The Punitive Pretzel of Progressive Logic and Hypocrisy

Progressives HATE Conservatives with a purple passion.

One of the reasons Progressives hate Conservatives is because to them, the “needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”

Progressives are Collectivists. And, Control Freaks. To them, Society is more important than the Individual. Progressives seek answers to societal problems through Big Government; regardless of the cost to Individual Rights and Liberty. Progressives seek to realize their Utopian dreams by controlling others, and forcing them to comply. Because, of course, Progressives know better, ARE better, and should be in charge.

Not only must Utopia be established (despite the realities of Life and Human Nature), but legislation to fix things must also PUNISH those whom the Progressives view as responsible for the societal problems (which, interestingly enough, never includes them). Ever notice how they pass laws that only screw things up, and then, years later, they blame others and demand the need for “reform?”

Theirs is a Punitive Political Doctrine. And they employ a twisted pretzel of logic in order to rationalize their views and hypocrisy.

How are they hypocrites? Consider this: Progressives view Conservatives as being “selfish and hateful” because Conservatives seek to keep as much of the money they earn to themselves; instead of gleefully agreeing to pay higher taxes. For “the Greater Good.” Yet all the Progressives are about is redistribution of wealth to THEIR political and ideological supporters. Somehow, institutionalized theft is not being selfish and hateful toward those who have earned what they possess. However, the Progressives’ use of Class Warfare, Spite and Envy is exactly that.

Progressives hate Conservatives because Conservatives believe in GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS; especially the right to Self-Defense. God and Guns are such icky things to Progressives, who fear everything, and who don’t like it when societal norms and mores tell them, “No. No, there AREN’T 51 different genders. And, no, something that 1% of the populace is or does that isn’t normal ISN’T normal.”

“No one,” Progressives argue, ” can tell US what to do or be. But, damn if we aren’t going to use the force of government to force you to do as WE see fit! Since we can’t transform ourselves, we will transform Society.”

“And, who NEEDS a gun?” they argue. “Society will protect you.” So naive, these Progressives. Even when statistical evidence regarding gun ownership vs crime rate, and longer and longer police response times prove otherwise, they bitterly cling to their FEELINGS that a fair and just world is just one more law away.

What grates Progressives the MOST, is that Conservatives revere the Constitution and Individual Rights. ACTUAL rights, not the made up blather Progressives like  FDR proposed in a Second Bill of Rights. Conservatives understand that a right is only a right as long as it doesn’t infringe on another person’s rights. Thus, the Constitution, as Obama has repeatedly said, stands in the Progressives’ way of making things rights that aren’t.

“Hey!” Progressives cry out. “Individual Rights are OUR territory! WE’RE the tolerant ones who defend the Individual!”

This, of course, is a lie. Progressives, in practice, have never been tolerant. And the only time they are “all about Individual Rights” is when “the few, or the one” in Society are members of THEIR politically-protected groups.

If there’s anything the past five years have proven, it’s that given the power, Progressives will seek to legislate away the Constitution, to economically and politically punish large swaths of the population, and to institute tyranny in order to get their way. The ends justify the means, is their mantra.

Most importantly, the reason Progressives hate Conservatives is because we hold up a mirror to their tyranny and hypocrisy. And, they don’t like that one bit.

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Imagine There’s No Big Government

Imagine there’s no Big Government. It’s easy if you try.

No entrenched bureaucracy. Instead, we institute accountable employees who SERVE the People for no longer than ten years before they are “termed-out,” with limited pensions. After that, they can no longer work in government again.

No unaccountable, aristocratic, elitist congressmen. Just term-limited public servants who cannot amass more income from any sources while in office other than what they earn from salaries and legal personal investments; servants who must live according to the laws they pass, and who are criminally accountable for committing illegal acts while in office.

Imagine there are no secretive and unfettered Agencies that assume the duties of Congress to pass laws through regulation.

Imagine no use of tax monies to propagandize on behalf of political parties or an Administration. No collusion between government and mass media.

Imagine strict adherence to the Constitution, and the devoted protection of the Citizens’ civil rights.

Imagine.

These are things that must be fought for and put into place.

We the People do not exist so that self-appointed elitists can feather their own nests at the expense of those they are supposed to serve.

We do not exist to pay for others who are capable of working but who refuse to do so. We do not exist to pay reparations for things we personally are not responsible for. We must not allow certain groups to use politics to gain societal advantage over other groups. We are all equal and must be the same in the eyes of the law.

We do not exist to labor so that more than a tenth of our income is taken by bureaucrats and congressmen to buy votes, to build monuments to themselves, to give advantages to their corporate cronies, to redistribute wealth, or to financially support foreign despots and groups.

We are born free, to be free, and we must fight those who want to turn us into tax slaves. We must fight and defeat anyone, especially fellow Americans, who seek to legislate our God-given rights away.

Imagine.

And then do something.

It IS All About the Money

Just as the love of money is the root of all evil, so too, is the hate of money.

Like it or not, money is this realm’s “currency.” It is, at its essence, the means for freedom; freedom to choose whom you will serve.

A poor person, unless introduced to and accepting of God, feels he has no choices in life. His is an existence of mere existence; one fraught with constant worry and peril.

But, through God, all things are possible. The acceptance of God into one’s soul opens one’s eyes to the temporary nature of poverty. If one aspires to be better and educates himself, and works hard to attain money, that person elevates his economic status.

By disdaining wealth, and the very idea of Capitalism, one shackles himself to poverty, and the notion of “Fairness.”

Fairness is a notion that results in the desire to have “good intentions,” instead of “measurable results.”

Wealth is a measuring mechanism. Good Intentions are bricks of self-indulgence that are useless, except to line the road to Hell.

While idolization of money is evil, so, too, is the vilification of money.

God invented money for us to use as a means to have earthly worth and freedom.

The more money you have, the more options you have. The more options you have, the freer you are. The freer you are, the freer you feel to decide whom you will follow.

This may be why Progressives, who publicly eschew money (while idolizing it privately), are so invested in instilling in others the notion that they should gladly enslave themselves to Poverty, or Envy, or Covetousness, in order to be “better” people.

But, these better people end up serving The Other. Why? Because they cannot meet their basic needs. Because they value envy and sloth over independence and industry. And so, they get poorer, and more desperate, and desperate people are so much more susceptible to corruption.

There are over 2300 passages in the Holy Bible about money, and how to steward it.

If money weren’t important to God, it wouldn’t have been created. God also created Free Will: the ability to decide whether to believe in God, or not, and to follow Him, or not.

So, money is an aspect of Free Will. It’s all in how we choose to see it and use it.

So, those among us who decry Capitalism and who extol Socialism serve The Other, not God.

California Liberty March Journal- San Francisco (Day One)

There is just too much left to do here. I will be marching around San Francisco tomorrow again. I wandered around the civic center, the downtown district and out to Alamo and Haight-Ashbury.

When I was in the Haight-Ashbury area, there were a lot of people visiting, shopping, hanging out, and driving through. There were also some stern-looking cops walking around, or parked nearby. Hippies and tourists were everywhere.

On one street corner, a shop called, Ben Jammin was holding an outdoor music event. People were dressed in tie-dyed clothing; some wore rainbow wigs and headbands, and others were getting facial tattoos painted on. A really old lady was dancing around doing Flower Child gestures and moves as she listened to a young woman sing and play the guitar. Small children with tie-dyed clothes and face paint were getting their groove on. A very pregnant young woman with her belly exposed and painted was dancing with the children.

I took out my tablet to take pictures. A man who looked a lot like Bill Ayers was sitting under a portable canopy near the singer. He seemed disturbed by my presense with the flag. He got up and told a fat old man with a beard and a tye-dyed outfit to photograph me. I thought the fat man was Ben of Ben an Jerry’s. I just smiled and posed and asked if they wanted the message on my shirt to be visible.

The old fat hippie told me he was Bob, and he posed with me. I asked Bill Ayers to photograph me with Bob.

Bob then offered me a free hot dog, and told me he had attended over 5000 concerts. At least 350 of those concerts were by the Grateful Dead. Bob gave me another hot dog then wandered off to dance with some other hippies who arrived in Sixties-style outfits.

I wanted to proclaim the end of the Progressive Era, but no one else talked to me while I was on the corner of Haight-Ashbury. Thus, I couldn’t find anyone trustworthy to hand my tablet to so I could do it. I decided to walk on, passed the clouds of pot smoke, and along bus stops and grassy hillsides populated by homeless people, teenagers, and hacking drug addicts who were openly free-basing and snorting.

Later in the day, as I was walking from the Civic Center area to downtown, a homeless young woman yelled at me and told me to fly my flag upside-down. This irritated me at first. She then said it’s to signify that the nation is in trouble. She and several other homeless people were lounging on a park slope, complaining that the police rousted them, and kicked them out of the City Hall park. Apparently, there were two big events going on in neighboring buildings, and well-to-do were going to be in attendence.

l had seen several rich people drive by in the area. The men looked distinguished and moneyed, and the women were dripping with jewelry.

The young woman told me that she decided to become homeless after participating in a previous Occupy event. As she told me this, a man lying behind her would periodically grab her breast and gave it a squeeze. The young woman said she would rather live on the streets and do without frequent showers than be a part of what “feeds the system.” Apparently, she can’t do without Facebook. She told me to follow her. Her name is Anonymama.

After chatting with the homeless group, I walked downtown. It was 7 pm by this time.

There would a lot of interesting buildings to look at. As I photographed some of them, I was taunted or threatened by nafarious-looking men with sagging pants who spoke street vernacular. They congregated on the corners and in front of Cash/Western Union shops. One man was behind me, offering his friend $15 to “bitchslap this niggah (me).

I turned around, gave them a look that said, Well? Are you going to do it? I’m waiting. But they turned away and talked about something else.

I wandered for an hour, taking photos and wondering if anyone would ask me about my flag. No one had the entire day. And this is the most people I’ve been around at any given time during my marches. I went into a Starbucks to recharge the tablet and to upload photos to Facebook.

From there, I walked in an arc back toward the 24 Hour Fitness club where I had started from, on Van Ness and Post.

As I was just walking up to the gym to call it a night, a slightly inebriated man named, Larry saw me, my flag, and my shirt message (Protect the Constitution), and he said, “Yes!”

He shook my hand and told me he was once very liberal. Now, he identifies as a libertarian (though he qualified that by saying he’s actually more conservative). He once had long hair, piercings, and thought like a Progressive. Now, he has sort hair, dresses like an average working-class stiff. He is a teacher now, who works with “problem” kids (aka gangbangers and kids from poor, troubled homes).

Larry says he doesn’t like how intolerant the city and its liberal citizens have become. They are tolerant only of what they believe in. He supports gay marriage and is “Pro-Choice,” but he also believes in the Constitution and in the Second Amendment. He owns a gun, in part because of what he does for a living. But he was emphatic about his belief that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. He has always thought of the Constitution as sacred.

Larry voted for Obama because he hated Bush. But, he soon saw what a disaster Obama is, and didn’t vote for him again. Now, he hates what Obama’s doing to our country and our Constitution. Larry supported the Occupy Movement but disagreed with its focus, and confrontational manner toward the police and others.

One thing Larry was amazed about was how the media has been protect Obama, and yet now have found out that the AP’s  information was secretly taken by the Administration.

Larry and I shook hands, agreed that we love American and are proud to be Americans. Then, I rolled up my flag and walked into the parking structure.

Tomorrow, I will video my proclamation and then march northward to the Presidio, and then across the Golden Gate Bridge.

California Liberty March Journal – San Jose to Sunnyvale and Back

When a seven foot tall police officer asks you, “Do you like the police?” It is inadvisable to answer with anything other than, “YES!”

Hesitating and asking, “Is this a trick question?” doesn’t go over too well…

Today’s march lasted longer than I expected because I underestimated the distance I would be walking from San Jose to Sunnyvale and back. Consequently, I walked an extra seven miles in order to get back to the gym parking lot in San Jose. I took a longer route, which resulted in the extra walking.

I left the gym parking lot at 8 am and walked to downtown San Jose. As I walked, I took photos of various interesting sights: a park with the World’s Largest Permanent Monopoly Board, the Adobe building (makers of Photoshop, etc), an art museum, a veterans’ memorial, and another park with Jacaranda trees and other types of trees, where homeless people slept on the many curved wooden benches.

One homeless man named, Jose engaged me in conversation, but he was hard to follow. He spoke about immigration issues, about the powerful and their attempts to control us, and how Hollywood lies about people. I took a photo of him and skedadled. Two other homeless people asked me for drugs or money. When I told them I had neither, they acted extremely disdainful and walked on.

From downtown, I walked north-west, over a freeway, toward the airport. Periodically, jets flew by and landed, alternating with much smaller private craft. I was marching along Coleman Avenue on the bicycle lane on the opposite side of the road from the airport; walking against on-coming traffic. As I was looking at the airport, an older woman wearing shorts and a floppy hat was walking on the other side of the road.

She stopped walking, made some repeative gestures, then bent over. He back was to me, and I could see her make digging arm movements. Then, she stood upright and continued walking.

I continued along Coleman Avenue until I came to Game Kastle, the same game store I had visited yesterday, during my day off. I had left the wall charger for my tablet in a game room last night, and I wanted to retrieve it. It was 12 pm by that time. I ordered some BBQ ribs from a soul food restaurant nearby and ate it at the game store. The corn bread was awesome, but the ribs were meh.

After eating and checking the Google map, I returned to my march. I marched along Coleman until I hit the Central Expressway.

I took that busy thoroughfare westward. It was windy, so I was playing “Strangle the Jiggling Flag Pole” again. Many cars honked and I was given a lot of thumbs up. The sky was light blue, with wispy, brushed clouds here and there.

After an hour or so, I got off the expressway, and headed south. I meandered along various side streets until Iended up on S. Wolfe Street. I took that south to El Camino Real. As I walked down Wolfe, I noticed two odd things.

First, that the area was populated with a lot of East Indians. The funny thing about these folks is, they have no compunction about staring at you if you’re a stranger. Or, a stranger with a long flag pole and big flag. They will not only look at you, they will stare. Intently. Inscrutibly. There is no point in engaging them in a mad dog staring contest. They will inevitably win. If they aren’t staring at you, they simply turn away and do their best to ignore you. Either way, you are left feeling like an intruder or a madman.

The second odd thing about walking through that area was that a crow kept following me. The same crow. It kept flying from tree to tree ahead of me, then hopping or flying to different branches, cawing at me. It kept doing this for three miles.

I though it had some issue or fascination with my flag. Perhaps with me. When I finally realized that I was being stalked by this cawing pest, I took a video of it as it was in a tree above me. I was rather creeped out by it, and told it to leave. It ignored me and kept doing its tree branch jumping and cawing. Interestingly, it stopped following me after I posted something about it on Facebook.

I took El Camino Real west until I reached the center of Sunnyvale. This was the ten-mile point. I used a restroom, then started back to Wolfe.

I continued down Wolfe into Cupertino, and encountered more stares or averted looks. The neighborhood changed, and soon I saw more and more Chinese people. They did basically the same thing: either stared or pretended I didn’t exist. There were a lot of car honks there. But not for me. The drivers were impatient with one another, and usually because a good number of them drove badly.

As the sun was descending into the afternoon sky, I entered Santa Clara and then San Jose.

As I was walking eastward along Steven Creek Blvd, I saw a huge police officer looking down at a middle-aged man who was seated on the curb behind a van. The police officer was about seven feet tall, with spiked black hair. While he was not muscle-bound, he was build like a brick. Another officer, 6’2 and blonde, was running the licence of the citizen.

The officer had instructed the citizen to get up and open his van’s side door. As I walked by, I saw that there was a mattress on the floor, and there were shelves with tools, like the type locksmiths would have.

“What is the Liberty March?” The taller police officer asked as I was passing by. I was surprised he wanted to engage me in conversation, considering he was dealing with the other citizen.

I stopped, gave him my card, and told the police officer about the number of miles Iwas walking, how I have been driving from place to place and then marching with the flag, and that I demanded that all elected and appointed officials uphold their oaths of office, and protect the Constitution.

That’s when he stopped smiling and asked me if I liked the police.

“Is this a trick question?” I responded.

“Do you like the police?”

“Of course I do. I love law enforcement officers.”

His smile returned. “Oh, then good luck on your march.”

I wonder what he was planning on saying or doing if I had said something like, “No, I detest the loathsome jackbooted thugs!”

After being dismissed, the other officer walked up and asked if I’ve really been walking all the way from San Diego. The taller police officer cut him off and said, “No. He drives.”

I have gotten used to being wary around homeless people and strangers. Sadly, I am now starting to feel wary around police officers. Like the officers in Fresno, I suspect they have an institutionalized biased against us “radical right-wing types who carry the flag and talk about the Constitution.”

I walked along that road for fifteen minutes and came to a Mini Cooper lot to my left. I was looking at them, trying to see how much their price stickers were when I happened to look right at the street next to me, and I saw the two officers stopped in the left turn lane. The taller officer was in a huge police SUV, while the other officer was in a squad car behind him. They looked at me when I happened to notice them. The light turned green, and they passed me as I waited to cross the street to keep walking east.

Down the road a bit, I came to a nice-looking Surplus store. I went in and asked the man if they carried chaps. He told me of two places a few iles away that had them. One was a bondage store and the other supplied motorcycle riders with leather gear. I asked for the name of the motorcycle place. “Just Leather.”

I walked and walked and it was now getting dark. From behind me, someone asked me how far I was carrying my flag. I turned and saw a tall blonde man in his early Fifties accompanied by a tall blonde woman. Both were dressed in tennis/exercise clothes. The man was smiling and was very nice.

I explained what I was doing, and they were interested to hear more. They walked along with me until we came to an intersection where they were going to depart in another direction. We stood on that corner for ten minutes and discussed the current state of affairs in this country; where the poor are being taught to hate the rich. The woman spoke with a Romanian accent and blamed the current administration for promoting class warfare.

Based on what they both said, I deduced that they were very well off. I gave them my card and we parted ways.

As I walked across the intersection, three couples out on the town walked along from a different direction. We waited for the light to turn green so we could continue. I decided to quickly move around them and cross anyway, since there weren’t any cars turning. Two seconds later, a car full of guys with water balloons sped by and pelted the couples. Had I remained where I was standing, I would have been hit several times.

I was already across the street when I turned to hear the laughing car passengers and the startled couples getting hit. I heard several more water balloons hit the ground near where I was. I continued on.

I wondered if I was the intended target and the couples had inadvertantly been hit, or if we all were the targets. Several blocks down, as I passed a street corner, I noticed water spots and realized that the car passengers had thrown water balloons at others along that street.

Eventually, I saw “Just Leather” and crossed the street to see its hours of operation. They will be open tomorrow (Saturday) at 9 am. I have told people that if I had raised enough donations by two nights ago, that I would march through San Francisco wearing my shirt, chaps, and my shoes. And no pants. Even though I didn’t raise the amount I need, I will still go through with what I said I would do. However, I need to buy chaps.

I had another three miles to go, by this point. As it was, I had already marched more than 20 miles. I continued eastward and then turned southward toward Parkmoor. The street there was filled with residential buildings that were zoned for commercial use. Inoticed quite a few massage parlors on that road. The first, called, “Midnight Therapy,” gave me a clue. After that one, I passed three more. Across the street, I saw a closed down theater called, the Burbank.

From there, I walked eastward on Parkmoor, which was a one-way street. And, it was not lit. I walked toward on-coming traffic, getting back on the side walk whenever cars came zooming by. A few drivers saw my flag in their headlights and gave me a few beeps. After a mile, Ireached the gym parking lot. I was relieved. This march took thirteen hours.

I put my flag away in my car, got a change of clothes and my towel, and then went into the gym to shower. Afterward, I drove around until Isaw a pizza store. It was 10 pm by then. And, right next door Isaw the Winchester Western Wear store. It opens tomorrow at 10 am. So, if they sell cheap chaps and a cowboy hat, I’ll wear that as I march through San Francisco. I’m worried that if I wear motorcycle chaps and a cap, I’ll be mistaken for a Castro District village person, or something.

So, that’s my report for today. Tomorrow, I go Rhinestone Cowboy on ol San Fran.

California Liberty March – Palmdale to Lancaster (Layover in Tehachapi)

Today, as I was driving down a mountainside road in Tehachapi, I experienced the most terrifying panic attack of my life.

I thought I was going to end up at the bottom of the cliff near me, and roll down to the bottom of Kern Canyon. Thankfully, I held it together, and extricated myself from the harrowing situation.

Before I get into that, I want to report about the California Liberty March on Wednesday May 8th from Palmdale to Lancaster.

Report: It was pretty uneventful.

I had left from a community park in south-east Palmdale and walked across residential and commercial areas separated by stretches of undeveloped desert land. Cars would occasionally drive by and honk, but when I’d look to wave, the people in the honking cars were facing forward, as if they hadn’t honked at all.

Whenever a car within a group of passing cars would honk, I was always unsure of who did the honking. In fact, I wondered if they were honking in support of the flag or out of annoyance.

As I passed a middle school, some boys playing with a kick ball saw me. The first one gathered his pals, and they shouted and waved. The first boy was pumping his fists in the air and shouting. He decided to go all out and bent his knees. He followed this up with hip thrusts. I just laughed, shook my head, and walked on.

Tony A.

The only people I had actual conversations with on this march were both in Palmdale. The first was a thin man named Tony A. who was standing outside a McDonalds. He walked up behind me as I was rolling up my flag. When I noticed him over my shoulder, he said he wanted to see how I did it.

Tony started telling me about the bad nutritional effects of eating at any fast food establishment. He was going to go in and eat a yogurt parfait, he said, but wasn’t sure.

“With all due respect,” he said cautiously, looking at my gut, “Have you ever done a cleanse?”

“No, but I probably should. I want to lose forty more pounds.”

He went on to tell me about faith leader Danny Viera, who is in northern California, and who has a cleanse product that works wonders. Tony and I talked further about faith and religion. His goal is to establish an “Empowerment Ministry” in Florida. He had worked as a para-legal and loan modification agent before the present administration. His wife and father-in-law drove up, and Tony handed me his card.

Ryan

The second person I met was Ryan; a young man in his early twenties, who was wearing a black baseball cap, unzipped hoodie, and saggy pants. He was standing outside of a hobby store miles away, smoking. His bicycle was leaned up against the wall.

I rolled up my flag in order to step inside the hobby store to look around and to get out of the sun. The wind was blowing hard, so the flag wasn’t rolling up correctly. Ryan stepped up and helped me get it under control.

I walked around inside the store to see if they had any cheap plastic figurines of children I could buy to use as playing pieces for the prototype of a board game I am developing called, The Very Scary Cemetery. An artist I know (who was once a 3D animation student of mine), is going to paint the art for the game pieces and board. The store owners told me they didn’t have what I wanted, so I left.

As I was unfurling the flag, Ryan asked me why I was walking with it. So I told him.

He smiled, revealing some chipped and missing teeth. He told me that he wanted the local Sheriff’s Deputies to uphold their own oaths, as they harass him on a weekly basis. Ryan said that because of his appearance (he has neck and arm tattoos), he is pulled over as he rides his bicycle, and is asked if he is on parole or probation. He told me that he continually hands his ID to the deputies, telling them to run his card.

“Check my background. I have no record. I may look bad,” he told me, “But I’m a good person.”

He gave me another lop-sided, toothy smile, and I shook his hand. All I could think to tell him was, “Hang in there…”

I then continued to 10th Avenue West, and turned northward to Lancaster.

Desert, Desert, Everywhere

From that point on, there were very long stretches of open land, with business park developments or mini-malls punctuating the long arid walk.

After several hours, I reached Lancaster. Mike DeGrood, a member of the Sons of Liberty motorcycle club, called me at 4:30 pm to try and find me. He wanted to walk a little with me. He was going to pick me up at the end of the route and drive me back to my car at the park in Palmdale.

I was about three hours away from completing the 20 miles. He walked with me from Avenue L to Avenue K before turning back in his work shoes to get his car. I continued walking to reach Avenue J before me got me.

While the parts of Palmdale I had walked through were predominantly populated by Hispanics, the northern part of Lancaster I walked through are predominantly blacks. The expressions on the faces of people I passed by as I walked in both towns made me smile; because they all seemed to be wondering what type of lunatic I was.

I received a lot more honks and thumbs ups in Lancaster, as well as smiles and waves. The usual battle cry of, “America!” was occasionally shouted.  I even got two “Whoo hoo!” from girls driving by.

Side note: Teen aged girls and college girls almost always shout the same thing: “Whoo hoo!” I wonder why that is. Although, some do occasionally shout, “America!” like boys and men tend to do.

By the time I reached Avenue J, Mike D. was parked off to the side. “You ready?” he asked.

My arches were aching, and my right foot was once again throbbing with pain.

“All you’re going to hit from this point on is desert,” he told me. “No one will really see you and the flag.”

So, I put the flag in his car, and he drove me back to the park. It was a long drive, because of the surface streets route, even though we did take the freeway along the way. Then, I followed him back to the freeway, and then drove 45 minutes north to Tehachapi, where he lives and works.

As I followed Mike’s car, we passed through part of the Mojave. To the West, I saw hundreds of wind turbines in the distance. It was amazing. They were on the plains and on the hills. When Mike pulled over along the way to gas up, he told me that he works for a company that constructs them.

From there, we drove to Tehachapi.

That is where I am now, blogging. He and his wife have offered to let me stay here for a couple of days. Tomorrow, I will leave early in the morning to get the Bakersfield for that march. I’ll return here for tomorrow night. Early Saturday morning, I will drive up to the next route, which is from Tulare to Visalia.

After that, I drive northward.

Tehachapi

I haven’t had much time to explore. From what I have seen of it, it is a very nice rural town. I left at 3 pm today to drive around and take some photos for you guys, but I didn’t get very far. As I passed houses on acreage that had white fences around them, I came to the top of Kern Canyon.

That is where my harrowing experience began.

Yesterday, I had told Mike that I have a phobia of driving on high, curving overpasses and bridges. Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge and others is a concern for me.

I first became aware of my anxiety with driving over bridges in my early Twenties, when I was a Resident Assistant at UCLA. I was driving some students from my floor somewhere along the I-405. When I came to the I-10 interchange,  and was driving onto the overpass, I suddenly experienced sweats and anxiety.

I slowed way down and made it, but was freaked out.

Since then, I have done alright while driving. But last Summer, while I was driving my children over the Coronado Bridge to reach the island, I once again experienced a terrible panic attack.

I didn’t want to freak out my kids, so I remained calm, breathing slowly. All the while, my mind kept seeing the bridge in front of me collapsing, and I was deathly afraid we were about to plunge into the bay below. I just kept talking myself through it, telling myself to remain calm, to check my speed, to look at the road ahead (instead of the open sky above and around the bridge).

We made it. I was so shaken by this, I let my eldest daughter drive us back over the bridge (even though she was still a new driver).

Today, I was trying to find a famous landmark where trains do a turnaround. So, I followed a road Mike had pointed out. That road went through the rolling plains lands of the houses with fences I mentioned. It was when the road started to descend alongside a mountain when the panic attack occurred.

All-Consuming Terror

I was driving down  for a few hundred feet when I was struck by how interesting the landscape in the distance looked. I pulled over on a very slim patch of gravel on the side of the road, on the lane closest to the canyon. I was a little nervous, so I double-checked the parking brake, and that I was in Park.

I got out of my car, walked up the road a little to take a photo of the canyon with my tablet. When I got back into my car and started driving down again, there suddenly was a sheer cliff alongside me. There were no longer any trees alongside me to provide a point of reference for my eyes.

I suddenly panicked and felt my heart race. I told myself to calm down, and I prayed.

“Through God, all things are possible…”

I slowed down and came to another gravel pull-over spot. Luckily, it was twice as wide and long as the first. I hit my Hazard lights and drove slowly onto the gravel. I was terrified. To my right was a canyon far below.

My heart raced and my head was spinning, and I thought I was going to drive off the cliff. From where I was at, on this narrow two-lane road, I was able to see oncoming traffic from both directions for about forty feet each way. There was a hairpin turn ahead of me, while the road had a shallower curve behind me.

I had to get off of that road as soon as I could. The terror was quickly building. It took a lot of talking to myself to keep track of what I needed to do:

Is your foot still on the brake? Are there cars coming from the north? Are there cars coming from the south? Am I sliding into the canyon? How much space is there to turn left into the mountain, so I can back up onto the gravel again and complete turning around..?

I looked up and down the roads again, saw that they were clear, then I went for it. I turned hard left, drove across the lanes until I was facing the mountainside, then I looked back to see where I needed to go as I backed up.

When I looked back, I was completely horrified, all I could see was the sky. I didn’t know how much road there was until I hit the gravel patch. I was afraid I’d accidentally hit the accelerator and drive off the cliff. But, I knew I couldn’t remain blocking the road. Someone could run into me at any second.

So, I drove back slowly until I felt the car roll over gravel. I then turned quickly to see how much room I had left ahead of me. No cars were coming, so I turned the wheel hard left, then accelerated back onto the road, and headed back up the mountain.

I retraced my route back to the DeGrood’s. When I parked the car, I was nauseous and shaky. My head was throbbing and it hurt. I went into the house and into the bathroom. There, I splashed water on my face and I was overwhelmed with emotion. I started to cry.

So I went into the guest room and cried into a folded up towel until the feeling went away. I rewashed my face and left the house. I wanted to go to bed and curl up but instead, I left the house and drove into town along a different route.

There, I saw a Starbucks next to an Italian restaurant called, “Pacino’s.” I felt queasy so I decided to eat something. I hadn’t eaten any other than a protein shake up to that point.

Inside Pacino’s, I saw that it is essentially a shrine to the actor. There are movie posters everywhere, as well as framed head shots from throughout his career, and painted murals of the man and of his work.

I ordered water and spaghetti with salad and bread sticks. I was still shaken but slowly feeling better. Across the aisle from me was a woman named, Darlene F. She and I started talking.

She told me that she is a commercial and competitive Bass fisher. She travels throughout the South fishing and competing. She told me of how the weather conditions were so extreme at times that she and other competitors questioned their judgment in doing what they do. This fascinated me.

She told me that they sometimes band together, sleep over in rented houses or campsites, and share stories of their day’s travails with one another. They compete for money, boats, and sometimes houses. Mainly, for money. But they pay $3000 entry fees to enter competititons!

“It’s all about winning,” she told me. “It’s to be competitive.”

Talking with her calmed me. I told her about my march, and she told me to contact some of her FB friends who are fishermen and who are Conservative. We shared names and then she left.

After I was done eating, I drove around the town for ten minutes. It had started raining, and it was overcast. I felt exhausted, so I drove back to Mike’s house.

Excelsior Henderson Motorcycles

When I returned to the house, I started blogging. After an hour, Mike returned and needed to use his computer. So, I got off and went into the guest room for a while. I then went into the den to ask Mike a question.

He was looking on Google for images of motorcycles that have the same type of windshield he needs for his motorcycle. That is when he began to tell me the story of the resurrection of an American motorcycle brand called, the Excelsior Henderson.”

Apparently, the first American-made motorcycle was the Excelsior. Ignaz Schwinn, the famed German-born mechanical engineer, and bicycle maker, purchased the rights to the Excelsior and another motorcycle brand called the Henderson. He then began producing the Excelsior Henderson motorcycle.

The “X” was the favored motorcycle of law enforcement officers in the Twenties. Charles Lindburgh rode one, and even Henry Ford was an owner. It was the first motorcycle to reach 100 mph.

By 1931, though, because of the Depression, Schwinn walked in and informed his employees that he would no longer be producing the X. Thus, the Excelsior Henderson faded off into obscurity. Until the 1990’s.

It was in 1993 that Dan Hanlon, and his younger brother Dave, reintroduced the Excelsior Henderson. They had spent $50,000 on each of several prototypes that were based on the last known designs of the motorcycle’s previous incarnations. The Hanlons’ designs were supposed to take those designs and extrapolate what the motorcycle would look like at that point, as if it had never ceased production.

From 1993 to 2000, the Hanlons produced one thousand nine hundred and fifty-eight motorcycles. But, the Hanlons needed more money to continue to do so. Each production model cost $1000 more than what they sold for. The Excelsior Henderson name still needed time to build a customer base, and thus, be more affordable.

Despite a push for venture capital, the Hanlons had to file for bankruptcy. While litigation was in process, an outside company came in, promising to revive the company. The principal of that company put down $300,000 as a deposit against the millions needed to finalize the reorganization.

As it turned out, the principal of the investing company was an unscrupulous man wanted in other states. He sold all of the assets and dies and machines used to construct the X. He sold all of the early models from the showroom, and liquidated all holdings.

Hence, the Excelsior Henderson was once again lost. No one knows where any of the machine dies have gone to, nor are there any of the original plans known to be in existence. Whomever has them hasn’t come forward. As Mike said, “It’s a mystery.”

Mike has two Excelsior Hendersons. He proudly showed them to me after he told me the story. They are beautiful cycles. I intend on acquiring one in the coming year, once I am working once again.

Apparently, they are becoming less expensive because original replacement parts are dwindling. They can be modified with parts from other brands, though. From a historical perspective, the X is a collectable. It represents American ingenuity and determination and courage.

I want to be courageous. I want to overcome my fear of heights and of falling. Everyday on this trip, whether I want to or not, I discover something new. I learn something I need in order to be able to leave behind my previous bad habits and fears.

When I Drove Off of a Cliff

I suspect that my phobia and anxiety is due in large part to the day I drove off of a road that ran alongside a ravine. From the center of the ravine was an elevated area on which a train ran.

I was 16, and I was driving a Ford Pinto to the Trestles with three friends. The Trestles was a train bridge over a lagoon in Carlsbad, CA. We would jump from the bridge into the water below. Once in it, the water currents were strong, and wee’d swim against them to reach the shore.

The day before I was driving to the Trestles, I was a passenger in my friend George’s station wagon. He was driving on the dirt road, doing fishtails. We thought that was fun. So, the next day, when I was driving, and George and two others rode along with me, they told me to do fishtails. Being a teenager, I did.

And I did them beautifully! Until I saw an indented patch of sand ahead. So, I stopped fishtailing, slowed down a bit and held the steering wheel straight. For  whatever reason, the car suddenly turned in a 70 degree angle, and we soared into the air.

As George and the others screamed, I was trying to get my foot from under the accelerator so I could hit the brakes. Which would have been pointless, but it gave me something to do as I thought (with a sinking feeling in my stomach), “Aw, damn… And I’ve never ever looked to see what’s down there…”

I thought we were going to die. But, after being airborne for a few seconds, the car landed on the side of the ravine and was about to roll on the side when it hit a large concrete block (the type of block used to support power poles). The front right wheel well was lodged against it, prevent any further movement.

For the first half minute, we all sat there. Stunned. Suddenly, the others started nervously laughing. “Let’s do that again!”

Despite being glad we were alive, I was afraid of my parents finding out. I happened to have $50 in my wallet, so I called a tow truck to pull my car from the ravine. He did and it seemed to run alright. Though my step-father asked me why the front end was elevated. I don’t remember what lie I told him. But, thereafter, I have never been in a car accident that was my fault.

As far as I can tell, that may be the genesis for my phobia. I wonder how to conquer it. I want to be able to ride my future X on windy mountain roads without experience that terror again…

Sleepless in Santa Barbara

Last night, at 11:30 pm, as I was in my car getting ready to go to sleep, I heard beautiful guitar music being played by a man named Bruce G. He had laid out his guitar case and CDs, a guest book, and business cards on one corner of the second floor parking structure walkway. He also put a feedback monitor on an isand across from him.

His music was improvised Flaminco-style renditions of classics such as, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” Ode to Joy,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and classical guitar pieces I had never heard before. I was enthralled, as the music resonated beautifully throughout the structure. He performed like a virtuoso, thumping on the guitar for percussion while expertly playing; his fingers plucking, strumming, and sliding faster than I could keep up.

I got out of my car to listen to him. I asked if I could videotape a bit, and he nodded. I remained outside in the cold, barefoot, listening. I closed my eyes, and felt transported. The situation was surreal. Almost no one else was around, but here was this gifted man playing in the oddest of places. Despite my sadness from the past few days, I felt so much better. A few couples that happened by and who heard him playing, walked up the stairs to investigate. Bruce told them about his CDs for sale, and he offered them some hard candy while they listened.

He continued playing for over an hour. By that time, I had gotten back in my car and lay down to sleep. Eventually, he stopped and packed his things and drove away. I fell asleep.

I woke up at 5:20 am after a difficult night of restless sleep. Lately, I’ve had leg tremors and night sweats. I’ve also experienced mood swings and increased edemia in my hands and feet. These are all signs that my Diabetes in not under control.

I just tossed out the of the insulin I had with me as it is obviously no good. I can survive for a few weeks without it, though it will require me to diligently monitor my symptoms and respond accordingly. I lived with raging Diabetes for years. It was not pleasant but I can do it again. My doctor, upon checking my blood sugar three years ago told me he didn’t know how I had lived for as long as I had with a blood sugar level of 428. The normal range is from 70 to 100.

Now that I am experiencing the same symptoms as back then, it is apparent that the insulin I have been keeping in my car (with the windows partially rolled down) is no longer viable. I had always thought that it was supposed to be refrigerated until you needed to use it; at which time, I would keep it on my office desk for a week, at room temperature. Last night, my wife called me and told me that insulin, when not in use, needs to be kept refrigerated. Apparently, I still have a lot to learn about this disease.

Since I was first diagnosed, I have been a stubborn bastard about accepting my condition, and about identifying myself as “Diabetic.” But today, l now understand. I have had the persistent nausea and ‘increased emotionalism that plagued me for years before I finally was taking insulin. Those symptoms were mitigated by my eating food. Eating seemed to make me feel less sick. It comforted me. l but I see now that I was essentially self-medicating. Thus, I got fat and complicated my health even further. Well, I Am not going back to poor health. Not after coming so far.

I intend on losing another 40 lbs and being healthy and active again. That means I have to be absolutely diligent about my diet. Which means I have to change my habits. l realize this now. I am sick, and I have been thinking of Diabetes as a personal weakness. So, I have been denying its seriousness, and thus, my need to take it seriously.

So, Hello. My name is Roger, and l am a diabetic…

As part of the monitoring process, l am going to elicit feedback from you.

I need to raise money again in order to continue with this march. The uncertainty of not having enough has been wearing, and has made me anxious and feeling guilty about undertaking this endeavor. Am l selfish for doing this march? Originally, I thought that I would get media coverage and, thus, enough in donations to accomplish it. But, nothing has happened as l planned, and now, I have only enough for the car trip from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita.

What do you think? l don’t want to give up. I have endured a lot to get here. I can and will go all the way, At the same time, for what? What good will l do? SOMETHING’s got to be done and said about our rights. If I Stop now, I won’t be doing what I can to stop politicians from stealing our rights. In the grand scheme of things, though, what can just one man do?

I need perspective. I need your help. Again. Please post comments below.