Spent much of yesterday walking up and down hills in Grand Haven, avoiding the tourists. Am using my 650 twin (Bonneville) as the ZG1400 is getting brakes and tires. It eats fucking tires.
My first 650 twin was a Yamaha XS1B in 70. Karl and I bought the same bikes when we left Vietnam. A drunk driver in 71 ended his riding career and life.
Managing VT for those who belong here is a tightrope. I never wanted VT to be ‘last man standing’ for government intel agencies and the Pentagon or the fucking FBI. It may have been flattering at some point to be depended on, not anymore.
Today we got confirmation that The Intercept and Glenn Greenwald along with Edward Snowden are fake. Sad about Intercept, one good writer. Greenwald, however, has been a limited hangout from day one as with fake Snowden.
Anyone who mentions Snowden or Assange is bad, no secret here unless you have been living under a bridge.
The sewer, fighting with the Saudi paid trolls who run Lebanon, and they are no more than shitting little internet trolls, who let their country be nuked and now have their slimy tongues up the asses of those who did it. There are people in Lebanon who deserve better.
While sitting here, I have my running music going, lots of time spent putting that together and it does nothing but make me think, probably a good thing.
Reminded me of sleeping in the back of our new 59 Ford wagon heading up to Lake Nippissing in Ontario. Dad got off work after 2nd shift, we loaded everything. literally, in the 16 foot boat, put on the cover, grabbed the dog and headed to Port Huron and the Bluewater Bridge to Sarnia. Rain.
Like so many Americans I spent much of my childhood in Canada. The family has been popping back and forth across the border since 1782 when we were fur traders, first at the French fort of Detroit then at Duff-Baby House in Lower Canada. William Henry Harrison burned it but it still stands, like the White House. You can visit, it costs $7 (Canadian) which is about a buck fifty US.
Just got a call from one of my friends who is stuck in India over the COVID thing. He always pushes me.
VT steers clear of UFO related issues though one or more of us is ‘officially’ read in on the crap David Icke talks about. Once you step over there, everything we do on this side means nothing, very dangerous. No way to function and keep balance when you know that everything we do and say is meaningless and that we are no more than the insects we step on.
Worse still, that most science fiction isn’t fiction at all.
Before I began working outside the country most of the time, and lots of Americans leave and never come back, including about half my friends, I didn’t understand that when people starved and suffered around the world it was exactly the same as if it were happening on my street.
It isn’t just that the tens of millions of unemployed include many millions living in constant fear. It’s that we have institutionalized blaming victims where we used to simply look away.
Imagine you have small children and you are facing homelessness and no way to buy food.
You can beg a place to live and you might get one. You might get some money. You might even get food for awhile.
You won’t get hope. Your children won’t get a future.
Very very few Americans who aren’t people of color know anything about life. Very few.
For white folks, I grew up relatively poor, working part time jobs from 8 onward, helping my dad repair and sell cars, boats and motors, delivering papers, shoveling walks, mowing lawns.
However, I knew I was lucky. We had food and, though my father was sick for years, we pulled out of it. We were lucky.
I didn’t know what others felt like until I was in the Marine Corps, one of Trump’s ‘losers and suckers.’ In California, people would throw things at us and shout abuse. They were told, like Qanon does today, that blaming the vulnerable and abusing them is a way of dealing with a psychopathic personality.
Being a Marine during the Vietnam War as with being a veteran today, is being vulnerable.
I felt anger, the kind of anger, to a degree that a Palestinian might feel or an African American. People are much safer if I am not that angry but then why should I be angry, after all, I grew up white, with lots of government sponsored education and was given everything I wanted, as long as killing people and overthrowing their governments was on the list of things I wanted.
The hard part is staying sane. The harder part is knowing what sane is. I probably have a pretty good grip on that. It’s why some know how lucky they are to have jobs, friends and health.
I have days when I am not in pain, they are amazing, OK not “days” but an hour or so. Imagine what it would be like not to hurt all the time, to be able to sleep?
Physical pain, to an extent, can be adjusted for.
My question is this, are we meant to hold onto things? Over the past few decades I have spent much of my time staying grounded, trying to understand who I am and how I got here. Thus, I tend to relive pieces of my life, by revisiting things.
I even did a college campus visit thing at MSU a few weeks ago, taking the dogs out on a leash, letting them run in and out of the Red Cedar River the way I did with my husky 50 years ago.
A few of my friends are alive. A few years ago we visited Iftakhar Malik and his family at Oxford (UK). We spent an afternoon touring the university then headed out to the Trout.
We went through a case of prosecco and several awful British pizzas. This was Colin Dexter’s hangout, of Inspector Morse/Endeavour, the superb ITV series. It was also the ‘local’ for CS Lewis and Lewis Carroll. Henry II kept a mistress there.
This is a great place to end days if driving Oxfordshire.
On the way back to RAF Fairford (was working) the nav system in our POS Kia went crapo and sent us askew. It was there that we were ‘buzzed’ by a rather large FO. It wasn’t unidentified. It parked over the car, a few feet over the car, for a very long time. Think “anal puckering.”
The Malik’s are very Brit, very respectable, prominent university professors and yet are abused in the UK by scum. A day earlier Harry came in from London to Fairford for the day. He is my banking partner in London, a former official of the Nigerian government and a close friend for many years. He won’t travel around Britain except with me and he has lived their for decades and owns a piece of London.
I would have the day at the Trout back. I miss my friends. My normal home base in Europe when working was RAF Fairford, a major US nuclear base and a town that became a second home as it had for Americans for generations.
We had friends with an antique shop in Lechlade, but that’s long gone. Nothing stays the same.
Last year we spent 3 days at The Bull, the remodeled/rebuilt 11th century pub there. I miss my friends at Sterling House on the base though, closed now for many years. They took great care of us.
There is a great 12th century Norman church in Fairford with a mill behind it. I feel home there. I don’t know why.
Long long ago I spent lots of time in London, while it still had bomb damage. I miss that place too, walking the Thames on both sides, which later became a nightly run from London Bridge to Charing Cross.
I use the places to ground me. Maybe it’s me, I certainly never settled in anywhere.
Sometimes the only stability is TV shows. It used to be books. I have read Tolkien, not just Lord of the Rings, endless times.
I just sat through Young Wallender, which is superb. The BBC series with Kenneth Branaugh is very good but this is better. Watch both. There is a Swedish language version as well which I will try to get into.
I dug out Inspector Lynley and dragged through several superb seasons until it began to suffer from writer death.
Midsomer Murders does well for many seasons, I stopped at 11.
The new Lucifer is out. I am a big fan, a deeply flawed show but wonderful.
Do watch Lovecraft Country, 4 episodes so far, a strong African American orientation but very worthwhile.
Consider Touching Evil as well.
I am struggling through The Boys on Amazon Prime. Writing problems with the show but some great nasty characters but weighed down with useless plot devices.
This time of year Mackinac Island, the Grand Hotel, is enjoyable, desolate and very much from another era. Lots of mental health up there.
Was going to go tubing on the Muskegon River, didn’t do it.
No canoe trips. Campgrounds all packed, which is fine. People need to do that plus I do live on a campground sort of with kayaks and crap. I still miss camping at Lumbermans Monument north of Tawas. We would head into town on Saturday night, the old movie theatre, good popcorn and bad films and then back to watch satellites and UFO’s on the 45th parallel. (where you find them)
Canada won’t let us in. I would head north to revisit the fishing trips with my parents in the 1950s and early 60s. Yes, its stupid.
I also want to go back to Iceland, spent part of last summer there. One could live in Iceland.
But then I am supposed to save Syria and Lebanon and there is so much more I could say here but can’t, some of it for reasons of personal continuity.
Would like to get back to Pakistan and visit friends there. Raja has been dead for 6 years but Imran Khan is now PM but probably not allowed to drive around in the car all day and keep me entertained.
He is good company. So is Keshe, in Italy. Can’t go there either.
Could visit Peter in Greece but he was murdered. Alot of that going around. We spent a summer with him, by we I mean much of Adamas management, in his huge home south of Athens. It was a party every day. Peter had a house built on top of his house so he could see the ocean. It took him 3 years to die, they tried for both of us, I got better.
He was a very nice kid. Peter Panayotou.
Adamas has a team stuck in Sudan. This is a problem.
We have another situation in Ghana. Can’t fix that either.
COVID is crap.
So is death.
Where does one go? We can’t bring back Ann Arbor or East Lansing in 1972 or make the world new again. No one would have believed what we have done to this country though the 72 election was a lesson in how insectoid millions of Americans are.
Thinking about the places I need to go to recharge, most of the places exist the not in this time. Key West is now a cruise ship destination and probably today a ghost town.
New Orleans still has some bite.
Los Angeles has lost its 60’s edge right out of To Wanfoo with Love…
It isn’t just that things that were are gone its the people. Those who are alive, so many of them, aren’t really alive at all. I was never a big social breakthrough person, a bit of an ass kisser/academic who was taught by others to push the edges. I didn’t lead, not for years anyway.
Those who did lead burned out and are gone, those I thought would change the world. I am all that is left, in fact all that held on at all. Drugs.
This got everyone.
Thus, we arrive at 2020 and have no idea how things got this fucked up, it is as though the present sat on no past at all but is being made up by the internet, defined by Google and gang, which it is.
Some pretend to understand Jim Morrison or Jack Kerouac.
This is also a nation drowning in bad vibes. I only know where I am and where I/we are allowed to go. No one does anything other than ignorant silly shit.
To that extent, VT as much as anything is a collection of kids I have collected who are still alive when no one else is.
Pain is watching the same people who are Trump base forget that they were, 100% Bush/Cheney “base” as well. The older ones were all Nixon base and before that they loved Ike.
The problem isn’t bad information from fake news or Qanon, its the lack of courage and intellectual capability. Its cowardice and laziness.
The disaster? As best I can ascertain, there is no one out there that can lead or make a difference in any way. America is utterly devoid of “better angels.”
Those who would make America worth surviving burned out after 8 years of Reagan’s childish bullshit. For any literate individual, listening to that moron would have been torture.
No one thought it could get worse than “Ronnie.” It did.
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.