California Dreaming

My daughter and I and Wee Jamie the Wonder Grandson had to make a flying visit out to California all last week. Family reasons – my mother asked to see the three of us. She is in her nineties, bedridden and failing; this was the first time that she had asked to see us. We knew it would be the last, so we dropped everything, packed Thing the Versa and hit the road on Memorial Day for the twenty-hour-long drive, rather dreading everything that we might encounter when we got there. Not just the personal – but dreading encounters with the progressively-inclined and everything else which has come about in the nearly half-century since I upped sticks and left California behind for the military and then retirement in Texas.

Read more

Poor Mexico …

… so far from God, so close to the United States, went the comment attributed to one of their presidents. Mexico was very close to us, when I was growing up in suburban Los Angeles in the 1960s and early 70s. My elementary school had us study Mexican history in the 6th grade – if I remember correctly, that was part of the unified school district curriculum. We did a field trip to Olvera St., in the old part of downtown, at least three of the old Spanish missions were within a short drive from our various homes, and we weren’t allowed to forget that Los Angeles itself had Spanish origins and Mexican governance for decades before American statehood. For Southern California, Mexico was just a hop, skip, and a jump away – just as it is for South Texas.

Read more

“Comedian Jon Stewart says Apple asked him not to interview FTC Chair Lina Khan”

CNBC:

Stewart asked Khan why the company might be “afraid” to have certain conversations out in public. Khan said it “shows one of the dangers of what happens when you concentrate so much power and so much decision-making in a small number of companies.”

An alternative explanation might be that it shows what happens when you concentrate so much power and so much decision-making in a small number of government officials.

Fever

A fever, so the doctors and medical experts tell us, is a symptom of a deeper issue; an illness which most often is a mild and fleeting thing. And then, there is the serious and life-threatening fever – in either case, a fever is a way of telling us that something is wrong, and we’d best pay attention.

Just such an indication in the body politic is the occurrence of vigilante groups – a kind of civic fever, an indication that civic adjudication – the administration of justice in the case of offenses against law and order to the satisfaction of those offended by crime – has become seriously out of whack. It is a purely human drive; if one has been harmed by the unlawful actions of another, one would prefer to be assured that justice has been served – and if not made whole again, at the very least satisfied that the offender has been properly chastised for their offense.

Read more