Sunday, October 16, 2011


I was able to see the movie on DVD. Someone involved with the ownership of the horse had a house near me in Miami. I never spoke to them but my mother did. What I recall is how they described the horse to her. That made the movie all the more interesting.

Back then, I had no idea what the Kentucky Derby was, but then came Secretariat and my mother's conversation with the people. I watched as the horse set records in all legs of the triple crown. Although his Preakness record wasn't granted, two independent sources clocked him as finishing in record time. The official clock got screwed up and one track guy hand clocked it slower, but it is likely that guy erred.

No horse ever won by such a margin or in the record time he set when he blasted through the Belmont Stakes course. The amazing thing was that the crazy horse was still accelerating at the end.

The actual name they called him was Big Red. It was news to me, but the reason you see such bizarre names in those races is that some committee has to approve the name you submit. I think the first ten names they sent in for Big Red were rejected.

In the movie and in the story told to my mother it was stressed how intelligent that horse was. And how much he wanted to win. I have no idea why I find something about great horses so appealing, but I do. I've hardly ever ridden, but I understand how people could get hooked on that world. It is often a hard life but there is something about it.

Secretariat was the coolest horse ever. And his owner has a story all her own. She went against all odds just to keep the farm, thanks to oppressive estate taxes. I'll never get why something which has been taxed forever has to be taxed again just because it is willed to a person. That is not right, and those who think you do not have a right to see your property go to whom you choose when you die are just mad because it doesn't go to them.

Anyway, I liked the movie. I'm not too critical of how it could have been done differently because I love seeing the race scenes re-enacting what actually happened, then seeing old footage of the real thing. There is no way they exaggerated. What that horse did was amazing enough that it would have seemed pure fantasy before he did it. Especially his Belmont win.

I did find out that the Derby is 1 1/4 miles, the Preakness is 1 3/16 and the Belmont, 1 1/2miles. All the hot shots thought he'd fade on the long race. What they did not know is that Secretariat's heart was actually over twice the size of a normal heart for a horse that size. And it was very healthy. I love it when the smug ones get their come-uppance.

Some people think it is a violation of animal rights to race horses. In the case of Secretariat, I think he liked to race and enjoyed it like a performer loves doing a show in front of a big crowd. Maybe that was one animal who didn't need a self appointed lawyer to speak for him. Save it for the bears and sharks.

When you consider the relationship between humans and horses, and dogs, it is clear that the development of civilization would have been far different without them. It's a strange thing, really; riding on the back of an animal. Somehow it does seem perfectly natural, though.

So Tempting to Pick a Side

When you can name enemies and have plenty of company who will go along, it is hard not to vent frustration on the selected groups. The trouble is, the broad brush almost always leaves out important facts and ignores the real path of cause and effect.

There are always plenty of people who will spout facts and such so actually taking the time to tediously research every facet of thing is not necessary. Never mind that the story told is never all inclusive. That would be almost impossible to do anyway, like trying to control the behavior and choices of millions from some central planning committee. It's like trying to balance nature by decree.

When Tea Party stuff first came out, I was in agreement with most of it; contain governmental power and size, quit trying to spend money to fix problems which arose from spending too much and in places better left not in government hands. But then various people jumped to the front of the line and it became clear this movement broadened in scope and often the self appointed leaders espoused things I find irrelevant when speaking of what government ought do or not do. I still agree that it is good to have a constitution and eliminating things which violate the limits it placed on central power is fine.

I'm somewhat on board with a state's rights agenda, but I fully believe their powers ought to be severely limited as well. I give them the right to secede but if they are just wanting to limit individual freedom, bad news. It is a sticky thing.

If it is news to anyone that very wealthy interests have served to corrupt every process in which the government is involved, then you've been deaf, dumb and blind up until now. They've even used the military in ways which seem odd and not fair to the people who serve, let alone the people who just work, raise families and try to get by.

So, in some ways I agree with the Occupy crowd. Things should not be as they are. Beyond that, I doubt many would be in accord with my views. For one thing, I abhor mob actions which stop traffic or impede the daily lives of others. I think it was in Boston that there activities prevented the Food Bank's planned food drive. And the Brooklyn Bridge thing was out of bounds in my mind.

I've yet to see a sign which says "This Is What Respectful Individual Freedom Looks Like". Maybe because none of us have ever lived or known of a time when people resisted the temptation to curb the behavior of others, even when it was not a threat to them or others. The twentieth century was cluttered with rationalizations and weak arguments justifying dictating the choices of others in the name of cost to society or the greater good. Too bad. It has done the opposite of raise the level and character of civilization on most fronts.

What often happens in times like these is that one group pushes the buttons of other groups, who are equally loathe to figure out they are all being played in one way or another, and the next thing you know, someone goes home crying, or in a box. Then that is used to fan the fire even more. True reason and principle are so far lost that trying to find the root of the mess is impossible.

I do not know how things should be structured. My feeling is that minimal structure and minimal restraint on individual freedom is the place to start. All the best efforts in the other direction have led to amazing theories and rationalizations but not a more sane peaceful world. Instead of having a war every now and then with clear losers and winners who go home and relax for awhile, we have never ending "peace keeping" missions, nation building and reorganizing enterprises and police actions. Half the time we fight those we armed for some other vague purpose. I just can't buy the excuses, based on how the efforts are conducted.

And the results? Most of it is so foreign to anything we know, we aren't even sure what the results are. Someone is making money and achieving more and more control over the public. I think the broad title of Wall Street misses the mark by a mile. I would say I can't prove it, but I believe if I dedicated my life to it, I could prove it. But I admit, I have no desire to do that.

I just want to have a clean house and no complications before I die. And I hope to steer clear of all official authorities and mobs who may decide that I am the problem.

Occupy My House

Wait, if I focus on my own banking practices and other habits, then I have to protest myself.

I take it back. I'm all for occupy everything else. Whatever it is, it is all their fault.

Maybe others do not notice, but I find that when people pile on to some movement such as this, especially the ones which appear to not respect private property and other rights of those not involved, it becomes less about ideals and more about senseless power.

I hope it doesn't end badly---I am sure those who funded this and are sitting in their mansions enjoying it are depending upon their "Kent State moment" emerging soon.

Remember, what pure democracy looks like is a lynch mob. It may not be the lofty goal its touted to be. Street mobs are more what the French revolution and things like that look like. It very rarely ends well, and almost always creates a cleanup and maintenance headache for others.

The world is such that I couldn't really improve my own lot significantly without some changes in the way everything else works. I blame too many people and institutions to list. I even blame you. I'm kidding. My demons are not something all the king's men can fix. I doubt they are even detectable by the TSA. I think that only I can fix my troubles.

To me it is not a move toward the sort of society I'd like when mobs gather in front of people houses. Of course it isn't the society I want when someone like Jimmy Hoffa is given the national stage and treated as respectable when everyone knows he's behind thuggery.

All of it is a tangled mess because there are very wealthy tricksters and it goes round and round. Glad I haven't borrowed anything lately and refused credit cards I knew I couldn't afford to use.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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