Photography Photoshop

More on Neural Filters

This photo is from the New York Public Library Digital collection.

Here’s the original.

Here’s what a one click colorization produced in Photoshop.

Now, one click on “Auto” using the curve controls for an image.

Quite amazing.

art Photography Photoshop Uncategorized

An Amazing Development With Photoshop

Amazing development with PhotoshopCC. Adobe is introducing a number of so called neural filters which in this case colorizes black and white photographs. Amazing. I think some of the processing is done in the cloud,, however, you do have to download some additional software to add onto Photoshop. A Photoshop subscription has always been an expensive one, however, it may now be worth it to me. (After all these years!)

I continue to experiment but the second image was done with just one click and no adjustment of settings. I am using a free image from the Library of Congress as an example, I don’t want to get into a discussion of changing the historical record. As I see it, a digital library may want to offer colorized version just as addition. Many people dismiss important photos simply because they don’t like black and white. Well, do we have your attention now?

“Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives”

“Grand Coulee Dam, Columbia Basin Reclamation Project. The east face of block 31 with a portion of the deep crevice shown in the foreground showing the high trestle, elev. 1028, high pour in center of picture at elev. 915; bottom of crevice at elev. 795; and deck of low trestle at elev. 950.”


A little more artistic photo from the 1970s. Photographer unknown. Low res internet version of a publicity still.

Alas, brown hair was only revealed on the left side. More tweaking needed.

free speech non-fiction writing politically correct revising writing Thoughts on writing Uncategorized

As Long As a Free Man Breathes There Will Always Be a Rhodesia

Updated September 22, 2021

As Long As a Free Man Breathes There Will Always Be a Rhodesia

When I was growing up I admired plucky little Rhodesia from afar. It is now called Zimbabwe. Like the Weimar Republic or perhaps Camelot, it lives only in memory and myth.

Rhodesia was a colony of the United Kingdom in the 1960s until it broke away to form an independent nation. It became a pariah state like Chile under Allende or Israel under anybody.

Everybody hated Rhodesia. Why?

It had white supremacists. Racial injustice. Continuation of colonial rule. Blah, blah, blah.

Rhodesia’s origins go back as far as the 1650s with the establishment of Cape Town by the Dutch. And then the subsequent settling of southeast Africa by these people and other Europeans.

The native people of this thinly populated land were nomadic and for the most part hunters and gatherers. They built little in keeping with their constant hunt for food. All sub-Saharan Africa was this way, with no buildings of note in pre-Colonial times until you reached north to Giza and the Pyramids.

Rhodesians turned tractless scrub and veldt into a modern civilization which superpowers and future despots coveted for their own.

In the 1970’s two thugs named Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo led armies against Ian Smith’s government. Mugabe had money and munitions supplied by China and Nkomo was financed by the Soviet Union.

Everyone knew that both men would fight each other to control Rhodesia once whites were thrown out of power.

This racial injustice stuff was all nonsense and fraud.

The fighting was a power grab, a money grab. It was all about winning a nation possessing valuable natural resources and a vibrant, profitable economy. Mugabe and Nkomo claimed to be freedom fighters. Hardly.

Africa consistently produces oppressive and brutal strongmen who destroy any built up economy through corruption and in so doing plunge that country back into poverty. A nation’s treasury winds up in a Swiss bank account and the dictator goes to live abroad in a foreign country that he pays to protect him.

Critics charged that the black man did not fairly share in the wealth of Rhodesia that they helped create. Rhodesia was indeed largely built on the labor of the black man because they were the local work force. Would critics have preferred a Philippine or Malaysian workforce like the Saudis employ?

Besides enjoying regular employment, blacks were paid better than any other Africans except those in the R.S.A. Another country run by white folk.

But it’s not just labor. A country must be expertly managed and led. The administrators of all British Empire colonies, for example, had a low tolerance for bribes and corruption and an innate skill for running things. The Rhodesians also had these qualities which are essential to building up a country and going forward.

After the Roman Empire fell, villagers in every part of the former holdings tore down Roman walls and and buildings for stones to make their houses. They didn’t construct aqueducts or hot spring heated swimming pools or infrastructure to bring in water or take out sewage. No vision and no discipline existed to carry out the future and Europe plunged into the Dark Ages. But I digress.

The world agreed regime change was fine as long as blacks came into power. This was reverse racism endorsed and agreed upon by the entire world and the United Nations. Black man good, white man bad. All based on skin color.

China and Russia acted for their own strategic reasons. Rhodesia was just another piece in a giant cold-war game of chess. China still has their eyes on Africa. They may eventually control the continent with blacks in government just for show.

The Rhodesian Army gallantly fought against the world in a bush war of legend but the outcome was always certain.

Many foreigners enlisted in the Rhodesian army. Like the pilots who volunteered to help Great Britain before the United States entered World War II. Or like Orwell and others who fought with Spaniards against Franco in the Spanish Civil War.

End of Days found civilians taking automatic weapons with them before going to play golf or tennis. It was that bad.

And so The Great Experiment failed and another despot was installed. Another dictator who ruined everything positive that the former colonial power had brought about. Rhodesia is now a basket case and another welfare child nation of too many in Africa. Worse, it enslaves people and subjects its own countrymen to conditions never seen under white man rule.

This is from from the widely respected World Factbook (external link):

“Current situation: Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Zimbabwean women and girls from towns bordering South Africa, Mozambique, and Zambia are subjected to forced labor, including domestic servitude, and prostitution catering to long-distance truck drivers; Zimbabwean men, women, and children experience forced labor in agriculture and domestic servitude in rural areas; family members may recruit children and other relatives from rural areas with promises of work or education in cities and towns where they end up in domestic servitude and sex trafficking; Zimbabwean women and men are lured into exploitative labor situations in South Africa and other neighboring countries.”

It didn’t have to be this way.

Europeans were criticized for carving Africa into colonies whose country boundaries did not reflect tribal boundaries, thus causing chaos and inciting misery. Well, white governance is long gone and the murderous thugs who control many parts of Africa don’t care about boundaries.

The World Factbook quotation above shows how freely human trafficking goes on between Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, and Zambia. These slave traders go anywhere they want to loot and pillage and war. Against other blacks.

Black on black violence has dramatically increased in all forms since white governance ended on the African continent. Blacks enslaving blacks, blacks killing blacks, blacks warring against other blacks. This isn’t racist invective, these are just the plain facts.

Rhodesia was making progress toward a more equal society but that is not discussed today. History is always written by the victors. (And their politically correct sympathizers.)

Gandhi’s nonviolence movement achieved independence for India because, ultimately, the British were a civilized people and would listen to reason. It wasn’t the power of Gandhi’s convictions. Forget that. After too many stupid and tragic mistakes to keep India within the Empire, Britain listened. Mountbatten could be talked to. Negotiations could happen because the British allowed them to happen.

Not so the Taliban, the Chinese communists or the illiterate and ultra-violent butchers that now control Rhodesia. Working toward equality could have been possible under Smith’s government but that was all thrown away in favor of people who would kill you for your wrist watch. After they force you to watch your wife being raped.

Is the black community in America and around the world happy now?

Cecil Rhodes was scurrilous and a white supremacist but he was also an empire builder. Note the word ‘build.” He left behind cities and roads and power plants and telephones in the wake of his never ending greed.

Nothing is getting built anew or maintained in Africa anymore. Leaders instead prey on their own people and existing resources. Burn down the Amazon rain forest for easy money. With no revegetation except a few pitiful replanting schemes financed by kind hearted people outside of Africa.

White rule was unacceptable to the world but it’s always good with the bad. Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) once asked how many Central and South Americans would renounce Roman Catholicism in favor of going back to the religions practiced before the Spanish introduced them to Christ and the Pope. I’m not seeing many hands going up.

Soldier of Fortune Magazine presented the only accurate reporting at the time and most of that writing is still available on eBay. Colonel Brown’s Paladin Press produced SOF and without it the memories of a gallant people fighting for their homeland would be completely lost.

As a final note, I had to look up how to spell Zimbabwe for this post. I don’t use it.

As long as a free man breathes there will always be a Rhodesia.


art Poetry Uncategorized

Hear Me My Chiefs! I Am Tired

The Surrender Speech of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce in 1877

Chief Joseph (1840 -1904)

“I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead. Toohoolhoolzote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say, ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ He who led the young men [Olikut] is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are — perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.”


The Media Still Doesn’t Get It

The Media Still Doesn’t Get it

“They’ll be no shelter here. The front line is everywhere.” RAM

It took six months for Joe Biden to condemn Antifa after they and related groups had rampaged and rioted across America following George Flyod’s death on May 25, 2020. Yet it took only an hour for him to condemn the actions of the protestors who took over the Capitol building today.

As far as I can tell, Biden first condemned Antifa by name on September 7, 2020.(external link to Reuters) In the months before, a few weakly put sentences against violence in general were all Biden had to say. What leadership.

The hypocrisy is disgusting and telling. We are all hypocrites at some time. But we don’t coistrol people’s lives like politicians do.

Biden cares more about a single building than the thousands of businesses and homes that burned to the ground following violent protests that truly threatened our democracy. Entire cities burned night after night last summer. This single act today was no different than the years of occupations and sit-ins that happened in the 1960s.

(The tragic death of an unarmed Trump supporter occurred at the hands of security. There are no reports that any protestor brandished or used a gun.)

Many old guard Democrats in power today were student protestors during that era.

Back in the 1960s, the media condoned the activities of the SDS, the Weathermen, and the Chicago 7 because their cause was their cause. The same is true today with socialists like Biden and Pelosi.

Tom Hayden became a successful politician and Angela Davis became a celebrity.A recent TV production glorified the Chicago 7. The press at the time also tolerated the sometimes weeks long takeovers of government buildings and properties. Remember Alcatraz?

I’m here in Pahrump, Nevada. Trump country. The media isn’t going to tell me or people like me to stand down when they and their socialist brethren ignore the true terror caused in our country by Antifa related groups and organizations like Black Lives Matter. Burn. Loot. Murder. Defund the police?

This is the first large scale action that has turned violent by Trump supporters. Compare that to the rampaging, looting protests that have gone on since last year. Anarchists and such are still rioting nightly in Portland.

The media is shocked. I’m not.

art books free speech non-fiction writing organizing writing Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing by others

Bots Censoring Even Storied, Factual Magazines

Few history magazines are more well respected than American Heritage. Its scholarship, impartiality, and stable of great writers have proven its worth over more than a half century in print and online.

Today, mindless bots and algorithms are now attacking the most mainstream of mainstream publications, censoring writing simply because certain keywords appear. A bot does not and cannot understand context.

Fine articles and reading may never appear in front of you because of these bots. If they can censor American Heritage, then no title or writer is safe.

Stop the Censorship of Mainstream Publications

Edwin S. Grosvenor
November 2020

We urge Congress to investigate the predatory practices of Facebook and Google.
Americans now average more than two hours a day on social media. And given the lack of knowledge about American history among too many of our citizens, it is imperative that American Heritage provide trusted information about our country on social media.

Our shared heritage is what makes us Americans — but companies like Facebook and Google make it difficult and expensive to disseminate trusted information.

Facebook forces us to pay to have our posts seen by more than a handful of people. But these paid “boosts” of our content are often blocked by lifeless algorithms or “reviewers” who apparently have no idea what our articles are about.

Here are some of the American Heritage posts that Facebook has rejected for being too political in the last few months:

Michael Beschloss on the first U.S. Presidents he remembered seeing and the dramatic surge in presidential authority that began in 1933.

Sergei Khruschev’s memories of JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis from the Soviet perspective.

Susan Eisenhower on Ike’s efforts to balance the Supreme Court by adding a justice of the opposing party.

New evidence about Castro’s possible advance knowledge of Oswald’s plans to murder Pres. Kennedy.

Larry Tye on the first look inside Sen. Joe McCarthy’s secret files.

Ray Locker on newly released files indicating Al Haig secretly worked to have Richard Nixon ousted as President.

Our editorial lamenting vandalism of the statues of Marquis de Lafayette and other patriots.

What idiot can’t tell the difference between this content and disinformation produced by a Russian troll farm?

Google is little better. We have gotten a notice EVERY DAY from them saying we are in violation of their standards since we published Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joe Ellis’s brilliant essay on Antonin Scalia’s argument on the 2nd Amendment case, DC v Heller.

The ironic thing is the 400 or so emails Google has sent us about this violation do not say what the violation actually is or how to fix it – just that a page at our website of 50,000 pages is in violation.

To add injury to insult, over the last three years Facebook and Google have siphoned off virtually all website ad revenue from traditional publications such as American Heritage, leaving us with nothing but ugly intrusive ads that bring in pennies of revenue.

It is time to stop the predatory practices that are doing real damage to legitimate, trusted publications. We desperately need an electorate that has access to quality education, not just funny videos.

Stop blocking trusted content from getting to readers who want it and need it. (external link)


Uncategorized video

Huff and Puff

What are people talking about when they say a steam engine huffs and puffs? I think my video here is a great demonstration of huffing and puffing. It sounds like the locomotive is actually breathing. Which, in a mechanical way, it is.

Watch the entire video. The volume is good. As the conductor is pulling into the Virginia City station, you can hear the engine slow down and the locomotive truly huffing and puffing.

Find better huffing and puffing. I defy you.

I shot this back in 2015 in Virginia City, Nevada (external link) and have just placed it into the public domain at Wikimedia Commons.

Bonus footage! Notice how little this locomotive huffs and puffs compared to the one at Virginia City. Must be the altitude.
Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley

books Magazine article non-fiction writing organizing writing Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing by others

American Heritage is Alive Online and Ongoing

More great history from American Heritage, a lay publication written for decades by famous, notable historians. I never got into this title but I did have three articles published in their sister magazine, Invention & Technology. Which is still going, too, in fact, I think they have some of my articles archived (external link) although without the original illustrations and photographs.

This is from Edwin Grosvenor, a fine fellow who has tirelessly led the fight to keep AH going. I worked with him and his team on my articles and he is a good egg.

February 22, 2020

Here’s another batch of essays we’ve just added to our 70th Anniversary issue, in which we are asking 25 leading historians to answer the question, “What made America great?”

Please share this special issue with friends, on Facebook or other media. We need your help to let people know that American Heritage, an important intellectual legacy for our nation, is active and growing again!.

John Marshall Saves the Republic, by Harlow Giles Unger
Our greatest Chief Justice defined the Constitution and ensured that the rule of law prevailed at a time of Presidential overreach and bitter political factionalism.

Harriett Beecher Stowe and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by David S. Reynolds
Her novel helped to end slavery and proved that Lincoln was right when he said, “Whoever can change public opinion can change the government.”

The Woman Who Said “No” To McCarthy, by Bruce Watson
Republican Sen. Margaret Chase Smith was the first in Congress to stand up to the bullying of Joe McCarthy.

Ride Sally Ride, by Rachel Swaby
The first American woman in space inspired thousands of girls to dream of a career in science.

Venture Capital Builds Our Modern World, by Tom Nicholas
The American method of high-risk, potentially high-reward investments has fueled innovation from New England whaling ventures to Silicon Valley start-ups such as Apple, Intel, Cisco, and Google.

If you have comments or a Letter to the Editor, please email me.


Edwin S. Grosvenor, President and Editor
American Heritage Publishing
Follow me on Instagram: tgfarley

Thoughts on writing Uncategorized Writing by others Writing tips

After The Gold Rush

Since Twain’s death, only Hunter Thompson occasionally matched that great writer’s vigor. But Twain wrote this stuff routinely, spending an entire career blurring and combining pomposity, exaggeration, and the truth. This was Twain observing the wrecked landscape of California after the Gold Rush of 1849, reflecting on the men who did it:

“It was a driving, vigorous, restless population in those days. It was a curious population. It was the only population of the kind that the world has ever seen gathered together, and it is not likely that the world will ever see its like again. For observe, it was an assemblage of two hundred thousand young men—not simpering, dainty, kid-gloved weaklings, but stalwart, muscular, dauntless young braves, brimful of push and energy, and royally endowed with every attribute that goes to make up a peerless and magnificent manhood—the very pick and choice of the world’s glorious ones. No women, no children, no gray and stooping veterans,—none but erect, bright-eyed, quick-moving, strong-handed young giants—the strangest population, the finest population, the most gallant host that ever trooped down the startled solitudes of an unpeopled land. And where are they now? Scattered to the ends of the earth—or prematurely aged and decrepit—or shot or stabbed in street affrays—or dead of disappointed hopes and broken hearts—all gone, or nearly all—victims devoted upon the altar of the golden calf—the noblest holocaust that ever wafted its sacrificial incense heavenward. It is pitiful to think upon.” 

– Mark Twain, Roughing It (1872)

A free read here: (external link)


Another Book Proposal and The Benefits of a Short Query

Before you get bogged down in a lengthy book proposal, send a few paragraphs to the editor instead. It could save you a great deal of time. Here’s three paragraphs I sent to a University Press editor and his response.

By way of background, I am fascinated by historical markers and I always pick up books on them when I find them. Most of these titles run into several printings over the years. Nowadays, states have online resources documenting their markers but having a book in the car while traveling is convenient and browsing at home is always fun.

As to this short query, there is a non-governmental group in the West that has been putting up markers for decades. I was dumfounded the editor, whose press deals mainly with history, hadn’t even heard of this group. But I got my answer quickly, saving us both time.

My short query:

I think there is a book waiting to be written on E Clampus Vitus. I run into more of their historical monuments than the “official” ones put up by California or Nevada. They commemorate everything from mining districts to saloons to brothels, presenting an alternative history not matched by their state sponsored peers. And all seem carefully researched., if you search for “Clampus” suggest there are more than 600 monuments now scattered throughout California, Nevada, and points beyond. I’ve included some text below from Waymarking. The last book detailing these monuments seems to have been written in 1980 to honor their first fifty years of installing these plaques.

A secretive group, except when they throw wild parties in public, the Clampers might be an interesting body to research, possibly for the first time in the traditional press, relating their history, their work as a renegade historical society, and their compulsion for monument building. Again, I am writing out loud. I’d probably have to somehow become a Clamper to write about it.

His response:

Interesting idea but I don’t think it would be right for the Press.  I’d never heard of E Clampus Vitus, and now having read their Wikipedia page I still don’t have any sense really of what they are or why they matter outside of an excuse to party and put up an occasional plaque here or there.  I can imagine a really interesting human interest piece of long-form journalism running in a magazine, but I don’t see enough for a book, and I’m struggling to imagine the audience for such a book.  Also the very practical question of access which you raise!