We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's worth mentioning that the deserts of the world were not always deserts. Sometimes land will become a desert for natural reasons; but often it's the result of human abuse. People overgraze or over-till the land, resulting in a catastrophe. In America, we had the dustbowl.
There's a pretty good chance that the American "breadbasket" will become a desert. It's being massively over-tilled. But Washington D.C. and the Department of Agriculture are totally corrupt organizations. They are incapable of responsible conduct. For them, it's all about the Benjamin's.
Not only is the land in America being abused, but the land in Africa is also. Over the last three hundred years, the Maasai have dramatically increased their herds of cattle. Those cattle are now denuding millions of acres of African savannah. So the only answer is to shut-down America's corporate farms before they destroy the land. And to shoot all of the Maasai cattle.
The company man [oil company rep] on a rig in the Guatemalan jungle had worked in Libya. He told me that getting to a drilling site in the Libyan desert had its challenges. You drove several hundred miles south with no paved roads to get to the drilling sites. Though come to think of it, why weren't there helicopters out to the drilling sites? Maybe he was talking about driving out with all the equipment, rig and all, to set up the drill site.
These days, geo-navigation tools make it a lot easier.
I'd long dreamed of transiting north Africa by land west to east from Marrakesh to Alexandria, and with the post-2nd-Gulf-war moderation of Gaddafi it was beginning to look like that sort of trip might be practical. The so-called "Arab Spring" certainly messed that up, and the negative consequences of the unrest still resonate throughout the region.
I spent quite a bit of time in Tunisia, and they have a deep abiding contempt for Libyans. But the geography is very similar; Arid, lots of almond and olive trees (some extremely old) and the Roman ruins. I had an old Roman bath quite close to my office in an undeveloped area, there was a fragment of Roman road nearby and the baths, with their clay piping and beautiful mosaics were still surprisingly intact - and completely out in the open, unfenced, unposted. I would sometimes go there just to walk around and reflect.
In El Gem there is a Roman coliseum that is almost completely open, in much better condition than the one in Rome, I would say. The Nazis used it as officer's quarters during WWII, apparently because they knew the allies never bombed antiquities. We drilled off a couple of small offshore islands and there was an old Turkish fort there, also in remarkably sound condition. It really is humbling being around history on that scale, and recognizing that most of the people around you probably know less about the actual history, but are influenced by it to a much greater degree than you are.