Monday, January 26, 2009

It Rains In Southern California

It's sleeting in Alpine. It rained on the coast. Climate change is spooky. Just yesterday it was sunny and hot enough to sweat if you tried. Local news spokes-model man thinks it is because people use plastic bags. He struck a contemplative and thoughtful pose, so he probably knows. "Why aren't people taking global warming seriously?", he asked after his plastic bag tirade.

In considering the various slogans that have stood over time, I find that many of them really mean nothing. I've concluded that Obama's "Yes we can", applied in contexts other than I think were intended, is about as good as any. Better than most. "I have not yet begun to fight!!" is probably the best and most inspirational.

Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country", is basic nonsense, unless you live in a slave state. I'd not encourage anyone to ask either of those things. What does "do for your country" mean, except in times of disaster or war? Considering that the draft was in play, and withholding money from income was already being done, I don't think asking questions made a difference. Considering the source and context---president of the government's inaugural address, I believe it implies, "Ask what you can do for your government; the military-industrial complex".

If you are honest and trade fair, without extorting from the people, as government and many of its contractors do, then you are doing plenty for your country. Keeping Walgreen's open 24 hours is a good example of doing for your country, in my book.

The other line in his speech which recommends other countries "ask not what America will do for you, but what together, we can do for the freedom of man"*, has a bit more substance. Unfortunately the very term "freedom" has experienced some dilution in meaning and application over the years. It was already used in a twisted sense by the time JFK hit the scene. Too bad.
(*universal pronouns were still intact at that time--women weren't being left out in that statement)

Once again, it has snowed on hwy S2 by Mt Leguna. That's where the daredevil hang gliders launch. One of these days...

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


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