of music a man listens to, what kind of clothes he wears or what religion he believes in as long as he studies in school, holds a respectable job, climbs the status ladder, is a "responsible" parent,is nonviolent and so forth. In effect, however much he may deny it,the oversocialized leftist wants to integrate the black man into the system and make him adopt its values.
30. We certainly do not claim that leftists, even of the oversocialized type, NEVER rebel against the fundamental values of our society. Clearly they sometimes do. Some oversocialized leftists have gone so far as to rebel against one of modern society's most important principles by engaging in physical violence. By their own account, violence is for them a form of "liberation." In other words, by committing violence they break through the psychological restraints that have been trained into them. Because they are oversocialized
these restraints have been more confining for them than for others; hence their need to break free of them. But they usually justify their rebellion in terms of mainstream values. If they engage in violence they claim to be fighting against racism or the like.
31. We realize that many objections could be raised to the foregoing thumb-nail sketch of leftist psychology. The real situation is complex, and anything like a complete description of it would take several volumes even if the necessary data were available. We claim only to have indicated very roughly the two most important tendencies in the psychology of modern leftism.
32. The problems of the leftist are indicative of the problems of our society as a whole. Low self-esteem, depressive tendencies and defeatism are not restricted to the left. Though they are especially noticeable in the left, they are widespread in our society. And today's society tries to socialize us to a greater extent than any previous society. We are even told by experts how to eat, how to exercise, how to make love, how to raise our kids and so forth.
28 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
Read Will Rogers column 88 years ago: WA133 June 28, 1925
The high yesterday was 86° which was great compared to the high temperatures all over the West. It was 105° in Albuquerque, only 150 miles away, where I was camped only a month ago. Or I could have been back at my domicile (Pahrump, NV) where the high was 108°. The forecast here is for highs to be back down in the 70s with a 50% chance of rain tomorrow and Sunday.
We had thunderstorms all around the valley yesterday starting about 3:00 in the afternoon and the wind came up making it very nice in the late afternoon. The clouds stayed throughout the night and held the heat in so this morning the low was 51°. It was even warmer than that when Patches and I did our morning walk. I had on a long sleeved cotton turtle neck and a windbreaker and that was too warm.
I went into Miss Suzy Homemaker mode soon after breakfast this morning. Got the toilet clean; it is so much easier IF I do it sooner rather than later. Then cleaned the bathroom sink while I was there. Next on the To Do List was wash all the nose prints and slobber off the two side windows in Desperado's cab and wipe down the dash. Then before the cleaning urge escaped me I vacuumed the floor and got down on hands and knees and washed it. Washed down the bottom of the refrigerator - enough already!
"Industrial Society and its Future" Continued.
THE POWER PROCESS
33. Human beings have a need (probably based in biology) for something that we will call the "power process." This is closely related to the need for power (which is widely recognized) but is not quite the same thing. The power process has four elements. The three most clear-cut of these we call goal, effort and attainment of goal. (Everyone needs to have goals whose attainment requires effort, and needs to succeed in attaining at least some of his goals.) The fourth element is more difficult to define and may not be necessary for everyone. We call it autonomy and will discuss it later (paragraphs 42-44).
34. Consider the hypothetical case of a man who can have anything he wants just by wishing for it. Such a man has power, but he will develop serious psychological problems. At first he will have a lot of fun, but by and by he will become acutely bored and demoralized. Eventually he may become clinically depressed. History shows that leisured aristocracies tend to become decadent. This is not true of fighting aristocracies that have to struggle to maintain their power. But leisured, secure aristocracies that have no need to exert
themselves usually become bored, hedonistic and demoralized, even though they have power. This shows that power is not enough. One must have goals toward which to exercise one's power.
35. Everyone has goals; if nothing else, to obtain the physical necessities of life: food, water and whatever clothing and shelter are made necessary by the climate. But the leisured aristocrat obtains these things without effort. Hence his boredom and demoralization.
36. Nonattainment of important goals results in death if the goals are physical necessities, and in frustration if nonattainment of the goals is compatible with survival. Consistent failure to attain goals throughout life results in defeatism, low self-esteem or depression.
37. Thus, in order to avoid serious psychological problems, a human being needs goals whose attainment requires effort, and he must have a reasonable rate of success in attaining his goals.
38. But not every leisured aristocrat becomes bored and demoralized. For example, the emperor Hirohito, instead of sinking into decadent hedonism, devoted himself to marine biology, a field in which he became distinguished. When people do not have to exert themselves to satisfy their physical needs they often set up artificial goals for themselves. In many cases they then pursue these goals with the same energy and emotional involvement that they otherwise would have put into the search for physical necessities. Thus the aristocrats of the Roman Empire had their literary pretentions; many European aristocrats a few centuries ago invested tremendous time and energy in hunting, though they certainly didn't need the meat; other aristocracies have competed for status through elaborate displays of wealth; and a few aristocrats, like Hirohito, have turned to science.
39. We use the term "surrogate activity" to designate an activity that is directed toward an artificial goal that people set up for themselves merely in order to have some goal to work toward, or let us say, merely for the sake of the "fulfillment" that they get from pursuing the goal. Here is a rule of thumb for the identification of surrogate activities. Given a person who devotes much time and energy to the pursuit of goal X, ask yourself this: If he had to devote most of his time and energy to satisfying his biological needs, and if that effort required him to use his physical and mental facilities in a varied and interesting way, would he feel seriously deprived because he did not attain goal X? If the answer is no, then the person's pursuit of a goal X is a surrogate activity. Hirohito's studies in marine biology clearly constituted a surrogate activity, since it is pretty certain that if Hirohito had had to spend his time working at interesting non-scientific tasks in order to obtain the necessities of life, he would not have felt deprived because he didn't know all about the anatomy and life-cycles of marine animals. On the other hand the pursuit of sex and love (for example) is not a surrogate activity, because most people, even if their existence were otherwise satisfactory, would feel deprived if they passed their lives without ever having a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. (But pursuit of an excessive amount of sex, more than one really needs, can be a surrogate activity.)
40. In modern industrial society only minimal effort is necessary to satisfy one's physical needs. It is enough to go through a training program to acquire some petty technical skill, then come to work on time and exert very modest effort needed to hold a job. The only requirements are a moderate amount of intelligence, and most of all, simple OBEDIENCE. If one has those, society takes care of one from cradle to grave. (Yes, there is an underclass that cannot take physical necessities for granted, but we are speaking here of mainstream society.) Thus it is not surprising that modern society is full of surrogate activities. These include scientific work, athletic achievement, humanitarian work, artistic and literary creation, climbing the corporate ladder, acquisition of money and material goods far beyond the point at which they cease to give any additional physical satisfaction, and social activism when it addresses issues that are not important for the activist personally, as in the case of white activists who work for the rights of nonwhite minorities. These are not always pure surrogate activities, since for many people they may be motivated in part by needs other than the need to have some goal to pursue. Scientific work may be motivated in part by a drive for prestige, artistic creation by a need to express feelings, militant social activism by hostility. But for most people who pursue them, these activities are in large part surrogate activities. For example, the majority of scientists will probably agree that the "fulfillment" they get from their work is more important than the money and prestige they earn.
41. For many if not most people, surrogate activities are less satisfying than the pursuit of real goals ( that is, goals that people would want to attain even if their need for the power process were already fulfilled). One indication of this is the fact that, in many or most cases, people who are deeply involved in surrogate activities are never satisfied, never at rest. Thus the money-maker constantly strives for more and more wealth. The scientist no sooner solves one problem than he moves on to the next. The long-distance runner drives himself to run always farther and faster. Many people who pursue surrogate activities will say that they get far more fulfillment from these activities than they do from the "mundane" business of satisfying their biological needs, but that it is because in our society the effort needed to satisfy the biological needs has been reduced to triviality. More importantly, in our society people do not satisfy their biological needs AUTONOMOUSLY but by functioning as parts of an immense social machine. In contrast, people generally have a great deal of autonomy in pursuing their surrogate activities.
29 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
I said that the low yesterday morning was 51° but that was in the morning, the low for the day was 44° which happened near midnight. This was after a thunderstorm had moved through and cooled us down a lot. The high for the day was 80° near noon then dropped to just over 60 by the time the rain started at 2:00. Officially there was only .02" but the cooling effect was great. Our low was 35° with a forecast of three more days like yesterday to come.
I shortened our morning walk a little this morning. There is a two day road bike event happening today and tomorrow, the Rough 200. When I saw a couple of riders go past me this morning I was anticipating a large group to follow and didn't want to be in their way. As it happened I only saw 10 riders, they seem to start when ever they wish rather than as a group start.
Soon after breakfast I got my holding tanks dumped and took on fresh water. Didn't want to put it off too long and have to try and do it with the wind blowing or it raining. That is about the last of my chores before leaving bright and early Monday morning.
I then downloaded pictures from my camera to Picasa and devoted more time than was necessary editing four of them and then keeping two. I am still very confused by all the picture copies that I end up with while doing all this. What I do when I finally get something that I'm going to show on this web page uploaded is delete everything that is on my computer and then the camera.
I have seen hundreds if not thousands of these prairie dogs as I walk along NM434 in the morning and afternoon. Usually not enough light for a good picture when we do our early morning walk. Then at any time of the day it is very difficult to get them to pose for their picture. These were captured using the 5x Zoom and then cropping a LOT.
"Industrial Society and its Future" Continued.
42. Autonomy as a part of the power process may not be necessary for every individual. But most people need a greater or lesser degree of autonomy in working toward their goals. Their efforts must be undertaken on their own initiative and must be under their own direction and control. Yet most people do not have to exert this initiative, direction and control as single individuals. It is usually enough to act as a member of a SMALL group. Thus if half a dozen people discuss a goal among themselves and make a successful joint effort to attain that goal, their need for the power process will be served. But if they work under rigid orders handed down from above that leave them no room for autonomous decision and initiative, then their need for the power process will not be served. The same is true when decisions are made on a collective bases if the group making the collective decision is so large that the role of each individual is insignificant.5
5It may be argued that the majority of people don't want to make their own decisions but want leaders to do their thinking for them. There is an element of truth in this. People like to make their own decisions in small matters, but making decisions on difficult, fundamental questions require facing up to psychological conflict, and most people hate psychological conflict. Hence they tend to lean on others in making difficult decisions. The majority of people are natural followers, not leaders, but they like to have direct personal access to their leaders and participate to some extent in making difficult decisions. At least to that degree they need autonomy.
43. It is true that some individuals seem to have little need for autonomy. Either their drive for power is weak or they satisfy it by identifying themselves with some powerful organization to which they belong. And then there are unthinking, animal types who seem to be satisfied with a purely physical sense of power(the good combat soldier, who gets his sense of power by developing fighting skills that he is quite content to use in blind obedience to his superiors).
44. But for most people it is through the power process-having a goal, making an AUTONOMOUS effort and attaining t the goal-that self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense of power are acquired. When one does not have adequate opportunity to go throughout the power process the consequences are (depending on the individual and on the way the power process is disrupted) boredom, demoralization, low self-esteem, inferiority feelings, defeatism, depression, anxiety, guilt, frustration, hostility, spouse or child abuse, insatiable hedonism, abnormal sexual behavior, sleep disorders, eating disorders, etc.6
6Some of the symptoms listed are similar to those shown by caged animals.
To explain how these symptoms arise from deprivation with respect to the power process:
Common-sense understanding of human nature tells one that lack of goals whose attainment requires effort leads to boredom and that boredom, long continued, often leads eventually to depression. Failure to obtain goals leads to frustration and lowering of self-esteem.
Frustration leads to anger, anger to aggression, often in the form of spouse or child abuse. It has been shown that long-continued frustration commonly leads to depression and that depression tends to cause guilt, sleep disorders, eating disorders and bad feelings about oneself. Those who are tending toward depression seek pleasure as an antidote; hence insatiable hedonism and excessive sex, with perversions as a means of getting new kicks. Boredom too tends to cause excessive pleasure-seeking since, lacking other goals, people often use pleasure as a goal. The foregoing is a simplification. Reality is more complex, and of course deprivation with respect to the power process is not the ONLY cause of the symptoms described. By the way, when we mention depression we do not necessarily mean depression that is severe enough to be treated by a psychiatrist. Often only mild forms of depression are involved. And when we speak of goals we do not necessarily mean long-term, thought out goals. For many or most people through much of human history, the goals of a hand-to-mouth existence (merely providing oneself and one's family with food from day to day) have been quite sufficient.
SOURCES OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS
45. Any of the foregoing symptoms can occur in any society, but in modern industrial society they are present on a massive scale. We aren't the first to mention that the world today seems to be going crazy. This sort of thing is not normal for human societies. There is good reason to believe that primitive man suffered from less stress and frustration and was better satisfied with his way of life than modern man is. It is true that not all was sweetness and light in
primitive societies. Abuse of women was common among the Australian aborigines, transexuality was fairly common among some of the American Indian tribes. But is does appear that GENERALLY SPEAKING the kinds of problems that we have listed in the preceding paragraph were far less common among primitive peoples than they are in modern society.
46. We attribute the social and psychological problems of modern society to the fact that that society requires people to live under conditions radically different from those under which the human race evolved and to behave in ways that conflict with the patterns of behavior that the human race developed while living under the earlier conditions. It is clear from what we have already written that we consider lack of opportunity to properly experience the power process as the most important of the abnormal conditions to which modern society subjects people. But it is not the only one. Before dealing with disruption of the power process as a source of social problems we will discuss some of the other sources.
47. Among the abnormal conditions present in modern industrial society are excessive density of population, isolation of man from nature, excessive rapidity of social change and the break-down of natural small-scale communities such as the extended family, the village or the tribe.
48. It is well known that crowding increases stress and aggression. The degree of crowding that exists today and the isolation of man from nature are consequences of technological progress. All pre-industrial societies were predominantly rural. The industrial Revolution vastly increased the size of cities and the proportion of the population that lives in them, and modern agricultural technology has made it possible for the Earth to support a far denser population than it ever did before. (Also, technology exacerbates the effects of crowding because it puts increased disruptive powers in people's hands. For example, a variety of noise-making devices: power mowers, radios, motorcycles, etc. If the use of these devices is unrestricted, people who want peace and quiet are frustrated by the noise. If their use is restricted, people who use the devices are frustrated by the regulations... But if these machines had never been invented there would have been no conflict and no frustration generated by them.)
49. For primitive societies the natural world (which usually changes only slowly) provided a stable framework and therefore a sense of security. In the modern world it is human society that dominates nature rather than the other way around, and modern society changes very rapidly owing to technological change. Thus there is no stable framework.
50. The conservatives are fools: They whine about the decay of traditional values, yet they enthusiastically support technological progress and economic growth. Apparently it never occurs to them that you can't make rapid, drastic changes in the technology and the economy of a society with out causing rapid changes in all other aspects of the society as well, and that such rapid changes inevitably break down traditional values.
51.The breakdown of traditional values to some extent implies the breakdown of the bonds that hold together traditional small-scale social groups. The disintegration of small-scale social groups is also promoted by the fact that modern conditions often require or tempt individuals to move to new locations, separating themselves from their communities. Beyond that, a technological society HAS TO weaken family ties and local communities if it is to function efficiently. In modern society an individual's loyalty must be first to the system and only secondarily to a small-scale community, because if the internal
loyalties of small-scale small-scale communities were stronger than loyalty to the system, such communities would pursue their own advantage at the expense of the system.
52. Suppose that a public official or a corporation executive appoints his cousin, his friend or his co-religionist to a position rather than appointing the person best qualified for the job. He has permitted personal loyalty to supersede his loyalty to the system, and that is "nepotism" or "discrimination," both of which are terrible sins in modern society. Would-be industrial societies that have done a poor job of subordinating personal or local loyalties to loyalty to the system are usually very inefficient. (Look at Latin America.) Thus an advanced industrial society can tolerate only those small-scale communities that are emasculated, tamed and made into tools of the system.7
7A partial exception may be made for a few passive, inward looking groups, such as the Amish, which have little effect on the wider society. Apart from these, some genuine small-scale communities do exist in America today. For instance, youth gangs and "cults". Everyone regards them as dangerous, and so they are, because the members of these groups are loyal primarily to one another rather than to the system, hence the system cannot control them. Or take the gypsies. The gypsies commonly get away with theft and fraud because their loyalties are such that they can always get other gypsies to
give testimony that "proves" their innocence. Obviously the system would be in serious trouble if too many people belonged to such groups. Some of the early-20th century Chinese thinkers who were concerned with modernizing China recognized the necessity of breaking down small-scale social groups such as the family: "(According to Sun Yat-sen) The Chinese people needed a new surge of patriotism, which would lead to a transfer of loyalty from the family to the state...(According to Li Huang) traditional attachments, particularly to the family had to be abandoned if nationalism were to develop to China." (Chester C. Tan, Chinese Political Thought in the Twentieth Century," page 125, page 297.)
53. Crowding, rapid change and the breakdown of communities have been widely recognized as sources of social problems. but we do not believe they are enough to account for the extent of the problems that are seen today.
54. A few pre-industrial cities were very large and crowded, yet their inhabitants do not seem to have suffered from psychological problems to the same extent as modern man. In America today there still are uncrowded rural areas, and we find there the same problems as in urban areas, though the problems tend to be less acute in the rural areas. Thus crowding does not seem to be the decisive factor.
55. On the growing edge of the American frontier during the 19th century, the mobility of the population probably broke down extended families and small-scale social groups to at least the same extent as these are broken down today. In fact, many nuclear families lived by choice in such isolation, having no neighbors within several miles, that they belonged to no community at all, yet they do not seem to have developed problems as a result.
56.Furthermore, change in American frontier society was very rapid and deep. A man might be born and raised in a log cabin, outside the reach of law and order and fed largely on wild meat; and by the time he arrived at old age he might be working at a regular job and living in an ordered community with effective law enforcement. This was a deeper change that that which typically occurs in the life of a modern individual, yet it does not seem to have led to psychological
problems. In fact, 19th century American society had an optimistic and self-confident tone, quite unlike that of today's society.8
8Yes, we know that 19th century America had its problems, and serious ones, but for the sake of breviety we have to express ourselves in simplified terms.
57. The difference, we argue, is that modern man has the sense (largely justified) that change is IMPOSED on him, whereas the 19th century frontiersman had the sense (also largely justified) that he created change himself, by his own choice. Thus a pioneer settled on a piece of land of his own choosing and made it into a farm through his own effort. In those days an entire county might have only a couple of hundred inhabitants and was a far more isolated and autonomous entity than a modern county is. Hence the pioneer farmer participated as a member of a relatively small group in the creation of a new, ordered community. One may well question whether the creation of this community was an improvement, but at any rate it satisfied the pioneer's need for the power process.
58. It would be possible to give other examples of societies in which there has been rapid change and/or lack of close community ties without he kind of massive behavioral aberration that is seen in today's industrial society. We contend that the most important cause of social and psychological problems in modern society is the fact that people have insufficient opportunity to go through the power process in a normal way. We don't mean to say that modern society is the only one in which the power process has been disrupted. Probably most if not all civilized societies have interfered with the power process to a greater or lesser extent. But in modern industrial society the problem has become particularly acute. Leftism, at least in its recent (mid-to-late -20th century) form, is in part a symptom of deprivation with respect to the power process.
30 June, 2013 Monte Verde RV Park (Angel Fire, NM)
We had another thunderstorm yesterday afternoon that kept the high temperature down to 77°. Some wind very little lightning or thunder and very little rain. Although we did get enough to dampen the ground the official reading was 0.0". This morning it was a little damp and the 34° low felt even colder.
I'll be getting up to about this same low temperature tomorrow morning. Then moving on to an expected 80 for the high at my new camp. The 10 day forecast there is for highs in the lower 80s with morning lows in the mid 40s. Not as cool as here but still pretty nice weather compared to most of the country and especially what is happening to most of the West.
This morning I met only two riders that were starting out on the second day of the Rough Riders 200. Then on the way home I had 4 more pass me. These were early starters, like what I saw yesterday, the group start happened around 7:00. I was just getting back to the Park when they all came by, yesterday I got back before the group which was what I was trying to do by cutting my walk short.
This is a Twin Century Event with 100 mile rides on Saturday and Sunday. Each day has over 5,000' of climbing with the Saturday loop close to 6,000'. Certainly a couple of tough days on the bicycle.
The only thing I did today other than my usual reading was to settle up my electric bill with the Park. With the weather being as nice as it has been I think I only ran the A/C for about 4 hours and that meant I used 86KWH during the month. The other thing that I did was start to read Monthly blogs again before I got too far behind. I have moved a couple of Monthly to Daily and vice versa to get those that post almost every day into the Daily list.
"Industrial Society and its Future" Continued.
DISRUPTION OF THE POWER PROCESS IN MODERN SOCIETY
59. We divide human drives into three groups: (1) those drives that can be satisfied with minimal effort; (2) those that can be satisfied but only at the cost of serious effort; (3) those that cannot be adequately satisfied no matter how much effort one makes. The power process is the process of satisfying the drives of the second group. The more drives there are in the third group, the more there is frustration, anger, eventually defeatism, depression, etc.
60. In modern industrial society natural human drives tend to be pushed into the first and third groups, and the second group tends to consist increasingly of artificially created drives.
61. In primitive societies, physical necessities generally fall into group 2: They can be obtained, but only at the cost of serious effort. But modern society tends to guaranty the physical necessities to everyone9 in exchange for only minimal effort, hence physical needs are pushed into group 1. (There may be disagreement about whether the effort needed to hold a job is "minimal"; but usually, in lower- to middle-level jobs, whatever effort is required is merely that of obedience. You sit or stand where you are told to sit or stand and do what you are told to do in the way you are told to do it. Seldom do you have to exert yourself seriously, and in any case you have hardly any autonomy in work, so that the need for the power process is not well served.)
9We leave aside the underclass. We are speaking of the mainstream.
62. Social needs, such as sex, love and status, often remain in group 2 in modern society, depending on the situation of the individual.10 But, except for people who have a particularly strong drive for status, the effort required to fulfill the social drives is insufficient to satisfy adequately the need for the power process.
10 Some social scientists, educators, "mental health" professionals and the like are doing their best to push the social drives into group 1 by trying to see to it that everyone has a satisfactory social life.
63. So certain artificial needs have been created that fall into group 2, hence serve the need for the power process. Advertising and marketing techniques have been developed that make many people feel they need things that their grandparents never desired or even dreamed of. It requires serious effort to earn enough money to satisfy these artificial needs, hence they fall into group 2. (But see paragraphs 80-82.) Modern man must satisfy his need for the power process largely through pursuit of the artificial needs created by the advertising and marketing industry11, and through surrogate activities.
11Is the drive for endless material acquisition really an artificial creation of the advertising and marketing industry? Certainly there is no innate human drive for material acquisition. There have been many cultures in which people have desired little material wealth beyond what was necessary to satisfy their basic physical needs (Australian aborigines, traditional Mexican peasant culture, some African cultures). On the other hand there have also been many pre-industrial cultures in which material acquisition
has played an important role. So we can't claim that today's acquisition-oriented culture is exclusively a creation of the advertising and marketing industry. But it is clear that the advertising and marketing industry has had an important part in creating that culture. The big corporations that spend millions on advertising wouldn't be spending that kind of money without solid
proof that they were getting it back in increased sales. One member of FC met a sales manager a couple of years ago who was frank enough to tell him, "Our job is to make people buy things they don't want and don't need." He then described how an untrained novice could present people with the facts about a product, and make no sales at all, while a trained and experienced professional salesman would make lots of sales to the same people. This shows that people are manipulated into buying things they don't really want.
64. It seems that for many people, maybe the majority, these artificial forms of the power process are insufficient. A theme that appears repeatedly in the writings of the social critics of the second half of the 20th century is the sense of purposelessness that afflicts many people in modern society. (This purposelessness is often called by other names such as "anomic" or "middle-class vacuity.") We suggest that the so-called "identity crisis" is actually a search for a sense of purpose, often for commitment to a suitable surrogate activity. It may be that existentialism is in large part a response to the purposelessness of modern life.12 Very widespread in modern society is the search for "fulfillment." But we think that for the majority of people an activity whose main goal is fulfillment (that is, a surrogate activity) does not bring completely satisfactory fulfillment. In other words, it does not fully satisfy the need for the power process. (See paragraph 41.) That need can be fully satisfied only through activities that have some external goal, such as physical necessities, sex, love, status, revenge, etc.
12The problem of purposelessness seems to have become less serious during the last 15 years or so, because people now feel less secure physically and economically than they did earlier, and the need for security provides them with a goal. But purposelessness has been replaced by frustration over the difficulty of attaining security. We emphasize the problem of purposelessness because the liberals and leftists would wish to solve our social problems by having society guarantee everyone's security; but if that could be done it would only bring back the problem of purposelessness. The real issue is not whether society provides well or poorly for people's security; the trouble is that people are dependent on the system for their security rather than having it in their own hands. This, by the way, is part of the reason why some people get worked up about the right to bear arms; possession of a gun puts that aspect of their security in their own hands.
65. Moreover, where goals are pursued through earning money, climbing the status ladder or functioning as part of the system in some other way, most people are not in a position to pursue their goals AUTONOMOUSLY. Most workers are someone else's employee as, as we pointed out in paragraph 61, must spend their days doing what they are told to do in the way they are told to do it. Even most people who are in business for themselves have only limited autonomy. It is a chronic complaint of small-business persons and entrepreneurs that their hands are tied by excessive government regulation. Some of these regulations are doubtless unnecessary, but for the most part government regulations are essential and inevitable parts of our extremely complex society. A large portion of small business today operates on the franchise system. It was reported in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago that many of the franchise-granting companies require applicants for franchises to take a personality test that is designed to EXCLUDE those who have creativity and initiative, because such persons are not sufficiently docile to go along obediently with the franchise system. This excludes from small business many of the people who most need autonomy.
66. Today people live more by virtue of what the system does FOR them or TO them than by virtue of what they do for themselves. And what they do for themselves is done more and more along channels laid down by the system. Opportunities tend to be those that the system provides, the opportunities must be exploited in accord with the rules and regulations13, and techniques prescribed by experts must be followed if there is to be a chance of success.
13Conservatives' efforts to decrease the amount of government regulation are of little benefit to the average man. For one thing, only a fraction of the regulations can be eliminated because most regulations are necessary. For another thing, most of the deregulation affects business rather than the average individual, so that its main effect is to take power from the government and give it to private corporations. What this means for the average man is that government interference in his life is replaced by interference from big corporations, which may be permitted, for example, to dump more chemicals that get into his water supply and give him cancer. The
conservatives are just taking the average man for a sucker, exploiting his resentment of Big Government to promote the power of Big Business.
67. Thus the power process is disrupted in our society through a deficiency of real goals and a deficiency of autonomy in pursuit of goals. But it is also disrupted because of those human drives that fall into group 3: the drives that one cannot adequately satisfy no matter how much effort one makes. One of these drives is the need for security. Our lives depend on decisions made by other people; we have no control over these decisions and usually we do not even know the people who make them. ("We live in a world in which relatively few people - maybe 500 or 1,00 - make the important decisions" - Philip B. Heymann of Harvard Law School, quoted by Anthony Lewis, New York Times, April 21, 1995.) Our lives depend on whether safety standards at a nuclear power plant are properly maintained; on how much pesticide is allowed to get into our food or how much pollution into our air; on how skillful (or incompetent) our doctor is; whether we lose or get a job may depend on decisions made by government economists or corporation executives; and so forth. Most individuals are not in a position to secure themselves against these threats to more [than] a very limited extent. The individual's search for security is therefore frustrated, which leads to a sense of powerlessness.
68. It may be objected that primitive man is physically less secure than modern man, as is shown by his shorter life expectancy; hence modern man suffers from less, not more than the amount of insecurity that is normal for human beings. But psychological security does not closely correspond with physical security. What makes us FEEL secure is not so much objective security as a sense of confidence in our ability to take care of ourselves. Primitive man, threatened by a fierce animal or by hunger, can fight in self-defense or travel in search of food. He has no certainty of success in these efforts, but he is by no means helpless against the things that threaten him. The modern individual on the other hand is threatened by many things against which he is helpless; nuclear accidents, carcinogens in food, environmental pollution, war, increasing taxes, invasion of his privacy by large organizations, nation-wide social or economic
phenomena that may disrupt his way of life.
69. It is true that primitive man is powerless against some of the things that threaten him; disease for example. But he can accept the risk of disease stoically. It is part of the nature of things, it is no one's fault, unless is the fault of some imaginary, impersonal demon. But threats to the modern individual tend to be MAN-MADE. They are not the results of chance but are IMPOSED on him by other persons whose decisions he, as an individual, is unable to influence. Consequently he feels frustrated, humiliated and angry.
70. Thus primitive man for the most part has his security in his own hands (either as an individual or as a member of a SMALL group) whereas the security of modern man is in the hands of persons or organizations that are too remote or too large for him to be able personally to influence them. So modern man's drive for security tends to fall into groups 1 and 3; in some areas (food, shelter, etc.) his security is assured at the cost of only trivial effort, whereas in other areas he CANNOT attain security. (The foregoing greatly simplifies the real situation, but it does indicate in a rough, general way how the condition of modern man differs from that of primitive man.)
71. People have many transitory drives or impulses that are necessary frustrated in modern life, hence fall into group 3. One may become angry, but modern society cannot permit fighting. In many situations it does not even permit verbal aggression. When going somewhere one may be in a hurry, or one may be in a mood to travel slowly, but one generally has no choice but to move with the flow of traffic and obey the traffic signals. One may want to do one's work in a different way, but usually one can work only according to the rules laid down by one's employer. In many other ways as well, modern man is strapped down by a network of rules and regulations (explicit or implicit) that frustrate many of his impulses and thus interfere with the power process. Most of these regulations cannot be disposed with, because the are necessary for the functioning of industrial society.
72. Modern society is in certain respects extremely permissive. In matters that are irrelevant to the functioning of the system we can generally do what we please. We can believe in any religion we like (as long as it does not encourage behavior that is dangerous to the system). We can go to bed with anyone we like (as long as we practice "safe sex"). We can do anything we like as long as it is UNIMPORTANT. But in all IMPORTANT matters the system tends increasingly to regulate our behavior.
73. Behavior is regulated not only through explicit rules and not only by the government. Control is often exercised through indirect coercion or through psychological pressure or manipulation, and by organizations other than the government, or by the system as a whole. Most large organizations use some form of propaganda14 to manipulate public attitudes or behavior. Propaganda is not limited to "commercials" and advertisements, and sometimes it is not even consciously intended as propaganda by the people who make it. For
instance, the content of entertainment programming is a powerful form of propaganda. An example of indirect coercion: There is no law that says we have to go to work every day and follow our employer's orders. Legally there is nothing to prevent us from going to live in the wild like primitive people or from going into business for ourselves. But in practice there is very little wild country left, and there is room in the economy for only a limited number of small business owners. Hence most of us can survive only as someone else's employee.
14When someone approves of the purpose for which propaganda is being used in a given case, he generally calls it "education" or applies to it some similar euphemism. But propaganda is propaganda regardless of the purpose for which it is used.
74. We suggest that modern man's obsession with longevity, and with maintaining physical vigor and sexual attractiveness to an advanced age, is a symptom of unfulfillment resulting from deprivation with respect to the power process. The "mid-life crisis" also is such a symptom. So is the lack of interest in having children that is fairly common in modern society but almost unheard-of in primitive societies.
75. In primitive societies life is a succession of stages. The needs and purposes of one stage having been fulfilled, there is no particular reluctance about passing on to the next stage. A young man goes through the power process by becoming a hunter, hunting not for sport or for fulfillment but to get meat that is necessary for food. (In young women the process is more complex, with greater emphasis on social power; we won't discuss that here.) This phase having been successfully passed through, the young man has no reluctance about
settling down to the responsibilities of raising a family. (In contrast, some modern people indefinitely postpone having children because they are too busy seeking some kind of "fulfillment." We suggest that the fulfillment they need is adequate experience of the power process -- with real goals instead of the artificial goals of surrogate activities.) Again, having successfully raised his children, going through the power process by providing them with the physical necessities, the primitive man feels that his work is done and he is prepared to accept old age (if he survives that long) and death. Many modern people, on the other hand, are disturbed by the prospect of death, as is shown by the amount of effort they expend trying to maintain their physical condition, appearance and health. We argue that this is due to unfulfillment resulting from the fact that they have never put their physical powers to any use, have never gone through the power process using their bodies in a serious way. It is not the primitive man, who has used his body daily for practical purposes, who fears the deterioration of age, but the modern man, who has never had a practical use for his body beyond walking from his car to his house. It is the man whose need for the power process has been satisfied during his life who is best prepared to accept the end of that life.
76. In response to the arguments of this section someone will say, "Society must find a way to give people the opportunity to go through the power process." For such people the value of the opportunity is destroyed by the very fact that society gives it to them. What they need is to find or make their own opportunities. As long as the system GIVES them their opportunities it still has them on a leash. To attain autonomy they must get off that leash.