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    Simplehuman and Russian Toilette: Citation Needed 1×04
    Articles, Blog

    Simplehuman and Russian Toilette: Citation Needed 1×04

    August 9, 2019

    Today’s show is sponsored by new Findus Toilet Wallets! We’re not sure what they are either. We sell ’em, you smell ’em! You just open it:
    [Mechanical door noise] This is the Technical Difficulties.
    We are playing Citation Needed. I have an almost-randomly selected article from everybody’s favourite source of knowledge, Wikipedia, in front of me, and these folks cannot see it. Every fact that they get right is a point and a ding [DING], and there is a prize for particularly good answers which is… And your topic today is: ‘simplehuman’. [Laughter] Hello! Hi! Pass a bigger shovel, we’re going to be digging deep today. I use the cardinal directions of ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘left’ and ‘right’. I think I qualify. Is it like the whole Simple English thing, or something? Oh, like a simpler version of the language? Yeah, is it sort of an overall thing to try and achieve that in humanity or something, or…? No. Is it an album? Ooh, no it’s not, but that’s a nice prog rock album title there. I was going to say, ‘Simple Human’ is a… That is pretty much Granddaddy. Yeah, I thought it would be something like that. Okay… Let’s get the obvious — is it an LP, is it a film, or something like that? Is it media? Is it a medium? It’s not media at all. Okay. Is it some kind of eco-revolution? Ooo, not really, no. Oh sure, like a Good Life thing. A notion about how mankind used to exist… pre-evolutionary or something like that? You’re all thinking really quite big-picture here, and not at all commercial. — Commercial?
    — Commercial. Oh, do they make bog roll? Oh, you know what, you’re getting a point. [DING] What! It’s not that close… They make rubbish bins, but that’s close enough out of the blue that I’m going to… That’s like standing in a pub with a dart in your hand, spinning around three times with your eyes closed, doing THAT and getting a bulls-eye! That’s how I play darts. And that’s why you’re banned! Oh, actually yeah, I’ve seen Matt play darts. Flailing! They go through to the other side and into the wall. Actually, to be fair, it’s more like standing in a pub with a dart in your hand, a pint in the other hand, throwing at the dartboard
    and knocking everything down in the skittle alley. Yes. Yes. So simplehuman make bins. They do. They are considered, and I quote here, ‘among the most high-end [trash] cans on the market today’. Can you tell me why? Why are they some of the best bins? They wear a cravat. Are they antibacterial or er, micro… biobial… — Micro-biober…
    — Miroberber… There were some words there, Matt. And the answer: No. Higher —
    Are they made of gold? Or diamonds? Or something otherwise desirable? I’ll give you a point for diamonds, because it’s… Carbon! …durability. [DING] Durability? They last a long time. It’s one of the reasons. Huerrr… I don’t know what that noise meant. I can’t count the number of times I’ve broken my bins. No, you literally can’t, because it’s zero. — Yes. [Laughs]
    — Yeah. Yes. I’ve never broken a wheelie bin or anything in my life. I mean, I’ve ridden in one, and I’ve never broken it. Are we talking dumpster-styley things, though, — Yeah, actually…
    — that get serious industrial… No, we’re talking much… — Kitchen.
    — Yeah, kitchen bins. An unbreakable kitchen bin? Do they do the solar compacting thing? Are they odour-proof? Odour-suppressant? Do they play a nice tune when you put something in them? [‘Shave and a haircut’ melody] Do they make the tea? I seem to recall a giveaway… I feel like it was some soft drink or other, that gave you a little thing that you attached to your bin that made a noise every time you opened it. What was the noise though? All right, you come home late from the pub one night… If you’re in my situation — you’re a married man, you’ve snuck back in, not wanting to wake the wife up, you’ve taken your shoes off, you’ve done the lot… You’ve sneakily eaten the kebab that you said you weren’t going to have, you tiptoe over to the bin… [Comedy music riff] At this point, it’s good you’ve taken your shoes off, because you’re sleeping on the couch tonight. Yeah. ‘Where’ve you been?!’
    That kind of thing. Great. Thanks for making a noisy bin-thing. You’re right about technologically advanced bins here, but it’s one thing in particular that it does. Techno-Bins! No, that’s just bins that dance to repetitive music. [Dance beat] This is not a product placement, this is just what ‘Random Article’ pulled up for me. Does it sift and sort and do your recycling for you? No, it’s much less advanced than that. Does it play ‘Free Bird’? Does it let you put rubbish in it? — No.
    — Yes. Easily. What would make that more — Front flap! How more easy than an open-mouthed… It’s not open-mouthed. It’s got an automatic lid. — Bingo! Point to you. [DING]
    — Ahh. It has an automatic sensor-activated lid. — I think I’ve seen adverts for that now.
    — Yup. — What…
    — Like, late night, on a silly channel that no one ever watches anyway. So what, you wave at it? Play a trumpet? Call it? There is just no hope left for humanity, is there really? No, not really. This is basically, you wave your hand toward the bin and it opens for you. Until of course it breaks down, at which point it just becomes… But they don’t break! It says. What happens when the bin turns against you and starts throwing banana peels in your face? …which will happen! When the monkeys take over the world, anyway. What else have they added sensors to? Because there’s other kitchen and bathroom stuff they’ve added sensors to. Oh. Knives. I’ve seen sensors in knives. [Laughter]
    Whoa, whoa — what?! Forks! Sorry, no… It wasn’t a knife, it was a fork.
    [Laughter] Oh God. Curry tonight’s going to be entertaining, isn’t it. [Caveman grunts] What would you do to a fork? What possible… When you’re cooking a steak. — Ah…
    — It’s got a temperature probe on it, and it tells you when it’s done. ‘Bring the temperature probe…’ So surely you just need a knife and a temperature probe. Why, when you could have it in a fork that you can then use to eat it? Or something, I don’t know. But it was a thing you stuck in a steak. There was another… a pan!
    They put a sensor in a pan as well. — What for?
    — Steak, again! — Okay.
    — I’ve seen it on a shopping channel. Of a pan that will tell you of what manner your steak will be done… — …at the current temperature of pan.
    — Oh, okay. My big issue with this is that Brannan watches shopping channels. Of course I watch shopping channels! He’s a married man. What else has he to do? Occasionally, we go down the shopping channels and go, ‘Nah… Nah… Nah… Bra? Sorry, luv, no bras…’ ‘Trousers that make your arse look better… that one.’ Saw one for pasta, as well. We’re actually looking in the bathroom for this. — Scales.
    — Toilet. I like the idea that they put an insensitive in a scale. [Laughter] ‘Step off, lardo. I can’t take this any more.’ That’s the old gag, though, isn’t it? You step on the scale, it says ‘One at a time, please.’ ‘No coach parties.’ Bog roll! GARY: That’s a good place! No, it’s not, actually… It’s very obvious when you’ve run out of bog roll. But that answer’s already got me points once before, so I thought I’d try it again.
    [Laughter] Not this time. It’s not absurd, though. Not in a private bathroom, but in, like works ones, — because you’ve got the automatic tap sensors…
    — Yes. I’ve seen ones for, erm… You’re getting close with automatic tap sensors, by the way. Yeah. And there’s the things where you give it that number, and it gives you a couple of sheets to dry your hands on, so bog roll’s just the next one on that stage. Yeah, but people want different amounts, don’t they. You don’t just want one or two sheets. Yeah, but you just go…
    Toilets? Everything in the bathroom apart from the one… — You’ve got the water, the towels…
    — Toilets! Showers! — Soap.
    — Bingo! Point. [DING] Oh yeah. [Mechanical noise] Just going back to your bog roll thing… Do you want to be sat in a work setting, in a cubicle, and if you have to do this or something to get the toilet roll to come out… It’d be great for the Queen. [Laughter]
    Yes. She’d never stop it. She’d just be surrounded by it. [Laughter]
    She’d be like an… Slowly — just this hand, as the paper rises…! It’s actually the train on her wedding dress. It’s winding around her hand… ‘Nooo!’ She looks like a naughty Andrex puppy when they find her. But the other thing is, a toilet roll dispenser telling you — like you say, in a public one — that there’s not much left… — ‘Go careful now!’
    [Laughter] ‘If it was a curry, choose another stall.’ Isn’t that what toilet attendants used to probably do? Can you imagine? ‘Not that one! She’s out. Use Number 1.’ Can you tell me anywhere they might be sold? We’re looking for American retail stores… Walmart! Well, possibly, but we’re looking for some more… Bed Bath & Beyond. — Point!
    — Ohh! — Damn.
    — [DING] Spot on. I always did wonder what ‘Beyond’ was. Electric bins! [Laughter] Electric speaky clever bins, and toilet roll warning devices. ‘Danger: Bog Roll.’ I want Danger Bog Roll. ‘Each sheet a new danger!’ — Cactus.
    — ‘This one is covered in crocodiles!’ Croc…! [Gnashing sounds] ‘There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with this one… ‘Poison ivy!’ But why would I? She’s lovely. [Groan] No, just you’ve got Russian Roulette toilet paper. One’s chili. Capsaicin, yeah. One sheet out of every six has poison ivy or capsaicin on it. Ohh, yes! One out of six: spearmint. Tingly, but not necessarily wrong! Mint sauce, kind of… TCP. You’d smell that one from a mile off. Witch hazel. Tea tree! That would spice up toilet breaks, wouldn’t it though? Russian Toilette. Yes! Whoa, whoa, whoa! ‘Wheel of Fart-une’. *Weal* of Fart-une. Yes. I’ve got in my head, Nicky Campbell… Nicky Campbell! Or Pat Sajak, for you Americans out there, spinning the wheel, and you wonder what it’ll land on. ‘I’m sorry, that’s porcupine.’ ‘You’ve got… aloe vera.’ — ‘Allo, Vera.’
    — ‘Alright, Gene.’ Ayyy! Does anyone want to tell me
    what Bed Bath & Beyond used to be called? Because the first one opened in 1971…
    it had a different name. Is it something really prosaic, like Harrison’s Home Supplies? Sleep Health Privy & Whatever. I’d say it’s about one-third more prosaic. Bed & Bath. Correct! [DING] ‘Wait, we’re selling more than just beds and baths. ‘What do we call it?’ ‘Bed, Bath… “Beyond” will probably do. ‘Everybody? Shall we knock off early?’ ‘Bed, Bath and… a third item.’ ‘Come in to see what it is!’ ‘I need some pillows, a new plug for the bath
    and some Tarot cards.’ That was the second version of the name. It was just hanging off the edge of the store. Bed Bath & Tarot Cards? Bed Bath Pillows Some Other Things & Tarot Cards. While we’re on Bed Bath & Beyond, by the way… since we seem to be going down this wiki-hole… They’ve bought a lot of companies. Can you tell me what the name of the company that sold Christmas trees was that they bought about 2003? Green Pricks! What? Chris Masterson’s Christmas Trees. You’re all being far too serious here. The Christmas Tree Shop. — Point! [DING]
    — F*** off! I was so close! Ha! ‘What do you sell?’
    ‘Cars.’ All right. There is one last thing that simplehuman sell, which is a sensor mirror. Can you tell me what it does? Tells you you’re ugly? ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall…’ ‘How do I look today?’ Northerner mirror:
    ‘F***in’ dreadful.’ Is it a sensorless mirror? Ha! A senseless mirror. ‘Idiot!’ A really insensitive — ‘Why did you leave the house?!’ A sensor mirror? I mean, what, does it… tell you you’ve brushed your teeth, or give you gestures… I’ve got to be honest, all the sensors so far are just if something is close to it. It’s not much of a sensor. Does it turn the lights on? Point. [DING] It turns the lights on if you’re close to the mirror. How do you know you’re close to the mirror if the lights aren’t on? It doesn’t turn the room lights on, it turns the mirror… — Sensor mirror: Boomf!
    — ‘Oh f***!’ And you hammer the light switch,
    which is just set a bit behind it. ‘I’ve sensed the mirror!’ ‘Why did I install this s****y mirror?’ ‘I’ve got to turn the lights off again now.’
    Doof! ‘Mirror, mirror, on the wa — ohhh!’ ‘Oh, you bastard!’ Same with the oven! [Sizzling noise]
    ‘Aaargh!’ At the end of that… It’s the most dangerous house going. — The hot tap on the bath.
    — Turn the telly on? Doonk! [Groans] ‘Honey? Will you switch on the light in the living room?’ I don’t want to use the waste disposal. ‘I need to fry some bacon. Can you turn on the gas?’ Whoomph! At the end of that, congratulations Matt! — F***!
    — What?! You did score all the genuine points though. He did actually get the answers, yeah, you’re right. You win a gift voucher to everyone’s favourite
    Communist high street shop, which is Marx & Spencer, so do enjoy that. Until then, that’s been Matt Gray… That’s been Gary Brannan… That’s been Chris Joel. I’ve been Tom Scott. We’ll see you next time. Hey, thanks for watching! If you liked the show then tell someone, tell us, or send us a telegram. And there are all-new episodes of our reverse trivia podcast over at [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]

    Exposed Railroad Crossing
    Articles, Blog

    Exposed Railroad Crossing

    August 9, 2019

    Hello ladies and gentlemen so we
    continue our tour today of CSX downtown Miami spur, RailROL82 here with you today and here we have a First of all, it’s going to be track view west toward hialeah & here we have a safe tran signal base safe tran gate mechanism safe Tran lights all around aluminum crossing
    gate Rico lights safe Tran bracket & e bell up top which is funny because we
    have a mechanical bell on that side but I’ll get to that right now so yeah so
    here you have track view west as I said you see them doing I
    think that I hope they’re doing construction on the track okay and then
    here it’s track view east towards downtown Miami oh look at this this one is exposed the case right there and then WC Hayes Gate mechanism emergency contact info two different visors the one on the left
    is my favorite WC Hayes lights Rico lights on the crossing gate and a WC
    Hayes mechanical Bell up top so let’s look again at these exposed on
    wires over here okay I would assume that at one point well
    actually we yeah that would be the really case for this one right over there because the one for the other crossing
    is on your side of that one so yeah I would assume that at one point there was
    probably another spur over here somewhere this it looks like there’s too
    much of a gap there alright you guys thank you for viewing please subscribe
    or like take care over and out

    Freeman’s Mind 2: Episode 10
    Articles, Blog

    Freeman’s Mind 2: Episode 10

    August 9, 2019

    Y’know, being a boat owner isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I didn’t even pay for this,
    and I’m already having buyer’s remorse. Well, the engine’s still running. Yeah, easy. Yeah, and I don’t even have to deal with licence
    registration, docking fees, and it already— It feels like a burden. Ah, shouldn’t overthink it. I’ll run out of gas at some point,
    then the problem will solve itself. Dammit, how did they not know the river was dried up? When the whole plan hinges upon the river,
    how do you miss that? Wait, what am I doing? I don’t— I guess I’m on foot. If I go back, it’s just that dead woman. CIA bailed on me… I guess I could try those apartments in the distance. But I haven’t seen anyone.
    They’re not going to have any food. Just more bleach. I could try following supply guy,
    might lead me to the nearest town… But he had that bot following him. They’ve probably already sent troops there and are
    rounding up people to be shot looking for him. This is really frustrating, because
    I’m still in the dark on so many things! So all I can do is try to guess
    which person is least likely to get me killed. If the person dies, that doesn’t help.
    That just means they’re wrong. There have been a lot of wrong guesses today. All roads lead to incompetence. Yeah, here’s the problem, it’s this giant gap. If that was filled in, I could almost make it…? Y’know, just enough to get the front end on the ledge,
    so I can flip the boat backwards with me in it. I feel like I’m just not gonna have closure on this,
    unless I total the boat. I just need to extend the ramp. Oh hey, besides cash and a map,
    how about a multi-tool? They couldn’t have given me that? Oh, well there’s a big log there, but I can’t secure that. Yeah, a multi-tool is what? Ten bucks for a cheap one? Though really, I deserve an expensive one. Oh, there’s some boards. Yeah, those were tough. Now I’m feeling a little shortsighted about
    smashing them into pieces. It’s almost as if you have more options
    when you don’t destroy everything. Almost. [wood creaking] Oh, yeah, these’ll work. Yeah, I’m still coming out ahead with the boat
    than if I had just walked. I have another ten or twenty minutes before I’m tied,
    so I can give this one more go. They say the captain always goes down the ship,
    but being a boat owner, I think that’s just the politically
    correct version that’s been passed down. As a captain, I kinda feel like if my boat goes down,
    I want everyone to go down with it. You need something to commemorate it, y’know? I guess any stowaways could jump off,
    they were never really invested. I don’t have any crew or passengers, though. If that supply guy comes back,
    I’ll ask him to come down here. Okay… this is an issue. The board’s too long, the nails aren’t gonna line up. Okay, I’ll do it the classic way. Diagonal here should be fine. Uh… Yeah, that looks good. Just set it there… Oh yeah, that’s perfect. This is the complete inverse of my old job. Before this, I had to come up with a
    model for transmitting energy
    along a pseudo-Riemannian manifold. That was trickier than this, but it was all theory. Here, it’s “rotate the board.” But I have to actually go and do it. Well, my old job doesn’t exist anymore, so there. Y’know, I don’t even know if I’m gonna be missed
    if I don’t show up at… wherever they told me to go. If this doesn’t work, then everyone involved has
    more or less sentenced me to exile, wandering the countryside, looking for food and water. I mean, would they send someone to find me? Maybe. Would they die within two hours? Eh… So there’s a chance, months from now, some scout stumbles upon an old abandoned house,
    and finds me wrapped up in an old blanket, eating canned tuna, growing a ZZ Top beard,
    and they’re like: “Freeman, is that you?” And I say, “Yeah. Fuck you.” Ah, who am I kidding? Months… It takes years to grow a beard like that. Hmm… I say everyone’s incompetent,
    but there’s more going on here than that. Like, I assume the CIA guy
    had some mission he drafted me for. So that’s… Yeah, that looks about right. So when he dropped me off with no instructions,
    no supplies, and no information, I thought that was incompetent. Dut! Dah! It’s obvious now I’m some sort of decoy, but even then,
    I’d be more effective with a fake objective. Okay, that’s about as good as it’s gonna get. I should strength test this. I’ll just do a quick jump. Hup. Yep. Seems— Shit! [vocalizing underwater] Yeah, that passes inspection, I guess. But yeah, I thought CIA was doing that thing
    every manager I’ve ever had does, where he assumed because I did something successfully, no matter how much of an utter miracle it was that involved a lot of variables, and probably isn’t reproducible at all, that I’ll do that every time. So from his perspective… it makes perfect sense to send me
    into the lion’s den with nothing. I survived Black Mesa, therefore, I’ll survive anything. That’s my defining trait as an employee. Why would I need additional resources? The problem, of course, is they can’t understand the flaw
    in this reasoning until failure occurs. So, in my case, he can’t learn unless I die. Well, class may be in session! Ohhhh! Oof! Oh my god! That worked! Oh… I better not have this exact
    same situation in five minutes. Ah, yes, the beautiful c— [coughing] Fuck! OH! What is that?! Pretty sure that’s not a friend! I probably shouldn’t be following it! There’s another reason not to take the river! My options are kinda one-dimensional! It’s not even a river! I’m being tricked over and over again! I can’t trust anyone! Oh, for god’s sake! I’m not stopping! I’m not stopping! Ah! What did you do to my boat?! Pirates trying to board me…! Can barely steer this thi— NO! Get out of my lane! This is my lane! Metrocop: “Shit!” [splat] I was here first! I have the right of way! You don’t even have a boat! Go back to lifeguard duty! You’re not even dressed for water! Oh my god, are you kidding me? Yeah, put the logs up, so I can’t— Wait, that’s a ramp. Maybe…? Well, I’m not spending ten minutes here
    building another one! This was such a bad idea.
    I shouldn’t have listened to anyone! Yeah, that’s sort of a ramp. Gun it! To the right…! No, I can’t steer this! WAAAHHH! Oof! [weak breathing] Okay, that almost worked… We obviously just need more speed! That’s not a problem. Speed is my middle name! In fact… [Metropolice chatter]
    In fact… What, you’re still here? Don’t make me come over there! You better not be here when I get back. Okay, this is it! Go! Go! It’s working! It’s wo— [crash] AAAHHH! [thud] Oh my god, there’s more of them! Yeah, attack me from the bridge,
    that’s actually a great vantage point! That’s how I would try to kill me too! Shit! [crash] Ugh! Fuckin’ swamp boat! I can’t— No! Neugh! Oof! I need to get out of here… No, no— Back, back… Come on! Okay, okay. Now forward, and don’t veer off— Jesus Christ! Guess that’s the good fishing spot. Fish… Man, this is really shallow. Well the grass is green, I don’t think it’s drought. This has been drained. It’s like the Colorado River. There must be some massive
    irrigation project going on. Or hey, you know what? They’re aliens. They could be using the— Ah, shit. Okay, good. We have a stormtrooper in training here. Yeah, I see you. Bye. Why can’t the whole day be— [thud]
    WHOA! Whoa! Whoa… Oof! Oh, jeez, side… Ugh! Turn! Oh, no, no, no, no, no… Okay, here’s what’s gonna happen: I’m gonna gently nudge the gate open… Okay, a little harder. Oof! Fuck! We really haven’t had enough of this bullshit?! They sent me to a canal lock! [gunfire] [gunfire]
    OH! I’m boxed in! Ngh! Darth Uzi returns! Okay, that’s it, that’s it, I’m getting out. Boat ride’s over. Oof… Now it’s time for the bullet ride! Get ready, this one’s a lot faster! Oh what the fuck? Now he’s getting sneaky on me. Well, he missed me fifty times,
    and now I’m coming for him; I’d fall back too. So, either he’s smarter than he aims, or…
    he left to go get more ammo. I’m sure there’s more close by,
    I mean, why wouldn’t there be? Dammit, where is he? Of course, he’s gonna play mind games now. I’m half-expecting a cardboard cutout of him to spring out when I turn the corner, but still no sign of him. I hate those life-size cardboard cutouts. I remember attacking them
    by accident at the shoe store. So what— Ah! Oh, that was bad. He shot first! That is not how we do things now! I’m slipping! The thing is, my freak-out-o-meter has never
    really gone down this entire time, but I can’t be 100% vigilant at all times! I just— I need drugs! So this goes nowhere! That’s nice! Dr. Breen [faintly]: “—direct
    confirmation of a disruptor—” Wha— Dr. Breen [faintly]: “—in our midst,” What? Dr. Breen [faintly]: “—one who has acquired an almost messianic reputation in the minds—” ‘Messianic’? Dr. Breen [faintly]: “—of certain citizens.” Is this the voice of God? Dr. Breen [faintly]: “—with the darkest urges of
    instinct, ignorance and decay.” Okay, I’m definitely hearing voices,
    that’s not where I want it to go. Dr. Breen [faintly]: “have been laid
    directly at his feet, and yet—” What the hell? Dr. Breen [faintly]: “—continue
    to imbue him with romantic—” Oh, it’s a satellite. Dr.Breen [faintly]: “—giving him such dangerous—” But wait, I wouldn’t hear the transmission… Dr. Breen [faintly]: “—as the One Free Man,
    the Opener of the Way.” ‘Opener of the Way’… Oh, it’s not locked! Dr. Breen: “—the dangers of magical thinking.” Oh, it’s this stupid— Dr. Breen: “—from the dark pit—” Acoustics… Is there anyone there? Dr. Breen: “Let us not slide backward into—” There could be… Dr. Breen: “—just as we have
    finally begun to see the light.” Dr. Breen: “If you see—” Man, computers look even more hostile now. I bet this is Linux. Dr. Breen: “—do not go unrewarded, and contrariwise,” Ah, he’s not saying anything important. Is someone there? Dr. Breen: “—will not go unpunished.” But I guess this is the only entertainment
    I’m gonna get for a while. Dr. Breen: “Be safe.” Yes, be safe. Dr. Breen: “Be aware.” Aware. Yes, that is good advice. Oh, there is more ammo! I would’ve missed that! Maybe I should watch more of that show. It looked pretty dry, but maybe he has some good ideas. Idea men. Oh, speaking of which, I thought CIA was just
    displaying classic manager syndrome, but now I’m thinking there’s more layers to it. Oh, fuck! That’s one of those chairs
    they were gonna put me in! I knew it! Y’know, that says something about that Barney guy! Sure, he spared me for Kleiner,
    but what’s he doing the rest of the time? Pulling teeth, probably! He might be a fuckin’ psycho! Oh! He was hiding behind a barrel! The TV was trying to tell me! ‘Be aware’! Time to raise awareness! God, I hate it when they pop out of barrels, and… crates… my dreams… Jack-in-the-box warfare. I guess that’s an interesting way to go: Jump out at someone going “Hoo-hoo-HEH-HEH!” and watch them freak out and shoot you in the head. Don’t look at me! Yeah. There’s too many surprises today. A lot of people start dying
    once they exceed my surprise threshold. They’re all bad, too. Nobody’s going, “Oh hey, here, have a cake.” Oh, this is one of their vehicles. Does it open? [buzzer] Sure doesn’t. Oh— Yeah, that’s exactly the kind of surprise I mean. It’s not even a surprise now. I see one! I thought I saw— Yeah, I did. Man, there’s a lot of cops here,
    and they have equipment set up. They didn’t arrive twenty minutes ago! There’s computers, cameras, interrog— This is a full-fledged outpost! Christ, do we put in enough of these things? Nyah! The Underground Railroad leads
    straight to a police outpost! Dammit, there’s another behind the door there.
    I’m seeing sparks. Maybe it’s like that bucket of water trick. Instead of getting wet, you get a face full of saw blades. Ah…?! Oh my god… No… no…! I didn’t imagine it! It’s still there! HA! See? Alright, now it’s safe—𝙚𝙧 to move forward. Man, I need one of those little
    sticks with the mirrors on them. I wanted one of those even before all of this went down. ‘Be safe.’ ‘Be aware.’ Hey, what is this? Oh my god! Grenades! I’m taking ’em all! I’m so excited! So, who’s first? Uh… Okay, I’ll put the pin back in, but…
    it’s good to have that in my hip pocket. Or, more like my entire waist. [gunfire]
    AHHH! AHHH! What’s up with these smart tactics all of a sudden?! I like the old you better! The old you wouldn’t have set up a machine gun nest
    fifty yards away to cover the only access point! You’ve changed! But I know someone who hasn’t changed. Not really. GRENAAAADE! Did it work? [explosion]
    GRENA— Oh, there it goes. They were well-prepared. [explosion] That just means there’s
    layers of wrongness going on here. The Resistance is completely screwed;
    they’re being hunted down like rabbits, but the establishment is stupid too! They’re too aggressive!
    They’re working against themselves! Someone back there? No. I mean, they already have the— [Metropolice chatter]
    I mean, they already have the— Woah! Okay. Hi, it’s me, GRENAAAADE! Metrocop: “Get down!” [explosion] Look out, GRENAAAADE! Metrocop: “That’s a grenade!” Sure is! [explosion]
    Sure is! GRENAAAADE! Metrocop: “Grenade!” I know, right? [explosion] The Greeks say moderation in all things. I’m not Greek! GRENA— Oh, okay. Well, it’s not fun if nobody else is playing. This is really a multiplayer thing. Yeah, these guys look partied out. But yeah, they had the perfect setup. Lead the Resistance down the canal,
    then interrogate and kill them once they arrive here. More grenades! Well, if you insist! And this place is outside the city, so you can kill all
    Resistance and keep it quiet so you don’t tip them off. They’ll just keep coming. So why on earth would you attack this route? That’s like smashing roaches on their way
    to the roach motel, causing them all to scatter. This isn’t rocket science. I should know. This is the blind fighting the blind. [crow call] AHHH! [growl] Yeah, that’s right. Tell them I sent you. Wait, this is just another dead end? [exasperated stammer] This is getting really old! This is slowing me down a lot too! Oh, this opens the lock! Wait, that has live current! That could kill me! If there’s anything I’ve learned from the aliens,
    it’s don’t get electrocuted. So, uh… Yeah, this is bullshit. Y’know, it’s true what they say: Owning a boat is a trap.

    Sebastian Junger: “The Last Patrol” | Talks at Google
    Articles, Blog

    Sebastian Junger: “The Last Patrol” | Talks at Google

    August 9, 2019

    SPEAKER 1: Thank you. CARRIE LAURENO: Again, my
    name is Carrie Laureno. I’m the founder of the
    Google Veterans Network. I’m so happy to be here
    tonight, with Sebastian Junger, with Guillermo Cervera,
    and Brendan O’Byrne, who we just saw in
    this incredible film, “The Last Patrol.” Again, wonderful to be
    here with all of you friends from Iraq and
    Afghanistan Veterans of America, Student Veterans
    of America, Team Rubicon, Team Red, White, and Blue,
    Veterans Advantage, and the US Military Academy
    at West Point, as well as many Googlers as well who
    are in this audience. It was an incredible
    film, Sebastian. I’ve seen all three
    of your films. And when I watched “Restrepo”–
    and we screened it on this very stage– for those of us who
    haven’t served in the military, we were able to experience
    what it meant to go to war. “Korengal” gives
    you a feeling of why it’s so hard to
    leave that behind. And now, with “The
    Last Patrol,” you’re giving us an
    opportunity to see what it feels like to come home
    and reconnect with America. And I want to thank
    you for letting us come on this journey with
    you of your own transition. And it’s very clear to
    all of us in this room, and those watching, that
    the transition process for those leaving combat,
    and combat reporting, or combat in general,
    is a very difficult one. That people have
    great expectations when they come home. And sometimes those
    expectations aren’t met. I have to say my favorite
    character was Daisy, far and away. No offense to you guys. At Google, you’re
    allowed to bring your dog to work every day. And we thought last night
    about inviting Daisy. And that would have been fun. Maybe we’ll do
    that another time. But she did a great job. Loved her camera work. What did you say? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: She was
    our best camerawoman. CARRIE LAURENO: I was
    just going to say, she was an excellent
    camerawoman. She did a fantastic job. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    She’s getting more work than I am right now, actually. CARRIE LAURENO: So I took
    away some really big themes from all of this– combat,
    America, fathers, the influence and the impact of
    your relationships with them, addiction of
    different kinds, manhood. There’s some really,
    really big powerful themes that stood out for me. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: You forgot
    how to cook in your car engine. CARRIE LAURENO: That’s right. I want that cookbooks. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: It’s
    called “Manifold Destiny.” No, it’s not a joke. It is called “Manifold Destiny.” I tracked it down. It was a classic from the ’70s. CARRIE LAURENO: Oh my gosh. I feel like we
    should get everybody in this audience a copy of that. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Imagine the sales. I mean, they just haven’t
    been sold for years. And then all of a sudden,
    200 copies get sold off. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: You can get
    them on Amazon, seriously. CARRIE LAURENO: OK. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: For real. CARRIE LAURENO:
    “Manifold Destiny.” SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    “Manifold Destiny.” CARRIE LAURENO: OK. So of all of those
    themes– and there are many others that
    I didn’t mention– I want to talk about
    purpose, and what your purpose was in doing this. Clearly, you had a goal
    to reconnect with America, and to decompress after war. But why did you really do this? Such an interesting idea. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Originally,
    when I first had the idea, was going to do it with Tim. And it was going to be a
    way to show Tim America and for me to understand
    America in a new way. If you make yourself
    vulnerable and marginal, you have a very different
    relationship with a place than if you’re just
    driving through it. And you’re very marginal
    and vulnerable if you don’t have a place
    to sleep at night. I mean, really, if you want
    to experience being marginal, just walk out your front door,
    and don’t come back at night. Spend one night out. Find a place to curl up. And come back in the morning. And you’ll experience
    what it is to be a vulnerable person
    in this society. And you’ll feel
    vulnerable no matter how much you have in
    your bank account. You just do that, you’ll get it. And I wanted to experience
    America little bit like that. And I thought the railroad
    lines would provide us this sort of view from
    the inside out in America. Highways go around
    towns or whatever. Railroad lines go straight
    through the middle. So that was originally
    what I wanted to do. And then Tim died. And so I had this whole
    thing was struggling with. And I got to know Guillermo
    because of Tim’s death. And we’re great friends. Really, really close. But I wouldn’t have met him
    otherwise, I don’t think. And Brendan and Dave I knew, Tim
    and I knew, from Afghanistan. I just said, OK. Here’s four guys who’ve
    been in a lot of combat. We’re not going to
    go back to war again. And maybe we could also
    have this long conversation. It just seemed like a way
    to– I needed a change. I was 50 years old. A lot had happened in my life
    in the previous few years. I really needed a change. And I just thought if I put
    myself in an extreme place– but with people that I really
    trusted and was connected to– that’s how you change. CARRIE LAURENO: And Guillermo,
    why did you agree to go? GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    At the beginning, when we were
    walking, I would use to say, Sebastian, I
    don’t see this story. I don’t understand why
    we have to do this. I was very tired every day. I didn’t like to sleep outside. So I kept going. CARRIE LAURENO: We know what
    you think of the Army poncho. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Most Army products. CARRIE LAURENO: That’s real? AUDIENCE: Yeah. GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    They are very bad. They’re supposed to be
    impermeable, but they are not. Yeah. And when we kept
    going and going, and I was just going because it
    was a great opportunity for me to photograph America
    and be in the movie. So I kept on going. But I kept on saying, Sebastian,
    I don’t see the story. But after a while,
    I start to see. And to see was something more
    than being there photographing in the project. Was more about my inside. What I was experiences. And dealing with three guys. I didn’t know them. And they have kind of the
    same problem that I have. That’s what made me more
    touched with the film. And after all, I learn a lot. CARRIE LAURENO: And Brendan,
    it sounds like you liked it so much that it was
    hard for you to leave. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. I was going through a really
    rough time in my life, also. It was really me
    breaking up all my wife, was the starts of that. I was in bad in drinking. I was drinking a lot. And all those things. It was really nice to
    get away from all that. When staying at my house,
    I couldn’t stop myself from drinking. But being in the middle of the
    woods, I couldn’t get booze. So that was like sure way
    of not drinking for a week. And that’s what I did. And also, my wife
    wasn’t there, so that’s why I really loved it. CARRIE LAURENO: OK. It wasn’t actually about combat. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I
    wasn’t trying to heal. CARRIE LAURENO:
    Different kind of combat. Got it. So on this journey,
    it seemed like you all met some really
    interesting characters. And really, like a slice
    of America that most of us don’t see all of the time. And I wonder what it felt
    like to see that, especially for Brendan, after being
    in combat and coming home, and the people on whose
    behalf you served. Seeing them, hearing what
    they had to say about America. What was that experience like? Meeting people who
    are so disconnected from the experience that
    you went through in the war. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. Meeting America
    was great for me, because it really showed me
    what I fought for, really. And it’s really sad to see what
    state our country’s actually in. There’s a lot upset. A lot of poverty, a lot of drug
    abuse, a lot of alcoholism. And it was sort
    of sobering to see that that’s the place I was
    fighting for is doing really poorly in some places. So it was really good to
    get to see that, and say, all right, well,
    now there’s a battle here at home, also,
    that I could fight. And the disconnect is going
    to happen no matter what, because there’s only 1%
    of our country that’s fighting in the military. So I understood that
    disconnect was going to happen. So that didn’t bother
    me as much as it really bothered me to see how many
    people are living in poverty– and living, actually,
    probably, worse off than I was in
    Afghanistan, in many ways. What really surprised
    me was the fact that when we were walking
    through the bad parts, quote unquote, the
    bad parts of towns, was where we actually
    got the most help. Was where we got the
    most support from people. It wasn’t in richer,
    upper-class areas. They didn’t want to help us. But that the people that
    were low on the totem pole, the people that were
    really just trying to survive, they wanted to help us. And that says a lot
    to me about community. Community’s still alive
    in those small groups, in those places of poverty. And it’s not alive in places
    like upper-class, middle-class areas. It’s just not alive there. And that surprised
    me, because I thought it was going to be the opposite. CARRIE LAURENO:
    And Guillermo, I’m really curious to hear
    your opinions about that. You’re originally from Spain. And you’ve lived here off
    and on for many years. And you’ve been around
    the globe a few times. From the perspective of
    someone who isn’t American, having the chance to walk
    the railways with two Americans or three Americans
    and seeing what you saw, it seemed like there is
    an equal amount of pride that these folks felt, as well
    as a great degree of sadness that came through. And I’m curious, as
    someone who isn’t American, what your impression was about
    the state of our country. GUILLERMO CERVERA: Well,
    America is just fascinate me, because it has a
    lot of weird things. And I like them to photograph. But also rejects me. I see a lot of the people
    insane, and a lot of problems that we don’t see when we are
    in Europe looking at the movies from America. And I had that feeling
    like the people is really– when you walk
    around, you see a lot of pain, a lot of pain in faces. And that happens everywhere. Everywhere you see that problem,
    because it’s a human problem. I see it in
    Afghanistan, everywhere. But the difference, I feel,
    is like in other countries, people help each other more. And here you see a
    lot of individuality and a lot of loneliness. That makes the problem bigger. And that’s my feeling. CARRIE LAURENO: And that’s
    something you’ve seen before? Or this trip brought
    that to life for you? GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    Well, I saw it before when I came here
    when I was in college. I came two or three
    years for study. And I live upstate
    in New York, in Troy. And there’s a lot of
    people insane there. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. I’m writing an
    article about PTSD right now for “Vanity Fair.” And I just heard about this. They had a really– I
    had this sort of idea that one of the things
    that’s hard for combat vets to come back to is the
    alienation of society. I mean, if you’re in
    a platoon in combat, you’re never further
    way then a few feet from another person for a year. In a very, very close,
    intense, human experience. And then you come
    back to this society, and it’s much more spread
    out, and often alone, right? So that maybe the problem
    with combat trauma isn’t the combat
    trauma, it’s that people are trying to heal
    by themselves. And individual
    therapy, and whatever. The community experience
    is lacking here. So I’ve been talking
    to people about that. They did an experiment
    with lab mice. And you can
    traumatize a lab mouse and give it traumatic
    stress, right? You can give it PTSD,
    just like humans. And those of trauma, you can
    keep those going indefinitely if you keep startling
    the mouse, right? Loud noises, whatever. You can keep those symptoms
    going after the trauma. But only if the
    mouse is by itself. If you put that mouse back
    in a community of my mice, no matter what you do, you
    cannot keep those trauma symptoms at the same level. They decline. I think when you
    talk about people being in pain in this
    country, and alone, I think he’s really right. I think there’s a
    lot of pain here. And it comes from a
    sort of basic loneliness that a lot of people
    feel in suburban– I grew up in the suburbs, the
    loneliest place in the world, I think. CARRIE LAURENO: I
    can’t wait to read it. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Thank you. CARRIE LAURENO:
    It’s interesting. Some of the veteran
    service organizations that we partner with here at
    Google– like a Team Rubicon or a Team Red, White, and
    Blue– those organizations get people out into the field. And I believe there’s was
    a article written recently on task and purpose
    about how being downrange together, having
    that camaraderie, is something that these
    organizations are trying to foster for veterans who
    are coming back from these two wars. And it seems very similar
    to the environment that you were replicating
    on this patrol. That’s interesting. What, specifically,
    looking back on it now, was similar about
    the patrol and war? There was a couple things
    that stood out to me. And I remember at one
    point in the film, you are looking out–
    maybe through binoculars– you were looking out for
    cops who were far away. And it was almost like they
    were the enemy in the situation. And you were trying to– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Almost? CARRIE LAURENO: Almost. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: They
    weren’t the enemy. But they were
    definitely a challenge. CARRIE LAURENO: No, I
    remember watching “Restrepo” and thinking, oh, this is like. You’re looking way
    out for the Taliban. Where are these guys? And you’re doing the same thing. You’re taking cover from
    trains that are going by. You’re taking
    cover from bullets. And it felt similar without
    the lens of combat there. What, for you guys, was most
    similar about the experience? GUILLERMO CERVERA: I
    didn’t find any similarity. CARRIE LAURENO: No? GUILLERMO CERVERA: The only
    thing I felt is, as I told you before, after a few
    trips in the patrol, I felt like coming back
    to see these guys to spend more time with them. Because I felt good. And that’s kind of the feeling
    when you go through a war, and you are with
    friends– journalists, in my case– you feel good,
    because you help each other. And you are that
    kind of situation. For me that was the similarity. Maybe for them was
    something different. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. For me, it’s the
    idea that in society, like Sebastian was saying,
    it’s a group of I’s. Everyone is I, me. Inside combat, I only used I
    and me was when I fucked up. When it was my fault. Hey, my bad. That was my fault. And the rest of the
    time, we used we, because that was what we were. And inside of the patrol,
    we had to do the same thing. We had to leave the I
    at home, and use the we. And you could see it. One of the times Guillermo was
    having a hard time walking, and it was really hot. And Sebastian took his pack. I mean, those are the things
    without even– actually, demanded, give me your pack. So those are the things that
    you don’t see in society. I think there was
    a homeless person, or there was someone, I
    think, dead in the street? I can’t remember the exact
    story in New York City. And there was like a few hundred
    people that passed by him and didn’t even help him. And they didn’t know
    he was dead or dying. And that says a lot. That’s lonely, When people
    are walking past you and you’re dying, and
    they don’t help you. In combat, that doesn’t happen. So the similarities were
    that we were all there, and we are all supporting
    each other in every way. And we got shot at one time,
    which was sort of similar. But it wasn’t very accurate, so. CARRIE LAURENO: I’m sure
    there are a lot of people here who have questions. We have some mics
    out in the audience. It would be great if
    anybody has a question, if we could bring a
    mic over to those folks so that their
    questions are audible. AUDIENCE: Hi. Well, I have a question
    about audience. And I’ve seen “Restrepo.” I haven’t seen “Korengal.” But “Restrepo”
    seemed like a film that was designed
    to educate the 99% to see what that’s really like. Here, though, the
    reason I ask this is because one of
    the significant challenges a veteran deals
    with when he comes home is that trust situation. The ability to trust someone
    who hasn’t been there with them. And I happen to work a lot with
    veterans and experience that. And yet while this is still
    educational for civilians, there seems to be
    another– I’m wondering how important the military,
    the veteran audience is. Because on the one
    hand, these may be soldiers that
    are like that, that don’t want to talk to anyone. But yet, although
    you’ve been shot at quite a bit and lost
    one of your best friends, you are a civilian. As are you as well, Guillermo. And there are many stories
    filtering through the film that are all about
    childhood traumas– the dog getting killed. Your example, the mice. Trauma, in many
    cases, feels the same. And I wonder how intentional
    and how important the audience of a veteran is
    for you, in the sense that they can come back and relate
    to people in that way, in terms of empathy
    and the universality of post-traumatic stress. And I wonder if that’s a helpful
    starting point for a veteran. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. I absolutely had veterans
    in mind making this film. Not exclusively. But absolutely had
    veterans in mind. I thought of it as an example
    of collaboration and closeness, but back home. So you can do it here, too. And the consequences are
    almost certainly not fatal. So that’s a good thing. But you do get a lot
    of the same closeness. And so, absolutely, I
    thought about veterans. But in some ways,
    I thought civilians could learn about
    veterans with this film. Soldiers could learn
    about journalists. I’m a journalist. Guillermo’s a journalist. It’s all men. I feel like women
    can watch this film and learn something about men. CARRIE LAURENO: I learned a lot. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Did you? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Unfortunate
    truths about men? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. Yeah. The sexes are bizarre and
    frustrating to each other. And here there’s four
    men talking pretty openly about everything, including
    about their feelings about women. Just seemed like that
    might be interesting. And it would allow veterans
    to learn about America. Among other things, we’re
    walking through America. And it’s a much weirder
    country than I quite realized. We all live in our communities
    and we know those communities, but until you walk
    through other communities, you can drive through–
    sorry, it’s not the same. If you walk through,
    and you have to find a place to
    sleep that night, and you have to
    engage with people, you really get to
    know where you are. And as Brendan was
    saying, the communities that were the most
    intimidating to me absolutely were the most welcoming. And the ones where we
    actually really had problems were the wealthy
    communities, like the kind of town I grew up in. Actually a really
    interesting experience. CARRIE LAURENO: Other questions? AUDIENCE: Hey. So Sebastian and
    Brendan, we kind of share a brother–
    Tanner Steester. I went to basic
    training with that guy. He the forward
    observer that guys might know from his first movie. And really, my
    question is what’s it like to be journalist–
    a civilian– let into that circle? Into that brotherhood? Because I say every day I’m
    a student veteran leader. And I tell people all the
    time, look, we’re all brothers. We’re all sisters. Once you served in
    the military, doesn’t matter if you’re in
    uniform or if you’re out. If you deployed, if you didn’t
    deploy, it doesn’t matter. Once you raise your right hand
    to serve, you’re my brother. And Sebastian, we’ve
    never met before, but after seeing your
    films and knowing who you’re connected
    with, I feel like you’re part of that circle. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Absolutely. AUDIENCE: What’s it
    like to get into that? And have that unique perspective
    as far as a civilian goes? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Well,
    you know, I– thank you, first of all. I think in any group, the
    amount that you’re allowed in is connected to the amount
    that you’re willing to give. If you’re in a group you
    don’t know very well, you’re not really part of it. And you’re probably not willing
    to give very much of yourself up for it, right? But as you get close
    to people– as you learn to connect to
    them, you love them, you’re worried about
    them, whatever– the amount of yourself that
    you’re giving out rises. And likewise in the
    other direction, that connection rises also. And so by the end
    of the deployment that I covered with
    Tim– before the end, but as it went by–
    I felt completely part of that platoon. And I think they thought
    of me that way, too. And one of the
    things that I really liked about the patrol,
    the last patrol, was that we kind of did
    that with each other. And I think we all had to
    learn to think about the group more than about how we
    individually were feeling. So when I took
    Guillermo’s pack, I was sort of putting
    him ahead of me. And I know that in
    another circumstance he would have done that for me. And once you’re in that
    kind of relationship with a number of other
    people, you’re home free. That’s, I think, where
    we all want to be. And I think in
    this society, it’s hard to find circumstances that
    require that or even permit it. I’d like to ask
    you, though– have you been embedded with
    US forces in Iraq? GUILLERMO CERVERA: Yes, I was. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I’d love
    to know what– I mean, I’m an American with
    American forces. As a foreigner with
    American forces, how did you feel with them? How did they think of you? I’m just curious. What was your experience? GUILLERMO CERVERA: I think
    the beginning is hard, because they don’t know you. And it’s hard for
    them to trust you. But at the end is very
    similar than being embed with the Afghans
    in this example. At the end, all make a group. They accept you. And they treat you really well. And they protect you. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Great. GUILLERMO CERVERA: And I think
    it’s more a matter of humanity. They take care of
    each other as a group. As the thing that happen
    with us in patrol. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Guillermo, did
    they pull pranks on you, also? Because we harassed Sebastian
    quite a bit out there. And that’s when
    we really told him that he was part
    of the group, was where we started pulling
    really bad pranks on him. We found out he was
    afraid of spiders, so. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: If
    you’re ever embedded, don’t tell them you’re
    scared of spiders. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Or anything. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Or scared
    of anything, for that matter. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Or
    your mother’s name. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Or
    your mother’s name. Definitely not
    your sister’s name. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Important information. Write it down. CARRIE LAURENO: Other questions? This side of the room. Do we have mics over here? AUDIENCE: I got you right here. I actually have two questions. First question is how’s Dave? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: He’s good. I think he’s over– No, SEBASTIAN JUNGER: He’s back. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: He’s back. AUDIENCE: He’s back now. Good. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I can
    answer that real quickly, just add to that. He went over with
    a private outfit, but working with the military. And then he finally
    came back again. I just sent him an email
    and said, hey, man. How you doing? What are you up to? And he said he just got a
    place in central Wisconsin. Way out in the
    woods, like 80 acres. And he said he’s been splitting
    wood and hunting a lot. And so, like, OK,
    you’re probably good. AUDIENCE: That sounds good. awesome. OK. So second question. And this one kind of hits
    me both from “Restrepo” and from “The Last Patrol.” For me personally, in
    the same situation– and for a lot of folks that I
    know in my current position who haven’t been in that
    same situation– for me, it’s all about control. When you’re with your friends
    and you’re with your brothers and sisters, you don’t have
    to worry about yourself. Somebody’s got your
    back all the time. Somebody’s telling
    you what to do. You’re telling somebody
    else what to do. And it’s kind of
    this big circle. But as soon as you get back,
    you kind of lose all that. And you have to figure out how
    to have control of yourself again. And what I found
    myself a lot is trying to find somebody to
    take control over me. Tell me what to do. Tell me where to go. And there’s constant
    inner struggle. I want to take
    control of myself. But also, I want
    that same feeling where when times are
    tough, I want somebody to tell me what to
    do and where to go. And I got that same
    feeling from both movies. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. I think, actually, strangely,
    it’s a really good feeling to be in a group
    where you have a job. Where you’re being given
    a job, sometimes, and told to do something. Because it means that
    a, you’re trusted. But b, that you’re also
    being taken care of. Guillermo, you probably–
    I was with Brendan and Dave in Afghanistan in a platoon. But your experience more
    has been a little bit more independent, right? So the patrol was probably
    a little different for you in terms of cooperating
    with some other people. So what was that transit? Did you resist, if I told
    you, go do something, did you resist it at first? Was there a transition
    where you accepted that? GUILLERMO CERVERA: Oh, yeah. Yeah. At the beginning I didn’t
    want to help anyone. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I
    noticed that, actually. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: No way! GUILLERMO CERVERA: I just
    wanted to take pictures. I didn’t have that experience
    of being protected. When I travel around,
    I am by myself. And no one protects me. It’s kind of tricky. So for me, being in the patrol
    was completely different. I was protected by three guys. And I felt like nothing. I don’t have anything to do. Just being here
    and take pictures. It was great. It was a great feeling. Because at the
    beginning I didn’t want to get involved in the
    group, but after a while, I learned how to be
    involved with them. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: What changed? Why did it change? When did it change? How did that work? GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    Because if I don’t change, I have to keep fighting
    all the time with my brain. And that’s why I had to
    change and just relax. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    How long did it take? GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    It took a while. Yeah. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: One
    of things I found is that when you’re actually
    giving of to a group, that feels really good. I think that’s what– Team
    Rubicon, where are they at? They do the same thing. They give back to America. And of course, that feels good. It feels really good. So finding something like
    that to give back to, even if it’s not a
    group of close friends, even if it’s your
    country, that’s going to make you feel
    really, really great. And I think that that’s one
    of the things that saved me. Because that’s what I do. I try to give back as much as
    I can to the veteran community. And that makes me feel
    better about being alone inside society. GUILLERMO CERVERA:
    But I think it says a lot about relationship
    between men and women. That sometimes they
    are keeping fighting, and they don’t
    relax, because they want to keep in control
    of their own lives. And not give the
    control to the other. And I think that’s
    a thing in the movie shows a lot about relations. CARRIE LAURENO: Brendan, I
    want to really applaud you for what you just said
    about giving back. Because I think the most
    important leadership role that– we don’t know each
    other all that well, but I feel like I know you, because
    you’re a movie star. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I’ve
    never been in a movie. CARRIE LAURENO: But
    I want to apply you for being so open about sharing
    your story and your experiences having served in the military. The only way that
    people like us, who care about veterans at
    Google and other companies, are able to do our
    jobs is because there are people like you who are
    willing to tell your story. And you’re a really
    expressive, soulful guy. And it makes all the difference
    in setting a leadership example for other veterans to be able
    to follow in your footsteps and share so that the
    rest of us can learn. And we can heal as a community. Service members go home to
    communities– communities that want to embrace them,
    and don’t know how. And it’s not easy, as a
    civilian, to go up to someone and say, thank you
    for your service. And I know you in particular
    don’t particularly like that phrase. But it’s not easy for anybody. And the work that you’re
    doing is helping all of us. So I think we need to all
    applaud this guy for that. [APPLAUSE] BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Thank you very much. I think that when I
    talk about my service, I talk about we’re
    service members. We join the military to
    serve our country, right? So when we go to war, and when
    we go to combat, the things that we see and we do
    there, they’re not ours. They’re not ours. They’re our country’s. So I really think
    this is the only way to come home, is to
    share these stories. Because it is our
    country’s stories. It’s not our stories. For veterans that are, oh,
    you can’t hear my story, because you won’t
    understand– of course, they’re not going understand. They’re not going to
    understand until we speak up and talk about this stuff. And once we start speaking
    up and talk about this stuff, our country’s growing
    up in two parts– it’s civilians and veterans. And if we don’t bridge that
    gap, if we don’t somehow bridge that gap– 22 veterans
    a day kill themselves. Why you think that is? We have to bridge that gap. The only way to bridge that gap
    is to be telling our stories. And telling our
    stories accurately. Not patting ourselves on the
    back like these Navy SEALs do. [LAUGHTER] But just honestly. What we actually experienced. What we actually saw. The things that we experienced
    over there is going to help. If we start talking to
    civilians about these things, it’s going to help
    the civilians, and it’s definitely
    going to help us. So I put that out to
    every veteran here, and every one that’s going
    to serve in the military– tell your damn story. It’s not yours. It’s not yours. So open up. [APPLAUSE] CARRIE LAURENO: Awesome. We have a question over here. AUDIENCE: My first
    question is for Sebastian. Did you remember to
    brush your teeth today? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: It’s Vietnam. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    I did, actually. Special event, so. AUDIENCE: My real question. It’s mentioned in
    the documentary that veterans who come home from
    war that have personal issues typically have those personal
    issues prior to going to war. Do you think it’s those
    personal issues that draw them to war to begin with? SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    That’s a good question. I know it’s been
    studied, obviously. It’s not absolute correlation. But one of the indicators of
    combat trauma after combat is if you’ve had personal trauma
    in your life before combat. And there’s some connection. Some connection. Which is really
    important to understand. The Israeli military
    has a PTSD rate of 1%. And one of the reasons–
    there’s a number of reasons. I think it’s a more
    cohesive community. Everyone serves. Everybody serves. You don’t come back
    and feel like an alien. You’re coming back
    to a society that understands what you went
    through, because everyone is involved in the
    military to some degree. And it helps a lot. But also they screen. They screen for vulnerability
    to combat trauma. And they keep people
    who are vulnerable because of prior trauma, they
    keep them out of those units. It’s really, really smart. So yeah, I think actually
    it’s an important issue. And your first question actually
    made me think of a quick story. At one point, we’d been on
    the road for a good week. As you saw, we got pretty
    dirty pretty quickly out there. And after like a week, we
    were along the Juniata River. It was right before the
    last scene in the film. And it was a nice,
    warm April day. And I thought, oh, none of us
    has touched a drop of water for a whole week. Maybe let’s bathe
    before we end this trip. And I said, hey. I think I’m going to bathe. Jump in the river. Soap down. Rinse off. Feel good. And I said, who’s got soap? And we looked around. Four guys, right? We all know we’re
    going to be out there for a good week in the woods. Not one of us even
    thought to bring soap. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: And
    that didn’t actually correct the problem later. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. The next trip, no one
    brought soap, either. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Next
    week we didn’t– No. CARRIE LAURENO: Other questions? AUDIENCE: Hey, guys. Thanks for doing this. So I wanted to ask,
    actually, about the folks that you met along the way. It seemed to me that through
    the first half the movie, you were asking folks,
    what’s dividing us? What’s wrong with the
    American identity right now? And then somewhere
    along the way, it switched to what do
    you love about America? Why those questions? And more so, how
    do those questions connect to the veterans’
    identity and the veterans’ narrative that you’re trying
    to punch through here? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. It’s a good question. So what I was
    thinking is that when I was with those
    guys in the Korengal, they do something called
    movement to contact. And they walk down a
    valley in a patrol. And, basically,
    contact would mean talking to people who
    were willing to talk to them in the villages. Or, occasionally,
    contact meant firefight. Right? But when they were
    able to talk to people, basically, they’d
    say, how are things? How are you doing? What’s going on? Do you need anything? Whatever. That kind of assessment
    of the needs of civilians. In a very, very poor place,
    it’s a smart thing to do. Hearts and minds, right? A smart idea. And I don’t know if they
    got honest answers or not, but it was a good idea. So I just thought, OK. The country’s coming
    out of two wars. Someone should do a movement
    to contact in this country. And ask people,
    how are you doing? What do you need? What are you worried about? The same kind of thing,
    but in this country. It was a good idea. But the problem with it is that
    I found that the answers wound up being basically soundbites
    that I’d heard in the media. We’re turning into
    a socialist country. Or we’ve drifted too far
    away from God, or whatever. That’s just not a
    helpful analysis of where we’re at as a nation. And furthermore, you’re
    upset, but you’re not thinking with your own brain. You’re borrowing someone else’s
    ideas and just repeating them. You’re not really thinking. I’m asking you a real question,
    and you’re using someone else’s– some pundit on
    TV, using their ideas. It wasn’t interesting. So I thought maybe
    if I asked, what’s the best thing
    about this country, no one goes on TV
    to talk about what the best thing in this
    country is, right? So there aren’t any
    soundbites for that. CARRIE LAURENO: Apparently
    you can Google it, though. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah, right. Right. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: That’s
    my favorite answer. CARRIE LAURENO:
    Thank you for that. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    And so we started to get something that was
    a little more interesting. There was one guy– there
    were amazing people that didn’t make it into the film. And it’s the heartbreak
    of making documentaries. Stuff gets left out
    that just beautiful. And in Baltimore
    we ran into a guy, young African American
    guy– actually, young African guy who
    was now American– and he’d grown up in Liberia. And I was in Liberia
    during the civil war. And one of the things that
    stopped that civil war was the arrival of American
    forces in Monrovia– and also other African
    forces in Monrovia– to enforce a peace between
    the rebels and the government. And he was just a kid
    when that happened, right? That was like 11 years ago. So he was a young boy. And so he had this memory
    of that America had actually come to his country and done
    something really, really good. And they didn’t fire
    a shot, by the way. And so he had a very
    positive idea of America. But then he came here, and
    he was not only experiencing he was glad to be here,
    but he was very, very poor. And he was an immigrant. And he was very
    upset at the attitude that he was encountering
    about immigrants. He’s like, look, you came to
    Liberia to help my country. Now here I am. I’m trying to get an education
    to do good in the world. And I’m an immigrant,
    and you don’t like me. That doesn’t make sense. And he just said this
    very powerful thing. He’s like, look. We’re all immigrants. Except for the American Indians,
    all of us are immigrants. It’s a whole country
    of immigrants. So who is it to stand up and
    say that one group’s immigrants, and we’re not. It’s stupid. And so there were people
    that were very, very upset about things. And he was one of the
    few who really was not using soundbites. He was really using his brain. And it was incredible,
    incredible moment. You remember that guy, right? Yeah. So, anyway. Long answer, but. GUILLERMO CERVERA: Yeah. But when you ask what the
    best thing about America, all say freedom of
    speech, or freedom. And I really don’t have
    that sense of America. When you travel around,
    you see what’s freedom. Here it’s freedom, but
    a different freedom. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Right. Well, there’s economic
    freedom, right? And political freedom. And I think we are very,
    very free in this country to say what we feel. What we think. Absolutely. You can stand on a
    street corner and scream that you hate the president. And most of the
    countries in the world, you get put in prison for that. But not here. It’s amazing. I know a lot of people who grew
    up in the Eastern Bloc, right? Those societies,
    as flawed as they are in terms of
    political freedom, economically, people
    are way more equal. I mean the gap between
    rich and poor is not large. It’s small. And so do we have
    economic freedom here? A lot of us do, but
    a lot of us do not. And that was not true of
    the Eastern Bloc, as poor as it was. AUDIENCE: Hi. Brendan, I noticed in
    a scene in the movie you had an EOD t-shirt. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I didn’t
    have any clean shirts. Dave lent it to me. So you’ve got to talk
    to Dave about that. AUDIENCE: The next
    round’s on you. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. AUDIENCE: This isn’t a
    question, but more of a comment. I honestly, from the
    bottom of my heart, and behalf of my
    family and my wife, thank you for making this. Thank you for making the
    films that you’ve made. Not from an
    entertainment aspect, but more as perspective. There are those of us that
    have experienced certain things that we might not have
    the words to talk about. You mentioned, Brendan,
    that this isn’t our story. You’re absolutely right. These are stories that
    people here need to know. People that watch this
    movie need to know. But we don’t have the words. And sometimes we don’t
    have the capabilities. We’re going through our own
    things, myself included. These films offer a
    glimpse into our own minds. And something that I may not be
    able to tell my wife that I’m going through, but she
    can watch this movie. And there were certain
    times during the portion of this movie that she’s
    sitting there shaking her head. I think there were a couple
    times where it really clicked with her. Same thing with
    “Restrepo.” and I can’t thank you enough for that. It really means a lot to a lot
    of people that you can do this. And we talked about
    bridging the gap. You’re doing it. Thank you. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Real fast. When Sebastian
    wrote the book, one of things I first
    said to him was, you’re explaining us to us. Thank you. And that’s what I told him. And it was one of
    the first times that I was being
    explained to me. And that’s what really helped
    me get to where I am right now and be able to speak about this. Because he’s helped
    me along this way. And to tell me, dude, you’re
    messed up because of this. Or you’re messed up–
    or not messed up. He never said that. Yeah, he implied it. For sure. Said get your life together. Why? Life is going great. But yeah. He’s explained a lot. A lot of us, he has
    led the path in this. And it’s thank you
    from this side, too. GUILLERMO CERVERA: And I
    went to also thank you. Rudy who was there,
    the cameraman– we don’t see him in the movie. But at the beginning, I was
    all the time telling him, I hate this. I hate this. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: You were
    complaining to the cameraman? really? GUILLERMO CERVERA: He
    was really supporting me. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    Did he hate it, too? GUILLERMO CERVERA: Yes. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: He did, right? The guys who carried the least
    weight hated it the most. That’s weird. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Weird. GUILLERMO CERVERA: I know. CARRIE LAURENO: A
    couple other questions. AUDIENCE: Now, just real quick. As far as being
    noncombatants in that role and being combatants
    in that role, despite being on American soil
    and being relatively safe, like a knee-jerk
    reaction– whether it be in the middle of
    the night, or something like that– did you find
    yourself wishing you almost had a weapon on you to
    feel more comfortable, or that your combatant
    had a weapon on you? Again, just whether
    it be a train going by, or seeing the
    helicopters in a situation like that. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. We really did get shot at once. And we were in the
    middle of Pennsylvania. And it was actually outstanding. That sounded weird. AUDIENCE: It’s not that weird. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: But
    we had bear mace, which is, like, bears
    get stopped by that. Grizzlies. So crackheads definitely
    get stopped by it. And we also had a machete. And we had a dog. So some of the close-range
    stuff we weren’t really too concerned about. But when we got shot at,
    it was the funniest thing. We were underneath a bridge. That’s how normally
    you get shot at. You start out with being
    underneath a bridge. And so we hear these two shots. And Sebastian grabs the
    machete and runs off. And I run, going around
    the hill to flank this guy. And I’m right up the
    wall trying to see where they were
    shooting us from. It was just the weirdest
    thing, because I really did want a gun at that point. But I’m glad I didn’t. It would’ve been
    a weird situation. Sebastian got into a firefight
    in the middle of Pennsylvania. The news wouldn’t have, I don’t
    think, would have liked that. But it was this reaction. Immediately. Didn’t even think about it. We didn’t talk about it. He ran just one way. I went up this way. And we’re about to
    assault whatever the person was up there. And yeah. But it felt very
    vulnerable at that moment, because we didn’t have weapons. And we were going
    to handle whatever we were going to handle. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. We both immediately
    thought– I mean, I thought– we need
    to do something. We didn’t communicate, either. It was real instantaneous. But I thought, we’ve
    got to do the thing that this guy least
    expects us to do. And for Brendan, that meant
    climbing this rock wall. It’s about 15 feet high. And peeking over the edge of it. And for me, it meant
    grabbing the machete and trying to run around
    so I could get behind him. And so deal with him that way. And it was instantaneous. But what motivated me,
    and, I think, Brendan, was just I was
    absolutely indignant that someone would try
    to harm these guys. It was such an
    instantaneous reaction. And it was the only moment,
    I think, on the patrol that I felt a little
    Afghan, or something. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. It was cool. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: It was cool. The footage wasn’t good
    enough to put it in the film, so we had to leave
    it as a story. Yeah? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: No, no. He stopped shooting. He just fired a few rounds. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: The
    Amish mafia, definitely. It was the Amish mafia. They got us. CARRIE LAURENO: Yes. Go ahead. Front row. Ma’am? Hi. Yes. AUDIENCE: You talked a
    lot about relationships you have with your wives. Or, Brendan, your wife. [INAUDIBLE] women? Sorry. You talked about
    the relationships you had with your fathers. That came up. But I never heard you say
    anything about your mothers. Did you discuss the relationship
    you had with your mothers? And did you edit that out? Or was it just something
    that never really was important enough to have– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I know
    this is going to sound weird, because we walked
    350 miles together, but I don’t think any
    of us ever mentioned either the marriages we
    were in or our mothers. I don’t know why. Did we? Did we talk about
    the relationships– BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Only
    when we were asked, like, what does your
    wife do for you? And I’m like, she
    keeps me in line. That was the only time that– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: No,
    the question there was what do you like
    best about women? Is actually what
    the question was. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Oh. CARRIE LAURENO: Guillermo, yeah. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: So that was the
    only time I brought up my wife. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    Guillermo said, everything. CARRIE LAURENO:
    Everything, yeah, right. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Is that a
    good answer or a bad answer, by the way. As a woman, what would you say? AUDIENCE: I don’t know. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I think
    what Sebastian wanted to do, for a man, it’s the relationship
    with his father’s important. And what he becomes in life. And also with the
    mother, of course. But I think we wanted to
    talk about our fathers, only because it
    affected us greatly. And my dad had a
    huge effect on me. My mom had a huge
    effect on me, too. But my dad shot me. So it was a little bit of a
    different impact on my life. And I think that that was the
    same thing with Sebastian. Sebastian had a
    tough relationship. And Guillermo also had a
    pretty tough relationship with his father. So I think those things–
    our mothers were much– AUDIENCE: Nicer? BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Sometimes, yeah. GUILLERMO CERVERA: Yeah. Your mother is always with you. For me, my mother is an angel. And she died three years? Two years before the patrol. And she was always there. So I didn’t have
    to talk about her. Yeah. CARRIE LAURENO: Microphone? AUDIENCE: Really
    enjoyed the movie. Thank you so much
    for doing that. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Thank you. AUDIENCE: But the timing
    with the last question. So I actually had two questions. But my first one is
    what about the role of women in the military
    in light of your movie, in light of the reflections
    you just talked about? What about in the
    case of America, women entering the tip
    of the spear combat arms– infantry and
    armor– starting in 2016. What is the message
    that you have for the American population? And service members
    that are women that might want to enter the
    combat arms tip of the spear roles? And my second question. The only establishment
    that we saw you ever enter throughout the whole
    journey was a church. Why is that? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I mean,
    we would go into diners and have a meal or
    whatever sometimes. It just wasn’t always
    that interesting. Churches were interesting to me. A, and particularly for me as
    an atheist– well, you saw. I really had never
    been to church. So I was sort of
    fascinated by them. On to the incredibly complicated
    question, your first question. I feel like the army
    has figured out how to turn front-line
    soldiers, how to turn young people into ideal
    front-line soldiers, right? But where their chances
    of survival are maximized. And I think for women
    to be in that position, they have to turn into
    the exact same thing. And so I think anyone has to
    turn into the exact same thing. I’m a civilian, right? I had to sort of turn into that. I just didn’t have a gun. I think in some ways
    if women can learn– and obviously,
    they can– if they can learn to think and
    react and act exactly like men in that
    situation, they’ll be fine. AUDIENCE: Brendan, I just
    wanted to add something to what the gentleman said
    over there about the EOD joke, about the t-shirt. I’m a Marine vet. Please don’t, like– I know
    I’m surrounded by soldiers, so I’ll watch what I say. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    You’re outnumbered. AUDIENCE: You’re not
    just bridging a gap. You’re not just
    telling your story. You’re saving lives. The stuff you guys went
    through over there. I can’t remember what I did with
    my Marines because of my TBI. And Marines don’t usually
    get this emotional. I’m sorry. But watching “Restrepo”
    and “Korengal” reminds me of what I lost. And when I want to end it
    all, that’s what I watch. So thank you. Thank you from the bottom
    of my fucking heart. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Thank you, man. Thank you. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Thank you. [APPLAUSE] CARRIE LAURENO: One last
    question, if there is one. AUDIENCE: I want to how
    we can help– Brendan, maybe you can answer this
    question– when you come back. I work for the VA. And what I see– this is
    my personal experience– is that we want to help, but
    the veteran says they want help, and they already don’t follow
    through with the action that we can offer. Not all veterans. I’m not saying that
    every single veteran. But some isolate themselves. We call them. We want them to come in. We even have programs where
    we actually go to their house. What can, not the
    VA, but anybody, do to a veteran who’s
    trying to seek assistance? Or even if they’re not
    trying to seek assistance, what can somebody do? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: That’s a
    really awesome question. And I’ve given that
    a lot of thought. There’s a lot of things. I’m an alcoholic, you know. And I go to AA every
    single morning. Because if I don’t
    go to AA, I drink. And alcoholism, you
    can’t have willpower. It’s not willpower. It’s not anything that
    saves you from alcoholism. It’s talking with
    other alcoholics on how they got sober. And something happens inside of
    AA that keeps me from drinking. I’ve had a year. I haven’t had a year
    since I was fucking 12. [APPLAUSE] Not even in combat. So something works inside AA. And I think– not comparing
    alcoholism to veterans, but– when you’re talking
    about serving in combat, I think the most important
    thing is, when you come home, is meeting up with
    other veterans. Other veterans. I’m never going to get
    better from alcoholism by seeking a shrink. That’s not going to help me. What’s going to help me is
    talking with other alcoholics. Same thing with veterans. Veterans aren’t going
    to have– there’s going to be certain things
    that you can get from a shrink, but the real healing is
    talking with another veteran. Saying, hey, what do
    you feel about this? And getting that honest answer. I think that is what’s going
    to save a lot of lives. And VA needs to start
    setting that up. Not even a counselor
    inside that setting. Just letting a
    veteran run group. Be a veteran-run group. Those are really
    important things. And then there’s also
    things like Outward Bound for veterans. Outward Bound for veterans. Has anyone heard of that? It’s an extremely
    cool organization. And you go a week-long
    trip with other veterans. And you get to go sailing. You get to go hiking. You get to dog sled, if
    you want to dog sled. You get to white water rafting. We went on white water rafting,
    me and 15 of my buddies I served with. And that was so good for me. And it’s completely
    free for the veteran through donations
    the country gives. So if you donate to this,
    you’re giving back to veterans. And it’s just this
    really great program. So I think things like that are
    going to help get veterans home and to connect with
    other veterans. I think that’s the key. I think that’s what’s
    going to save lives. It’s not going to
    be what the VA does. It’s going to be what veterans
    are doing for each other. If I saw– and I
    don’t care if it was a person I didn’t know–
    if there was a soldier wounded in front of me,
    inside combat, I would go in the middle of
    firefight and try to pull that person out. Because that’s
    what you do, right? So when you have someone
    inside your community that’s a veteran that’s
    having a hard time, and you’re a veteran, reach out. You would be doing it in combat,
    so what’s the difference here in the United States? There’s no difference. So I think that
    that reaching out is going to be the key
    to saving veterans. CARRIE LAURENO: What does that
    mean for civilians, right, like this gentleman and
    myself, and others who are here tonight, who want to do
    something to help and make it better? What role can we play? BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Supporting
    that stuff I’m talking about. CARRIE LAURENO:
    That environment. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. CARRIE LAURENO: Where you
    guys can come together. BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    Because you’re not going to– civilians,
    as much as you’re going to do to help
    welcome us home, you’re not going to help
    us with the deep trauma. Deep trauma, you’re going to
    talk with other veterans about. I could talk to
    you all day about how it felt to lose Restrepo. But until I talk to another
    veteran that has lost his best friend, it’s not
    going to matter. It’s going to matter. It’s going to feel
    great to talk about it. But that understanding
    is what’s key. Understanding and
    being understood is what’s healing
    about with trauma. CARRIE LAURENO: Which is why
    the last patrol was helpful. GUILLERMO CERVERA: That
    sharing with the people who have the same problem. Exactly what he had said. CARRIE LAURENO: Are you
    going to do it again? BRENDAN O’BYRNE:
    We keep doing it. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: We can’t stop. We keep going out there. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: We’re just
    not filming it any more. SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Now we
    bring– there’ no camera and there’s no funding,
    but we just keep going. CARRIE LAURENO: Can girls come? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: Yeah. We brought a woman. CARRIE LAURENO: Oh, you did. I have two final– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: And
    she brought the soap. Finally we had soap on a patrol. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: I had this
    one real funny thing real fast. We were walking down the–
    this is the funniest story. We were walking
    down in Wilmington, and we’re getting into
    the middle of the city. And this car pulls up. And this guy looks
    out of the window. And he’s like, hey,
    what are you guys doing? We’re like, oh,
    we’re walking to– SEBASTIAN JUNGER: He’s
    with his girlfriend. He’s with his girlfriend. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yeah. He’s with his girlfriend. And she’s driving. And he’s in the passenger seat. And we’re like, yeah, we’re
    walking to– at that point, we were walking
    to New York still. I was like, do you want to come? And he didn’t have anything. He didn’t have a
    backpack, nothing. And he starts getting
    out of the car. The girlfriend
    pulls him back in. So it’s appealing, I
    think, to a lot of people. CARRIE LAURENO: I have
    two final questions. Brendan, you had something,
    a piece of advice to share with the
    cadets as they embark on their military careers. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Yes, yes. One second. [INAUDIBLE] Yes. Money. That will help. I know there’s a few
    things that my leaders did that made them successful. And one of the main things
    that my lieutenants did that was really
    successful was that they listened to their sergeants. And I know that that’s
    drilled into cadets and drilled into cadets,
    but it’s so important. So when you go out
    into your units, listen to your sergeants. They know what to do. They will help you. They will be the ones
    that let you succeed. And also, the more I see
    the army and the military, I think it’s the more
    it’s becoming political. And it kind of upsets me. And sometimes lieutenants
    and leaders sometimes make the decision
    best for their career rather than for their soldiers. And I think it’s very
    important to realize that true leadership means
    that you put yourself second. You put everything in your life
    second to your men or women. And that is what leadership is. So when you’re put in a
    situation where it’s hard, and you figure, what’s
    the right answer? It’s always going to be
    soldiers underneath you, or the people underneath you. What is the best thing for them? I wish I could say
    that to the president. I wish I could say that to
    every leader in the world. Because true leadership means
    putting yourself second. So that’s the two things
    I really, really wanted to talk to you about. CARRIE LAURENO: Thank you. [APPLAUSE] As sad as it is, the
    reason that the four of us are actually on
    the stage tonight is because we are united
    by the death of our friends or the trauma of
    combat, and how it’s affected us in different ways. And as you know, I lost
    a loved one to the war in Afghanistan, which is how
    I got involved in supporting this community,
    when I previously had no ties whatsoever. You lost a friend. You guys deployed together,
    were embedded together. You lost a very close
    friend, and then met Sebastian, who was
    so close with Tim. And Sebastian loves you for
    being the person you are and the person
    you were with him, you must have been in that
    moment when he passed. So these silver linings
    become very, very clear and bright to me– that
    the reason all of us there are here tonight having
    this wonderful experience ahead of Veterans’ Day at
    Google is because of those traumatic and
    difficult situations. And so I just wanted
    to close by asking about Tim Hetherington,
    your dear friend. And all three of you
    knew him and loved him. The last time I was on
    this stage with Sebastian was when we screened
    “Restrepo” here. And Tim was in one of
    these chairs right here. And I wonder what he would say. What would he think about
    tonight and this conversation? And what would he say? SEBASTIAN JUNGER: I
    think about that a lot. I went on to make a film about
    him and his death and his work. And then I went back into
    the “Restrepo” material and made “Korengal.” And I had him in my mind. He shot a lot of that
    footage, obviously. And “The Last Patrol,”
    it happened in the form that it did partly because he
    was alive, and we were friends, and we had ideas together. And one of the
    ideas that popped up within our professional
    relationship was this idea. But it took this
    form because he died, and I was with these other guys. And I just have to
    think that he would be tremendous– If he
    somehow could know, right, somehow know that
    this trip happened as it did, and this evening was happening,
    he’d be a little puzzled. But I have to think he
    would be really incredibly affected by it. We’re all affecting– all of
    us, with or without our deaths– we’re all affecting so
    many people all the time. Hopefully in pretty good ways. And there aren’t
    many good things that come from people’s deaths. Obviously, we all know that. But this is, I think,
    maybe one of the very most powerful things that
    I’ve ever seen personally come from a tragedy, was this
    experience the four of us. And it’s weird. You don’t even know what to
    be grateful for, grateful to. But it’s tremendous, I think. CARRIE LAURENO: Guillermo? GUILLERMO CERVERA: Well,
    I met Tim in Libya. I was not really
    good friend of him. And I met him there. But we become, like, tight. These few days together. And I remember when he
    died, a rebel leader who was in the house where we were
    staying, he say, many times, this guy was a gentleman. This guy was a gentleman. And he was a gentleman. He act like a gentleman. He was a really nice person. You could see him
    deal with the people. He was a nice guy. I don’t know how he will have
    felt in front of America. But, of course, he will
    have made amazing pictures. I know. Because America
    is a place to get pictures, to get feelings,
    to get a lot of things out, good and bad. And when I finished my work
    of America with pictures, I was really surprised, because
    it’s one of my best works in all my career. Even I was in Afghanistan,
    all these crazy places. The work I can see
    more feelings is the one I made here in America. So I’m sure Tim will have
    done something similar. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: When I
    first got home, like I said, I was a really bad place. I was trying to get sober. And I was trying to get help. Tim offered up his place
    for me in Brooklyn. And he said, the one thing
    that I want you to do is not to drink. And within a week, I was drunk. And I realized at that moment
    that I really cared for Tim, and I couldn’t even hold
    that promise up to Tim. And it was like
    the first sign that to me, my whole entire
    life falling apart, that I had a serious
    alcohol problem. And I don’t know how he
    would feel about the film. But I know he would look at
    me and say, right on, man. You got a year. Awesome. And I think that he’d
    be very proud of us for doing what we did. CARRIE LAURENO: Thank you for
    sharing about your friend. This is wonderful. I’ve dad said it to
    you a hundred times, but I’m so grateful to you. We’re all so grateful to
    you for the work you’re doing to help us get
    these stories out as well. And for the healing
    that it’s given to all of us who are
    touched by any trauma that we’ve been
    through, whether we’ve gone to war or otherwise,
    being able to talk about it and share it with other people. And the example that you
    are setting by doing that is a true form of leadership. And we’re very, very
    grateful to all of you. Thank you for
    being here tonight. All of you. We wish you a happy
    early Veterans’ Day. Please come back and visit
    us at Google at any time. We love you guys. We love you gals. And we’re here to help,
    whether we served or not. There’s a whole bunch of us who
    have and a whole bunch of us who haven’t. But we’re figuring
    it out together. And you’re welcome
    here any time. Thanks, everybody. SEBASTIAN JUNGER:
    Thank you everybody. BRENDAN O’BYRNE: Thank you.

    Did Tom and Jerry Kill Themselves?
    Articles, Blog

    Did Tom and Jerry Kill Themselves?

    August 9, 2019

    Helloooo, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. Yeah, I remember it, so you don’t have to. A while ago, an article appeared online, making the very grim claim that in the last episode of Tom and Jerry, they apparently commited suicide. If you search the Internet even more, you’d find there’s actually a lot of articles claiming the same thing. That in the last animated short by Hanna-Barbera, the episode grimly ends with them sitting on the railroad tracks waiting for death to take them. This couldn’t possibly be true, could it? But upon more research, you’d find that some channels have banned the episode and, even to this day, it gets few, if any, showings on American TV. Holy shit! This might actually be legit! Did the world’s most hilariously violent team-up end their days in the most disturbing way possible? I mean, we all know we’d see them in other projects and even some where we *wish* they were dead, but did the original creators, Hanna-Barbera, really do this to them? Did Hanna-Barbera really do something so terrible to two of their most famous icons? Sort of. There’s a bit more to the story. The episode in question is called “Blue Cat Blues”. And yes, it does open up with Tom sitting on the railroad tracks, waiting to be run over. Jerry watches, shaking his head, and, through inner monologue, gives us the story. Apparently, Tom and Jerry used to be the best of friends – but don’t worry, they still get smashed up pretty good – until a female comes into their lives and ruins everything. Tom falls in love, pushing Jerry aside, but then she falls in love with another cat. Tom does everything to try and win her back – even selling an arm and a leg for her – but absolutely nothing works. Eventually, she ends up getting married to the other cat, resulting in Tom being so beaten and torn that he lays himself on the tracks. Jerry, of course, justifies what a perfect relationship he’s got, only to find out his girlfriend as well ran off with someone else. Resulting in him asking Tom if he can scoot over a bit. Uhm… dem dames, eh?! Bros before… animalised, kind of humanistic hoes? Okay, so there’s a few angles to come at this from. One: Tom and Jerry have been squashed, smashed, beaten, hit with every object you can imagine. I think it’s more than likely they would survive the train. But then again, a flexible reality can go both ways. The Addams Family, for example, have done a lot that would obviously kill them but a bullet from the gun or threat of electrocution apparently are fatal blows. You could also make the argument that their acceptance of their doom is what suddenly launches them into reality. Grey area, to be sure, but there’s also the fact that Tom and Jerry’s timeline doesn’t follow that much continuity. Every episode is a little different. The house looks a little different, the owner is a little different… Hell, Jerry’s adopted son Nibbles is left on his doorstep God knows how many times. What, does he just keep sending him back after every adventure? That’s kinda douchey. So, again, kind of a flexible reality. Most importantly, though, well, this is one of the final episodes. It’s not THE final episode. The final episode is actually called “Tot Watchers”. And they don’t commit suicide, they look after a baby. A fucking baby! A touch less depressing, don’t you think? In fact, Hanna-Barbera still had two years of cartoons that came out after the supposed last episode. So it’s pretty obvious this was meant not to be the end for our depressed duo. So, then, why the controversy of their banning from other channels? Well, because Tom and Jerry ending their lives is kind of a f**king downer. People’s sensitivities have changed over time to race, gender, and yes, even some forms of violence. Now, that’s not to say people haven’t also died from shootings and falling off high places and so forth, but the tone is still kept pretty upbeat, and in a different reality. This, though still the punchline of the joke, is pretty heavy to watch for two main characters we know and love so much. Though again, I argue not quite as hard to watch as this. Rated G, by ass! It should be NC-17! I remember seeing this episode when I was a little kid and I wasn’t at all disturbed by it. I got the joke. Jerry thinks he’s being above it all, and that could never happen to him, and when it does happen to him, he comedically does the exact same thing. But, as much as I love grim humour, not every little kid is going to get it and could easily take it too seriously. Hell, if the Internet has shown us anything is that even *adults* can take it too seriously! So, did Tom and Jerry commit suicide in the last episode? Not really. We never see them get axed off, they survive much worse, it’s obviously the punchline of the joke and, most importantly, they had about a dozen cartoons after this one! If this demonstrates anything is that we’ve grown more sensitive to certain jokes in connection with certain characters. A suicide joke in an episode of Louie wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but in Tom and Jerry, eehh, many people can get uncomfortable. But, in turns of any grand shocking ending people are looking for, it’s certainly not here. It’s a funny little episode with what they thought at the time was a funny little ending. In the end, it’s not as epic or gothic as many would suspect, it’s just a silly joke about obsessing over romance. And really, when is anything related to romance in the media ever caused anybody to commit suicide? Don’t you believe it!

    Maloney Grills Federal Officials on PTC Implementation at Metro-North, Long Island Railroad
    Articles, Blog

    Maloney Grills Federal Officials on PTC Implementation at Metro-North, Long Island Railroad

    August 9, 2019

    Particularly appreciate the reference you made earlier to the The Commuter Rail Passenger Safety Act which makes clear that RRIF funding thirty five thirty billion dollars of it is available to community railroads. So my question is Mr. Reyes, did you say earlier that New Jersey Transit’s gonna meet the 2018 deadline? We’ve met with New Jersey Transit as we have met with all the other commuter railroads in the country We were informed by New Jersey Transit that they believe they can meet the December 31st 2018 deadline however You mean the condition for extending that deadline or the deadline? No the deadline that is required. Have they accessed the RRIF financing Don’t believe they have have they? Has New Jersey Transit accessed any Railroad Rehabilitation Improvement Fund financing to accomplish PTC implementation, and if not how that how they’re gonna do it? But I believe New Jersey Transit has has applied and obtained funds I could get back to you on the exact amount I have a breakdown of some of the other railroads But not particular to New Jersey Transit. On those other railroads because my time is limited because votes have been called What’s the status of Long Island Railroad and Metro North? They did access, MTA did access a billion dollars of RRIF financing right what’s the story there? So okay, so MTA which is Long Island Railroad Metro North they applied for and obtained a RRIF loan of nine hundred sixty seven million dollars They are working diligently on and they did come in Also as as New Jersey Transit came in they have not said that they they have not asked for any extension the railroads especially the commuters we’re having them come back in even though we saw them in the in the first place because we’re working with them every month I mean we sometimes we have two and three railroads come in a day four hours of – for meetings of two hours or more and we’re trying to push them to Mr. Reyes are they gonna meet the deadline or not? This is February of 2018 right now we they’ve presented a plan that they say they will be able to make the deadlines. Do you believe that plan? I’m working with them. I’m not willing to give up on any railroad and we’ll push them to meet the deadlines. You’re not willing to give up on them does that mean you think they’re gonna meet the deadline or not? all the railroads that have come in to meet with us have told us they’re looking to meet the deadline we’re gonna work with them and do everything possible. Right next time you have one of those meetings you should mention the name Jimmy Lovell Whose a guy who got killed in Spuyten Duyvil on December 1st 2013. He got on the train in Cold Spring New York that morning to go work on the lighting at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree I know that because his wife works for me for years. His kids Jack and Hudson and Finn go to school with my kids. He doesn’t come home anymore because that preventable accident happened that day and that was four and a half years ago, and we’re ten years into this and we provided the financing. That’s why we take this seriously because we represent people who are losing their lives 300 deaths in the last few decades right? Thirty well sixty-eight hundred injuries and so sir It’s your job to make sure these railroads meet these deadlines We have provided the financing we have provided grants, so we are watching this really closely But we’re counting on you not to not give up on him but to hold their feet to the fire Do you understand why we’re a little impatient on this? 2017 was the first year that fines were assessed against the railroads that was a shot across the bow To the railroad to tell them we’re serious and we want them and we were going to push them to get this implemented And that’s why secretary Chow in December 27th 2017 issued a letter saying that we’re very serious about this And this is something that needs to happen And that’s why we’ve met with every single railroad 41 railroads and 45 days to tell them this is something that needs to happen now. All right well we appreciate your diligence on that. In the time I have left this the subject of grade crossing accidents came up It’s particularly interesting to me that that we don’t use that there’s no conversation of motion-activated cameras or sensors at grade crossings particularly in the conversation of PTC as important as PTC is right You know it’s not gonna do anything about a grade crossing accident. If there’s an object in the train. My Republican colleagues went through a horrific accident Just a few days ago an example of where you got a vehicle on the tracks. Is there any conversation about why we don’t use Inexpensive motion-activated camera technology. I mean my god operators of trains could have an app on their phone You can look at the weather on most high schools in America and see the camera It’s a it’s a free app you can access it on your phone the cameras are inexpensive Why on earth wouldn’t we maybe in conjunction with weather stations have have simple Digital camera technology maybe linked to motion detection? Which by the way you can put in your home for a hundred bucks or a ring you know Doorbell why wouldn’t we why wouldn’t we give operators the ability to To on their own phones Access that video as a way to see what’s ahead of them on the track so they can stop in time? Has anybody talked about that maybe Mr. Skoutelis? I’d ask for a quick response I’m sorry. I’ve not heard that discussion at all. I mean the typical Protection is a four way crossing gates to to Try to avert that kind of damage and an accident, but what you’re describing it No, I’m not familiar with that Thank You Mr. Chairman

    Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do? Episode 01 “THE MORAL SIDE OF MURDER”
    Articles, Blog

    Justice: What’s The Right Thing To Do? Episode 01 “THE MORAL SIDE OF MURDER”

    August 9, 2019

    Funding for this program is provided by: Additional funding provided by This is a course about Justice and we begin
    with a story suppose you’re the driver of a trolley car, and your trolley car is hurdling down
    the track at sixty miles an hour and at the end of the track you notice
    five workers working on the track you tried to stop but you can’t your brakes don’t work you feel desperate because you know that if you crash into these five workers they will all die let’s assume you know that for sure and so you feel helpless until you notice that there is off to the right a side track at the end of that track there’s one worker working on track you’re steering wheel works so you can turn the trolley car if you want to onto this side track killing the one but sparing the five. Here’s our first question what’s the right thing to do? What would you do? Let’s take a poll, how many would turn the trolley car onto the side track? How many wouldn’t? How many would go straight ahead keep your hands up, those of you who’d go straight
    ahead. A handful of people would, the vast majority
    would turn let’s hear first now we need to begin to investigate the reasons
    why you think it’s the right thing to do. Let’s begin with
    those in the majority, who would turn to go onto side track? Why would you do it, what would be your reason? Who’s willing to volunteer a reason? Go ahead, stand up. Because it can’t be right to kill five people
    when you can only kill one person instead. it wouldn’t be right to kill five if you could kill one person instead that’s a good reason that’s a good reason who else? does everybody agree with that reason? go ahead. Well I was thinking it was the same reason it was on 9/11 we regard the people who flew the plane who flew the plane into the Pennsylvania field as heroes because they chose to kill the people on the
    plane and not kill more people in big buildings. So the principle there was the same on 9/11 it’s tragic circumstance, but better to kill one so that five can
    live is that the reason most of you have, those
    of you who would turn, yes? Let’s hear now from those in the minority those who wouldn’t turn. Well I think that same type of mentality that
    justifies genocide and totalitarianism in order to save one type of race you
    wipe out the other. so what would you do in this case? You would to avoid the horrors of genocide you would crash into the five and kill them? Presumably yes. okay who else? That’s a brave answer, thank you. Let’s consider another trolley car case and see whether those of you in the majority want to adhere to the principle, better that one should die so that five
    should live. This time you’re not the driver of the trolley
    car, you’re an onlooker standing on a bridge overlooking a trolley car track and down the track comes a trolley car at the end of the track are five workers the brakes don’t work the trolley car is about to careen into the
    five and kill them and now you’re not the driver you really feel helpless until you notice standing next to you leaning over the bridge is it very fat man. And you could give him a shove he would fall over the bridge onto the track right in the way of the trolley car he would die but he would spare the five. Now, how many would push the fat man over the bridge? Raise your hand. How many wouldn’t? Most people wouldn’t. Here’s the obvious question, what became of the principle better to save five lives even if it means
    sacrificing one, what became of the principal that almost everyone endorsed in the first case I need to hear from someone who was in the
    majority in both cases is how do you explain the difference between
    the two? The second one I guess involves an
    active choice of pushing a person and down which I guess that that person himself would otherwise not
    have been involved in the situation at all and so to choose on his behalf I guess to involve him in something that he otherwise would
    have this escaped is I guess more than what you have in the first case where the three parties, the driver and the two sets of workers are already I guess in this situation. but the guy working, the one on the track
    off to the side he didn’t choose to sacrifice his life any
    more than the fat guy did, did he? That’s true, but he was on the tracks. this guy was on the bridge. Go ahead, you can come back if you want. Alright, it’s a hard question but you did well you did very well it’s a
    hard question. who else can find a way of reconciling the reaction of the majority in these two cases? Yes? Well I guess in the first case where you have the one worker and the five it’s a choice between those two, and you have to make a certain choice and people are going to die
    because of the trolley car not necessarily because of your direct actions.
    The trolley car is a runway, thing and you need to make in a split second choice whereas pushing the fat man over is an actual
    act of murder on your part you have control over that whereas you may not have control over the trolley car. So I think that it’s a slightly different situation. Alright who has a reply? Is that, who has a reply to that?
    no that was good, who has a way who wants to reply? Is that a way out of this? I don’t think that’s a very good reason because
    you choose either way you have to choose who dies
    because you either choose to turn and kill a person which is an act of conscious thought to turn, or you choose to push the fat man over which is also an active conscious action so either way you’re making a choice. Do you want to reply? Well I’m not really sure that that’s the case, it just still
    seems kind of different, the act of actually pushing someone over onto the tracks and killing them, you are actually killing him yourself, you’re pushing
    him with your own hands you’re pushing and that’s different than steering something that is going to
    cause death into another…you know it doesn’t really sound right saying it now when I’m up here. No that’s good, what’s your name? Andrew. Andrew and let me ask you this question Andrew, suppose standing on the bridge next to the fat man I didn’t have to push him, suppose he was standing over a trap door that I could open by turning
    a steering wheel like that would you turn it? For some reason that still just seems more more wrong. I mean maybe if you just accidentally like leaned into
    this steering wheel or something like that or but, or say that the car is hurdling towards a switch that will drop the trap then I could agree with that. Fair enough, it still seems wrong in a way that it doesn’t seem wrong in the
    first case to turn, you say An in another way, I mean in the first situation you’re
    involved directly with the situation in the second one you’re an onlooker as well. So you have the choice of becoming involved
    or not by pushing the fat man. Let’s forget for the moment about this case, that’s good, but let’s imagine a different case. This time
    your doctor in an emergency room and six patients come to you they’ve been in a terrible trolley car wreck five of them sustained moderate injuries one
    is severely injured you could spend all day caring for the one severely injured victim, but in that time the five would die, or you could
    look after the five, restore them to health, but during that time the one severely injured person would die. How many would save the five now as the doctor? How many would save the one? Very few people, just a handful of people. Same reason I assume, one life versus five. Now consider another doctor case this time you’re a transplant surgeon and you have five patients each in desperate
    need of an organ transplant in order to survive on needs a heart one a lung, one a kidney, one a liver and the fifth a pancreas. And you have no organ donors you are about to see you them die and then it occurs to you that in the next room there’s a healthy guy who came in for a checkup. and he is you like that and he’s taking a nap you could go in very quietly yank out the five organs, that person would
    die but you can save the five. How many would do it? Anyone? How many? Put your hands up if you would do it. Anyone in the balcony? You would? Be careful don’t lean over too much How many wouldn’t? All right. What do you say, speak up in the balcony, you
    who would yank out the organs, why? I’d actually like to explore slightly alternate possibility of just taking the one of the five he needs an organ who dies first and using their four healthy organs to save the other
    four That’s a pretty good idea. That’s a great idea except for the fact that you just wrecked the philosophical point. Let’s step back from these stories and these arguments to notice a couple of things about the way the arguments have began to unfold. Certain moral principles have already begun to emerge from the discussions we’ve had and let’s consider what those moral principles look like the first moral principle that emerged from the
    discussion said that the right thing to do the moral thing to do depends on the consequences that will result from your action at the end of the day better that five should live even if one must die. That’s an example of consequentialist moral reasoning. consequentialist moral reasoning locates morality
    in the consequences of an act. In the state of the world that will result from the thing you do but then we went a little further, we considered
    those other cases and people weren’t so sure about consequentialist moral reasoning when people hesitated to push the fat man over the bridge or to yank out the organs of the innocent patient people gestured towards reasons having to do with the intrinsic quality of the act itself. Consequences be what they may. People were reluctant people thought it was just wrong categorically wrong to kill a person an innocent person even for the sake of saving five lives, at least these people thought that in the second version of each story we reconsidered so this points a second categorical way of thinking about moral reasoning categorical moral reasoning locates morality
    in certain absolute moral requirements in certain categorical duties and rights regardless of the consequences. We’re going to explore in the days and weeks to come the contrast
    between consequentialist and categorical moral principles. The most influential example of consequential moral reasoning is utilitarianism,
    a doctrine invented by Jeremy Bentham, the eighteenth century English
    political philosopher. The most important philosopher of categorical moral reasoning is the eighteenth century German philosopher
    Emmanuel Kant. So we will look at those two different modes of moral reasoning assess them and also consider others. If you look at the syllabus, you’ll notice
    that we read a number of great and famous books. Books by Aristotle John Locke Emanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and others. You’ll notice too from the syllabus that
    we don’t only read these books, we also all take up contemporary political and legal controversies
    that raise philosophical questions. We will debate equality and inequality, affirmative action, free speech versus hate speech, same sex marriage, military conscription, a range of practical questions, why not just to enliven these abstract and distant
    books but to make clear to bring out what’s at stake
    in our everyday lives including our political lives, for philosophy. So we will read these books and we will debate these issues and we’ll see how each informs and
    illuminates the other. This may sound appealing enough but here I have to issue a warning, and the warning is this to read these books in this way, as an exercise in self-knowledge, to read them in this way carry certain risks risks that are both personal and political, risks that every student of political philosophy have known. These risks spring from that fact that philosophy teaches us and unsettles us by confronting us with what we already know. There’s an irony the difficulty of this course consists in the
    fact that it teaches what you already know. It works by taking what we know from familiar unquestioned settings, and making it strange. That’s how those examples worked worked the hypotheticals with which we began with their
    mix of playfulness and sobriety. it’s also how these philosophical books work. Philosophy estranges us from the familiar not by supplying new information but by inviting and provoking a new way of seeing but, and here’s the risk, once the familiar turns strange, it’s never quite the same again. Self-knowledge is like lost innocence, however unsettling you find it, it can never be unthought or unknown what makes this enterprise difficult but also riveting, is that moral and political philosophy is a story and you don’t know where this story will lead
    but what you do know is that the story is about you. Those are the personal risks, now what of the political risks. one way of introducing of course like this would be to promise you that by reading these books and debating these issues you will become a better more responsible
    citizen. You will examine the presuppositions of
    public policy, you will hone your political judgment you’ll become a more effective participant
    in public affairs but this would be a partial and misleading promise political philosophy for the most part hasn’t
    worked that way. You have to allow for the possibility that political philosophy may make you a worse
    citizen rather than a better one or at least a worse citizen before it makes you a better one and that’s because philosophy is a distancing even debilitating activity And you see this going back to Socrates there’s a dialogue, the Gorgias in which one of Socrates’ friends Calicles tries to talk him out of philosophizing. calicles tells Socrates philosophy is a pretty toy if one indulges in it with moderation at
    the right time of life but if one pursues it further than one should
    it is absolute ruin. Take my advice calicles says, abandon argument learn the accomplishments of active
    life, take for your models not those people who spend
    their time on these petty quibbles, but those who have a good livelihood and reputation and many other blessings. So Calicles is really saying to Socrates quit philosophizing, get real go to business school and calicles did have a point he had a point because philosophy distances us from conventions from established assumptions and from settled beliefs. those are the risks, personal and political and in the face of these risks there is a
    characteristic evasion, the name of the evasion is skepticism. It’s
    the idea well it goes something like this we didn’t resolve, once and for all, either the cases or the principles we were
    arguing when we began and if Aristotle and Locke and Kant and Mill haven’t solved these questions
    after all of these years who are we to think that we here in Sanders Theatre over the
    course a semester can resolve them and so maybe it’s just a matter of each person having his or her own principles
    and there’s nothing more to be said about it no way of reasoning that’s the evasion. The evasion of skepticism to which I would offer the following reply: it’s true these questions have been debated for a very
    long time but the very fact that they have reoccurred and persisted may suggest that though they’re impossible in one sense their unavoidable in another and the reason they’re unavoidable the reason they’re inescapable is that we live
    some answer to these questions every day. So skepticism, just throwing up their hands
    and giving up on moral reflection, is no solution Emanuel Kant described very well the problem with skepticism
    when he wrote skepticism is a resting place for human reason where it can reflect upon its dogmatic wanderings but it is no dwelling place for permanent settlement. Simply to acquiesce in skepticism, Kant wrote, can never suffice to overcome the restless
    of reason. I’ve tried to suggest through theses stories
    and these arguments some sense of the risks and temptations of the perils and the possibilities I would
    simply conclude by saying that the aim of this course is to awaken the restlessness of reason and to see where it might lead thank you very much. Like, in a situation that desperate, you have to do what you have to do to survive.
    You have to do what you have to do you? You’ve gotta do What you gotta do. pretty much, If you’ve been going nineteen days without any food someone has to take the sacrifice, someone has to make the sacrifice
    and people can survive. Alright that’s good, what’s your name? Marcus. Marcus, what do you say to Marcus? Last time we started out last time with some stores with some moral dilemmas about trolley cars and about doctors and healthy patients vulnerable to being victims of organ transplantation we noticed two things about the arguments we had one had to do with the way we were arguing it began with our judgments in particular cases we tried to articulate the reasons or the
    principles lying behind our judgments and then confronted with a new case we found ourselves re-examining those principles revising each in the light of the other and we noticed the built-in pressure to try
    to bring into alignment our judgments about particular cases and the principles we would endorse on reflection we also noticed something about the substance
    of the arguments that emerged from the discussion. We noticed that sometimes we were tempted
    to locate the morality of an act in the consequences in the results, in the state of the world that
    it brought about. We called is consequentialist moral reason. But we also noticed that in some cases we weren’t swayed only by the results sometimes, many of us felt, that not just consequences but also the intrinsic
    quality or character of the act matters morally. Some people argued that there are certain things
    that are just categorically wrong even if they bring about a good result even if they save five people at the cost of one life. So we contrasted consequentialist moral principles with categorical ones. Today and in the next few days we will begin to examine one of the
    most influential versions of consequentialist moral theory and that’s the philosophy of utilitarianism. Jeremy Bentham, the eighteenth century English political philosopher gave first the first clear systematic expression to the utilitarian moral theory. And Bentham’s idea, his essential idea is a very simple one with a lot of morally intuitive appeal. Bentham’s idea is the following the right thing to do the just thing to do it’s to maximize utility. What did he mean by utility? He meant by utility the balance of pleasure over pain, happiness over suffering. Here’s how we arrived at the principle of maximizing utility. He started out by observing that all of us all human beings are governed by two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. We human beings like pleasure and dislike pain and so we should base morality whether we are thinking of what to do in our own lives or whether as legislators or citizens we are thinking about what the law should be, the right thing to do individually or collectively is to maximize, act in a way that maximizes the overall level of happiness. Bentham’s utilitarianism is sometimes summed
    up with the slogan the greatest good for the greatest number. With this basic principle of utility on hand, let’s begin to test it and to examine it by turning to another case another story but this time not a hypothetical story, a real-life story the case of the Queen versus Dudley and Stephens. This was a nineteenth-century British law case that’s famous and much debated in law schools. Here’s what happened in the case I’ll summarize the story and then I want to hear how you would rule imagining that you are the jury. A newspaper account of the time described the background: A sadder story of disaster at sea was never told than that of the survivors of the yacht Mignonette. The ship foundered in the south Atlantic thirteen hundred miles from the cape there were four in the crew, Dudley was the captain Stephens was the first mate Brooks was a sailor, all men of excellent character, or so the newspaper account tells us. The fourth crew member was the cabin boy, Richard Parker seventeen years old. He was an orphan he had no family and he was on his first long voyage at sea. He went, the news account tells us, rather against the advice of his friends. He went in the hopefulness of youthful ambition thinking the journey would make a man of him. Sadly it was not to be, the facts of the case were not in dispute, a wave hit the ship and the Mignonette went down. The four crew members escaped to a lifeboat the only food they had were two cans of preserved turnips no fresh water for the first three days they ate nothing on the fourth day that opened one of the cans of
    turnips and ate it. The next day they caught a turtle together with the other can of turnips the turtle enabled them to subsist for the next few days and then for eight days they had nothing no food no water. Imagine yourself in a situation like that what would you do? Here’s what they did by now the cabin boy Parker is lying at the
    bottom of the lifeboat in a corner because he had drunk sea water against the advice of the others and he had become ill and he appeared to be dying so on the nineteenth day Dudley, the captain, suggested that they should all have a lottery. That they should all draw lots to see who would die to save the rest. Brooks refused he didn’t like the lottery idea we don’t know whether this was because he didn’t want to take that chance
    or because he believed in categorical moral principles but in any case no lots were drawn. The next day there was still no ship in sight so a Dudley told Brooks to avert his gaze and he motioned to Stephens that the boy Parker had better be killed. Dudley offered a prayer he told a the boy his time had come and he killed him with a pen knife stabbing him in the jugular vein. Brooks emerged from his conscientious objection
    to share in the gruesome bounty. For four days the three of them fed on the body and blood
    of the cabin boy. True story. And then they were rescued. Dudley describes their rescue in his diary with staggering euphemism, quote: “on the twenty fourth day as we were having our breakfast a ship appeared at last.” The three survivors were picked up by a German ship.
    They were taken back to Falmouth in England where they were arrested and tried Brooks turned state’s witness Dudley and Stephens went to trial. They didn’t
    dispute the facts they claimed they had acted out of necessity that was their defense they argued in effect better that one should die so that three could survive the prosecutor wasn’t swayed by that argument he said murder is murder and so the case went to trial. Now imagine
    you are the jury and just to simplify the discussion put aside the question of law, and let’s assume that you as the jury are charged with deciding whether what they did was morally permissible or not. How many would vote not guilty, that what they did was morally
    permissible? And how many would vote guilty what they did was morally wrong? A pretty sizable majority. Now let’s see what people’s reasons are, and let me
    begin with those who are in the minority. Let’s hear first from the defense of Dudley and Stephens. Why would you morally exonerate them? What are your reasons? I think it’s I think it is morally reprehensible but I think that there’s a distinction between
    what’s morally reprehensible what makes someone legally accountable in other words the night as the judge said
    what’s always moral isn’t necessarily against the law and while I don’t think that
    necessity justifies theft or murder any illegal act, at some point your degree of necessity does
    in fact exonerate you form any guilt. ok. other defenders, other voices for the defense? Moral justifications for what they did? yes, thank you I just feel like in a situation that desperate you have to do
    what you have to do to survive. You have to do what you have to do ya, you gotta do what you gotta do, pretty much. If you’ve been going nineteen days without any food you know someone just has to take the sacrifice
    has to make sacrifices and people can survive and furthermore from that let’s say they survived and then they become productive
    members of society who go home and then start like a million charity organizations and this and that and this and that,
    I mean they benefit everybody in the end so I mean I don’t know what they did afterwards, I mean
    they might have gone on and killed more people but whatever. what? what if they were going home and turned out to be assassins? What if they were going home and turned out to be assassins? You would want to know who they assassinated. That’s true too, that’s fair I would wanna know who they assassinated. alright that’s good, what’s your name? Marcus. We’ve heard a defense a couple voices for the defense now we need to hear from the prosecution most people think what they did was wrong, why? One of the first things that I was thinking was, oh well if they
    haven’t been eating for a really long time, maybe then they’re mentally affected that could be used for the defense, a possible argument that oh, that they weren’t in a proper state of mind, they were making decisions that they otherwise wouldn’t be making, and if that’s an
    appealing argument that you have to be in an altered mindset to do something
    like that it suggests that people who find that argument convincing do you think that they’re acting immorally.
    But I want to know what you think you’re defending you k
    you voted to convict right? yeah
    I don’t think that they acted in morally appropriate way. And why not? What do you say,
    Here’s Marcus he just defended them, he said, you heard what he said, yes I did yes that you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do in a
    case like that. What do you say to Marcus? They didn’t, that there is no situation that would allow human
    beings to take the idea of fate or the other people’s
    lives into their own hands that we don’t have that kind of power. Good, okay thanks you, and what’s your name? Britt? okay. who else? What do you say? Stand up I’m wondering if Dudley and Stephens had asked for Richard Parker’s
    consent in, you know, dying, if that would would that exonerate them from an act of murder, and if so is that still morally
    justifiable? That’s interesting, alright consent, now hang on, what’s your name?
    Kathleen. Kathleen says suppose so what would that scenario look like? so in the story Dudley is there, pen knife in hand, but instead of the prayer or before the prayer, he says, Parker, would you mind we’re desperately hungry, as Marcus empathizes with we’re desperately hungry you’re not going to last long anyhow, you can be a martyr, would you be a martyr how about it Parker? Then, then then what do you think, would
    be morally justified then? Suppose Parker in his semi-stupor says okay I don’t think it’ll be morally justifiable but I’m wondering.
    Even then, even then it wouldn’t be? No You don’t think that even with consent it would be morally justified. Are there people who think who want to take up Kathleen’s consent idea and who think that that would make it
    morally justified? Raise your hand if it would if you think it would. That’s very interesting Why would consent make a moral difference? Why would it? Well I just think that if he was making his own original
    idea and it was his idea to start with then that would be the only situation in which I
    would see it being appropriate in anyway

    because that way you couldn’t make the argument
    that he was pressured you know it’s three to one or whatever the ratio was, and I think that if he was making a decision to give his life
    then he took on the agency to sacrifice himself which some
    people might see as admirable and other people might disagree with that decision. So if he came up with the idea that’s the only kind of consent we could have
    confidence in morally, then it would be okay otherwise it would be kind of coerced consent under the circumstances you think. Is there anyone who thinks that the even the consent of Parker would not justify their killing him? Who thinks that? Yes, tell us why, stand up I think that Parker would be killed with the hope that the other crew members
    would be rescued so there’s no definite reason that he should
    be killed because you don’t know when they’re going to get rescued so if you kill him you’re killing him
    in vain do you keep killing a crew member until you’re rescued and then you’re
    left with no one? because someone’s going to die eventually? Well the moral logic of the situation seems to
    be that. That they would keep on picking off the weakest maybe, one by
    one, until they were rescued and in this case luckily when three at least were still alive. Now if if Parker did give his consent would it be all right do you think or not? No, it still wouldn’t be right. Tell us why wouldn’t be all right. First of all, cannibalism, I believe is morally incorrect so you shouldn’t be eating a human anyway. So cannibalism is morally objectionable outside so then even in the scenario of waiting until someone died still it would be objectionable. Yes, to me personally I feel like of it all depends on one’s personal morals, like we can’t just, like this is just my opinion of course other people are going to disagree. Well let’s see, let’s hear what their disagreements
    are and then we’ll see if they have reasons that can persuade you or not. Let’s try that Let’s now is there someone who can explain, those of you who are tempted
    by consent can you explain why consent makes such a moral difference, what about the lottery idea does that count as consent. Remember at
    the beginning Dudley proposed a lottery suppose that they had agreed to a lottery then how many would then say it was all right. Say there was a lottery, cabin boy lost, and the rest of the story unfolded. How
    many people would say it’s morally permissible? So the numbers are rising if we add a lottery,
    let’s hear from one of you for whom the lottery would make a moral difference why would it? I think the essential element, in my mind that makes it a crime is the idea that they decided at some point that
    their lives were more important than his, and that I mean that’s kind of the basis for really
    any crime right? It’s like my needs, my desire is a more important than yours
    and mine take precedent and if they had done a lottery were everyone
    consented that someone should die and it’s sort of like they’re all sacrificing
    themselves, to save the rest, Then it would be all right? A little grotesque but, But morally permissible? Yes. what’s your name? Matt. so, Matt for you what bothers you is not the cannibalism, but the lack of due process. I guess you could say that And can someone who agrees with Matt say a little bit more about why a lottery would make it, in your view, morally permissible. The way I understood it originally was that that was the
    whole issue is that the cabin boy was never consulted about whether or not it something was going
    to happen to him even though with the original lottery whether or not he would be a part of that
    it was just decided that he was the one that was going to die.
    Yes that’s what happened in the actual case but if there were a lottery and they all agreed
    to the procedure you think that would be okay? Right, because everyone knows that there’s gonna be
    a death whereas you know the cabin boy didn’t know that this discussion was even happening there was no you know forewarning for him to know that hey, I may be the one
    that’s dying. Okay, now suppose the everyone agrees to the lottery they have the lottery the cabin
    boy loses any changes his mind. You’ve already decided, it’s like a verbal contract, you can’t go back
    on that. You’ve decided the decision was made you know if you know you’re dying for the
    reason for at others to live, you would, you know if the someone else had died you know that you would consume them, so But then he could say I know, but I lost. I just think that that’s the whole moral issue is that there was
    no consulting of the cabin boy and that that’s what makes it the most horrible is that he had no idea what was even
    going on, that if he had known what was going on it would be a bit more understandable. Alright, good, now I want to hear so there’s some who think it’s morally permissible but only about twenty percent, led by Marcus, then there are some who say the real problem here is the lack of consent whether the lack of consent to a lottery to
    a fair procedure or Kathleen’s idea, lack of consent at the moment of death and if we add consent then more people are willing to consider the sacrifice morally justified. I want to hear now finally from those of you who think even with consent even with a lottery even with a final murmur of consent from Parker at the very last moment it would still be wrong and why would it be wrong that’s what I want to hear. well the whole time I’ve been leaning towards the categorical moral reasoning and I think that there’s a possibility I’d be okay with the
    idea of the lottery and then loser taking into their own hands to kill themselves so there wouldn’t be an act of murder but
    I still think that even that way it’s coerced and also I don’t
    think that there’s any remorse like in Dudley’s diary we’re getting our breakfast it seems as though he’s just sort of like, oh, you know that whole idea of not valuing someone else’s life so that makes me feel like I have to take the categorical stance. You want to throw the
    book at him. when he lacks remorse or a sense of having done
    anything wrong. Right. Alright, good so are there any other defenders who who say it’s just categorically wrong, with or without consent, yes
    stand up. Why? I think undoubtedly the way our society is shaped, murder
    is murder murder is murder and every way our society looks down at it in the same
    light and I don’t think it’s any different in any case. Good now let
    me ask you a question, there were three lives at stake versus one, the one, that the cabin boy, he had no family he had no dependents, these other three had families back home
    in England they had dependents they had wives and children think back to Bentham, Bentham says we have to consider the welfare, the utility, the happiness of everybody. We have to add it all up so it’s not just numbers three against one it’s also all of those people at home in fact the London newspaper at the time and popular opinion sympathized with them Dudley in Stephens and the paper said if they weren’t motivated by affection and concern for their loved ones at
    home and dependents, surely they wouldn’t have done this. Yeah, and how is that any different from people on the corner trying to having the same desire to feed their family,
    I don’t think it’s any different. I think in any case if I’m murdering you to advance my status, that’s murder and I think
    that we should look at all of that in the same light. Instead of criminalizing certain activities and making certain things seem more
    violent and savage when in that same case it’s all the same act and mentality that goes into the murder, a necessity
    to feed their families. Suppose there weren’t three, supposed there were thirty, three hundred, one life to save three hundred or in more time, three thousand or suppose the stakes were even bigger. Suppose the stakes were even bigger I think it’s still the same deal. Do you think Bentham was wrong to say the right thing
    to do is to add up the collected happiness, you think he’s
    wrong about that? I don’t think he is wrong, but I think murder is murder in any case.
    Well then Bentham has to be wrong if you’re right he’s wrong. okay then he’s wrong. Alright thank you, well done. Alright, let’s step back from this discussion and notice how many objections have we heard to what they did. we heard some defenses of what they did the defense has had to do with necessity the dire circumstance and, implicitly at least, the idea that numbers matter and not only numbers matter but the wider effects matter their families back home, their dependents Parker was an orphan, no one would miss him. so if you add up if you tried to calculate the balance of happiness and suffering you might have a case for saying what they did was the right thing then we heard at least three different types
    of objections, we heard an objection that’s said what they did was categorically wrong, right here at the end categorically wrong. Murder is murder it’s always wrong even if it increases the overall happiness of society the categorical objection. But we still need to investigate why murder is categorically wrong. Is it because even cabin boys have certain fundamental rights? And if that’s the reason where do those rights come from if not from
    some idea of the larger welfare or utility or happiness?
    Question number one. Others said a lottery would make a difference a fair procedure, Matt said. And some people were swayed by that. That’s not a categorical objection exactly it’s saying everybody has to be counted as an equal even though, at the end of the day one can be sacrificed for the general welfare. That leaves us with another question to investigate, Why does agreement to certain procedure, even a fair procedure, justify whatever result flows from the operation of that procedure? Question number two. and question number three the basic idea of consent. Kathleen got us on to this. If the cabin boy had agreed himself and not under duress as was added then it would be all right to take his life
    to save the rest. Even more people signed on to that idea but that raises a third philosophical question what is the moral work that consent does? Why does an act of consent make such a moral difference that an act that would be wrong, taking a life,
    without consent is morally permissible with consent? To investigate those three questions we’re going to have to read some philosophers and starting next time we’re going to read Bentham, and John Stuart Mill, utilitarian philosophers. Don’t miss the chance to interact online with other viewers
    of Justice join the conversation, take a pop quiz, watch lectures you’ve missed, and a lot more. Visit It’s the right thing to do. Funding for the program is provided by Additional funding provided by

    All About Utah Department of Natural Resources
    Articles, Blog

    All About Utah Department of Natural Resources

    August 9, 2019

    Hello everybody welcome to The
    County Seat today I’m your host
    Chad Booth every now and then we get
    somebody that has so much
    information packed into their head that we need to take
    an entire half hour to talk to
    him today is one of those shows but this is one that
    you are going to stay through
    all the way as there are things that touch your life
    whether its oil and gas for your
    home the water that comes out of your tap the
    forests you hike in it all ties
    in to the State Director Mike Styler of the Department of
    Natural Resources, Mike thank
    you for being with us today. Nice to be with you today, Chad. Let’s get into it you got 7
    divisions within your
    department. Yes, Water rights that the state
    engineer he oversees all the
    water rights in the state. Then the division of
    water resources they coordinate
    water rights on the Colorado River they help build
    projects there is the division
    of oil gas and mining they permit oil and gas drilling
    they also permit coal mining and
    they cover and take care of abandoned mines.
    The Utah geological survey they
    watch out and report on geological hazards
    they do underground work looking
    for faults they studies on underground water and
    they are involved in energy and
    wind power as well they also have state
    paleontologist as a side note
    our state paleontologist had probably found more new species
    of dinosaurs than anyone in the
    country. They do a great job we have wildlife
    resources our biggest division.
    Our next biggest division is state parks we have
    division of forestry fire and
    state lands and they are the guys that put out all the
    fires. So let’s take few minutes and
    delve into the departments there
    are things that are on everybody’s mind and the
    questions all tie back to
    divisions within your department of natural resources
    so I’m going to start with this
    imp getting notices for my office property and my
    house a bunch of summons and
    notices and your name is on them and I think am I
    in trouble over water rights
    should I be claiming something. What is going on
    here? That is an adjudication process
    which is a process of the courts
    and the state engineer is told by the courts
    to do an adjudication a research
    of all the water rights within an area. They are
    doing an area right now which is
    the Jordan River Salt Lake Valley area there are
    over 30,000 water rights and
    what they do they send notices to every titled property
    owner and say do you have a
    water right if you do let us know it’s not a gottcha
    thing they just want to know do
    you have a water right we have a lists of water
    rights is our list up to date is
    it correct if so we need verification from the property
    owner. In response to that I have a
    couple shares in a canal company
    but I think the canal company is handling that. They would be. I sign up for city water that’s
    not a water right, that’s water
    use. That’s right. So who are the people that need
    to take this seriously and
    respond? Well everyone needs to take it
    seriously but if you do not have
    a diversion on your property out of a stream if you
    do not have an old well that you
    take water out of you probably do not have a water
    right you probably get water
    from you city or you may own shares in an irrigation
    company that is what we want to
    know if you do have a well if you use it for
    supplemental irrigation on a big
    yard come and tell us we have record of it we want to
    make sure that we have
    verification then when we compile all of these water
    rights we take it to the judge
    and say these are the water rights that we are aware of and
    you need to validate those. If
    you happen to have a water right and you don’t come
    tell us the judge may validate
    the list and leave yours off. So we don’t want
    your water right left off the
    list if you happen to have a valid water right. So while we are on the subject
    of water water rights for no
    water does not help much we have been in a really
    serious drought you would not
    know by last week’s rains. What is going on in the
    water picture? In the last week our prayers
    have been answered we have been
    hoping for a long mild soft storm and that is what
    this pattern has been but our
    water year which has ended October 1st I read in the
    paper this morning was the
    driest year on record and I believe that it was a
    horrible winter there was some
    storm in the north basically nothing in the south.
    I have a farm down in Delta Utah
    and our reservoir started off the year at about
    38% full it ended up a couple of
    weeks ago 4% full we are just down to the bottom and
    many reservoirs in the southern
    end of the state are in the same situation. Where do you draw from? Yuba 4% not much water skiing going
    on there now. No it’s pretty sad but the
    storms look pretty promising
    right now. Hopefully the weather pattern will change this
    year. So is it water resources that
    tries to make the most out of
    drought vs. times of plenty. Yes, water resources do the slow
    the flow program they encourage
    water conservation they are the folks
    that lend money to irrigation
    companies that want to line their canals and get
    what water they have to the end
    of the ditch. I paid for all the mining in my
    ditch by myself. I did not know
    it was there. Come and make and application
    and low interest loans they also
    pay for dam repair we do dam safety and inspect all
    the dams in the state. We do
    not want another Orrville. We put literally
    millions of dollars a year into
    refurbishing dams. Great we are going to take a
    quick break here we will be
    right back with The County Seat our conversation with Mike
    Styler Director of DNR. This is
    a great conversation. Welcome back to The County Seat
    we are talking to Mike Styler
    who is the head of the department of Natural
    Resources for the state of Utah
    we have covered water now let’s turn to fire because
    the 2 of them do not mix. Been
    a really rugged fire season and people think the
    forest is the forest but most of
    these have been federal forest fires but they
    have involved state lands how is
    the state on their forests managing and how are you
    trying to keep ahead of those
    fires. There have been complaints from lots of
    county leaders not enough road
    because of the Roadless initiative we have too
    much deadwood how does the state
    manage the forests. Well unfortunately the state
    does not have any forests but
    what we do we help communities manage when they are
    in the urban interface with the
    forests we go in and do a lot of work to fire
    proof communities and homes and
    then we have a couple of hot shot teams that
    when there are fires are called
    out and often our fire teams they are nomadic they
    start in the south where the
    fires might start and they follow the fires from state to
    state and then get to Utah about
    the time the fires break out here and then end up
    in California or Montana and we
    have some really great and dedicated fire
    fighters but we work with the
    forest service on prescribed burns we council with them when
    they want to do a prescribed
    burn we are brought in and part of the team
    and sometimes there are
    differences of opinions this year we had a very unusual
    year when some prescribed fires
    got away we had some managed burns that were on
    forest service property where
    the forest service said this fire is doing a lot of
    good let’s let it burn and then
    a red flag situation came up and the red flag situation
    allowed for the fire to get
    away. It may be of interest to know on both a prescribed
    fire and a managed burn if the
    forest service has made the call that we want to
    let the fire go then if it
    happens to get away all the costs put in that fire are
    forest service costs. Now there
    are secondary costs like if it messes up a communities water
    shed if it impacts their water
    of course the community has that costs. The
    costs of air quality everyone
    puts up with that we have had a pretty good
    relationship with the forest
    service and in most cases they listen to us if we way the time
    has come to put out that fire
    they do and they are even several prescribed fires
    they were looking at in northern
    Utah at the end of the fire season and we said
    please do not do those the fuel
    moisture is so low we wish you would not and they
    listen to us and they did not do
    those prescribed fires. Excellent now we have a
    reclamation problem on your
    hands. Is that something the state has to involve in? Yes. Absolutely and we partner
    with the BLM and the forest
    service in reseeding those areas. I met with the
    Governor’s office this week and
    gave them what we believe our share of fighting
    the fire deal is and the number
    I shared with Kristin Cox and The Lieutenant Governor
    was 19.6 million dollars but of
    that 19.6, 6.2 million is going to go for seed
    and we are geared up and ready
    to start getting seat on as fast as we can and in fact
    we like to put seed on snow so
    on some of these areas we will be flying in seed
    right on top of the snow. That works? Yes that works very well. The
    other out in Box Elder County
    where more of a low altitude area where we really
    need to draw a chain across the
    seed and we will be doing that in those lower BLM
    areas but in the higher areas it
    works great to put the seed right on the snow. Okay while we are on the subject
    of reclamation let’s move onto
    to oil and gas mines. They are kind of in
    competition with BLM on the
    permitting side yet there is always that comparison why can’t
    we get an oil drilling permit on
    state land in 60 days and it takes 5 years with
    federal blm but on the
    reclamation side you are across the board explain that. We have an agreement with the
    coal mining interests and with
    the bureau of mines that we have primacy over
    permitting coal mines so when
    the coal mine shuts down we will do the reclamation
    of course the mines sign a bond
    they end up paying for the costs of it but
    we contract and help do all of
    the reclamation after a big mining coal mining project
    or a hard rock mining effort we
    will go out and if need be call on the bond and
    reclaim that I been out on the
    west desert and have seen areas that were reseeded
    and the seed did not take so
    they we asked the mine company to reseed again and
    finally after about 2 or 3 times
    it looks really good where the reseeding has
    been done. Alton coal mine they have some
    areas that they are finished
    with that they have reclaimed have you been back on
    some of that reclaimed land? In fact, the Alton coal mine is
    right in the middle of a sage
    grouse area and I am confident with the reclaimed
    reclamation that has been done
    there the sage grouse will move right behind the scar
    of the mind and pick up right
    where they left off and it will be a better sage
    grouse habitat because of the
    reclamation. Isn’t it true that reclamation
    always works a little bit
    better? We are creating sage grouse
    habitat where there has been
    intrusions of Juniper and Pinion especially up in Box
    Elder county we have Utah state
    collaring hundreds of sage grouse and their
    monitoring sage grouse that are
    moving into areas that we have reclaimed and nesting there
    in places that they were
    historically not sage grouse breed areas. Excellent we have to take
    another quick break and continue
    our conversation with Mike Styler from the Dpt. Of
    Natural Resources when we come
    back on the County Seat. Welcome back to The County Seat
    we are talking with Mike Styler
    from the Dpt. Of Natural Resources with 7
    divisions under him we have
    covered a lot of them and we have a few to go in just a
    few minutes so let’s move on. I
    want to talk about the geological survey because they
    have been playing a big role in
    development of thermal energy what has been
    going on there? Down in the Millford area the
    federal government has been
    looking for a good geothermal site to do some
    experimentation on so our folks
    went down there and did a lot of studies course we
    have the Glendale geothermal
    plant already in existence but they have this
    idea if they go down into the
    hot rocks about 7 or 8 thousand feet down and utilize
    the new technology that has been
    utilized in the oil and gas industry which is
    fracking what if we went down
    and fracked those hot rocks and we drill a well and we
    inject water and let it go
    through that cracked rock and then provide another well
    site for it to come up so you
    take that water down it flashed to steam and it comes up
    the other well you run your
    turbines you condense the water and then you
    run back down and have a closed
    loop it’s almost like perpetual motion. This
    could be great in changing the
    energy outlook. Not just talking about doing the
    seismic research to find the
    rocks, right? Right. They have the right kind
    of rock in there and the thing I
    like about it will be a closed system it won’t take a
    lot of water to create the
    energy it will be a closed loop there will be some loss but
    it will not take near as much
    water as a coal fired power plant or a natural gas
    fired power plant it will be a
    returning cycle of heated steam. How many geothermal areas in the
    state that we can tap for
    something like that. Well that geothermal down around
    Milford runs from Milford to
    Delta. That’s big. It’s a huge area there are other
    areas in the state but our Utah
    beat out a similar area over in Fallon Nevada so we
    are going to be recipients of
    about 140 million dollar grant going through the
    University of Utah to do
    research on the geothermal potential in Utah. Excellent alright while we are
    out in that part of the state
    lets touch on Snake Valley water. That is one of my favorite
    things as a young county
    commissioner in 1989 I signed protests against southern valley
    water filing on the water in
    snake valley I was afraid it would damage Millard
    county where I was a county
    commissioner. I have been involved with this since
    1989 one of the great things
    legislature did they appropriated over 2 million
    dollars which geological survey
    has gone out and drilled a series of 22 well they are
    monitoring wells and springs out
    in snake valley to see what is happening right now with
    the current usage of water. I
    can tell you the water tables are going down and
    southern Nevada water has not
    even entered into the picture we are already
    using more water on our ranches
    and in our homes out in snake valley than is
    available. How are we going to fix that? The locals want to do is get the
    state engineer to start a water
    management plan and start limiting the use of
    water in the snake valley. Okay we need to talk about
    watershed restoration or we can
    talk about yurts in the state part. Those are my 2 favorite
    children. Our state parks are
    doing great our visitation is increasing by double digits
    every year we are planning on
    investing 19 million dollars of the money that we
    have earned at state parks next
    year to make them better. People want to bring
    their motorhomes they want water
    power and they want wifi we are going to try
    and make them all available. My
    favorite thing that we do in the state is improve
    water sheds. We have a great
    set of partners with BLM, forest service, sportsman
    groups and counties we go out
    reseed, replant the landscape into what should be
    growing there and we want
    healthy landscapes. We have touched on this for an
    entire half hour but that makes
    a significant change in ground water if you can get
    all those straws out of the
    ground. Absolutely remember the pinion
    and juniper and getting and
    aspen stand growing the aspen put 30 to 40 percent
    more water into the ground than
    pinion juniper which pump water out of the soil
    365 days a year and they kill
    off all the undergrowth. Okay you can go back to parks
    for one more minute, let’s talk
    about trail system for a second and finish the show on
    that. How active are we trying
    to make that off road expertise better in Utah? As you know we have folks
    dedicated to trails and parks
    not only for safety training getting our young people out
    safely on the trails teaching
    them how to use off road vehicles but we are maintain a
    list of the trails that are
    there that is an online list people can get access to to know
    where can I go ride where is a
    good safe place at which level of expertise and I
    think you have some new
    information that area that will help us to encourage people
    to be out having more
    experiences more times. There you go thanks for the plug
    that will be with At Your
    Leisure just keep watching this week. Mike thank
    you so much for taking the time
    appreciate it. Thank you for tuning in remember
    local government is where your
    life happens these issues that happen with
    DNR are probably the closest
    interface with our counties and we will see you
    next week on The County Seat.

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