Thursday, March 26, 2015



Where you can camp up close and personal with these wild things.
It took some time for Arizonans to appreciate the wonders of this plant--
But now we do-- and they are loved and respected and legally protected.
Get the story here.
A stone's throw away is this rare one.

Rare and mysterious--and much valued.  Experts cannot yet fully explain this anomaly. 
You would not guess what wild attraction has filled this parking lot.

It is the product of a  wild haired vision--long years ago.
No ordinary thrift store. 

It is a whopper--with a whopper of a reputation--that does a whopping lot of good.

Somehow a thousand people aligned their visions and worked together--without pay--for a half century.  Could you guess the size of last year's financial contributions.
The answer is detailed here: Brace yourself to be astonished: ONE  MILLION, SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS divided among these listed charities.  Hats off to this group from Green Valley, Arizona.

Invited down to a wild little town--myself and a companion--go there.

Settle into our friend's back yard.

walk one of the numerous trails into the massive (110,000 acres) wildlife reserve.
boardwalks across marshy areas.
Local headquarters of a sizable humanitarian group dedicated--

to prevent deaths in the desert of illegals crossing into the US.
Of course I went inside and interviewed the attendant.  He showed me a map pinpointing about 20 spots where bodies were found.  They go out to the danger spots and leave gallons of water. More on this later.
This bar--the La Gitana --oldest bar in the oldest Az town. My companion and I spent an evening there. 

with guys like this--who wheeled in on this lively and ancient vehicle.

A tapestry on the wall captures the mood of the place.  A U shaped bar puts customers eye to eye.
Sure enough drama happened--which I won't detail.

Also on the wall--this classic picture of a nearby commune--no longer extant--but whose influence
is very much felt today--many members stayed and built in the area.  
From almost everywhere you can see this fabled mountain: Baboquivari. (pronounced bob-oh-couve-ray)

 - Photograph © Stewart M. Green
A better picture--from the internet.

I was invited to dinner by three ladies---and served a 12 course meal.  I celebrated the event by writing a poem. (will share it later).

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  My adventures here will require a 2nd post. The enduring impact here was a interview with an informed local on sensible policy for illegals.  Just 2 of his major points: The steel walls--closely monitored--funnel illegals in the dangerous desert areas.  If we had a reasonable, fluid work permit where Mexicans could easily come to work and RETURN-- They would do so. I was not entirely persuaded but appreciated his valid points.

Then I went to an end-of-the-world town--met a pretty lady--who built a pretty bar. (more later)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


OH SWEET PEOPLE----YA GOTTA SEE THIS:  JOHN OLIVER HAS SEIZED THIS ISSUE ALSO---SPECTACULARLY.  I promise this clip will amuse and make you furious at the same time.
I only wish he had covered the European solution I mentioned.  Please give it a look and think with me about the quicksand system we have now.  I have relatives in the justice business and I will
forward this link: to all of them.

And this just in:  (Thanks to Carol Maurer for both these links)

Friday, March 20, 2015


3rd largest in the nation---110,000 book lovers strolling the avenues of Arizona University---
filling its giant lecture halls---waiting in long lines to hear  mental superstars like Astrophysist Alan Lightman and linguist/liberal Noam Chomsky---best selling mystery author J A Jantz--Americas' funniest man, Dave Barry--world famous historians like Hampton Sides and much much more.

What a thrill to mingle with people who love ideas---the DNA of culture---the seed of progress.

Lecture halls jammed full of interested minds---older ones as you can see. (The college was on spring break) This lecture--by a lawyer, frequently before the supreme court, discussed some major mistakes of that court and asked whether we even needed them.  Lectures are an hour and a half---with questions usually allowed. 
This panel of experts discussed major issues of the Obama years.
A major historian (left) Hampton Sides describes the life of  writing narrative history.

Hundreds of these cute 8x10 tents lined several rows.  If you have a book or a cause you wish to push--you can pay $400 and make your case.  (A great idea having standard identical tents--supplied by the festival and tied together for stability)

I had a great day--quizzing all sorts of causes.  These Muslim guys were very anxious to prove that Islam is a religion of peace.

Not many approached their booth so they were happy to have me ask sincere questions.

The Eckankar people were exuberant to demonstrate how exuberant Eckankar followers are.
This friendly lady wrote a book and wants to sell it and her ideas.
Gurdgjieff followers are sure they've found the path to the awakened life.
Here's people who are strongly against bullying. 
That's a very long line---about a quarter mile--of folks who want to hear the most celebrated speaker of them all.  An 87 year old man.
The venue was a giant theatre/auditorium--seating perhaps 3000.  He is obviously controversial because all bags were searched.  
Just one section of the anxiously waiting crowd  Luckily, my friends and companions got tickets for us. (they were free but demand was such that tickets were used to limit crowd size)
When finally the old man entered the room--a standing ovation resounded for a long time. Do you wonder what he has done or said to gain so adoring an audience?
Read about him here
Image result for noam chomsky
And here he is Noam Chomsky---voted the worlds greatest living intellect.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  OH SWEET PEOPLE---CAN YOU FEEL IT? CAN YOU SEE IT HERE DEMONSTRATED?  A BETTER WORLD IS ON ITS WAY.  Brilliant and generous people created this event to let us experience-- up close-- brilliant and creative minds.  My companion and I attended 6 lectures. I come away feeling hope for humanity.  Reason and creativity are winning---at an ever increasing rate.  Every one of us--at some level of his being wants to CONTRIBUTE.  And greater and greater globs of us are being focused on progress--in organizations--like Google and Microsoft and Apple and Amazon and Wikipedia.   

Monday, March 16, 2015



The Attorney General's findings are correct in this regard: the cost of traffic fines do not significantly hurt the middle and upper classes but can be devastating to the poor.

Think about it:  The point of assessing penalties is to sting us enough to make us wary of breaking traffic rules.

Imagine a city that imposed lashes across the back as penalties---the number dependent on the offense.  Say running a red light would earn one public lash-- EVERYBODY the same-- rich or poor.  That would approximate justice for all.

But suppose the poor were given 10 lashes and the rich only one? Outrageous?  Of course! But THAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION---dollar wise---and it is part of the reason for rioting in Ferguson, Missouri.

So I have a modest suggestion: LET US ASSESS TRAFFIC FINES BASED ON A PERSON'S WEALTH.  If you think this can't be done---think again.  It is already being done in Europe.  Read about it  here.. Traffic fines in some countries can be in the millions for the super rich.

If you think it's too difficult to determine a persons' wealth---think again:  I received a letter this morning from the government which --almost to the dollar--listed my modest assets.

UPDATE:  JOHN OLIVER has taken up the cause---spectacularly--ya gotta watch this: