The Major, a very large U.S. flag made in honor of Maj. Brent R. Taylor, Mayor of North Ogden, Utah, killed in action in Afghanistan in 2018. The flag flew at the mouth of Coldwater Canyon. The flag is a quarter-acre in size, more than 100 feet on the longest side. North Ogden plans an annual celebration of the U.S. flag in early November. Photo by Ben Dorger, for the Ogden Standard-Examiner newspaper.
Running late. November flies by!
Eight events spread over seven different days come with urgings to fly the U.S. flag in November: Six states celebrate statehood, Veterans Day falls as always on November 11, and Thanksgiving Day on November 28.
Did I say eight? Elections are dates to fly the flag, and several states have “off-year” elections. You may fly your flag at home on election day, too. (Yes, flags should be flown at all early polling places, on days of early voting, too — do you know of poll where that did not occur? Tell us in comments.)
Two states, North Dakota and South Dakota, celebrate their statehood on the same date. Washington’s statehood day falls on Veterans Day, November 11 — so there are only seven days covering nine events.
In calendar order for 2019, these are the seven days:
North Dakota statehood day, November 2 (1889, 39th or 40th state)
South Dakota statehood day, November 2 (1889, 39th or 40th state) (shared with North Dakota)
Election day, November 5 (several states) — Go vote!
Montana statehood day, November 8 (1889, 41st state)
Veterans Day, November 11
Washington statehood day, November 11 (1889, 42nd state) (shared with Veterans Day)
Oklahoma statehood day, November 16 (1907, 46th state)
North Carolina statehood day, November 21 (1789, 12th state)
Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November (November 28 in 2018)
Most Americans will concern themselves only with Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day. Is flying the U.S. flag for statehood day a dying tradition?
NowThis runs compelling video on FaceBook, but just try to find that video on their YouTube channel or website to share.
This one will have to do. It makes the point.
California’s wildfires, growing steadily worse, rapidly, demonstrate problems of global heating/climate change that we need to solve, but which offer lots of bad arguments for Do Nothings and Climate Dismissives.
Here’s the problem in a nutshell, explained in this video: Rain patterns changed. California now gets massive rains in the spring, which drive overgrowth of grasses, quick-growing shrubs and other fire-prone plants.
Then the rains stop. Hotter summers and autumns dry out the new growth, creating explosive fuel for a fire.
So when a fire starts, it’s difficult-to-impossible to control.
Do Nothings argue that rain totals haven’t dropped, or maybe have increased, so drought fears are not warranted — though the summer without rain drives soil water levels into drought.
Then, they argue that the problem is environmentalists won’t let foresters clean understory dry wood and other fuels to prevent fires. That’s a whole cloth fabrication — reality is that federal budget cuts over the past 20 years leave the U.S. Forest Service unable to do significant brush clearing.
Then, Do Nothings argue that the problem is Caliornians build too many homes, and too many homes in near-wild areas.
In short, it’s always the fault of a “librul Californian,” with no causation left over for global warming.
Plagued by historically harsh winds, California has been hit with an onslaught of wildfires—the newest of which has broken out near the famed Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It joins several other fires burning across the state, including the Oak Fire in Calabasas, the Tick Fire in Southern California and the massive Kincade Fire in Northern California.
Last night, the Kincade Fire was still burning out of control in its fifth day, dropping from 10% containment to 5% due to hurricane-force winds and dry conditions that have allowed it to spread and made it difficult to control. There have been 200,000 evacuations in Sonoma County because of the fire, and it is expected to burn for another week and a half with no rain in the forecast.
The Getty Fire began early Monday, prompting police to ask thousands of people to evacuate, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, LeBron James, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s parents. About 25,000 live in the LA evacuation zone, which covers a swath of high-priced real estate. A fire in December 2017 lit up the same area and forced drivers into a horrifying, apocalyptic-looking morning commute.
Governor Gavin Newsom secured Fire Management Assistance Grants to help fight the flames and announced a $75 million program to alleviate the fires’ impact on citizens. In an emergency declaration made Sunday, he urgent people not to ignore warnings, saying, , “It is critical that people in evacuation zones heed the warnings from officials and first responders, and have the local and state resources they need as we fight these fires.” At least 3,400 first responders and personnel are fighting the wildfires.
Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) the state’s biggest utility provider, shut off power to more than a million residents to try to curb further fire risks, but has received criticism for the lack of notice given. In a statement released Sunday, PG&E said more shut offs may come later in the week. In May, Cal Fire found PG&E was responsible for the Camp Fire, which left 85 dead and destroyed nearly 14,000 homes in 2018. It was the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. PG&E had admitted it’s equipment was “likely” culpable.
The people hit hardest by California’s fires are those who are already vulnerable: homeless populations, the elderly, low-income populations without access to emergency preparations. The LA Times reported that a housekeeper and gardener showed up in the midst of ash and fire to their clients’ homes for work without realizing the homeowners had already evacuated.
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
Wesley Aston is a Utah-based photographer whose work I’ve admired for some time. He photographs the rocks and skies of Utah, so much of which I trekked as a youth (less, later). One of my great pleasures was to sit on a mountainside, probably long after we should have gone down the trail to safety, to watch thunderstorms push over a mountain range, plunge into a valley and rush toward us, or maybe away from us.
At the time I wished I had photographic equipment that had not really been invented yet in non-governmental circles, to capture those scenes.
Aston does that. He’s got the equipment. He knows how to use it.
This is the kind of work that should be standard fare in geography classes in public schools, but is not.
Note from the American Flagpole and Flag Company: Congress added another date to fly U.S. flags. From the e-mail:
Fly the United States Flag at Half-Staff on Sunday, October 6, 2019 in Honor of National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service
The United States Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to lead a nationwide effort to remember America’s fallen firefighters. Since 1992, the tax-exempt, nonprofit Foundation has developed and expanded programs to honor our fallen fire heroes and assist their families and coworkers. The 38th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service will be held Sunday, October 6, 2019, to honor 92 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2018 and 27 firefighters who died in the line of duty in previous years.
In accordance to Public Law 107-51, the American flag should be lowered to half-staff on Sunday, October 6, 2019 from sunrise to sunset in observance of National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.
The date was added in October 2001, just over a month after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. President George Bush signed the law. Maybe oddly, the resolution does not specify a fixed or floating date, but instead refers to a National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.
Every life lost in service to our country is precious and irreplaceable. Our deepest sympathy, utmost respect, unwavering support, and profound gratitude go to the families who must endure the ongoing pain of such loss. On Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day, we solemnly honor these families and pray for their continued strength and courage.
Since the founding of our Republic, our liberty has been defended by our men and women in uniform. Their love of country and devotion to duty represent the very best of America. Our Nation’s military families share in the demands and pressures of this noble calling. The cost is exceedingly high — with multiple deployments, relocations, and separations — but the sobering price of their sacrifice is most clearly seen in the families who have faced the life-altering loss of a father, mother, son, daughter, sister, or brother who died fighting for our freedom.
Because of tragedies that forever change the course of their lives, these families receive the designation of the Gold Star. Each story is unique; each death is profoundly personal. The fallen leave behind families who must learn to carve out a new future while coping with their loved one’s absence on holidays, at celebrations, and during everyday activities. Their pain permeates every facet of life, never fully fading.
Yet, in spite of their challenges and heartbreak, Gold Star families exemplify amazing grace and resilience. From the depths of grief, they emerge to find hope, purpose, and joy, serving as an example and a source of inspiration for others. These patriots know the true cost of freedom, and it is the responsibility of all Americans to stand alongside them and share in shouldering this profound burden.
The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 115 of June 23, 1936 (49 Stat. 1895 as amended), has designated the last Sunday in September as “Gold Star Mother’s Day.”
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Sunday, September 29, 2019, as Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day. I call upon all Government officials to display the flag of the United States over Government buildings on this special day. I also encourage the American people to display the flag and hold appropriate ceremonies as a public expression of our Nation’s gratitude and respect for our Gold Star Mothers and Families.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-seventh day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.
Armstrong said his client tells the provenance: The typewriter upon which John Irving wrote The World According to Garp. “It was completely worn out but after a complete rebuild my customer couldn’t be happier.”
This year marks 40 years since Garp was published — difficult to believe the time gone by. This may be the last novel I devoured in a day or so.
This year I’m celebrating the 40th anniversary of the publication of my novel, The World According to Garp. I remember thinking the title of my fourth novel would change; The World According to Garp was always just a working title until something better came along. I was still looking for “something better” when I delivered the manuscript to Henry Robbins, my editor. Henry, and everyone else at Dutton who read Garp in manuscript form, declared that the title had to be The World According to Garp. I was stuck with it.
More importantly, it is a bittersweet feeling to have only recently written a teleplay of Garp, a miniseries in five episodes, because I always imagined — more than forty years ago — that the sexual hatred in the novel might become dated soon after it was published. Sadly, sexual hatred is still with us — it hasn’t gone away. The suspicion of sexual differences, the discrimination against sexual minorities — including flat-out bigotry and violence — haven’t become the extinct dinosaurs I thought these things would (and should) become.
In part, The World According to Garp depicts the struggles of the writing process — the false starts, the blocks, the disappointments. Yet Garp never loses conviction in his purpose as a writer, “because he knew what every artist should know: as Garp put it, ‘You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.’ Even if these so-called endings and beginnings are illusions.”
There are days I sorely miss my old Selectric.
Spread the word; friends don't allow friends to repeat history.
We've been soaking in the Bathtub for several months, long enough that some of the links we've used have gone to the Great Internet in the Sky.
If you find a dead link, please leave a comment to that post, and tell us what link has expired.