Red Knife by William Kent Krueger

Cork O’Connor, now a Private Investigator, paints a picture of racial conflict in rural America, as well as a sensitive look at the secrets we keep from even those closest to us and the destructive nature of all that is left unsaid between fathers and sons, husbands and wives, friends and lovers.

Of the series so far, this is the book I enjoyed least.

It’s too complicated. Too violent.

Gundamentalist Americans make insane mistakes yet the author seems to have nothing against guns — aside from Cork moving his own weapons away to safe keeping.

A school shooting thrown into the mix too.

Staying NEUTRAL is Supporting the Oppressor

In Coach Education we have a concept called ETHICAL ACTION.

If you see something you think is wrong, take action.

Record what you saw in a diary. Keep records.

Videotape what you saw.

Notify authorities in a respectful, diplomatic way.

Ideally you ask the (possible) offender: Why are you doing that? I don’t understand.”

People wonder why I’m so vocal about the high crimes of Donald Trump.

Ethical action. That’s why.

Trump inspired smarter people in Florida to enact a law called Don’t Say Gay. That’s like passing a law called Don’t Say Black. Don’t Say Latino.

We should take ethical action against people who discriminate when their Constitution clearly states that ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL.

Support the lesser of two evils if both sides are bad.

Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor. Initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler and a self-identified antisemite. Later best known for his opposition to the Nazi regime during the late 1930s and for his widely quoted 1946 poem:

“First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Beetle Kills and Forest Fires 😕

Mountain Pine Beetles are native to the forests of western North America from Mexico to central British Columbia.  …

As of May 2013, the Pine Beetle is aggressively devastating forests in all 19 US-American western states and Canada …

These insects are thriving as average temperatures increase. Dead and dying trees make good fuel for fires.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Listen to Elon

I’m often critical of Elon Musk. Turned off by his egomania.

Disappointed in his juvenile comments from the bully pulpit of Twitter. One of the richest and most powerful men in the world attacking and mocking people who are unable to fight back.

I’m disappointed that a guy who claims he doesn’t care about money is so reluctant to pay more in taxes though his businesses have received billions of dollars in tax subsidies.

That said, I admire almost everything else. His work ethic. His companies, especially Boring and Starlink.

Elon Musk does much more good for the world than bad. He’s scientific and well aware of the risks of climate change. He calls for a carbon tax. Musk endorsed Andrew Yang and expressed support for his proposed universal basic income.

Though the headlines shout that Elon is a “free speech absolutist”, Musk himself says Twitter must abide by the laws of each nation. I doubt much will change in terms of Twitter policy in Canada or the USA.

In fact, I’m guessing Twitter will be better for me with Musk as owner.

Warren had me watch this recent interview. Elon defends his life and ethics quite well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

NO WARS – And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda is the best anti-war song I know. Pete Seeger called it “one of the world’s greatest songs.”

Remind yourself that old men of privilege and power like Putin send young men to needless deaths.

Click PLAY or watch the Pogue’s version on YouTube.

It was written by Scottish-Australian Eric Bogle in 1969.

Never by Ken Follett

As a teenager I loved Follett’s World War II thriller, “Eye of the Needle” (1974).

Follett got even more famous writing historical fiction: Kingsbridge Series ➙ Century Trilogy.

In 2021 he published a geopolitical thriller — Never. Quite a departure.

Never is set in today’s world.

The sprawling saga is a fictionalized story of our world stumbling towards a nuclear war that nobody wants.

It begins in the Sahara Desert. Islamic terrorists, drugs and human trafficking.

The American President Pauline Green is a 4′ 11″ Republican. A former gymnast. Of course she’s challenged on the right by a Trumpy populist. Top of the American agenda is a revolt in North Korea. Rebel military have seized the nuclear weapons.

A high-ranking Chinese Intelligence official offers insight into the mindset of that superpower.

This book is terrifying as you can see how a nuclear war could start. In fact, I’m affected enough to no longer want to travel to Taiwan or Korea for hiking. They are both too close to nuclear attack.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As always, Follett writes great love stories. It’s the human stories that separate his work from other authors.

Click PLAY or watch an interview on YouTube.

Another book with a similar plot is 2034: A Novel of the Next World War (2021).

Dan Price – Minimalist Living

Since 1990 Dan has been living off the land in Oregon.

He’s an artist. A writer. A traveller.

For the last 15 years or so he’s been living in a little Hobbit House only 8ft (2.4m) wall to wall with a roof only 4ft (1.2m) high at the entrance rising to 5ft (1.5m) at the back.

Dan has a website called moonlight chronicles where he documents his simple life.

Dan Price’s underground home, art & philosophy on $5,000/year

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Martin Luther King Jr in 2022

Would King be happy with what’s happening in the USA?

The murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin has led to some improvements. Here’s what’s WORKING.

The phrase “defund the police” was always stupid. It should have been “reform the police“. Reallocate funding.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

WOW – Don’t Look Up

I rejoined Netflix mainly to watch Don’t Look Up.

Brilliant.

Be sure to watch the credits. There are 3 endings.

Satire that reminded me of both Swift’s A Modest Proposal and Wag the Dog.

Something between a star-studded Hollywood blockbuster and an amateur YouTube documentary. Very original editing.

You’ve never seen DiCaprio like this. He had a lot of input on the script.

The cast is great. Best is Jonah Hill who plays a Don Jr. idiot appointed by his mother as the insanely unqualified  Chief of Staff.

The Republican tribe is urged to NOT LOOK UP at the planet busting comet. And deny what they can see with their own eyes. 😀 It parallels the American idiocracy of covid denial, for example. Apathy, incompetence and self-interest.

Denial of science.

It’s certain ReTrumplicans will hate this film.

This movie came from my burgeoning terror about the climate crisis and the fact that we live in a society that tends to place it as the fourth or fifth news story, or in some cases even deny that it’s happening, and how horrifying that is, but at the same time preposterously funny.[10]— Adam McKay, writer, director, and producer of Don’t Look Up

Refugees & Asylum Seekers in 2022 😕

Trump too abruptly abandoned Syria. Biden did the same in Afghanistan.

Worldwide there are millions of people trying to flee.

I don’t understand why organizations — and billionaires — are not funding MORE and BETTER refugee camps. Only about 25% of refugees are in camps.

Syria

Life in a refugee camp should be minimal. But safe. Good security. Clean water. Decent health care. Education should be provided for kids who make up about 50% of the population.

My buddy Mike Sissons is an artist in Madrid. Some of his recent work features refugees.