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Op-Ed

Fred Weinberg: Let Me Tell You About My Trip Across America with My New Dog

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I interrupted my normal week last week to do a half a lap of America, and I’d like to share with you my impressions of something I have not done in a while.

A friend of a friend in Tulsa died some months ago, leaving behind a 108-pound mastiff-pit bull mix named Max. My friend knows that we lost our cowdog late last year (cancer) and for the first time in forever, we were a one-dog household. Our little girl pit bull missed her buddy and was moping around.

So, last Thursday, I got on a Southwest flight, connected in Denver and made my way to Tulsa, where I started my career owning radio stations and had not been back since my attorney’s funeral in 2004. The flights were uneventful except that I heard the word “mask” about 700 times, and the younger the gate agent, the more they said it.

Considering that the airline industry is the only one in which by federal diktat they have to explain to their customers how to buckle a seatbelt, I sort of understand the overstatement of customer stupidity. But I really think that once is enough.

Apparently, the drones at the FAA have adopted the Biden attitude that we’re all stupid. On the upside, Southwest has decided that a diet Coke during the flight won’t cause a planeload of COVID-19 and is back to serving soft drinks in addition to water. Thank you.

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I rented a car one-way in Tulsa from a Hertz subsidiary and drove over to meet Max.

Max was (and still is) by far the best part of the trip. Now I’m one of those people who came to the conclusion relatively early in my life it is much more than a coincidence that dog is God spelled backward. They are incredibly smart creatures who understand life better than most humans, and Max is no exception. As George Carlin once said, “life is a series of dogs.”

Max knew his life was about to change in a very positive way, and, as big and intimidating as he looks, he was just happy to be there.

He hopped into the car, sat down, pointed his very large nose west and said the canine equivalent of “let’s go.” So we did, with the exception of about six McDonald’s drive-thrus, a Motel 6 and an Extended Stay America.

I know that the pandemic has had an effect on the trucking industry, but I did not expect it to be as big as I saw.

I saw on both Interstate 70 and Interstate 80 truckers who not only should have their commercial drivers’ licenses revoked but maybe should be imprisoned before they kill somebody. I’m sorry, but 18-wheelers playing grab-ass with each other going up a hill while traffic builds behind them is not only against the law in most states but against the law with good reason.

They don’t seem to understand that, unlike most NASCAR tracks, there are no SAFER barriers on an interstate highway and very few of the drivers I saw are the reincarnation of Dale Earnhardt.

Keeping in mind that a fully loaded rig is 40 tons (that’s 80,000 pounds for those who aren’t math majors), do you want to be in the path of an out-of-control rig driven by someone who has little or no idea what he or she is doing?

Frankly, if the major trucking companies can’t take some of these clowns off the road, maybe we need to lean on the various highway patrols.

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One company that you probably don’t have to worry about is Walmart. It ranks as one of the highest payers and takes great pride in its safety record. But well-known companies are not always the safest.

Werner Enterprises – 960 collisions over a two-year period
Swift Transportation – 1,500 collisions
U.S. Xpress – 1,448 collisions

The data above is for 2019 and 2018.

The bottom line is that what I saw was purely anecdotal. But chilling nonetheless. Strange that we have liberal politicians bleating about “gun control” but their eyes glaze over when you ask them about commercial drivers’ license issues.

Also, if you see something stupid, don’t hesitate to call the cops.

Because beyond the dumb things we saw on the road, a half-lap of America is well worth the time. This is the same great country I grew up in, and, every so often, you need to experience it.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Fred Weinberg is the publisher of the Penny Press, an online publication based in Reno, Nevada (pennypressnv.com). He also is the CEO of the USA Radio Networks and several companies which own or operate radio stations throughout the United States. He has spent 53 years in journalism at every level from small town weekly newspapers to television networks. He can be reached at pennypresslv@gmail.com. You can subscribe, free, to the Penny Press weekly email on the website.




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