World Weather Craziness

Only Drudge still says Global Warming instead of Climate Change but even that we gotta rebrand as Worldwide Weather Craziness.  Unless you live in like Hawaii “climate change” sounds too good!


Fitful sleep on the moon

source. Photographer: Neil Armstrong.

After our heroes walked around for two hours, it was time for a restful nap on the surface of the Moon.

from:

About Deke:

One reason why the moon landing is so compelling is that it was pointless.  Sure, the Cold War blah blah but really we did it just because it was cool.

Like climbing Mount Everest: the point is just to see if we (humans) can.

Imagine sleeping in this thing:

Where is the capsule now?  Crashed on the moon someplace.

The fate of the LM is not known, but it is assumed that it crashed into the lunar surface sometime within the following 1 to 4 months.

 


Mattis interviewed by a high schooler

Mercer Island by Wiki user Dllu

In a photo published alongside this article by The Washington Post on May 11, Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, could be seen carrying a stack of papers with a yellow sticky note stuck on the top. Written on it, in black ink, was the name “Jim ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis” and a phone number.

A high school student in Mercer Island, Washington, followed up and asked Secretary of Defense Mattis for an interview, which you can find here.

TEDDY: Out of thousands of calls, why did you respond to this one?

MATTIS: You left a message there and I was going through listening to the messages and deleting them. But you’re from Washington state. I grew up in Washington state on the other side of the mountains there on the Columbia River. I just thought I’d give you a call.

State Dept photo, source

Hard not to find Mattis a pretty compelling American character, imo.

On the education, I sometimes wonder how much better the world would be if we funded for nations where they have ideology problems, where the ideologies are hateful, full of hatred. I wonder what would happen if we turned around and we helped pay for high school students, a boy and girl at each high school in that country to come to America for one year and don’t do it just once, but do it ten years in a row. Every high school whether it be in Afghanistan or Syria or wherever, would send one boy and one girl for one year to Mercer island or to Topeka, Kansas or wherever.

It wouldn’t cost that much if you had sponsoring families that would take them in. Most American families are very generous, unless they’ve lived in places where they’ve adopted kind of a selfish style. But, that’s only a few pockets of the country that really have that bad. Although they’re big pockets in terms of population, most of the country is not like that. I bet we could do that.

Where is he talking about?  Name names!

Could he be talking about New York City, where the President, a notably non-generous person, comes from?

Later, Mattis gives advice on how to avoid the psychiatrist:

TEDDY: Any advice for graduating seniors?

MATTIS: I would just tell you that there’s all sorts of people that are going to give you advice and you should listen to the people you respect, but I think if you guide yourself by putting others first, by trying to serve others, whether it be in your family, in your school, in your church or synagogue or mosque or wherever you get your spiritual strength from, you can help your state, you can help your country, if you can help the larger community in the world, you won’t be lying on a psychiatrist’s couch when you’re 45-years-old wondering what you did with your life.

Go out of your way. Not everyone has to join the military, it’s not for everyone. For one thing it’s scary as all get out at times, but whether it be the Peace Corp or the Marine Corps, whether it be serving on your local school board when you’re still not even 30-years-old, by running for office and trying to get a good education for the kids in your community, just try to put others first and it will pay back in so many ways that you’d be a lot happier in life. So just look for ways to help others all the way along, Teddy, and you’ll never go far wrong if you’re always looking to do that. You won’t get all caught up in your own problems if you’re out helping others overcome theirs.


Happy birthday America

Check out this letter Abigail Adams sent to her son, John Quincy Adams, when he was ELEVEN:

(Funny to read that as I sit here at what could be described as a literal Pacific station)

That is from:

which is a collection of David McCullough’s speeches.

Many of the speeches were given in the triumphant mid-late-1990s, when History was ending and it was easy to be fooled into thinking it was one long hike to the sunny meadows where we would now reside forever.

In that context this book can be almost painful to read.

Here, for example, McCullough talks about the history of the White House:

If there’s a single American out there who wants to claim the current occupant is either wise or honest, would love to have you on Great Debates.

After McCullough wrote a book about the Johnstown Flood, it was suggested he write about other disasters.  He didn’t.  He didn’t want to be “bad news McCullough,” he says.

We need more McCulloughism.

Unless you’re a McCullough completist I’d suggest bypassing The American Spirit and going instead to:

 


A Norm gem from the Bookbinder

always such excellent dispatches over there


Us vs Them

This NRA ad is so twisted and vicious that I hate to sully Helytimes with it.  You don’t have to watch it, I will tell you the key parts.

From the woman’s tone to the images it is so intense, so designed to provoke fear and anger.

Imagine something less helpful than showing this to a fearful person or a deranged person who also owned a gun.

I learned a tiny bit about the woman in the ad and I don’t want to ever think about her again.

I do want to examine the use of the words “us” and “them” in the ad.

Sometimes I felt frustrated by the attempt to over-explain Trump’s popularity as just racism because I felt that like while racism was absolutely in the mix, that wasn’t a big enough word.  What I really heard was something like “themism.”

Themism

It was obvious to anyone I talked to at Trump’s rally or the RNC that I was a “them” even though I felt like we were and could be and should be an “us.”

Who is them and who is us?

In the first twenty seconds of this ad, you hear about how “they use”:

  • “their media”
  • “their schools”
  • “their movies stars
  • their singers
  • their comedy shows
  • their awards shows”

(with lots of exterior shots of LA, by the way, including Disney Hall)

  • “their ex-president”

As a media-working school-liking person who works on a comedy show in LA who loves and gave money to my ex-president, I am obviously a them.

What the hell?  I want to be an us!

I am an us!

Who is the us, according to the ad?

Well, against the them is:

  • “the law-abiding”

Me, definitely, I love the law, some of the people closest to me are professional law enforcers.

  • “the police”

Same, I love one police in my own life and like the police in general.

So, I am also an us.

Right?

Can I be an us and a them?

What kind of wicked, nasty person would try and drive us apart like that?  What sinister agenda would be behind that?

Anyone trying to divide us is wicked.

Which is better:  united or divided?

Uniter or divider?

Everyone knows the answer to that.  This is the United States.

If you are trying to divide, if you are sowing division, you doing wickedness.  This is simple.

This ad is some kind of vicious dog-whistle designed make some loose category of people who feel angry and put upon and threatened feel more angry, put upon, and threatened.  This ad uses the language of violence to suggest channeling those feelings into violence.

In this world you will see so much wickedness that you can’t possibly handle it all but somehow this one got to me.

Part of what makes me made is that a club for people who like shooting guns could be so positive.  Lots of people in this country have guns because they like hunting or because guns are exciting.  What if they were in a club that made them feel proud and noble instead of vicious and afraid?

The language about the “well-regulated militia” in the Second Amendment is so important. Adding those words was not an accident.  The Founders didn’t want every gun-haver running around on his own kick deciding who to blast away.  Read

or

A militia was a community.  It brought people together.  And it was a responsibility.  To call this NRA video irresponsible is a wild understatement.

I suspect I have no more than two Helytimes readers who are in the NRA.  There has to be a faction of the NRA that can see how wrong this ad is, how destructive.  I could be wrong but my guess is this strategy of marketing for the NRA will not be successful.

My purpose in writing this was just to bore down and clarify mostly for myself what is so wrong and wicked about this ad and what larger principle that leads us to.

Also to shine a light on why the message is not just wicked but un-American.

A Smaller Thing That Made Me Mad From This Ad

:16

“make them march, make them protest”

let’s pause here and remember you can say whatever the hell you want about movie stars and comedy shows but marching and protesting in American history is maybe not all the time but by an overwhelming margin a pretty darn heroic and positive thing in American history.

A Leonard Freed Magnum photo from the 1963 March on Washington. Am I allowed to use this? Maybe not technically but is it ok because I direct you to the source? Hmm am I as law-abiding as I thought?

the ad is ignorant as well as wicked, the two often go hand in hand.

 


Tranquility Base

photo credit: Neil Armstong

The same society that was doing Vietnam, at the same time, did this.

During training, Armstrong and Aldrin had exclusively used the callsign “Eagle” in simulated ground conversations, both before and after landing. Armstrong and Aldrin decided on using “Tranquility Base” just before the flight, telling only Capsule Communicator Charles Duke before the mission, so Duke would not be taken by surprise.

We came in peace for all mankind.

Wild.  America: a land of contrasts.