bookmark_borderPost-381: Southern California observations; Anaheim, Robber’s Peak, Orange

Nov. 2019: I passed through California for about five days.

(Observations about Southern California with pictures, and some springboarding off of them.)

Places I spent at least some time were: Van Nuys; the Santa Ana River trail in Orange County; Anaheim and “Anaheim Hills;” Orange (the city of); Santa Barbara. On a previous visit (late Aug. 2018), I went to Huntington Beach.

Leaving Southern California, north to Silicon Valley, I spent time in: San Jose; Palo Alto; the Stanford campus; Menlo Park; Redwood City. (Another post, maybe.)

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Friday early morning. I arrive at the airport from points east (Korea, by way of a long layover in Hawaii) and am soon on the bus to LA Union Station. Or am I? I am not. I got on the wrong bus. It was not labeled. It came to the place marked LA Union Station; I decide to take this new opportunity. and follow the shuttle bus where it goes. New destination: Van Nuys.

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bookmark_borderPost-380: Stonewall Jackson’s Way

Lee–Jackson Day in Virginia.

No doubt many are unaware of the Lee–Jackson Day holiday. The two sons of Virginia, Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, have birthdays about this time (Jan. 19 and Jan. 21, respectively), a coincidence which gave rise, a long time ago, to the holiday in Virginia. It remains in effect today, even if backed by no enormous media machine.

As for Stonewall Jackson, I can think of no better way to commemorate him than Stonewall Jackson’s Way, which is a song (below), but more a musical portrait.

It is a great piece of art in that it is an effective portrait of the general, his men, and the campaigning that brought fame and renown to both.

The song “Stonewall Jackson’s Way” was originally written in 1862 and appearing in poem form but also quickly becoming a hit song. The song’s composer was unknown for years. Testament to how alluring was the legend of Stonewall Jackson, by 1862, is the fact that an northern admirer had actually written the poem/song, a fact only finally revealed in the 1880s.

The version recorded by Bobby Horton in the 1980s is good (below); Horton rightly deserves his fame as a Civil War music interpreter/popularizer.

“Stonewall Jackson’s Way” Lyrics, as sung by Bobby Horton (below, a few more comments below on the figure of Jackson, and on my feelings on Lee–Jackson Day):

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bookmark_borderPost-379: “People Are Alike All Over”

I somehow ended up seeing the 1960 Twilight Zone episode, “People Are Alike All Over.”

Sometimes (always?) Twilight Zone episodes have some kind of moral lesson embedded in them. I would propose this one’s was:

You’re right to beware of strangers bearing gifts.

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bookmark_borderPost-378: Middle East intervention-addiction

(News, senior Iranian general killed in US airstrike.)

It looks like the inner circle of Washington power-players, who imagine themselves Great Game players in the Middle East, have either failed to make a New Decade’s Resolution to get off the intervention-addiction, or, if they did make such a resolution, have spectacularly failed to keep it for more than three days.

Killing a foreign general in peacetime. Not a good look.

Since my “current-events awareness” and political consciousness began to take shape in the 1990s, these kinds of interventions have been a constant. No matter who is in power, they always seem to happen; no matter what is said on the campaign trail, they always seem to happen.

The Iraq War of the 2000s, which drifted along for years after the March 2003 invasion (at enormous cost and with second-order effects generally recognized to be bad) was the most egregious case, but many others, large and small, fall into the same general category.

I have been against these interventions since 2002 while still a mid-teenager. What benefit they are to us, I do not see.

bookmark_borderPost-377: The 2020s as The Twenty-Twenties

Someone (A.R.) sent me a message saying

It’s the roaring 20s again! Quick, enjoy some alcohol before the economic collapse.

I predict people are going to use “the twenty-twenties” for the decade of the 2020s, and not “the twenties” (as for “the two-thousand[-and]-twenties,” No).

“The twenty-twenties” sounds sleek, futuristic. “The twenties” is already taken. The foregoing reasons are compelling and lead me to the conclusion that “the Twenty-Twenties” is the one.

Also this. Scholars believe Jesus was born in 5 BC, in which case our year “2020” into the 2,025th year anno domini. The number sticklers would say we’re already down to a mere four years , 11 months and some days left in the true “2020s.”

bookmark_borderPost-376: On “electoral tipping points”: 1618 (the trigger for the Thirty Years War) and the present

New Year’s Day 2020.

For reasons I don’t know, I began to re-read the classic history of the Thirty Years War by C. V. Wedgwood. In it I was reminded of a political point about that war I had forgotten, and one similar to one the US may be, today, at the cusp of.

The crisis began in 1618 because of an electoral tipping point.

There are fairly direct parallels between the Thirty Years War origin and the US institutions of the electoral college system and the nine-member Supreme Court system (see below) and fears about the ‘flipping’ thereof.

The Holy Roman Empire, a nominal political arrangement encompassing most of central Europe for most of the second millennium AD and ruled (in theory if not practice) by an emperor of the Hapsburg Dynasty for much of that time, had seven “electors” (Kurfürsten). These were seven seats which held the right to cast one vote for emperor when the need arose.

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